everythingyoualwayswantedtosaybutwereafraid

Things you always wanted to say but were afraid

Archive for the tag “irritants”

If I don’t like it, I can walk away!

The story begins with a check we received in the mail.  A $15 check from a hospital that The Man was in over a year ago.  Just a check; nothing else.  It wasn’t worth trying to find out the source or the reason, so I stuck it in my purse to cash it for a little pocket change.  Of course, I forgot about it and got a bit panicky when I thought about it and realized it had been a couple of months since I received it.  Fearing there was some sort of expiration date, I whipped into the bank’s drive thru when, in the little town 13 miles from home, I was picking up The Man’s prescriptions.  I don’t use the bank much; I said I was going to close the account when my favorite officer retired, but as usual I had procrastinated.   Hurrying to the drive-in window, I stopped, turned he check over and signed my name to the back.  The  bank teller asked me for the last four of my Social saying, “Ms. McCoy I don’t think I’ve ever seen you here before.”  (I have only banked there since 1980.) After what I believed to be somewhat of a wait to cash a $15 check, she returned to the window to tell me that they were unable to cash the check because it was made out to The Man, yet I had signed it.  I protested, “We both sign on the account.”  “Sorry, Ms. McCoy, it’s policy.”  Of course, it was too late to just pull out of sight and sign The Man’s name, and I should have just looked at the front before I arrived.  I always sign his name anyway; he never wants to.  (So arrest me;  I don’t think he will testify.) I took the check back out of the little moving box and tore it into approximately 100 pieces and put it back in the little moving box and thanked them for the experience, telling them I completely understood policy and respected their need to follow it.

I pulled around to the front, went in and saw them all huddled together presumably talking about the crazy lady that just came through the drive thru.  Picture this scene:  the entire staff of women were in those Friday football jerseys for the local team – some pink, some gray, some green.  The only person in an office was browsing through a yearbook.  Saying, “You can stop talking about me now; I’m here”, I proceeded to the only teller that appeared to have that color thing worked out (She was in a gray spirit shirt.) and told her I wanted to close the account.  I explained that I had really intended to close the account anyway when my favorite bank officer had retired, so now was as good a time as any.  I could tell they had been well-trained in customer service when she told me that they could reassemble the check (I should have let them do that and then closed the account, but the old brain just doesn’t always think too swift.), deposit it in my account, then I could write a $15 check and get the money that way.  Clever, but too late at that point.  The teller than proceeded to tell me that I should really take that money in the form of a cashier’s check instead of cash. (She should never leave an opening like that.)  I explained that I had already had trouble cashing one check at their bank, so I really didn’t want to take any chances on another check.  Just cash please.

I hope I just made their day more interesting with something more to talk about instead of looking at yearbooks and worrying about the spirit shirt color for Friday night lights. Aww, you’re right; spirit shirt colors are more important.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=siW8MkUSo1s

Cheating – – but not by kids?

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This is one of the hardest stories to tell, but it has been on my mind since 1984.  These are secrets that are normally carried to the grave, and but for one little student teacher that has had her conscience troubling her ever since so would this one.

I was doing my student teaching.  It was the end of the year in May and cheerleading tryouts were underway for the year.  One of the most intense ones was the competition of the 6th graders to make the Jr. Hi team.  Only two 6th graders would make that team and there was around 20 girls trying out for those two positions.  It appeared to be above-board.  A jury of college cheerleaders made the decision after a tryout that included several different ways to show their stuff.  In the end the two girls that won were the two that were expected to win.  They were definitely the most popular girls in the 6th grade.

Within a week tragedy stuck.  One of the girl’s father was transferred unexpectedly out-of-town, so she would be unable to serve. Thinking that the easiest way to remedy the situation, and without having to go through the entire process again, it appeared that to take the next person down would be the simplest explanation.  The files were pulled out in the teachers’ lounge to check on the third place person.  Low and behold it was a student that some of the teachers found a little less than desirable.  You know, family problems, druggie older brother, poor white wrong side of the track sort of thing.  No matter that she was  a beautiful, striking, athletic, intelligent girl who may have needed this more than any other of the girls.  Then, much to their surprise, the fourth place girls was a teacher’s kid – really good kid, straight As, conservative dresser, good family, etc. They justified their decision by the fact that it was the “right” thing to do.

I sat in the corner ignoring the entire process.  I was just taking a class and happen to be there, and I really had no say.  I’m having it now.  After very little discussion, the decision was made to skip the third place, go to the fourth place, shred all the paperwork and who would ever know the difference.  They know, and I know.

It still makes me sick, but doesn’t it remind you of our government? And al those good people wonder what is wrong with our society.  They never believe they have anything to do with its corruption.

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President Bush likes to moutain bike ride – how nice.

If he had just let it go at that, but no, true to form, he had to keep talking.  He went on to say he loved to ride; he said he didn’t even mind getting beat. If he had just let it go at that, but no, true to form, he had to keep talking.

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Bike wreck without being in a race.

“I don’t like to be beat by a one-legged veteran.”  He didn’t really say that did he. Inappropriate sense of humor hasn’t changed at all.

 

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/04/fmr-president-bush-hosts-100km-bike-ride-with-wounded-iraq-afghanistan-veterans/

I’m not thinking about dying, I’m thinking about living

It’s not dying I’m talking about, it’s living.    —–  Gus McCrae from Lonesome Dove

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For those of you that have followed the blog, you know that the Mr. has had his struggles lately, and let me add he doesn’t do well as a patient.  He has been unable to walk without the aid of a walker for over a week. and has been forced to take a lot of pain medication just to get around with the walker.  He is not sleeping well and in general is sick and tired of being sick and tired.

One week ago on Friday (that’s 10 days ago), we went for a MRI.  On the next Monday, I called the radiology department and asked them if the results had been sent to the doctor.  They told me the results had been sent to the clinc across the street from them.  Now, here is where it gets tricky.  The doctor practices in two places – a clinic across from the hospital and one about 20 miles away.  We use the farther one, which I will call clinic B, because it is closer for us.  The doctor is only at clinic B on Thursday and Friday and on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday he is at clinic A.  I called clinic A and asked if they had the MRI results.  They did, however his doctor was out until Friday when he would not be there but would be at clinic B.  They assured me that another doctor had faxed the results to clinic B so that the Mr.’s doctor would have it availble on Friday.  They assured me that the doctor would call as soon as he read over the results.

We waited from Monday until Friday.  At 2:00 pm, I called and got the message with options.  Choosing the options for the doctor’s nurse gave me an answering machine.  I left the message.  At 3:45 the nurse returned the phone call and said of course the MRI was there and the doctor wanted to see him and not discuss it on the phone.  She suggested I make an appointment.

I called the front desk and chose the make an appointment option.  The receptionist told me it was impossible to get in that afternoon.  After all, it was 3:45 +.  She offered me an appointment for the next Thursday.  I made the appointment, but asked her if I could call clinic A and make an appointment for him there.  Since the doctor would be there on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday chances are we would get in earlier.  I asked if the MRI would be available for the doctor back at clinic A since it had been faxed to clinic B.  She assured me that all they had to do was to pull it up on the computer.  I didn’t know if they were even aware that it was a possibility to do that.  It is about 1950 here.  I called clinic A and they had a Monday appointment!  I gave them the entire story.  Needed MRI read, already had doctor just hadn’t ever seen him at clinic A.

“Oh my, ” said the receptionist at clinic A.  “We can’t possibly see you all next week because he will be a new patient.”  I tried to explain he really wasn’t a new patient.  It was his doctor after all.  He had been seeing him for years, just not at clinc A.  She decided that she could make it work if we would agree to be there 45 minutes early to fill out the paperwork.

He suffered through the weekend.  Our middle son came and mowed and saved our lives.  He’s the one that the teachers never cared for.  See earlier blog about middle child if you get interested in him.  He came even after having a birthday party for his son and with his wife leaving for a business trip for the next week.  He would have the three kids all week and that included another birthday party he had to take the kids to.  He’s a great guy.  He’s just like his dad.

Monday morning we made it 45 minutes early for me to fill out the paperwork that took me 10 minutes, but they were fairly Image Detailpunctual for a doctor’s office.  I like his doctor.  He is very reasonable, but he is not used to dealing with the John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Roy Rogers combination that is my Mr.  The doctor told him that the arthritis was so severe in his back and hip that it was restricting his spinal cord.  He said that if he were 10 years younger, surgery would be an option, but the mortality rate on the operating table was high for people his age.

My question:  How many people at 87 have blood pressure of 110/60 with oxygen levels of 97.  He has the heart, lungs, kidneys, etc of a much younger person.  The only thing old on the man is his joints.  What if he lives a few more years?  Does he want him to be an invalid for those years.  I know the Mr.  He would rather die on the operating table trying to get better than to be an invalid.

He decided to go with the steriod shots in the back first and surgery if that doesn’t work.

We are waiting for the appointment for the shots.

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The emporer has no clothes

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A child, however, who had no important job and could only see things as his eyes showed them to him, went up to the carriage.

      “The Emperor is naked,” he said.

      “Fool!” his father reprimanded, running after him. “Don’t talk nonsense!” He grabbed his child and took him away. But the boy’s remark, which had been heard by the bystanders, was repeated over and over again until everyone cried:

      “The boy is right! The Emperor is naked! It’s true!”

      The Emperor realized that the people were right but could not admit to that. He though it better to continue the procession under the illusion that anyone who couldn’t see his clothes was either stupid or incompetent. And he stood stiffly on his carriage, while behind him a page held his imaginary mantle.

excerpt from The Emporer’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Anderson

Remember that ole story??  I always felt that way when we were called to an administrative meeting and “asked” our opinion about a new program, policy, or procedure.  After the first time burned, you learn to keep quiet.  It’s just like someone asking “Does this make me look fat?”  Do they really want to hear the answer to that.  Yeah, only if it’s the one they want to hear.

I really like the man I worked for. I could see how he could become frustrated with some of us and at times all of us on his administrative team.  I just always felt sorry for him, because I really wanted to be able to tell him the truth, but I just liked my job too much. I had seen what happened when someone really tried to go against him.  It just didn’t work out.  Suffice it to say that one of the people is gone,and the other always says, when asked about his opinion, “What do you think, Mr. Boss?”  One learned; the other didn’t.  The one that didn’t now drives a truck.  I don’t think it’s because he can’t get another job.  I think he was just tired of the BS and not feeling comfortable using  brain power to help the organization.

Let me tell you about the incident where I learned to be quiet.  We were all summoned to the administrative offices for a meeting about a program that was supposed to be able to keep track of all our test scores, tell us what to teach to reach the weak objectives, and also project what students would score on future tests.  It was a reputable firm with some research to back it up, but was basically still in the testing phase.  We would have been one of the pilot groups.  Most of the other schools were from New Mexico. and even though their improvements were impressive, we were already scoring higher than they had reached.  Where people get suckered is looking at the point spread of improvement without taking into account how easy it is to move from 30% to 70% and how hard it is to move from 95% to 99%.  Those 4 points are harder than the previous 40 points.

Anyway, we listened, and we were polite.  At the end of the presentation, we were asked to give a show of hands to vote on the proposal.  One of the two “questioners” what I like to refer to as the emporer’s courtiers, asked if the person doing the presentation would leave the room so we could have a discussion about the program.  He was very polite, and she willing went out for a soda.

The discussion was basically about whether we needed the services or not and how much did they cost.  It appeared that no one wanted to tell us that, but it is hard to evaluate a program without knowing what it’s going to cost.  Oh never mind – we’re in lala land.   Finally, the bigger courtier said, “You give me (meaning his school)  the money that you are going to pay them, and I’ll guarantee an increase in test scores.  The other courtier who was big, but not as big, said, “I’m tired of people from out-of-state, that are not familiar with our test and are scoring lower than we are wanting to sell us a program that will supposedly help us.”  Well, that seemed to be the tipping point.  The Emporer started turning red, beginning with his ears.  (That’s where it always started.)  He spoke loudly, determinedly through clenched teeth, “We will be implementing this program, and you will like it.”  Guess what??  We did. 

Now, how many people do you think tracked those students that we got the first information on through three years of testing to see if the “predictability” part of the program worked.  Me.  Guess what??  It didn’t.  It was just hit and miss.  I could have predicted the failures myself and so could every one of the educators that dealt with those students.  The problem was the lack of people, facilities and time to work with them.

I hate to tell the world, but the true answer is a small group with a good teacher.  It doesn’t even have to be a great teacher, just a good one in small group settings and time to do it.   I have seen that success time and time again.  And that doesn’t mean giving up art (which we never had) or music.  There are many things we could do.  Move athletics and agricultural activities outside the day.  If you wish to participate in them come at 7:30 and start the academic day at 9:00.  Have a big brunch at 10:30 then let the academic day end at 2:30.  At 2:30 the other activities could pick up, such as art, music, theater, more athletics, club activities and end at 5:00.  During the academic day those students at risk need groups of no more than 5 for the basic subjects – reading, writing, math.  They need an aid for groups of five for their science and social studies to help them with understanding what it is they are supposed to be doing and make sure they get started doing it.   It’s the only way to save them, but I have my doubts that we really want to save them.  90% of students don’t need this.  They have a support system at home, or it just comes easy to them – I don’t know, but it works for them.  Those other 10% are our social burden of the future, and what I can’t understand is don’t we realize how much more expensive they are later than when they Image Detailare young.

Oh well, the emporer has no clothes and no one can get through to him.  All the emporers continue to walk right down the big middle of the street just naked as the day they were born.  And we follow right behind. Hell, some of us would take our clothes off just to be a part of a team or just to get our paycheck.  I always needed my paycheck.

O.K. I give up. Can’t keep my mouth (or hands or fingers or brain) quiet anymore. Yes, Whitney could sing, but enough already.

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I have been kind and respectful.  I too believe that Whitney Houston was a great entertainer, but please enough is enough.  Major headlines everyday since the death on TV and all online news sites.  When John Stewart asked last night why didn’t we know about “that war’ that took place in Turkey or Syria or wherever (see I don’t know either),  it drove me over the edge.  News is news and entertainment is entertainment, and why is there more “entertainment news” than news on TV and front page of the search engines.  Come on, no wonder our electorate is so ignorant.  Is it a conspiracy to keep us like mushrooms – in the dark?

Well, I’ve said it.  Now, I will try to become better informed and pass on that information in my own little world and way.  Because I can say Everything I Always Wanted To, But Was Afraid.

Note:  CNN just finished a commentary on the overdone coverage.  I guess that adds to their coverage (overcoverage) of the overcoverage. So, I will end my addition to the overcoverage!

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And why the picture of Dolly you might ask????  She wrote the song, “I Will Always Love You”.

Are my poor little ones having to deal with the wet weather again?

O.K. get ready.  I am going to step on toes, or better said, cleats this morning.  Once again, I lie here in the early morning hours wondering about the little ones that were my responsibility for so many years.  The kids at my elementary school (remember, I have been retired for a couple of months) have not had an awning to walk under when they go to their cars in the afternoon since we rerouted traffic for pickup.

A little background for the record.  When I arrived as administrator of the school, one of the things I was asked to upgrade was the pick up procedure.  At that time, students still left the old-fashioned way – the bell rang, all students ran out the door.  Cars were parked everywhere waiting for their students, or kids walked home, or they loaded on busses.  There was no way to know if a student walked, got on a bus, or was picked up by the parent.  Our school was situated on a main road through a small town, but it was just a two lane black top without sidewalks or any shoulders on the road to walk on, and kids being kids weren’t paying much attention to anything other than “Woo Hoo, school is out for another day!!”  It really was a disaster waiting to happen.

As we began implementing the new pick up plan, (you probably know the general procedure) busses in one location with lines and supervision, walkers in another with someone to walk them across the major streets, and car riders in a location where parents could have a drive through to just come by, and we loaded the kids.  They didn’t even have to get out;  we made the McDonald’s drive-through look inept.

After all that background, now to the gist of my irritation.  The car riders, which makes up the majority of the students (probably equal to the bus riders) have always had to go out the side door without an awning, which means in rain, sleet, snow, or shine (wait, isn’t that the postman?) they have to go out to their car, with a teacher holding their hand, to be loaded for their ride home.  Now, this sounds like a silly complaint.  What does a short little trip to the car in the weather hurt anyone?  It doesn’t, and I would agree if it were an equal opportunity weather experience by all, but once again it is not.  For one thing, we have the only classroom for severe and profound students.  That means that the most vulnerable students – those with the inability to walk and move in a normal manner are also having to walk out in the weather, only it takes about twice as long to get to their cars.   Here we go again;  we were the only elementary school without awnings.  For over two years, we had been told it would just be a short time until we got the awnings.  The construction department came to measure several times. (I quit counting I got so disgusted.) Even the school board president came and looked (with the superintendent) at where the awnings would go.  Then, the board president came and told us that we would be getting awnings shortly.  Of course, by that time we had learned to “believe it when we see it.”

Now, that might be enough of a gripe for some, but not for me.  All during this three-year period of awning deprivation, a new field house, weight room, stadium,  and high school was completed.  That, in addition to awnings at every other school.  My students that needed these awnings the most were the only ones without.  Now, I am mad, and everything that was built or bought for any other school warranted a smart remark like, “Of course, our little special ed kids have to make their way in any kind of weather.” Then, it became one of those situation that if you didn’t laugh you would have to cry.  When reports came back to me of the field house that put the Dallas Cowboy field house to shame (for a team that had been three years with maybe one win), I began to tell anyone that tried to share what were really achievements to the district, “Just don’t tell me.  You know it gets me going.  All I want is awnings for my special needs kids.”

One day, I was as I working on a presentation, I was lamenting the fact that I did not have a color copier.  By that time we were “so sophisticated” that we could send our documents to our new copy machines.  Just as a joke I decided to see if there were any color copiers in the district.  (I just happen to be knowledgeable enough to look at the selection for the entire district for printers and copiers.)  As I scrolled down the list, I saw the one thing that was the most devastating information ever.  There, right in front of my eyes, on my cheap company computer, on the list of copiers, was the “War Room Color Copier.”  “What is this?” I ask myself.  My assistant happened to be in my office during this search, and I could tell by his face that he had just found the ammunition to get me really stirred up.  You know, that look that is referred to as a “s**t-eaten grin” on his face.  We had worked together long enough that I could spot it instantly.  “You don’t know what the War Room is do you?” he slowly asked.  I did not.  And as he explained to me just exactly what that was – the conference room in the field house, that is in addition to the weight room, the media room, the coaches’ offices, and the head coach’s private office (with bathroom).

I can only shake my head today as the sleet comes down and wonder if those poor, little kids have to walk out in the weather to get to their cars.  But hey, we can have color copies of plays that don’t work, for teams that don’t win.  Boy, does our culture puzzle me.

So you think you know everything?

The Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931). It was originally published in The Youth’s Companion on September 8, 1892. Bellamy had hoped that the pledge would be used by citizens in any country.

In its original form it read:

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

In 1923, the words, “the Flag of the United States of America” were added. At this time it read:

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

In 1954, in response to the Communist threat of the times, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words “under God,” creating the 31-word pledge we say today. Bellamy’s daughter objected to this alteration. Today it reads:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Section 4 of the Flag Code states:

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”, should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.”

The original Bellamy salute, first described in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, who authored the original Pledge, began with a military salute, and after reciting the words “to the flag,” the arm was extended toward the flag.

At a signal from the Principal the pupils, in ordered ranks, hands to the side, face the Flag. Another signal is given; every pupil gives the flag the military salute — right hand lifted, palm downward, to a line with the forehead and close to it. Standing thus, all repeat together, slowly, “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands; one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.” At the words, “to my Flag,” the right hand is extended gracefully, palm upward, toward the Flag, and remains in this gesture till the end of the affirmation; whereupon all hands immediately drop to the side.

The Youth’s Companion, 1892

Shortly thereafter, the pledge was begun with the right hand over the heart, and after reciting “to the Flag,” the arm was extended toward the Flag, palm-down.

In World War II, the salute too much resembled the Nazi salute, so it was changed to keep the right hand over the heart throughout.

Copyright ©1995-2011 by the Independence Hall Association

Oh really!!  How many of you thought the “under God” was always there???

 


The Sign That Pissed Me Off and Drove a Wedge In Deeper

When someone goes out to change our sign at school they have to haul a rolling cart with plastic, scratched letters (The cart was a freebie that had textbook samples in it at some time.)  It is rolled by a volunteer (hopefully) about 50 yards to the sign.  Oh yeah, and they have to carry a 2×4 with some kind of cross looking contraption because when the volunteer gets there they have to prop up the plexi glass that covers the letters or it will fall on the head and kill.  It is heavy.  He looks like Jesus going to the cross with an updated rolling cart!  There is a sheet of paper that we have written what we want on the sign, and they remove the previous message letters and proceed to replace them with the new letters for our message to be viewed by all who drive by and are not texting or talking on their cell phone.  And even if they are looking the letter fall sideways or off or we didn’t have the proper letter  (such as we have to use a lowercase l for a number 1)  As our poor devoted volunteer was changing our sign, I was told that another elementary in our district had a new sign.  I rushed to my car and went to see their new sign, because it was something we certainly needed, and I was interested in how they got a new one and hoping we could do whatever they did to get us one.  When I saw the sign I screamed.  It was a beautiful digital sign that could be programmed at any time from inside.  No going out in the rain or leaving outdated information on the sign because of the time or weather.  Just a few buttons to push and voila – instant messaging in beautiful, bold colors running continually across a background of beautiful sandstone colored brick 24 hours 7 days a week.  Price – let’s just say our $3,000 fundraiser would not touch it unless we saved for 10+ years.  Come to find out it was “donated” by a parent.  (I bet you would never guess that all the other elementary schools make fun of that school for being in the %1.  Us “Poor” folks can’t keep up.  It’s just like you allowing a relative to give one of your five children a spectacular present and nothing to the others.  NOT FAIR.  But oh my, what could they do.  It was a gift to that school.  They could say NO unless you can giver every one the same.  Or put the money into an account until there was enough for all to have equal signs.  No matter that we are endangering lives just to change our sign!!  I think all money donated should be put into a central pot and if signs are what we want, then when there is enough money for all elementary schools in the district to get the same one, then let’s go – together.  Quit fostering dissent between the schools.  It feeds the fallacy that one school is better than another.

 

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