Figuring out life...slowly.

I feel life is either a grand adventure or a never-ending tunnel of doom. I am trying to find a middle. Somewhere.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Crazy March

March has been insane! It is certainly blowing in like a lion-wait, isn't it suppose to blow in like a lamb and out like a lion> Ah, fuck it. Forgot that metaphor. Anyway, it's hectic. Insane in the membrane. Roller-coaster.

I applied for a job in Dubai. I did so for lots of reasons: travel, money, money, travel, get the hell out of dodge, travel, get away from family, money, dead-end relationship, money. See, lots. I expected to not really get a response. Wrong. I had a response in two days and now have the final interview on Wednesday. Wow. Totally not expecting that at all.

I expected my sister to tell me I was going to be sold into white slavery. Wrong. I expected my father to say, "Whoa, girl slow down!" Wrong. I expected my mom to be excited. Right. I expected The Boyfriend to do...something. Wrong.

Regardless of my expectations of the people around me, I doubt they expected me to apply to Dubai. People around me, though, know I was thinking about it. I have always wanted to teach abroad. I just had no idea the position would avail itself so fast and so quickly.

I have no clue what I am going to do. I wish I did. But I don't. I can't stay for the people around me. If I did, I am putting expectations upon them. I am expecting them to take care of my needs and fill my voids. I have been on this Earth for thirty-four years and 9 months and no one has ever done it. No one will EVER fill it because I have to do it. I have to be responsible for MY future, MY voids, MY desires. The baggage has to go. My hand is slowly releasing the handle but, man, I love this baggage.

Will I go?
Will I stay?

Fuck if I know but the journey is part of the challenge. Life should never be complacent. Complacency is for the lazy. I am going to challenge myself and live for myself. I don't where the journey will lead. But, I'll let you know when I find out.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


The joy of having a sick child. Big A wheezed and coughed last night and tossed and turned. I decided we should stay home today and go to the doctor. I figured he would need steroids and albuterol treatments. I was wrong. He had a cold. A run-of-the-mill cold. I overreacted.

It is such a guessing game with kids. When my late husband was still alive (dying but alive), Big A had an asthma attack. After arranging for someone to stay with my husband, I went to the doctor. I thought steroids and a shot and good to go. Uh, no. Here is how it went:

Nurse: You need to come back here immediately! He is retracting. (She is in the office behind the window in the waiting room)
Me: We're fine. We can wait (Me in waiting room being oblivious)
Nurse: Now, Ms. Kagey (commanding)
Me: OK (wondering why she was freaking. This was nothing in the grand scheme of things. I had just gotten back from the Big University Hospital ER with husband)
In doctor office now with two breathing treatments done
Dr: You have to take him to the ER
Me: I can't
Dr: Ms. Kagey, you must (impatient)
Me: I can't. My husband is dying. He can't go to the ER (not realizing how ironic that statement was)
Dr. He is not breathing well. You have to
Me: (snapping out of it) Local one? (thinking please God-not Big U)
Dr: No, Big University One
Me: (well, fuckitude. Of course that one)Let me find someone to watch husband. Does Big A need to go by ambulance?
Dr: Just take him (I know he thought I was a dumb-ass)
Me: I'm going. Husband will want to go and he just got out of the hospital. He can't go back because he is on a chemo trial so I'll have to convince him to stay home. I'll nee someone to stay with him and then call his mother and my mother and get someone to pick up The Dictator (my oldest). Are you sure?
Dr. (suddenly gentle) Ms. Kagey, you have to. His oxygen sat is falling.

And to this day, I have no idea how we got to the ER, how husband ended up there and where The Dictator stayed. To say I was out of it would be an understatement. Since then, watching Big A struggling to breathe while I tried to decide who needed me the most (Big A won-Husband had to take back seat for the night), I have tried to be more cautious about his asthma. It creeps up fast.

I have been accused of being single-minded and I am. It was one of my coping mechanisms when Husband was so ill. I had to concentrate on him and his health situation and I couldn't be distracted. Did the doctor give him the right medications? Was he being truthful about his condition? Did the insurance cover this PET scan or that surgery or this chemo trial? It was literally his life. I spent all day, during the time he was dying, talking to his doctors, talking to family, counting out medication, coordinating with home health and hospice and trying not to fall apart. Big A paid the price of my single minded focus that day and I still feel guilty.

Thank goodness, at this day and at this time, he has my attention and my focus, and it is just a cold. We get to snuggle and have a sick day.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Twelve more periods until Spring Break

Things are looking up in my Kagey World. My trouble student is on out of school suspension for the second time. He is going to fail my class and possibly be a drop-out but the school keeps giving him OSS. It is a vicious cycle and one that I am not sure how to stop. Well, actually, I can not stop anything. Just a classroom teacher am I.

Two of my other trouble students are out because they, uh, did illegal things during the school day. Here's a tip for our future leaders--don't take illegal things to school. Don't have illegal things. Then, no worries.

So, I am down several students and I would enjoy it yet I know I will just get more! Once again, a viscious cycle!

I have an interview soon with another school. It is a new school that is opening up. I am positive I am not qualified and trying not to get excited but you never know...of course, I am teaching English and I keep writig sentences with two conjunctions. This is bad too.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A new week

The play is over! There is rejoicing in the Kagey household. I have fifteen more class periods until spring break and then a nice two week break (excluding the three doctor appts and one surgery I'm getting done). It will be so very nice.

Things with the boyfriend and I seem to be looking up. He was a huge help with the kids this week and he was very supportive. I appreciated it. He says I am pushy but it seems nothing happens if I am not.

I have decided the best way to decide whether I feel trapped or not is to try for as many things as possible and see what sticks. So, I have applied for some oversea jobs, some jobs in different counties and some jobs in different districts. I don't know what I want but that's ok. No reason to be stressed or depressed about it. I am the captain of my own ship. My ship might be a pirate ship, a tanker, or the titanic but it's my journey.

Meanwhile the youngest Kagey is sleeping walking again and feeling badly. I hope he feels better. He is clingy and pitiful.

Monday, February 22, 2010


I have complicated feelings about teaching. I don't know if I like it. In fact, most of the time, I am sure I hate it. On the other hand, I don't know anyone that likes teaching the first year. It is hard. It is frustrating. It has broken my heart.

I am a perfectionist. I have not allowed to myself to make a C since I was a sophomore in high school. If I am going to do something, I am going to be the best at it that I can be. When I started running, I sucked. I hired trainers and worked on improving my runs. Now, I am not great but I am better.

I suck at teaching. I have fourteen kids failing my class and they are taking up space until they can drop out. I have kids that want to have me because I am easy. I have kids falling asleep and kids that think "The Lottery" is about someone winning pot in the lottery and getting stoned. No, it's about a woman winning a lottery and getting stoned. To death. With real stones. Obviously, I am not the best. I am not even better. I am at the bottom of the teaching totem pole. And it sucks.

I don't really know what I want. I want a baby. I want a master's degree and a doctorate. I want to get married to the guy I love. I want to take care of him and him take care of me. I want to write for a living. I want to run every day on my own time instead of fitting it in. I want to spend more time with my kids and not be exhausted and emotionally worn-out every day. I want more time to read and to enjoy life instead of lesson planning and grading and worrying and filling out bullshit forms. I want to rule my world instead of my world ruling me. I want to know why I am not happy. I should be happy. I worked four fucking years to get my teaching degree and.....and....this is it? UGH!

Notice I don't want to be a better teacher. Notice I don't want a further degree in education. Notice I don't want to be by myself.

I'm screwed. Why am I almost 35 and totally confused about my life? When do you ever know what you want? Why isn't teaching my thing? I really thought it was....

UGH! Good thing I am seeing a psychiatrist. Maybe he can help me stop thinking and obsessing and drawing up plans that are like the leaning tower of Pisa. Maybe he can teach me to just be....and be content.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Learning to run....

My friend Kristy asked me two years ago if I wanted to train to run a half-marathon with her. All sorts of images and thoughts flashed through my mind...the humiliation of being last during any athletic competition in elementary school, almost failing gym in elementary school, almost failing tennis in college (the ball would hit my head when I tried to serve), falling off the bench repeatedly in step class, and the simple fact that I hate running. Simple answer...n-n-Then, to my shock,I said, "Sure. Let's do it." What had I done? I could drop out later, I reassured myself.

Kristy is a hard-core person. She doesn't mess around and she doesn't tolerate stupidity well. I love her for it. She does everything with a gung-ho energy that I don't possess. My trainer said he could never imagine me doing anything physical in a hurry and he is right. I am content to walk. I have never sprinted in my life. I had never run anywhere voluntarily in my life so this would be an adventure. Plus, Kristy would kick my ass if I gave up. I was in!

By the fourth week of running, I was willing to let Kristy kick my ass if I could just give up. It hurt. Alot. I sucked at it. We were training in a group of five and I was always staring at their four backsides. It was tiresome. Two of the group were tiresome. I was tired. What was I doing?

I didn't tell Kristy I was ready to quit. She would give me the disappointed Kristy look and I would be leaving her with the Tiresome Twins. I shuddered. So not good. I was waiting for someone else to quit so I wouldn't be a loser. No one else was quitting, damn them. Mentally, I would run chanting, "Quit, quit, quit" to the other girls but my mental power to control people was non-exist ant.

Then, it happened. Runners would talk of a mysterious runner's high when they trained. I decided it was like finding a man that could find lost belongings without help...a rare, impossible thing. People said it would hit but they were just oxygen deprived from all the running...Then, it happened. We were running in a drizzle. I was miserable. My feet were cold and numb. The tiresome duo were in front of me laughing and carrying on. I wish I had laser-eyes. I would shoot them with my laser eyes. UGH! It was now raining hard. Then, I heard thunder. Hell bells. I was running in a thunderstorm. This girl running in a deluge was not me. I wouldn't even go to the mailbox in the rain. I hate being wet unless I am in a pool. I was so quitting.

They turned the corner, running harder. I was struggling to keep up but it was not working. Then, I felt my body relax. My body fell in a rhythm. The rain was hitting me but I was running. Actually running. It didn't hurt. I wasn't gasping for breathe. I was....enjoying it? Damn endorphin runner's high. Kristy came back to check on me (I think secretly she thought I had stuck my head in a puddle to escape running with her again) and I grinned at her. "I love running. I never thought it could be this good!"

I was hooked. Ten minutes of great running opposed to hours of pain and I was in. Damn, I'm easy.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I get so tired of sitting in meetings and listening to our educational system being compared to Indian/Chinese educational programs. The one thing that irritates me most is our systems are not equitable. We educate all our populace. We educated the females, the males, the learning disabled, the physically disabled, the poor, the homeless, the unwilling, the disenfranchised, the foreigners and everyone in between. I have students in my class that don't have a home. I have students in my class with drug-addicted parents. I have students in my class that take up oxygen and stare blankly at a wall. I have students that are learning disabled.

The Chinese don't educate their total populace. Boys get more education than girls. The rich get more education than the poor. And, I am fairly positive, the autistic and the learning disabled get little to no education. The autistic child is busy in a slave labor camp making Wal-Mart products for us to buy. The unwilling to learn are allowed to drop out of school.

So, when I hear that we need to be more like the Chinese or the Indians, it angers me. It infuriates me. Our educational system has issues. Huge issues. All the comparisons to other nations won't solve those issues. Nor will testing or increased teacher education solve our issues. Increased funding won't solve our issues and longer school days won't, either.

My core belief, after teaching and having children in the public school, is educational reforms is not the way to fix our educational problems. The way to fix it? Children can not be educated to their full potential when do not have shelter. They can not be educated fully when they are hungry or they are in pain. I have students that float from house to house each week. I have students that need wisdom teeth taken out but can't afford it. They suffer from migraines but they can't afford the medication.

I am not suggesting a public welfare state but let's focus on educational reforms along with addressing the underlying social issues that students face each day. I have students, that if I had their life, I don't know if I could go to school every day. We must realize school is not just about teaching, learning, and test scores. It is also about what kids bring to the classroom-messy issues, hunger, fragmented family lives, addiction, lack of shelter and lack of health care. Let's acknowledge we educate our whole populace and many countries don't. Let's look at everything and then try to fix our system.