Saturday, December 5, 2009

All I Want for Christmas is My Release Time

I just love these vintage postcards! They hold so much charm for me. I really should start a collection of my own. There used to be a huge antique mall near my parents' house, and there was a booth in there with lots and lots of these gems. I should have purchased some back then.

But that's not what I'm here to write about today...

This last week was a little crazy - no, it was really crazy. And regarding the title of this post, can I get an amen fellow teachers? Work has been insanely busy. If I only had to deal with teaching and planning and grading papers, and so forth I'd be fine. But this week I lost several hours of my precious release time (as did my colleagues) because we were required to attend a couple of workshops instead. In my school district, every Wednesday is a minimum day for students, and teachers usually have the afternoon to work in their rooms or plan with their grade-level teams. But, this past Wednesday we had to attend a workshop about the online features of our new math textbook. There were some good things to know, but report cards are due to my principal next Wednesday, and I needed that time to work on them. The workshop could have waited until January.

Thursday morning was another workshop about an online site for science and math instruction. It was really good information to have, and I look forward to using it with my students, but once again it could have waited until January. So, there went my 45 minutes of release time while my students were at PE that morning. Whoever is scheduling these workshops has obviously been out of the classroom for too long, because anyone who had been a classroom teacher recently would realize that the teachers are hard-pressed for time right now as we are preparing our report cards! Sheesh! To make up for the lost release time, I worked until after dark the last couple of days. I know that's not a big deal for most working people (I worked in business before becoming a teacher, so I know how it is), but it's not usually necessary for me to do so. Fortunately, I don't think I will have to do that again anytime soon.

Michael had not been feeling well since Thanksgiving. His stomach was really bothering him, and therefore his appetite has been off. He's lost five pounds since Thanksgiving. I guess it was Wednesday afternoon that I came home from work and found him hunched over on the couch. I insisted that we put a call into his oncologist, but he thought he could wait until we see him on Monday. I pointed out that the doctor wouldn't want Michael to wait to let him know that he was feeling poorly. So, we called and the doctor suspected that Michael might have pancreatitis, which can be a side effect of the Sutent. He recommended that if the pain worsened that we get to the ER. Fortunately, Michael began to feel better and we were able to avoid a trip to the emergency room.

Michael also has a couple of really painful spots on his scalp that are bothering him. They throb and he can't sleep because of that. We talked with the doctor about those, and he said that while one is on Sutent those kind of sores can come up. But, since Michael has been on a two-week break from the drug, they may not be a side effect. We won't know for sure until we see the doctor on Monday and he can examine Michael. So, I'm not wanting the weekend to go by too quickly, but I am eager for our doctor's appointment on Monday to get some answers.

I was delighted when I got home last night because one of Santa's elves had put our outdoor lights up! This was the very same elf who was feeling so poorly earlier in the week, so I did not expect him to do this at all this year. It was a great surprise.

As for other Christmas preparations, I have just about finished the Christmas card mailing list. So, I should be able to get those out in the mail next week. We have decided to have a real tree this year. Michael has wanted one for the last couple of years, and I think he should have one. He told me his mom always got their tree on his birthday (December 10th) when he was a kid, so we'll try to do that, too. As for shopping, aside from purchasing gifts for my classroom volunteers on Etsy a couple of weeks ago, I've not done anything else. There's some question as to how the gift exchange is going to work in my family, and I'm waiting for my sister to let me know what the final decision is. I guess I could start shopping for Michael, though.

I don't think we'll be doing our Christmas CD after all. Michael has not been up to working on it in more than a week. I'm disappointed, but I understand. Maybe we'll get it done for next year instead.

Anyway, it's been a very busy week, and I'm ready for some time to relax and enjoy the offerings of the season.


M3 said...

Sending good holiday wishes to you both! I know the time off will be so nice.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

I can't believe they scheduled workshops for your release time right before Christmas!!!! ARGHHH!!! You are very gracious in your comment regarding this...but I cannot imagine why ANYONE would plan so poorly!!!!!!! I'm sorry that Michael has been feeling were right to call the doctor...I used to try to "buck it up" as well...but then, I found out that my oncologist was worried about permanent damage being done from the chemo drugs if my body wasn't tolerating them well...and so it is always good to run things past your physician!! I will pray, pray, pray that Michael will feel well for Christmas...that would be a wonderful gift!!! Have a lovely weekend!!! Sending you much love! Janine XO

~K said...

They really know how to make teachers less stressed around the holidays! I can't believe they take away your release time.

And yes... I guess it is an east coast thing... we go right until the last moment... Dec 23rd. I do remember back to my HS days in Laguna that I always made my friends back here jealous with how much time we were off for the holidays... ahhh you brought back fond memories!

I hope that M's appoint goes well on Monday. You will be in my thoughts that day for some good news. I really hope he's feeling better quickly.


Andrea said...

Joannah, I really feel for you right now. Being a former teacher, I do relate. May the Lord give you special strength to work as wait on vacation.

I am continuing to remember Michael in prayer. I hope you will receive good news from the doctor Monday.

Blessings to you.



AprilMay said...

I hope and pray you receive good news on Monday as well! And sadly I CAN believe those workshops. How ridiculous! It's so frustrating. It seems like the wrong people are always making those decisions, like you said. I miss teaching Bible this time of the year, but nothing else! It's just too crazy. :( I hope you get your planning time this week!

Debbie Byrd said...

Our teachers' union is fabulous in negotiating a contract that protects our planning time. All inservice training is on the clock, not during our scheduled planning time. Join now!
Bryan's side effects are often worse during his off week. He's had the sensitive scalp, reflux, sensitive feet, lots of fatigue, and water-retention. Our oncologist has a remedy for everything except fatigue. Bryan does get a B-12 shot weekly which may be helping with the fatigue.

Hang in there until your vacation. I've learned to be unapologetic about work that doesn't get done. I give it my best while I'm there, but when the bell rings, my focus turns to Bryan and family. That's just the way it has to be.

Kris said...

so sorry about Michael not feeling well, hope that continues to improve (sounds like he felt a lot better the day he put those lights up!)...

and school? i can't relate but it sounds awful!

hope you both have a beautiful christmas. it was magical picking our tree this year! and your husband's bday is only 2 days before mine!