Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Being The Only Gal

     Today at work was frustrating.  I'm one of 4 educators in a classroom consisting of a teacher and 3 para-educators.  3 of us have bachelor's degrees, one is working towards one.  3 of us are males and one is female (guess who?).  In my naiive days that meant fun.  I would have the attention of 3 men and since I am the only woman, I would be able to rely on those gentlemen, so capable at their jobs, to be gallant and help me with the workload in a classroom such as ours. I'm not saying do more than their share, but just have my back and do as much as I do.  Oh, by the way, the class is all boys ages 13 - 21, of various intellectual disabilities and behavioral issues ranging from autism to dyslexia and other more serious things.  (Thank goodness, for the one girl, age 17, who sometimes aligns with me, depending upon her mood. More often than not, however, she likes to try to show her own dominance with me, the only other female.)  
      I have found, however, that being the only female educator in that environment is sometimes a pain.  I find that since I am instinctively more nurturing than my male counterparts, I am the one that seems to be doing much of the talking, reasoning, helping, soothing, listening and  tutoring.  Granted, when it comes to disruptive behavior, a big, gruff male is the best way to stop it.  And in a classroom like mine, that male dynamic has to be there.  All of the students have caught on to this and they know that I've got a soft spot.  So they are always calling upon me.  In some ways, this is very fulfilling to me.  I love to help these kids, many of whom have not been given a fair shot in society and in their own homes.  Many of them are living in foster care or group homes for various reasons.  But they are so needy and it wears me out.  ESPECIALLY since the guys in the room are all standing around in a little group talking about the latest sports news, the latest cool 'You Tube' video or the Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated and any other guy thing you can think of.  If they aren't doing that, they are on their laptop or one of the student computers or the iPads issued to the classroom.  What are they doing?  Gaming.  Oh, and don't get me started now that March Madness is here.  They are going to have 3 computers playing 3 different games so that they can make sure to get the scores immediately so that they can make sure they win their game predictions. 
     Don't get me wrong, I love them.  They're great.  I am so appreciative when they help me, because when they do, it's amazing and a lot gets done.  I think so much more could be done though.  These kids really need all of us to give our all.  I understand, too, that each one of us has burn-out phase.  Like I did today.  I actually had  it up to here (pointing to neck).  I  said, "Hey, I've got a dental appointment today.  I'm out.  See you later."  I left.  Checked out.  Gone.  I came home and took a long, deserved nap.  Maybe daylight savings time really got to me.  More than I thought.  
     Tonight me and my co-workers are getting together at our local 'Burger Supreme'.  It'll be great.   But I'm so over being the only gal in the room. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Can I Stick To My Weekend Schedule?

Tomorrow, I plan on getting up super early (for a Saturday) to go on a 5 mile run/hike in the foothills with my Border Collie, Evee, who lives for those kinds of outings.  Although my metabolism has slowed down considerably since I turned 29 (lol), I still can look forward to dropping about 2 lbs. after I finish my outing.  I have a little secret weapon that I use for performance enhancement and weight loss benefits.  It's called Access from Melaleuca.  It is a small 130 calorie candy bar with special ingredients that I take about 15 minutes before I exercise.  This bar has patented technology (actually 2 U.S. patents and 40 patents or pending patents across the globe) which allows my body to use fat for pure energy at an accelarated rate and also keeps my muscles from getting really sore and stiff after strenuous workouts.  I love it!  I have been using these bars for at least 10 years.  I love them.  (Feel free to contact me for more info here or e-mail me!  I'd love to share it with you!)

I will then come home and do some light housework before leaving for my volunteer hours at the Campaign Headquarters of Mitt Romney.  I've become a political junky of sorts because I feel that this year's election is the most important election of my lifetime because of the high stakes involved. The wrong president will take our country down a very dark path.  The right president will save our country from economic, moral and even possible physical destruction and change the course of history.  It's that important.  The Michigan and Arizona Primaries are this next Tuesday and I feel like I want to do all I can to help Mitt do well there.  I think he is the one who can beat Barack Obama. Definitely anyone who has any kind of interest in a small business or  being an entrepreneur should definitely go for Mitt.  Another year of Barack Obama will kill the American dream as we have previously known it, forever.  The only dream we will have then is to try and qualify for as many entitlements as we possibly can before the financial system all caves in permanently.   The end. 

And since this is the weekend, I will try to have some down time by either reading my latest book choice, 'The 13th Tale', by Diane Setterfield or watching some of the TV Shows that I've recorded.  I have got one new guilty pleasure. (Meaning, I wouldn't exactly watch this with my family all in the room because there are some definite adult themes)  I watch 'Braxton Family Values'.  I get a kick out of all 5 of Toni Braxton's sisters and their mom, Evelyn.  What a feisty, free-spirited bunch of ladies. You should go to WE TV on Thursday nights, "'cause Thursday night is Braxton night!"  Another show I sorta put up with ('cause my husband likes it) is 'Grimm.'  It's about our human world that is also comprised of creatures disguised as humans so that they can actually prey on humans.  Only the Grimms are able to sniff these creatures out and kill them.  Like I said, not my favorite but...I put up with it and sometimes it is rather interesting in a grotesque kind of way.  I really like 'Person of Interest'.  The star, Jim Caviezel, talks like Clint Eastwood in the show.  If you haven't followed it from the start, though, it may be harder to follow some of the more recent episodes.  But I love it because Reese's style of espionage is fun and I love the fighting choreography.  For family comedies, I love 'The Middle'  and 'Last Man Standing.'  My guilty pleasure comedies are 'Suburgatory' and 'New Girl.'  So there you have my T.V. recommendations for what that is worth!  Shows that I've abandoned this season are 'Survivor', 'American Idol', 'Biggest Loser', and 'Glee'.  After all, you can't watch everything.  You have to pick and choose. A show that I'm thinking about checking out is 'Smash' because of all the star power in the show. 

On Sunday, after church, I really need to fly up I-15 about 30 miles to see my Dad.  He is 83 and still trying to go strong.  He lives by himself by choice, although 3 of his 4 children live pretty close.  It's just that we all lead really busy lives and so we don't get in to see him as much as we'd like to.  Between the 3 of us we are able to keep tabs on him fairly well.  He deserves it, he has been so faithful all of his life.  We need to do the same for him.

So there you have it, my precious weekend and what I plan to use the time for. It's time that I want to make the most of.  There is precious little of it...  Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Meaning of Absence, Retreating into The Room and A Secret Life!

Maybe some of you have noticed that I've been absent for about a month.  I can't believe it has been that long! 
  I only have so much leisure time in the day when I come home from work and lately, the blog has been neglected due to my renewed obsession with reading.  I became a bit weary of the whole technology thing, along with Facebook, Twitter, smart phones, laptops, iPads, and even computers.  Hence, the public library became my new best friend!  I'm convinced that winter is the best time to read.  I love to lay on my bed, snuggled up in a warm blanket,with the dim lamp by my bed giving me light and my reading glasses giving me sight.  My books of choice have been eclectic.  I have read 'The Meaning Of Night', 'The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake', 'The Room',  'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Society', 'Olive Kitteridge', and now, finishing up 'The Secret Life of Bees', among some others.  It has been so much fun!  I've loved it and I don't know if I'm ready to give up my beautiful books and come out of hibernation.  But at some point I will be ready to start tweeting, blogging, doing giveaways and waxing opinionated. Until then, like me, enjoy your end-of-winter activities.  I hope they make you happy and renewed and ready to meet the Spring when it comes around again!