You care for everyone and wear your heart on your sleeve even if it causes you stress. I admire that about you.
Things around here have been pretty intense lately. As if my life doesn’t have enough other facets right now, the dogs are becoming one of the biggest and most frustrating experiences in my current world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of those people who clearly does their research before jumping into something as big as getting a puppy, but it’s exactly like having a child of your own. You never realize just how much you’re getting into, even with all of the research and discussions you have with experienced people. Sharing the frustration with T has been a blessing, but I worry that the stress will just keep building.
Zoey is great. I’m not going to complain about her. It’s just so hard to keep up with the constant needs that she has. With only one of us at home most of the day, that person gets to be the sucker who is stuck babysitting every minute of every hour. If we take our eyes off of her for even a second, she’s into something or making a mess.
We went to the vet last week and even asked him about whether there was any problem with the amount of water she has been drinking each day. At one point, we calculated it to be well over 56 ounces in a few hours. He says we are fine though, so we just keep letting her drink.
Unfortunately, that means potty time is all the time. She has really been struggling to not go to the bathroom in the house. Which is why this post is SO important! Today, as of me writing this post, Zoey has only had one accident in the house. That’s much different from the 8ish times she goes in the house every other day since we got her about a week ago.
As proud of her as I am for this feat, I also got pretty upset with the pups today. I took the risk of letting them alone for just a few minutes while I finished gluing some cards together. The dogs have never had too much trouble getting along before, though each one is willing to put the other in their place as needed. But they’ve never really attacked each other, bit each other, etc. So I thought they would be fine. I left them together in a secured area with plenty of toys and distractions to keep them busy (in a good way). A few minutes later, I hear Jas’ snarls and Zoey starts to cry. By the time I got to them, there were little drips of blood on the floor. I picked Zoey up immediately, which led me to have drips of blood all over my arms. And the weird thing is I still have not found out where that blood came from. I checked her all over (and then checked him just to be sure), but could not find any open wounds of any kind. As a puppy mom, I’ve never had this happen before, even with Jasper and my sister’s dog. I was completely unprepared and started blaming myself for leaving them be for a few minutes. Then you know what I realized? This experience is exactly like having a human baby. Every parent thinks they’re going to do their best to be absolutely perfect and treat their baby like it’s the most fragile and precious thing in the whole world. But we’ve all heard the stories of the moms who have multiple kids and by the second or third one, the kids are allowed to play in the mud and eat food off the floor. I guess it’s not that we lower our standards, but that we understand the reality of children. They struggle to listen, they struggle to learn, and as much as we try to do the best for them, we sometimes don’t succeed.
As I sit here writing, it’s nap time in puppy world. One dog is laying at my feet and the other is perched on the back of the couch by my head. I’m not sure how long they will sleep or how good or bad this day will turn out to be, but I thank God for giving me these tiny breaks and the small improvements that I have been seeing today. I love these dogs so much and I want them to be both safe and happy. Hopefully this is just a small sign that our lives are starting to settle down a bit and we can get back to having some relaxing moments together as a family.
There are so many things going on in my life right now, I just had to write. The story for tonight is mostly inspired by one small, funny incident that occurred today (that had started in Fall 2016), but I feel like an update is in order.
This year is already turning out to be so ridiculously good, yet crazy, that I cannot seem to keep track of the events. Here’s the breakdown so far:
- At the end of January, I decided to leave my teaching job for something a little less permanent. I went through the motions of exploring other career options, but landed back at teaching almost immediately. It must truly be in my blood; the thought of not helping kids like I love just haunted me for a few days. The next thing I knew, I became a substitute teacher for 3 different districts or companies. Now I can work easily every day of the week during the school year and have a pretty good pick of where and who I teach. It’s been just the stress relief that I need to rejuvenate myself in my career. It may be possible that I actually go back to my own classroom one day!
- I spent all of February applying for/looking for jobs and trying to manage my money. Since that’s such a snooze, let’s just skip to March…
- In March, I started to find my faith again. By teaching in a religious school, I found the motivation to reconnect with my faith. It surely hasn’t been easy. First of all, let me say that I never stopped praying, but I had not been to church in so long that I couldn’t remember the person who officiated there! As part of the Catholic school system, I am asked to participate as fully as possible in my faith. So, I started going back to church. And what makes me most sad is how politics and business get in the way of even things like religion and my praying. Due to these things, church can be so UNCOMFORTABLE! And it’s really a shame, because it’s one of the best ways for me to keep a special connection with my dad and grandma, as we are the ones who meet up at church every Sunday. I’ll be honest: I’m struggling majorly with the church right now, but at least I am back to praying and thinking in a more religious manner now than I was at this time last year.
- Also in March, my sister, mom, and I took a girl’s vacation to the beach. It was FREEZING, but it was fun. That would also be the moment in time when my life really started to change. See, this is the first time I’ve been away from T since I moved in with him last year. It was awkward to not be together. Apparently, he felt the same. When we returned from our awesome vacation, he told me that he was going to get me a ring but didn’t know which one to get. We ended up shopping for engagement rings over the next few weeks, and then waiting what felt like years to actually get the custom order in! Even though I didn’t get a on-your-knee romantic proposal, I’ve come to realize that our memories of this time together are even more special than some big surprise. Let’s face it, T doesn’t really do the whole surprise thing anyway, and I would probably have just cried.
- In April, we found out that the litter of puppies we were waiting on had been born. They were ready by the end of the month, so we spent weeks preparing for the arrival of our new little girl. Her name is Zoey, and she is the biggest handful ever! Never in my life, even while babysitting, did I ever feel so much like the mother of an infant before. I guess that’s because I’ve never had such a small puppy to care for in my life. Thankfully, T and I are working together to share our frustrations and excitements as she grows. Within this first week and a half, she has managed to learn many things. Things like: how to climb onto the couch, how to bite big brother’s tail, how to test our patience with going potty in the house (though we know this is not totally her fault), and how to destroy any stick or blade of grass in sight. Luckily, we both love her so much that it only makes us tired by the end of the day.
- Now that it’s May, I’m in full swing doggy, summer, and wedding mode. We are getting married in just over 100 days! I only have 4 days left of work this school year, and we are watching a third dog for the next week and a half or so! (I’d really appreciate prayers for my sanity if you don’t mind.)
- Our wedding is mostly all DIY. It’s going to be very small and very simple, yet nothing I’ve attempted to do for it so far has been simple at all!
- My parents have been great at helping with the decorations and reception, but it took me almost a month just to find a pastor and make sure I could reserve the church for our special day.
- I managed to get a dress pretty simply, but I had to order it on the first day I shopped for dresses since we are getting married pretty quickly.
- As of today, our DIY invites are almost done (and are exactly what I wanted!) but they have even had their ups and downs. From a badly running computer program, to hand cutting numerous circles and shapes, to buying the wrong size envelopes and hot glue sticks. I PRAY so hard that nothing else causes too many hiccups. Yet, we have a long way to go. So mostly, I’m just praying that by the time August rolls around, T is not so frustrated with me and my wedding to-dos that he is still willing to put up with me long enough to meet me at the altar…
- Our wedding is mostly all DIY. It’s going to be very small and very simple, yet nothing I’ve attempted to do for it so far has been simple at all!
That’s it. Sorry I wrote in bullets and made this very short. The dogs are running around making messes and trouble as I write, so this is the best I could do for now!
Oh, by the way, the story I intended to write about in the first place…
Today I learned a lesson about relationships that I hadn’t yet learned before. For months, I have been teasing T about being careless with his car keys, his tools, and many other belongings. Since I have known him, I cannot tell you how many times he has run a battery dead by leaving the car lights on, or how often he complains because he cannot find his key to run to the store. A few months back (possibly 6 or more), T officially lost his car key. It’s one of those expensive German things that cannot be cut or bought anywhere besides the dealer or it messes up the car and its engine. Anyway, he had to resort to the spare because neither of us could find it after hours and hours of searching. Today, as I reached in my purse to find a pen, I was poked with some long pole-like object. It was the end of his car key. Needless to say, I feel really bad and totally regret all of the teasing that I did. He is more than happy to pay me back by laughing at my stupid mistake, but we also never even thought to look in my bag before! I guess I’m learning that it really does take the both of us to keep a house and lifestyle going that is similar to what we were both use to at our other homes. And even then, sometimes it’s not enough to feel those mountains (or even just those mole hills) that have been popping up in life lately. But like I said before, hopefully he will continue to be willing to put up with all of it for the sake of having me in his life. I’m not quite sure that I’m so worth it, but I know for a fact that he is.
I learned something new at work the other week. And, honestly, I quite like it. For those of you who are not Catholic, just try to follow along.
Each Friday, the kids travel to the church to participate in what they call Stations. It is actually the practice known in Catholicism as “Stations of the Cross.” Not being a Catholic myself, I did not understand that first day what stations were or why they were important. After my second day of participating (today), I have realized that this is a pretty unique process that truly means a lot.
Basically, there are 14 stations, or images, depicting the last few days of Jesus’ life and his resurrection. The priest, along with three students holding the cross and candles, walk around the church and stand under 14 different “stations”. These are statues on the wall that depict Jesus being nailed to the cross, Jesus carrying the cross, Simon helping Jesus, etc.
Along with this practice, there is a book. Each student has a copy of the book. As the priest names the station, the students kneel. They then say a short response, followed by a reading of the situation Jesus was in at that station. The priest follows with a prayer, followed by a congregational prayer. Then, a three-line hymn is sung while the processional moves on to the next station.
It sounds really boring, pretty long, and not very important if you don’t know the details. But what has been the biggest impact to me about this practice is the prayers that the students and congregation recite. At points they thank Jesus for dying for their sins. At other times, they are praying that they will never take for granted their ability to go outside on a sunny day when Jesus couldn’t even leave the cross. For each station, there is a prayer that the students hope will help them to lead better, purer lives. But these prayers are simple and truly connect to the children’s actual lives. I too find myself wishing for many of these prayers to be heard in regards to my own life.
Anyway, as I continue to work in the Catholic schools and attend church each Sunday in my own Lutheran church, I find that God is an important part of my life. I have found myself praying during my days at the public schools, and hoping that even my future plans will all work out okay. My faith truly is strengthening as it did a few years ago when I first started this blog. I hope it continues to do so.
In the meantime, if you are interested in more details about Stations of the Cross, try this website: http://www.catholic.org/prayers/station.php
Just an update to my most recent post about starting my job at a public school district…
I completed three days in the district this week, with Wednesday off, and today (Friday) in one of the Catholic schools. I can now honestly say that I would give anything to be a teacher in that Catholic school rather than in the school district.
On Thursday, I had a half decent day. Students still tried to fall asleep in class and some were extremely disrespectful towards me and the class aide, but it was better than the beginning of the week. Until the end of the day… I was on my way out of the building and stopped by the office to say thank you and that I was heading out. The next thing I know, a uniformed officer, the assistant principals, and a secretary walk in with kids who are muddy, drenched, and bleeding. Apparently these students couldn’t even hold in their anger and rage for the five minutes from the classroom to the bus stop.
I again want to reiterate the fact that some of the kids in these schools say they hate the place because of all of the “crap” that goes on. I feel like these are the students who are being most overlooked as all of our focus goes to those students who try to rebel against the system. For the first time in my life, I question whether it is truly beneficial to force every kid to attend a school. Or, as crazy as this sounds, maybe there needs to be different kinds of public schools; those for kids who wish to be there, and those for kids who just need to get an education but will ruin everyone else’s focus every few minutes in a classroom.
In any case, I know after these three days that I do not have all of the answers. I’ve never punched anyone and couldn’t tell you the amount of rage it must take to lay your hands on someone in such a way. I have never fallen asleep in a class and cannot tell you how it makes sense for a student to fall asleep, not because they are tired, because they don’t care.
Is it parental upbringing? I’d like to think so.
But I’d also like to question why administrators, teachers, and heck… even the state, would allow such actions to continue with hundreds of students every day. While parents do have the most control over a students’ attitude and life, the kids also spend a lot more time in school than at home. So how come no one in authority seems to have any ounce of influence?
Maybe I will never know. Maybe we will never get these answers. Maybe Trump was right to nominate someone who is so intent on changing almost all aspects of the school systems. I’m just really not sure anymore…
What I am sure of is the fact that I love taking a pay cut to work in the Catholic schools. I am sure of the fact that I do not care to have a full-time job next year. And finally, I am sure of the fact that three little kindergarten girls made my day today when they ran up to me with hugs and said:
“Will you come in here and be with us again tomorrow?”
“I love you.”
“I hope you have the best weekend ever!”
Thank you kids, and thank you to the Diocese for giving me a place to go where such interaction can still exist with these students who are some of the kindest, smartest, and most compassionate people I have ever met in my life. I will be forever grateful.
Well yesterday I did it! I had many firsts yesterday, including:
- My first day as a teacher in a public school.
- My first day as a teacher at an inner city school.
- My first day as a SUBSTITUTE teacher in the above settings.
So yeah, a pretty big day. I know that I have said this before (whether on my page or not), but I have truly been spoiled by my teacher upbringing; from a small Catholic school to a private prep school, I have been showered with mostly students who have an almost angelic nature compared to some of their counterparts.
Now let me first say that I am not complaining about the job I had yesterday. In fact, I went back and subbed again for that same teacher today. I think the point of this whole post is more the fact that things are so extremely different. I wonder how many people have seen that and yet do nothing about it?
You see, I am young and can still relate to students in some ways. So I know how stressed students at the prep school used to be about the huge amounts of homework they were assigned every day. They were made to cram work for 80 minutes straight 4 times a day during their block schedule. And then, on the other side of things, I see an 80 minute block period being used in a public school for texting on cell phones, sending pictures on SnapChat, and blatantly sleeping in front of the teacher. I don’t care whether I am a substitute or not, the amount of concern that I have for our children right now is more extreme than I can detail.
So I’ve decided to keep trying. I’m going to keep working at those public schools, at those inner city schools. From my point of view (or maybe it was just this one circumstance) the kids aren’t super needy. But it is apparent that they need a firm hand and someone who will hold them responsible for whatever their future may be, even if it does not include a higher education. When I tried to discipline, they laughed in my face and acted as though they didn’t have to listen to me, as if I wasn’t an adult just like their usual teacher. Whether this is the stigma around substitute teachers or whether it is just their defiance against authority, I want to know! I want to try to find some way to make a difference in just one of these classes, to just one of these kids. I’ve been told I have positively influenced other students before. While those accomplishments may not have been as hard to achieve, I feel like this is more important.
So now my goal, regardless of whether I take a full-time job anytime soon or not is this:
- Teach some students how respect can truly benefit them in the future, regardless of their circumstances.
- Try to reduce the awful stigma surrounding substitute teachers, especially in the eyes of these students who are old enough to know that we are just humans doing a job like everyone else in this world. And, regardless of whether this is true across the board, subs have a lot of education under their belt and could probably teach the lessons their teachers had originally planned. It’s not our fault we are given meaningless activities and lessons as “busy work” so that their teacher can make sure their plans work for any sub, whether they know the material or not!
*End rant for now* Sorry, this just suddenly seems like a really bitchy post. But I’m so upset and uncomfortable with these past 2 days that I don’t know how else to let off some emotion!
Today was my first day at one of the smaller schools in my area since 2013. First, let me say that a lot of things have changed! I recognized the faces of some of the kids and faculty, but mostly it was all new, from the principal to the teacher next door to my temporary classroom.
I was originally called in to cover History and was pretty nervous to cover a class that I never particularly cared for that much myself as a student. Luckily, the entire day was great! I had 0, count that ZERO, behavioral problems except for about 4 distracted fifth grade boys. No one argued with me or tried to pull the “substitute teacher tricks” that many students do. For what it’s worth, the day went flawlessly!
But there were a few other things that peaked my interest that make me sit down to write this post right now. I’m just going to bullet list them with some small details for times’ sake. (Let’s face it, I really do enjoy writing, but I am craving some video games, good food, and time with T right now.)
- I showed up around 7:15 to be let into the building as instructed, but had to be let into the place by the janitor because no one else was there that early! Class started about 10 or 15 minutes after the office opened. Guess they weren’t expecting me to come in!
- I spent the day teaching history in an organized and large classroom. I thought it was great, but soon realized it was extremely hot in there! And let’s not even get started about the fact that my view out the four or five windows along the far wall was of nothing more than a cemetery and the back of some town buildings!
- One of the 5th graders saw my name written on the board and immediately asked me if I was related to some WWE person. Unfortunately, I thought they had said some “lady” (not WWE), and the name was very similar to my sister’s. I had the entire class in awe for about an hour before someone asked me if it was really true and I understood that I hadn’t heard the question correctly the first time!
- My (possibly) most favorite part of the day was the kindness and attention that I was given by the rest of the faculty. Sure, I was teaching in the classroom alone with the kids most of the day, but there were some very kind faculty around during recess, carpool duty, etc. One of my favorite kindnesses was to find out that the faculty eat lunch for free each day! I was sad to watch as everyone else ate today’s lunch while I ate my crappy frozen meal. But the good news is, the lunch ladies made sure I was aware of the free lunch and offered it to me for tomorrow’s yummy meal.
In the end, I had a pretty good day. I wish more schools would take care of their teachers (and especially their subs) the way this one does! Maybe I was just having a lucky day, but I can say that I am more than happy to come back and try it again tomorrow!
Just wanted everyone to know this curious tidbit of information: I looked at the entire list of the sites that I have followed over the years. I noticed that almost half of the list has no posted anything in over a year now. Not that it hurts to keep them listed there, but if you’re curious as to how many sites you’ve followed or how many people actually stay active and read your posts after liking you, you may want to check it out!
As of yesterday, I have 92 people following my blog. I assume, for the sake of these 92 people, that they don’t read every post that I write. My life surely cannot be that interesting! But what I find extremely interesting is that at one point and time, even just because of one thing I said, those 92 people decided to follow along with me and see what happens next. (Or maybe they are just following me to try to get me to follow them back; I’m sure some people will do it just to make themselves feel more popular or interesting to the rest of the internet world.)
In any case, I wonder what makes these people hit the follow button? What exact moment or thing that I said led them to feel I was a good person to follow along with? Some of them have talked to me via comments in the past. Of those people, many have a blog similar to mine. Then there are others who are on here to write short stories or argue about politics. So what gives everyone? I would absolutely love to know why you chose to follow me! Yes, even if it is because you wanted the extra follow on your own page.
In other news, at church today the deaconness decided to bless each and every one of us in the congregation. What she didn’t bother to tell us what that she was not using holy water, but a blessed oil that has an extremely RANK smell. She must not have thought about the fact that people have very sensitive noses sometimes. I immediately got a headache and felt dizzy. I felt ashamed for washing the oil off before I even left the church, but I didn’t trust myself to drive home with that buzzing pain in my head. Even after I got home, the headache didn’t go away. And neither did the smell. I ended up having to take a shower as soon as I got home to get rid of the stink. Hopefully no one will take offense. Isn’t there some oil that they use in those ceremonies that doesn’t have a smell though? I never remember a smell any other time, though it’s not like our old pastor used to bless us randomly during a normal Sunday service…
In other news, I completed the training for my second substituting job. I now have 3 different jobs in 2 different states. Sometimes I think I do things the complicated way! But as soon as they put me into their computer system, I’ll probably be working close to full time! Not sure that’s an exciting thing, but even if I get extremely nervous, I’m excited to think that I won’t have to stress so much about my budget in the coming months.
It’s funny how things happen in life. Whether you believe in God or not, there’s something about events in life that make you question coincidences and fate. At least I can’t imagine not thinking about fate myself.
Just a month ago, I was a full-time working teacher who barely had any time to devote to my family or my faith. It was sad really, how much time I spent devoted to my job and my students. I loved making a difference, but I never realized just how much of me I gave to something that gave nothing back. I didn’t mind being selfless for a while, but recently I’ve come to realize that when you least expect it, your family will need you the most.
I just started substituting again this past week. First, let me just say I am absolutely in love with being able to work in a school setting with kids who are appreciative of my time and talents. Yet the minute the school day is over, I’m able to come home and enjoy my family and my free time. It’s almost like the best of both worlds.
This has also been the opportunity that has allowed me to face my religion again. I’ve actually had time to go to church lately, and I’ve been praying every day as I help students in a Catholic school. I may not be Catholic myself, but our religions are not so different that I can’t say some of the prayers along with the kids. And thank God I have been.
Because last night, well yesterday afternoon, I realized just how much I need God in my life. I will never shove my beliefs down someone else’s throat, but I do not understand how I could make it through some of the things in my life without feeling like there is a higher power leading me in the right direction and helping to challenge me to make me stronger.
Anyway, the big deal yesterday was that my boyfriend got into a motorcycle accident. And we were extremely fortunate. He has a pretty serious collarbone fracture but is totally fine besides that. He was able to actually stand up and walk away from the scene. And even the bike has fared pretty well, considering the worst damage is some mis-aligned tires and handlebars.
I wasn’t there at the time; I was on my way home from work where I had just gotten done listening to a Congolese refugee speak about the child soldiers and human rights in Africa. I was in such a good mood because the weather was so nice. And, because of that presenter, I was feeling extremely grateful and thankful for the way my life has gone thus far, for all the gifts and privileges I have had, for the ability to be so close to my amazing family. I never thought that I would be taking T to the emergency room just minutes later.
I guess the reason I am writing this is because I need to write about something today. I feel that itch in my bones that makes me realize I need to get some things down on paper or otherwise. But mostly, I don’t know how else to express my thankfulness for the people who helped him after he had crashed. I don’t know who any of the people are (besides family of course), but I do know that he was on a back road by himself and could have been much more seriously injured. The fact that multiple people stopped to help him means that there are still many, many good people in this world. And in light of how our government is acting and how people have been fighting recently, I am just so eternally grateful to anyone who chose to be a good citizen yesterday on that windy back road.
The next few weeks might not be easy for us here, but he is going to heal just fine and we will move on with our lives, this accident left as only a faint and awful memory. But thank you again to anyone who may have already forgotten it happened. Thanks to some of you, my man is okay, the bike made it home, and we are left with only a broken collarbone to deal with. Thanks also to the manufacturers of his armored jacket and his helmet. Even the ER nurse was astounded at how well he was able to move around yesterday. I know not many cyclists are quite that lucky after flipping their bikes.
I honestly will be eternally grateful to all of those who helped. From God to the nurse and the doctor to anyone we may meet over the next week as his arm gets set correctly for healing. If I ever lose him, I just don’t know what I would do. So yesterday and in upcoming days, any of you who have made an impact… I just hope you realize how you didn’t just help save his life yesterday; you helped save mine too. Thank you.
Still have not been doing a very good job of keeping up with my blog. I have successfully begun to journal again, but I’m finding it more relaxing to use paper most of the time.
Without getting into the details of the past month or so, I just felt it important to write a quick note about how things can change for the worst very quickly. And, unfortunately, in most of those situations, no one really understands what you go through in that awful time in your life.
This time in my life just happened to revolve around my teaching career, so I hope my teacher friends out there will take the time to read this. It’s something I wrote up a few minutes ago that I feel needs to be shared with each of you. Here goes!
Here’s the harsh reality of being a teacher: there’s no way you will ever get the respect and acknowledgement you deserve from the world. Namely because no one can ever step into your shoes. To all those out there with a teaching career, I’m sorry that I will never be able to put myself into your shoes. I too am a highly misunderstood teacher, and here’s why.
Being a true teacher (the kind you read about in Anne of Green Gables or other classic stories) impacts every aspect of your life. And every part of your life so far has impacted your career whether you realize it or not. You may realize that you are becoming the teacher your parents always were to you. It’s probable that you are now the teacher who advocates for students who very closely resemble the child you once were. Plus, if you’re a really good teacher, you become part of hundreds of families outside of your own.
As with every family, it can be hard to be heard in an educational group. You may put your heart in all the right places, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be acknowledged for your work. Think about the position of mom in a household. She continues to slave away at chores, teaching the kids manners and respect, and may even help with the income. Every teacher has suddenly volunteered to be the mom; the one who puts in the effort and works tirelessly for an outcome. The thing is, most moms are never thanked enough for all of the time and effort they put in. You, the teacher, will probably suffer the same sad fate.
I also feel like teaching is especially hard on those who are very emotional. Seeing a kid in need is like watching one of those horrifying ASPCA commercials to anyone who is emotional. Trust me, I know. You’re sitting there knowing someone needs help but trying hard not to give away every penny of your money to the cause. The same goes for your students. The difference is that a teacher doesn’t necessarily need to give in the form of money. Every kid needs something a little different, and most often their needs require zero money at all. So we give and we give. Before I knew it, I had given so much of myself to one cause or another that I could not find myself in all the stress. And as outside circumstances add to your responsibility, you may find yourself in a similar situation.
For those teachers out there who become overwhelmed by the vast responsibilities, the politics, the emotions, and the stresses please know that you (we) are not alone. I’ve been there, I’ve done that. While I may never understand your position exactly because I was not raised or taught the same way you were, know that I too have experienced the best and the worst times that a teacher may ever know. You are not alone.