by thea marie
What's on my mind....
|It's just me, Marie, trying it again in 2009|
Third-Grader Takes Teacher's Van for Ride
"The way I see it to is like this. The school has full responsiblity of this child and he was not being watched very closely, and last the teacher should not have her keys, purse, or other personal belongings in plain view..." excerpted from an AOL message board post in response to the above article.
I am so sick of schools being blamed for kids who haven't been taught proper behavior at home. Teachers are at school to teach, not babysit, play warden or lookout, or to keep track of or chase down students who do bizarre out-of-the way things. Having to do that takes time away from the kids who come to school and do what they are sent there to do. I can say, without hesitation, that far too much time is wasted during the school day on students and behaviors that detract from the educational process. The above should not have happened, but the bulk of the fault does not lie with the teacher in this situation.
The bottom line here is you have a kid who hasn't been taught respect for authority, respect for other people's property, respect for laws, or to recognize boundaries. That kind of learning happens at home, and hopefully it will be reinforced at school. Because this child was bored in the classroom, he went into his teacher's purse and removed her keys. He left the classroom, and the school building where he entered the teacher's van, adjusted the seat and the mirrors, and then drove off with it. He was bored with the classroom, but he wasn't too bored to have schemed that up. What he did was not a spur of the moment deed; he had thought long and hard about what he was going to do and how he was going to carry it out.
In discussions about this article today, I kept hearing, "She should have locked her purse up." "She shouldn't have had her keys where he could get to them." Whatever happened to he shouldn't have been in her purse? What about he shouldn't have had his hands on what wasn't his? Had he completed his classwork? Why wasn't he on task with what he should have been doing?
The teacher shouldn't have to lock up her purse and her keys to keep an eight year old kid from stealing her van. In fact, if the world was right, she SHOULD be able to leave her purse, her keys, her cell phone, and anything else that's hers where ever she chooses in her designated area because her students SHOULD be taught at home to keep their hands off things that don't belong to them.
As far as stealing the van goes, any eight year old knows that it's wrong to get behind the wheel of a vehicle, turn it on, and drive it. If he doesn't, that isn't the fault of the teacher or the school, it is the fault of his parents. Going by his being able to adjust seats and mirrors, make his way through traffic, and park the van in front of his house; this isn't the first time that he's done it. And I have to wonder why he had the nerve to drive the van home. Perhaps because he knew that there would be no repercussions from anyone inside?
In this situation, the student did exactly what he wanted to do. He waited for an opportune moment, and when the teacher was otherwise engaged, he took it. I was offended by the amused tone of the article and the the cavalier attitude of the responding police department. What this child did was not funny nor was it typical eight year old behavior. It was foolhardy, devious, and it was illegal. He put his life in danger, the lives of others in peril, and compromised the livelihood of his teacher. The teacher got up that morning and went to work for the purpose of educating her students. She was busy doing her job when the boy took his shot. Why should she have to worry about a third grader stealing from her purse? Why would she anticipate an eight-year old stealing her van? A middle or high-schooler maybe, but not someone still in primary school.
Put the blame for this situation where it belongs, with the student and with his parents, and the punishment should be more than a mere reprimand. The adults who find this story funny are the reason this type of thing continues to occur. The kid had a lot of nerve and what he did was wrong on so many levels. His punishment, in the hope of deterring future such incidents with him, should fit the crime, I don't care if he is only eight.
From Catholicism to Scientology, a silent birth, and no Catholic baptism for the baby despite the fact that she's Catholic and a person can be Catholic and practice Scientoloty at the same time; all of this according to Tom Cruise. We haven't heard anything from Katie. Does anybody know if she can still talk at all? Maybe she isn't allowed to do so.
A rift has reportedly developed between her and Tom and her parents, devout catholics, over the religion thing. It's rumored that Tom had something to do with some sexy scenes in Katie's last movie being cut. He's also been quoted as saying that even though they're not yet married, "I'm not letting her get away from me."
It could very well be love and devotion that motivated that declaration, but the cynic in me says it sounds more like the insecure older man trying to to isolate and dominate the pretty, gullible, much younger woman.
I'm not at all into movie stars, and I don't normally follow them and their lives, but Tom's couch dance on Oprah was the first thing that got my attention. I didn't see the show. I caught the incident in passing on Entertainment Tonight or some such show as I was channel surfing. As a teacher, I am an advocate for children, and of course as a woman, I keep my eye out for other women. I see all kinds of red flags frantically waving in the background of this situation.
I could be wrong, in fact I hope I am, but I do think this young woman needs to grow a spine, regain her power of speech, and watch her back.
Katie girl, take the baby and RUN.
The Private World of Katie Holmes
Somebody please tell me; am I the only one who can see "Stepford" flashing on this poor child's forehead? It's always about what Tom wants, what Tom says, what Tom's doing. Yet, she's always smiling. I wonder how happy she really is? I wonder if she remembers who she is or who she used to be?
Sometimes, in one of my occasional periods of self-doubt, I sit and think what it would be like if I had it better, if I was prettier, skinnier, younger, had more money, was famous. But then reality settles over me like an old comfortable sweater, and I realize that it's just fine being the average Jasmine I am, in the skin I'm in, in a position to make calls and decisions about me that are all my own.
Police Say Couple's Sextuplets Never Existed
Ex-Teacher Who Faked Cancer Pleads Guilty
To call these kind of people snakes would be an insult to snakes. Snakes are meant to slither in the depths and eat things whole. These folk here, I don't know. Some people just have no conscience, no morals, and evidently not much sense. Both their stories, at some point, were designed to fall apart once the pregnant woman couldn't produce the septulets she was supposed to have, and the other didn't die of the cancer she claimed to have and was accepting donations to have treated.
When I think of all the people whose sense of trust has been violated and perhaps altered because of them, when I think of the generous pockets that might close to future, legitimate causes because of them, I could just scream.
In both of these stories, the bottom line was they did it so that they could pay bills that they had run up. The rest of us go to work and do the best that we can with the bills that we have. These folks chose to play on public sympathy, and as a result, have probably made the world a harder place than it already is. I wonder how many developing cynics out there were further hardened by these stories? I wonder how many people who contributed to these people will be reluctant to do so with someone else who may be in real need? I wonder what made the couple and the teacher go these routes in the first place?
I guess some people are just plain low down, and that's all there is to it.
"Dispatchers didn't take call from woman's 5-year-old son seriously"
This is such a sad story on so many levels.
A little boy and his mother, who has a heart condition are home alone. Because she has health issues, she has taught her son how to use the phone to summon help should a situation arise where they needed it. She passes out in the kitchen (or the bedroom depending upon which version of the story you read), and he phones 911, as his mother has instructed him, to get help for her.
The child dials the number TWICE, actually reaches a dispatcher when he could have been placed on hold like a person often is when dialing 911, only to be admonished BOTH times to stop playing on the phone and to hang up. Allegedly, when the police were finally dispatched, it was not to help with the emergency, but to check the child for abusing the emergency phone system. By the time the police did get to the house, over three hours after the initial call, the child's mother was dead.
The first time I read the story, I was immediately taken aback by the Emergency Response people's adamantly defensive "explanation" that because they get so many bogus calls, they understood the veteran dispatcher's hesitance at taking the boy's calls. I have since read several other versions of what happened, but in each telling, the same theme rings true: the child's telephone calls for help, the thing his mother taught him to do to keep them safe, were ignored by the one person who was in a position to offer them a helping hand.
It's easy for me to sit here and armchair quarterback, I know, but as a mother and as a person who works with kids, this one hit close to home. I don't know if the mother would have lived or died if the calls had been put through right away. I does seem to me; however, that even though the operator couldn't tell if the call was legitimate or not, whether or not she and her superiors considered her an expert in her field and therefore a good judge of situations, since a child was involved it would have been better, in my opinion, for her to err on the side of caution.
Now a little boy, who did as he was told, is left without his mother despite his best efforts to get help for her. What will this do to his sense of trust? Will he feel guilty about what happened to his mother? Sometimes no matter how much you tell someone that a thing isn't their fault, they will always feel that it was.
The operator has to live with her decision to try to regulate somebody else's child- when it wasn't necessary for her to do so- rather than just going ahead, doing her job, and letting the chips fall where they might.
A family is devastated by what might have been the unnecessary loss of a loved one. Hopefully someone in the family is in a position to take the little boy in and he doesn't become a ward of the court now or somewhere down the line.
And now it seems Jeffrey Fieger is in the picture, and a lawsuit, one I have to say for once is justified, is looming. A city already in dire financial straits is facing having to defend its Emergency Medical system or accepting the blame and paying out a hefty fine. Despite what happens in this scenario, none of it will fix what happened.
Just sad all the way around.
|I am livid.
On the 18th of March, I took my laptop into Best Buy because the hinges had begun to crack. Prior experience with my first laptop let me know that problem only gets worse, and might eventually affect the performance of the computer itself. This current laptop is only a year old, and is used solely by me. I was baffled as to the reason for the cracking, but as it is still covered by the extended warrranty I paid for at the time of purchase, I figured I'd better go ahead and have it fixed.
I thought that by putting it in when I did, I could get it fixed and have it back by this week, which for me is spring break. It must be the portability which lends itself to spontanaeity, but I get a lot more good writing done on the laptop than I do on the PC's I have. I have been feeling stifled ever since I put the laptop in for service.
Well, it showed up this afternoon, delivered to my front door by UPS. At first I wasn't sure what it could be. I do a lot of catalog shopping, so I figured it was something I had ordered. I had completely forgotten that the Geek Squad guy said that the laptop would be delivered directly to my home. I was elated when I opened the box and that was what was inside.
That happiness, however, was shot right out of the sky, raining shards of shock and disappointment as I removed the machine from the box.
I am a mature woman who takes very good care of her things, especially of her computers and electronic devices of which I have quite a few. I am the sole user of this laptop. Although I carry it with me to and from school every day, and I travel with it, its condition was pristine. Prior to my taking it in for service, looking at it from the top, it looked brand new. Because of that, the cracking at the hinges was even more of an anomaly. I took it in to get the hinges fixed, and I was told last Friday when I called to check on the slow status of the repair that it was "awaiting parts", that apparently it needed a new case.
The laptop I got back this afternoon had intact hinges, but
all across the top of it was a pattern of scratches as if something had been set on top of it. To compound that, the case was cracked, but the new crack was in the lower right hand corner on the end where the computer opens and closes. Looking at it, you would have thought that it had been carried for three semesters by some college student who didn't own a case for it, and just stuck it under his arm and used it on any type of surface. I wanted to scream.
Instead, I boxed it right back up in the same manner that it had arrived, and I got in the car. I was halfway to Best Buy when I realized that I hadn't even turned it on to see if it worked. I don't think I cared. I hadn't gone any farther than the case. As it turned out I should have opened it up.
When I got to Best Buy and lodged my complaint, I mentioned to the Geek guy that I hadn't even checked to see if it worked or to see if it was even my computer. When he opened it up, I'll be damned if there weren't several deep scratches in the monitor screen. I don't anger easily, but at that moment, I saw red. It was all I could do to not curse out everyone behind that counter, but I had to repeatedly remind myself that those people weren't the ones at fault and I would need their help to get some kind of resolution going.
The end result was that the manager noted the damage and said that he would send it back out to have repairs done on it. I did let him know how pissed I was at having my computer damaged in that manner when I sent it out to be repaired, and that I was very unhappy about being without it even longer. He said that he would call himself to have the repairs expedited. I don't want a rush job, but on the other hand, I want the stuff fixed.
In the meantime, I have placed a hot call to Best Buy Corporate Customer Service. I am also writing a letter to them. I believe in putting things in writing for the record.
To be fair, I have never had a problem before with Best Buy. I purchase most of my electonics there. I love the store, the quality of their products, the prices, and the service. We routinely opt for the extended warranties on our larger, more expensive purchases, and when we have had to exercise upon them, we have never had a problem with the quality of the repair or with the timeliness of those repairs. This is a first. Too bad it had to be with my precious laptop.
|I'm off this week for spring break, so I'm able to get done a lot of things that I can't normally do because my work hours don't allow for it. When I'm working, I go in before everything opens, and by the time I get off, so is everyone else. Forget about going to the bank, the post office, the doctor or anything else that's done during the day. I have to take off work if the matter is pressing.
So yesterday and today were spent running around, doing those types of things. Today, after visiting office supply stores and Walmarts, looking for some office materials I needed, picking up supplies I had to have to complete some calligraphy on a wedding invitation job I have been comissioned to do, and then getting my hair done, I decided to treat myself to dinner.
Despite the fact that I have this week off, my husband still has to work, and with my nest now empty, I'm usually home alone, which I LOVE. There is no script to which I have to stick. I don't have to please anyone or be concerned for anyone other than myself. I come and go as I please. My time is my own. I haven't felt this free since I was a teenager.
Tonight he's working the late shift, and I didn't feel like cooking, so I took myself to dinner at one of the local O'Charley's. I carried with nme my journal and my writer's notebook because I never can tell what's going to happen that I might want to capture for posterity, and my memory isn't to be counted upon these days.
The hostess led me to a small booth with plush burgandy vinyl seats. I was glad that I was wearing jeans and not shorts. I disliike the feel of vinyl sticking to my naked skin, especially on the back of my thighs as I'm sitting; jeans slide right across it.
The booth was in the back where I could tell it would be relatively quiet, which is good for writing. I don't like for it to be completely silent when I'm working; a low din actually aids me in my thinking and the flow of my words. I could hear that a television was on somewhere. It took a few minutes for me to realize that it was right over my head; the sound coming from it was that low.
My waiter was a young guy named Dustin. Somehow he physically matched his name. He was red. Sparse, spiky red hair, ruddy cheeks and lips. His shirt was even red. I think the fact that I was writing impressed him. He was very careful about how he approached me when he brought the nenu, my drink, and the entree I ordered. He didn't come back a lot of times to check on me, but I could see out of the corner of my eye that he was watching to see if I wanted anything.
I find that to be true of most wait people when I've been in a restaurant, writing. Especially the younger people. Maybe they're students, and they understand. Older people who wait on me are polite, but I think it intrigues them more. Older people often make comment or even ask what I'm working on. Most young people don't ask, they just get very quiet, almost reverent.
The bread they bring you before your meal at O'Charley's smells and perhaps looks better than it tastes. They come to the table nice and hot, but as a bread baker, I can tell from sight that they aren't allowed enough time to properly rise. They're flatter than they should be. The taste is sweet, the way that I like rolls to be, but they're tough, like I said, as if they weren't allowed to properly rise before being put into the oven. The art to baking bread is really time. It takes a lot of time to do it right. I took a bite of one, but that was it. I decided it wasn't worth it to fill up the space I had with something I didn't really want, and then not have room to finish what I came to eat.
The bar was to my left, and I could hear the voices of the people who were working back there. I could tell from the sound that these were people who enjoyed each other's company. I couldn't hear exactly what they were saying; I wasn't interested. The tone was congenial and the talk free-flowing. It's nice when you actually enjoy the people you're forced to be with every day at work. I think I would quit a job if I didn't enjoy the people there. I get along with almost everyone. It's rare that I run across someone I don't like. But I think it would kill me to have to be somewhere that I was stuck with people I found to be unpleasant or maybe who reacted to me as if they thought that of me.
As I sat there, I reflected upon how much I enjoy being on my own. I wondered if I would enjoy it so much if it was a permanent thing. Right now, I have my husband, but with our hours, we aren't together a lot. It's a pleasure when we do get to spend time with one another. I do enjoy my own company; I always have, but even as a kid, when I closed off, I always had the option of returning to the fold when I felt like it. Sometimes when I get to thinking that I could really get to like being on my own, I have to remind myself to be careful what I ask for.
As I sat there thinking, out of no where, the acrid scent of cigarette smoke wafted over to the table. It was an unexpected, intrusive, and these days unpleasant odor. Since restaurants here in Georgia have adopted a no-smoking policy, it isn't something one incurs in that setting any more. It's almost shocking now when you do. I don't know how we ever tolerated it back in the day, when people smoked wherever they wanted and the rest of us were left breathing it in.
As I was growing up, my father smoked Taryntons like a chimney. I can remember riding in the car with him, him smoking, and me hanging out of the car window with carsick. He finally quit when my mother, a non-smoker, developed asthma and us kids bought him a smokeless ashtray. I don't think he ever discussed it with anyone. My mother said that he didn't with her, but I believe he suspected that his smoking was what led to her getting sick from that as an adult when most people have it from childhood. We thought she was getting it from the smoke, thus the ashtray. Whatever- he quit, which was good for everyone.
The party in the booth behind me, smelled the smoke, too and commented on how offensive it was. For a moment, I turned around and we all talked about it, trying to see from where it was coming, but we couldn't see anyone in our area who had lit up. It was probably someone going out of the door, which was right by my booth, and they couldn't quite wait until they were all the way out. We just got the blow back.
I ate my three-cheese burger and fries, thinking about how that wasn't the most healthy meal in the world, but it sure was good. And also thinking of the things I need to do tomorrow. Heading the list is a trip to the tax man. I hate doing this every year, but at least I have the time now to get it done without taking a notch out of one of my precious weekend days. After tomorrow, all of the have-to-dos will be out of the way, and then it will be on to the whatever-I-want-to-do's for the rest of the week.
Time surely does fly when you're having fun.
|This has been on my mind, so I guess I'm supposed to write it down while I'm sitting around thinking I don't have anything to write. I've been going over and over it in my mind, and seeing the image as clearly now as I saw it that morning.
I was on my way to work a few days ago, riding up Shiloh which is one lane in both directions, with the occasional widening to allow for a turn lane at traffic light intersections. On workdays, I leave way early because, first of all, I hate being in traffic. Especially since I have to take that one lane road where you might get behind a school bus which stops every fifty feet to pick up passengers, or a minivan with a soccer ball sticker on the hatch or some sort of baby-on-board-like stickers or other such parephenalia which requires it to carefully cruise five to ten miles under the already too low speed limit of 35 mph.
Secondly, I like to get to work a good while before I have to be there because I need the time to chill out. I'll have a cup of coffee and maybe a sausage biscuit, I read the news online, answer a few emails, and basically get my day arranged. Then I sit down and journal until it's showtime.
On this particular morning, I'd managed to get out of the door about ten minutes before my usual early time, so I wasn't in any hurry. I was riding along, listening to my music, thinking about the upcoming day, and just on the other side of Baker Road, in the turn lane, lie the body of a small dog. It looked to have been a minature Pinscher or maybe a Doberman puppy that had just lie down to take a nap in that spot. But of course, that wasn't the case.
Down here in Georgia, where developers are building so fast that it seems one day there's a forest and the next there's a subdivision called Forest Glenn in the spot, road kill is common. The animals that once called the woods home, are being displaced, and some end up under the wheels of the increased traffic that comes with the building up of an area.
It's nothing here to come across some nondescript, bloody mass of fur in the roadway which you assume used to be an opossum, a squirrel, or maybe a racoon. You can't go ten miles without coming across at least one animal carcass lying by the curb or on the shoulder. But it's rare that the animal is a dog.
That one appeared to have been dead for some time. The body had that sort of blurred, no-longer-living, much too still look to it that said whatever happened wasn't a recent event. Yet, the body hadn't been run over again even though it was barely daylight. As I looked in the rear view mirror, I noticed cars and trucks slowing and almost reverently going around it.
And I felt a little sad about the little dog being dead. It made me wonder why I didn't care as much about the other dead animals I had seen in the road. Why hadn't I been as grossed out about the dead dog as I have been about the oppossums, the squirrels, or the racoons that met their fate in that way? How come the other cars where going to great pains to go around it, almost moving into the next lane to miss it? Why does that picture stay in my mind?
Because dogs are special. They become a part of us. Even when they aren't yours, if you like or love dogs, you can empathize with its owners loss. I could see the kids looking for it after finding it gone from the house or the yard. I can hear its master calling for it, not knowing that it would never again answer the call. I could imagine the shock if a member of its adoptive family happened upon the corpse.
Then I remembered looking for Butch all day, everywhere, and that evening spotting his lifeless body in the distance on Oakman Boulevard. He was dead, had been dead awhile, and it was dark, but nobody had run him over again either.
|Okay, I know what my problem has been. It was my hair. It hadn't been cut in over three weeks, and that was one week longer than I normally go between cuts. I was walking around looking all shaggy around the ears, using cuticle snippers to try to even it up. My neckline had become ragged and undefined. I was caught up in a bad hair week, and believe me, bad hair affects everything that is me.
I think I've blogged this before, but if my hair isn't right, then nothing else on me is right. My hair and my feet- they must be all that at all times.
I am that person who called off work because I woke up having a having a rare, especially bad hair day. Of course I claimed it was something else when I spoke with the secretary, and this is the first time that I've ever admitted it out loud like this, but I did do that once. I couldn't face the world in that condition, so I stayed home to get it together.
Some people use the stars, the moon, the universe to guide their ebbs and flows. Scissors, clippers, hot curlers and flat irons obviously rule mine. Nine West, White Mountain, DSW, Chadwicks.com, and all the rest have their hands in it, too. Good hair and good shoes definitely dictate to me and my moods. It's something that started back when I was a teenager, and it's been escalating to obsession level ever since.
I haven't been feeling my best of late, and have been undergoing tests with various doctors to get at the crux of the problem. Thus, my regularly scheduled hair appointments have had to be pre-emtped in lieu of seeing this specialist or going for that test. Pre-occupied, the last couple of times I was with my hairdresser, I forgot to write myself into the book, so I ended up having to be fit in where she could get me in. This time I wasn't so lucky. I didn't write myself in, and I kept forgetting to call to try to get into the shop during the week.
It wasn't until Friday afternoon that I made the call. As I live about five minutes from the shop(less than that under the right circumstances), Sandra said that she would call me if she had a gap on Saturday. By then my scalp was flaky and itchy, the hair itself had lost its usual high luster. It sat atop my head looking sandy and dull. To the touch, it was as stiff and lifeless as old broom straw. Every time I looked in the mirror, it seemed to mock and ridicule me for neglecting it. It finally got so that I quit looking. I tied a scarf around it and waited for the call to come. It never did.
I waited and waited, but she didn't call. Saturday is the worst day of the week to try to get fitted in to a beauty shop, and I knew that the chances of it happening were miniscule, but still, I hoped....
I drug myself through Sunday, faced with having to get through work on Monday because Monday is hairdressers' and barbers' universal day off. I tried writing to take my mind off of it, but nothing good was coming. I was at a loss as to what to write in this blog, and even my personal journaling went cold. When I can't write, I doodle designs on the journal pages, but that didn't go so well, either. At that time, it didn't dawn on me that my hair was my problem.
It wasn't until yesterday that I was able to go in and get my hair cut. I came home and washed it and allowed it to air dry. Then I got up way early this morning to flat iron it. It's amazing what a good haircut will do for short hair. Every sanitized, shiny, lively strand fell right into place on top of my head and down over my bright brown eyes.
I pulled on my favorite black slacks, a burgundy sleeveless turtleneck and topped it with a natty jacket. On my feet I zipped a pair of sharp burgundy ankle boots that perfectly matched the hues of pink,purple, and burgundy in my jacket and in that turtleneck. In the mirror, I applied my makeup with DaVinci-like precision and gave my hair one last good shake for that carefree effect.
I was good to go.
At school, before first period, I diffused a fight between two girls over some hearsay. As the day played out, I dealt with two notes from the sub about how ugly two of my classes acted on Monday and yesterday. I ignored a negative second-hand comment someone said that someone else made about me. My lessons went well, and tonight I've written something in this blog that wasn't just written to be writing something. I feel good- like me again.
It's always been fascinating to me the small things that matter to people- those things that don't make a bit of sense to anybody else, but that make all the difference to another. It's even better when we recognize, respect, appreciate and just accept those things in others and also, within ourselves.
I've done what I said I wasn't going to do. I've not written because I felt I didn't have anything to say. But the longer I feel I don't have anything to say, I don't write anything, and the longer I don't write, the harder it becomes to do so. So today I'm writing to say that I don't have anything to say, but in doing that, I AM writing.
And I'm going to do better about being more regular in finding something to write about other than writing to say that I have nothing to say.