A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I'm wired!

Am I a spy? No, I'm wired up with a Holter Monitor. This will track my heartbeat for 24 hours and - I hope - give some usable information leading to a conclusion about my rapid heartbeat. The only discomfort is that, if I wanted to wear a bra to work tomorrow, I had to leave it on so that the tech could run all the leads over the garment so now I have to wear it to sleep in. Usually when I get home it's the second thing to be flung (right after my shoes). At least I didn't have to shave my chest!

TMI? Sorry.

So, I have a couple of Whiney Wednesday entries.

Whine #1 - We've been at our contract action for a year now and the district has regressed in their offer. They have kept close to 11 percent of COLA that has come to our district for salary increases over the last nine years. This year they want to keep more than half of what came in. Big surprise. I feel sorry for the kids in the district. Teachers who do not feel valued and appreciated will choose to stop doing so much volunteer work for their students and elect to spend time with their families, exercise, keep up their homes and enjoy their hobbies. Kids who used to be able to get lunchtime tutoring, for example, will find that their teachers are choosing to actually take their whopping 30-minute lunch break instead. Meanwhile, the Republican minority (just large enough to block an override of Ah-nold's veto) in our legislature is sticking to their "no new taxes" vow and so teachers will now have to pay for increased district costs out of our grocery budgets. The big cut I see coming in our district is busing. We are not required to provide transportation for students, but the cost of our busing program is over $1,000,000 a year. Wait to hear the parents whine when that goes away!

Whine #2 - David. I have a student. We'll call him David. He was so disruptive when he sat at the back of the class that I moved him up front near me. After several weeks I couldn't stand this sexist brat any more and sent him back to the back of the classroom to get him away from me. My whining here is NOTHING compared to what comes out of this kid. This is a 14-year-old, as tall as I and easily 200 pounds, whining DAILY,
"Why do we have to do this? Do we HAVE to do this?" Today the whine was over the project that I consider the finale of their year of American history, their personal heritage project. (There is an alternate project if they are uncomfortable doing a project on their family, but both require some actual -gasp!- work.) I assured him that he did NOT have to do this project; he could settle for a zero. Of course, I'd also told them they could not pass fourth quarter without it. I wrote to the counselor to see if I could exchange him for a student in another class but I'm sure I'm stuck with the creep for the rest of the year.

In Happier News...

Yes, I did a little stitching on the fairy and hope to do some more tonight. I'm liking the color, and am in awe of how
Annaïck Chauvel (Nimue) has managed to capture the velvety texture of a butterfly's wing.

Speaking of butterflies, two of the three Monarch caterpillars have pupated, but I fear they will not survive. One definitely has a problem (it's head didn't get included in the crysallis - eeeuw) and the other is very small. I think it wasn't warm enough yet for them to grow enough. Still, it is good news that the Monarchs are finding their way back.

Day after tomorrow is a half-day morning and then we have the first afternoon of Spring Break. Whew! People are really needing this break. This is, in many ways, the toughest time of year and people are REALLY cranky. I haven't really decided what to do this break. Some yard work must be completed or we will be overgrown with grass again (and the rats will return, no thank you). The attic must be cleaned out completely. And I must have some down time. Over winter break I just pretended we had gone up to our condo in Utah. Ignored the phone, tucked into my recliner and stitched away. I need to give myself at least two days (maybe three) like that.

Sunday is my mother's birthday and - coincidentally - Easter. I am happy with the gift I found for her and signed up to bring strawberries to the dinner. My children will be there for the party and my older son will have spring break next week, too, so may be more inclined to stick for a little while. Often he is just too exhausted and/or has too much to do to get ready for the next week's lessons to sit and visit. His wife, he tells me, is getting work doing translation (bilingual Japanese/English.) As awkward as the online translators are with - say - English to French or English to Spanish, they are impossible for English to Japanese or vice versa. Nice for her to be able to make a little money since jobs are impossible to find.

I also have to go get some fabric for an Easter tablecloth I promised my sister (who is hosting the meal). After I get my monitor off tomorrow I'll head to the fabric store for some fabric.

In fact, I'd better close this up and track down the border. Wonder where I stashed that stash?

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