Village designed for people suffering from AD/dementia
Attorney General Eric Holder says that "Heroin is a public health crisis", but the DEA doesn't think krokodil is a problem in the US... yet.
Entymology lesson of the day: Pronunciation errors which made the English language what it is
Gender identity and political correctness
I've also got some changes brewing and moving forward, but will wait for the actual official word before writing more about it.
Lastly, the weather people are forecasting another 6-7" of snow overnight Weds into Thurs. WHAT?!?! Isn't winter supposed to be nearly over? Can't we just be done with this whole snowy season yet? I saw ROBINS last week. ROBINS-- a sure sign of spring this far north. This is simply unacceptable, Mother Nature. Unacceptable.
This last Sunday we visited a new church in a nearby town. It was nice and obviously a thriving congregation, which was a big change from our previous church which we left after Christmas due to differences in opinion on the direction it was heading (among other things). I felt guilty about abandoning that congregation which so obviously needed us as bodies and which had been so accepting and welcoming toward us. The boys were baptized there, which is a big deal.
So we visited this new church and it was good to have some set-aside time for religion. I don't think it's necessarily the best church for us, but at least we went. The last hymn was one of the ones which was played at my grandfather's funeral and I lost it. It still hurts that he's gone, after all this time. I don't know if it was a sign or something, a way for him to tell me that he's still near and still with me, but I was weeping in a sad yet comforted way.
I wish he was still here. I wish he could have met Jake, that he could have known my boys.
I lose teaching in one class (and for a couple weeks, a second), while at the same time adding in three others. Everything smooths out by the end of the month, but my sanity will probably not return until about halfway through April.
I've been staring down this precipice for a few agonizing weeks now and I can say that starting my run through this gauntlet is terrifying... Again.
There may be some shake-ups happening in my position next year, which would involve a rearrangement of my current teaching and service loads. I'm not sure what the best option is, nor which avenue I should pursue. I'm being deliberately cryptic because I haven't talked anything over with my direct supervisor yet and I don't want to stick my foot in my mouth.
I'm going to have to call a student in and speak to them quite firmly about recording my lecture material without my express consent. I don't think they meant anything bad about it, but they did not ask before they began and I have some intense issues with intellectual property rights and how/where my material(s) may be used outside of the specific course I created them for. I hope the student can see my POV and be respectful about it, but I'm a little concerned about the negative backlash which could occur.
I'm such a non-confrontational person.
And I'm so tired. Tired, tired, tired.
First: The ACOG and partner organization updated their recommendations for childbirth and the criteria for cesarean section. Some of these are relevant to my experience of birth with Ben-- had I been in hospital I probably would have been recommended for section due to the length and slow progression of labor.
Second: The importance of midwifery care (and training of new midwives) in conflict-ridden regions or those that are experiencing decades-long violence and instability.
I kind of feel bad for the moderator because back in 2008-2010 there were like 6 or 7 different people who moderated and they could trade off weeks, but for the past several years there has just been this one woman and I think sometimes, you know, LIFE gets in the way and she gets behind in her moderation stuff. To be fair, the membership and posting numbers in the DITL community have fallen off a great deal, but there are still some old die-hards (like myself) who continue to post. I don't want to give up creating and posting these monthly reminders of what we're doing and how much the boys have grown, but maybe I just need to do it on my own? I like the idea of the community holding me responsible for participating and also not always documenting a Saturday, to get out of my repetitive comfort zone.
Today was hard.
I let someone down and they told me about it. They were legitimately upset and I probably interpreted their words overly harshly. So I'm left feeling guilty and angry and sad and trying to make things right because I so want to have a good working and professional and fun relationship with this person. But now it's kind of awkward as I'm drafting emails to fix the problem, as I try to make them formal yet lighthearted as is my usual tone in email exchanges, but it all feels forced and false.
I cried in frustration on the phone with Jake and I just don't know. I'm still a little upset although able to see the absurdity of it a little.
So I got the boys out of daycare early and we made cake mix cupcakes. I may have 2 or 3. I may have 2 or 3 drinks tonight once Jake gets home. That seems ridiculous now that I type it out, and vaguely abusive of substances. Knee-jerk reaction though makes it seem awfully nice.
I'll work it out and hopefully get up the nerve to discuss the issue with the other person, but i think taking some distance is healthy for now.
Leo's having his first tummy bug with real vomiting episodes during the night, so I kept him home from school today. My poor baby. He's had another vomit this morning when Jake got up with him and he's sleeping right now. I hope he feels better soon!
I felt badly for him because today was the daycare's "Pajama Pancake Party" which both boys have been talking about NON-STOP for the past week and a half. They were so excited about it. Oh well. There will be other pajama parties in the future and he was absolutely not going in today. I guess another kid in his class is also out sick and a few of the teachers had called in this morning as well. Joy! I can't wait till Ben/Jake/I get it too. Disinfecting all the surfaces in our house today, that's for certain.
While it is never convenient when a child is sick, I'm at least glad that it happened today when I could legitimately take off from work without any undue concern. If it had happened next Thursday? Let's just say that would be a different story and that Jake would probably be using one of his carefully hoarded sick days.
Writing of Jake, I feel it's appropriate to put down at this time that we're experiencing the same bullshit in terms of his job status for the next year. Already his district is projecting a deficit in the couple million dollar range and is holding board of ed. discussions about closing an elementary school, or a middle school, or somehow closing the gap. While I appreciate their fiscal responsibility and discussing options and plans well in advance of when they actually get the state-funded budget, the whole situation makes me sick and angry.
First-- I'm angry at our current governor, Andrew Cuomo, who is running on a re-election platform of "let's lower taxes on everybody!". Initially, he raised taxes in order to close the gap in the state's budget over a 5-year period, putting all schools and other state-funded programs on a budget freeze for the past several years. Basically that's meant that although schools (and other public businesses) have had to shoulder the increases in retirement costs, insurance coverage, transportation, heating, etc etc etc, there has been no corresponding increase in state aid and budget for these schools. So it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that even the wealthiest school districts with good savings at the start of this have begun to feel the pinch. Instead of maintaining the slightly raised tax income for the next couple years and stopping the budget freeze, Gov. Cuomo said in his "State of the State" address that (and I'm paraphrasing here) "...well, we've made so much money over the past few years through increased taxes that we've closed our budget gap and now we can lower taxes again!" instead of, you know, using that money to serve the children of the state.
Jake's last school district, Schenectady, serves some of the poorest neighborhoods in the state outside of NYC. There is no appreciable tax income from the city (a good percentage of its residents are unemployed or receive some sort of federal assistance and therefore do not pay taxes) and the school district has dealt with recurring 8 or 9 million dollar deficits over the past several years. It's why Jake's position there was cut last year, after agonizing debates and emotional, passionate please from students and parents to maintain music education in the school district.
Now it's like deja vu all over again-- board of ed meetings talking about closing schools or somehow implementing cost-cutting measures. Jake is again (always) low man on the totem pole and one of the first to get cut. It sucks that it's only January and we've got six months left in the school year to agonize, stress, and worry over his job and career prospects, figure out a budget (he did some research and learned, since he has only a 1-year finite contract with the school district, if they cut his position he is not eligible for unemployment benefits), and decide whether or not he wants to go through the agony of applying for three open positions in the ENTIRE capital region against HUNDREDS of other applicants.
It's a shitty situation. I don't know what the best answer is. I don't know if there even IS an answer. I know that it's frustrating as a wife and partner to watch my husband go through this bullshit over and over and OVER. I want him to be happy, stable, and successful in his career and I just don't know if that's going to happen in public education.
On a positive note to end things, he has made time in our busy schedule to offer private piano lessons to some of his students in school. These are really helpful to cover our own budget gaps from time to time and he enjoys doing it. Unfortunately, he has only a limited time that he can do these lessons as my schedule this semester is absolutely ATROCIOUS and I'm coming home late night after night. But the word has apparently gotten out and he's received a few emails from parents asking him if he has a "waiting list" for lessons and when they could possibly start. So perhaps even if he loses his public school job, he can still create some income through a private studio. It's something to think about, for sure.
And I know that it's got a freaking awesome sound to it, but I kinda, no really, dislike/hate Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines. I've read through the lyrics and I just... what? Objectification of women much? Suck.
While I didn't see them pick up the award for best Rap song, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' song Thrift Shop is kinda perfect for my life. Disclaimer: that link is NOT safe for work.
Also, equally perfect is the group Pentatonix whom I'm kinda obsessed with right now. They did a cover of Thrift Shop that I put on headphones and groove to while working on lectures or other things at work.
I think I should probably get back to work now... enough linking.