Monthly Archives: June 2010

Lactophobia and My New Wife

My new wife doesn’t have lactophobia.

I do.  And I have a new wife.

By lactophobia, I mean that even though the doctor said I’m not lactose intolerant, I’m scared to eat too much.  I did tempt fate yesterday with a slice of red velvet cake.  I am fine right now.  So that’s good.  But I’m still putting soy milk into my cereal.

I don’t really have a new wife.  I have a new teaching partner.  I’m just calling her my wife because people keep calling team teaching a marriage.  My new wife is A, from the last post.  I think her blog name shall be Alli.  I am very happy with this situation.  She’s smart, energetic, decisive, and creative.  It really has potential.  We’re going to have coffee this week and hash things out a bit.

And now I am officially done with teaching until September 8.  I’m so tired I can’t even stand up.  That is all.

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Why I Have the Best Doctor Ever and Why My Principal Is in the Doghouse

Never mind the fact that she’s a good old softball playing lesbian mom; which is not something she announces to patients, but something I know because of the two degrees of lesbian separation in my particular Brooklyn neighborhood; my doctor rules because she takes the time to figure shit out.

First and foremost, she rules because I can have dairy.  I CAN HAVE DAIRY!!!  After the appointment I went directly to a bakery and devoured a pecan bar. Ahhh, glorious butter.  How I missed thee. I know that she didn’t make me not lactose intolerant, but I’m giving her the credit anyway.

She thinks it is gastritis because of my two cheats that involved alcohol.  And guess what?  Gastritis goes away!  That means that one fine day I will be able to eat everything again.  She rules.

Now get this… she looked at her computer. Then she looked at me and said, “Do you like licorice?”  Really?  Shhheeeaaw.  I love black licorice.  If given the opportunity, I’ll eat a whole bag of those licorice rolls.  Give me Good and Plenty and I’m a happy gal.  Then she said, “I’m going to treat this herbally.”  She rules.  So I have to take this licorice-like substance called DGL.  Diglicorizedsomethingsomething Licorice.  I need to dissolve a pill or two under my tongue on an empty stomach each morning for two months.  And that’s that. I admit that the DGL is a little nasty.  But it is nasty in a licorice way, and I think it will grow on me.

(Well, I still can’t have chocolate, coffee or booze for a while, but forget that.  Give me cheese!  Ice cream!  Cupcakes with buttercream frosting.  Sigh.)

On another note, my arranged work marriage is still dangling.  You may recall that my boss told me I could sit in on the interviews.  Yeah, right.  They hired one woman who I did get to interview and chat with.  But there are two third grade CTT teachers who need to be hired.  I didn’t really click with the woman we hired, but I could definitely work with her.  Then I sent an email out to half (because I got too lazy to go through the rest of my email contacts) of the people I thought might know someone, asking if they knew anyone who might want the job.  Another, entirely different softball-playing lesbian mom sent my email to a friend on her team, who sent me her resume.  I met her for coffee on Monday and really, really liked her.  But when I brought the resume in to my boss, she seemed to have her heart set on someone else she had yet to interview.  Flash forward to yesterday, when another administrator waltzes in to my classroom with an extremely-young woman and says, “This is E, we’re probably going to hire her for the third grade CTT.”  Nice meeting you, person-I-didn’t-get-to-interview.  I was on a prep, too, so I totally could have been sitting at the interview I didn’t know about.  I’m still mad about that.

First I went and ranted with the other third grade CTT gen ed teacher, who they also said could sit in on the interviews, and who also did not interview E.  Then I went in to the room where all three administrators were sitting and sort of stared at them.  Then I said, “So, if you are going to hire this women, how will you decide who works with whom?  I don’t feel like I got to meet her.  I feel like I rode the elevator with her.”  They laughed and said, “We still have one person to interview.”  And they pulled out my softball girl’s resume.  OK.  Well, they may be interviewing her to humor me.  Which I think I maybe appreciate.  But I’m not sure.

There’s more.  Yeah.  This morning, I was sitting in my room paralyzed by the amount of packing and cleaning I needed (and still need) to do, when A, a new fifth grade teacher who came through the same hiring tube as the possible-hire E, walked into my room.  I thought she was going to talk up E to me, but no.  She said that the school may not be able to hire anyone new, and she may be my bride-to-be.  Now let me tell you about A.  She rocks.  I have admired her teaching from afar.  She asked me about my teaching style and I told her how it is all about community-building for me.  I do a lot of conflict resolution.  I like the kids to do the work.  I hate when subs come in and tell the kids what to write, or tell them how to solve a math problem.  I don’t mind if they talk, as long as they don’t get loud.  “Me, too!”  It was a good first date.  We agreed on almost everything, except that she is apparently very neat and I am very not.  But I don’t embrace my chaos.  I would love to be more organized.  I’ve just never really internalized organization.

Bottom line?  All of the possibilities are good ones.  They expect to find out tomorrow if they have the money to hire mystery woman, E, or if I get to have a second date with A.  I don’t know if my softball woman ever set up that interview, though.  It should be good.  I’m hoping it will work out.  Because I would love this to work out well.

Now excuse me.  I’m going to go have some ice cream.

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All Whine, No Wine

I’m very whiney.

See,  I think this digestive situation I’ve been having may be IBS.  Which is worse, it turns out, than being lactose intolerant, because I also can’t have coffee, or chocolate, or booze.

I just came home fairly early from my staff end-of-the-year party, I can’t drink and I can’t eat any of the delicious desserts on the dessert table.  (Though I did have watermelon.  I love watermelon.  But there is only so much watermelon a person can eat.)  So I was just bummin.  It was nice to chat with people.  But still.

There have been two times in the past three weeks during my first, no coffee and high fiber, then no dairy diet, that I’ve messed up and gotten sick for several days.  The first one involved a plate of “Super Nachos” and three cocktails, followed by four sips of coffee the next day.  The second one involved two Bombay Sapphire Gin and Tonics and three pieces of rugelach.  I’m thinking the alcohol was a deciding factor in both slips.  So I’m not drinking that anymore, either.

I know things could be a lot worse.  I could have cancer or chronic hiccups or something far more disruptive.  It still could be celiac (nooo!)

But this is such a buzz kill.  I love food.  I love it.  Especially baked goods and cheese.  It just puts me in a bad space.

So say something to cheer me up, kay?

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Speed Date Wedding

I did something a little crazy.   Or maybe not.

My principal asked to teach the new third grade CTT class.  CTT stands for Collaborative Team Teaching.  I would be the general education teacher, and someone else would be the special education teacher.  We would theoretically end up with a class that is 60% high-functioning general education students and 40% students with special needs.  Which would mean I would have a second teacher in the room at all times.  Yay!  But the second person is going to be a new hire.  Booo.  My principal is letting me sit in on interviews.  Yay.  But we’ve only had one so far and it wasn’t so great.  Boo.

Anytime something new happens to me, I need to obsess over it for a few weeks.  So, speaking of yay and boo, let me just do a pro and cons list.  Yes, this is something I should probably be doing on a notepad, rather than a blog, but you guys keep on reading.  So I’ll keep writing, no matter how uninteresting.

Pros of teaching CTT:

1. I could go to the bathroom whenever I want.  Yes.  It sounds trivial, but those of you who work in offices or at home and can slip off to the bathroom when nature calls?  Next time you do that, think of me.  I’ll probably be holding it long enough to screw up my pelvic floor. It might be the single best thing that could come of this situation.

2.  If it is a great teacher that they hire, I can learn a lot about working with kids with special needs.  I don’t know enough about that and in a typical year, I always have one or two kids with special needs even if they have yet to be diagnosed.

3. I wouldn’t ever have to scramble for chaperones on field trips.  We would always have enough adults.

4. Walking up the four flights of stairs to my classroom will be a lot easier with one teacher at the front of the line and another teacher at the end.

5. I could grade half as much homework.  I hate grading homework.  Ooooo!  Half as many report cards!

6. I would get to spend twice as much time conferring with my students.  So I would know them better as learners.

7.  I would have another person who knows my students as well as I do.  Invaluable.

8.  I might teach with someone I like, who makes my life easier and better and more interesting.

9.  I would have another person sitting with me during parent-teacher conferences.

10. I may learn how to make my teaching better, because I will have to be more clear and concise and multi-sensory for my students with IEPs (the special ed ones.)

Cons:

1.  If this person is annoying, it is going to be a loooong year.

2.  Although the class should be 60% high-functioning students, the current third grade CTT does not have that ratio.  I called the principal out on it. Sort of.  In the letter she asked me to write if I wanted the position  I said, “I would like to the the third grade general ed CTT teacher with the understanding that the class will be made up of 60% general education students who were given either a 3 or 4 by their second grade teachers, and that the ratio of general education students to students with IEPs is in compliance.”  I realize that that wasn’t necessarily ummm professional, but I really don’t want to do this if it is not set up to succeed.

3. I’m going to be self-conscious and co-dependent the whole year.  (Maybe.)  And maybe this would be a good time to start therapy.

4. The person they hire is going to have stuff.  And I have stuff.  Too much stuff.  I’m going to have to spend a day in my room purging crap.

5.  Even if the new hire and I become fast friends, we are going to have to spend a lot more time planning than I do now.  Cakie is going to my school next year.  This will require some creative time management.

6. I’m really worried that the person we hire may turn out to be lazy or mean or homophobic or young and flighty, or weird or annoying or disrespectful toward the students.

They say this team teaching is like a marriage. People don’t usually get married after two interviews.  So I’m scared.  I’m excited, but scared.

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Happy Herb?

I figure a group of anonymous lesbians can probably help me out here.

I’m pretty sure the stomach problems are directly tied to coffee.  And I’ve stopped drinking it and have upped my fiber intake.  Fine.  After over two weeks, the headaches are finally going away. My stomach stopped hurting.

But I have a bigger problem.  It is a huge problem, actually, considering that my job is to educate and care for the well-being of 19 children every day.

The problem?

I’m a bitch.

I’m a bitch on wheels.  I have absolutely NO PATIENCE.  (See, I’m yelling already.)  I can’t be this way with my job.  It is not right.  The kids should not be subjected to a psychohosebeast every day while they are just trying to learn.

I tried a little science experiment and took four sips of A’s coffee two days ago.  I was nice for one day.  But my stomach still hurts a little two days later.  I guess I can’t do that.  Some friends have recommended trying decaf.  But it does have caff in it, so I’m a little nervous.  Right now I’m drinking Calming Yogi tea, upon the recommendation of a co-worker.

Do any of you have a non-caff herb or food or something that isn’t an anti-depressant that makes you less bitchy? Chocolate doesn’t count.  And I can’t start the day with a glass of wine.

Please share.  For the children’s sake.

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