Tuesday, March 30, 2010

To Be Continued...

Just came back from yet another court appearance... Once again, there is a continuance. The prosecution was not ready - their report was not submitted, the doctor did not show up, no one knows anything. Total embarrassment. No, wait - it would be for "regular Joe," but not for the government. The prosecution - the DA's office- has a way to appear as if nothing is their fault. The report is not ready - not their fault. The doctor was not contacted - not their fault. They do not know what is going on - not their fault....
I noticed the same attitude lately among our glorious educators: whenever something happens at school, in the classrooms or out on the playground - bullying, fighting, injuries - it's not their fault! They have so many excuses: there is not enough funding, the class sizes are too big, they have so many children to look after, they can't "waste their time" on an individual.... Plenty of those teachers are frustrated and angry, some feel that they cannot do their job effectively... On the other side, there are parents - they are frustrated too, and they cannot do their job - parenting - effectively either, but they do not have as many excuses. How do you say - I have too many children, I just cannot handle them all? Hahaha.... (hysterical laughter)....
Yet, the teachers and the parents in their inefficiency have one common problem - the system that no longer works. The system sets up rules and procedures for teachers, tells them how to be effective teachers and what rules they absolutely have to follow. Then, when those rules do not work and the teacher starts searching for answers - the system representatives say - but it's your classroom, you cannot follow these rules blindly....
The same happens with the parents. The system tells the parents how to effectively teach a child, talk to a child, raise a child. The system tells the parents that they can't use "derogatory names" when talking to a child; they cannot strike or even spank a child; they cannot yell at a child... Yelling, spanking and striking is bad; if the parents are bad, the system will seek Children's Services after them - bad parents! No cookies! In the spirit of "promoted cultural diversity" no one is allowed to speak up an honest opinion about someone else, but "culturally diverse" - another words - different - kind of parenting gets investigated.... "Misunderstandings" have to be cleared up.... If you question a doctor of your child about the side effects of the medication - there is a "concern" that you are not looking out for the best interest of the child. (I know it makes no sense, but that is exactly how I was treated at MISC every time I was questioning a doctor - they never said anything out right, of course, just the implications, " You have to act in the best interest, " "Put his needs above yours," etc... Then the side effects backfire - and the MISC with the doctor take a different position: "We are just recommending the medication; it is up to you to sign the form and officially agree to it." Iron Clad alibi for the system! If it works - we made you do it! If it does not - it's your decision, parent!
Did anyone notice that the parent can be "reported" to the CPS by the system - school, teachers, any "mandated reporter" - just on suspicion of wrongdoing - but nothing can be done if the child is being abused or mistreated at school? Another words - the system can report you, but you cannot report the system... Hypocrites!
So - the educational system is ineffective, the parenting is getting smothered with advice and guidance; the legal system is slow and ineffective... Finally, I had a chance to observe - from a distance, of course - how "the system" treats our children that happen to get in it. My stepson has been in custody of Juvenile court; his tooth was hurting, and the PO promised that he was going to be taken to the dentist. Three months later it has not been done; my stepson's gum and jaw got swollen; there was an infection. I called the PO - she was on vacation.... It took me about a week to get a hold of someone who could do what needed to be done, and it took us getting a hold of the Juvenile Court director (I think that is his title) to get this issue resolved. Now I want to ask you: if my stepson was in his parents' care and came to school unable to talk, complaining of toothache - what do you think would happen? I tell you - we'd have CPS at our door the same day, accusing us of negligence, child neglect and endangerment, and we would have to rush him to the hospital - that is, if they did not try to remove him from "unhealthy and dangerous environment" - his family. But when the system is taking care of things - it can take months, and the most frustrating part is - unlike with family, with parents, no one is directly responsible for anything. The parents cannot report the system - or its representatives - to CPS or law enforcement for neglecting their child's medical needs. Ah, the comfort of double standard...
I am starting to think that something needs to be changed. The double standard does not help - not the people, not the parents, not the teachers. Definitely not children. I think this system has a flaw in it, and it needs to be changed. But how? Any ideas?
Waiting for your response...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Updates - stitching, life, drama, etc.

It has been a couple of weeks since I have posted anything - busy with things to do, schedules to keep, housework (yes, that too)... Ah what the hell - there was nothing to write about, that's all. Scrubbing the kitchen counters may be something necessary to do, but it's hardly worth mentioning on the blog for the whole world to see. As for the thoughts in my head - they are too quick and flighty to capture on paper - or virtual space.
There is one update worth noting, though: I decided to go back to school. I changed my major to Business/Accounting - no more teaching for me, ladies and gentlemen. I just do not think this field is all it is described to be... By the time your students realize they had a good teacher, they are generally raising their own kids, and you are ready to retire. In the meantime, you put in hours at work and more hours at home planning lessons, living on coffee and self-inspiration... Oh, worse yet, one of your students goes out and does something horrible... And, although the responsibility is not yours, it still feels like there is something you could have done... And that is just too much.
The world of numbers, accounts and ledgers is more quiet, more definitive, and has clearer expectations. It does not invite you to change the world, but then again I am not up to that task anyway. It only asks you to balance the accounts.... Fairly clear.
If I start this summer, I will be done and ready to transfer to Cal Poly in two semesters. All that General Ed I took while working on Child Development degree is paying off. So nothing's wasted.

The Stitch-Along I am participating in has died out, so it seems - no one is posting their updates. I guess everyone is busy doing things. That's understandable, although it would be nice to hear from someone once in a while.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

Last week we went to see the new "Alice in Wonderland" movie. It was more impressive than I expected, - good actors, great voices, and timely special effects. While Joe was admiring the Mad Hatter's costume, I enjoyed the characters' voices. I was especially impressed with Epsilon the Catepillar - Alan Rickman: "I can't help you - you don't even know who you are, stupid girl." Stephen Fry as the Chashire Cat was especially charming. The Mad Hatter's character has more depth than the original story - it explores all the meanings of the word "mad". Every character in this movie is shown from a new, often unexpected, angle, giving each character and the whole story additional depth and meaning.
My favorite lines from the movie are....
"It's the wrong Alice! He brought the wrong Alice!"
" You are not Epsilon; I am Epsilon."

I have seen a few reviews of the movie; some complain that it does not bring the magical crazy world of Lewis Carroll, that it is nothing like the book, and that it is "too logical." I have read Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and this movie reminded me of the books, of how I felt when I read it as a child. There was a sense of danger, a sense of maddening nonsense and crazy logic. I never had that feeling when watching the classical Disney cartoon - that was just a cleaned up, pretty story, as far as I am concerned. This movie is different: it shows real connections between real life's problems and the Underland, inviting to make real choices - the ones that will affect you everywhere, in "the other world" and this one.

Anyway, I guess I am starting to ramble again. My Celtic Lady's calling - time to stitch!
Let me know what you think when you see the movie.

Monday, March 1, 2010

New Month - New Week - New Day

For the past month, I have been mostly healing, going to therapy of all sorts, dealing with family crises, and stitching. All sorts of things have been happening - sadness, disagreement, anger, nonsense, violence... Both within - and without - myself and my family. Some things made no sense at all... Anyway, I am starting to ramble without providing anything concrete. But, as George Carlin used to say, it feels like circling the drain. Everything swirls around so fast, and it's all bullshit. And it's bad for ya. :)
Some time last week I had a weird feeling. Suddenly I thought that someone was in my back yard, and that he was going to shoot me - right through the open window, through the screen. It was dark outside, and I did not see or hear anyone - and there was no one there. But the mere possibility of it scared me so that I actually closed the window and moved away from the wall.
Of course, about a minute later my logical self said - you are just freaked out; nobody is there, and living in constant fear that someone is going to do something bad to you is not a way to live at all. And then I thought that, in reality, anyone could hurt me at any moment, rules and laws aside. In my mind there are all these "guarantees" of safety and rights, but all these things in my mind are not real - they are not going to protect me. If some jerk or psycho decides to go out and just kill me - he or she may just succeed, regardless of all the rules.... How do I live with that?
I suppose I will - live with that. It teaches me that I cannot take anything for granted. Ever since the attack I had one reoccurring thought - "My life is not my own." Living on borrowed time? I don't know.
Maybe I am starting to lose my mind. Or maybe I am discovering some new and profound truth about existence, and my mind has trouble dealing with it.
Stitching keeps me busy and freak-out free - at least for the most part. This, together with my cat, gives me the best therapy ever - seriously, better than the real therapist. Somewhere I read the break down of the word "therapist" as "the rapist".... Anyway, Crystal - the cat - sits next to me when I stitch, and once in a while she looks at me and lies down straight on my project. That's her way of saying - enough work, I need attention. pet me. I pull the project out from under her, pet her, and she purrs. Sometimes I hear noises and get worried - but she hears them first, and her ears point up, and she starts surveying the landscape. I feel like she is protecting me from the unknown.
Such a bazzare post... Maybe I am losing my mind.