Saturday, August 27, 2011
The Hand Your Dealt, or Blaming Entropy Is My Way Of Shirking Responsibility
One of my friends commented that she wished she had my energy. I worked all week at my job, taught at my second, part-time adjunct job, and this morning I worked on my online class. I found time to work out a few times this week and helped a friend move last night. This afternoon, after I work out, I will begin the revisions to chapter 3 of my dissertation and send them to one of my committee members who is an expert in qualitative research design. But this is not about energy. It's about holding shit together and fighting entropy.
Yes, I'm blaming entropy this week. I declare that entropy is responsible for my fears that my boobs are going to sag- something which does not keep me up at night but which sometimes nags the back of my head. I say that entropy is what makes everything break on a house once I have purchased it. Entropy is responsible for the bill I forgot to pay, the one workout I missed (and therefore the possible expansion of my butt circumference), my decision to not attend an awesome workshop this morning so that I could sleep in for once, the lightning-fast way my kitten has turned into an old lady cat in only 15 years, the loss of offspring because I was too busy to conceive them, forgetfulness in general, laziness, and the need to sleep. These things are what make the world fall apart and it's entropy's fault.
I'm using all of my energy to hold body and soul together. Next week I get to move back into my house. I have been storing the majority of my stuff and staying here and there for the last three months, but now it's time to go home. The lease is up and my tenants will move out. Besides, I am not easy to live with and I'm sure that I will be a much nicer person to everyone once I get back to my own homestead. My cousin offered to come help me fix any damage and to repaint. I'm not certain if he knows he offered to help repaint but you know.. Anyway, things are pretty good on the homefront.
I started teaching night classes again last week. I've got an online and an in-person Composition course through my favorite two year college. I'm trying all sorts of new stuff in the online course, using suggestions from past students and technology that I've got available at home. I do love my iPad 2, though I wish it would be able to send bigger videos. My in-person class had everyone I wanted, from non-traditional to traditional students and from all ages and walks of life. Very excited about that class because their collective attitude is a positive one. Also, I get to teach right next door and at the same time as my good friend Bonner Slayton. He was there for my first day of graduate school in 2002 and we have always gotten along so well. Bonner is one of those people who doesn't mind telling me that I'm full of shit and that it's time to rethink what I'm doing when I get all full of myself. Bonner doesn't mind that I'm arrogant; he just metaphorically smacks me in the head like a big brother ought to. Then I come to my senses and we go on. I'm blaming my own arrogance on entropy too, if you wondered. So life is good there too.
I met with my advisor this week and he gave me revisions for Chapters 1, 3, and 5. I'm excited and hope I can defend this semester. He seemed positive.
In fact, life is good in many ways. I am beginning to really enjoy my students. They have learned what to expect in my classroom and we hold to the structures. They are reading independently and I am also reading a book called "Hatchet" with them. My friend Cathy lent me the classroom set and I already had the audio book, so there we are. It's a book that tends to draw in even the reluctant boys. Some of my students have already read it and announce that in class. The others say "Don't tell us what happens!", which I take for a good sign. In the auditorium, I go to say goodbye to the kids at the end of the day. I walked in on Wednesday and one of my kids nudged his friend. "Do you have her?" he asked. "Nah". "She's my English teacher. She's funny". I had no idea that I was funny. "Hey!" I said sharply. "Stop ruining my rep!" Without missing a beat, he turned to his friend, put his head down and said "She makes me cry!"
So the only thing that's still bothersome is the state and district. I had to take two afternoons off this week and missed my 6th hour class both days. I love that class. The first afternoon was my competency review for the State of Oklahoma. I waited for one and a half hours for an interview that took five minutes. The reviewer asked me why I was even there since I had so much education, training and experience. I had no answer for him. I sent an email the next day to the Director of Certification to confirm that I had passed and would indeed be a certified teacher. He confirmed.
I took that confirmation down to the district office. We conference-called the Director. The HR department would not accept either written or verbal confirmation so that I could sign a contract. Why not? Because there is a little box to fill in with a certificate number. Nevermind anything else, we must fill in a little box. Without that box, I have no contract, no way of getting paid, no insurance, no legal recourse.
Yes, I have no way of getting paid. Yes, I have been there since the last two weeks of July.
The district does not want to put me on as a long-term substitute teacher. First and foremost because it's minimum wage. Secondly because I could only have 20 working days in the classroom with my students. Friday was my 20th day. Still no certificate number from the state. Still no contract. Still not getting paid. I won't get paid on this next payday either. I probably won't get paid until the middle of September. I have never, in my entire life, had to wait two months to get paid for what I do. This is beyond ridiculous. I have no idea if they will let me into my classes on Monday. Thank God I have my adjunct job, because otherwise I couldn't pay my mortgage. Mortgage companies can't eat promises either.
That last one I do not blame on entropy. I blame human stupidity... my own. Why am I putting up with this? Either way, I've dealt my hand for this semester. Most of the cards are good, though I seem to have a 2 of spades and a 4 of diamonds. The only other thing to do is to play it to the best of my ability and hope I come out ahead in the end.