from a public HS teacher (Gov't, Religion, Soc. Issues), who is eclectic (Dem-leaning) politically and Quaker (& open) on everything else. Hope you enjoy what you find here.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Musings on musings on musings ... 

Okay, so this is the first time in several days I have posted, a fact of which I have been emphatically reminded by one JJH, aka the spouse. There ahve been reasons. over the weekend I was correcting about 100 rough drafts of essay projects by my students, and had little time for anything else. My write hand swelled up so much that I had to put it in ice.

That was the not the only reason. I did have some conflict at school, with my principal totally misunderstanding an email I sent to the staff, and landing on me like a ton of bricks, then sending out his own email in response. A significant number of thes taff felt that he was being unfair to me, and I had to try to talk people out of responding back to him. One dear lady did so anyhow, so unfortunately the anger he freels is likely to on. Without going into the details, I was in the confrontation on which he insisted informed that I might not be welcome back next year. He has not yet made up his mind. As a result I now have to begin the process of at least exploring other alternatives. As it happens the district in which I would most like to teach has at least one social studies opening next year -- I will have to update my certificate information for that jurisdiction, but at this point I am inclined to file an application and see what happens.

In politics, today is Super Tuesday. It is quite conceivable that Edwards will effectively be knocked out today, meaning that Kerry will ahve locked up the nomination. I think that will be a huge mistake for the Democratic party, but at this point I have little interest in engagement on that particular subject. Of marginally greater interest has been to watch the metamorphosis of the Dean campaign into various squablling/bickering sbu-groups trying to find a way to keep the message, the mission, whatever it may be, alive. I am on far too many lists stemming from that campaing and its progeny. So far I have found myself not that interested in active participation. After listening to the bickering and backbiting of the nationwide leaders' conference call ten days ago, I decided not to participate this past Sunday, and have refrained from any further commitments. The only action I have taken since then was to pst several items of interest to the EFDcoordinators list [of people who were actively involved for Dean as educators] on aspects of NCLB. I may add one more, an unfortunate editorial from today's NY Times.

"You are old, Father William ... " today is March 2. in 82 days I will tunr 58. This year, for the first time, I have begun to feel my age. My energy level is far less than that of a year ago, I am far more prone to the aches and pains ... my injured shoulder, the arthritis in my back and in my knees. I truly need to take off at least 15-20 pounds to ease the strain on my body. But I find it exceedingly difficult to find the time to exercise on any consistent basis.

Of greater concern --- I have not had the time for things of greater importance, these being silence, piano, and reflection. I have at least made some time to simply be with the four cats wqho are our substitute for a lack of children. I am still far more of a dog person, but so long as I continue to commute 30-40 minutes each way to teaching, and to be gone for 11-13 hours per day, it would be cruel to have a dog.

I have decided to cut back on my commitments. I will be resigning all responsibilities at Meeting except the library committee. If I remain at my current school, I will do no outside or extra-curricular activities except soccer. And I am not interested in further activity in the political processes that surround us. Oh, I may still occasionally attempt to write for publication. And if I am going to stay in my current jurisdiction, I will explore the possibility of National Board certification, since the school system and state will pay the fees if I am one of those so selected, and since it would mean after completion an additional 4,000 / year in pay. That seems a far better return on investment than would have been completing my doctorate. I would have needed an investment of time of around 120-150 hours, and almost nothing in money. By contrast, to finish the doctorate would have taken at least 1,000 hours, and cost at least an other $10-12,000. In my current position my pay would have increased only $500/year, and in the jurisdiction to which I am considering applying they do not even have a doctoral ladder. Oh well...

As I sit here,the smallest (but not youngest) of our four felines has decided that she wants my attention. She rubs against my bare feet -- one consequence of our being a "cat house" is that we autmoatically remove footwear upon entering the house, to be sure that we do not damage paws and tails. Now she has been replaced by one of the tow younger cats, who wants to come up into my lap. All four are rescued kittens, this one of a litter that was semi-feral --we have her and her quite shy littermate. Perhaps our generosity in opening our home and our hearts to these four will in some fashion offset the smallness and lack of generosity we sometimes evidence in our dealings with our fellow homo sapiens. And she has now come into my lpa, which makes continuing this journal entry almost impossible, so I won't even try.

FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME OFFLINE at kber@earthlink.net Comments, suggestions and even rude remarks are welcomed! Preface any messages with "teacherken" so I know they are not spam.
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