Sunday, September 18, 2011

What's New

It's been a long time since I've been here. August was hectic- most of it good, some of it not so. 

Our landlord at our beloved "little house" at the shore died. He was a good man and a good friend and I will miss him. We do not know yet the disposition of the house, so we don't know if we will be able to go back.

Much of August was spent in Florida- with Auntie for almost a week, then a week at Disney World. We had a wonderful time throughout. We did some preliminary house-hunting in the area north of Tampa and found a neighborhood we really like- so we are that much closer to my dream of a home in Florida!

We drove home being chased up the coast by Hurricane Irene- it was an interesting trip, lol! I attended the funeral of the father of 3 of my students, who had died suddenly, the morning the hurricane started here. Lived through the hurricane with minimal damage, thank goodness, then as soon as the weather cleared, drove to the shore to attend our landlord's funeral the day after the hurricane.

We were able to spend Labor Day weekend at the shore and it was quiet and relaxing, except for all the packing up. 

Then came THE STRIKE! We, the Catholic high school teachers in Philadelphia, are on strike. The issues are too many to go into here, but it comes down to changes in work rules that would be so punitive that we could not agree. Those changes were proposed in March and in May we had a general meeting where the teachers voted unanimously to strike if certain clauses remained among the demands of the Office of Catholic Education. Well, come the end of August and OCE continued to demand their way. The teachers' union has offered, repeatedly, to work under the old contract with a mediator during continued negotiations, but the Archdiocese refused and closed the schools.

Now we are walking picket lines and kids are at home. OCE officials go on TV and talk to the newspapers and run us down. One of the Archdiocesan negotiators, an assistant superintendent, said on TV the other day that the union members "are not educators"! Parents are calling us lazy, greedy union thugs. How can I go in front of a class of students who have been hearing and reading all this? Needless to say, I am severely depressed.

Those who have read here for any length of time know how I feel about my students and my job. However, after the pain of the closing of Cardinal Dougherty, the stress of adjusting to a new school, and now this, I am so discouraged I don't know what to do. 

For now, I think I'll just go back to bed, pull the covers over my head, and wish it would all be a bad dream.