Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Chronicle, The Raider & Deadlines, Oh My!

We published the first Chronicle of the year Friday (you can check it out online, too.). The first new staff members turned in an amazing layout on Friday. I realized we have 4 complete layouts Friday. Friday was a great day.

It followed a week I realized my second year staff kids from the beginning class last year were LOST when it comes to layouts. It’s like I was speaking a foreign language to them, and they were afraid to let me know they had no clue what I was talking about.

I realized there was a problem when I told one of the kids they needed to either make sure they crossed the gutter enough that it looked like they’d done so on purpose OR they didn’t need to cross the gutter at all, and they looked at me like I’d told them to commit some horrible crime.

When I asked them what they thought I was talking about, they hm’d and hah’d and tried not to answer, and I realized they were afraid of possibly giving the wrong answer, and that’s worse than not asking a question.

Finally, one of them said “Like maybe it’s when the picture is really bad and you’re trying to make it look better.”

So, yeah, I WAS speaking a foreign language.

The language of yearbook.

And somehow, I didn’t teach it to my newbies last year, but this small group of kids bluffed their way through and came back this year to try again.

We spent four days in remediation. Yearbook RtI.

On Thursday, one of the kids turned in an awesome draft layout. We still have a ways to go, but we’re headed in the right direction. On Friday, two of them turned in an awesome first spread. Happy day.

You’d think after almost two decades at this job I love, I’d have it down. Nope. Not by a long shot.

It’s funny because when I was in college, a semester from graduation, my career counselor told me I needed to do something other than teach. He said ENFP’s need constant new challenges, or they get bored and flit from job to job to job. He said teaching would be the same thing every day.

I almost didn’t teach because of that crazy man. He obviously had NO IDEA what he was talking about.

Looking forward to another great week of new challenges every day with the most amazing kids at RHS.

A different note:

I’m reading The Handmaid’s Tale and wondering how on earth I missed it in grad school. HOLY COW! 1984 and Heart of Darkness are my favorite books. I think THT will be joining them. Scary in light of current events. Everyone should read it!



I Understand

Once again I’m going to say thank goodness for Dave Ramsey.

Until Dave, DH and I purchased new cars on a regular basis. We’d been brainwashed to believe a car payment is a normal part of life. Just like we’d been brainwashed to believe student loans were no big deal and credit cards (and their points) were a help when it came to budgeting.

Today we’re almost debt free…other than medical bills.

DH is self-employed, and his insurance deductible is $10K. He had kidney stones earlier this year. One trip to the ER later and, boom, hello debt.

DH has a $10k deductible because it’s what we can afford. It sucks that his only insurance is one that protects us from something catastrophic.

It stinks that he has a solid small business and I’m a teacher and we both have degrees and we’re making way more money than we ever dreamed but we can’t afford for him to go to the doctor when he’s sick.

It’s that kind of thing that makes me understand the rage of Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party.

Something’s got to change. But as long as people fighting the status quo allow themselves to become political pawns on either side of the congressional aisle, if they refuse to work together, real change can’t happen.

That’s why I love No Labels. We need to hold our politicians accountable for their refusal to compromise, their stubborn reliance on party talking points instead of real dialogue.

This is America. And it’s a scary time for us. But I don’t believe the pundits who say we’re done, we’ve lost, and there’s no coming back from this global economic downturn. However, we must stand up and make our voices heard. We must tell our elected officials we won’t allow politics as usual or corporate greed and corruption to destroy us.

And if our politicians don’t hear us now, we must make sure they do when we go to the polls.