Archive for the ‘The Portable Soapbox’ Category


Tempus Fugit, Or Make Haste Slowly

January 5, 2007

myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

Reader beware; I am no prophet.  From me you shall hear no clarion call to action.  My  aspirations are far more humble in origin.  Resoultions can be found elsewhere (see myspace); allow me, however, to present my wishlist for the next 360 days. 

1.  I’d love to see Charles established in the career he’s been called to.  He will finish his Paramedic program and possibly even immerse himself in opportunities as a volunteer firefighter.  For myself, I stand poised at a crossroads; I know the type of career I’m suited for but the specifics still elude me.  By the end of 2007, I intend to be much more prepared to balance work and family. 

2. We will straigten out our finances and finally implement some of the strategies we’ve discussed (i.e. saving at least 3-6 months worth of essential expenses).  A more proactive and cautiously risky management of our portfolio will put us in a position to possibly purchase our first house by the end of the year.  In addition, we will significantly reduce the amount still outstanding on the Green Lantern (Charles’s truck). 

3. Getting myself into the best possible shape mentally and physically will start us down the path to beginning our family.  Essentially, I need less stress and more productive outlets for the stress I carry.  I’m concerned about my tendency to “sweat the small stuff”, as my mother would say. Charles and I will make a conscious effort to incorporate more quality time with each other every week; after all, proximity  is no replacement for honest conversation.        

4. I will progress towards maintaining (and strengthening) healthy relationships.  I complain often enough about feeling isolated, and if we end up moving I truly will be set adrift.  This introvert has every intention of reaching out before I stagnate.  

Read the rest of this entry ?


Down The Second Circle of Inferno Without a Virgil

February 5, 2006

Mood: disturbed
Song: Jaws theme

It has long been my contention that Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is THE single most terrifying ride in all of Disneyland. After all, what sort of demented cerebrum thought up a "childhood amusement" that takes you right to the center of Dante's Inferno.

However, running a close second is "It's a Small World" with the possessed dolls and the song that sticks in a person's head like Rosie adheres to her food dish. Tonight I discovered that Disney was more right than he knew.

Let's go back to my trust issues. Give me one moment to stretch out on the therapist's couch. Be sure to start the timer.

There was a junior high school student who took friendship for granted. She was in the throes of youthful passion and the world had assumed a distinctly rose-colored hue. That girl was about to discover how fragile faith could be. I was that girl, and I only wish I could regain innocence lost.

Names will be changed to protect the guilty. I was in my very first relationship with an individual we'll call "Niles." Niles, of course, had a best friend named "Emmett." Because of a horrendous middle school experience, I had to retake Algebra I and it turned out that Emmett was in my summer school class. Day in and day out we'd ride the bus together, and I felt safe to have a protector. Gradually, Emmett and I would spend time together studying and even talking about Niles on the phone, and I was naieve enough to believe that he valued friendship and was content with the status quo.

Words are inadequate to describe my convoluted emotions and he was not entirely culpable for taking advantage. Suffice it to say that years passed before I was healthy enough to embark on another long term relationship. When trust shatters, the shards pierce a normally healthy heart.

To be entirely fair, what actually passed between us physically WAS within the boundaries of innocence (basically not much at all); emotionally, I was bruised for years. Epiphanic moments are few and far between, and in my case I could no longer see people for what they claimed to be. I still struggle.

The reason I'm dredging through the sludge of a murky past? Emmett found me on myspace tonight; even though I'm ecstatically married and he's in a relationship, emotions came rushing back with tsunami force when I realized who the message was from.

Even stranger: Emmett is currently dating a girl named "Joannie" who could be my doppelganger. She is almost my equal in physical appearance, interests, skills, and personality. She's petite (but much heavier than I currently am), in the process of becoming a teacher, a flute player, a voracious reader, and a curvy brunette with wavy hair. My skin crawls to think about it, especially since his mother mentioned how happy she was that he finally found someone "like me" after looking for so long.

Somehow the urge to grade has swiftly departed.

Thank you father, that you are merciful and protect us from ourselves.

Thank you, darling love, that you chose me as your wife, scars and all.


Lifestyles of the Underpaid and Medicated

January 17, 2006

Mood: cozy
Song: "R-E-S-P-E-C-T"-all in good fun, of course 🙂

Since I'm home sick today (apparently acute bronchitis-possibly pneumonia doesn't mix well with trying to corral a batch of seventh graders 🙂 ), I've had a chance to play catch up on my reading. My loving daddy sent me Teachers Have it Easy *just the title, as you can imagine, sent me into gales of laughter*. The book even had an endorsement from Lemony Snicket on the back (an unfortunately fortunate event 🙂 ).

*pauses a moment to whip out the ever-present portable soapbox*

The author's premise is SHOCKING! He suggests that teachers may not be renumerated as they should be and that this might actually impact schools' abilities to attract qualified professionals.

To state a glittering generality, all teachers are altruistic, right, so we shouldn't expect to get paid, right? Well, then, I suppose doctors fall in the same category-maybe they can donate about 75% of their salary; then they'd make what the average teacher does.

Teachers also go into teaching knowing that they're not going to earn a significant salary, so why pay them a lot? YOU try living for 12 months on a 9 month salary…yes, I am only required to be at school 40 hours per week, but I honestly can't remember the last time I pulled less than 60-70 hours per week to feel effective.

What is the solution? The average teaching salary for a starting professional? 32,000. The average starting salary for a corporate drone? at least $45,000.

It amazes me that many people still have the erroneous assumption that teachers are mainly women whose husbands are the primary breadwinners, making thier teaching salary a moot point. Tell that to all the single parents or men with families of 4 or more who press onward through the red tape of districts and the barrages of parent phone calls, neglecting thier children to teach yours.

I'm not complaining, really…I appreciate the paycheck and went into my career with blinders firmly off. I'm just "educating" …it's what I do. Fortunately, the rewards of spending time in a classroom are priceless. I'd love to hear other (and more well-informed) opinions to comment on/balance mine :). Happy posting…I'm going to sleep and having Nyquill dreams :D.


Resident Evil

January 18, 2005

Mood: Disgusted
Song: "Can't Get No Satisfaction"

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The OPFE at ASU has to be the most corrupt, malicious organization on the face of the planet. *Deep Breath* Nope…still horrid :(.

When will I learn that these *creatures* are absolutely impervious to logic?

More later, when I can actually see through the angry red haze to type straight.


Passive-Agressive Therapy

October 5, 2004

Mood: Concerned

Song: "If You Could See" by Steven Curtis Chapman

Sometimes it's so hard to watch someone you care deeply about do things that you know can only cause heartache and grief. Such a deplorable situation is any friend's nightmare.

I understand why this person is doing what they are-clearly, she cannot seem to grasp the irreparable damage that might come from a "simple" choice. She knows she cannot let go of a certain tie to her past, but she also recognizes that this may deeply alter and scar a present relationship.

Since this issue can't just be talked about, she takes the passive agressive stand of seeming to comply without actually doing so-obeying the letter, if not the spirit of the law. I am so terrified that this will come back to haunt her that I scarcely know how to respond. It's not even conscious; she's not purposefully setting out to deceive, and yet that is the end result because she knows that telling would bring disapproval, like a leaden weight, down upon her. So, she simply keeps silent and continues doing what she wants to, regardless of ultimate consequences. The person forcing her into this choice, her husband, doesn't realize that she needs time and logical reasons in order to replace wrong thoughts leading to wrong actions.



From my profile you know that I'm not married *yet*, so obviously this "friend" is not me. However, in a blatantly obvious example of the pot calling the kettle black, I also have trouble honestly offering up truth when I know that its pitiful seeds will only be tossed back into the wind, floating effortlessly away alongside the dust of an exploded relationship.


Just when I think I've got a handle on my life, I realize that I need to delve into deeper issues. Righteousness is often compared to a target, and God keeps moving the target farther and farther back as our aim increases. It's a process, as I should know because even the Hebrew word implies that.

Actions should be based on truth…I firmly believe this, and yet it seems impossble to explain. This is why, of course, I have yet to pick a Maid of Honor; I know it will only lead to conflict. I feel so selfish when I state an opinion that is different from anyone else's or ever dare to presume to ask something of someone.

To the person I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I offer my heartfelt love and understanding. Stay firm in what you know to be true and speak the truth in love. To myself, I offer the same advice, knowing that I would rather see my dreams dashed into smithereens than face disappointing someone.

I must end this post with a reference to Langston Hughes and his poem, "A Dream Deffered"

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
Like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?