Saturday, September 24, 2005

Work is a four letter word.

Gentle reader, please forgive the morose nature of this most recent entry. I am rather depressed by the prospect with my employer. J- is causing problems again and it's making me more then miserable.

I did love my job at one point in time. I love watching children light up as they learn something new. I love seeing the pride in their faces as they master a new skill or accomplish something they didn't think they could do. It delights me when children are playing and having fun. I find a deep satisfaction in imparting what little wisdom I have gained during my time thus far upon this Earth to them. And, oddly enough, I get an equally deep sense of satisfaction in maintaining their well being. Even if it makes me want to beat my head against the wall at times.

Now, however, I have come to loathe going to work. I wake up in the morning with a stress headache and a back in knots. When I get to work, I've already found myself in a position where most days I've taken an antacid by 8:30 am. And I get up at 6:45! Why do I loathe this experience that gave me joy and a sense of purpose? Because of the environment created by one person and my being effectively forced to deal with it at the risk of greater aggrivation if I don't, if not the loss of my employment.

J-, personally, is a very sweet woman. I don't think she's intentionally mean-spirited, though I'm beginning to be convinced that it could be otherwise. At best, she is utterly thoughtless and self-centered. At worst, she is a manipulitive and vicious lout who feels that she's worth something when she is denigrating some one else. J- and I don't see eye to eye on much of anything. As the Lead Teacher in the room, she feels that she can dictate to me all elements of my role in the class room. Now under any other circumstances, I would be inclined to do so.

With how J- runs the room and treats me, it will be a cold day on the sunny side of Mercury when that happens. J- feels that allowing children to run wild and play with objects such as power cords is fine. She claims "I'm handling it." How can she be handling it when the kids are throwing objects at each other which can injure them and playing with things that are clearly not ment for children between the ages of 1 1/2 years and 3 years? She stands there, watching as children run past her and out into the hall, unsupervised to go hide from us, the adults responcible for their safety.

God help me, becuase I fear that some child will come to harm when this happens and I'll be sued for that enormous degree of negligence. This woman gleefully passes the blame for all the problems in the room onto my shoulders, along with the hard work of maintaining dicipline and order in it. I am certian that if I was not there the room would go to the wolves. It's bad enough when I'm told that I'm not doing my job right because I'm not trying to bribe a child to behave. When I'm getting told that I'm not cleaning things the right way because the method that sterilizes play equipment isn't her method... it's a bit difficult.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do. The old boss abdicated responcibility and said "You two talk it out. I'll mediate it. You can resolve it." The mediation was her joining the bandwagon of bad-mouthing me and not giving me a chance to get a word in edgewise. And her saying "well, it's not really a problem. After all, it's not like that right now." Sure, there isn't garbage and dangerous things all over the room at this second. I cleaned up the room. I made sure that things like the hot glue guns (which aren't even supposed to be there in the first place) are up and safely out of reach. I threw away the food that had been horded and growing some kind of mold all over it.

The new boss claims that she's monitoring the situation and observing how J- and I work together. I've seen precious little of that. Meanwhile things are getting worse. It was just a matter of J- being mildly irritating at first. As time progressed, J- became lazy about cleaning the room. Now, she has the nerve to tell me that I'm doing it wrong. Mind you that she doesn't feel the urge to do little things like sweep the floor before she mops it, which rarely happens anyway. I'm getting sick of this mess and I don't know what to do.

Kinda scared to look for a new job. What if J- gets wind and some how manages to con her way to the phone when some one calls to inquire about me in reference to an application? She seems to have the management and the boss wrapped pretty tightly around her finger.

I am starting to hate my job. That's not fair.

Friday, September 02, 2005

typing while sleepy is hazardous too your readers...

Gentle reader, please forgive my myriad of typographical errors.

I am typing this up rather late at night and i will be going to bed shortly after i post this.

i aplogize for being so lax in my postings. i also apologize for my errors. i hope that this hasn't made it all rather impossible to read.

have a lovely day/night/evening/afternoon... well, you get the picture.

PS: Hubby, I adore you more then anything inthe *whole wide world*. :)

Back dated rants: Education, politics & social order

May -, 2005

[Gentle reader, please note that this is another excerpt from my increasingly voluminous journal. Sections may seem to flow less then ideally, but this is to preserve privacy. For the same reason names have been changed.]


Literacy should be taught the same time as intermediate verbal skills. One could tie phonetics for verbals to the phonetics for the literary, but I don't know how much success you could get with that. With three-year olds, you should beable to do some basic reading,writing, and mathematics. I think counting to twenty and reciting the aphabet is more then reasonable.

Somewhere, some how giving children value became lip-service. They get robbed of their opportunities by people who are so selfish. It is heart-rending.

Now, let's put the social status of caregivers, teachers, governesses, and nannys aside for a moment. With that, put aside the debates of public versus private education and brandname versus generic products for children.

Why does our society feel that athletics and computers are more important then reading or mathematics? Why are athletes the socially acceptable role models. Why is the educated person regarded with suspicion and contempt? Our problems competing in business on the international stage is a result of our subborn culture of ignorance. We encourage sloth and sloveness. We fear the wisdom of the people from the school of hard-knocks almost as much as we fear the educated man. Our soceity is so ... broken.

Why do I say broken? Well, I suppose I must clarify society ... no, I need to explain the role of society as I see it. The role of our society is not to preserve the status quo or enforce some set of moral rules. Society is the frame where in individuals engage each other. It ultimately serves as a place for growth and healthy development of individuals. We cooperate for the good of the group because it raises the standard of living for the individuals.

We're currently stagnated. Cooperation is shattered becuse people focus on themselves. Ultimately, this harms us because we can not bring ourselves to raise the standard of living. Complancency leads to a failure to maintain our growth or our current status. Humans are generally egocentric. They fail to recognize the efforts that game becore to create the current setting. They also fail to see how their actions have a long term effect. Now, the degrees of this egocentrisim will vary. It is maturity and social interactions that draw people out of that innate egocentrisim.

Religion is one of them mitigating factors, too. It is an element that is fading out of our culture in ways that ... undermine our [cultral] stability. Relgion needs to be an organic and responsive thing that allows for us to continue to grow and live. Failure to do so brings the demise of that religion and the destabilization of the associated society. Part of the reason why Rome fell was becasue their society imploded. Decadance and social decay is the cancer of success. I hate to say it, but some hardship is necessary. Be it hardship to an individual for their growth or hardship to a nation/society. It is the bitter that makes us recognize the sweet. It is also the burden that makes us strong. The trick lies in recognizing when the bitter over powers the sweet or vice versa.

[text here] added at the time of posting.

Back dated rants: Dicipline is *not* a bad word!

August -, '05

[Gentle reader, please note that the following is an excerpt from my private journal. All names have been changed for the sake of privacy and respect.]

[...] It was last week, I think it was Tuesday, when the issue with J- and the others suddenly clarified itself. The lead teacher in the Infants room at center no. 5 summarized it all saying:

"We're not supposed to dicipline. That's the parent's job. We just tell the kids what they're supposed to do. If they don't listen, they don't listen."

I resisted the powerful urge to shake the woman and scream "What's WRONG with you!?!" Why do these people feel that there's no place for dicipline in the development of a child or their well-being? Perhaps it is because they assume dicipline is the same as punishment; I honestly have no idea and no desire to find out.

From the little I have seen, children need a structured environment to operate in to become healthy young adults. Basically, the ordered environment provides a subtle set of instructions that are eventually absorbed as a part of the bheavior set. Now, as children grow and develop, there will be changes to how that environment is structured.

With cognitive growth, they will challenge te structure to understand it and to find their optimal method of working with the world. this is where self-monitoring and self-dicipline develops. It is a natural outgrowth from the dicipline provided. In part, it is a habit. Habits are powerful things. In part, the children will learn why the structure operates the way it doees and asslimlate elementes of it. Kids in places with out structure will not develop the self-monitoring skills or self-dicipline. The will run wild, socially be inept, and act highly impulsive. These children will throw tempertantrums at the drop of a hat, especially if they don't get what they want.

The will try to use "might makes right" logic or to use "everybody's doing it" to justify their actions. They have a high propensity to act out and be disruptive. These are the main reasons why so many of these kids are diagnosed as ADD or ADHD whey they are not. The surface symptoms of an undiciplined child closely resembles those of these disorders. The trick is what is their attention span. Kids with ADD or ADHD generally have short attention spans and need alot of guidance to stay on task. Undiciplined children have reasonably average attention spans.

Their problem is they lack the skills to remain on task. To a degree, the techniques used for addressing these problems are the same, or so I've found. "Chunking" information and breaking tasks down into smaller steps seem to work well with any child. Using reminders and giving praise for successful self-monitoring also seems to work well for any child. Mainly, I've found the greatest success in giving one-on-one direction to these children. By keeping them actively engaged virtually every problem I've had with ADD, ADHD, and undiciplined children is resolved.

The challenge is to stay active enough. It's hard to keep on your toes with roughly 15 kids all day.

Something Religious: The Beauty of Christ

[Just a warning for you, this is a rather spontaneous bit of writing. Please forgive any and all errors as the fruit of inspiration being faster then typing.]

The beauty of Christ is not the beauty of man. Some may say that mankind* has a raw beauty that is of some earthy quality and while impressive is of a lesser value compared to that of Christ. Many argue that the beauty of Christ is some ephemeral thing, like a bit of gossamer, that is transcendent and separate from this world. An inattainable thing that would only be corrupted, if not defiled, by human hands.

This rejection of humanity must pain God. I'm sure of it. Why you ask, gentle reader?

Well for one simple reason- beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yes, but two different things can still remain beautiful. A sunset and a particularly fine painting are both objects of beauty. They are, however, two vastly different things. A lovely display of flowers and a beautiful person are two different things, but they are still coined as bits of beauty in the world.

Now my take on all of this may be too simple. I don't know. I'm still learning about how to be Christian, so I may have most of the whole ball of wax wrong here. But, from what I've been able to gather, the beauty of the world is still beauty, no matter what shape it takes. The beauty of Christ is still beauty. The difference found is in what shape that bit of beauty takes. And the concept that the beauty of Christ is transcendent and separate from this world is grossly flawed.

Yes, that beauty is transcendent. It holds an over arching property to it that goes beyond description in the limited words that we have in our languages. It is a thing of pure spirit and emotion that defies words, much like the heart stopping depths of any emotion. Transcendance is not mutually exclusive to being in the world. The Church ** is the corporeal body of Christ in this world. It is a corporate entity that makes up the presence and the beauty of Christ in this world.

I dearly and deeply hope that the different people that make up this body of Christ will come to realize that their validity is because of their faith. And that beauty of Christ, which seems so ephemeral, won't be stained by human hands when the body is made of mankind.

*My use of the masculine gender as the general descriptor of humanity is convention sake, not some gender postulating or anything else silly like that.

**I use the term Church as encompassing the entire community of believers that make up Christianity and those who belive in Christ.