Crushing and

Flying

Your peace You

Give me.

Look not

on my sins

But on my faith.

Tattoos are indulgent

Anyway;

You see the heart.

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Right mind

I’ll be right there with you

Coffee and creamer and

English muffins

Rides in the truck

You handed over

Your bank cards

Keep me in the network

You could clean me up too

You’re a grandfather

And that’s wild

You have a business

And a brother

And I care about you

Please see me as renewed

A prize for you

It’s out of my hands

But I’ll be on board

If you include me

There’s something about you

I really like.

The earth

is giving up her secrets

Bodies submerged

under stagnant rivers

A break in the case

Storms churn the waters

Secret societies of

cultural darkness

This is my first world

become third world

become underworld.

God have mercy on us.

Scores

Defined by scores

Shaking and edgy

Nervous laughter

Echoed sentiments 

Mindfuck labriynth 

Fuck pharmacology

Group conscience 

The literature

Has never lied (although who knows about the authors)

Oral tradition 

Welcome to the family 

Of nonprofessionals

Break you down 

To build you up

Quack philosophy

Circuitous reasoning 

Orthodox religions offer 

Peace and a path

And are probably more free.

The Ten Commandments reduced 

To two 

Twelve shaky steps reduced to slogans reduced to abstinence 

Nothing changes if nothing changes

Promises made and broken

Echo chambers of thought

More nervous laughter

Groupthink

Big book studies

Work the steps

Confess

Call yourself out

Tell on yourself

The disease is doing push-ups in the parking lot

Outside

I call bullshit

The paradigm is flawed at best

Brainwashing 

Surrender to win

Surrender to lose

Critical thought suppressed

I’ve built a case against this 

I’d get up and leave a cult meeting too

My instincts are usually right

This quack system takes the mind

At a vulnerable point

And attempts to remold it

They will always work if we work for it  

Secrets exposed and shared

God must be doing for you

What you cannot do for yourself

Bullshit

I can’t sit through it ever

Brainwashed lambs

grasping at straws.

These dreams 

are nothing new

They crash in the wakefulness 

Of my mind.

It goes so fast

And you build a home

You visit me in dreams

There’s no revelation 

And you’re not there in wakefulness

It’s a wonder I can sleep

On foam and plywood

I can’t stop dreaming 

I used to analyze every dream

But now the dreams replace the

Present. 

I don’t know what age you are

Or if age exists –

I think not –

You see me try to fix it,

Preserve it all,

Your visits mean so much

Even if I don’t know

what they mean,

if anything.

Hello, Dear Readers.

If last year was the year of interim assignments, this is the year of daily subbing. 

I’ve tried to stick mostly within the same school for ease and consistency. Otherwise it can be very destabilizing to travel to a different school each day. This way, at least my commute is predictable and the days offer somewhat of a routine.

The job of a substitute teacher here in Florida is shit pay and hard work. Due to the disability, I haven’t been able to work every day. Last pay period I was only able to get two work days in. The disability appeal seems to be taking forever. I’ve been living off of credit cards, maxing them out, and considering bankruptcy. This is the shit I don’t post about on Facebook. But it’s the truth, y’all.

The interview process is like a joke. An assistant principal of a local middle school, who shall not be named, was seemingly impressed by me at an interview and called me later during dinner, telling me that the position was between myself and one other candidate. He made me come in to give a “demo” lesson. In between, I had to drive to and from the school to pick up the materials. I hustled it but prepared well. I think the lesson went well.

Lo and behold, when I called the AP to follow up the next week, he told me forlornly that they were still interviewing for the position. Then I saw them at the local job fair.

The job fair, which I attended in earnest, was an overstimulating cacophony of tables and applicants, but I hustled it anyway. (I was hired by my first principal in New York through a job fair.) I’m figuring out that lots of principals say they value teachers with experience, but then end up hiring “blank slates”. They’re easier to control and mold. I didn’t leave with a job, but I “networked” a lot.

Lots between the Florida and New York educational systems are the same. Administrators operate like kings and queens, applicants come through like court jesters, strictly for entertainment, and the jobs remain unfilled and/or ultimately given to an already-decided-on candidate. 

The charter school scene is even worse. It’s really hard for me to even interview for these charters, given my longstanding opposition to their existence and my unyielding conviction that private and public funds should not be commingled to fund education. (But my opinions as a 12-year educator and taxpayer be damned, a girl’s gotta eat.)

I’ve been hustling for every dollar I make. I’m on food stamps, which they just cut. Every time I go to an interview I pretty much lose a day of possible work. It’s a far cry from where I was less than 2 years ago, working as a tenured teacher for the NYC DOE. That wasn’t without its problems, if you’ve read my prior posts. But I’d resigned, here I am in Florida and life moves on.

I’ve been interviewing for non teaching positions but have been finding it difficult to get hired because I think supervisors are afraid I’m overqualified, or that I’d ultimately find a position in teaching and then leave (likely true).

Oh wait – I did have a job – for two days, teaching Language Arts to sixth graders in a Catholic school. However, I was ill suited for it and my disability intervened so I got out early and quit after two days of work. (I’m now kicking myself for that decision, deciding whether the misery of working at a job you’re ill-suited for beats the misery of poverty and debt. The grass is always greener, it seems.) 

I wish that there were a VA of sorts for burned out former school teachers. I think it’s a shame that I’ve served my community for 11 years, suffered PTSD from teaching, and now can’t even afford health insurance or to pay my bills. For some mystery, Social Security keeps denying my disability claim and I keep getting denied Medicaid. 

I guess when you’re an American worker, working and paying taxes since you’re 16 years old, this is what you can expect. (Maybe I’d have better luck getting social services if I applied as a “refugee”, or had an anchor baby to support). 

While I wish that this veteran teacher had better news to report, I will soldier on.

Thanks for reading!