Ink & Paper

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Hot off the presses...

Congratulations to Matt and Dace, as they are now engaged. Good on both of you and all the best. I call being "that guy" at the wedding.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 9:20 PM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

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"I wonder if I can eat that camera like I ate that cell phone?"

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 6:55 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

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Guard Dog

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 6:53 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

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Good day, sunshine, doo doo doo, good day sunshine....

For those of you still looking for solace after the violent breakup of everyone's favorite indie band sierra, you can check out my brother's latest musical accomplishment via this very blog. I know, I know, I'm too good to you.

100% solo, so as to avoid prima donna drummers, Jeff's new ticket to fame and fortune is known as "Leaving Juneau" and you can listen to his new songs here. Go ahead, get that office rockin! Actually it seems to be more acoustic thatn sierra was and I must say that it sounds pretty damn good, perhaps a little smoother than sierra and his vocals are definately way better. And trust me, it's hard for me to say anything good about him. So give it a listen, rock the office, and when he his huge and has millions of groupies, you can say "I knew him when" and bask in his reflected glory. Of course, he'll end up on VH1's "Where are they now?" in a few years, talking about how drugs and hookers ruined his 3rd marriage and caused him to attempt an ill-advised lounge lizard reunion tour, but still, get on the wagon before he falls off of it.

There ya go Jeff, that is about as much props as I can manage right now. Actually, despite Jeff's good music, I have been in a pretty bitter, hate the world kinda mood lately. I don't know why, sometimes I just get pissed off. So that's why the blog has been scarce lately, but I'm sure you'll get over it. I think Decemeber is gonna be a long month, and despite that fact that I really wanted to get home in April, the prices I am being quote would make anyone shvitz, so I'm unhappily unsure if it is gonna happen. That's probably why I hate the world today, plus the fact that I let Megan down, which I seem to do too often. She's okay with it, as she is by far the most patient woman in the world, but that doesn't mean I'm okay with it.

On top of that, despite the fact that I was told I would be paid 100KD ($400Cdn) for both October and November's coverage of the 'runners' class, because they found a teacher before the end of November, I am only getting paid 175KD total. Not that I am extremely upset about this, but it doesn't make my life any easier, nor does it leave me feeling too positive about helping the school out at all in the future. Just rather poor staff relations, but I'm trying to let it go and not get to me, which seems to be working.

So be happy that we aren't out going for beer nights, as I would most likely cut Al to pieces with vicious words. There, now you know why I think life is dumb.

Don't worry, don't send me a flood of emails asking me if I am okay. I'm fine, just a little blue. If I get 100 emails asking me if I'm okay, then I'll lose it. So you've been warned. Ok, work to do, gotta go. Take care of yourself and remember that when life hands you a lemon, you punch life in the face, hold him down and squeeze lemon juice into his eyes until he begs for mercy.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 6:14 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Friday, November 26, 2004

I truly don't have too much to say today, this my one day off after a very busy week. Report cards, parent teacher interviews, and a 700 teacher conference this weekend made for a quick and tiring week. Today is Friday, my Sunday, and I got up at 5am to walk the dog and was back in bed by 630am, sleeping soundly until 100pm. Then i got up and did a whole whack of marking and planning. But it does look like I am almost ready to go for this week. Mind you, this week is a B day week, meaning that I see my moron G9s three times this week instead of two. Sigh, oh well, at least Wednesday is December, that helps the morale.

So that is it, I am going to read the paper and maybe my book. Then I am gonna chat with Meg, have something to eat, and go to bed again, simply because I can. Hope your weekend is peaceful and long. Out.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 5:56 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

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Monday, November 22, 2004

Oy vey, that was a long day....

At skool at 630am, teach from 730-1200pm, then courtyard supervision until 100pm, then a break until 220pm, in which I printed off things and planned for tomorrow. Then parent teacher interviews from 230pm-530pm, straight. A had a steady stream of parents and for three hours all I did was talk. Parents were pretty good, although you get the usual "My kid has 95%, why not 99.5%?" and "My kid is at 26%, why?" Uh maybe cause he's a mouth-breather who hasn't handed in any assignments in the last 9 weeks?

Anyway, done with those until February, thank goodness for that. Tomorrow I have a meeting at 700am, teach from 730-1200pm and then have another meeting from 1230 until probably 200pm. Plus it is the end of the month and I have no money and am just trying to stay somewhat fed until payday, which may come before Saturday, I hope. Plus the exchange rate fell again, stupid US dollar. Anyway, I'm not bitter, just tired and will be in bed within the hour, snoozing away. Until later...

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 9:03 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

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Sunday, November 21, 2004

Wow. Before I get into this I have two things to say. Number one is that I am relatively happy with the school. This doesn't mean that I have any intention of staying here past June 20th, but I don't want people to think that I am miserable. Number two is that I will, by necessity, become a more solitary person over the next few months. Now read closely....

When I got here the school provided a bus. In mid-late September I got off the bus for the peace and quiet (and Michael Jackson tapes- yeah!) of Neil's car, perhaps one of the best moves I have made in my lifetime. Well today was the official 'shit hit the fan' day.

The school had stated in our contracts that the bus service will be discontinued one month after we recieved our Residency status. We recieved this in late October. The Residency means nothing, it is just another piece of meaningless paperwork. You cannot rent a car with it. To rent a car you need your Civil ID, which some of us got before our ten day break. Some of us are still waiting. I have mine, but it is rather meaningless to me.

Anyway, the bus was ended today, causing some rather nasty bit of bitching, not all of it unwarranted. The bottom line is that not all people have other transportation yet. So these people are, in effect, being left to fend for themselves and although other teachers are helping them, the principle of the matter has cut deep.

It is school policy, that I understand. But effectively stranding teachers, some of whom do not have any form of ID yet, does not leave the teaching staff with a good taste in their mouths. So people are pissed, and the administration seems unwilling to help them out.

Of course, in ten years time, none of this will matter. But right now there is a serious tension between the admin and some of the teachers. The gulf is getting bigger, put it that way. And it doesn't help that this week is super crazy, with report cards and parent-teacher conferences and a major teacher conference happening at our school this weekend. People are stressed and this bus is yet another little nickel 'n' dime thing that is adding straw to the back of an already overloaded camel's back. (Nice illustration hey? Camel? Desert? Ah forget it...)

Anyway, people were huddled about today, expressing anger and rage. Other people are yelling at the adminstrators. And one or two will probably be gone by January, if not sooner. There is a real negative vibe, like nothing I have ever felt before. And I don't think their is any leadership, from either the teachers or the admin, that is going to reconcile these issues.

But me, hey, I'm doing okay. I have decent classes, my health insurance kicked in, the admin is happy with me, and my dog hasn't peed on the floor in a long time. And now I only have three 2-month stints until the end of June, with nice little breaks to make life easier. Sure my Dean of English is a total moron, but Allah-willing, she'll be canned by January. If not, she's oblivious, so I'll just do what I do without reprecussions. OK, so don't worry about me.

But I will become more solitary, that I can assure you of. I am already keeping to myself, but with the amount of negativity flying around, I need to do more. Frankly, I cannot handle being around people who are constantly negative. I know some of you are saying "Well thats the pot calling the kettle black," but you do have to grant me the fact that even when I hate the world, I am usually a funny cynic, not a wallowing cesspool of anger and despair. And if I were to stay hanging around people that are cesspools of anger, I am scared that they might taint me against teaching entirely. I am already somewhat tainted against international teaching, but I really don't want that to transfer over to the entire teaching profession. So I am pulling back, simply to make myself a little safer.

Anyway, that is the shite that is going down at my skool. Neither side is blameless, and if I was forced to choose a side, it would definately be the teachers. But if I am smart, and I like to think I am, I will be able to stay clear of it all and emerge with a solid letter of recommendation and some debt relief. Selfish, but I already feel myself growing more conservative as the days go by. But thats another blog for another day. Cheers for reading, 59 days until London.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 7:22 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

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