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in the hoosegow

Saturday, April 26, 2008

reminiscences and whatnot

Everyone around here is feeling a bit down today. There has been much discussion of french fries, milkshakes and mashed potatoes (our comfort foods).

No real possibilities on the job front yet. I am trying to narrow down what my interests are so that I don't go crazy looking all over the place. I am fairly certain I do not want to go back to librarianology!

The club I sponsor took a trip to the SPCA on Thursday. Much fun! We saw many animules and even the guys filming Animal Cops Houston. I thought it would be sad, but it really was not and I decided I could see myself working there...if they ever all me back.

Mi madre called the other night to tell me that my remaining grandparent is failing. I saw her when I visited Michigan last month and I'd thought she did not look well. She seemed healthy enough, though. My mom seemed more upset that my uncle had been mean to her and told her she Had To Go Visit Now. I suggested ways she could get there without driving herself but she merely gave me the martyred sigh and said she supposed she'd go tomorrow (yesterday) as she had to go out to the grocery store anyway.

When I was home I drove around a bit to see some old haunts, but I didn't feel like going in anywhere. I have fond memories mostly and I guess I didn't want to spoil those memories, or even the bad ones, by entering them. I also don't really want to run into people I knew back then. I look exactly the same so it would be hard to escape if spotted by, say, someone I knew in high school.

Speaking of high school, tonight we're due at the prom. Because of my school's ban on tattoos, I have to wear a top and a skirt. I refuse to buy anything new for this event. Who wants to wear a long sleeved gown in Houston in the warm springtime anyway? Definitely not me. I had fun trying on all possibilities for Tapan, while he lounged in bed, but the sad truth was that I can't wear anything I'd like. I am going to have to borrow some of his t-shirts to go to camp next week or I will die in my long sleeved shirts. Die!

Friday, April 18, 2008

lots of news

Okay, so I haven't posted here in a long while. There have been several good reasons. As mentioned before, our dog Mitzi was sick. She grew sicker and sicker until we had her put to sleep on Monday morning. She was struggling to breathe and could barely walk that morning and we could not stand to see her suffer. The PIG and I and Jeremy (her companion dog) are very sad. We took the day off from worldly concerns and walked in the park, drank lots of coffee and got lots of pets (Jeremy). I took Jeremy to Pet Club yesterday because he's seemed so sad and lonely and the whole school loved him, even with his stinky nasty breath.

The other reason I've been holding back is because April 15th was the time for teachers and administrators alike to think about next year. I'd considered telling them I had been looking for another position but decided to wait to see what they'd say to me. Turns out they had decided not to renew my contract for next year. I can't say I was all that surprised as I've had nothing but trouble with the woman who heads my part of the school. What was surprising was to receive the information not from her but from the director of our campus IN A NOTE. No, I am not joking people. When we finally met to discuss (4 days later--he had left the note with our secretary before leaving town), he offered no explanation other than an offhand (and pretty rude) comment about my not toeing the company line. Or at least that's what I think he was trying to say. No, I am not one to follow directions blindly. I am one to try things out and see if they work. I am one to listen to my kids and see what they think is right. Of course I offer my own experience and don't let them run off too far down a path I know is doomed to fail, unless my administrators deem it so in a way that I cannot change (see earlier posts about the ill-fated Garage Sale).

Overall, I'm relieved. Unfortunately I don't yet have another job lined up. I do have my summer (June) gig in place and will be paid through July but after that....

I have applied to the Houston Zoo and also to the SPCA. I'm looking at places like the arboretum but they don't have much open right now. My fall back is to get alternative certification and teach next year in a regular classroom. I'm not wild about this but I could do it if I need to.

In the meantime, I will treasure what one of my soon to be former colleagues said. She's the one I've tried to emulate the most. When she found out that I'd be leaving, her mouth dropped open and she said, "I'm really sorry. You're an amazing teacher."

What have I learned from this year's adventure? Whoodoggie, that could (and may) fill a book. I learned how to relax a bit more as a teacher and I learned that I need to reiterate and give more specific directions, at least to my kids. I can slow down, be patient, listen to my kids telling me about their day while driving safely and more importantly, I can keep swears to myself while driving them! I learned that I prefer bosses who have the same mindset as me or who can at least communicate where I'm diverging from what they want me to do. I learned that I hate having to hide my tattoos and I hate not ever being able to wear sandals or t-shirts & jeans to work. Okay, I knew that last one from UH. I like a job that allows me to get outside a bit and to teach a lot and a supportive community that doesn't think I'm crazy. That's not too much to ask, is it?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

a peek

I've spent a fair amount of time this week in a vet's office, with more to come. Our dog Mitzi was breathing shallowly and looking glassy eyed on Sunday night so the PIG took her to the emergency vet. We followed up with a visit to the regular vet in the morning. She has a mass near her heart and pneumonia. The doctor is optimistic and believes she is suffering from an allergy. She is doing better but the order to keep her inactive is nearly impossible as no matter how small a space she's in she paces and follows us around. So that was Monday. The next morning I awoke to the PIG saying, "honey, the cat's not doing so well." Annika was all puffed up and lethargic, meowing when we tried to pick her up. We took her to her normal vet clinic which wasn't open yet so we went on to the vet where we took Mitzi on Monday. The doctor was very confused when he saw her. What I'd taken for edema (swelling caused by fluid) was actually air pockets. You can hear them crackle when you touch her skin. Cause: inconclusive but very probably caused by a piercing of the trachea when she had her teeth cleaned last Friday. Treatment: head scratching followed by lots of antibiotics, rest and observation. Currently she is moving around, eating, but still pockety. I'm calling her things like the Puffy Princess, Queen Crackle, etc.

Tomorrow both girls go back for a recheck and we will decide further treatment (or not) from there.

Last night when I went to bed I felt sooooo bad that I had, in a way, caused my kitty's distress and that I couldn't help her feel better. I woke up at 3am to pee and was ecstatic when she got up, ate some food and used her litter box. Currently she's sleeping in the closet. Mitzi is waiting for the PIG to get home so she can follow him around.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

in the midst

I've had an offer on the house. A low one, granted, but a serious one. Whoo hoo! We are currently making counter offers which is always fun. Unfortunately I am veeeery tired and allergy-ridden today and really just want to curl up on the couch rather than be at work and then go to work out. Too bad, eh?