611: Respect

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I am going to treat you like a mature, responsible, respectful human being…until you prove to me that you are not. Then, I will deal with the problem you are, or that you caused. The next time, I will treat you again like a mature, responsible, respectful human being….until you prove again that you are not. Again, I will deal with you. The third time, I will probably treat you like a real human person – repeat scenario. MAYBE the fourth time I will treat you respectfully……but I will also curtail what I will allow you to do, and how much interaction I have with you, because you have proven over time that you have no interest in adjusting those parts of you that are not mature, responsible and respectful.

And all of that is all on you.

Every stinking bit of it.

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550: Overwhelmed and undervalued

Teacher receiving an apple from student

The first year at a new job is generally more difficult than the succeeding years. You have the routine of the machine that is this particular organization (different one to the other) down to some manageable extent after the first year, and you somewhat know in advance what they are likely to dump into your already-busy lap, and know somewhat when they are likely to do it.

The reports that they wait (often) until the day they are due to tell you about (and sometimes the day after they are due) to tell you about. The routine processes that you need to know to perform your job on a daily basis, which they did not tell you in advance of performing that job, and left you to discover unpleasantly and then struggle to figure out on your own, or go crawling to someone who does know, confessing your ignorance and begging for a mini-lesson to get you up to speed.

The five different professional development courses, all running concurrently, that take up your 50 miserly minutes of precious planning time that you have each day – assuming there is not a parent conference scheduled, or an after-work meeting that you are required to attend, or an out-of-town meeting you are required to attend on what was supposed to be the time you have left over after work to actually live your life – assuming you actually have any such thing.

The planning you need to do so as not to appear a drooling, blithering idiot in the daily performance of your job (at least in the eyes of those observing, and YES, Virginia, they ARE observing).

All those things that were unwelcome surprises during the first year are familiar minor annoyances the second year, not panic-attack-times like they were that first hectic, far-too-busy, overloaded first year. The second year, you can look back on the chaos of the first and smile a little, knowing that you made it with your sanity largely (at least to casual observers) intact. So the second year is better. Somewhat.

None of that helps a whole lot while you are in the mentally and emotionally tense, gut-wrenching, hyper-ventilating maelstrom of the first year. *sigh*

228: Wife Number Two

Some people reading this title will think I am writing about divorce, and am now contemplating marriage with my second wife. Well, since I am female…not. Now you might be thinking that I am contemplating marriage with a previously divorced or married man, so that I am wife number two….not. I am already married, and yes, he is husband number two (no pun intended), since my first husband dropped dead one fine day (not) about thirteen years ago. This second husband of mine has an ex, but this is not that scenario, either. What has occurred is that the judge here in Morocco has determined that my husband has filled out enough paperwork (just ONE more paper, please sir, to get and bring next time) to obtain his approval to get married. Again. And not to me, his first wife, because that would be stupid, since we are already married.

He has picked out a second wife.

I am not kidding.

You see, in Morocco, which is an Islamic country and culture, a well-to-do man can have up to four wives. I find myself curiously ambivilent about this. I have often, over the years, commented facetiously that what I really need in my life is a wife. Well. Be careful what you say. No kidding.

The thing is, this woman is really very sweet. It would be like kicking a puppy. AND, she is not stupid. She has apparently cottoned on to the fact about who is the major wage-earner in our family: me. When she comes by the apartment, I cannot pick up a broom, or touch a cleaning rag. The apartment is spotless. Much cleaner, in fact, than when my stay-at-home husband cleaned it. Men have this genetic defect that prevents them from “seeing” dust, crumbs, clutter, and that the toilet paper roll is empty. Women who live with a man know this already. My home has been cleaner since he picked her than ever before. I admit this is nice, I’m just not sure it is worth sharing my husband to achieve.

We’ll see. She still has to get her paperwork approved.

25: New Computer Lab

Our school had one computer lab last year. It was difficult to schedule multiple teachers to use the lab, and often, we had two classes at once in the lab, trying to make accommodation for everyone to be able to use the computers. In our classrooms, each teacher had one or two computer workstations, which seldom were used. Over the summer, we teachers got the bright idea to take those one or two workstations in the classrooms that were seldom used anyway, and take them all to a room and use them to set up a second computer lab. WOW. What a difference.

Today, my seniors were researching a United Nations issues research project, and the science teacher was already scheduled to show a film (DVD) in the computer lab that I usually useĀ – so my class all trooped off to the second lab. Now, these computers are older, so they are a little slower – but hey! We HAVE a second lab of computers to use, for which I am very grateful! These previously not-much-used computers have been put to use this year. The math teacher tells me that he uses the second lab frequently, and now, whenever the other lab (which is actually closer to my classrooms) is in use, I will make use of the second lab, for those times when we have completed our work and have part of the class left for completing homework, or writing our journals, or for whatever work a student needs to get done.

We are making better use of our available resources, and our students have a second lab for use during the school day. We might be an efficient bunch, after all!