Working Toward Acceptance

I typed the words. The official words published to notify the world of your recent departure. I choked on them as I read them to the family for approval. I carried the box. Escorted you down the church aisle to the front of the room. My tears dripped on to your worship folder as I realized you had returned home: You were baptized in this room, confirmed in this room, and now commended into Jesus’s loving arms in this room. My hands delivered you to your final resting place. I watched as they lowered you into the ground.

It is really hard to grasp you were once here. But now. Now you’re just not. It’s not because you moved away or you went on a trip. You’re just gone. I’ll ever hear your voice, see your smile, or feel your hug again. You influenced me. Supported me. Taught me. But now it’s all just a memory. I can never call and ask for your guidance again. I’ll never get away from life by spending the weekend at your house. It’s just over. Everything from here forward is without you. I don’t know how to accept that fact. It feels empty. Hollow. A missing piece. Or maybe like your influence on me is fragile – like it could blow away with the winds over time.

Prayer Request

I really haven’t been writing much… Or reading for that matter. Well, lots of reading. Just not taking for fun. The pandemic grounded a lot of people. I took on a master’s degree and an additional part-time project related to my career. (It pays, too.)

But here… Tonight… I need a reminder.

Footprints in the Sand Poem

One night I had a dream…

I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord, and
Across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; One belonged to me, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of my life flashed before us, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that many times along the path of my life, There was only one set of footprints.

I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life
This really bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
You would walk with me all the way;
But I have noticed that during the
most troublesome times in my life,
There is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why in times when I
needed you the most, you should leave me.

The Lord replied, “My precious, precious
child. I love you, and I would never,
never leave you during your times of
trial and suffering.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.

Watching it Burn

Usually when I’m stressed or overwhelmed (and usually the sole fault of work), I dream about flooding. My house flooding. I’m driving and a river floods, sweeping my car away with it. My house is under water for some reason, but there’s no water inside and I’m trapped. On a rare occasion usually prompted by the weather, a movie, or a conversation, I dream about tornadoes. Been this way for years. I know which dreams mean stress.

But last night I woke up disturbed by something different. I dreamed I was sleeping at my best friend’s house. (Although it’s not the exact house she lives in now. It was different but I knew where I was.) I woke up to a lot of sirens. Went outside. Discovered buildings on fire. Everywhere. Every direction. The next door houses were fine and across the street. I went inside to wake her up. By the time we went back outside, more buildings were on fire. Closer buildings were on fire. We talked about how we would go inside, get her family and pets, and try to leave. We thought we had an efficient plan, but when we got in cars to drive, we realized traffic was a problem. If we got stuck in traffic and the fires continued to spread, would be safe?

I suppose that is clearly symbolism for me feeling like I’m watching everything burn around me. I did start looking for a job again on Thursday night. I finally feel as though I can really step back from the craziness and just watch is it all falls apart around me. Although clearly it still bothers me and it’s close enough that I feel the heat from it. I didn’t get any sleep last night this week. Oh I managed is between three and five hours. But last night I slept. I’m terrified of the real world in a real job but I very seriously need one. It is time to leave my current position. I think I’m tired of rushing around putting out fires. I’m a teacher I shouldn’t be receiving calls at 8 PM or 9 PM asking for my help to fix things.. I know the real world could be just like that are worse than that do you think I paid for it or how to time and receipt for extra efforts or even a better salary. Or maybe they’d be telling me to do something because they actually wanted me to do it and plans to use it. Because when I put a lot of hours into doing because they told me nobody else knew how to do it, wasn’t used. It resulted in some frequent phone calls of fix this and my response was I already did but you are choosing not to listen to me. There’s nothing else I can do for you.

This Week is OVER

It’s not the extra work out the time that bothers me. I’m happy to help. The problem is when you tell me I have to fix it because nobody else knows how. You don’t use my solutions. Then you call me and complain that you did something different, who’s has created a new problem.

Well clearly if you’re educated enough to do your own thing and ignore the solution you were calling me for at 8pm on a weekend, then you didn’t “need” me to fix it in the first place. Now you broke it and I’m not gonna waste my time doing it a second time because you didn’t listen to me the first time.

You didn’t listen to me even when you claimed I was the only one who knew how to do it!

2 Master’s Survey

4 weeks ago I started working on my second Master’s Degree because I had to do something to change my circumstances. But I won’t now you with the details right now…

Instead of reading a length of something here, will you take 3 or 4 minutes to complete this survey for me? My group needs some data for our midterm project and we would appreciate your help.

PS – feel free to take it a step further and share this survey, too. Need all the responses we can get.


Marketing Midterm Survey

Fandango writes:   “Imagine that you’re standing at a crossroads and you have to choose a path. Most of us have found ourselves faced with some momentous decision, and sometimes that decision was truly life changing. I know I’ve had a few instances where I had to make such a decision and I occasionally wonder what would have happened had a made a different decision at the time.  Fandango’s provocative question this week is about those “woulda, shoulda, coulda” moments in our lives.”

I’ve had several. First one that came to my mind was getting out off the National Guard. I ended up finding college and becoming a teacher. I think if I stayed in I would have finished college, but it would have been later in life. I also believe that I would have changed major before I finished. But I was hell bent on a mission. I often regret becoming a teacher. I also wonder who I’d be after an Iraq or Afghanistan tour. I know too many people who died, came back injured, or came back with emotional/mental health issues. My choice sheltered me and protected me even though I regret my career choice. I’ve been missing one of those in particular a lot this year. Not really sure why I think about him more than ever. I guess he is another crossroads. But it really doesn’t matter. He would have gone on that deployment whether we stayed together or not. I still wouldn’t be with him today because he is one that didn’t come home.

And I don’t know how to tag a post from my phone. So I must skip that part.

A Dance in my Dreams

I went to a country dance tonight. Had a good time. Some fun dances. Then my best friend said words related to learning two-step. I lost what she was saying because this image of a dark hole-in-the-wall bar without a dance floor flooded my mind. I was two-stepping with you around the tables. For just the tiniest fraction of a second, I could feel your touch, but by the time I blinked, it was gone. Had it been real?

I had almost forgotten that memory. You taught me to two-step. My first “real” dance. I just about started to share it, but changed my mind. I suppose I’m the only one with that memory now. I might keep it for myself. Hold on to it like a tiny treasure of sea glass stuffed in my pocket. Now that I remember, maybe I have enough of it left that I can dream. I know Heaven is a long way away, but maybe you could stop by and share the memory with me.

Would you dance with me in my dreams?

Could you stay tonight and hold me while I fall asleep?

First Day

I keep feeling like I’ve done something wrong… Like I make the wing decision. Funny thing is, work hasn’t even started, yet. I’ve actually been avoiding decisions. Work starts tomorrow and since the “leadership” hasn’t been able to make decisions, I’ve avoided most of their ambiguous emails. The new principal has implied he doesn’t want me don’t think and making decisions. Maybe that’s why. Maybe it’s the feeling of rejection. It doesn’t really matter, I’m confident my team believes in me and they’ll want me front and center as always. I’m very possessive. It’s my team. They’re my people. I’ll stand between them and anything coming at them whether he tries to vote me if the island or not. I’m not sure if that’s true leadership or a weakness. In this situation, I don’t make a good follower. I know too much, have to much experience and feel way too passionately about the kids we serve. So much so that I can’t sit quietly and idly even when I tell myself to. I just act. I do the things. All the things that need doing. I also tell the “leaders” when something is wrong or they are making a mistake. We discussed that in my class this week. Whether it’s a good or bad thing to have strict hierarchy. Ultimately I’m in a bad spot. I hate my job. I feel to much passion for helping the kids my job is centered around. And…

It hasn’t even started, yet, but I feel like I’m already doing the job wrong.

The only thing that should have mattered

Sometimes I think of you and I wonder if I love you or if I’m “in love” with the book worthy story that was us 10 years ago. It’s hard to accept that I never got our happy ending.

You broke something in me that isn’t healing. Some part of my self confidence is lost somewhere. I feel like you are the only person who could fix it… And yet that there is no way you ever could. I can’t even think up what it would take to fix it.

I shared our story tonight. Someone asked and so I shared my version. Can you believe it has been 3 years? 3 years since it came to a crashing halt.

But 10 years ago… 10 years ago you didn’t want me. Well at least not publically. Didn’t want a girlfriend. But at that party, that guy, Becky’s friend, can’t remember his name… That guy said, “When I met you, I thought I’d ask for your number, but now I know better. You love him. I just wanted to tell you, I wish someone would look at me the way you look at him.”

I wasn’t supposed to kiss you, or hold your hand, or ace like a girlfriend when I visited, but it didn’t matter how much I didn’t act like your girlfriend because it was written all over my face. Every person at that party knew exactly how I felt about you. I’m jealous of myself… Remembering what I had.

Love. I had love so bold and so deep it thrived no matter how many thousands of miles away you were. I had love that cost me thousands of hours if sleepless nights while I waited, wondered, hoped you’d come home safe from Iraq. I had a bold love that cost me many weekends flying or driving to Kansas to see you, even when you didn’t want me to love you.

Hope. I had hope. I believed without a doubt that I could love you enough that eventually you would love me the same. I believed beyond a doubt that I could be the best friend you ever needed when you wanted me to a friend AND that I could be the only girlfriend you ever needed when you wanted me to be a lover.

Confidence. I had confidence. Every snowstorm. Every hotel bought. Every night in your barracks. Every time in your mother’s basement. Every night I spent down the hall in the guest bedroom. Every time you kissed me, I knew you loved me, too, even when you didn’t want to be loved.

Time. I had time. I was young when I fell for you. I was in college. I had my whole life ahead of me. Time to get a career. Time to wait for you to get home from deployment… Once… Twice… A third time. Even when you came home and got out and I moved to Kansas, there was time to date; take it slow.

None of those are true anymore. 40 is gonna be here in the blink of an eye. Time to find someone who reciprocates feelings is gone. Confidence anyone would have an interest in dating me is gone. Hope that I can start a family is a single glowing ember in a pot of ashes. Love is a fleeting memory… A thought if missing sleep and amazing words someone once said.

I wish I still had that kind of love to give. I wish I knew someone who wanted me to love him.

I remember leaving your mother’s house once. I remember we weren’t on the same page. You accused me of acting too much like a girlfriend. I basically said I’d always be whatever you wanted and if you didn’t want me I’d leave you alone. I told you I’d pack my bag and I’d come get you to move your car ( you were blocking me in). But when I put my stuff in the car, I realized I had enough space to put forward and back out next to your car. I got in and left. Never said goodbye. You’d think that was the end. But it wasn’t. Less than 2 years later, you still didn’t want me… Or so you said. But then you got mad at me and your best friend because I wasn’t being enough of a girlfriend and I was spending too much time with him. In your room that night, I was sure something had changed. It felt different. But 11 months later, you started ignoring me. I thought that was the end. I truly did.

Then you wanted to rekindle a friendship. We drew a line in the sand. Friendship only. Unfortunately, I spent 4 wonderful months loving and being loved by a man who accepted me as me. That was the change. That was the break. He ultimately didn’t want me, either. But finally you did. I didn’t trust you and I waited months before giving in. But the damage was already done. I knew how I wanted to be loved

But I could never be good enough for me. Despite you saying the words, “I love you,” you wore down all the things that had to change about me before we could have a successful marriage. You’re focus was on all the ways I didn’t measure up to your perfect images of a wife. It became clear that was the problem. It had already been the problem. I wasn’t what you wanted. You couldn’t check off all the boxes in the fine print area of me, as a person and you told me that… All. The. Time.

You were so focused on the things wrong with me when you should have been focused on the only truth that mattered: I loved you so much that I could make other people jealous just by looking at you from across the room.

Why Does Everyone Hate Teachers?

First off, I’ll start with a general complaint toward parents. Parents have no respect for education and no desire to parent their children. Any action of parenting that is “hard,” is avoided. Children are supplied with an endless amount of screens and junk food as a reward for not making parents demonstrate parenting. Parents therefore do not support education in the home and never do anything related to checking the academic progress of their children. They don’t care if their children even attend class… As long as those children are not in their home during the day. School is only for babysitting. If their child is disrespectful, vandalizes something, or hurts someone, it’s automatically the teachers fault. Period.

(I know there are a select few humans who are better than that. So if you are, then paragraph 1 does not apply to you. However, it does apply to the majority of our country.)

Next we’ll point out state and federal governments. Ever notice how there are hundreds of ways to cut funding for education? Even worse, it’s extremely easy to lose funding for high-risk populations who are lower achieving. BUT THOSE ARE THE SCHOOLS WHO NEED MORE FUNDING. Those kids need extra resources! It’s a backassward plan. When it comes down to it, teachers are spending their own money to provide pencils, paper, and assignments to kids. BUT school districts and governments blame the teachers if the kids don’t pass the state test. Let’s take a look at this more in depth. Please see paragraph 1 first. Then, please note that corporal punishment is out. Now look deeper in the district I work at. Kids are skipping class: fighting, selling and doing drugs in the hallways, having sex, letting fire extinguishers loose, getting into custodian closets and cutting power to parts of the building, stealing various items, having food fights, etc. But suspension is not allowed. Even a male student who punches a female administrator when she tries to break up a fight can’t be suspended because when he was, the district office administrators reversed the suspension. There is no detention, Saturday School, or other consequences. The parents don’t care if their children go to class. BUT SOMEHOW districts, administrators, and parents say it is the fault of the teachers when these kids don’t score a magic number on a state test.

In fact, let’s go back to the parents. Parents reward these kids by giving them cell phones and buying them video games. Then, when their child misbehaves again, they say, “Not my child. That teacher is making up stories about my kid.” Then, when they get a phone call during their child’s senior year saying the child does not have enough credits to graduate, they act flabbergasted and beg for the school to fix it for them. (I’ll tell you a secret: in most cases, the school district I work in does fix it. They change grades and transcripts in order to hand out diplomas and boost their graduation rates.). But remember, these parents never cared the 3 previous years when their kid skipped class of they got a phone call home saying their kid was a a fight. Those things are normal and accepted.

Let’s fast forward to this Covid19 Pandemic. Teachers go out of their way to turn their in-person curriculum into something that can be done online. News spreads through social media about teachers who brought technology, food, paper-based assignments, medicine, toys, etc. to their students who were in need. They rushed to learn new technology and plan new engaging e-learning activities. But they were undermined by state education agencies and school districts who said that grades don’t count during the online learning. Grades were frozen at quarter 3 because online learning is new, scary, and too hard for careless parents to deal with at home. Somewhere on our webpage, our school district claims to prepare students for the real world and offer them a rigorous curriculum. There is nothing rigorous about “you don’t have to do these assignments to pass this class.” My friends had to work from home. Their workload didn’t change. Their deadlines didn’t disappear. My friends with jobs in the real world kept working. Some of them had to continue to go to work in person every day. So tell me, how does “you don’t have to do school work anymore because pandemics are scary” prepare my high school students for the expectations of the real world? As far as I can tell, we didn’t even provide a remotely similar experience to real world expectations. Meanwhile, teachers were being held to the standard of contacting the parents of every student every week and documenting each instance in no less than 3 places. (No. I’m not joking. This is not hyperbole. Quite literally instructions were “call and document repeatedly.”) When student participation in online learning was less than 30%, what happened? That’s right. They blamed the teachers. But they are the ones who told students and their families that the online learning assignments didn’t matter. THEY undermined the teachers’ efforts and then blamed the teachers.

NOW FOR THE KICKER. The lovely group called The American Academy of Pediatrics stated that online learning is more harmful to kids than the coronavirus. First of all, do you know how many sick kids come into my classroom on a daily basis? They won’t stay home because the have a symptom. Don’t tell me you’ll check temperatures at the door. Kids let their friends in locked doors of the building all the time so they can hang out with their friends in the hallway. If, for some reason you solve that problem and get the 50% of my class who are skipping into my classroom, where do you propose they sit? I see 35 names on the roster and 30 desks squished up against the walls, that table you call my desk, and even against the dry erase board they are supposed to be able to see when I’m giving direct instruction. I can barely walk between desks, let alone imagine what it would be like to have 6 feet of distance between me and the students by my desk. But anyways, you physicians have probably never set foot in an inner city school. Don’t tell me the kids have to wear PPE. The school can’t even get them to follow the mandatory rule of “wear your student ID at all times.” Did you read the paragraph before this one? How is this safer? How is hanging out in the hallway with fights, drugs, etc. and a potentially fatal virus healthier for our kids than online learning? Oh, that’s right… You don’t think kids should be at home with parents who don’t parent and parents who don’t respect education. You think that teachers care about the kids and their education… Except you demonstrate the opposite in everything you say, publish, and do when you constantly blame, undermined, and fail to support the teachers.

Gosh, all this and I haven’t even told you what REALLY ANGERED ME, yet. Those moronic physicians said teachers need to be kept away from other adults. Keep us socially distanced, but not those irresponsible children. That statement is COMPLETE AND TOTAL DISREGARD FOR THE WELL BEING OF TEACHERS. Expose them to all the germs of the kids: no big deal. Cut them off from their professional development meetings: no big deal. Cut them off from their co-workers who plan with them, help with discipline, break up fights, or just provide a listening ear: no big deal. Make sure that teachers are cut off from adults so they can’t have parent conferences when a child misbehaves or hasn’t turned in any work, because of course, we want teachers to be responsible watchers. No, not a baby sitter. A watcher. Just watch as the children act out. Just watch while they play video games, FaceTime, and share pornography during your class. Just watch because parents are too busy spreading half truths and personal opinions on their own social media to be burdened by actually caring about their child’s education. We need somewhere to put mini and young humans during the day so the rest of society doesn’t have to be burdened by them and because you are a child-watcher, who is purposefully exposed to viruses and bacteria all day long, you aren’t allowed to interact with other adults in society.

That’s it. Isn’t it? The answer to the question in my title. I knew if I wrote enough I’d come up with an answer. So why does everyone hate teachers?

Because America needs somewhere to put mini and young humans during the day so the rest of society doesn’t have to be burdened by them… And anyone who is dealing with the things you don’t want to deal with is automatically less than you are. Teachers are therefore a lesser class, hated and disrespected by those who don’t want to deal with the hard things in life like their child’s education. I suppose that ultimately, we also are the ones who can expose that fault of yours. Teachers are the ones who tell you when your child misbehaves, hasn’t been sleeping at night due to social media or YouTube, or isn’t performing high enough academically. Teachers unintentionally expose your parenting faults… The things you want to keep hidden. Therefore, you, as a society, have found plenty of ways to hate us. Including and up to, “expose them to the pandemic and make sure they have no social interaction with people who have higher class jobs again.”