Defeat?

Yesterday tried to compensate for a hard day by doing my favorite feel-good things. I made homemade Chicken Soup with pastina (baby pasta) with a chicken from our favorite butcher, Hind and Fore. I broiled "her" and pulled the meat off the bones. And, as the soup simmered, my fresh multigrain bread rose in the oven.

I did something I really didn't want to do: I admitted defeat. How many of us really ever do that?

I gave up my import business. Time to face (what the men in my life have been saying for months) that this wasn't the right thing for me. I don't know what is worse, that I called it off or that they were right? I kept hearing the ABC Sports promo from the 80s with the skier crashing and the tagline "The Agony of Defeat".

But I'm not quite there yet, right? "The agony of defeat"... I prefer:

A door closes and a window opens! 

After reading Dick's blog from earlier this week I'm even more disheartened. Dick doesn't portray the "warm fuzzies" between the BOE and the Union.

It is so hard to explain my opinions about this without being misconstrued. Who in their right mind would say ANYTHING that could incite the fury of this crowd?

A force to be reckoned with! (Dick Bergeron's image). From a previous BOE meeting http://blogs.mycentraljersey.com/bridgewater/files/2012/06/DSC_7454.jpg 
Where's the window here? From the podium (and the press) the BOE gets a one-sided message. Many times I've blogged about teachers going the extra mile and my resounding appreciation for all they do. But how would I possibly face a room of 100 teachers and say "enough is enough!" (which is the quote I got from a teacher as to why they didn't run MARE at my son's school).

So I hedged at the podium and talked about how hard the teachers' non-action had been on our kids. This week C's team isn't having a "Team Day" (the 700+ kids on her team are divided into about six teams with whom they have all their classes and the same teacher teach this cohort of approximately 100 kids). The other ones are. C thinks her team isn't doing it because her teacher is lazy. I think it's because she's buying into the BREA's push for teachers to do only what is absolutely necessary. None of the BOE members (to my knowledge) have kids on C's team, so how would they know? But if I go and complain directly with several hundred teachers in the audience, they wouldn't get my main point:

Knitting a sun didn't make me feel warmth....
Teachers "actions" effect the kids without changing the politics. So please change tactics. 

I did go to the BOE meeting. Tons of people supported the teachers. I support some more than others, but I don't support the union. I just don't like that their tactics aren't doing anything except cutting things kids love and disheartening parents. The public at large is unaware that there is even strife in the community. I wish the Courier or another paper would cover this in a more balanced way than the Patch has been. I miss real information. Both sides are publishing what they want  you to hear. (Which is their prerogative). But the truth is much more complicated and nuanced. It is tied up in a mixture of politics, a need for reform (starting with tenure - too many bad apples stay in the system and poison it for the stellar teachers) and economic realities with expectations that in Bridgewater the community expects high achievement - not just in band and sports!

I also expect a lot from this community, starting with its schools. I truly believe (and have for a long time) that this is going to end with a strike. - And if that happens, everyone loses!

Mother Nature must have seen my knitted sunshine and taken it as a sign that I needed a pick-me-up. The clouds are parting on this Wednesday and the temperature is rising. I hope my blood pressure will lower. Summer is coming. I hope that the sun will warm relationships.

But more likely everyone will end up feeling burned. OK - enough cynicism. You go catch some rays! I'm heading back to create a new outline for my professional future...

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