Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hell Week is Finally Over!

It started on Sunday, when the District emailed me the "seniority list." The administration is recommending some major budget cuts Tuesday night, among them the layoffs of up to 55 teachers. I had promised my members that as soon as I had the list, I'd let them know. Obviously there are many teachers worried about losing their jobs - Sunday night I answered 78 emails about seniority and layoff possibilities. That took 4 1/2 hours.

On Monday, after a day of answering more emails and fielding phone calls I joined my negotiations team at the District's "Budget Advisory Committee" (what a sham). There the group of administrators, teachers, classified employees and parents was forced to split up into mixed groups and make budget cuts recommendations. In addition to being horribly awkward, it was frustrating. I hear the mantra "keep the cuts far away from the classroom," and then see how the administration protects its precious non-classroom employees and programs, and moves to eliminate the jobs of 55 teachers.

Tuesday was more of the same at the office, followed by a great evening at my quilting class. That's the class where we're working out of the Victory Quilts book. At least I had a temporary escape from the ugly. We've done these two blocks so far. The one in the middle is from last week; it's called "Brave World." It was my first ever attempt at triangles, and since they came out just fine, there was a great sense of accomplishment. The squares on the ends are from this past Tuesday; they're called Propeller, and again, more triangles but a different method for making them. For those of you who know the Victory Quilts book, you can see that I'm not using the colors Eleanor Burns recommended. I wanted mine more on the dark side - so I'm using cream instead of white, burgundy instead of red, navy instead of blue, pine green instead of green, and gold instead of yellow. It took 2 hours of (fun) fabric fondling at the Calico Horse to get all the fabrics for this quilt.

Wednesday was a huge day, since my Executive Board decided to have a General Membership Meeting in order to talk about the impending layoffs. I was pleased to see almost 200 (almost half) people there, and the feedback is that the meeting went well. All day I was in a great deal of pain, since I have had a condition all my life that causes intense intestinal cramping when I'm under a lot of stress. But when the PowerPoint presentation was over, and I picked up the mic to answer questions, the pain went away. I think it was because I was finally doing something I had control over - giving my people the information they needed to get through this and prepare themselves for whatever happens.

Thursday was a negotiations session with the District, and while I can't share much, I can say that the most progress was made among the members of the team as to where we're going to go and what we're going to agree to in order to best help our members. So while it was a long, tedious, mostly frustrating day, there should be some positive outcomes.

Friday was short. I did my 6 am breakfast, worked in the office until noon, and then took the rest of the day off. I was exhausted and felt like I was getting sick. I have a lot of sniffles - but I think it must be from the change in the weather and the fireplace. But Friday afternoon I slept. Just passed out.

This morning we woke up to this. It had rained Thursday night and much of Friday, but got colder during the night last night and we ended up with about 6 inches.

Each night that I was home I've calmed myself down by stitching. I'm working on Jerry's autumn butterflies for a round robin, and will have to let him know that I'm going to be late on this. I think he'll be okay with that.

Today is my/our anniversary. It's been 28 years. I was telling Don the other night that it was nice to be in a state of contentment. That's such an important word to me. I am content.
It means that I love him unconditionally, that I trust him completely, that I know he loves me, and that after all the years of ups and downs, there's absolutely nothing that could damage this marriage in any way.

These two pictures are from our honeymoon 28 years ago- a cruise to the Bahamas and then a trip to Disney World while we visited his parents in Orlando. Look at those young faces. And those slender, young bodies! But those are just physical changes. He's still my one and only.

I'm going to enjoy my day and my weekend - I'm going to sew and stitch all day, and then we're going to Outback Steakhouse - our favorite place for celebration. Victoria's Filet, here I come!

UPDATE: Soon after I published the above post, our power went out. I was right in the middle of a block on the sewing machine. Soooo, no more sewing, and not enough light to cross stitch. I read, napped, read some more, and 4 hours later the power came back. Whew! Now we can be a bit more comfortable about going down the mountain to dinner. So how's that for adding to Hell Week? I wonder what's next?


quiltcontemplation blogspot said...

Hang in there! Sounds like hell week for sure.

Denise said...

May I wish you well with the heartache of working in a school
system! I was a parapro for many years and I always said, "If it's
logical, the school system won't do it!" I live in an area with over 11% unemployment, due to the carpet industry.
My very best to you and all your teachers, Denise

Daffycat said...

Aww, sending you lots of hugs. It sounds like one heck of a time.

Happy anniversary!

Mãe da Rita said...

It was a Hell week!! As you may know, here, we're having a fight with government about silly evaluation... It's a pity that school is so mistreated everywhere... Congratulations about your anniversary, it's a looong wayyy! May it goes well for another 28, at least... Here, not snow but awful weather, rain (the worse Winter in 30 years!) and wind. Hugs! MJ

Unknown said...

yes a hell week....but the aniversary and memories,are a good thig.

Lynn said...

Wow,that does sound like Hell week!
I'll keep you and all of your fellow teachers in my thoughts and prayers. Hang in there.
Happy anniversary to you both and many more! Love the pics.

MysteryKnitter said...

Nice pictures. I wish you all the best in your marriage.