Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Slippery Slope or Just the Thing?

For the past few weeks months, I have been hording this idea (because it never actually even made it into draft form).  It started out titled, hanging up the red cape.  This was meant to be where I told you that I had decided that my do-gooding days were over.  I have spent all my professional career doing good of one sort or another.  And, one of the lessons I learned in all of those years is that it is nearly impossible to "fix" anything.  This doesn't mean that you can't do good or even that I didn't do good for someone or something. Just that I learned my ability to "fix" was not all I thought it was ... or that maybe I needed to approach work as something other than fixing serious social issues that most people walk by ...

Fast forward a few months -- I quit my graduate program for a lot of reasons, but at its base the decision was largely founded on the idea that I was not longer obligated (I would try really hard not to feel obligated) to *fix* teacher education.  This was not an admission that it didn't need to be fixed or even that I felt that I didn't have something to offer the possible solutions.  Rather, it was an admission that I didn't need to be the one who did this work.  That is to say, that I realized that I didn't need to be someone's (or several someones') whipping gal in order to gain the coveted letters that would allow me to do the work ... and here is where it gets hard because I really do feel *sometimes* that I was born to do this work.

So, yeah, I put the cape in the closet.  It had a good run. 

I am wondering now if maybe I should have actually placed that red cape in the donation bin.

Or maybe I am just overreacting...

You see, I went to this job fair at the local school district -- to become a substitute because it seemed like a money maker for me to show on paper that I was making a living ... so I could get an apartment -- that is a whole other story I am not ready to write about yet.

And I sidled up to the check in table at the "event" and the woman asked, "What kind of teaching job are you interested in?" and the answer should have been SUBSTITUTE. 

Alas, that is not what came out of my mouth ... no, I said, "I am interested in dual language immersion schools at the elementary level."

Yup, I did that ... maybe in the back of my mind I was thinking this is just an exercise in research, except I was no longer doing research or even contemplating research, right?

There were four schools at the fair, and I talked to three principals.  And I sort of developed a crush for two of those principals... and one of them invited me to come to tour the school.  I was so interested, and sort of unprepared for that invitation, that I whipped out my phone and we settled on a time and day the following week.

Fast forward a bit and I fell in love with the school, and I agreed to be interviewed...and today I will be delivering a sample lesson.

So, is it just a good paying job that I don't have to commit the rest of my life to? Or is it a super slippery slope back into those red cape days?

I have been struggling with this for quite some time ... I keep hoping and praying for some other job opportunity to come up that I would actually apply for.  Alas... here I go.

Pray for me ... not sure it will work or anything will work.

Actually, I know that this is a great opportunity for me to try out my boundary building skills... and third graders are real cute...

Monday, April 25, 2016

signs of change

They are all around me ... flowers blooming, birds and bees busily buzzing, building nests...
I shall try to get at least one of the drafts in my folder actually written ... as I climb out of the mess that was the last three weeks of my life.  The funeral is over, the mourning begun, the putting back together of intricate webs -- work, life, apartment hunting, visiting with friends and processing emotions...

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Poetry Thursday

Come inside 
the heart’s house. 
There is peace 
and solace there. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

alpha and omega

In Spanish we have a word for slowly succumbing to mortality: agonizar.  Although it accurately and vividly portrays a painful physical progression of fatal maladies, it also depicts the emotional and mental struggle of letting go of life.  Sometimes the lyricism of Spanish astonishes me, overwhelming me with emotion -- even when it is a word that I know in my head, sometimes, I do not know it in my heart until something in particular happens.  Then the poetry of the meaning washes over me in a stunning recognition of how big language can be.

We have another word in Spanish associated with sickness, grief and time: velar.  It intimates that we are never alone in this process because it means to sit and watch, to literally guard through the night.  It suggests a candle (vela) to light our way, and a shield (veil) and it is the word we use for wake - oddly connoting wakefulness though it also seems to insinuate the long night where you either fight off sleep or cannot seem to get sleep.  It strikes me now as I write this it is also code for witnessing.

In our culture, this kind of guarding is almost never done alone -- the one in agony and the one guarding and those who support those who wait.  Sometimes it is the mother waiting at the bedside of a sick child and sometimes it is the family waiting at a loved one's bedside either before or after he had passed.  For the past few nights, my mom and aunt had been sitting at my uncle's bedside at the hospital as he slipped into his long good night. 

Interestingly, it was a time for them to also reconcile with the inevitability of my uncle's mortality as well as to be there for comfort and support.  They were there to witness the leaving of a body, the freeing of the soul, the ending of the suffering...

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Not really poetry Thursday

Love isn’t a state of perfect caring.  
It is an active noun like struggle.  
To love someone is to strive 
to accept that person 
exactly the way he or she is, 
right here and now.  
~Fred Rogers

 struggling mightily with this right now ... and hoping Mr. Rogers will persuade me.  The way he modeled compassion and humanity is so impressive.  Hoping it rubs off.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

these days

my days are filled with scoring exams, making dinner, herding dogs and hospital visits...

with one quick side trip to the movies

and only one walk on the beach...

Oh, and the mijo met this cutie at a funeral... who said funerals are only sad?

Friday, April 08, 2016

NRU education edition

NRU light

I take seriously the authors' discussion of the need for better "education" on the subject of free speech, but even their analysis of the problem ignores what underlies the problem.  Free speech, and regulations of it, is an extremely nuanced idea that requires the ability to be able to communicate  what is offensive about speech as well as to listen to the intent of the speech.  Understanding nuance and effective communication are skills we should work on with students as well as the ability to critically think about issues.  Blanket statements like free speech do not really capture the nuances necessary to further discussion or debate...ugh, all this said, I don't know how to feel about this article.  I am tired of "older" people assuming "students" are just under-educated whenever their responses or beliefs do not match those of the older society.  Maybe there are things we can learn from each other.

these are not editorialized because I am covering my eyes and/or too busy ruining children's lives to read (ugh):
New Dept of Ed Secretary
Where will Spanish, the language, go with all the English being infused?
New LA County Sup

Thursday, April 07, 2016

poetry thursday

My heart is so small, 
it's almost invisible. 
How can You place 
such big sorrows in it? 
"Look," He answered, 
"your eyes are even smaller, 
yet they behold the world."

~ Rumi

Wednesday, April 06, 2016


I am exhausted...long days and long weeks, and a long drive.
I am still *thinking* about the drafts I need to finish ... but thinking about updating the blog.

I have another shift at 5:30am tomorrow, so now it is time to go to bed.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016


In between jobs, I stopped long enough to get a piece of pizza (Arizmendi) and enjoy the last glass of Rose of Syrah (Pech Merle).

To make it feel a little more special, I chose the polka dot wine glass... it's the little things, folks, the little things.

I still have drafts and updates just no time to write them...

Monday, April 04, 2016

ugh part 762 aka HUSTLIN'

All too frequently, I present as "I don't have a real job." 

This is misleading in many ways.  1) When I say real job, I mean job that pays me real money.  2) This has nothing to do with how many hours I actually have to work in order to get real money. 3) What I actually mean is that I have a million jobs -- ok, at least four which all pay me so little that I am constantly looking for more jobs.

I am actually *hustlin'* all day and all week long.

I am exhausted. 

That is all.

Here are some pretty pictures:

Friday, April 01, 2016

NRU not April Fool's

The way chocolate cake should be enjoyed
Sometimes life collides with intentions.  I started a new gig and spent a good part of the last few weeks seriously job hunting.  As a result, my news reading is lagging.  And there is just not very much *good* news, so I am less inclined to spend my precious little free time reading sad/frustrating/outrageous stories.  So instead of a real round up, here are the links to the articles I would be reading if I only had 3 more hours in each day.  Though, truthfully, if I really had an extra three hours, I would be seriously torn between reading these articles and SLEEPING!

This is a hodge podge of the stories I thought might be fun, interesting, potentially uplifting -- and the some political news I can't seem to look away from.

Parrots -- more than a pretty face

Dog not actually lost at sea finds a way home.

How the train wreck was happening right in front of them, and no one did a thing ... and now they are court martialling him.  Ugh

The story of a burger joint in Compton -- women's history month alert ;)

Puerto Ricans and the vote