musings of a malcontent

seattle native, teacher w/out a classroom, bookkeeper, drinker of coffee and red wine, a constant work in progress

Archive for the category “mini-rant”

waking cranky

do you ever have those mornings where things just DON’T go well? like, anything? nothing runs smoothly, nothing is as it should be. this morning i had just such a morning. i woke up and felt all snuggly and comfy in my bed only to take that first morning stretch and get a big ol’ charlie horse in my left calf muscle. pain happened. then i looked at the clock. way later than i’d anticipated waking up. awesome. i worked late last night, till bout 12 ish and by the time i wound my brain down enough to sleep, it was almost 2. so i slept later than i’d wanted to. i got dressed and got all my stuff ready to go. fortunatly, i left myself post-its with things not to forget so i didn’t worry. am meeting with friend to donate some stuff, had to get that stuff in the car. a friend is moving, getting boxes for them. will the boxes AND the stuff i’m donating all fit into car? yes. barely. hanging out with someone tonight, must bring wine, cookie sheet and dvd i borrowed 6 months ago. check! in the car i go with all my stuff. didn’t get to straighten my hair like i had planned but chances are, i would have burned myself anyhow. so i realize shortly after driving off, that my gas light is on. must stop and get gas. am low on money. hm. OH OH! i remember i have a small check from 2nd job. i drive to bank to deposit check @ the ATM. while standing waiting for it to finish my deposit, a woman comes up to me. she asks me if i have any cash she can have. i tell her i have no cash. WHICH WAS TRUE. all i had with me was my debit card, my keys, and the check i’d just inserted into the ATM. i tell her no, no i don’t have any cash. she says “psh! you’re at an ATM.” and walks off. normally i would have let it go but i was cranky, so i yelled after her with the very witty come back of “yeah, i was DEPOSITING money.” i was irritated. i wanted to shout “get a job!!” or “i should report you for aggressive panhandling” or “go play in traffic.” but i didn’t. instead i very matuely walked back to my car and slammed the door shut and thought very mean thoughts in her direction. as i drove away i thought about what a contradictory my behavior is tho sometimes. here i go and chastise and overreact to this woman and then go volunteer at a foodbank 3 hours a week. but it was still too early for further rational thoughts. i didn’t have any coffee in me yet. i drove away from the bank and to the gas station. i went inside and plunked down $11 for pump #1. big spender. and i know i know, i had cash. i COULD have given that lady some. but it was in my car and i was not and she was mean so i thought not. anyhow, i pump my gas and drive away to go to work. i think to myself, i should get coffee. for the sake of my co-workers and my work performance and for my own personal well being, i should get coffee. so i drove to the nearest drive thru thingy and got my grande drip coffee. i also got a breakfast sandwhich. i don’t usually buy those but today i felt i needed it. and so i bought it. i pulled into the work parking lot, having finished my breakfast sandwhich and feeling slightly more human and much less cranky. and so begun my day. TGIF!!!

a disconnect

a girl wanted to jump out the window of her school to avoid the bullies who have long plagued her.  they would mock her and kick her crutches out from beneath her.  she carried crutches because she has cerebral palsy.

the playboy corporation has dished out the money to save the land that the Hollywood sign sits on, therefore keeping the iconic sign in its place. right below this sign, the sign that represents glamour and glitz and wealth, paid for by a company that is world-wide known and whos purpose is the glamorizing of pornography, sits above one of the poorest neighborhoods in California.  when i was down in LA volunteering @ the Dreamcenter, i could see the Hollywood sign out the window of our dorm room.  the Dreamcenter sits in one of East LA’s poorest hispanic and african american ghettos. 

a woman was being mugged on the sidewalk in Queens NY.  a homeless man ran to her rescue and fought off the mugger and the woman ran to safety.  the mugger turned to the homeless man and beat him and left him laying on the sidewalk.  20+ people walked past as he bled to death and did nothing for him.  finally one person saw him, called 911 and waited with him.  by the time the paramedics got there, the man was dead. 

when evil abounds, there will always be a disconnect between right and wrong.  when nothing is done in the name of good and change, a disconnect will exist.  i’m not sure what to do about it except to continue to care and be involved in my community and to be aware about this sort of thing.  my heart is heavy when i read this stuff.  these events, all happened during the last couple weeks.

freedom of speech

freedom of speech grants me the right to say and write what i want, just so long as long as no laws are broken in the process.  i respect, love and cherish this right! it’s a right we fight to maintain and as a whole, ought to pay more attention to.  having traveled to countries where such a right does not exist, i know of its importance.  what saddens me is the lack of basic understanding that my freedom of speech, allows others the same right whether i like what they have to say or not.  i recently posted something somewhere that was not taken in the light that intended it to be taken.  i took it down because it wasn’t worth the time to explain it and to go thru the actions of justifying what i’d written to those who thought i shouldn’t have written it.  it bothered me that some people’s sensitivity and misunderstanding of my words would have them calling the removal of it.  as a writer i know that there are audiences that can be catered to and things written specifically for them.  but ultimately, my words are my words and if writers had to make sure that their words were sanitized of offenses that anyone may take, then their words would be flat and inauthentic.  i’m a firm believer that words are powerful and moving when they reflect the author.  and if that author is writing something that i don’t like, that’s their right and i don’t have to read it, but if i want their words censored, then there is a strong chance someone will want mine censored and that thought scares me, for a variety of reasons.  not because i write terribly inflammatory or controversial things, but they are all certainly real and reflect me and what’s in my head at any given time.  and if everyone wrote the same and from the same perspective, literature and speech and the art of writing in general would cease to be wonderful and diverse, and would morph into works reminiscent of something the DOL would print… gray nothingness.

to whom it may concern

dear striking teachers,
you are making us all look bad. as a fellow teacher who is currently unemployed, i am irritated at you. i realize teachers are underpaid. and in a different time economically, i’d fully support some sort of action to petition for better contracts and so on. and i plan on doing so in the future. however, we live in the here and now and i think you are being selfish. i have dozens of teacher friends who can’t find teacher jobs because there aren’t openings and if there are, it’s like a free-for-all to try to get those precious few spots. and you have the audacity to stand there parading around saying it’s for the children and you’d like to have smaller class sizes. again, in a perfect world class sizes should be smaller. but i’d take a class of 45 over NOT HAVING CLASSES to teach at all. you should consider yourself lucky. also, when i was interning, i had one year a class that was about 20-ish in size and was a ‘perfect class.’ the following year i had a class that was 30+. in that class it was pretty split down the middle, half were very high achieving and the other half were well below standard. to add to the mix, i also had the autistic program in there and several kids who required IEPs (individual education plans.) if me, an intern at the time, can manage and flourish in that setting, you should be able to. if you can’t, might i suggest you sharpen your classroom management skills (i have a book you can borrow if you’d like, it’s even higlighted for your convenience), save your complaining for an appropriate time, and get back in your classroom. there is a fast growing discontent mob of teachers-without-classrooms that will soon be reaking havoc on your little picket parties if you don’t. not to mention, striking in WA is illegal. great example to the kids, good job.

time keeps on slipping

misc1walking down a seattle street i saw this painted on a wall.  it’s representative of a feeling i’ve been trying to cope with recently.  time slipping away.  my grandma once wrote in an email to me when she was first learning how to use the internet and email and things like that, that she didn’t know where what she had just written had gone.  i’m pretty sure she had deleted it on accident but to her it was as if her words were floating around in some sort of internet ACTUAL cyber space.  my time, the days and hours, feel sometimes like they are floating away into some sort of oblivion never to been seen again and having left no trace of ever being in existence at all.  i’m not wasting my time but there is an unsettling feeling of life is going by too fast or something.  and that i haven’t accomplished as much as i wanted to in the time that just passed.  every day i have to write the date on these file folders. in the folders go all the previous days receipts and other boring type things only interesting to us bookkeepers.  the point is, each folder represents a day.  as i continue to write dates on folders i just feel like i’m writing away the time.  maybe it’s the time in my life that i’m at right now.  i was talking to a friend last week.  she graduated from the same program i did and she too is without a teaching job.  we were venting and frustrated.  the school districts in our area, with the exception of a few in eastern WA, and with the exception of the high schools, of which we’re not certified to teach, have a hiring freeze on.  i can’t even apply before i’m denied.  it’s frustrating to know that with almost certainty i won’t have a teaching job this coming fall.  i could move but i can’t afford to do that.  and we’ve for a while just stopped filling people in about it and it’s almost painful to have someone ask.  because if’ you’re not in this situation you don’t understand fully.  people just assume that we’re lazy or don’t want to teach.  not the case.  but i digress, so we were chatting and she brought this feeling up too, that what are we doing with out time?  she, like me, have done things to make sure we’re utilizing our time well but it’s frustrating.  and i guess that’s what you have to keep doing right?  sometimes life happens to you and you can’t control it.  the economy will dictate, for the time being anyhow, the status of us being able to be hired.  that situation is happening to us and we can’t control it.  but we can control what we do in response to it.   when i’m doing that i’m not focused on time slipping away.  i focus on that when i’m at work doing the mundane, which i need to do to pay bills.  but after that, i can do with my time what i want.  and making that time count is so important right now.  time might be slipping away, but at least it’s not being wasted!

taking the time

i’m frustrated and i’m not quite sure what to do about it.  so if i come across as a little off my rocker, you’ll have to excuse me.  writing is an outlet for me and a way to sort out what’s in my head and to gauge whether i’m just overreacting or not.

i realize that life gets busy.  i’m a busy person myself.  and i openly admit that i can’t always get together with people and that scheduling does present a problem sometimes, but i try my darndest to make it work as often as i can.  is it too much to ask the same of my friends?  is it?  i procrastinate with things from time to time.  for a while i used the avoidance theory, you know… if i ignore it, it will go away and therefore i don’t have to deal with it.  it got me into trouble and now i’m dealing with the annoying but completely justifiable consequences.  but it has never occurred to me to use the avoidance method with people.  there are times when i hit the ‘ignore’ button on my phone if i know i don’t have the time to chat at that particular moment.  and there have been times when i can’t return a message right away.  or when i’m not feeling social because i’m not feeling well or because life gets busy.  but to avoid people purposefully?  i don’t get that.  in elementary school and jr. high we girls would often use the ‘silent treatment’ approach to deal with boys.  this applied both to if we liked them and if we ‘hated their guts.’  but we’re adults.  ignoring or avoiding people leads to all sorts of things.  it leaves room for them to have to fill in the blanks as to why you are not choosing to communicate with them.  and whether or not they are accurate or not, the conclusion they come to is indicative of how they feel your and their relationship is going at that particular moment. 

my cousin sarah said something once to me that has stuck with me for a long time.  we were at a family picnic one memorial day and she was pregnant, newly married, going to school to get her teaching degree, and working at safeway almost full time.  someone asked her how she had time for everything.  she simply said, “we all have the same 24 hours in a day.  it’s up to us how we choose to use them.”  it’s a matter of priorities.  she knew what her priorities were and she made time for them.  and i guess that’s what i’m getting at here. 

i’ve been burned a few times by people who claimed i was important to them, and then all communication ceased, no reason was given, they just dropped off the face of the earth as far as our friendship was concerned.  being hurt by friends and those who claim you mean something to them is not at all fun and is quite possibly one of the most painful things to deal with.  so i started to think, maybe it’s me, maybe i’m too needy.  and that may be part of it in some situations, but for the most part, i don’t think so.  what else do we have but our relationships with people?  aside from my relationship with God, that’s one of the most important things to me.  life gets busy.  i speak from experience when i say this.  but if your’e busy, all it takes is a mere 30 seconds to send an email, a text message or to call and say, ‘hey, i can’t chat right now but soon lets hangout.’  or a note in the mail, ok i know that’s super old fashioned but it’s an idea.  maybe my frustration is because i’m female.  we tend to communicate differently, shocker i know.  and my frustration does mostly have to do with my relationships with males.  so is that it?  is this just something i need to chalk up to being a gender issue that won’t ever change and i need to just accept that?  is it me being too needy?  is it that i have too high of expectations of my friends?  or am i just being too emotional? 

all i know is that people i care about i make time for the best that i can.  i’m tired of chasing people.  relationships, of any kind, require a give and take.  they are a 2-way street.  there is only so much chasing someone can do before it gets tedious and starts to change the dynamics of the relationship.  i don’t want to stop chasing but sometimes it’s necessary.

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