Tuesday, February 20, 2018

OLW - Huge Confession



I'm not a OLW fan.

There.
I said it.
Publically.


Are you still reading? 
I half expect that after such a statement I'm kicked out of many communities. 
Sigh.

In fact, I closed my eyes as I clicked 'publish' for this post.

Since OLW became a thing a few years ago I noticed that I would scroll past all of those posts. I stopped and reflected. I paused and pondered. While I appreciate that having a focus for the year is helpful for, it seems like, all the rest of you - I couldn't authentically join the fun.

I appreciate that having OLW gives you a focus. I can see how having a lens through which to view your year can bring you purpose. I'm glad it works for you.

It doesn't for me.

Now you know.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

It's About To Happen



There are certain days that you can think back on year after year, remembering where you were and what you did. Generally they are spread out, (unless you are one of those people who chooses to get married on a birthday so you have a better chance of remembering both!) Sometimes dates overlap, (like my sister-in-law's and niece's birthdays). Occasionally cycles overlap - a calendar date and a lunar calendar occurrence, for example. I can't think of another time that three completely different events have happened concurrently.

Tomorrow will change all of that.

Tomorrow is February 14th - it is obviously Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day comes with all kinds of emotional baggage for folks of all ages. It is also very much a cultural occasion. I like the excuse of the day to be given chocolate and flowers (if the country I live in hasn't banned the sale of flowers on that day). I'm optimistic for tomorrow as the seniors decided to sponsor 'Friendship Grams' and I'm pretty sure someone made sure to get money from my husband! 

For a parent of a TCK I try to find ways for my child to experience a holiday as closely to what she might if we were in Seattle. I make sure there are Valentines for her to give to each of her classmates. We work for days ahead of time to get them filled out, find ways to check that everyone's names are spelled correctly, and anyone special (favorite teachers or neighbors) also get something prepared for them. (This year all of the neighborhood boys are getting a homemade craft and a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. It may not seem like much, but that stuff is hard to come by around here!)

As a teacher, Valentine's Day can be a recipe for too much sugar, or hurt feelings, or both. I'm at a school that doesn't have parties. Friendship Grams will be put in their backpacks to be opened AFTER they have left the building, and I only have one kid for whom the idea of giving out Valentines would cross the mind of any of their parents. I'm anticipating a low key day.

Tomorrow is also 46 days before Easter, which makes it Ash Wednesday. Whoa. That's a change of pace from Valentine's Day! Instead of chocolate and flowers and friendship and love it is a remembrance of our mortality. Ash Wednesday is the start of the Lenten season, a chance to prepare ourselves for the biggest celebration in Christendom. 

Tomorrow will also be marked, in my little corner of the world, by primary classrooms in particular. It's our 100th day of school. For those of you who may be far removed from any young children - it's a BIG deal. Imagine everything being about counting, and collections  of 100, and celebrating the largest milestone you couldn't even imagine when it was the first day of school.

(Tomorrow is also the second Wednesday of the month, which brings several meetings for me, in scattered locations across the globe. My alarm gets set unbelievably early for a Tuesday evening meeting, PST. In addition, I meet with the Literacy Coaches across my district - all of which are 900 miles from me. Finally, there is an Elementary Faculty Meeting after school.)

Tomorrow is about to happen.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Wish me luck!



Obviously my current practice is not working, thus I need to start a new habit. I have had the intention of slicing each week this year. As you can tell, that hasn't been working. I know many people who draft on Monday night and then polish and publish on Tuesday. That is my goal - for next week. Perhaps if I start now I will be good to go when we hit March. So, I am commencing a new habit. In typical procrastinator fashion, I will begin next week. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

"No Devices At The Table!"



"No devices at the table!" is said in exasperation, again, by the third grader.

Yes, you read that correctly. It is the child who is the enforcer of this rule and more than 3/4 of the way through nine weeks with grandparents in the house she has had to say it more than ever.

Oh, the irony.

It has been fascinating to me that over the past two months the over seventy crowd has been much more attached to their devices than the rest of us. This has been true both at our house and as we have traveled. 

At one point we are on a layover at some airport and I went to forging for snacks in whatever shops I could find. I came back to find three 70-something-year olds with their noses in their phones or iPads while the third grader played cards with her dad. Yes, I snapped a picture!

I love that she is very adamant that devices not come to the table, though there is some balance to be found between this rule - that I wholeheartedly agree with - and how to put her foot down and be respectful of her elders at the same time.

If nothing else, these moments that I share with her now I am storing away for the moments when she is tempted to revamp the rules.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

What I've read this month...




Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Three Out Of Four



Hi Sara,

I got up in the night to phone you (I am in Saudi Arabia) only to be told that the phone number on your signature line is not setup. I was really hoping to speak with a person as I am in a pickle. So, here it goes - and remember, truth is stranger than fiction!

We live in the Middle East - teaching at an American International school. We have had our condo for 8 years. I have never had a late payment. I would love to be paying you right now, but our funds are wired from our bank here to BECU every month and then I send you a check. For some inexplicable reason, our bank here, which we have used for 2.5 years, decided it couldn't wire any of our funds because they were suspicious as to why we were wiring money to CUBA. Yes, you read that correctly. On top of it, they didn't tell us this was happening. I went to pay our bills and the funds hadn't arrived. For TWO WEEKS we have been trying to straighten this out. So now last month's paycheck and this month's paycheck are lost in some limbo land simply because three letters of BECU happen to also be within the name of a country that we have nothing to do with.

What can be done? I have $200 in my daughter's savings account. I have had to borrow money for our mortgage. Thankfully other payments go onto our credit card, which we usually pay off. This month they will be thrilled to receive the $36 so they finally get some interest out of us. What can we do with you? Our employer (who chose the bank for all of its employees) is working to rectify the situation. 

Help!

***

Hi Kristi,

My apologies.  My old signature has the incorrect number, the correct one will be below in my updated block.

I’m so sorry to hear you’re having such a time with banks, they can be problematic.  Your dues payment history is spotless.  I will happily hold off on late fees until the end of January.  Do you think that’s enough time for your employer to get the situation in hand?

***

So, three out of four letters can get you in a pickle AND there are kind and helpful people out there.