The very next day was a sad, quiet day during which I spent at least 8 hours mourning my life. Wondering how I'd make it from that day, that moment, all the way through to whenever. It was an interminably long day, and I questioned every single thing about myself - my standards, my character, my stability, my ability to stick to a plan...my ability to make a plan, everything. (Although I will confess: I typically try not to make too many plans, as I find that as soon as I've put my plan in place that's precisely the moment the Universe comes sweeping through with the dust buster and I have to start all over. While shaking my fists at the sky.)
Now I'm pretty even-keeled. I hate to say this, partly because I've GOT to get a handle on spending money and partly because I wish I could fill my voids with gym workouts instead, but...retail therapy helps. There, I said it out loud. If I'm down and out, going to Target rejuvenates me. Even if it's shopping for someone else (we got Miss M school clothes yesterday). I am a money mess.
Speaking of money and school, I saw an article on Facebook about Georgia teachers maybe losing all their advanced degree and experience pay and being paid solely on student performance. I ask you: what other profession deals with crap like this? For real, Georgia?! In a Fortune 500 company, if you go in with a bachelor's and 6 months' internship experience, I think they pay you a lot less than if you come in with a PhD and 15 years' experience. Yes, I'm pretty sure that's how it works. Why have higher education then? Why gain experience, if not to increase your salary and worth? Dumb.
Somebody out there is going to say something about how Fortune 500 companies are there to turn a profit, and state governments are not and so the two aren't comparable, and these are always the same people who turn around and talk out of the other side of their mouths about how education should be run on a business model. The people who like to have their cake and eat it too.
Stop trying to run schools like businesses; they are not businesses. They are non-profit service organizations. We are not churning out product; we are educating and elevating the masses. Our tired, our hungry, our poor. We are keeping society civilized and from wallowing in its own excrement. You want to reduce the pay of the people who do that? Well, then, let's head for the surgeons and doctors next - why do they need to be paid so much? Base their pay on how well their clients take the prescriptions they prescribe them and follow their diet plans and how many bounce back from major, invasive surgery with a survival rate of only 25%. Then we can have the kind of country we'd deserve: a great land of sick, illiterate people who behave like cave rats. Dumb.
Alrighty...I can feel my anger surging up again, so let's switch gears and go back to happy (feeling like you're on a roller coaster or at least in a very fast car making twisty turns? Welcome to my world).
Speaking of commitment-phobe issues, you know what I find most fascinating about me? The fact that as I get older, the less I want to commit to anything or anyone. There are certain things I'll always commit to - like Miss M, because I love her most of all...and teaching, because for now it's all I know how to and can do...and being facetiously irreverent because I gotta be me. I can commit to being a sporadic worker outer, I can commit to a few extra responsibilities at work not because I volunteered but because it's something I can stick on a resume, I can commit to buying really really good wine. But beyond that? I guess it just depends on what day you catch me, and what mood I happen to be in. After that it'll depend on what kind of commitment you requested of me - helping you move? I'll show up. Marriage? Bye.
I'm in a very weird place right now. I like this space I've created. When M is with me, it's messy and chaotic (and Dog with a Blog is on in the background), when she's with her dad, it's calm and peaceful. I so need calm and peace right now; I find it keeps me focused.
...how I can I tie all this together? It's all over the place, like me. Okay, here: I'm much calmer and not angry now, but I have to go back to work next week (I don't HAVE to go back to work actually; I choose to go back to work - and work for free, just like Congress wants me to - so I can set up my classroom...trying to set up a classroom during Teacher Back to School meeting week is like trying to balance oneself on one foot on top of a moving roller coaster) and this is sort of raising my angry hackles again (not at my lovely school or students, just at the state of public education in general which I literally have not thought of or cared about for well over 6 weeks now), but I'm committed to doing my very best this year and staying focused even if they are trying to pay me less because that's what a-holes do. And so to deal with all of those feelings I'm going to go buy a washer and a dryer. And maybe a new outfit. And some earrings.