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Working It Out

Well first, some fun news: last Tuesday, I replied to a Flickr request on Twitter for hair photos, and on Thursday I got this notification from them:

twitter

This was a nice surprise, because it meant the photo that they chose got loads of views – 2,283 so far – and I haven’t had a photo get that much traffic since I closed my old account. When I was still using the old one, Flickr Explore would feature my photos quite often, and when it did I’d get thousands of views on that photo and several new followers. But since I’ve moved, I’ve dropped off Explore’s radar, and traffic has been steady but without those little bursts of activity that, even though I know mean basically nothing, still always made me happy. So, it was nice to get some attention again. The photo they featured, by the way, was this one:

wigs1_final

Other than that, not a lot photography-wise has gone on since my session last weekend. Work was a bit stressful since it was the week before a holiday, and everyone is on-edge and trying to squeeze in last-minute exams and projects which makes my job a bit more difficult. Since I am basically a case manager for approximately 30 kids with learning disabilities, I end up dealing with all of their exams and projects to some extent, and at times it gets overwhelming – especially since I cover all grades 9-12 and there can  be loads of different things going on between the different grade levels that I have to try and juggle.

I go back and forth about posting work observations and/or complaints here, because I swore off doing it awhile back and my tune never really changes anyway (poor me, I don’t really like my job, blah blah blah) but at times it helps me clear my head to share my thoughts about my work situation, so I’m breaking my no-work-posting vow for now. But I don’t want to get into too many details that would make this ramble on and on, so suffice it to say that while this new role at the school is definitely better than my role as counselor, and in no way do I regret making the move, this job is still far less than ideal for me. Ideally, I would have been able to get  an English teaching position, but none were available at the school, and I didn’t want to put out the effort finding one elsewhere would have required, so I took this one. Plus, I figured I’d try something new and see if I liked it better. But there’s a lot about this particular job that I don’t really like, and many ways in which I am ill-suited for the position. It’s not a structured teaching job, and my role is more one of case manager than teacher, so there is really a lot of open-ended time with the students where I am basically monitoring them and getting up in their business to be sure they are keeping up with their classwork. It’s never been my nature to be a nag, and a lot of the times that is what this role requires – sure, at times I’m helping them take tests or study for exams or write papers, but a huge chunk of my time is also spent just chasing kids down and making them do their homework or forcing them to study for classes when they’d rather just play video games. I’ve had to spend way more time than I’d like emailing parents and wagging my finger at kids who aren’t motivated to do their homework, or mediating student-teacher conflicts with kids in the program who have attitude problems – not much in life is less fun than having to force a defiant eleventh-grader to go apologize to a teacher for giving them attitude, yet this has become part of my job this year. It’s so not in my nature to be this much of a parent to the kids I teach, but I’m trying to do my best, and for the most part people are happy with the program and saying great things about it, which is a bit odd since I don’t particularly feel like I’m doing anything outstanding. The school has even held fundraisers for the school that have focused on the center; I was invited to one of them and had to endure a standing ovation for the “great work” I am doing, which made me feel like a heel since I don’t feel like I’m doing anything all that great at all. It’s weird.

We’ve already gotten approval to add a second full-time employee next year, which will help immensely, and I wish we could get me some help this year but that’s not going to happen. And the director of the program has promised me I can cut back on my hours next year if that’s what I want to do, but I still have to get through this year on my own. However, we’re almost at the halfway point with the semester ending on December 19th, and it’s not like I haven’t had to grin-and-bear-it at my job before, so I guess I’ll survive. But still, I wish I were just teaching English instead of spearheading a new program that everyone has so much invested in; it’s a lot of attention on me at a point in my life where I don’t want it, and it’s unnerving.

Anyway I am off for a week, so that’s something, then back for three more weeks before I get another nice long break. Not sure how much time I’ll have for picture-taking, as the week looks to be filled with catching up on doctor visits and taking cars to auto shops and lovely errands like that, but at least I don’t have to nag a bunch of high school seniors this week to get their planners filled out and their homework turned in!

Here’s hoping everyone else who celebrates it has a lovely Thanksgiving.

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