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Because I Said So



My sister, nodding in agreement, responded, "I was supposed to look for a job this summer. The summer's not over though, right? I keep thinking I should be cleaning my basement and doing productive things because when I start working again, I'll look back and be like 'why did I waste all that time?' Then again, I think - I'll be working soon and I don't want to look back and wonder why I didn't have more fun doing the things I want to do, you know?"




Because I Said So


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"Uh no. I actually ran to Publix the other night to buy some heavy whipping cream because I got a sudden hankerin' for chocolate mousse. I saw ropes strung out across the store with a sign directing people where to line up in order to buy lottery tickets. Only 2 people were in line because it was like 9:45 at night (which is a perfectly normal time to feel the need to make chocolate mousse.) I thought about getting a ticket because there wasn't a long wait, and because the jackpot was like $830 million dollars. But alas, I never buy tickets so I wasn't sure what the process was and being the tender age of 52, of course I couldn't just ask the guy at Publix. So I paid for the whipping cream and left, all the while thinking I was stupid for not just asking how to buy a stupid ticket and knowing that I would be so pissed off if the winning ticket ended up being sold at that Publix. I mean, how do you go on from something like that?


"I know!" I said in my best Monica voice. (My sis always gets my Friends references. And literally any TV show or movie quotes. It makes our parents crazy because it's like we speak another language. The language of love!


It's not just the teachers who are leaving. It's all support staff, and this includes bus drivers. Like teachers, bus drivers are having to double-up, packing students 3 to a seat while driving combined routes. Students are oftentimes stuck at school for an hour after dismissal before a bus arrives to take them home. My nephews' schools had to pivot back to home-learning because there simply weren't enough bus drivers to take the students to school.


I have teacher friends with masters degrees who say if it weren't for their spouses, they don't know where they could live because they don't make enough to afford housing on their own. There's something extremely sad about individuals with masters degrees who can't afford the rent by themselves. And every year, they have to fight to get any kind of raise, or to keep the districts from raising their health insurance, or cutting coverage. If we entrust our future generations to teachers and expect them to turn out self-sustaining, educated, productive members of society, we need to give them the tools to do that.


According to my own unscientific survey of my coworkers, we're leaving because of the ridiculous amount of disruptive and disrespectful behavior from students with absolutely no accountability. Aside from the unruly behavior and disruption, there are the students with zero motivation to learn. I call them the TikTok kids. Their attention span is the length of a Tik Tok video and then they're "bored." So many teachers spend an insane amount of time dealing with behavior issues, and trying to coax kids to just do. their. work. that they don't have time to teach the students who are actually there to learn. It is absolutely draining. I know I personally leave work, mentally exhausted. And there are so very many parents that are just checked out. Those are the good ones. The others condone their child's abominable behavior choices, and try to place the blame on the teacher.


The student behavior coupled with a lack of support from parents and/or administration, all while teachers are stretched thin because they're so short-staffed is what is driving educators away from the profession.


I learned why people have kids when they're young. Savannah, Ish, and Islah were going to move to Georgia for Ish to accept a job there. Long story short - that didn't happen, thankfully, because I would've missed them way too much. However, they lost their apartment in preparing to move and ended up moving in with me until they're able to find a place. I love being able to see Islah every day. It's amazing how quickly she grows and changes, and I very thankful for this time with her. But lemme tell ya, babies are loud! And crawling babies that like to get into the cat food are exhausting to chase!


Now is a great time to take inventory and stock up on your supplies. I mean, you all remember The Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020, right? Stock up on supplies now before Jim Cantore makes an appearance. And it's the perfect time to do it because there's a sales tax holiday on all disaster preparedness supplies (other than alcohol) between Friday, May 28 and Sunday, June 6.


We went home, where I expected KitKat to run to her water bowl, assuming she was as thirsty as I was. She didn't eat or drink though. I thought she probably just didn't feel great because her eye was bothering her. Until Brooklyn mentioned, "That's the eye she had pollen on."


Recently Brooklyn has had episodes where her heart races for no apparent reason. She has gone to the school nurse a number of time in the past few weeks with a heart rate over 170. That in and of itself set of alarm bells, but it also got me thinking. When Brooklyn was doing cheer this past fall, she would come home from practice with a headache every day. She said she was totally out of breath and couldn't run around the campus without stopping several times. This girl has always been fit and athletic; she used to not only run around the football field, but she was usually one of the first girls to complete the circuit. Back when this was happening, I didn't think much of it. I told Brooklyn she was just out of shape after lying around, watching Netflix, and eating Nutella for months on end at the start of the pandemic. I mean, who wasn't out of condition this past fall, right? But given her racing heart issues, I began to wonder if there was more to her fatigue and breathlessness when she was in cheer.


And for many months now, Brooklyn will get up out of bed or off the couch, walk a few steps, then sit right back down because she's lightheaded. Again, I didn't think too much of it; I just told her to get up more slowly.


So I made an appointment at Quest for early this morning since Brooklyn needed to fast for one of the tests. One of the 24 tests he ordered confused the phlebotomist at Quest. Now, I get that maybe this isn't a common test, and maybe she hadn't encountered this one before. But the doctor had written out the instructions in simple, plain English. The patient was to lie down for 5 minutes, after which time her blood was to be drawn while she was still supine. Then the patient was to stand for 10 minutes, after which time her blood was to be drawn a second time for this particular test. Well, this completely stumped the woman at Quest. She made a phone call to someone who was apparently also clueless. She also said she couldn't draw the fasting test because the doctor had written something about having it taken at 8:00. (The doctor had told us it was fasting so we should go in the morning.) Our appointment was 8:45 and that was too long past 8:00 according to this woman so she wouldn't draw blood for that test either. She just stood there, looking at the papers again and again, dropping them on the floor, looking some more and saying repeatedly that they didn't know what to do. At this point, I just asked her to return all the doctor's orders so we could just go to the hospital to have it done. I was a little aggravated because I was expecting to get to work before school started, and now we'd have to go to the hospital and spend more time waiting.


I stood next to Brooklyn, asking her now and then if she felt okay. She always answered, "Yeah, I'm fine! After a few minutes I relaxed because Brooklyn hadn't gotten dizzy and was feeling fine. About 7 minutes into her wait, she suddenly whispered, "I'm not doing so good." I moved closer to her so she could rest her head on me. And then everything happened at once. I could feel her going limp, I wrapped my arms around her. The nurse flew over to us. We gently lowered Brooklyn to the floor. Brooklyn made these loud snoring sounds as we settled her on the ground. I heard an announcement over the PA about a patient down in outpatient testing. Another person brought a cool washcloth that she placed on Brooklyn's head. Someone grabbed her feet and held her legs up to help blood flow back to her brain.


They all jumped in SO quickly! It was honestly impressive. Brooklyn was still white as a sheet and her legs were shaking. Someone said that they needed to take her to the ER to check her out. A couple people placed a board under her and lifted her to the stretcher that had appeared next to us. In the ER, they checked her blood sugar, placed a blood pressure cuff and a pulse/oxygen monitor on her. Someone handed me more orange juice and a cup of Jello for her. Brooklyn said, "Jello, my favorite!"


"My name is Negron. One time I had a patient and my name was on her hospital bracelet, only it cut off the last 'N' on the name. The woman was black. She was very offended that her bracelet said 'Negro' and accused us of profiling her. I had to explain that it was just my name."


When he left, Brooklyn said, "Thanks Professor Lupin," quoting Harry Potter. "I mean, I'm not going to pass up chocolate, but I don't think this is considered real food either." I hadn't eaten anything all day either and I had to agree with her.


Not exactly how I was planning on spending my day, but I was really thankful that Quest couldn't figure out how to draw her blood because I don't think they would've had the resources and wherewithal to handle a patient fainting. It was a good thing we had gone to the hospital.


We traditionally stop at Starbucks before we begin our beach journeys. As Cindy placed the order, she debated between a grande and a venti coffee. Needing a good hit of caffeine, she opted for the venti, knowing that we'd be stopping halfway to the beach to find bathrooms anyway because neither Cindy nor I can make it all the way without stopping. I mean, Cindy carried a whole litter of kids at once with her triplets, in addition to one more. And I've given birth 6 times so basically we pee when we sneeze. Ingesting 20 ounces of coffee does not help in the bladder control department. 041b061a72


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