Practical Thoughts? 11:58 a.m. 2005-01-13

Check out my E-Bay Auctions.

I have all sorts of Loteria items, shrines, story boxes, framed Blue Dog cards - even things for crafters to use!

Free Will Astrology horoscope for the week:

Leo Horoscope for week of January 13, 2005

Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby is the best Hollywood movie of 2004, said A.O. Scott in the New York Times. But Salon.com's Charles Taylor panned the film, calling it leaden and boring, "a compendium of every cliché from every bad boxing melodrama ever made." I suspect that you will get equally contradictory reviews for your life and work in the coming week, Leo. For instance, some people may regard you as a magician who has transformed rot into splendor, while others may think of you as a dabbler with too much self-esteem. Both are wrong. More importantly, their opinions, whether good or bad, shouldn't concern you. Be your own judge.

I may be addicted to the cryptic sayings of Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology. Some of his other views are too extreme for me (but he's entitled to them!), and I have so far resisted paying for the extended version of my horoscope - available in Real Audio or over the Phone...

The same is true of Tarot.com. It is interesting what thoughts there are to ponder with the three card interpretations you get for free. I have not felt the need at the moment to pay for the additional cards in the set up. It must be synchronicity, because the cards I draw are almost always relevant to the situation I present. I am hoping like heck that there is not some sneaky computer program working that takes the words I type in for my question and chooses responses accordingly. That would be little evil. On the other hand, I can always choose the cards and keep the question in my head.

ANY-who....I seem to be doing a lot of reflecting lately, and feel like I am coming to a crossroads again in my life. I have plans and dreams again, but have a lot of fear to battle and overcome. Am I supposed to balance my teaching career with my new-found artistic leanings? Can I? Or can I give up the security of the insurance, pay, etc. that my teaching job offers in order to pursue art? Can I really have it both ways without jeopardizing both ambitions?

I don't know. In the past, it has been possible to balance my life between teaching school (my job) and my other interests and pursuits (why I have a job and need money!) Teaching has been my job for a long time - barring a sabbatical of two years or so) and I love may aspects of the profession: working with my students, for one thing. I am happiest when I am playing Pied Piper and encouraging my students to do something that they have not done before, or talking to them about their interests and dreams. Yes, some of my students can be disagreeable, but this has been a good year - and those have left my prescence for now!

On the other hand, school seems to be becoming less about interacting with students, and more about being measured for their success. All my life, it seems that I have been trying to learn one lesson: that I am responsible for only my actions, decisions, and the out come of those. The program - and my therapy - has always been about letting go of things I cannot control. How am I supposed to be held responsible for the many and various factors that can affect a student's performance in school?

Of course, I know the answer to that. I am supposedly (WE, as teachers, are supposedly...) being asked to take another look at our methods, to change them, work in collaborative teams with other teachers, to keep up with the current trends in education, to monitor our students and do everything WE can do to encourage and support them. It is only logical that we conduct ourselves as professionals - and professionals put in that extra time and do what needs to be done.

This is something that I was pointing out to my teaching assistant yesterday. I think that the time is coming where the teachers who are trying to do more than teach (and a LOT of teachers are doing just that!) are going to need to choose. Is it a matter of salary? For many, it is. I know men (and women) that are the main breadwinners in their family, and the salary is not enough. I also know people who decided to teach, knowing that they could do a competent job, while using their vacations and other spare time ot pursue their dreams . There is nothing wrong with that - I actually fall somewhere in the middle of that.

But it seems that a time is coming where that extra time will be sucked up - leaving no child behind. Even if the powers that be woke up and suddenly decided to give us the salaries of middle managers (or higher, if we deserve it), would the money be enough? Would the money be enough to take the place of dreams and creativity? I don't know.

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