WARNING: Rebecca D. shows flagrant disregard for the rules of punctuation... She uses ellipsis with wild abandon... Punctuation interventions have been done to no avail... If you are offended by such irreverence to the rules of grammar... The very glue that holds our society together... STOP READING NOW... Move on... There is a little button at the top that says "next blog"... You would be well advised to use it... You were warned...

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

One Post To (Mostly) Catch You Up...

So you know it's going to be a long one!

First of all, sorry I disappeared... I know I said I wouldn't, then right on cue I did. I have to admit I have had some trouble figuring out how to incorporate all the new aspects (teaching, etc.) into my already busy life, but that hasn't been the biggest challenge... Believe it or not it has been my sweet hubs Paul. You see we share a computer, and this has never been an issue before. He would only use it for short bursts of time but mostly it was mine. It was agreed by both of us, not even an unspoken agreement, but a spoken one that if we invested in one really good laptop instead of two ok laptops that it would primarily be mine... His argument was that he rarely used the computer anyhow, so it made sense to just get one good one.
This worked out pretty good for nearly two years now... Until this fall... You see when Katy and Jed got married they opted not to get cable TV and get Netflix instead... He had a Wii system and they are too busy to be chained to network programing so it just made sense to them. We had Netflix years ago when it was just a video rental program, but I like my local RedBox so I turned my nose up to the "New" Netflix...
Recently though every time Katy or Jed needed a house-sitter (or cat sitter as the case may be), even for a day Paul and Allison would battle it out to see who would do it... All because of the Netflix... This went on all summer so this fall I reluctantly agreed to a "trial month" of it to see if we would really use it... "Hello Netflix... Goodbye Laptop!" You see, we do not have a Wii system so if there is something on Netflix you want to watch you have to use a computer... It turns out there is a lot Paul wants to watch... This is shocking, because he rarely watches TV... If one of us is watching it and leave the room for a moment he turns it off! That was before Netflix... Now he is on the laptop whenever he has a few minutes and I always feel guilty asking for it... So here we are.
We have recently discussed this situation and Paul has decided that the time has come that we get a new laptop... He even decided that the new one can be for me (yay) and I am looking at them. I will probably wait until after Christmas though since I know I will choose to spend any extra of gifts, so bear with me for a few more weeks then I will be posting much more regularly.

Yes, I'm going to be a Grandma... Or a "Gigi" as I guess my daughters have decided I should be called. When am I going to be a Gigi? In July... One month after Allison's wedding... Yes, Katy will be eight months pregnant in Allison's wedding. It should be interesting! Katy and I went to a fundraising auction recently and they had baby quilts up for bid. A friend reminded me I'm about to be a grandma so I should bid. We got a really cute one that could go for either a boy or girl! It was so much fun buying for my future grandchild I have had to use extreme self-control to not get carried away. I will let you guys know the details as I learn them and am told they can go public.

In other "big changes" news, Allison has transferred from public school to our school. Why would she do this you ask? Well, when we first moved here we gave her the option of attending either school, but the school we now teach at was much smaller a few years back and didn't offer what she needed academically. The public school in the town we live in is one of the best in the state although it is extremely liberal. To her going to a liberal school that could meet her academic needs was the priority. Truth be told, at the time she was also looking for the more "traditional high school experience" too... Fast forward a few years and she is no longer on the path to journalism she believed she was on in her freshman year. She is engaged to be married, plans to go to cosmetology school and seek higher education through less traditional sources. She no longer desires to be a journalist, but a writer so her area of study has shifted some, and since she plans to probably do her college education online and a few years down the road, the academic reason for staying in public school seemed weak at best. Then there is the social reason... It too is extremely weak. You see Maine is a liberal state... And the high school she was attending is in a very liberal district in this liberal state... You blend all of this together, add a dash of "young engagement" and sprinkle of "out spoken Christian values" and a heaping cup of state wide gay marraige on the ballot and her once happy high school environment had become a hostile, suffocating environment. She was only taking two classes and only needed one to graduate, and was trying to hang in there, but it became clear to all of us that the oppression she was feeling was getting the better of her. She would come home from three hours of school and sleep the rest of the day away... She would use any flimsy excuse to stay home, and even though she was keeping up with her work she was very unhappy. She still had her friends and that was her bright light in her days there. There were other things that happened that she would prefer I don't discuss on here, but at the first quarter end it became clear she needed a change. She transferred to our school and feels like a huge weight has been lifted from her. She still sees her friends but now feels the blessing of being in an environment where she is not oppressed, but just the opposite, encouraged to openly share her beliefs... It has been good for the kids at the school too. Several of them feel like they are missing out on something by being in a small Christian High School... Allison being there and sharing her experiences has helped the overall morale of the kids in the school improve. We also found out last week that one of our students from last year who left for public school (the same one Allison was in) has decided to come back to our school next year, and this has cemented the overall student satisfaction in a very positive way.

On other school news our administrator has resigned. She was allergic to something in the building and her health was in a steady decline. She is feeling much better after being out of the building for a couple weeks but that leaves us without an administrator. This is a common condition at our school. They typically go through at least one a year and at least in the last three years they have never had the same one back to back for a second year. I have always asked Paul why he didn't apply for the position and he had multiple reasons but mostly because there were aspects of the job he'd feel very comfortable with but others he wouldn't. When the last administrator resigned he proposed we both apply... As co-administrators... We'd actually split the job more 60/40 then 50/50 with Paul taking the lead but we would prefer the title "Co-Administrators" so the kids wouldn't think one of us has less authority then the other.
We are currently working as interim administrators. There was a lot of stress and confusion getting to that point though. he former administrator told us she was going to recommend us for the job but in fact only recommended we fill in in the interim, and the school secretary told us first we had the job, permanently but had to share it with a third party, then she told us we did not have the job, then she told us we had the job in interim but had no authority and the person who was the third party had all the decision making authority especially when it came to what hours we'd work, and that the board would not be considering us for the job permanently. This was all in about a 12 hour period of time. Now, let me just say, I love, love, love our secretary but she is in her 70's and a retired public school secretary. We trusted everything she was telling us as right from the board because she often works directly for them. (Mostly because of the revolving door on the administrator position.) That being said, she confessed to us that she is often getting confused these days and would like to spend fewer hours working at the school because of that nd other health reasons... But as you can imagine at the end of that 12 hour period I was emotionally spend... I couldn't believe they wouldn't even allow us to apply... I was so hurt (for me) and insulted (for Paul) and by the time we got home that day I ended up calling the board chair and basically telling him I was so fed up if Allison hadn't just enrolled in the school, I'd be resigning. He was shocked... It turns out the secretary was extremely confused and nobody had ever told them we were interested in the job! I felt like such a fool... Long story short, we are applying for the position and filling it in interim (which is starting to feel like a really long job interview) and we have recently found out that the art teacher at the school also intends to apply for the position. We approach education and discipline from opposite direction... We believe that clearly spelled out rules and consequences that are applied fairly and with grace and mercy allow young people to clearly know their boundaries and make for peaceful environment where everyone knows where they stand. She is more of the school of thought that teens generally want to do the right thing and make the right choices and don't need as many rules so much as loving guidance to make the right choices. To sum it up, she seems to believe in nurture first then boundaries and we believe in boundaries first then nurture...
Who the board chooses will definatly let us know what direction they want the school to go in. Please pray for this whole situation. We definatly want the job but there is tension between us and the art teacher (and her husband who teaches Bible and Phys Ed.) They are friends of ours and we are perplexed by all of this. We have all always gotten along great, they are like family to us, so we hate this tension. Our greater fear then the decrease in friendship (which hopefully is temporary) is that the board will decide to hire from outside the school in order to avoid choosing between staff. That would be worse, since every new administrator they hire comes in with their own vision and expectations and the whole tone of the school shifts year after year. So please pray!

As for teaching... I still love it and enjoy my classes so much. That is the good thing about Paul and I sharing the administrator job, we will both be able to keep teaching our classes and that will actually be good for the school since the administrator job is only 20 hours a week but if you combine it with our teaching schedule that would mean there would be an administrator up there full time. (This would make a huge difference for the school.)

Well, that's  bit of an update... I need to go... Our students have a float in tonight's "Festival of Lights Parade" in Rockland, so I need to get going! I do hope each of you had a great Thanksgiving! (We did!)

Thanks for listening,

4 comments:

  1. Hurray! So good to hear from you! Glad things are going well with the girlies :D And wishing you well on the application/job process.

    Mostly just glad to hear from you :D

    Julie

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  2. wow, rebecca!! what awesome and interesting things going on - adding a prayer for your new responsibilities!!

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  3. You sure have your hands full! I am excited for you to have a new laptop! It's a little bit of a selfish excitement, since I anticipate reading your posts in the new year (when I'll be up at all hours of the night feeding a newborn). ;) Praying for your job situation!!! May God bless you, your husband, school & students abundantly.
    <3 <3 <3

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  4. Hi Rebecca!
    Hope things are all well in your neck of the world!

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