Thursday, August 03, 2006

babies and children

My cousin, MT (of playing Thriller to scare the shit out of me when I was little fame) has just had her third baby boy. I think parents of more than two boys need to be awarded sainthood and given weekly massages at a spa resort. Can you imagine the hyperactivity going on in that household? I had a long (quite greedy to be honest) hold of little T tonight when I went to see them in the hospital. It was like holding little pumpkin or something. He was all wrinkly and tiny and rolled up in a little ball (not orange though). When he yawned his whole face dissapeared behind the big O made by his mouth and his body stretched right out revealing long fingers and deep pool blue eyes that all babies seem to have.

I always surprise myself by getting incredibly clucky when holding babies. Sure, I want a baby one day but I certainly do not go through my day to day life wanting a child! Just the opposite is true when you spend your day working with them actually. I know when I have them I will be a devoted mother - and I'm not ready for the amount of me I would give just yet. I see so many kids that go through the system with parents who don't have enough time for them and I don't want that for my own child. So pseudo clucky or not: I do still have a brain. I almost dragged the janitor into the nearest nook and begged him to impregnate me though. I'm just sayin' sometimes the body says tells the mind to shut the hell up.

We had a mega long staff meeting last night. Prin kept going on and on and on in circular arguments about this or that. I'm not good in these kinds of conditions and unfortunately my face always shows it. Every time prin looked over I tried to nod my head like I was paying attention but I don't think it worked. My face is often a dead giveaway of my emotions. Things took a turn for the worse when it was brought up that parents would like longer than 10 minutes per interview for parent teacher interview night. Now, I don't think everyone realises that each 10 minutes of interview time is absolutely intense. There's a lot of information that needs to be shared and sometimes there's tears on the part of the parents or anger or happiness. I don't know if I ever wrote about #1 and the parent who kept gave her the finger for the whole 10 minutes of the interview (she was rubbing her face, hair, eye etc while making quite a strong FU symbol). Sometimes parents even bail you up for longer than their allocated time or stay sitting refusing to leave when you've gotten up and are walking towards the door. I've been stuck with parents for 45 minutes because they were last on the list and thought they could take more time than normal. That was in my first year of teaching but never again. I am polite but firm now.

Anyway, a normal grade of interviews will take 4 hours of uninterrupted talk time if we stick to 10 mintues (which noone ever does - it's always more). That's no dinner, no toilet breaks, no anything. It's a killer. Adding 5 minutes to that will add TWO HOURS to interview time without a break! Some teachers choose to have a break but that means you finish even later and that can be horrible too! Prin brought up the time issue and everyone was up in arms about it. It's not like you get paid overtime for this kind of crap you know. Someone thought up doing a half day devoted to interviews instead of going through a whole day of teaching plus another few hours of interviews but the idea was poo-pooed straight away because a few years ago when we did it some parents complained about teachers not teaching their kids right up until the end of day (the kids all stayed at school and were otherwise engaged watching a video for a couple of hours while we did interviews). That suited all of us teachers because we got home at 7pm instead of 10pm and it suited a lot of parents too but because a few hated having to schedual their interviews earlier Prin is reluctant to give that idea another go.

Sometimes I think we pander to the wishes of parents too much - we are our own worst enemies. If you want to go see a doctor you take time off work and you go see the doctor during normal hours of operation - you don't get to pick and choose when and where! If the time you want is taken up then tough luck bucko. If you want a doctor at an alternative time you pay through your arse for it. Same with lawyers, dentists, financial planners, accountants and anyone else in any professional capacity. If Dad works 'till 7pm and Dad wants to be at the interview then Dad can take 15 minutes off the end of his day and make it his priority to go to his child's interview or alternatively, mum can fill him in. We teachers aren't firm enough to ask for what we want and need. We feel guilty for everything and so parents keep stomping all over us. Next they'll want us to come babysit on a Saturday night or something! [/end rant]

Is anyone else totally grossed out by the 'smoking causes mouth cancer' ad that's making the rounds on the tele at the moment? I have never smoked (a cig) in my life and I still feel like a little piece of me dies everytime I see it. I have no idea whether smokers find this kind of advertising effective or not but I feel sick, that's for sure.