Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Where did that come from?

My nieces (aka babysitters extradanoire) have gone back to school *sob*. My sister-in-law (their mother) has graciously agreed to watch my kids from the time I leave for work until one of her girls can get home and take over. I think this is partially motivated by a desire to help me out, and partially motivated by the fact that both girls a) owe her money and b) are less likely to borrow even more money in the future if they have a steady income. Enter me and my kids.

So, I loaded the kids up the car yesterday - it's only across the street, but it seemed silly to walk over, drop off the kids, and walk back to get my car - and as I turned the key I noticed the car was nearly on empty.

Me: Oh dang it, the car needs gas.
Trea: Mommy, are you talking to yourself?
Me: Yes.
Trea: You really need to talk to someone about that talking.

What the heck?

Then, I come from work, and John tells me that he noticed a mark on Trea's leg. He asked her where she got it.

Trea: Do you want to know how it happened?
John: Yes.
Trea: Once a upon a time, me and mommy and Adia went shopping. And Adia kicked me. That's how it happened.

Except we haven't been shopping, of late, and Adia (teeny tiny thing that she is) probably couldn't leave a mark even if she did kick Trea.

Work is looking better. The capable, qualified, very nice person Kate hired to work on Mon/Wed has agreed to also work on Tues/Thurs, which means we won't have a gap when my coworker retires at the end of this week. The search is on for a replacement for the girl going to grad school. Kate has received many resumes, and three of them are actually qualified. Woo-hoo!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Drama Drama Drama

As I may have mentioned before, we have three teachers leaving the school. Kate, so far, has hired one replacement. It's not like she's not trying to hire replacements, it's just not that easy. Apparently there is a dearth of qualified ESL teachers who want to work 17 hours a week, some of it at night, and deal with volunteers not showing, students not showing, never having as much money as we'd like, etc. Go figure. Kate actually hired a teacher who backed out, then hired another teacher who didn't work out for reasons I will not go into. Then, another teacher gave her two-week notice last night. I've been at my job for almost four months, and in a few weeks I will be the third most-senior staff member (including the director) out of a staff of seven. That's a little nuts.

I'm trying to convince Kate that this is a great opportunity, that the experience she's losing in her staff will be compensated for by the enthusiasm of newly hired - and probably newly graduated - teachers. So far it's not working.

On a separate note, I am outraged with the Criminal Justice system. One of my students is studying Civics (i.e.. preparing for the Citizenship test) as a condition of her probation. I called her PO today to make sure we were meeting the requirements, because she was told to take the class until it was finished. And they referred her to us, an open-entry, open-exit program (therefore, no start, and no finish). Her PO basically told me that he's not sure what the judge wanted, exactly; that she should attend until she's off probation (umm, ok, I don't know what she did but couldn't that be a realllly long time?) and that the judge ordered the class because he saw her immigration status and figured it couldn't hurt. WTH? I don't know her immigration status but I'm thinking she's probably legal or they'd be threatening deportation. So, even though she's (presumably) legal, he saw the brown skin and figured she needed educating? Give me a break. This is ridiculous. I wish I could find out exactly what she did, because she seems very nice and meek and her attendance has been good. I just don't see the lawbreaker.

Rant over.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Attention, London 2012 Olympics

We have a suggestion for you.

Olympic fencing would be so much more interesting, John says the other night, if it weren't just straight back-and-forth movement in a confined area. So I started thinking, why don't they hold Olympic fencing competitions on movie sets? The qualifying rounds should be held in the room where Inigo Montoya killed the six-fingered count in "The Princess Bride." Semi-finals, in the cave where Captain Jack Sparrow killed Captain Barbosa in the first "Pirates of the Caribean." Medal rounds will take place at the tops of the Cliffs of Insanity.

Who wouldn't want to watch that? Extra points awarded for witty repartee.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Good things all around

I had a new tutor start on Thursday night. She is wonderful. First off, she showed up, on time. Already she is ahead of the tutor who was supposed to start on Tuesday night, and failed to show (and that tutor is also a member of the board, so that makes things. . . awkward). Second, this new tutor, M., is engaging and flexible (um, hey, I know it's your first night, but could you take two extra students? Really? Thanks!). Third (and this is the absolute icing on the cake) she's a speech pathologist. She is exceptionally skilled at teaching people to make sounds they don't know how to make, thereby improving their pronunciation and allowing them to be understood. Unbelievably useful when you're teaching ESL. I'm hoping to pick up some tips from watching her and talking to her.

Also, one of my students passed her citizenship test on Thursday. It was her second attempt, so if she'd failed, she'd have to start all over. I'm so, so, so happy for her. She's so sweet and really wanted this. I got several huge hugs and a couple of kisses on the cheek from her on Thursday night. If I can just get my other student, who retakes the test in three weeks, to pass, I won't ask for any more miracles this year.

Finally . . . happy birthday Dad! I love you!