Wednesday, October 18, 2006

1,000th Post! Or, A Little of Everything

I decided to take the plunge to Blogger Beta and found out this is my one thousandth time posting. Sweet! I'm really looking forward to putting labels on all my old posts.

The last couple days have been hectic and tiring.
I loved all the comments about travel! Unfortunately, none of you agreed. And I always get shy about spending loads of money, so I've put it off. Naturally, prices have gone up for every city except Frankfurt. I'm not sure what I'm going to do.
The other day I got some more CDs and I immediately loved Brandi Carlile. She's folk rock with a twinge of country, and it's just perfect. I played it as much as I could today in my classroom. I couldn't wait to get home and put it on the ipod so I can listen in the car.

She's opening for Shawn Colvin next month. It's on a Tuesday at Town Hall. Corinne Bailey Rae is also performing there, in December.

I just listened to the KT Tunstall album for the first time too, and I really liked it. Not just the radio songs, either. Always a pleasant surprise.
Yesterday I cried. Because of a parent. It was the first school-related tears in many, many months; I really thought I was over that stage. But it was just so frustrating and I was so indignant. This woman called the school and someone transferred the call to my classroom without warning me, and proceeded to talk over me and yell at me for fifteen minutes. And only that short because either her phone cut out or she hung up on me.

There were students and a teacher in my room at the time, and I felt awful that they had to hear it.
Anyway, this woman kept repeating the same things over and OVER again and speaking over me anytime I said more than two words. Half the words I said were, "Excuse me. Excuse me! EXCUSE ME!! I was speaking--Please let me finish!" I lost all pretence of politesse, but I didn't care. She kept saying that she was coming in to speak to the principal. I said, 'Okay, can I also sit down with you to show you the things I have about [your child]?' Her response: 'I tell you something! I will call sick to my job and come see the principal!" This exact exchange must have taken place four times before she actually ANSWERED the QUESTION and said that no, she would not see me. More round-abouts about seeing the principal, and not having to talk to me. Eventually I said, 'So I'll give my paperwork to the principal and he can show it to you.' "I don't need to see anything by you!" I said frankly, "Well, that's inappropriate and it's rude."
Oh! Near the end she accused me of letting her child possibly die! That was great. I nearly laughed out loud in shocked bemusement.
There was a lot, A LOT, more. I was very tense and wound up, as I always am when dealing with obnoxious parents.

I left my room to go tell the principal about all this and warn him about tomorrow. My AP intercepted me first and must have been able to see I was upset and that tears were coming. So all three of us sat down in the office and I told them through the tears about the conversation, the child in class that day, the times I've already spoken to this parent, the patterns of this child that have been evident from the first WEEK of school, etc. They looked at it, saw that I had everything to back myself up, that I'd done my part to contact the parent and keep up with everything.
They agreed she was out of line and they would support me totally.

I really feel so grateful and blessed to have administrators who know me as a person, who know me as a teacher, and who respect me for both. They know from experience (longtime readers may remember that awful mother from my first year) that I most certainly do NOT back down.

I cried more on the way home and later in the evening. I read some blogs and worked out and watched tv, but my mind was replaying everything the whole time. It was really frustrating and upsetting.

This morning the mother came in and I met with her and the AP. The mother said some of the same crazy-type things again, but not nearly as many, which I suppose is a relief. She ranted again, some more, but the AP kept her in check and called her on her bullshit.

I was hugely relieved to have it over with and not worry about it anymore. I was also relieved to be not the only witness for her strange behavior and claims.
Compline on Sunday was neat. It was held in this intimate, oddly-shaped church on the Upper West Side. Only a handful of people were in attendance. The group consisted of maybe eight men and two women, which seems unusual (Gregorian chant is a tradition from monasteries, I believe). There were also some instruments used: one of the women played a lap harp and this white-haired man played some kind of lap harmonica that looked like a small briefcase bellows. The harp-playing woman had the most amazing voice I've ever heard in person: a crystal clear, pure soprano that filled the air with gorgeous sound. Remember the singers in Riverdance? That's what this woman sounded like, a middle-aged lady with short hair and a plain face, whose voice spoke heaven.


One thing I forgot to mention from the other day is that we registered for Saturday's New York Cares Day. This event is all about school beautification, so I am doubly excited to volunteer. Plus, painting! I love painting--getting myself messy and making something else pretty. Come join the fun!

Back in Philly this summer, Boyfriend and I found a mojito kit at a department store. So now whenever he's over here on the weekends, we buy lime and mint and club soda and mix up some strong but tasty mojitos. This past weekend he remembered an idea we'd previously discussed--adding flavored syrup. I'd bought some cherry snow-cone syrup at Target, for making Italian sodas. They gave me a headache with all their sugary goodness, though, so the bottle has been sitting forgotten.

Well, we added some to the mojitos, and boy were they even tastier than ever! Prettier, too:


We returned to Pommes Frites for a snack before Compline. While walking back through Astor Place, we saw a couple girls carrying signs proclaiming FREE HUGS. I took a picture and then thought, what the hell. I got a couple hugs, and that never hurts anybody. I've gone through too many times lacking any hugs whatsoever, and it was no good. There were a couple cameras around and it was probably some big prank or joke or something. Or it was just a New York Moment!

You know the Columbus Circle roundabout? It's been under construction, right? I think I've only seen it that way. Well, it's done now. Very pretty fountains at night!


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Schoolgal said...

Consider yourself lucky because on Monday a parent from my school told a new teacher that she was going to beat her up after work.

Now it turns out her child was placed in our school years ago because his father threatened a teacher from this kid's original school.

Some parents do not want to face facts and unfortunately the teacher is the first one they blame.
Hang in there!

Astrid said...

1000th post! I say cheers to that! I think I can know finally explain the fireworks I saw in the sky earlier today! Good job there, Jules!