••• Friday, June 09, 2006

K is for... 

...Kayaks, Kakers and Kow

'Knuff said.

...Kickoff to Summer
Today is ::Fuckin' Blogger:: Yesterday was the first day of my summer vacation. For someone who has not worked in the “real world” of year-round employment for 13 years now, the onset of the 10-week summer vacation is still a source of wonder and deep appreciation. Or at least it will be, come Saturday.

Most of my civilian friends assume that my last walk across the parking lot, on that last day of the school year, is marked by a sense of jubilation and excitement. Au contraire. To a year, as I make that final pilgrimage home, I feel drained, stressed and more than a little bit dusty. This feeling lasts for about two days and is attributed to the mutual disrespect between the mandated tasks associated with closing shop for the summer, and falling babies.

I know. No one wants to hear whining about the difficulties of preparing for a paid, 10-week vacation. And yes, it doesn’t suck. But for a couple days or so, it doesn’t not suck either.

In comments, Enjay asked about my job, wondering if I was a soshul werker or kownsler. My official job title is “Skool Soshul Werker.”* (SSW) Here in Michigan, SSW services are required in all public school settings to perform speshul ed. evaluations for Awtism and Emoshunal Imparement. Some counties have one SSW for the entire district to perform evals. My district employs seven. How the schools use SSWs beyond performing evaluations is up to them.

In the role of SSW, I work at a high school and primarily with speshul ed. students who are determined to need SSW services per the IEP. ::Federally mandated paperwork done on each student, which defines student’s needs and services.:: I also do evaluations, of course, and this year I was assigned to the district’s Awtism Specktrim Disorder diagnostic team, which has allowed me to work in other buildings, with different age groups, as well as practice writing really long sentences.

I do have a caseload of students I see weekly or bi-weekly, and often times in between. And I do lots of paperwork. Other responsibilities include being on-call to consult with teachers and administration for behavior management (of students) and special issues that arise. I am also on the district crisis team and am called to individual buildings in the event of a death of a student or teacher.

In my district, SSW’s at the elementary level perform both speshul ed. duties and duties that most people attribute to that of a school kownsler (individual and group kownsling, class instruction on character education, pre-sped referral interventions, etc.) At the elementary level, the SSW doesn’t have a large speshul ed. caseload. We do have gydance kownslers at the high school who provide some kownsling but mostly deal with issues of graduation requirements, college prep, standardized testing etc.

In Michigan, A SSW must have a master degree and above that, special certification to work in the school environment. The pay is really good (I’m on a teacher’s contract, with a 60 hour masters degree) as are the benefits. But the best thing is that I love it and feel like I make a difference. I also feel very lucky to have this job. SSW openings are rare, and one job posting can attract 1,000 applicants.

Okay, you can unglaze your eyes. It's over.

...Karma at a Klip
And now for some totally idiotic stuff that I’ve been thinking about between stress blinks.
1) Over the past couple of years I’ve realized that I send out more paper clips than I receive. This really bothered me for some reason. In my work environment, there appears to be a daily, equitable exchange of paperclips between other personnel. Yet, I always end up short.

For awhile I was taking this clip crap kind of personal. Is there something about me? Am I not deserving? Is it a conspiracy?

This week I did some real deep cleaning of my files. Like,7 years worth. And guess what I found? Yeppers. A cache of clips. Enough to get me through the next school year and possibly beyond, without running out. No doubt. I guess that sometimes we got shit we don't know we got. It just takes a closer look. K?

2) I'm very uncomfortable with all this cheering and celebration over the death of another human being, even if the guy was a moral skank. Someday we're gonna find out that it causes cancer.

3) Math is not my strong suit, but isn't 6-6-2006 about 2000 years off the 666 mark? And wasn't there an actual year 666? And on that note, sort of, I recently learned that Moses had a speech impediment. Think about this a minute. Is it possible that Moses merely met a guy named Bernie Busch up on that mountain?
...Knitting (duh)

The Picot Poo is looking less carnival ride with the addition of the skirt. I'm really liking the look of this one, now, 360 stitches 'round and 'round, notwithstanding.

...Kick-ass Photography
I actually haven't done much knitting this week. I've come up with a new crop of photos for my notecard collection and have been making new gift batches. I'm really enjoying this new hobby, including the giveaway. And I'll say it again, there's nothing like a couple hours of slicing and dicing photos as a stress management tool. It's all about control.

Here's one of my new favorites:

I probably have 100 pictures of that gazebo. It's my little love shack.

That's it for today (or yesterday, thank you very much Blagger.I mean Blogger.)

One more thing. I have come to the conclusion that some people go into sportscasting so they can say stuff like "He needs to get the puck out of there!" on national TV.

*I distort the spelling on these words to impede professional googles landing at my place. This blog is my psychological sanctuary and I don't want to be found.


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