Sparky and I enjoyed a peaceful year end and a quiet new beginning in the past few weeks. I was off work beginning Dec. 17 and came back today so it was a nice, long break. I stayed home other than a few outings for family holiday get-togethers. Sparky got to be off work both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve so we had nice time at home together. Christmas was pretty low-key for us, as our budget has taken quite the hit with a variety of things lately and we had already decided not to do presents for each other, but rather just focus on our families and quality time with them. It was a wise choice because we had 3 very stress-free celebrations where we just got to share a meal, laughs, and time with those who mean the most of us in this world.
Our wedding anniversary is Dec. 31, but we are homebodies and we had already decided that, in lieu of going out and fighting the NYE party crowds, we'd stay home and have supper in. Sparky cooked farm raised T-bone steaks that my dad gave us from his farm and homemade steak fries and they were all absolutely delicious. I made cheesecake for dessert since I had all the stuff on hand already and didn't have to make an extra trip to the store. We shared a bottle of wine that one of my daughters gifted us for Christmas. We had planned to watch movies and just hang out and actually ended up watching part of season 4 of Cobra Kai which premiered on Netflix on Dec. 31. We had a really nice evening. I ordered him some coffee from his favorite place in the world and he bought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers. It was a nice, low-key, sweet evening and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
We live in a very rural area and a young dog who appeared well-cared for showed up at our house that day. So, I guess we have a new dog, unless someone claims her in the near future. She's a bit hyper, but super sweet and loving and we feel honored that she chose us.
Of course, as my dad says, if it weren't for bad luck, I wouldn't have any at all. Our propane tank rant out of propane last night and our cook stove, our hot water heater and our regular heater are all connected to that, so until we get it filled, we can't cook, turn on the big heater, or have hot water in our house. I called this morning to get it straightened out and the lady I spoke with was very kind. I, sadly, had to pay a rather large expedited delivery fee to get it delivered tomorrow. But, it is what it is and we had the money and we juggled a few bills and $600 later, we will be back in business tomorrow. I was a little perturbed....no, I was P!$$ED because when you log into the company's website, it was showing that we had an over half full tank and I told the lady on the phone that because I just couldn't, for the life of me, figure out why their app said our tank was 60% full but the tank gauge itself said a big fat zero. She was apologetic, but not particularly helpful in that matter, but oh well, she got it all straightened out just the same and hopefully we'll be all set tomorrow. Par for the course, I guess.
In other good news, we finally got Sparky's insurance stuff straightened out and got him added to my policy and moved some things around to make up for the extra premiums we will now be losing from my check. Insurance is such a racket! But, now he can go to the doctor when he needs to so that is really the important part.
Back to the reality of the working world today and it has been quiet and not terribly busy as I work on budget stuff. I told Sparky, I'm tired of just mathing all the time and I'm ready for classes to start. This semester, I will be team teaching with one of our undergrad students, so that will be an interesting experience, but I'm looking forward to it.
Not really anything new or exciting to report, but I'm just glad to be out of 2021 and onto 2022. Here's hoping it brings some peace and good fortune our way!
Whew..survived week 1 of 2022 with fairly good results. I've been busy all week working on budget stuff because our budgets got cut AGAIN and I had to reorganize a bunch of stuff, but I received some heavy praise yesterday not only from our department head, but also our dean who has to approve everything. She complimented my thorough and organized budget and said she should just give me the budget stuff then let me teach a class on how to do it right. It's not rocket science, people! But, that still made me feel good. Of course, we have little money to spend, but it is what it is. LOL
Winter finally decided to show up in Arkansas and I'm over it already. It was in the 70s on Christmas Day which is too warm for December, but it was 20 degrees this morning and that is too cold for ANY month. Fingers crossed we don't have a big snow storm like we did last year. We hillbillies are not cut out for that sort of crap.
We're still riding the high from our beloved Razorbacks college football bowl win on New Year's Day in the Outback Bowl. It was a great game and we enjoyed it. Plus, we ended that day with our traditional black eye peas, greens, ham and cornbread dinner, so we are ready for ALL the luck in 2022.
I'm looking forward to classes starting Monday. I only have 1 class this semester and a teaching assistant is actually teaching it. I just have to sit in to "be the adult in the room" in case the young lady loses control or whatever, but it should be a fairly easy chore for me and I'm thankful for the opportunity to work with the young lady. She's a very bright girl and will do well.
Sparky finally has a doctor's appointment to get his c-pap supplies now that his insurance is up and running so that is a very good thing. We just have to get him in to his regular doc to see about another issue, then he'll be all set. Poor guy....tomorrow is the anniversary of his dad's death and it hits him super hard every year because he was very close to his dad. On top of that, he found out earlier this week that his best friend is dying and has been given about a month to live. End stage COPD. I tried to help him feel better by reminding him that his mother has stage IV COPD and she's still around, but I know he's upset about it and there isn't much I can do to help him other than listen and be there for him. He's going to go over and hang out with his buddy tomorrow and have some guy time with him. I hope it helps.
This weekend, the nutcracker army will go back to storage until next Christmas. It will be a bittersweet day as I love having them out. Sparky told me he'd be fine with them staying out all year and I love them, but that is a bit too much. If anyone else is feeling like their slacking, take solace in the fact that my Christmas trees are still up too. LOL They won't be after this weekend, but today, they are still fully on display. LOL It's a chore to get them down.
I'm doing all that I am willing to do, but I can't MAKE anyone else do (or not do, as the case may be) anything,
Now if only we could get the rest of the country, especially the government, to think the same way. Thankfully, it appears, FINALLY, that the real truth is starting to come out and people are starting to realize that we can't do much of anything to stop the spread of covid. Heck, in the last day or two, even the anointed one, Fauci, admitted that it's likely that at some point in time, everyone is going to get covid. EVERYONE!!! Well no shhhhht. Really? Myself and others have been saying that for well over a year now while others have being putting their lives on hold and hiding believing otherwise. The CDC director over the weekend admitted that 75% of deaths were in people with 4 - count them FOUR - or more comorbidities. In other words it was covid that pushed them over the edge. In other cases they died WITH covid not FROM covid. Again, we've been saying that since just about the start - oh but we were denying science. The CEO of Pfizer said days ago that his vaccine does little to nothing to prevent people from contracting omicron covid. Say it isn't so!!! Because all of the experts and the president have been telling us that if we all just get vaccinated we can't get covid. That's what we were told. Then on top of that, if your heads are not already exploding enough from all of this, they are now finally admitting that vaccinated people can't only get covid but can spread it. Still under consideration, not yet proven but suspected, those vax'd and boosted may actually have a HIGHER chance of contracting omicron than non-vaccinated. Wrap your heads around that one (again not yet proven so I'm not claiming it as fact - yet)
It brings us to where we should have been all along and where you are Dawn. We were told, it's not just about us or me it's about doing the right thing for others - it's about protecting other people, it's about school children not giving covid to their teacher to take home and if we all just get vaccinated none of this can happen. WRONG WRONG WRONG - B O O M ! ! ! ! ! !
It's clear that vaccines protect the person who received the vaccination. Me getting vaccinated does nothing for anyone else other than myself. It won't prevent me from getting covid, won't prevent me from spreading covid but should prevent me from dying from covid. It really was all about individuals all along.
Masks have also been pretty much debunked which is now why the mask advocates are shifting to real masks like N-95 that actually might stop some level of transmission but only if people actually are fit tested for them and wear them constantly and properly. That is very unlikely to happen and is just difficult in life. Again I'll point to the anointed one who yesterday wore his mask like a good little soldier until he came under fire for lying under oath then took his mask off. What good does that do? What good does walking in a restaurant to your table do with a mask, sitting down and taking it off. Can't spread covid while sitting I guess. And requiring vaccines in the name of helping others is going down in flames as well. Sad it had to take this long and trash so many people's lives in the meantime but sadly we can't turn back the clock. I won't even discuss washing your groceries before entering your house, closing playgrouds and golf courses, cancelling high school outdoor sports, one way isles in grocery stores and on and on and on and on.
Just keep doing what you think works for you Dawn because you can and should run your own life - not your school, not your government, not your friends, but YOU. Had we and they not criminally and unconstitutionally intruded into everyone else's life, not knowing what in the heck they were talking about, we'd all be much better off. Some figured this out quicker than others. Hopefully your school has learned some of these lessons and will keep the students in the classroom where they belong. It took me two years but I finally agree with Anthony Fauci - everyone is going to get covid at sometime in their lives.
Yeah, Don....like most people, I'm just fed up with the whole thing so I'm doing what I can do and will let others worry about themselves. I have toed the line, so to speak, from the beginning, washing hands, masking, got vaccinated and boostered as soon as I was able. I did all that not because I was told by anyone or because I'm a "sheeple" or because I feared for my job, but because I read and believed the science behind it and was willing to do my part. I am still toeing that line, not because my job requires it (though they do require masks indoors on campus), but because I feel like as one of the adults on campus that if campus authorities put a mask mandate in place then I should model the behavior that campus expects of students. Vaccines are not required, nor is regular testing, but if a student asked me about vaccines, I would be honest and say that I was vaccinated, explain why I chose that for myself, then refer them to the student health center for more reliable, fact-based information. Will we all get it? Maybe...who knows? It certainly is a possibility. Will this thing just up and "die out" all of a sudden? Not nearly as likely, if you follow the basic science. I know people who were vaxed who got it and people who aren't vaxed who haven't. I know several healthcare professionals and not one of them has gotten it, despite some exposure.
I know our campus plans to remain open as long as there are enough non-covid faculty and staff here to safely and efficiently provide the necessary services for our students and I think that is a wise decision for sure. We are returning to a semblance of normalcy like we had in early 2020 and it is much-needed for our students.
The sad reality is mental health is suffering in many professions (likely highest in medical and educational fields, but that is just based on my own interactions with those professionals as I know a higher than usual percentage of both). This whole thing has really divided an already heavily-divided nation and it is so very sad to watch and so I have just resigned myself to do the best I can to take care of me and mine and not worry about anyone else. I will offer honest answers to questions that students ask, but I will also make them aware that mine is just one opinion and I will urge them to seek out more information from various sources to make the decisions that best suit them. It is not my place to tell them what they have to do. After all, aren't educators in the business to help students learn to grow, plan, think for themselves?
Most of my family is vaxed, but the ones who aren't have made that choice and I respect their choice, just like I expect them to respect mine. I'm just ready for all the struggling and the ugliness to go away. Sparky and I were just talking about this last night...how if you have an opposite viewpoint to someone else, you both are likely going to very vehemently defend your own position instead of trying to understand the other person's. To me, that is part of all of the horrible divisiveness that we are all subject to from various avenues of late.
That's really all I care to say about it because I'm just tired of the whole thing. Make your choice, do your thing, and move on. I just hope that there comes a point in the very near future where we don't have to start conversations with such phrases as "when the pandemic is over" or "after this wave dies down" or some other variation of what we've been doing in putting our lives on hold. My mental health needs a break from it all.
Well, I pulled the trigger, so to speak, and applied for the 2 jobs I had leads on today. Both were referred to me by friends and in both cases, said friend said they would provide a glowing recommendation. One already did so yesterday before I even actually sent my resume and the other did this morning just as soon as I messaged him that I sent it. So, we will see..........it was hard. I cried when I sent them. I don't want to leave this job. But, I can't wait around to find out if they are going to keep me and then stay on, particularly at reduced pay. The furlough, we've been told, will last through May and "maybe til the end of summer", but realistically, while the furlough itself may end when school begins next August, the likelihood of being restored to my previous salary by then is very minimal. It is going to be tough to manage on 20% less so I'm doing what I have to do. I'm sad.
Sparky and I are SO looking forward to our outing tomorrow. We can't wait! It will do both of us some good for sure. I had tentatively planned on bringing some kind of treat to work Monday to share with everyone, but I told Sparky recently that I'm just tired. I give and give and give of myself and even now, when I'm over a barrel, waiting on the admin to make decisions that affect my future, I feel like I'm letting them down in applying for other jobs. Screw that!
Thanks, all! I’m struggling with all of this because my current job is my lifelong dream and I have the greatest boss on the planet. I feel loyalty to my department but not the school itself so it is hard to feel like I’m letting down those faces I look at every day. Neither of the jobs I applied for today are jobs I would normally seek out but both pay considerably more than what I earn now (we’re talking $20,000+ more). Both people I sent resumes to this morning have already reached out to me. One asked me to do a phone interview Monday. The other said she was forwarding my resume to the recruiter and she is confident I would hear from her next week. The friend who referred me to that one called me right after I got the email and said he’d just gotten off the phone with her and she was super impressed with my resume and was forwarding my resume because she thinks I’m a very strong candidate. So, we shall see. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.
Change can be painful but it is a good thing. Definitely forcing me out of my comfort zone but that isn’t bad, particularly if I end up with a bigger paycheck on the back end. It’s not all about the money but more of it would certainly eliminate some of our other issues.