Let's get this out of the way first. Yes, I got my degree in education, yes I substitute taught for a few years and then spent 3 years teaching autistic and special needs adults vocational skills. Yes I keep a file open on my phone to write up lesson plans *for fun* which I am told is rarely fun for most teachers. This new job is not teaching. And That's Ok.
My new job is for a life insurance company that provides for unions exclusively. They found my resume on line, a headhunter called me to interview, I took the state licensing exam and I passed it. On My Own. While working 70hrs a week. I sent my daughter to Boston and San Franscisco when she was going to receive awards and explore Ivy League colleges. I did that. Just me. I make so little money I hold my breath when I pay the bills but I saved and sent her out. Me.
When I was offered this job my first step was to bring it before the kids and discuss the risks. We are a team. I couldn't do this without them and they know I do everything for them.
True, I work on commission. That's a huge risk. I might end up working a lot of hours. Well guess what? I get hit at my current job. That's a risk. I work tons of hours and I still just get by. If I can work the same hours but actually benefit directly from my own efforts? Tell me that isn't better!
So the next reaction to that is a dialing back of sympathy and the addition of pride... But not the good kind! Oh you are such a good mom, giving up your dream to make money to give your kids a better life. Ok yeah sure the money is definitely a part of it but I'm no martyr. I'm in this to win it. My kids are my dream. My Only Dream. If you know me you have heard me say for YEARS that I don't care if they are doctors lawyers or grocery store naggers as long as they are happy. I love my job. Honest. It's physical and ever changing and full of stories both entertaining and terrifying. But I've been told to my face that this does not make me a teacher. I've felt under appreciated and sorely under paid.
This new job? That outside of my comfort zone line I mentioned? Guess what. It's joy. It's happiness at an adventure. It's confidence I can do it and pride in providing a service to nurses, teachers, firemen all the union workers and their families. Damn skippy that's outside my comfort zone! I don't know what to do with confidence! I'm actually scared of making real money! Turns out my dream is not to be a teacher. My dream is to be happy! To make my kids happy and feel proud of them and they of me! I'm not sad for me and neither should you be. I am closer to achieving my dream than I have ever been before.
As of tomorrow I am a Union Life Insurance Advocate. "We bring minor miracles to terrible tragedy." It's crazy to say out loud but here it goes: I can do this. I can do it really well. I have never been afraid of hard work. I'm only afraid of working hard with nothing to show for it.
Be happy for me! Adventure awaits!
Let me preface this by saying I am not going to sue anyone nor am I going to stake a civil rights claim or call in the NAACP or anything else. However, we "privileged white people" rarely get to display righteous indignation so I thought I would share something with you. I am looking to rent a two bedroom apartment for me and my three children. (There are no three bedroom apartments within the school district borders and I couldn't afford it if they did. Not that there is any justification or excuse for what just happened, simply so you know all the facts.) So, I called a place that said they would not have a two bedroom available until October but that a one bedroom would be open until the end of the week if I just wanted to get a feel for the place, take the tour. So I showed up and had a little conversation with a woman, mid fifties, white, soon to be proven conservative. When asked, I said I needed the two bedroom for myself and my three children. She balked and said there was a city ordinance against it and she would not be able to rent a two bedroom to a single mother with three kids.
I called city hall.
They said there is no ordinance. They said the apartments are zoned individually based on square footage and they did not care who slept where or what the ages of the people were as long as it did not exceed the maximum capacity for residency. The woman even laughed and said it wouldnt matter if we put cots in the kitchen and kept the bedrooms for our arcade games.
I called the apartment back.
I explained to the woman who answered what had happened that day and what city hall had said. Then I asked "Do you have any apartments available that are zoned for four people regardless of relationship?" Instead of answering she transferred me to the woman I had met with that day. I again explained what city hall had said. She asked me -point blank- what the ages and sexes of the children were and who would be sleeping in which rooms. I said two girls in one room, my son and I in the other. She said she did not think that would be an acceptable situation. I asked very straightforward and clearly "Are you objecting to me sleeping in the same room as my son?" She said yes. I asked if that was the apartment complex policy or her personal opinion. She said it was simply not right for that to happen. She said if they were renting through section 8 the government would frown upon it as well although she was quick to "reassure" me that they do not rent to section 8. I said, "I don't feel that my sleeping arrangements should regulate whether you rent to me or not, but for the sake of argument, my son is autistic." That's as far as I got before she said that if he was special needs then presumably he would need assistance through the night and proximity would be important and of course I could come see the apartment and made an appointment immediately.
So there you go. Plain and simple this was prejudicial, right? Someone's antiquated ideas of separate sexes ( or should I assume the worst and question if she thought I could be a sexual predator?) kept me out of housing because I couldn't possibly move in there after all that could I? I would love to hear some opinions on this...
Suggestions on how to answer 'What happened to your leg?'
Christa. : I heard they were putting motorcycle racing in the 2016 Olympics. They aren't.
Me: I cut myself shaving.
Thomas. : I got into a bar fight.
Got anything better?
So we finally watched The Woman in Black with Daniel Radcliffe. Vang hates all things Harry Potter so normally I wouldn't even watch something staring an actor with him, knowing full well he was going to mock. But since the kids were already calling it Harry Potter gets Haunted by the Grey Lady I figured what the hell. And honestly, I am the worlds biggest chicken and even with only a PG13 rating I probably couldn't handle it without daylight, humor and a room full of people.
Ok so here are the comments I wrote down while they watched it. Please understand this in no way disrespectful. We were scared out of our freaking minds for most of the film.
So the cycle went like this:
*Mock mock mock*
*full body involvement in plot*
*mood breaking humor*
So our mocking... Two girls, nearly 13 & 15, plus me and an old asian guy.
"On the train to Hogwarts again? I thought he graduated!"
"Yer a lawyer, Harry."
"Oh my god monkey heads." > "It is the highest honor to have your head on the wall."
"Don't go through the veil, Harry!" >"But I hear voices!"
"Even in the wizarding world, Harry, hearing voices isn't good."
"He can't understand you, Crow. He only talks to snakes."
"He won't give up. Harry Potter never gives up."
"Somebody give him a stick! ABRACADABRA! ABRACADABRA! OH MY GOD ABRACADABRA! *SCREAMS*
*frantic whispering* alohamora alohamora alohamora oh my god oh my god Revilio! REVILIO! *SCREAMS*
"I'm not the only one thinking 'enemies of the heir beware', right?"
*deeply respectful tones* "Lumos."
"He can't die. He's the boy who lived."
"He's died before."
"At a train station, too."
Loved it, terrified of it, will not be able to watch it again, or stop talking about how good it is. Must. Read. Book.
Ok, so you know how teachers are constantly losing pencils? They get creative - trade me your shoe for my pencil - they get cutesy - my pens are taped to giant flowers you can't accidentally walk away with - but in the end the pencils still disappear. So here's my plot...
This link says I can have 72 pencils for $18 and I can personalize them for free. They even show a picture that say "Mrs. Teacher's Favorite Pencil" as if that level of guilt will encourage the children to return the pencils they borrow. I think we need to kick that guilt up a notch.
MY PENCILS will say "Shame On You Pencil Thief".
Don't roll your eyes at me. I know that doesn't sound like much in the guilt department. I am certainly aware that it's not enough to make the pencil thief return my pencil! The genius is in the long term torture. Observe...
My pencil when stolen: Shame On You Pencil Thief
The Thief: *shamelessly uses pencil, only gives writing a minor glance until time to sharpen*
My Pencil: *loses "Thief" to pencil sharpener* becomes a "Shame On You Pencil"
Thief: *uses the "Shame on You Pencil" a bit more furtively waiting to sharpen again*
Pencil: *loses "Pencil" to sharpener*
Thief: * posses a pencil that proclaims "Shame On You* *becomes anxious to sharpen again*
Pencil: * loses "You" and encourages disdainfully encourages the user to simply "Shame On"*
Thief: *can sense the frustration and judgement of the pencil but feels one more sharpening will bring the pencil down to size*
Pencil: * becomes The Pencil of "Shame"* tut tut tut
Thief: * has learned a valuable lesson*
Feel free to steal this and pass it on. You know you want to.
Thomas's Eleventh Birthday with Hogwarts Spell Stations
Zack, Matt, Caydan, Thomas
Vi-Vi (Zack), Sydney Li (Thomas), Camille (Cayden), Kate (Matt)
1. Sort into houses, explain I award house points but observing Prefects may comment on opposing teams who seem to have earned rewards/disciplines
2. Wingardium Leviosa (Flying lessons): Two balloons are taped to two straws which are strung between two chairs, respectively. When inflated the balloons display hand drawn broom riders! The balloons are inflated and released simultaneously so that the straws will wiz down the string. The rider to get to the end first, or travel the farthest as the case may be, is the winner. We have four houses so the two winners will face off for race champion!
3. Bombarda (Quid ditch Practice): This is a golf ball toss game in which two golf balls are attached to the end of a short piece of rope. The balls are thrown at a square hoop so that the balls either travel pass or wrap around the hoop. The top hoop is worth more points than the bottom loop. The house with the most points wins.
4. Immobulous/Petrificus Totalus (Freeze tag): One house is it and they are in charge of tagging other houses. They must yell one of the two spells to freeze the player in place. Another house can unfreeze you. If all houses are frozen the last person tagged becomes it. The house which remains unfrozen the longest wins.
5. Wingardium Leviosa (DA Lessons): We have taken four pool noodles in the house colors and duct taped them into a square hoop toss. This is hung from the porch to give height. Death Eater Masks have been hung inside each hoop for target practice. Houses must toss a football through the hoop while calling out the spell. Bonus points for getting it through your own house color.
6. Accio (DA Lessons): Like egg toss, two houses face each other and toss a water balloon back and forth between them making the gap increasingly bigger with each toss. To signal you are ready to catch the balloon you must yell Accio Water balloon! The houses that get the farthest away before exploding win. The two winning houses face off for champion.
7. Bombarda (Death Eater Skirmishes): Water balloons are hidden Easter egg style throughout back yard, waiting to be found and used against other houses. The driest house wins.
At this point the boys are tired and need a break so we eat dinner, outside since they are all wet now. During the meal I quiz them for bonus House points, simple trivia and spells used during the party so you don’t have to be a devoted fan to win some points!
8. Stupefy/avada cadavra (Final Battle): We have a very nice set of Laser Tag so the boys face off in the Final Battle around our front and back yard while prepare the birthday cake and House Awards.
9. Announce and Award house points, lowest to highest like Dumbledore. Then the boys play Harry Potter video games and eat cake until 8pm.
10. The sleep over portion begins at 8pm and last until 10 am the next morning. This gives us only enough time to play the entire Harry Potter Movie Marathon if someone promises to man the DVD continuously. If this person should fall asleep on duty, chaos.
Lumos: glow sticks in the shape of Horcruxes (Diary, Ring, Necklace, Cup, Crown, and Snake) have been hidden in the sleeping bags
House cups: small plastic trophies full of house color gushers
Dinner: green Hawaiian punch, soft pretzels, nacho bar- chips, cheese, ground meat (there is not theme here, just his favorite foods *shrugs*)
Cake/ice cream: individual cauldron cakes - spiral hoho's cut into 1/2 in thick slices line a bowl and then the bowl is filled with ice cream and frozen solid again. Before serving the cake is removed from the bowls so it stands alone with the swirl pattern on display. Then it is topped with green or blue cotton candy and sprinkled with pop rocks.
Snacks: trail mix potion- gummy worms, cheese puffs, Reeses, skittles, pretzels (gross, right?)
Breakfast: Quaffle waffles (actually they are smores pancakes but doesn’t that sound cuter?)