Sunday, May 16, 2010

Random Rantings and Ramblings

I haven't had much to say lately -- or maybe it's just that I haven't had time to say anything.  As the school year rushes to the end (only 24 more days) the pressures at work have mounted up.  Last Tuesday we were asked to start and complete 2 huge tasks by May 21 on top of having our progress reports ready for May 18.  These tasks are/were curriculum maps for all the subjects we teach, and transition sheets for all our our students.  We have never done formal transition sheets for our kids who are moving on to 7th grade before.  We've just done quick thumbnails, and placement recommendations that are almost always ignored.  The good thing is that we are being asked to be more detailed; the downside is the quick turnaround, and our fear that are recommendations will still be ignored.  The curriculum maps aren't really as difficult as they first sounded. It was more trying to understand the template.  It was disheartening too because we've done a lot of maps over the past few years and we keep having to do them again.  Wouldn't it make more sense to have an administrator look at the maps we've done previously and ask us to revise them if necessary instead of reinventing the wheel each time the administrator changes??  I've had some other professional obligation deadlines looming too.  The "local education association" for which I'm treasurer has its annual meeting this coming week so I've been up to my eyeballs in financial reports and budgets.  I'm also co-in-charge of the team that checks that all teaching staff are up-to-date with recertification requirements and we "okay" staff for recertification.  That's always an intense chore because teachers are the worst direction-followers!!  A few folks every year (usually the same people!) leave everything to the last minute and come panicked to my room after school asking how they can get enough credit to be recertified.  This despite the fact that we start in September with reminding those who are due for recertification!!!  ARRGGH!

We have an old porch set - 4 chairs, a chaise, and a dining table - that is about 25 years old.  It cost about $450.    It's never been super comfortable, but it's served us adequately.  We decided that this year we would replace it.  We've been to 4 different places however, to no avail.  We found a very comfortable set at Sears, on sale, reasonably priced. It had 2 chairs, a loveseat, and a small round coffee table.The price was under $700 but we didn't like the cushion colors (and there was no other choice) and the round table just doesn't work for our space.  So we went to Home Depot and to Lowes.  Nothing there that we liked.  Someone recommended we try a store called the Seasonal Store.  We went yesterday and loved the furniture.  But . . . the prices were ridiculous.  The set we liked and that would work for us was $2800. ON SALE!!  For 2 chairs, and a love seat.  The coffee table was extra.  Other sets were in excess of $3000.  We walked out.   I could possibly see spending that much if I lived somewhere like southern California where I'd have an outdoor room that I used all year.  But for a screen porch that I can use maybe 2.5 months of the year?????  Even if  it lasted 25 years, that's more money than I can afford.  The salesman told us that they sold a lot of the set we were interested in.  I don't know to whom.  If he's telling the truth, then how come nobody can afford their property taxes?  How  come no teachers in our state got a raise this year?  How come state and town budgets are being slashed to the bone?  I don't get it.

I did read!  Here's the latest.

Dreaming of the Bones (Kincaid/James, #5) Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This series just keeps getting better and better! Duncan Kincaid gets a call from his ex-wife Vic McClennan who has been writing a biography of Lydia Brooks, a poet who ostensibly committed suicide.  Vic believes instead that Lydia was murdered.  When another unexpected sudden death occurs, Duncan and Gemma James decide that perhaps Vic is right.  Both Kincaid and James have their lives turned upside down as a result of the investigation. Aside from the engrossing novel, I learned a lot about another famous poet, Rupert Brooks,too.

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Cathy said...

Deb, We have 7 days left until the students are finished - 9 until we finished - stress just doesn't describe it all does it!ARGHHHH
At least I am now recertified for 5 more years!

Panhandle Jane said...

I have 9 days left until I am retired. I have been sitting here trying to figure out how to quit NOW because I found out on Friday that I had had the rug pulled out from under me by administrators who placed me in a terrible position with students. It has messed me up not only with local, but with the junior college for which I teach a dual credit class. I could have kept my mouth shut and said nothing and just have let some students be treated unfairly while others took advantage, but I am choosing to go down fighting. I told the AP on Friday afternoon that if he didn't like what I was saying, he could fire me. At least I will not be leaving feeling teary-eyed and sentimental. "Shaking the dust off my feet" is the phrase that comes to mind.