Tuesday, September 02, 2008
A Difficult Start
I've been back at work for a few days, but today was our first day with students. It started off with a real shocker -- one of the teachers in my program had a baby over the weekend. The baby was born 5 weeks early, so it was completely unexpected. (Baby is doing well and will probably get to go home in a week.) Teacher-Mom had thought she'd have time to get ready for her leave and even to help the district locate a sub for her. But the baby had other ideas! That left ME suddenly in charge of a meeting with a new student and the student's mom. I had not been anticipating being in charge of this meeting, and was not well prepared! I came off looking pretty dorky, I'm afraid.
A second teacher is also out, having had emergency eye surgery over the weekend. This is all on top of big staff cuts we suffered last spring, but we are working with the same number of students. So.. to start off the year short and then two of the staff we had left were suddenly out.. it was quite a shocker.
After my not-so-well-done meeting, I went off to a college site to work with another student. I got a ride there so we could consolidate and have as few of us as possible trying to drive through Republican National Convention detours and roadblocks. I went about my work, and afterwords I decided to attempt to walk back to my office. It's only two miles, and I thought it would be a good way to get some exercise and see some of what is going on around the convention site, and not have to bug anyone at work to come pick me up.
Well.. joke was on me, as even pedestrian traffic was detoured every which way. I ended up on sidewalks that I didn't even know existed, got rained on, and finally ended up walking along the Mississippi River (the wrong side) where there was no stairway up to the bridge I needed to cross. I didn't get to see any convention goings-on, but I did see LOTS of well-armed police and other uniformed security type people in riot gear.. something I had never seen in my quiet little city.
After a walk of nearly an hour, and my feet in rotten sandals that hurt, I gave up and called my office and asked someone to come get me. By then I had managed to find my way to a place that was not blocked off, and I knew someone could drive there. I don't know how far I walked to make it the two miles to my office. More than two miles, that's for sure! And never did make it to where I was going.
Tomorrow I'll have to be more creative (or maybe less creative) when I need to go out and about. Wish me luck! And I hope I don't have to be in charge of any more meetings where I feel totally unprepared! Not a good feeling.........
Things can only get better from here, right??
Oh.. and here's an FYI from a person who loves St. Paul (me) ... if you see on TV violent protests and lots of police in riot gear making arrests, that's what the news media is showing you. It's a *small* part of what's going on. Most people are behaving properly and protesting legally and appropriately, if at all. Please don't think we're all a bunch of hoodlums here!
walked over 2.5 miles today