Monday, October 09, 2006

It's The Little Things That Rankle

You handle the big ticket items -- the social inequity, the tyranny of ass backwards funding policy, the lack of vision surrounding educational change -- it's fine. You stomach it and go to work and try to help kids and build the skills that lead to empowerment.

You handle the big stuff okay, roll with things well, hate whining and try to avoid it, but then a crop of little shit pops up and it just stops you dead.

Like, the P.O. for the athletic department's yearly equipment purchase, the one you prepared well in advance of needing the items, disappeared. No one knows anything. So you're in [large chain athletic retailer] dropping $125 of your own personal funds on a half dozen girls basketballs, because you literally have 1.5 balls. (0.5 of a ball, for the record, is one that will only stay inflated for 0.5 of the practice).

Like, you're owed in the neighborhood of $1,500 in overtime/ bonus pay, but instead you get 100 bucks and no explanation.

Like, you cruise into school at 6:15 in the a.m. to get the week started right, but a bunch of savages shoved something in your lock, which prevents you from opening the door with your, or anyone else's key. And you don't get access to the room until 7:20, roughly seven minutes before the first bell, and all that would have run smooth is choppy and gross.

Like, you develop a plan for working with a para-professional, give up one prep and significant lunch and after school time, and the para, uh, disappears.

Like, on Thursday you're supposed to teach kids, make a presentation to some group in San Mateo, coach basketball, and go to a training on your new endeavor to support teachers on how to plan (which is funny considering you haven't turned in a lesson plan in a very, very long time), but you can't seem to get a straight answer about the timing and interconnectivity of these events, such that you can ensure everything works the way it's supposed to.

Like, you got your TFA workshop on, and it seemed to go pretty well, although sometimes you start talking fast and forget to scaffold how to do some of the stuff you're talking about, and you promised soft copy resources because our PD workshop model still revolves around handing out massively photocopied packets when we are increasingly working electronically, and besides, this is a gathering of affluent folks between the ages of 21 and 27 -- we can require laptops and burn CDs. And you want to provide those resources, except absurdity with the dichotomy between of the Internet-accessible computer and the resource-residing computer (at both work and home) is causing dismantling havoc.

And man, none of it should be a big deal, but nothing is working right and it's in your craw.

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