So, it's official. I'm signed up for the inaugural Mississippi Blues Marathon, in Jackson. In my quest to do a marathon in every state, this will give me state #3, y'all.
In my traiing, I missed my long ride last weekend because it was cold AND windy. Cold and wind make GeekGirl a weenie. I'm not as ough and butch as Pirate is.
For instance, Pirate tortured me tonight in the upper body workout thing she does. She kind of dances through it making it look pretty effortless, and then when I step up the machines all mysteriously get much heavier and harder to move around. She has assured me that all that will change. I did pullups, tricep dips, bicep curls, tricep pull-downs, crunches, some side oblique crunch thing, and pushups.
(Sort of. I'm not strong enough to do the pushups without modification yet. Right now, I'm kind of kind of in pushup special ed.)
All this after swimming 2000 meters. She's a sadist. But, like a good friend says about climbing hills, I may not like lifting, but I'm pretty sure I'll like like it does.
And now, my weekly rant. The following is exerpts from an email that I received from a parent:
It has been brought to my attention that you are unable to hear out of one ear. (Sorry to hear about that). I would like you to know a little bit about my daughter. She is a shy child and doesn't ask a lot of questions. For her to get to the point of raising her hand is class and asking for help is a "huge" step for her, ...I'm sure it can be frustrating handling all the kids, let alone, have trouble hearing some of them. ...I would just ask that if you see her hand up or notice she has a question please answer her.... It has also been brought to my attention that you are allowing the children to listen to ipods during tests! I must say as a parent, I DO NOT agree with that...Mrs. P., I'm just wondering if the principal is aware that you are allowing the kids to do this.
(Signed) Mrs. Busybody.
Of course, I responded with my usual teacher-speak and assurances and explained things so that she thanked me for my response and went away.
But here's what I wished I could really say...My fantasy reply...
Dear Mrs. Busybody:
Thanks for your disengenuous 'sympathy'. I wear a digital hearing aid that cost more than my first car. Do you really think I would be partially deaf and teach in a public high school without one?
Gosh, does your request mean I have to give up my strict policy of ignoring all questions? Or could it mean that, perhaps, I was already trying to help some of the other 31 students in the room. Your daughter is a great kid. If you want, I'll move her closer to me. But honestly when helping students, I go to the first hands that go up. I'm sorry I can't do more. I would love to be able to intuit who needs me most, but I don't have that kind of power. Listen, I'm sorry you got kicked out of teacher's college or had a mean teacher or WHATEVER it is that you feel gives you license to harass me... But don't insult me by suggesting that I'm ignoring your daughter on purpose.
As to the ipods, it is perhaps possible that in 8 years of teaching, 23 years of raising children, and a preparatory education including a master's degree in educational psychology, that I might ctually make decisions because I think they help kids. Not listening to the person next to you nervously digesting their lunch or breathing heavily or tapping their feet during a test is one of those things that might help. Hearing the music that you identify with when you're in an institution that does not have the time or space to truly honor your individual tastes might be one of those things, too.
Lady, I will do anything I can to bridge the space between the best needs of students, high-stakes testing, administration, and my professional ethics even if it includes--shudder--listening to an iPod during a test. I know it means the end of the world as we know it. I imagine that people said that about the evils of Rock-n-Roll 50 years ago.
Finally, as to your last comment, uh, is that some kind of threat? Do you even read the papers? I'm pretty sure that, if given a truth serum, the principle would say she's pretty damned thankful I don't steal from the school, molest students, or end up in the police blotter after a weekly barfight and DUI charge. She's thankful that I am serious about my job and that I sincerely believe in trying to keep students in school. I don't cause incidents. Hell, I don't even park in the visitor's lot, even on the really icky weather days.
But, let's pretend for a moment that she did care. Let's pretend there's no union and that I got FIRED for it. Lady, look around. I'm pretty sure that any of the local districts which post year round openings, and have to hire long-term subs to fill Algebra positions would be happy to employ someone whose only incident in 8 years was letting kids listen to iPods during a math test.
If I may say so, you need to get a life. Whatever it takes. If you've got time to compose angry letters to overworked public servants, then you've got time to volunteer, run a few miles, or get laid.
So, in closing,
thanks for reading my rant, ya'll....