Favorite Books (so far) 2018

I had decided I would attempt to read 52 books this year – one per week. Well, I’m at 14. I just finished an AMAZING book that I want encourage others to read, which made me realize I never put anything up about my other favorite. Out of 14 books this year, I have absolutely loved 2, which interestingly enough, is about 14%. I was also born on the 14th of a month. A pattern? If you’re looking for one, then yes. The problem is, when I read an amazing book, I struggle with finding another. After the first, I started 4 or 5 books and quit then after 5 or less chapters because they don’t hold up. But this isn’t supposed to be about my reading habits. I’m supposed to tell you what to read.

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is about a girl whose mom is a germiphobe drug addict and whose dad runs the meth lab. But the theme isn’t about bringing awareness to drug problems or abused children – like most of these kinds of books are. The theme is so much deeper. The theme forces the reader to examine the foundations of love. This book also isn’t for the faint of heart or easily offended soul. It pushes boundaries of “apprpriateness.” I couldn’t put it down. Read it in one day.

I just finished The Book of M tonight. This book has so many themes I haven’t fully examined them. One potential theme is related to the bonds of love over space, time, and physical body. Another is examining the importance or triaviality of memories. The book questions what are minds are capable of. It asks the questions: what would you give up to have great power? What would you be willing to give up to have what you think you want the most? It explores magic. It explores tjat sensitive topic – race – but through a different lens, showing us how we divide ourselves based on certain characteristics and then wage war.

What are you waiting form. Download on Kindle or go to the Library. READ. I’d love to hear what you think.

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Bouquet

Sometimes an idea strikes and I have to write. I read tbis prompt and had to write my thoughts down. I’m on my phone so linking and counting words will be difficult… But I need to let the words out.

June 14: Flash Fiction Challenge

She awoke drenched in sweat to a humid morning with memories sailing through her head. She wasn’t sure where the urge to connect came from. Was today the anniversary of the explosion? How many years have passed?

After a cold shower, she mindlessly threw a dress over her undergarmets and rushed to her giant Rubbermaid tub stored in the closet. Inside, she quickly located a Walker’s shortbread tin. Under the lid lay two bouquets of perfectly folded, hand-written notes tied together with string, resting among a bed of plastic frogs that once magically materialized in her high school locker.

Unspoken Words

This year

I didn’t wrote

anything anywhere

for Memorial Day.

This year

the pain won

I choked down the urge to cry

then battled

subsequent waves of nausea.

 

In the dead of the night

a breath of plumeria

on the cool breeze.

Beneath the twinkling stars

the warm water envelops us.

I see a depth of unspoken words

in your eyes.

Then your hand is on the back of my neck

your mouth tastes sweet

like the mai tais

flowing through our veins

greedily I take you in

 

Suddenly I can’t breath.

The ceiling

walls

closing in.

It was just a dream.

 

Now there’s 6 feet of dirt

between us.

All I have is this

cookie cutter headstone

a bracelet with your name

and your unspoken words

locked inside this dream.

I thought I could keep you. I told myself and my friends you’d never speak to me again once you found a girl. But honestly, I had hope. Somewhere inside I believed you might value my friendship. Maybe it was the sugar you got from the store and dropped off at my house at 8:00 pm one night just cuz I had a bad day and wanted coffee with sugar the next morning. I didn’t even ask, but you decided to go to the store and come to my house. Maybe it was when my car broke down and you came to pick me up. Maybe it was when you fixed my sewing machine. Or it could have been when you picked me up to bring me to the auto store to buy a car part even though my car runs. What about when you needed me? Called for advice. Called for someone to listen. Had a ripped seam in your shorts I could sew.

But then you kissed me. I shouldn’t have let anything happen. Should have gone home. Now I can’t shake the feeling that you’re not gonna talk to me anymore. It makes my stomach hurt. You’re gonna start avoiding me. I’m not sure why a man’s physical desires always relates to me being punished. Why do I have to lose friends because men don’t want to have self control?

I am clear on the fact that there is something wrong with me. I get that I am the only common denominator in every failed relationship. I love your friendship. I’m happy having a friend.

I had hope. I shouldn’t have. Now I feel likethe crazy lady. Can’t sleep. Worried you’ll abandon me.

Spontaneous

Have you ever done something incredibly spontaneous?  Like let’s say, bought a last minute plane ticket, boarded, and heades west to spend a weekend on the floor of a hotel room with friends you really don’t know all so well?  

I haven’t either… Until now!  What’s the point in being in your mid thirties with no children if you can’t spontaneously run away for a weekend?  

Things I Want in a Job

There I some things I want   need  EXPECT from a work place.

  1. Roach-free desk area.  Killing giant (or tiny) roaches at 630 in the morning is a stressful way to start the day.
  2. Mouse-free recycling bin.  In reality, it really has been a couple years since I’ve had a mouse in the recycling bin.  Oh wait!  We don’t get bins anymore – only boxes.  But the mouse poop in my desk drawers – there’s no food in there, so I’m not sure why they like my desk – and the gnawing paper sound coming from the return air vent can be disconcerting even when you aren’t afraid of mice.
  3. Threat free work place.  When I say words that fall within my job description, I shouldn’t feel threatened or abused.  For example, when I say, “Please go to class,”  I shouldn’t get verbally threatened, called many sorts of colorful curse words, or physically assaulted.
  4. Safe work place.  It is not fair people are turning places like my work environment into a battle zone.  It is worse that the media only propagates the worst stories!  The media should not be allowed to honor and tribute school shooters by only sharing those stories.  What about when someone who works in a school does their job?  What if an officer stops a school shooter?  Why don’t those stories make the national headlines?  I’ll tell you why.  The government and the media want me to feel unsafe.  The government and the media are desperately trying to create a State of Fear around public schools.  They are trying to push an alternate agenda.
  5. My clients (students) should not be used for political agendas.  See above.  The government should not allow children to be murdered so they can push their political agendas related to gun control.  (While we’re on the topic, the government should absolutely NOT take away our second amendment rights.)  What kind of sick, twisted logic has American leaders wildly sharing stories of school shooters as if they are heroes, leading the cause for gun control?  It is absolutely repulsive.
  6. Either pay me fairly, or let me do my job.  Without thinking too hard, off the top of my head, I have 4 additional committee type activities I am responsible for.  I attend a minimum of 3 additional meetings per week.  I am responsible for proving my growth and progress by logging in to a separate account, typing paragraph reports on myself, uploading example lesson plans, pictures of students, pictures of student work, etc.  At some point in time, I am still required to write lesson plans, grade papers, and oh yeah – teach students.  The problem is the last part – I have to teach.  My 8 hour work day requires 5 hours and 25 minutes are spent with students.  My 90 minute “plan time” is filled with team meetings 3 days per week Wednesday is half day for the students, so I only have a 35 minute plan with no meetings.  When the students are gone, I’m required to attend meetings.  (Please tell me when I am supposed to write those lesson plans and grade those papers.)  All those committee responsibilities, proving myself (because my lesson plans and observations done by administrators isn’t enough), mentoring new teachers, planning and facilitating professional development, etc. are EXTRA beyond my actual job to teach.  The worst part – how am I supposed to do those while I’m teaching?  I can’t preform those responsibilities when I actually teach.  It’s one or the other.  I may not get paid a terrible awful salary, however, I do make $19,700 less than the average person with my level of education – and as a slap in the face, I can’t actually fulfill the majority of my responsibilities during the work day because 5 hours and 25 minutes of my 8 hour day is spent with students, while I get 25 free minutes per day to eat, and my “plan time” is spent for me in the currency of meetings.  So your options should either be  1. Pay me the extra $19,700 per year that I’m worth OR 2. Scrape all the extra B.S. off my plate and allow me to just do my job; lesson plan, teach, grade, and take attendance.
  7. Support my efforts.  If a student causes a disruption by: throwing things, talking during a test, verbally or physically assaulting me or other students, playing loud music (or youtube videos) while I’m teaching, is not assigned to my class but shows up anyways and talks to students who are in my class, etc. and I write that student up and send him/her out, don’t – PLEASE DO NOT – send that student right back to class.  You have just undermined my authority and taught all of the students in my classroom that it doesn’t matter what I say, there are no negative consequences for absurdly disruptive or unsafe behaviors.  On that note, I don’t want to see the student tomorrow either.  Those behaviors are not acceptable.  Administrators should create and enforce a discipline policy that actually addresses these negative behaviors students have.

 

PS – Yes.  I wasted time at work writing this.  But my students were either absent, watching a video, or using their cell phones while they were supposed to be taking notes.  Instead of taking on one of 1,967 responsibilities indirectly related to my job, I needed to find a way to vent my current frustrations because I’m feeling angry, abused, and unheard.  I’m very upset about a co-worker being hurt 2 weeks ago by a student and the way that situation has been handled.  It’s hard to focus when everything seems to be pushing you down, under the surface, trying to force you to drown.

Labs

Bloodwork came bsck.  Vitamin D deficient.  Iron deficient.  They didn’t check my kidney function or my ANAs.  I figure my rheumatologist can give me that news.  Insurance doesn’t want to cover my Rx.  We are the only country with insanely risimg health care costs.  On top of that, the insurance we pay for doesn’t cover it.  If it does cover it, I have to jump through 10 hoops, walk a tightrope, and cartwheel tbrough a spinning hoop of fire for a mile.  My doctor asked for a prescription level of a vitamin.  Why?  Because my levels are beyond low again.  It’s not like she is trying to give me opiod pain killers for a jammed thumb!  My levels dropping are a sign of coming out of remission.  My medical care bills will sky rocket if lupus comes back and then they’ll really be up shit creek!  If I can stop it now and get healthy, then I can stay in remission. I pay health insurance premiums for a reason.  Help me get a damn vitamin!