Monday, April 30, 2007

Perspective on a high-stakes game.

It's over. Tonight was it for the college side of my life; this semester is at an end. I turned the last paper in on Saturday. I took my final exam this evening. There is nothing more that I can do to affect my grades. Even though I don't know them yet, I feel a huge sense of relief.

So here I am sitting at home posting about grades while watching Deal or No Deal on TV. The girl on the stage is down to a really good board. She won't go home with less than $50,000. She won't leave with more than $200,000. She is trying to pay off Pharmacy school plus quite a bit in student loans. She might as well go for the whole banana. She almost can't lose. There is a dual perspective here that seems a little surreal.

My grades are going to be good. In one class I have an A. In the other class I have no clue. Still, I have faith. The teacher didn't provide any grades from any of the projects to judge my success with. but from things she has said..."you all get credit for this one"..."the last part of your paper really flowed".....and she gave me leeway where she hadn't made clear her expectations I think I will do ok. I did my best. I may get a B. I don't think I'll get less. I'm hoping for an A.

Ok, the girl on Deal or No Deal went away a winner. She took home $83,000, which was more than the $50,000 in her case. I will go away with passing grades and move on to student teaching in the fall. The Deal or No Deal girl, Hailey, no doubt feels a huge sense of relief. She is out from under all that pressure.

So am I. (g)

Finally I can breathe. I still have a couple of things to do. I need to apply for student loans for next fall. I need to set up my placement folder with resume and recommendations at the Student Placement Office. To minimize the drainage on my savings I should seek a summer job...I'm thinking a temporary agency to set my own time frame. But you know...I plan on taking the time to read a few good books now. I have no texts to read, no papers to write, no tests to study for, and there's only 4 more weeks of public school and I'm off for the summer. Yay!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Home sick - day 2

Yesterday was a day of rest with lots of coughing. I managed to get down plenty of fluids but ran a fever of 100 in the late afternoon. That prompted me to call in sick for another day. I want to be well on the road to recovery when I go back to work.

I'm not getting anything done today except sleep and see the PC. Sadly, that means that I will miss the new Tuesday night extension of Sunday school. Oh well, I can start it up next week. I do love the teachers and the course promises to be interesting. It's on Revelations.

On a cheerful note, my friend Susan's mother came through her surgery well and we are all relieved. Praise God!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Home sick - Moderately productive

Sometime during the past week I caught a cold. It manifested itself this weekend in the form of a fairly vicious headache and a very painful sore throat. This is a one sided sore throat and hurt so much that at 3:30 AM Sunday morning I was online researching symptoms of strep throat. I decided that I don't have it based on 2 things. I don't have a high fever. I do have sinus drainage. So I'm probably dealing with a regular viral cold and just feel awful. I called in sick for today and will probably be home in bed tomorrow too. I feel that bad. That's rare for me this year. Mostly my health has been good thanks to vitamins and frequent hand washing. Since I work at a public school those two measures seem to be vital to maintain good health. One of the desires of every public school teacher is that parents would not use the school as a baby sitting service when their children are sick. If you child is sick they need to be home in bed, not at school feeling crummy and making their teachers' lives miserable. That doesn't cover the fact that children who go to school sick spread their germs around and then everyone gets sick.

So, here I am at home, reading email, trying to get rest, and feeling I need to use the time productively. To accomplish the productivity I went searching for my student teaching packet, a task which got a lot of trash papers thrown away, and proceeded to take care of two necessary pieces of business. I emailed the student teaching department and confirmed my intent to student teach. I then went online and registered for that course for this fall. Yes folks, it's official! I will student teach in fall of 2007.

That's one of the things that has been worrying me of late. I am quite the perfectionist, so of course I want to do well. I also want to do my student teaching in a place that will put me in a good position to get a job when I'm done. I think I have that managed. I'm on my districts list as a student teacher and have written the student teaching coordinator (at her request) with my preferences for campus choices. Hopefully I'll get one of them.

This also puts pressure on me to update my resume, get letters of recommendation from teachers I've worked with, and make sure my financial ducks are in order for the fall. Thankfully I've done my taxes so I can reapply for student loans. They should meet the needs I have for that semester. I'm going to have to quit my job at the middle school. That makes me nervous. You do better looking for a job if you have one already. But you can't student teach and hold down a 40 hour a week job.

At some point I should probably go over my wardrobe and weed out the stuff I no longer wear, get some new shoes for work, and make sure I have enough professional outfits that I can wear to teach in. Fortunately, my beloved sister bought me a nice professional looking suit for Christmas. I already have enough short sleeved sweaters to wear with it and think I only need some nice discrete jewelry to add to the quality of the look.

With that being said, I'm now pretty much exhausted and am planning on heading back to bed for some more rest. Please keep me in your prayers for returning health and also for the upcoming semesters.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Way too long!

A whole month has gone by and I've written absolutely nothing! Well, that's not entirely true. I've done 2 research papers and an interview write up. But I think that the real reason I've not been writing is because I've been dealing with life and its effects.

One of the things I'm worried about with my writing is something my friend, Susan, has mentioned. A month ago I got on antidepressants. I didn't want to but felt that the stresses in my life, mostly self generated, were causing me to lose the ability to handle life well. Antidepressants are known to inhibit creativity. So, I'm wondering if my ability to come up with ideas is being affected by the meds or am I just so busy that I've not found time to write? Whatever the reason, I wish I had a wealth of ideas to present. Right now I just don't.

The Pastoral Counselor I mentioned a few posts ago seems to be working out ok. It feels kind of strange talking to a man about the most important things in my life. Possibly this is due to the fact that the last counselor I had was a woman. Or maybe there's a different reason. Before when God put a person in my life to talk about spiritual things to it has always been a woman. Talking to a man has a different flavor. He's good at asking questions and sometimes he points out the good/happy things I've missed in the middle of all my stress. I still have concerns about subjects I might feel more comfortable talking to a woman about even though I haven't had a reason to discuss them with him yet. One nice thing is, I've finally have someone to talk with about the subject of my 3rd post, the Communion story. That in and of itself gave a great sense of relief. I don't think I'm done with that subject yet, but having finally gotten another set of ears to listen meant a lot to me.

In the counseling sessions I'm dealing with things like anger, the need to express it in order to release it, and being comfortable with solitude. To understand the anger/expression need I'm reading (or trying to) The Dance of Anger (TDoA). When I was a child I never learned how to handle anger well. It was always hidden in my family. When it was expressed it was closely contained. The message was, "Anger is a "bad thing" and expressing it means you're out of control." The healthy reality, according to TDoA, is that we all have anger, we all need to express it, and we all need to be ok with feeling that way from time to time. To handle the solitude, I'm trying to find things I don't mind doing alone. At home that's easy. Doing it away from home is harder. This wasn't always the case with me so I am trying to recover the ability to be comfortable being out on my own. A large part of the discomfort, I believe, came from being married and used to having someone to come home to. Not having that anymore is something I managed to avoid thinking about for 8 years. Now I need to deal with it because I hope to have my first teaching job within a year and it's going to take a lot of self confidence and personal resources to handle that.

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not a total wimp and I do have some idea what of my strengths are. I excel at giving explanations and my teaching skills are good. Learning excites me and I hope to pass that on to my students. I used to be afraid of making mistakes and no longer fear that, so I should be able to use that growth to find ways of making my students feel safe and not pressured to be perfectionists. It will be the time management, the multitasking, and the gathering of resources at a new job that I will struggle with. However, that is what student teaching is supposed to help me learn to do and I'm doing that this fall. So, while I'm nervous about doing the student teaching, I know I will manage to get that done and hopefully get a good grade in it.

So that's where I am and where I've been lately. Work for the year is almost done. School for this year ends May 25th. My college classes end in 2 weeks. I'll have a summer of no schooling and maybe no work. Thank goodness my employer spreads my salary over the summer. I gathered a couple of new books to read lately. I want to see the Harry Potter movie when it comes out in July. I would like to see Spiderman 3 when it opens in May. I can hardly wait for the last and final Harry Potter book to arrive. In other places, life goes on. Please keep me in your prayers. I've a lot to accomplish in the next few months.