Thursday, April 28, 2011


It may be just me however, when you have a kid who should be in a life skills class, tests 2nd grade level, sending him to  8th grade science just might not be the best idea. One of my students had a major meltdown in science today, yelling stomping, slaming doors...the whole nine yards as Gee would say. His frustration level was through the roof and the tutor just kept on pushing his buttons and when he asked to leave the class she told him no. That was enough, major eruption.

He was frustrated because he can't read well enough to work on his own. He asks for help he gets I'm not doing it for you, you have to try. Well how can I try if I can't read the words....round and round they go. Yes I am condencing the whole story, it has been going on for months. She doesn't want to work with him, he doesn't want to work with her....she says he's rude, he says she doesn't listen..... Really why are you arguing with a 13 year old?? Getting angry, loud, or loosing your cool in any fashion just feeds the beast. How are you to maintain control of a situation when you don't maintain control of yourself??

 I don't want to sound like it was all the tutors fault, it wasn't, but she continues to ask how best to deal with him because she doesn't "do" behaviors, whatever that's supposed to mean. I have told her more than a few times if he asks to be left alone just leave him, I will take care of any work he needs to do during accademic support. That is like a study but with more instruction. She doesn't listen, continues to push. What she wants is for me to take her spot in the science class. First it isn't up to me, second I have three 7th grade boys that are very close to failing the year during that block and third you need to do your job...

I feel I am ranting. I am frustrated too! I know "they" are the ones with the degrees, but I'm the one who works with these kids they call behaviors. I'm the one they come to when they are frustrated and are trying to hold it together. I'm the one who hears and sees how they are treated by some of the staff. Yes they can be rude and just plain pains in the ass. They are also just kids who's issues sometimes get in the way. How are we to help them learn to control their issues when those who are there to help can't control their own?? I don't want to sound like I think I have all the answers, I know I don't. Some one has to have some common sense in that place...

Ok I'll get off the soap box..........until next time!

Monday, April 25, 2011


Well Easter went better than expected. I can't say it was easy, the demon tried to raise its ugly head, but Jack kept him at bay. Gee would get such a kick out of "Scooter", his name for him, he is such a little spit fire. Took him about 2 seconds to figure out the egg hunt, had no fear riding in the jeep with Patricks boys, and came to me to pick him up!! Not that he never comes but if Katie is close he wants his Mama, as it should be.

I go back to work for the final push of the year...8 more weeks. Two of which are MCAS testing. I hope things settle into some kind of a routine for me. I just think things at the school are so disconnected. Like the old saying the right hand doesn't let the left hand know what it's doing.

 Rachel will be home in 2 weeks for the summer. She has an internship at the Nursing Home down the street. A friend runs the place, so I called for a favor. Sue had talked with the social workers before calling me back, they are thrilled to have her come in. She meets with her next weekend. What will be great for her they have hospice patients also. She is leaning towards hospice or the elderly. From what her teachers tell her there is a great need in both those areas.  It would be wonderful if it was paid, but it will pay off in the long run. She is taking an on line class over the summer and looking for a paid job. Don't want her to spread herself to thin, but I have to let it be her choices.

The bank has decided to take a chance on me, I have been approved for my refinancing. That takes a huge weight off my shoulders. We close on the 5th of May. I really don't know what I feel about it all. I guess it's the anticipation, who knows. Anyway the day has a high note after all!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Demon Waits

April 18th marked 4 months that Gee has been gone. When I stay busy things go well. Days like today, drab and rainy, brings sadness. I have asked a woman I work with who lost her husband a few years ago, how long it took her......she says she's still waiting. It never leaves she says, it hides in the shadows waiting to emerge from the darkness like a demon. Always unexpected when it happens. She can be watching her grandchildren playing and she thinks Danny would love this and out jumps the demon bringing sadness where there once was joy.

I am planning to go to my sisters for Easter. Rachel, Clayton, Katie and Jack will go also. It will be the first family thing I attend since Gee died. I don't really want to go, the "demon" will raise his ugly head I am sure. This will tell me if like Ruth, do I avoid  these types of gatherings all together whenever possible.

My brother is coming in July. I long to see my brother Bruce. I know I will dissolve into tears as I did when I saw Neil that first protectors when I was little.  I know this because the thought of it brings tears now as I write. What is it that I hope this homecoming will bring, I don't know. All I know is he is a kind and gentle man who always seems to know what to say, how to help.

For now the demon and I will continue to put one foot in front of the other everyday. To just keep going forward. I wonder if my writing helps or hurts? Gee always said if left alone to retreat into the dark places in ones mind hurtful memories dull their painful edge over time.They sleep not wanting to be disturbed. Do I keep sharpining the pain by writting, waking that sleeping pain? Goodness knows he had seen and done things in his life he did not want to remember. Not that I don't want to remember,I do. Right now my life is my memories. I would just like the demon to sleep more and not sit on my shoulder all day, everyday.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Joys of Homeownership and Other Things

Well this morning I was not very happy....I have a leak in the roof. I called a few places, all of three do slate, and a guy came out this morning. Gave me an estimate, I have about 6 slate that need to be replaced. Quick job about 4 hours of work. I can't tell you how relieved I am....all I could see was dollar signs flying our the window.

Freddie......he has been having tummy issues again. Eating grass, drinking alot of water and vomiting. We have gone back to the boiled beef/chicken and rice diet. I may just keep him on this all the time...he is almost 10 and handles it very well. He is still sleeping in the kitchen. I don't know what to do to help him get over the separation anxiety. He does ok when I'm at work, it's every other time he's left alone that he pees everywhere.

Rachel was inducted into Lambda Sigma on Sunday. I can't tell you how proud I am of her. She works so hard at everything she does. She has managed to over come her learning disability, by using strategies she learned in school, or asking for help. Spell check only catches so much. She is so level headed. When asked about her and Steve, where it's going she tells everyone the same thing....We both have way to much stuff to do before we get to that  place....yeah I'm relieved....I love Steve,  but they both have another 4 years of school.

I haven't seen Clayton, Katie and Jack as much as I would like. I did babysit last weekend but I would like to see him more. Everything is no right now, come here you like a he heads into the kitchen...Clayton hit a 2x4 traviling down the highway last week, tore up his front end and two tires. Thank goodness he's alright, it could have been alot worse...

It is April vacation, and I am planning a trip to Fitchburg State this week to see what kind of money I am elligable for. I know taking one or two classes a sismester will take a long time, but I'm not going anywhere that's for sure. Not like I'm retireing in the next couple of years....

Saturday, April 16, 2011

April Vacation

It is finally here!! It has seemed like forever to get here, and I had time off in March. I can imagine how the rest of the staff feels.

 I have ranted in the past of my new/old job. I find it ridiculous that one person can disrupt the lives of so many. I know the Dean means well. I actually like her, worked with her quite a bit last year as a teacher. She doesn't seem to think things through very well. How can she justify juggling the para's around with no rhyme or reason. Pull me out of classes where I work with 10 kids to babysit one who refuses to do anything, to pull another from a class where she is working with 10 kids to cover the ones I was with. I have students coming in 3 times a day....3 hours with something to do....and I have 3 hours with nothing to do because I have been replaced in those classes. Just in case they send someone up for their behavior, but it isn't in house suspension, ok right. I had suggested for the three hours I have nothing to do why don't I follow my old schedule. Her answer, we need to know where you are.......ok you have my old schedule, you gave it to me, you know where I am......good grief.....

So today I have two 6th grade boys walk in my room. Mrs D sent them. Ok why, they don't know, they weren't doing anything, (they refused to do a social studies was stupid)...... I'm sure, no one ever does anything, N you sit there, T you sit talking, no getting out of you seat, silence....anything else detention.......what are we supposed to do ,,,wait....we have nothing to do....not my problem......did Mrs D forget us?,,,,,,been known to happen......can you call need to go to science....not untill I talk to Mrs D....but I have a project to do.....should have thought of that before...........this is messed up.........we have lunch in 30 minutes.....maybe.... if Mrs D says you can go.....can you call her is stupid, this is messed up........stop talking....but this is stupid......You guys don't get it, this is not a fun place, this is where you come when you can't behave, you make poor choices, there is no talking, no walking around, nothing......there is waiting and then more do we get do what is expected of you ......then can we do we do when we are finished?......wait for Mrs D to let you out.....this is stupid......can you call

Yes Mrs D did come up and let them go to lunch with the rest of the 6th grade, and yes this is how I spent an hour of my day because two 6th grade boys thought they would be billy bad asses(Gee's words) and not do what was asked of them. For this I went to college......

June 19th can't come fast enough......last day of school for students!!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Baby Girl

Just had a phone call from Gee's niece Elaine, his sister Baby Girl, Rosella, has been very sick and in the hospital for more than 2 weeks. She had pneumonia, was dehydrated and was in real trouble when they finally got her to agree to go to the ER. She is now in a rehab center getting PT and having her heart monitored.

Baby Girl is the oldest girl, became the "mother"when their mother died. I think Gee and his twin sister Dee were 5 when she died. She came from Cleveland when Gee first got home from The Highlands. She was once again "playing mother" to him. She brought with her all kinds of stuff, food, oils, creams, and prayers. She got him to do alot more than anyone else could do. Got him out of bed, made him come to the kitchen in his wheelchair and other things. Gee said it was easier to just do what Baby Girl wanted than to listen to her if you didn't. Something he learned as a child. 

Having talked to Elaine I find it isn't just her family she cares for, its everyone. At almost 90 she still makes care visits to all the sick "brothers and sisters" of her church. Drives them to doctors appointments, traviling to church revivals and family reunions. She is a God fearing woman, living her life as she feels God wants her to, in his service bringing with her a quiet belief that she is doing Gods work on Earth.

When the time does come for her to leave her" family", I am sure  she will be welcomed with opened arms. There is not a harder worker in God service than this gentle woman who believes she is the "mother" of all.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Reality. I got a post card to tell me Gee's stone has been set at the cemetery. Why has this brought on a new bout of melancholy, I guess it brings a finality to it all. I have been in such a depressed state of mind. I hate what I'm doing right now, babysitting a bunch of brats that no one makes accountable for anything. Instead of helping someone learn how to find the hypotenuse of a triangle I am telling these brats over and over to sit down....right now Wal -Mart looks pretty good.

I have been just sad these past few days......could be the job, but I don't think that's it. My friend Lynda said its the coming spring. Another season without Gee. She said when her Dad died she went through something similar because spring was when her dad would re-emerge from his winter "hibernation" and start to visit more. I have also been getting things together to refinance the house, I need to talk to someone about a few repairs on the house, I have unclaimed property of Dads I need to take care of,  I want to talk to  financial aide  about going back to school, the yard work that needs to get done, the list is endless. It always was but now it is just my list not our list.

Gee's sisters will be coming soon. They have been very good calling me every few weeks. Babygirl has just added me to her list of people she needs to care for.  The mother of the clan I suppose. Clayton has found that their grandfather Jessie was born a slave on the Gullatt plantation in Georgia. Brings the whole concept of slavery from distant history to part of our own history. My children's great-grandfather was born a slave, and the name they carry comes from the  man who owned him.

The reading class I was in has been reading a book, Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry, written about a family of black farmers in the 1930's. Gee was born in 1934...this book reflected many of the stories he has told over the years. Picking cotton, being hungry, carefully making his way in the south as a black child. We come from such different places fate or God, take your pick, must have wanted us together. How else would we ever have found each other.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

project support hell

I am back in the hell of project support. I have spent the day babysitting a brat who refuses to do what is expected of him. I get to sit in a room all day while this pain in my ass tells me he doesn't have to do anything, his ed plan says he can't get suspended or get a detention, so there isn't anything the office can do to him.

This I have been hand picked for, so says the Dean of Students, because I'm so good at what I do....they are going to have me speak to the other teachers on our next professional development day on how best to deal with these kids.....I thought she was I told her my speaking fee was $5000 an appearance....this is where she tells me she is serious,(I don't believe her) ... I told her so was I.

I just want to go back to what I know will help someone. Does the brat deserve an education, yes he does. Is it ok for him to be such a disruption for everyone else, no it isn't. What should they do about him. Give him a one way ride to CAPS and let him see how good he has it here. I will tell the teachers this and my secret to dealing with these kids, sarcasum and bullshit, as soon as I get my 5 grand.....

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


My bracelet fell off today and one of the charms was gone. PANIC this was the very last thing Gee had given me.PANIC I searched the floor the stairs my room Rachel's room PANIC PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me find this bead.PLEASE PLEASE... I was picking through the recycling almost hysterical when Laureen pulled up. PANIC... I've lost the bead, It's gone what am I going to do....... where was I sitting what was I doing she assures me we will find it.....then she says, I found it......she found it. I dissolve in tears...........what would I have ever done if I had lost this little Mickey bead.......

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Change......goodness knows I hate change of any kind! Have these changes happen at school and I can't think straight. It looks like the Project Support classroom will be expanding. Which means I will be back in that classroom. I have been in " regular" classes since I came back from leave. I like the teachers I have been working with, Bruce teaches math and reading and Brent teaches ELA. I really feel I am a part of the team with these guys. They actually ask my opinion and really want to  know what I think.

The guy who is now in charge of Project Support isn't the guy I used to work with. The new guy told me, "I intimidate people because I'm so smart." So I said, "Really, well you don't intimidate me." A horror show waiting to happen. I know he has the degree but good grief he doesn't have a clue. He tries to be the kids friends, believe me they have friends, they need teachers and role models.

I've always said I didn't want to be a classroom teacher. I don't have the temperament for it.What I'm really good at is one to one tutoring. So I think I have come to a conclusion.....I need to go back to school.

 I have an interview tomorrow for a part time job with Wal Mart. I have been torn about this all weekend. If I get this job does it really help Rachel and I in the future? I am leaning towards will help with the bills but will it really help, lets face facts here, I'm 53, I'll be working forever. Do I want to just pay the bills or do something that really doesn't feel like work at all. Maybe I should  take my own advice... Do something that you like doing!

What will happen....I don't know yet. What to do?? What to do??

Friday, April 1, 2011


Pinochle wasn't just something Gee liked he loved it. He taught me how to play by playing 3 hands while I handled one. There was no way he was going to let me play with the other NCO's if I couldn't hold my own. Very early on I knew we couldn't be partners, he would yell, I'd quit and that was that.

We spent so many night playing cards. When we were in New York, stationed at The Seneca Army Depot, all the other Nco's came to our house to play cards. They were all getting ready to retire and were semi-bachelors....their families were at home waiting for them.

The unit was called Readiness Group, they taught reservists all the things they needed to know. Most Fridays they were off to some unit to give classes and would be home on Sunday. During the week, they were off duty by noon, by 20 past they were at our house, and the cards were flying by 1.

I always got Anthony for a partner, and we would loose. Gee was a great card player,knew what had been played, by who and what you had in your hand by how you played, and Anthony never let me get a bid. Anthony went to Ft Drum for a few weeks. While he was gone a new guy, Ralph Flowers, Gee called him Flo, joined the unit. He started coming around and became ,y partner, not that we always won but we could hold our own. When Anthony came back he was Gee's partner and was amaized at how much better I was playing!

We would play cards at BJ and Sauls a few times a month. Gee lived for these nights. He and Saul had so much in common, old soldiers. As Gee got sicker, he couldn't sit for long. I know he missed those games, and the company. I doubt I will ever play pinochle again. No one plays anymore, and if they did it was Gee's game.......just wont be the same without hearing him telling Saul to play the King, you know you got a king...