Wednesday, February 15, 2017

little bit of weather came through, which caused me to not accept jobs on monday and tuesday, but lots of the jobs were crappy anyway. i don't take part-time ones, or autism ones, and for a long time i wouldn't take elementary ones, though i might change my ways on that one, as they say little kids are really nice. they just seem totally bonkers to me. and lots of the elementary ones are at holloman, an air force base which is actually another fifteen or twenty minutes beyond the thirty or forty it already takes me to get to town. i've been nervous about the road closures on the steep mountain i take every morning to get down to work - when it gets really stopped up, there really isn't much of a choice on how to get down - so, paralyzed with fear and stress, i took a couple of days off.

you'd think i'd use it productively, but, for the most part, i did poetry. i have a long list of things to do - go back to school to be a high school history teacher, write a book on self-organization, publish my memoirs, finish the newest collection of stories - my wife says, please write something that makes a little more money, and i've agreed, in principle, to try. what's the point of writing if it's all for nothing? but somehow the point of poetry is deep inside me, very expressive, and it's a work of several years, and instead of just being able to put it aside, on the contrary, i'm pressured by the deadline, which is april. i'm now at about seven hundred of them, with three hundred to go. it looks like i can make it. if i systematically sit down and crank them out, i should be able to do it. and this will be the first one that has all thousand of them new.

so this morning i went shooting down the hill with an old cajun cd on the music, and wrote louisiana haiku during the breaks. my job is basically babysitting junior high (today) kids, hoping they do their math assignment (they did, actually, for the most part, today). sometimes other people are involved; i co-teach with various people. i spent some time in a computer lab, and actually copied the words to a song. the kids were doing halo, probably, full aware that as a sub i would have a hard time manipulating them into actually doing what they were supposed to. Each of them will go home and do their history project alone, at night, almost all being computer-literate. but that time, when they were a bunch of wild boys in a lab with access to halo - to them, that was a good development. they like subs.

alamo is a hot and dusty town, even in february, but dramatic, tucked against these huge mountains that i live in. the sun and clouds cast shadows on the mountains sometimes, so that you see these huge shadow outlines on the dry side, and they move. the town actually got a lot of rain and snow recently, and this is a big deal for a town that gets what, four inches a year maybe. i watched the foliage, desert brush, for signs that it changed color even a little bit. but it all looked like desert scrub to me, the same color it was last week. i stay off the mud trails anyway, you get the sense that, if you go off the road into the red desert sand, you'll sink and not come up. sometimes i take the road that hugs the mountain, just because it's so dramatic and beautiful, and people don't seem to want to take it much. it's four lanes, so if you slow down to gawk at the mountain, it's ok, and it doesn't have much traffic. it also has the coffee shop, also tucked up against the mountain.

lots going on - with kids rapidly turning into teenagers, with my job basically being discipline all day, and with the weather so darn crazy you don't know what might come up the pike. that storm - they thought it would be twelve to nineteen inches, but it didn't turn out that way, i probably could have made it down the hill. we're only in february though, much more could be coming.

then, to top it off, today, an unexplained dizziness came through me. a class of reasonably bad kids started looking fuzzy and i was afraid to stand up. out in my car i heaved my lunch - bad. not sure what it was. now, at home, by the fire, i try to pull it together again. you sign up for these sub gigs one at a time. you never quite know what you'll get. today, though, one kid comes in, and says, "i like this sub. the other one yelled at me for nothing," something to that effect. it's all about when and where you snap. the sub i was with, he snapped early and hard, but he kind of eased off when he saw how much i was able to put up with. i actually got more work out of them, being relatively easy on them (not true in the computer lab), but at least i didn't have to send anyone packing. i don't like writing them up. as they get to know my line, though, it seems we get along better. and so, tomorrow, another day.

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