Tuesday, April 3, 2012

SOLC Tues...busy, crazy day

Today I left work early. I had two doctor appointments. My school is almost an hour from my home. My home and my doctors are all west of my school. It took me an 1.5 to get to my first doctors appointment. I just made my cardiology appointment. PHEW! I literally run in since my cardiologist does not like to run late. I get in and his office is packed with people. Hmmmm...it is NEVER like this. I was wondering what he was giving away. There were so many people there! However, I signed in and turned to sit down and was immediately called for my EKG. This was a good sign. This went quickly and as soon as that was done I was taken to see my cardiologist. Perhaps those waiting were not waiting for my doctor. It was business as usual. He went over my numbers and business as usual means, he would like to increase my medication dosage. I proceed to argue. He has been my doctor for 4 years now. He is used to me. I am used to him. We have done this dance before! Until he throws a monkey wrench at me. Something I was not expecting. When my heart issues first began I had ablation surgery. It was not successful. They then played with my medications to get things just right. While they did this they took driving away from me for 6 VERY long and agonizing months. It was truly torture to me. He brought that up to me again. That if he was to switch meds on me, I would most likely have to suspend driving again till I was adjusted to the meds. WELL....without hesitation I gave him a flat out NO! He said he knew I would say that. SO...we are at a standstill! I'm frustrated...so is he.
But... I left doing what I need to do because I take care of myself. I have to. I will up my dose. I will watch how my reaction is. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to up the dosage and my blood pressure will not drop as a result and I will remain in the uppward position and not pass out, literally. Hopefully having been on these meds for a long time now my body will not overcompensate as it has done in the past...He gave me one week to try it out. I will be on vacation and will not be driving. It will be a perfect time to try this out. If I have a reaction I will know right away and I will not have to worry about work or driving. It is a good time to try this. I find this all so maddening!!! Let's hope this works this time. I really don't want to not drive again...

Saturday, March 31, 2012


I am grateful to all of you! Yes, all of you, Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March Challenge Writer's...This is my third year participating and my best year yet. This year I was able to take in so much more. I observed, I watched, I listened, I read, I tried things in my writing. I am in awe of all of you.

Things I learned in this challenge:

I entered this challenge with one goal, to write. I learned that I can do it! It is such a great feeling to set a goal and achieve it..

To try out things in my writing without fear or ridicule, there was always a friend to find something you didn't realize you had done well in your writing. This is the greatest group of cheerleaders you will ever have!

If you are thinking that issues in your life are unique, perplexing, confusing or overwhelming, write about them, someone out there has been through them or going through them and they will lend an ear or help you through.

Despite all the negativity in this country about teachers, we continue and are a profession full of compassionate, kind, creative, generous, loving individuals who want to make a difference and I am proud to walk among you!

Thank you Stacey and Ruth!

Friday, March 30, 2012


My wonderful super doing her thing in the tug-o-war!
What happens when you put every teacher in my district, the administrators, custodians, secretaries, & paras in a gym for competiton? You get Crazy Sports Night in Riverhead. When you get all of these people together in a gym making spectacles out of themselves, you will also find a large crowd very willing to watch!
Last night this large crowd gathered to watch Crazy Sports night to benefit a student in my school who has been battling cancer and another student in our district who has been recovering from a horrific accident & is now recovering in a long care facility in another state.
Events included an obstacle course, a basketball shoot-out, a three-legged race, scooter race, hula-hoop chain and the finale was the good ole tug-o-war!
The event was a huge success. We raised over 4,000 dollars for the two families! However, more than the money raised was how the event left us feeling...Just looking out over the crowd, seeing the looks on the children's faces as we laughed, ran, jumped, tumbled all in good fun doing what we could for these two families was absolutely the highlight of my year as well as my colleagues. When we returned to work today all we talked about was how wonderful it was. Everywhere you went in the building it was the talk of the children, the staff, and the parents. It was such a morale booster for us all.
In the local paper, the front picture is our Superintendant of our school. She was pictured with her team, the district office, doing the tug-o-war. I happen to love our Superintendant. She is so supportive of the teachers, the students, the staff, of everyone. This picture of her in the front of the paper, pulling with all of her might just says it all for me! She is willing to get in there with us, to do the hard work...
I just wish those passing all the laws, passing judgement on teachers were there last night. We are so much more than test scores and so are our students! Last night made me so proud to work where I do, to do what I do. These last few weeks I was feeling so deflated, last night helped put some air back in my balloon..I'm so thankful to those I work in the trenches with! GO RCFa!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


This is going to be short and sweet! I am beginning to wonder if life in general has taken it's toll on me. I am not usually this exhausted. Today my legs felt like lead....all....day...long. I even went to the gym. I ran my 3.5 miles, but it took all I could give not to jump off the treadmill and run screaming from there! Who is this person? I love to run. It is my adrenaline at the end of my days or the jump start to my days. So I'm going to hunker down, feet up, blanket over me and watch a little bit of tv. When I have unwound a bit, I will hit the hay nice and early. This is something I have not done in a long, long time. Perhaps this will recharge my batteries. I have only 5 more wake-ups till Spring break. Perhaps that is all it is. Time for some much needed rest...
Sweet dreams everyone!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I've run into a complete word/brain drain...I begin to write and I get all locked up. This does not usually happen to me. I would begin to write and then erase all that I had written. It didn't express what I wanted to express. It didn't capture what I was really thinking. The words were coming out all wrong. I don't know if it is because I have so much I would like to say or is it because I don't have enough to say! Some of my swirling thoughts consist of the following:
Lockdown drills at school....
Budget issues that are deeply impacting our school morale....& precious resources
Students whose behaviors are beginning to escalate...
Students whose academic progess seems to be halted and what do I do next?
Lack of sleep...too many late nights, so much to do, so little time...
Mounting medical bills! UGH......
My daughter's mounting difficulty in passing her social students regents exam...
Details for an upcoming 5K Race I am in charge of in my cousin's name and all the small details.....
Swirling thoughts, spiraling out of control, spinning wildly around my head and yet nothing put on paper that manages to make much sense.
Time for bed...tomorrow is another day. But, for now, I wrote something down. It is better than yesterday when I posted nothing!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Today I attended a bridal shower for my cousin. Twenty-one years ago she was the flower girl in my wedding. Thirty years ago I was the flower girl in her mom's wedding. Her mom is my mom's youngest sister. It was a beautiful shower. Her sister and bridesmaids threw the shower for her. They thought of everything. She was surrounded by people who loved her. It was so evident by the things the girls did for her.
My sister and I sat with our aunt throughout the shower and our thoughts during the whole event kept drifting to our aunt who was not there with us. We could not help but think of her. She was missed. We wished she could have been there with us to celebrate, but we understood why she was not there. I mean honestly, if it was me, I don't know if I could have come myself.
I guess it is time I write about it. I have not been able to write about it, talk about it or barely speak about it. It is still so very painful, so raw, so very hard to believe. My other aunt, the one who was missing from the shower, she lives around the corner from me. She is only 7 years older than I am. We were pregnant together. I was having my first child, she was having her second, my sister was having her first as well. We were all pregnant together. Eventually our children wound up attending school together. In June 2010 the three cousins graduated from High School together. It was a wonderful moment, celebrated greatly as it was the day my son came home from the hospital after his horrific accident.
My sister and I both had boys. My son was the oldest, my nephew was born next and last, was dear, sweet, beautiful Susie. Susie was smart, kind, different and everyone's friend. She was the President of their class all four years of HS and she was simply, just amazing.
Tragically, this past November 22nd, the night before Thanksgiving, without warning, with no illness, Susie went into cardiac arrest while at home with her mom and died. She was 19 years old. It was instant. Her mom, a cardiac nurse tried to do cpr, but there was nothing she could do. EMT's came, but there was nothing they could do. Two hours after the call went out our dear, sweet Susie was gone. Her loss is immense, the pain so raw. Her mom and dad, her brother andrew and his fiance angela have lost their girl. There is not greater loss than this. Their hearts, our hearts, they are broken.
Susie had a way about her. She made everyone who came in contact with her feel good. She was always smiling. She was always happy. She would make you laugh! She LOVED everyone. She saw the good in everyone. She reached out to everyone. Susie was unique.
So today on this very special day, she was missed, my aunt was missed! There will always be a piece missing when our family gets together. When Susie left this earth, she took a piece of our hearts with her. I do know though, she is smiling down on us. I LOVE YOU SUSIE Q...
Her brother made this website about her, her friends have written tributes about her...it is beautiful! It is called LIVE LIKE SUSIE...I am passing it on b/c it is what helps her family get through the really tough days! May you all LIVE LIKE SUSIE!

Friday, March 23, 2012

SOLC 23 Truth is...

Truth is I'm feeling deflated. While I know some years you get those "classes" that are more challenging than others. Truthfully, I am ok with that. I work in a high needs district. I expect these things. I have been teaching for 23 years now. Challenging students I am up for. Students who need me to rethink how I do things, well that is my job.
What I am finding difficult, deflating and downright disheartening is the lack of respect from administration and the parents. In my 23 years this has got to be the worst I have ever seen it. This week alone I have either received emails, phone calls or written letters with the following sentiments:
1.) Cursed at & called a very unkind word for letting a parent know their child was threatening another student with bodily harm and this other student was now afraid to come to school. (I teach Kindergarten)
2.) Written a very nasty letter telling me how upset a parent was at me for sending their child to the nurse when their child had green stuff running down their face and their child could not keep their head up in class. The note explained that I needed to know the difference between allergies and illness and their child was certainly not sick after all when the child came home, she was fine, however, the child was up all night with a bellyache, so she did not get much sleep so expect her to be tired today.
3.) Emailed berating me because their child was not drinking enough water during lunch time. I should be monitoring this more closely. I am to remind their child to take the water bottle out each morning and to remind him to drink all day, them remind him to use the bathroom as well. If I am not capable of doing this, she will arrive each morning to take this child's water bottle out of his backpack for him.
Now...I will tell you, these are the kinds of notes/emails/phone calls I tend to deal with every single week and sometimes daily. I just have "those" kinds of parents this year. But, this week, well, I had ENOUGH! Truthfully, I am disheartened by the lack of respect. Is it me? Since when is it ok to curse at a teacher? Since when is it ok to berate a teacher and tell them they are incompetent for sending an obviously sick child to the nurse? (mind you, the school nurse called this parent at their job-they are an educator, they never bothered to call back) I do not profess to be a nurse, I am a teacher, who saw a child with glassy eyes, who looked sick, I turned her over to the professional, she makes the calls. I am only looking out for the best interest of their child. I guess I am missing something. Sadly, it is these types of situations that have seemed to crop up so often these days. They make me wonder if I belong in the profession anymore. Do I have what it takes to remain? Why do these things bother me so much? When I began teaching 23 years ago I never encountered such things. Yes, perhaps, on occassion a parent was somewhat difficult. This is beyond that. It has me out looking for alternative ways for me to finish out my days until retirement. Truthfully, I just don't think I can take the abuse anymore since no one seems to stop them from treating us this way. Sorry, I could not find a silver lining tonight.