Tag Archives: school

Reflection: Worst Moments of 2020 (11th to 1st worst)

31 Dec

honorable mention-updated driver’s license.  In AZ, you don’t have to renew for like 25 years.  But my parents said soon, everybody had to transition to a special kind of license.  And if you didn’t you couldn’t fly.  So we went to do it one weekend, and online it made it sound so fast.  And all the info seemed like you just walk up and get it and leave.  But when we got there it was a DMV situation with lots of people and hours and hours of boring waiting.  And the germs!  I was freaking out (this was even before Covid-19 was known at all) b/c I HATE getting sick.  We got the license, and we managed not to get sick.  But what a let down.

10-Sneakers were banned from work except on Friday.  I wrote a well-thought, sincere letter trying to persuade leadership to reconsider and allow fashion sneaks.  This was the first time I had EVER spoken out at this job.  I barely talked for the first year I worked there, due to McKesson PTSD.  And I finally found an issue important to me, and carefully, and thoughtfully tried to address it.  They just reiterated policy and acted very corporate, not human, about it.  What a waste.  The whole thing just made me feel like a number or something.  Then, I had to jump through a bunch of hoops to get an ADA pass to wear sneakers to work.  It is very heavy-handed.

9-Pride month got hijacked by BLM.  And I had been really looking forward to it, but there was no to-do at all for it.  Obviously, nothing physical was going on, but I didn’t even get to post, like 1 rainbow anywhere.  And “hijacking #BLM” was pretty much shamed and stigmatized on social media.  I wasn’t allowed to even talk about it. P.S. Pride is necessary. Trans people suicide and violence by others is sky-high. Bisexuals are erased. Gender nonconforming need logistical concerns met by society. Conversion therapy is still practiced. Closeted teens still self-harm, and out-teens go homeless. It isn’t frivolous to celebrate Pride!

8-Arguing with Covidiots on Twitter.  At first, I assumed people didn’t know.  And I watch news twice a day and listen to podcasts daily, so I was getting information quickly.  I tried to educate, and that was a losing battle.  I would refute their nonsense and write facts, but people would argue, tweet by tweet for like, days, at a time.  I soon realized it wasn’t legitimate lack of knowledge on their part but selfishness, political-brainwashing, and willful ignorance.  Now, I do not engage with any individual, b/c it would make me rageful and insane.  I’ll just put a fact-based tweet in general, or navigate away entirely.

7-I had the high of knowing my dink-Supervisor transferred departments.  I had been keeping a log of all his infractions, and had been talking to his boss about it, who (mostly seemed annoyed I was saying anything, and making her work) assured me he was on a mediation plan.  So it was really a happy moment to find he wasn’t going to be in my life any more.  And I wondered what new blood would be in charge of my team.  I hoped I could start out on the right foot with them.  And I hoped they would care a lot more, and be a go-getter, and really make a positive change!  Oh the possibilities!  But my supervisor was replaced with this other guy I had previously worked with, who can be arrogant/condescending/sexist/dinky.  I had been hoping for just someone new and better–so it was a big disappointment that one dink, was replaced with the ONLY other person at the job I didn’t like.

6-My (now) former supervisor wanted me to go to advanced training.  When I asked if it was in the work building and was concerned about going back physically because of Covid-19, he yanked me out of training.  I had to go to H.R. about it because the training was never even planned to be in the building, it was over Zoom, and you can’t yank someone’s promotional opportunity because you’re a Covidiot that doesn’t believe in science.  But it felt bad to have to fight for public health, fight to keep my promotional opportunity. So after a year, I had finally spoken. I asked about the shoes. But then, my supervisor kept doing shitty things, and after I had documented like 30 terrible things, I felt like I had to say something. But now this very important thing came up– and now I’m considered a squeaky wheel. Which is not accurate.

5-Difficulty, time, and struggle to get things delivered from about March to late August?  Toilet paper, Clorox-Wipes, Lysol, and a lot of the food we usually keep on hand were out.  And I was having to repeatedly check Costco, Walmart, Amazon, the Dollar Store, etc… just to get basics.  When the pandemic first started, NONE of those companies were prepared, and everything was a hassle to impossible.  I had a toilet paper A (ration), B(napkins), (Magazine pages), D (leaves) emergency plan.  It’s funny, byt also not an exaggeration, and that made me anxious!

4-Password issue the first couple days of work from home.  I was locked out of my work account for 2 full work days.  And had to call IT and hold with them forever, be on the line with them for long times, and be so frustrated when their interventions were unsuccessful.  I felt stressed and guilty b/c it was literally the first week we were allowed to work from home, and I didn’t want my job to think I was taking advantage and fucking around.  But I also didn’t want to go into the building and get Covid-19, or get fired about it.  

3-My Prop 208 homework. Arizona has been gyped of education by many crooked CEOs, lobbyists, Koch Brothers, corrupts politicians, and as a result the schools are abysmal. I am big on education, because that really is a thing that pulls people up, and helps poverty, and helps people vote better. These things matter by the time a pandemic strikes. Also, my mom is a teacher, and I just think AZ can do better. So this proposition was supposed to tax wealthy individuals to help schools. But of course all the greedy grifters had a big disinformation campaign to trick Arizonans into voting against their best interests. So for 6 weeks leading up to the election, I took it upon myself to refute the scores of people bending facts, lying, and tricking voters about what the prop is, and who it impacts. And people here hate teachers. They have zero respect for the teaching profession and think the educators are over paid. And they regard school as free daycare, really. And a lot of Arizonans hate paying any taxes at all–even to educate kids. It was exhausting! I probably did 2 hours per day every single day of those 2 weeks, with a surge that last week. It was tiring arguing with liars, and trying to convince argumentative ignorants. The prop did pass-yay! But by the slimmest of margins (sad and maddening). And now those dirty money-hungry people are trying to overturn it in courts. gerr.

2-My mid-level manager routinely doesn’t read or pay attention.  And it’s totally annoying, b/c she’ll ask questions she should know, or could easily look up.  Or she’ll get after me, b/c she didn’t read properly.  We follow workflows, and my end point directed me to send the claim to her.  I sent a bunch of info including many numbers and 2 screenshots to this manager.  She didn’t understand it somehow–which is really stupid.  My (new) supervisor wrote to me telling me to make sure to include more info with my “questions” (but this was not a question, it was an endpoint on my workflow).  I asked what else I needed to send (b/c it was more than enough!) and he replied, “more.”  We went back and forth b/c there WAS NOTHING ELSE TO INCLUDE, it was ridiculous.  Honestly, I suspected he hadn’t read my initial e-mail either, he had glanced, seen the manager’s question, and lectured me without looking.  And I felt like instead of admitting I HAD sent more than enough–everything he listed, he doubled-down and gave a generic “more.”  I kept asking, “what else do you need?” Same answers.  Then he said to call him and he would explain it.  But I was like, “I keep a record, can’t you just type out a list of items I need to include in all emails?”  But he was still all, “I can only explain it on the phone.”  Which I also thought was a croc, but I didn’t want to get in trouble for insubordination, so I reluctantly called.  And he literally said exactly what he said before!  He had my email up on a shared screen, and I heatedly asked what other info they needed.  I even told him I suspected the manager wasn’t opening claims, reading notes/remarks, or paying attention to workflows. And he defended that! He said management is very busy, couldn’t I just send more? He said, “more” again when I asked what, specifically–and I LOST MY TEMPER.  The whole exchange was a fucking ridiculous charade.  I sent enough info, but the manager either didn’t look at stuff or was being dumb, and this Supervisor didn’t read the fucking initial e-mail and just assumed I hadn’t sent everything.  And his tone on this unnecessary phone call was jovial, and he was like, “Is that cool?”  And I said something to the effect of, “No it is NOT cool, but you are my supervisor, so yes, sir, whatever you want.”  It was a completely inappropriate way to speak to an authority.  Not what I’m going for at work.  But he was being such a (misogynistic) douche!  An attitude of like, ‘this dumb bitch is so stupid, I’m going to put her in her place because she’s just a silly woman who doesn’t understand things.’ After the call, I sent him 3 egregious examples of the manager not reading or looking or paying attention. I had saved them, b/c this was becoming a chronic issue. And he defended her! Which is crazy. So whatever the fuck…

1-Goose got very sick with the herp.  He’s already under-weight, and we’re always trying to get him to eat more.  We give him appetite stimulant, but he still doesn’t get enough.  When he got herpes in that already weakened state, it hit him so hard.  And he was completely stuffed up to the point he had to open mouth gasp like a blowfish.  So it was extremely concerning.  He didn’t move, didn’t eat, and felt terrible.  Even though we’re home for work, ordering all groceries delivery, and not going anywhere–I took Goose to the vet.  They didn’t offer that much.  Their big plan was to send a can of food.  But I remembered how the feline exclusive treated cats and requested those items.  He did recover, but I was terrified this was the end.

Tough Anthem Song

20 Jul

I was naive, just wanted to please

I had that big dream, [softer, in the background] You embodied it

I didn’t have that opportun-ity,

kept get-ting dragged down

My fault, grades weren’t my only prior-ity

I was left hanging, my-life rearranging

Needed fam-iliar-ity

I came with baggage, you had it too

I realized too late your un-cer-tain-ty.

I was a buffer, no a-type-ah replace-ment

You left me absolutely nobody.

 

When I look in the mirror it

reflects my innermost spirit

spit the word “no” I won’t hear it

my motivations don’t fear it

 

Your harsh words made my skin thicker

Your head games made my mind quicker

Moved away from you– made my heart richer

Your cold shoulder showed I’m the vic-tor

You’re working that much harder, [softer, in the background] who’s the loser now?

 

You bruise me, you’ll never bust me

my mindset is such a tough one

Ignore the hate I’m so scrappy

Eat shit, I’m gonna be happy

 

all that sacrifice

and several rolls of the dice

Got me livin’ my best life

not exactly no more strife

but most of the days are mostly nice

 

 

 

Fall-Back LVT [Part 4]

26 Mar

This post was written 6 years ago now, and I still agree with the sentiment.  I had to close the book on veterinary work entirely in order to move forward.  And it would have been too easy to fall back on that job had I tested into my (licensed veterinary technician) LVT.  Which I may have done because it took me pretty much 5 of the last 6 years to get into a new field.  There were entry-level jobs, bad hours, nonsense social situations that I had to go through to start over.  But finally, finally I got through it and into something else that works for me.

It wouldn’t be a big deal time-wise to keep Saturday and do the cleaning. And I almost agreed to this right when I was resigning.

BUT–part of the reason I had to resign in the first place was to stop living by fear and just pull the trigger. You can’t reach for new goals in life, if you’re still grasping onto the past. I need to fully let go of the veterinary part of my life. It’s sad because it has been a huge part of my whole being. For 14 paid years, and longer then that it’s all I’ve known. But I’ll always be that person (a little bit) and I can hold onto the memories without holding on to the job.

I relate my LVT story to my boss: Washington lets people with such & such experience test-in to their LVT credential. You have to jump through a few hoops, but it’s easier then paying for 2 years of technical school. And I would have to study for their standardized test, but I know if I tried for it, I would be successful. And if I got those letters behind my name it would be beneficial. I could get any job because of the LVT + my experience. I would command a higher paycheck automatically. I would be seen as “legit” to anyone.

I ultimately decided not to do it. Not for lack of time or fear of failure. I did not want to be able to fall back on tech work. I didn’t want to even have the option of turning back on this new career path and settling for my current job. I didn’t want to feel fear or experience failure and have the ability to regress back to what I know best–veterinary assistant/tech work. I want to grow and move forward, and the LVT could potentially stall me and hold me back.

And so it goes with my current job. Even though I could get it done. And it would alleviate some financial stress–it would be too easy to fall back into veterinary assisting. If I got scared or failed in my new field, I could so easily crawl back to Cats Meow and beg my job back. And I don’t want that to even be an option. Despite my great fear of the unknown, financial instability, and failure–I want to make a clean break from veterinary medicine and move on.

I will be scared. Scared about money and scared about being able to break into a new arena where I have no experience. But that fear will be what compels me to whole-heartedly, without reservation sprint to my goal of being an audiologist.

Goodbye veterinary medicine (hopefully forever). It’s been good, it’s been stressful. It’s been rewarding and thankless. I’ve had fun and I’ve also been burned out. But it had comprised the center of my life, and I’m closing the book so I can start reading a new one. Hello, audiology–I’m ready to embrace you with every fiber of my being!

Loyalty and Fear [part 2-ish]

6 Mar

Also a post from years ago that I never posted.  I reaffirms I didn’t get out of the field lightly.  I agonized.  But I ultimately did it because I was giving my everything and people still treated me–just politely.  They acknowledged how much they needed me and how much I was doing, but I still wasn’t part of things.  It just wasn’t worth it.

I didn’t know what to do–I felt uneasy.  Worried.  The longer I have the 4.0 GPA, the more I fear losing it.  At this point, I would do just about anything to maintain it–those grades weren’t easy to get.

So I called my parents.  My mom would be at school until 6:45PM, so I talked to Dad.  I told him of my latest work saga, how I was stressed and worried, and confused.  And he reminded me of where I got my work ethic and sense of commitment from–he told me to buck up.  Not in a mean way, just in a this sucks, but you can do it, and that’s what needs to be done.  I told me to do the extra work, study, and sleep less.  Bathe less if I had to.  He talked of 4 on-4 off shifts in the Navy and how rigerous it was and how painful the lack of sleep had been.  He didn’t like it, but he put his head down and got it down.  He reminded me of working the potato farm for 2 cents an hour–back-breaking, long work, with prick boss and coworkers giving him constant $hit.  My dad had done thankless, physical work with no thanks and little pay his whole life–I could make it for half a semester.

And I thought-Yes!  THAT’S who I am as a person.  I’m hard-working and dedicated.  When my team needs me to step up, I will do it for the good of everyone.  And I decided I would just have to buckle down, work required 35% more than I already am, AND maintain my grades.  I had to do it, so I might as well get on board.

And later, I read my mom my glowing work evaluation from 12 days before–all the lovely things written about my productivity, motivation, knowledge, judgement, excellent animal restraint, that my boss prefers the days I work, the A-team comment.  Then, I read the texts between my boss and me from 3 days before (10 days after the eval).  It proved they acknowledge how hard I work, and how I benefit the business, and the way they still treat me.

But then, I still couldn’t sleep.  And I thought–why am I still unsettled about work?  I made my decision.  I’m going to pull this out–what’s left to toss and turn over?  And it kept nagging at me.  So I prayed.  I prayed during my sleepless night for a sense of direction.  Please help me make the right decision so I can feel better and so I can sleep again.  And I tossed and tossed some more.  No sleep–and no answers were had.

Then, a literal 2 minutes before my morning alarm was to go off, and I still had not slept.  I dosed off very briefly and had a dream (I rarely remember dreaming) when I did.  In the dream, I was working at the boarding facility that I had interviewed at this last August, when all the Friday-schedule drama was going on at work.  In the dream, the owners were talking and laughing with me, and my co-workers were friendly and seemed to genuinely like me.  Our employers were taking everyone out for fast food, because we had done such a good job at work.  And I felt like somebody in the dream.  They were treating me like a person!

Then my alarm went off.  I knew the answer, and also know the dream was a result of my prayers.  I had confidence.  Something I had never felt about this decision before.  I had to resign.  And it wasn’t in a mean way or on a whim.  It wasn’t even based on this current situation.  Mostly, because I also woke up with this overwhelming sense that I had been fighting the right decision this whole time.  I had known for a long while that I needed to quit–but I had stayed out of loyalty and because of fear.  But this morning, it all fell into place and I felt at peace with it.

And of course I’ll be scared.  Losing stability and income.  Facing the unknown.  Change.  Complete loss of that part of myself–veterinary employee.  That’s 14.5 years of my life and all I know.  It’s scary.  But not worth staying.  Even if I can’t find a job, and even if I’m worried and scared about money–I’ll know I made the right choice for me.  I won’t regret it.

Like I will tell my boss–I didn’t make this decision lightly, and it wasn’t based on any one factor.  Also, I’m sorry that the right decision for me may negatively affect others–that’s not my intention.  That’s what I will say if when people ask me why, or confront me.  And when they treat me badly in those last 2 weeks:  1)  I won’t like it.  2)  it won’t be so different from the way they always treated me.  I never felt a part of their group.  At first I figured it was because of the age-difference, but now that newer, younger hires are included and treated nicely–I know it’s just me.  Maybe it’s because I’m not all i-phone-centric.  Who knows.  3) if they get nasty and say salty things, I will just tell them if that what they think of me after almost 4 years–it just re-affirms that I’m making the right decision.  Because if they don’t know my work ethic, sense of duty, or moral compass by now–they are never going to.

Work Woes. Again and still. [Part 1]

6 Mar

This is from years ago, but reading it reminds me of the mentality of high stress, low pay, just be part of the team and suck it up–which I always  had (to my own detriment).  This was the beginning of me wondering if it was worth it.  I was looking at the costs and benefits, and the costs were quickly exceeding any benefits.

It’s not wise to post this on here–because you just never know who might read it.  But I don’t know where else to turn to think things through.  I am unable to concentrate on my studies (which I desperately need to do) and I need to talk myself though this stress.

Juuuuust when I think everything at work is OK, and maybe even good–they turn it upside down.  Last week, I had my evaluation where I was called “A-team,” productive, good knowledge, and told how valuable my morning clean/prep schedule was.  Today, we were pulled into an impromptu meeting declaring everyone would have to turn in times they can’t work, because our full-time gal would be gone for 6-8 weeks and we all had to pull extra.  My boss has a mind to just hand us all a revised schedule, without our input.  Also the specific dates aren’t available, the specific number of hours extra weren’t specified other then “lots and lots,” and no hint of discussion/collaboration was given.

So Fridays are back in-play.  And Thursdays too.  Forget about my part-time hours, because I have the most “extra” to give–they don’t give a fu(k about my class/study time.  No one cares that I’m only getting part-time benefits, and as such I want and need part-time hours.  Even for “just 6-8 weeks.”  We all know what that turns into (spoiler:  longer, maybe forever).  I have to study outside of class and have time to do the required assignments to do WELL in the classes.  With just 4 courses left, I’m not giving up my 4.0 GPA.  Not for work, not for anybody.  And when I ask for specifics, and say I’m stressed out–the mentality is the same ‘ol same ‘ol:  just deal with it; we’re all in the same boat and all stressed; this is veterinary medicine so this sort of thing is expected.

But maybe it’s too much for me.  I really CANNOT deal with 6-8 full Fridays, I probably can’t even deal with one  full Friday!  And I certainly can’t do 12 Thursday/Friday combos.  But at work, my psychological state comes last–it’s after the bookkeeper’s, after the LVT, and certainly after the appointment-load.  I come last.  I am willing to compromise, but with my school schedule I already feel stretched as tightly as I can manage–I don’t think I have MORE to give work.

So I’m thinking I might finally just do it.  Maybe the finger has been giving me so much constant, continuous strife at a place where I work HARD and am dedicated, honest, productive, diligent, and loyal–because I’m meant to leave.  Why else would work constantly treat me like a punching-bag?  How much more can they take out of me?  I really feel like I have nothing more to give.

Even though there are very few job prospects HERE.  Especially with a school-schedule that has to be worked around, and one that changes by the semester at that.  Even though I have no marketable skills.  Even though the only skills I do have would be more of the same–and maybe worse.  I just can’t deal.  I’m trying to be a better person, but this job keeps dragging me down.  I just think I’m settled into a compromise both work and I can live with–and they change the rules on me.  Then act like I’m a $hit-head because I don’t like it and it makes me worry.  I don’t think I can keep on like this anymore.  I deserve better, and I want more stability then that.

And I’m finally in a financial position where maybe I could afford to quit.  I could use my surplus school loan money (that I’ve been saving for Colorado-moving purposes) to live on until I can find another job.  And until I find another job, I can tutor at school, and maybe even kids.  And there was a possibility my independent study could become a paid position.  So I could afford to live AND work on my resume’ in the field I’m trying to get into.

But that might make me worry too.  Because it would be difficult trying to find a job AND study appropriately.  And no one likes to worry that their money is dwindling.  And what if I couldn’t ever find a job?  What would I do?  And if I used all my loan money to live on HERE how will we ever afford to move away?  Would this just make me more crazy than just sticking out the possible 12 full days, committing to a work-load that might jeopardize my grades, and the stress of whatever the NEXT work-demand will be?

I just don’t know what to do.  And I have to decide fast, because my two weeks notice would already be close to the 6-8 week span of time, and the point is to try to AVOID that scene.  So I really have to submit a resignation no later then Monday if it’s going to benefit me.

Switch Career Paths

4 Mar

Less like paths and more like swimming across an ocean and climbing a mountain, maybe two mountains.

I was always wanting to be a vet from the time I was little, all through grade school, and even in college and beyond.  And that didn’t work out. And I have many things to say about how I would have been great, should have gotten in to vet school, should have been able to get a loan or cosigner to attend vet school when I did finally get in…  How people got in that shouldn’t have.  How coworkers of mine gamed the system or just had more money/opportunity so they got in over me.  But this post is not about that (though the sentiments still stand).

It works out now.  I never thought I would feel that way.  But now work-life balance, my relationship, my home, fun activities–those are all really important to me.  My life is a lot better now than it would be if I was consumed by my work.  And I don’t see any other way to be a good, caring vet then to be invested in your work, patients, and clients most of the times.  I wouldn’t be able to just put it out of my mind.  I’d be preoccupied with cases, the stresses of what to prepare for daily, and what to finish.  And if I was a vet I would be mostly working, or tired from work.    It would be never-ending, all work, work, work.  I’m glad that’s not my life.  Now.

At the time, and when it was all falling apart, that’s all I wanted.  And understand, I would have made it work!

But after going after one thing for so long, everything pointed toward that thing:  My degree, my experience, all my jobs, the things I knew, the skills I had–pretty much all geared toward that failed dream.  You can’t just jump right into something else.  Or anything else.

It was difficult to decide what to do–I wasn’t really interested in anything else.  And it was hard to sell a resume full of vet-preparation to ANY other job.  I had a big challenge getting out of that field.  I worked at the YMCA, a lab, then had to go back to a vet hospital for lack of anything else at the time.  It sucked.  Then I did healthcare call center.  And I was really good at that.  But I didn’t like that much structure and micromanagement.  And now I really like my Insurance Analyst job:  Not client-facing, no phones either, autonomy, detail-oriented, helps people still.

But it took from 2012 to 2020 to get into anything (stable) aside from vet hospitals or animal-related stuff.  That’s 8 years!  Of actively trying to get into any other job.  That’s crazy.  It’s so weird to think about.  Anyway, that is all, just everything in my life had to change.  And I was upset at everything being thrown away, no dream/goal accomplished, so much time wasted, so many things I should have been doing instead…  But I’m happy now, not burned out like I might be.

This Weird Thing Happened to Me in 5th Grade

14 Jan

I was a teacher’s kid.  So pretty much, whatever teacher was best, my parents could request and get for me.  No problem.

The fifth grade teachers all came to my fourth grade class to introduce themselves.  It would be the first time we’d changed school buildings.  My elementary at the time only had space for K-4, then you went to the middle school for 5-8, then HS for 9-12.

There was an old gal, with a whisper of a voice.  No way did I want some soft-spoken grandma!  There was some fat lady who looked mean.  Nope.  The known best teacher in the fifth grade (who pretty much every parent requested)

came in and I instantly had a strong dislike/aversion to her.  She was in 4 inch heels.  Totally impractical, uncomfortable, and girly.  How the fuck was she supposed to watch us in the gravel at recess?  Her outfit was a form-fitting pencil skirt and suit jacket.  I instantly thought she was ridiculous.  I was like, offended, by her.  WTF?  The teacher I set my heart on looked athletic.  She had short blonde hair, wore comfortable looking sneakers, and in the Q&A portion said she loved sports.  Travis, the boy who had ended up with every same teacher I’d had from 1-4th grade enthusiastically wanted in her class.  So did I.

I knew my parents wanted me to have the best (most girly) teacher, but I insisted I wanted the sporty one.  And they let ME pick.

I was still a kid.  Not aware of fashion, oblivious of any pre-teen stuff.  I was not cool at all–that wasn’t even on my radar.  Still a baby really.

My best friend had many older siblings, so she was more interested in teenage things.  She liked makeup and wanted boobs very badly.

The teacher played music in the background of class, and I liked that.

The class held up posters to a song that went with a book we read, Bridge to Teribithia? I can’t remember exactly, but I do remember how proudly and excitedly each group raised their poster during the assigned portion of the song.

The teacher talked about going to the re-up of Woodstock Music Festival and how the people from New York had funny accents.

We read Where the Red Fern Grows and watched the movie, too.  I was disappointed the death scene wasn’t the graphic depiction we had read in the book.

She also talked about how Ellen (the sitcom of Ellen Degeneres, which was in it’s non-notorious early days) was so funny.  And that made me watch it.

My teacher’s endometriosis falls like a blanket over the entire year, touching everything.  Making a great impact.

We had silent reading what felt like a lot, and the teacher let us sit under our desks.  It felt like a fort, and I really liked that.  My best friend introduced me to magazines:  YM, Seventeen, and Teen mostly.

My class continuously went out to the track.  I’m not sure if this was normal for my teacher with every class, or if she just wasn’t feeling well a lot and took us outside to have a break.

We had substitute after substitute, and that felt like having no teacher at all.

The other kids were happy we weren’t doing that much, like they were able to get away from something.  But I like learning, and I felt a little disappointed despite the fun.

That was when you could still watch any ol’ movie in school.  I must have seen every Disney classic out in that span of time, and I must have watched The Lion King at least 5 times just in school.

I loved to write, and my teacher gave (just) me (that I know of) a blank journal that I could fill up because she noticed that I had an interest in writing poetry.  I felt special and I felt like she recognized potential in my writing.

Math had always been a struggle for me, and 5th grade was the year I really fell behind and never caught up–mostly due to so many subs and so much track-walking.

Our teacher asked my best friend and I to take flowers she had received (from her boyfriend? if I remember correctly what she said) into the empty classroom while everyone was at recess.  My best friend was nosy and initiated snooping through the teacher’s desk drawers–she had candy in there.  Though not enough that we would go unnoticed if we took some.

I put my middle finger to my eye in a covert flipping off of a particularly annoying substitute that made known I was a teacher’s kid–a label I had been trying to downplay after graduating out of the school both my parents worked at.

One day, the class was silently reading (seated at our desks) and the teacher called me up to her desk.  She was practicing her signature over and over and asked me which one looked the best.  While I was scrutinizing the names on the paper, out of the corner of my eye I could see the teacher unzipping her pants.  Remember, the whole class is in the same room, just feet away, reading silently.  I quickly pointed at whatever signature, said “that one,” and started to make a hasty retreat to my desk.  She asked, (and I’ll never forget this as long as I live) “Would you like to touch my ovary?”  I said a quick, “No thanks” and rushed back to my seat.

I don’t think she was trying to be a perv or anything like that.  I think she knew I wanted to be a veterinarian, and had an interest in science.  And she thought it might be educational?  And we were inside a room full of other kids, not obscured or private in any way.  I thought it was odd then and I think it’s super-strange today.  What was she thinking?

And I wasn’t shamed or secretive about the incident at all.  I told my best friend (a known blabber-mouth), my parents, it wasn’t something I kept quiet.  Today, that teacher would probably be fired for doing that, maybe even get hauled into court and possibly labeled a sexual offender.  But this was the 1990s and I guess everyone just thought–‘hmm, that’s weird, and maybe poor judgement…’

I mean, I have suffered no psychological damage from it or anything, so I’m glad nothing really came of it.  Though my mom is adamant that she did go talk to that teacher, and even swore at her (which doesn’t sound like something she would do), but I have zero recollection of that at all.  None.  And I feel like I would.  So I guess a conversation was had.

Mostly, I use that as a funny story to bring up that sounds far-fetched.