Oh boy. Full log here folks.

Good stuff first:

1. I've gotten an extension on my PACT due to all the shenanigans with filming. Yay!
2. I've gotten my filming done. All that's left is writing. Yay!
3. I was invited to a fancy STEM education dinner conference with the educators of the program I'm student teaching in. I was their plus one, I got to get free fancy food, and I got to hang out with them and I got to sit in a self-driving Google car! Yay!
4. I'm subbing for my mentor. I did it today and I'm scheduled to do it Monday. Yay!
5. They gave me a T-Shirt! It's the official program T-Shirt with their cool logo on it an everything. Yay!

Now the not-yay stuff.

So one of my little adorable 6th graders is apparently a jerk. I am not being disparaging; this is his counselor's professional opinion.

Okay, he is tiny. Even by sixth grade standards. He looks shrimpy, he has autism, and he has difficulty communicating with people-- not that he can't talk, but that he doesn't understand social cues. Looking at him makes you immediately sympathetic towards him... Which he has been using to get out of trouble.

Lately, I moved him over to another table because it's time to shake things up, and also another boy's 504 plan said he needed to be moved forward. I moved Small Boy near two super sweet girls, figuring they'd get along well. These girls have been shown to be compassionate and understanding when seated next to another boy with cognitive difficulties, so I figured they'd be a great match.

Since then, this boy has made one of the girls cry twice. The first incident was two-three weeks ago. He was being rude, she asked him to stop or she would tell a teacher, and he called her a baby for tattling. I assumed at the time that this was due to him not understanding that he was being insulting, which is why they were upset with him, and had a talk with him after class about choosing words carefully. I didn't write it up.

The other day, I had groups talk to each other, and the two were randomly paired together. I don't know WHAT he did, but she started crying almost immediately. I actually have video footage of this as I was filming for PACT. You can't hear anything but noise, and you can't see anything-- just the back of their heads and my shocked expression.

I had a talk at break with the girls and a talk at lunch with him. He was to serve a lunch detention, but part way through his speech teacher came in and collected him. See, this was club day, so he was sitting quietly in a room of kids drawing comics, so she assumed he was there for club. When she found out he was supposed to be in trouble, she was outraged that he hadn't told her, because he has apparently used her to get out of punishments like this before without telling her. He came back and served it. His speech therapist is convinced that he is the devil incarnate, and has been compiling evidence of his nasty behavior.

Apparently, the stuff in my class is small potatoes: he's called people racial slurs and then accused others of racism against him, he's called a German girl a Nazi and thrown the heil hitler salute at her, and I don't know what the heck he did to this other kid, but they are prohibited from sitting next to each other in any class, and the other boy's family is accusing Small Boy of harassment. Meanwhile, Small Boy's mom is denying all of it and claiming that her son is totally innocent and that the seven or so families accusing him of bullying are actually bullies.

So today, I moved Nice Girl and another boy, No Glasses (who has glasses, but refuses to wear them, so he sits in the front. He's another really silly kid) so they were switched. Now No Glasses sits next to Small Boy and Nice Girl sits across from Nice Girl 2. They are close, but technically in different groups.

The audiobook gave out today in the middle of chapter 12 of Bud, Not buddy. After the initial humorous freak out of kids asking God "why?!" I asked them to settle down and said we could read together.

Small Boy said, "it's not the end of the world. We can read by ourselves." That's the part I heard.
The part I didn't hear was when he muttered under his breath, "well, maybe these three can't." Referring to the girls and No Glasses.

The girls came up to me after class to tell me of the incident (as I had instructed them to whenever this happened), but when he saw they wanted to talk to me, Small Boy came and talked to me first. He said that he thought they were racist because they told him to shush. I asked what he had been doing when they shushed him, and he said he was shushing them. He told me that another boy (the one who can't be near him) was mean to him in PE. He told me that everyone was mean to him, and basically did the same thing my sister used to do when she was in trouble: spread it around. He clearly didn't know what the girls wanted to tattle on him about, though, because it was the one thing he didn't specifically build a defense about doing.

I told him that I thought he was focusing on the wrong thing with racism, and that I didn't think they thought he was racist, but that they thought he was being mean. We had talked before during the "baby" incident about how he can sometimes say "sarcastic jokes" that other people don't know are jokes, so maybe the girls thought he was being mean when he meant to be funny. I ushered him out, and then the girls talked to me (he insisted they be out of the room when we talked) and told me about the comment. I told them the school was compiling a file on the kid (true) and that when they report incidents like this, even though it doesn't seem like a lot is happening in class, it is being built and prepared behind the scenes. I told them I'd document it.

As soon as they were gone, I texted my mentor asking where, exactly, I should document this and how, and he popped over (I was subbing for him today; he was getting administrative training on the other side of the school) and said,

"That's the 3rd time it's happened with Nice Girl. That makes it bullying and harassment, and it's an automatic referral."

He wrote it up and told me that Small Boy's mom already was scheduled for a counselor/educator meeting about his behavior, so this was just fuel for the fire.

I'm subbing again on Monday, and I hope Small Boy's mom doesn't want a conference.

The moment when you're at work, bringing food to someone you know from the past and they don't recognize you and you say something to trigger their recognition anyway. Later, you realize that the last time you saw that person the situation was eerily similar: a different restaurant, a different table, and that back then you said the exact same thing.

When we affirm that the work we do is as important as the play we pursue, we begin to live more fully. That the one reflects the other as the sun to the moon.

There are things you do for money and there are things you do for love. Today the choice is between working like you don't need the money and loving like you've never been hurt. Is the difference really real, though? Has the question been asked too many times before?

Today, I wrote a series of affirmations on the back of tiny slips of papers and tucked each thought under windshield wipers stopped in traffic. No, not really. But it is a nice thought.

Sliding down the railing, crossing off the fixation. Listening for the storm at port.  Reaching past the pat answer to tap the shoulder with a shudder. The truth dangled like a participle unhinged. 

I don't know about you, but I prefer to keep my illusions intact the bear growled into the growler.

Yesterday I went over to clean for a woman who has two very bad shoulders. I didn't want to go initially, but now I'm really glad that I did. My thought process was something along the lines of - I'm not cleaning my own house, why should I expend time and energy for to clean for someone else? But I went and learned that part of the reason I hate to clean is because I don't have anyone to talk to while I'm wiping down mirrors and vacuuming. When I was younger my mom would ask if I would talk to her while she worked. I often resisted, knowing I'd be dragged into whatever she was doing. I also felt guilty about just standing there when she was moving, now I know that my mom is a doer and I'm a thinker and we balance each other when we can both come toward the middle.

Change of subject - I have a lot on my mind so I'm going to jump around a lot. I've known a guy who lives out on the east coast for several years. I can't remember the date we met, but I remember the chain of events clearly. We were chatting about baseball, he's a former pitcher, we were talking about someone else and got into our own side conversation that led to our eventual friendship. I spent some time on the phone with him getting to know him better. That was after he read a blog post of mine that he said was groundbreaking. I didn't grow up with baseball like a lot of my other friends have, sometimes I long to have had those experiences earlier, on the other hand, having a fresher outsider perspective has really helped me at times. 

More changes of subject - a friend referred me to a guy who edits and manages a blog. I was told I'd get paid for any thought provoking article that was at least two thousand words. They told me it wouldn't be a lot of money, but some money is frequently better than none so I told them I was interested. After that I really struggled. Churning out 2000 words on a subject I'm not super familiar with isn't the easiest thing. I felt like a lot of what I was writing was filler instead of actual content. I tried reaching out to the editor who brushed me off, I sent a couple of posts to my friend and when I didn't hear back on the last one I wrote him off. Not in the friendship sense, in the sense that I'm not going to waste my time or his. It's the right decision and I'm comfortable with it.

Back to the in the second paragraph who had asked me to write a guest blog post in the past. I had told him no in the past, but suddenly saw an advantage in writing for him. I asked if he was still looking for contributors and promised him a piece on a pitcher. I wrote what I had, was pretty pleased with it, but I like to let things sit for a while so I have time to reflect. I ended up going back and rewriting everything except for the first two paragraphs. I'm glad I did. What I had before wasn't bad, but what I have now I love. This time I sent it directly to the editor, I still haven't heard back from him, that's really annoying, but I know I'm an impatient person and I'm reminding myself that he has a wife and kids, a job, and my post is probably not his highest priority.

I'm reading a book called Why Women Have Sex, last night a lot of things came together for me. The post I wrote starts with footwear and goes in another direction I doubt the reader is anticipating. That's one of the reasons I'm pleased with what I have. A friend of mine and I were talking last night. I emailed what I had to him and he sent back a lot of positive feedback which I really appreciated since it's easy to start second guessing myself. Yesterday I wrote too much and didn't get outside at all. Today I woke up at a reasonable time, went for a walk, and decided I need to proactively set some limits for myself. Writing daylogs was part of what made me feel good about myself. Now that I've got a computer back there are no excuses. I didn't get to everything on my mind today, but tomorrow is another day. 

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