603: Work, and more work

I go to work every day, even when I am ill, because it is harder to do all the preparation work beforehand than it’s worth it to be out sick, especially when I am actually sick. I have stopped going to the doctor and dentist on school holidays, though. Usually, if school is out, the doctors and dentists are also closed, anyway, and occasionally I NEED a day off when I actually am not sick – that is worth doing the prep work for.

Lately, I have been finishing my straight eight, and donning working clothes to put in another shift remodeling our newest purchase: a new-to-us, but not new house. We have gutted the kitchen in preparation for the installation of new cabinets, counter tops, trim, and appliances, and have installed the new flooring and painted. The new ceiling and lighting fixtures, and the floor molding, go in after the cabinets are installed.

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Lately, we have been on our knees…not praying exactly, unless you count praying that this piece of flooring will install properly in line with the others already laid. It is a good time for reflection on the vicissitudes of life, when you are on your knees, praying or not. I heard once that being on your knees is the most powerful position you can assume – and I assume they were thinking of prayer. I do tend towards a less than pristine mindset, and being on your knees is good for lots of various things, including prayer. Nonetheless.

I think the next few days I will work on painting. I can do that standing up. I’ve been on my knees dealing with those stubborn flooring planks a little too much lately.

197: Unwelcome “Welcome Back”

Here at our little International School in Morocco, we have just concluded our two-week “winter” break (God FORBID anybody mention Christmas) and yesterday was our first day back at school.

When I arrived bright and early at 8:00 am, I went directly to my classroom to deposit my things and to get started on the day’s backlog of work which always is awaiting me. I never get caught up, I just make a little progress each day in reducing the stack before the new day’s load is deposited on top. Hence the stack remains about the same height, all the time.

When my key turned in the lock and the door swung open, I stopped short, arms full of bags, and gaped at the sight of a totally trashed room. *&^*$%$#^%$^(*(_)((*^$##$^&(*)(*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Actually that was not what I said. I actually said several things, none of them nice. Then I grumbled a lot of other things under my breath as I waded in and put my bags down, and surveyed the damage. I knew what had happened. On the Friday before we left on the winter break, our school had scheduled a winter festival for the students during the last two hours of the day. Various activities were planned to introduce the children to the festivities of the season (Hanukkah, Christmas, Eid, Kwanzaa, etc.). I was present that Friday morning, but had no scheduled classes until the afternoon. Since my scheduled classes were during the planned time of the concluding festival, and since all my students were involved in the festival activities, I knew that my scheduled classes would not meet.

So, I finished my morning work, and requested permission to go and see the doctors at the University clinic to get medications for my sinus infection/bronchial cough, and refills on my nasal steroid spray in preparation for our week’s vacation trip to Portugal, which would begin the next day, the first day of our two-week vacation (Saturday). I did not return to school that afternoon. BIG mistake.

In my absence, SOMEbody decided that they needed some art supplies from my classroom for the festival decorations/preparations/activities/whatever. They asked for, and got, my room unlocked. And they made free with the supplies that were there (bad enough) BUT they ALSO neglected to clean up the mess they created while using up my supplies that I ordered last year to see me through this year’s worth of Art classes. Insult to injury. MAJOR insult.

I found dried paint on the painting trays, dried paint in the brushes that they did not clean after they painted with them, dried paint in containers they did not clean after they poured paint into them, paper shreds EVERYWHERE, scissors scattered about, glue bottles unclosed and sitting at various locations around the room – each of every one of the nine worktables was COVERED with mess and trash and discarded, ruined pieces of whatever was left. Plus the sink was filled with brushes that had not been cleaned, and rimmed with dried paint that was poured down the sink and not rinsed away, so that the sink was clogged (AGAIN). There was dried paint on the table tops, the walls and the floor that had NOT been cleaned away (easily) when the spills were wet, and would now have to be laboriously chipped away to be removed. I was missing both staplers, my tape dispenser (never mind the TAPE) and about eight pairs of scissors. And I found the used, empty paper core of the 3 inch wide tape that I had purchased with my *own* money, because our school stocks only the narrow tape. ()*&^^%$#@#^%*&_)()*&^#$$.

More insult: several student projects that my advanced class had completed were destroyed (or at least damaged), and even MORE insult: they had appropriated several pieces of my OWN work-in-progress. I had been working (in my spare time when the students were working) on two life-size, papier-mache sculptures of people. The adult figure person had a leg and an arm broken, and the other, a matching child figure, had both arms amputated. (*)&(&%$$#$@@#&^(*(*&%$#$*^&&*&^%^&!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Needless to say, I was PISSED. OFF-FA-FA. (JeffDunham.com)
Crap. Dookey, poop, cah-cah, shart, scat, copralite, feces, doo-doo, hellfire and damnation, shirts, shoes and neckties. DARN!! And various other epithets.

Nothing to do but clean up, repair what could be repaired and compose a really nasty e-mail to faculty and staff, raising such a stink over it that whoever the guilty party (ies) were, they darn sure would think twice about doing such a thing again.