570: My bad

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In this culture of victimhood that current society is wallowing in (pig in mud inference deliberate, here), where everyone and everything ELSE is to blame for everything I do and everything that happens to me – even at this seemingly simple task, I FAIL.

I am totally to blame for all of it. I have been unable to weasel out of anything….EVER. I try, believe me. I try. I figure if everybody else can slime their way out of any and all responsibility, I should be able to do the same: after all, I am female, have two adult (mostly) children, am regrettably white, old, fat, college educated, and employed full-time – a reasonable victim by anyone’s standards.

The problem is that pesky conscience, which I am assured that most modern people do not possess, as evidenced by their behavior laid out for all the world to see. I have not found the switch to turn that sucker off. And I am unsure which government form to fill out to evict the troublesome conscience as a result of its no longer being required or desired.

It can’t be as difficult as I am making it, this conscience-shredding process, or most of the world’s people would not have managed it so effortlessly.

*sigh* I’m a failure at being a failure.

569: Bygones

standing

Used to be friends,

much beloved kitties,

men I thought were mates – who weren’t,

belongings I lost along the way (that I still randomly include in my dreams)

plans I had for my life,

hope for the future.

That smoking hot body I remember,

the fruit trees I planted everywhere I used to live (that someone else is harvesting now),

the books I read and passed on to other readers.

The children I raised, and set free.

The person I was.

Life.

568: Effort

effort

As another school year winds to a close, I am forcibly reminded that many, many, many people have a ridiculous sense of entitlement. I posted in my classroom a few weeks ago (for exactly this time) the statement “Don’t be upset over the RESULTS you did not get from the EFFORT you did not invest.”

As a teacher, I provide students with multiple learning opportunities: assignments. I count (grade) most of them. Our school uses a continuous average grading system, which means we do not set in stone your grade as a student each reporting term. So, your final grade is not determined by the averages of your first, second, third, and fourth grading term results, but instead, the overall average at the end of the year.  This allows students who do poorly to bring up their averages and earn credit for the year.

It also means students who have done moderately to marginally well all year can fail the entire year (even posting a passing average for the first three quarters) by slacking off at the end – which is RICHLY coming to pass. It is amazing how seven or eight zeros at the tail end can drop a close to failing year-long average right over the cliff.

I have warned students in every class that if their averages are in the low 70’s, that they are in danger of failing the course for the entire year, and they are, as usual, ignoring me. Problem is, time is short for completing work, and I am not grading anything turned in late now at full credit, PLUS, I am not accepting work from FIRST,  SECOND, and THIRD TERMS at this late date. Seriously?? You even bothered to ask?

I watched you sit and do nothing for days and weeks, while I chivvied you and reminded you and redirected you countless times, and NOW you get concerned about course credit and passing averages? NOW you want me to provide you with “extra credit” work? Nope.

In twenty-six years of teaching, I have NEVER, EVER, not even ONCE, had a child fail a class I taught with low grades on work they submitted. Not once. Every single child (and I work mostly with high schoolers) who fails has done so on ZEROS: work they just chose not to complete and submit for scoring.

I can work with a student who shows me some effort, even if it is not up to standard. As an employer, I want someone to work every day at the tasks I have set for them to do. As a teacher, I want exactly the same thing. I can help you if you are working. You can ask questions, and we can fix your work on the spot to provide you with better scores. You can get feedback on where this work could be improved.

I do not “give” grades: you earn them and I post them. I can credit someone who is working, even when they do not possess the native ability to do it at A or B quality work. THAT is not required. It is wonderful and appreciated and celebrated, but so is the determined effort to get the work done and submitted on time when assigned. I cannot post credit for something that is not submitted.

And the time of reckoning is at hand.

 

567: Travel Deals

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I have been subscribing to a travel website for years now that I would like to share. It is free to subscribe to travelzoo.com’s weekly e-mail posting of what they consider to be the Top Twenty travel deals that they found by canvassing hundreds and hundreds of travel companies world-wide. The weekly post arrives via e-mail every Wednesday, and highlights twenty or more local and/or international travel deals that are often astonishingly inexpensive.

To be fair, often they are at times during the year when I cannot travel, being a schoolteacher – travel companies tempt travelers to travel at non-peak times with extra good discounts, and usually, those are times when I am tied to my job and can’t go. However, if it is a time when I can go, the deals are spectacular!

I have booked and traveled with Travelzoo’s recommended deals several times over the last few years and I have been thoroughly pleased with each trip.Often the trip packages offered through the site’s recommended agencies include airfare, accommodation, taxes, fees and excursions, and some are all-inclusive resorts that include entertainment, sports and all you can eat and drink into the bargain.

To sign up for the free weekly e-mail and see the great travel deals yourself, go to http://www.travelzoo.com and register for free. They have departments of the company located in various parts of the world, so there are e-mail deal packages especially for people who live in Europe, or in the USA/Canada, or in Asia, for example. They also offer local deals for you based on your identified zip code, which means for me that I see extra travel and entertainment deals in the southeastern USA, and in Atlanta, Georgia, especially.

Have fun planning your next exotic (and cost-conscious) destination!

566: Choosing

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There are some who think that having a good life is a matter of simply choosing to have a good life: looking on the positive and choosing to be cheerful. Well…..sort of.

There is a very great deal that I can do to improve things by simply refusing to get mired down or sidetracked by the circumstances of life. I can plan, and live courageously, without succumbing to my fears. I can decide each and every day to try again, and to make it my personal best – yeah, I know all that. Get up once again, and move forward.

Sometimes, though, thinking positive thoughts isn’t all that is required. Sometimes there are physical problems which need to be dealt with, usually with diet, exercise and lifestyle choices I need to amend for the better. YUCK. WORK. Yup.

Sometimes I need to seek out and/or accept a helping hand from a family member, a friend, or a professional counselor/doctor. The point is that I am working on making it better, and that I don’t give up working on it until it IS better – whatever that takes. My ultimate solution may not be your solution. That’s why the world is such a big place. My solution does not have to be your solution. Why do you think they make so many different forms of transportation? What works for me, works for me.

My daily choice is to try again, and to keep trying until I find that blend of practicality, extension and reservation of myself that works for me. Not to give up, and settle for situations and people that do not work for me. Sometimes that is endurance, and sorts out with time, and sometimes I need to choose alternatives. And, sometimes it is serendipity – which is a big word for God’s finger stirring the pot of soup that is my life until the good bits float to the surface.

 

565: Mea culpa maxima

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It’s all my fault.

You would not have it any other way – you cannot possibly bear any responsibility, now, would you?

Things, and people, which cannot be borne are best forgiven, and then assiduously avoided, because pain is…..painful. It is possible to think of you, now, without anger. But not without pain. Yet. When I have achieved that goal, it will be possible to remember you without sadness.

I invested in you. The money is irrelevant – it is only money, no matter how much money it was. I invested myself into you. It is now time to invest in myself, even though I don’t do that very well yet. I have spent so many years investing in others instead of me, that it is difficult to even believe I am worthy of investment.

Working on it.

On all of it.

564:Tomorrow is another day, Miz Scarlett

Determination

Determination

See, I understand that not every day is a winner.

Today is not my best day, but it also isn’t my worst day.

So, that means it isn’t so bad, this today.

Still, it would be fabulous to have a winning day, where things go well and no huge issues raise their ugly heads, demanding attention and energy.

Just one.

Tomorrow……..is another opportunity.

Another chance to get it right.

Tomorrow.