Friday, April 30, 2010

I've Been Accused Of Being A Liberal By The Wink ISD

On my blog a couple of days ago I asked a simple question. Here's that question...why is it that the Kermit ISD school board and administration can hire me, but the Wink ISD school board and administration can not. I received a phone call today giving me the answer to that question. Are you ready? It's because I'm too liberal., I had to ponder on what I had done over the past ten years that earned me the title of being too liberal. I suppose after some pondering I came up with a list of events that I think I'll gladly share with you and then you can decide if I'm too liberal. Okay, are you ready? Here goes.

When a concerned mother approached me seven years ago and asked me to be her advocate at a local DEIC meeting with the principal and several teachers, I gladly accepted. During that meeting I found out that the first grade teacher was tearing up children's papers in front of them during class and throwing them in the trash because they had failed to put their tiny little names on their papers. Not only was the paper ripped up a zero was also recorded in the grade book. I asked, "How is it that you can record a zero for that child and yet not allow the child to put his/her name on the paper and give that child credit for their work? What you're doing is humiliating and damaging to that child forever creating a hostile educational environment that instills an intrinsic dislike for learning. Are you prepared to create children that loathe coming to school?" This teacher's response?

"I'm preparing them for the future. Do you think they can fill out a job application and forget their name and get hired for the job? You're not even a teacher so what you think doesn't matter."

The principal allowed her to continue her demeaning practice, but in the meantime I quit my job and went back to college to become what? Yep, you guessed it...a teacher. Not only would I be qualified to state my opinion, but I would have the ammunition to abolish her unfair practices. And sure enough, when my little Annie finally got into her first grade class, I was there that afternoon on the first day of school meeting with her and the principal to inform her that I would not tolerate such a heinous act and now that I was a teacher...I knew what she was doing was wrong. You can not punish academically for behavior. End of story. So, I suppose putting an end to an antiquated horrible act of belittling children makes me a liberal.

Then there was the time that I again became an advocate for a mother whose child was being discriminated against. Seems that every child except for him was getting credit for their work. These worksheets had two sides and a place for the student's name on both sides. This child would forget to put his name on one side earning him a zero for the paper. (I guess she didn't get the memo that that practice had been abolished) After contacting several of the parents who had children in this teacher's class and getting copies of their children's worksheets, sure enough I came across many instances where these students had been given full credit for their work even though their name only appeared on one side, my child being one. After bringing it to the teacher's attention she refused to change the student's grades. I then went to the principal. With the teacher in the room, I pulled my copies of the child who had been discriminated against...and smugly this teacher smiled and said, "Yep, that's my policy. Name has to be on both sides to get credit." Then I asked, "And you are consistent with this policy? You enforce it with every child?" She responded, "Oh, I most certainly do." Then I quietly with purpose pulled a stack of no less than fifty papers...each one showed a child's name on one side, but not on the other and yet grades had been credited for both zeros recorded. "This child whom you have given zeros to is black, these children whom you have not given zeros to are white. What does this look like to you?" So, I suppose ending racial discrimination makes me a liberal.

Confronting the school librarian who called my daughter a liar by telling her that she indeed checked this book out that had not been returned and would now have to pay for it also qualifies me as a liberal. I had written the librarian several notes informing her that Annie had never checked out this book, that it had to have been a mistake...she ignored my letters. Until the end of the year school party when the day before my daughter was informed that she would have to spend the fun filled day alone in the secretaries' office because she had not paid for this book. My daughter, in the first grade, came home in tears. I was back that very afternoon in the principal's office with that librarian. Not only did I tell her who the child was that checked out that book, but that I had contacted an aide at the school that went to the shelf and found the book improperly placed. I told the librarian that she owed my daughter an apology. Her response, "I'm not apologizing to her. You don't apologize to kids. Your daughter is just overly sensitive." I then informed her that she was base and depraved and pure evil. (not one of my better days.) So, I suppose getting the prinicpal to write a letter stating that Annie never checked out the book and didn't owe the money makes me a liberal. By the way...I still have that letter.

There are many other events over the past 10 years that I could relate to you, but we'd be here for days recounting them all. I suppose the nail in the coffin event was when I was interviewed by the superintendant. He told me he was concerned that in the past I wasn't a team player. My response? "You're correct if not being a team player means protecting the right of every child to a fair and equitable education. You're also correct in identifying me as not a team player because I provide parents with accurate information and resources to help their struggling child. And you're definitely correct in assuming that if you want me to violate the teacher code of ethics by denying a child special education services that I wouldn't do it...yep, then I'm not a team player."

All ye of narrow minded thought processes listen one runs me out of town and no one puts baby in the corner.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Being a NRFU Agent

I completed my week of Census Training and now I am officially a NRFU Agent. I'll see if you can figure out what acronym NRFU is. There were TONS of acronyms in the NRFU training manual. HU, WHEHU, EQ and various other such tid bits of exciting information.

I'd love to be able to tell you that training was extremely fun and riveting, but alas...I can not. Since I had gone through the previous training most of the first couple of days was a recap of stuff I already knew. I really tried not to be a know it all, because I just can not tolerate know it alls. To pacify myself and keep my ADD from kicking in, I texted friends and read a book during the parts I already knew. I didn't think I had bothered anyone, but the next day our CL advised me about excessive texting, she didn't seem to mind the two ladies sitting at the end of my table that talked constantly. In response I limited my texting to breaks and lunch but continued to read my book, which I finished yesterday.

I guess you might be wondering how a teacher managed to take off time during TAKS testing. Normally, I wouldn't have been able to do that, but since the school I am employed by is shutting their doors for good on May 28th, and we haven't had a math teacher for over a month, I didn't think they would mind much. I'll see when I return to work on Monday.

Others have asked what I'll be doing for employment. Well, just yesterday I was informed by the Kermit ISD, a little district about seven miles from my abode, hired me. Yep, the school board met last night and voted to accept my application. Hmmm...that's something the Wink ISD school board could never do. I wonder why?

I was also delighted about the salary. It's good. The drive, a fourteen mile round trip, will be the shortest commute I've had since moving to Texas back in 2001. I've gone from one hundred four to ninety eight to thirty four and now just fourteen miles! I'm so very very excited!

Traveling HWY 18 everyday this week to Census Training had me passing something unusual. It involves wheels, carts, blue containers and a man. I think tomorrow I am gonna stop and take some pictures and figure out what this little man is up to. Should make for an interesting day.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Water Balloons, Butterscotch and A Return

Today is my daddy's birthday. His favorite flavors are butterscotch and black licorice. When deciding on baking my daddy a birthday treat, I decided better go with butterscotch. Whipped up a fantastic butterscotch cupcake recipe and soon I'll have those delicious morsels cooling and topped with butter cream icing with a hint of butterscotch.

Mommy took daddy to their usual get away the Ft Davis Mountains. The kids and I also like the mountains of Ft Davis and do a bit a hiking there periodically. Another favorite fun activity the kids and I adore is fighting each other with water balloons. The most difficult part of having a water balloon fight is the preparation. I think I get the wettest filling up all the water balloons!

Our backyard is a hodge podge of different hiding places. A big shed, a play house, trees and all sorts of neat concealed places where one could hide in ambush. My daughter Annie has a real talent for hiding and jumping out when you least expect it.

Those simple pleasures bring me back to a time of innocence. I never thought I'd go through divorce twice, didn't plan on it, but the scars it left behind sometimes plagued me with a feeling of being stained and blotted. Days like today help me get back to a time of innocence before all the ugly things have happened.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

We Just Want To Celebrate...A Benefit Performance By Outlash for Erika

When good people get together for an awesome cause great things happen!Friends and family of Erika Berry gathered at the Texas Moon in Kermit
April the 10th to show their love and support. Local businesses and individuals donated time, items for auction and monetary gifts to make the Rocker Chick Benefit a huge success.

Outlash performed for the benefit at no charge between the live auctions. JR Sanchez, lead guitarist and former Wink graduate said, "We always have a good time when we come to Kermit. We couldn't pass up an opportunity to
help out a good friend." As the band began "We Just Want To Celebrate"the entire crowd sang along because we were there to celebrate Erika's second chance at life.

Fonda white MC'ed most of the evening and was a natural at it. She presented Erika monetary gifts from local businesses and individuals. One particular gift from Jackie and Wes Perry of Midland grasped my attention. The Perrys did not know Erika personally, but her story touched their hearts. In February of 2006, the Perry's daughter, Dara, passed away from a ruptured arotic aneurysm. She was a school and missionary nurse that traveled to Uganda often to minister to the children of Africa. As Fonda related the story to the crowd, Erika's eyes filled with tears because not only did they send her a gift, but they also checked on her status and continue to do so.

A grand total of $7,270 was raised for Erika that night. "I am so grateful. It was absolutely amazing! I bet I cried twenty times or more that night!" said Erika. A big thank you goes out to everyone that attended, donated time and items for the benefit.

There are a multitude of amazing people that live in our community and we would like to express our sincerest gratitude for all their assistance.

Laurie Sharp
Sheila Butler, Midland
Annie Dominquez, Midland
Fonda White, Midland
One Body Salon, Midland
Gasoline Alley, Kermit
Wink Vol. Fire Dept
Rodney Hayes

Edward Scott
Baldwin Electronics,Odessa
LInda Barrick
Destiny Garcia
Mary Nell Hailey
Cynthia Flynn
Texas Moon
Cissy Pilkington
Scott Riggs
The Brotherhood of the 74, Kermit Chapter
Chucky Wilhelm
Wendy Medina
Jesse Moya
Tracy & Dano Jackson
2 Wheel Motion-Kermit Chapter
Prestige Parties & Events, Midland
Kathy Jackson, MIdland
DRM Trucking (Jamie Meek), Midland
Jackie & Wes Perry, MIdland
John & Thenia Micheletti, Midland
Terry & Cindy Carpenter Dentistry, Midland
David Rumade
Klines Pumping Service (Jack Kline)

Steven & Tony Underwood
Tessco, Kermit
Outlash, Midland
James "Chip" Parks
Tammie Lujan
Jerrie's Cafe
Raymond Thomas

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Writing Blues

I haven't felt much like writing lately, can't say exactly why. I suppose there are times in one's life when all that living catches up to you. I'll have to say, now that I've pondered a few seconds on it, that's what has happened in mine.

Let's recap and take inventory of the past few months of the new year. School closure, census training, census working, trip to Ft Worth, trip to San Antonio, two benefits, looking for a new job, planning a surgery and finally the ex hubby has decided...well...I'll not divulge exactly what he's decided except that I don't like it.

Then there's this whole losing of my appetite thing. I'm not sure what's going on, and mind you, in the past I would have loved to have had this problem, that I've taken off weight, I'm not really in any condition to be losing more weight. This recent weight loss can not be attributed to the HCG Diet which I tried out last year and had successful results with. So, you're wondering what the weight is now? Hold on, let me weigh and I'll tell you. One hundred ten pounds. Yes, in the middle of the day fully clothed. I'll have to check it in the morning to see if it's even lower.

Possibly, it could be the really warm weather we've been having. It's difficult for me to eat hot things when it's hot outside. That reminds me I need to get my chilled soup recipes out and stock up on salad fixings.

I did have a fantastic time at the Rocker Chick Benefit which I'll blog here in a few days, once I get access to some pictures from that night. I can confidently report that over $6000 was raised for Erika. As soon as I get all the details I'll let you know.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rocker Chick Benefit Performance By Outlash

The Texas Moon in Kermit, Texas will be hosting a Rocker Chick Benefit for Erika Berry. The event starts at 5PM with brisket plates going for $7, and a live auction of cakes, vintage items and tons of rock memorabilia. West Texas' very own heavy rock band, Outlash, will be performing starting at 9PM. The band has waived their usual fee of $500, and a cover charge of $5 will be collected. All monies from the brisket and live auction, as well as the band's fee and cover charge will be given to Erika to assist with her medical expenses. Come on out Saturday and let's raise the roof!