Writing 101: Day 14 To whom it may concern…

The words that literally jumped out at me were “Homework and Examinations”.  The book?  “The Conscious Parent” by Shefali Tsabary, PhD

 

Dear Superintendent of schools,

This is a letter if intent.  I am sending it certified, as to ensure you do in fact receive it.

This entire school year has been nothing less than a complete nightmare for my son.  Going into the junior high is stressful enough, but the limited staff versus the number of students in that particular school is laughable.  The principle assured us at the open house that you, as a whole, would go above and beyond for individual student’s who may need help.

After several attempts to contact the principal, not a single issue I’ve had concerns with have been addressed.  My son comes home everyday, crying, with videos of him getting beat up, pushed around, and called highly inappropriate names.  He fears going to school every morning because an eighth grader threatened to stab him!  I spoke with the principal about this issue and was again, reassured that “it will be taken care of.”  Well, if you haven’t picked up on the tone of this letter, let me inform you; it was never addressed.

How is my son supposed to excel in anything if he is in a constant state of fear?  He has 4 minutes between each class.  Then 45 minute classes.  It is during those 45 minute classes that he has a chance to calm himself down, thanking God that he made it through those 4 minutes without incident.  As the 45th minute of the class nears, his anxiety spikes and he has all he can do to make to the final minute, just to go back out into the hallway and face his worst fears.  He isn’t able to concentrate in class at all, because he’s so stressed out about the 4 minutes he just survived and the 4 minutes soon approaching.  Being under this much stress, he is unable to retain anything from the class, therefore failing examinations, and not understanding what’s being asked of him as far as homework assignments.

This letter is to inform you that I am withdrawing my son from your school and will be home schooling him for the 2014-2015 school year.  I can no longer sit back and watch as my son gets tormented on a daily basis, and nothing is done to the older kids doing it because they are the sports stars giving your district a good name.

Thank you for providing to the best of your abilities, the education my son received this past school year.  I do hope the future budget allows you to hire more staff members, a security system/metal detector, and maybe a few more aides for the classrooms to assist the teachers.

Sincerely,

Kate

 

Now, this is all that I would like to say to the superintendent, but my letter of intent will not be as lengthy nor detailed.  The principal knows exactly how I feel and has tried to convince me that home schooling him will do more harm than good.  I have already been in contact with another mom who home schools all 4 of her kids and she has nothing but good things to say about it.  So, I will be removing my son from the school district, and I will also be writing this letter of intent.  This lesson, was the best thing that has happened to me today.  These are all the things I want to shout at the school staff, the principal and the superintendent, but that wouldn’t make me look very classy.  So, I was able to vent on here, and now I can write the actual letter.  Thank you SO much for today’s lesson!!

~Kate

Also, my apologies to the administrator of this page.  I have been “absent” for a few assignments and forgot how I was supposed to link it.  I believe I did a ping back and then realized….wrong class.  So, ignore the ping back.  I posted where I was supposed to.  Again, sorry about that.

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The Daily Post: Familial Feasts

The Daily Post: Children’s Day

Yesterday was Father’s Day in many countries. If you could dedicate a holiday to a more distant relative, who would it be — and why?

We have Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Day, Secretaries Day… but we have no day with the exception of birthdays to acknowledge our children.  I think there should be a day specifically devoted to our children; their accomplishments, their individuality, our pride for them, our love for them, a day devoted entirely to boosting their confidence.  So, distant relative?  Not so much.  But now that you’ve got me thinking about it, I’M going to mark a day on the calendar for such a day for my son.  Maybe I’ll even let him pick the day.

We believe that we do all of these things on a daily basis, but do we?  Our faces are constantly plastered in our phones and our computers.  Do we acknowledge our children in the way we really should be?  Or are we just yessing them to death so we can post whatever it is we’re in the middle of posting on Facebook?  Or are we too busy writing or doing whatever it is we do to truly acknowledge them for who they are.  Do we celebrate their individuality?  Do we encourage their achievements?  I think our intentions are good, but I also think we’re too caught up in technology to realize we’re actually ignoring what really matters in the eyes of our children.

Look up Please check out this link.  It’s very powerful and a major reality check.

Here’s to the love of my life; my heartbeat, my reason for living. You rock little man!!!  And I LOVE to see you smile!!

heart beat

Daily post: Favorite Mistake

Daily Post:

The biggest mistake I have made in my life thus far, is marrying the man I did.  I was way too young, and assumed we were doing what was expected of us (marriage, house, baby, etc.).  I was so lost in being a people pleaser that I failed to realize I was an individual, fully capable of making my own decisions.  I have to admit… I was a sheep in every sense of the word.

However, a few years after we were married, I became pregnant with my one and only son.  He’s now 11 years old, and is my reason for living.  He’s my heartbeat.  I would, without hesitation take a bullet for this kid.  I didn’t know a love like this even existed.

Although my son has little to no communication with his father, I am forever grateful for having met and married him, because had we not, I wouldn’t have this amazing little boy.

Being that today is Father’s Day, I just felt that this “mistake” seemed most appropriate.  Here’s tot he man making a HUGE difference in MY child’s life; to the man my son wishes was his real Dad.  We love you!!!

Happy Father’s Day to all you Dad’s out there!!  Dad’s, Step Dad’s, Fill in Dad’s where the biological dad has voluntarily removed himself from the child’s life, to any and every man making a positive impact on the life of a child.  Kudos to you ALL!  Your efforts may seem to be un-noticed now, but believe me, they will be much appreciated later on in life.

 

Daily Post: Right to Brag

Tell us about something you (or a person close to you) have done recently (or not so recently) that has made you really, unabashedly proud.

There are so many thing’s I want to write… at least a dozen things come to mind.  However…  somewhere along my journey to self discovery, I learned that bragging is nothing more than my ego.  My ego wants, NEEDS to feel right and superior.  Therefore, I cannot “brag” about any of the things my ego so desperately wants to say.  I appreciate the prompt, and even though I can’t actually contribute, it gave me an opportunity to explain myself through writing.  So, thank you.

For those of you that DO write something, please know that I am in no way judgmental.  I do not look down on people for feeling a sense of pride.  I’m happy that you have these things making you proud.  I know from past experience that being able to share in something like this makes you feel good.  That’s a GOOD thing.

Happy writing fellow bloggers!!

Daily Post:

Writing 101, Day Ten: Happy (Insert Special Occasion Here)!

Tell us about your favorite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory.

Feel free to focus on any aspect of the meal, from the food you ate to the people who were there to the event it marked.

Today’s twist: Tell the story in your own distinct voice.

As a child, a nice, HUGE, fat turkey dinner meant that all was right in the world.  It was Thanksgiving (because that’s the only time the stores sold turkeys… or so I believed) and we would all be together. Us kids off from school, dad home from work…  Mom cooking dinner, Dad watching a football game, all 3 of us kids sneaking into the kitchen to steal some of that crispy skin.  Life was good.

Snacks of pepperoni and cheese, mixed nuts, chips and dip all spread about the coffee table.  I could always count on mom to switch the channel so that we could watch the parade.  But regardless of the time, from morning until night, our house smelled of nothing but an oven roasted turkey.

As the day progressed, we all scattered and did our own thing.  My sister on the phone with her friends, my brother in his room doing God only knows what boys his age do alone in their rooms, and I was always underfoot. However, when it was time to eat, and dad started carving, we just as suddenly reappeared; anxious to fill our plates. Their was no order… the food was brought to the table and we all dove right in.  Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, mixed vegetables, warm rolls, pearled onions and cranberry jelly.

Years later, my parents are divorced, I have a civilized relationship with my brother, and my sister and I don’t talk at all .  So, in times of sadness I’ll think back to days like Thanksgiving.  These are MY memories.  You can disown me as family, but you can never take away what is forever burned into my brain.  With each new year comes new traditions.  I now have an 11 year old who I hope to make similar memories for.  The only difference being, now that I do the grocery shopping, we tend to have turkey a couple of times throughout the year.

Daily prompts: Verbal Ticks

The word I’m guilty of using FAR too often is “drama.” I absolutely hate the word; I think I use it too often, I think others use it too often, AND… I think it was made popular because no one could figure out whet else call the situation they were in.

There is someone I know who uses the word a’int, KNOWING it drives me crazy. But it’s just a word… I shouldn’t let it effect me. However, I do, and he knows it, and now I think he does it on purpose just to see my reaction.

Our vocabulary doesn’t define who we are. I used to think that those with poor grammar were less educated, and not worth having a conversation with. What could they possibly say that would capture my interest? Well, the person constantly using the word a’int not only captured my attention; he captured my heart. I’m so glad I didn’t allow my simplemindedness to distance myself from him.

If you read Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth, he describes that words are just labels. Who decided that a tree would be called a tree? A bird was/is a bird? They are in fact just labels.

Okay… there’s my two cents. Hope you all have a great day!!

Writing 101 Day 8: Death to Adverbs

Today’s assignment: Go to a public location and make a detailed report of what you see. The twist of the day? Write the post without adverbs.

I never enjoy grocery shopping.  No matter what time of day it is, the stores are congested with all kids of people, the lines are no shorter than 15 customers long and without fail, the cart I pick has a faulty wheel, pulling me to the right.  Today’s trip was no different.

I pulled into the first available parking spot, and as I got out of my car, my first step was directly, dead center of a pool of water. I haven’t even entered the store and both of my sneakers are dripping with the remnants of this mornings downpour. Awesome.

As I approach the wide, double, automatic doors, there’s a group of kids holding buckets, begging customers for donations for their schools sports program.  Under normal circumstances, I’d drop a few dollars in the bucket and wish them luck.  Still concentrating on my soaking wet feet, I think to myself, thank God I only have my debit card.

Over time, I’ve developed a routine.  I start at the back of the store and make my way to the front.  As I head back there, a robust woman with 2 obnoxious children in her cart, are crying over a toy they can’t have.  Angered by their behavior, she jets out of the aisle without pause, almost crashing directly into me.

The loud squeak coming from sneakers is now not only annoying me, but other customers as well.  They look at me, then to my feet and shake their heads in disgust, as though I’m doing it on purpose.  Yes, I’m a child and just had to jump in all the puddles, specifically to make your shopping experience as horrible as mine.

It was in the pasta aisle, maybe because I was buying spaghetti for my son, that I recalled our conversation at the bus stop…  “Don’t forget… happiness is a choice mom! Have a good day!” It brought an immediate smile to my face.  The woman next to me looked at me as though I was insane.  Who the hell smiles at spaghetti? Hmmm… I do.

Just as sudden as my mood had turned sour, there was now a hop in my step.  Sure my feet were squeaking, my cart was pulling me in different directions, my shopping was only half done and I was ready for a nap, but all I could think about was going home and making my little boy (11 years old and an only child) his favorite dinner.

Without a second thought, I zipped through my list and made my way to the check out.  Despite my change in attitude, I still had to stand in line for 20 minutes just like everyone else.  I thought the woman with the 2 obnoxious kids were bad… The adults standing in line were far worse.  It starts with a rolling of the eyes.  They don’t want to wait in line and they feel everyone else needs to know this. Next comes the heavy sigh and the side step to get a better look at what’s going on at the register that holding us all up. THEN they start verbalizing their aggravation. “I don’t know why I even come here.”  “They should have more registers opened.”  “They should hire people who know how to run a register.” etc., etc.

I watch and listen to these adult customers, well aware that this is how I looked as I initially entered the store, and I’ve got to admit, I’m a tad bit ashamed of myself.  It’s finally my turn!!  I put all my groceries on the counter, smile at the cashier and make small talk to reassure her she’s doing a good job.  Her return smile lets me know she’s appreciative.

Everything’s bagged and back in my cart when she asks, “Would you like to donate to the Children’s Diabetes Fund?”

“Of course I would.  Please add $15.00 to my total.” Again, another smile spreads across her face.

I swipe my debit card.  The machine asks if I’m paying with a debit card or a credit card.  I pause for a moment, remembering the kids outside. I press the debit button and enter my pin number. It then asks if I would like cash back.  I take an additional $20.00 out.  The smile is contagious.  I can’t force myself not to.  It’s a definite struggle to make my way back to the double doors, but I make it.  And before they have a chance to ask, I drop a twenty-dollar bill in their bucket.  Another smile; this one so obvious full of appreciation.

I’ve heard “Smiles are free so give them away.”  Now I know this for myself to be true.  Happiness is not just a choice, but it’s contagious as well.

 

Writing 101 Day 7: Give and Take

“So, even though I’m new at blogging, I’m really getting the hang of it. People are starting to leave feedback, they’re “liking” my blogs; Mom, I feel great! I’m finally back to writing”

“That’s Great Jillian! I’m so proud of you. I knew you could do it.”

Suddenly, there’s a loud crash from inside the house.

“Noah? Are you ok?”

…silence

“Hey mom, I have to let you go. Something’s going on inside.

Jillian opens the door to see a tossed salad all over the kitchen floor, and a very angry Noah.

“What happened?” she asks.

“Well, since someone was too busy on the computer all day to get the dishes done, I reached into the sink to grab a fork to wash and dropped my damn dinner. You’re slacking Jillian. I just worked a 12 hour shift; I’m tired, I’m starving and I don’t have the patience to deal with this.”

“Noah, I’m sorry! I was writing. In fact, I was writing ALL DAY. It’s MY job! You see me at the computer and your hands aren’t broken. Why couldn’t you do the dishes?”

“Because I just finished my job for the day. I’ll be damned if I’m going to have to come to do even more work. Why don’t you make a chore chart for your son? Then maybe something will finally get done around this house.”

Completely stunned, Jillian looks at the small mess, and the fact that Noah had severely over reacted. Determined not to absorb his negative energy, she turns to her son.

“Hey Max, get your shoes on.”

“Where are we going mom?”

“Would you like to eat dinner tonight?”

“Yeah… Can we get McDonald’s?”

“For you? Anything. Let’s go. A date at McDonald’s it is. Noah can stay home, make himself another salad and fester in his own anger. I certainly don’t want to be around him right now. Do you?

“Nah. Let’s just go. I’ll put my nice clothes on so it’s like a real date.”

“Deal. I’ll meet you outside in five minutes, and make sure you remember to wear your smile.”

Falling behind!!!!!

Writing 101 day 7, 8 and 9.  Very difficult assignments, but I’ll get them done.  I took ONE day off from writing and now I can’t catch up!!  Well, I’m going to start working on day 7 now.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll have 8 and 9 done before 10 is posted?  Uggghhhhh  I really hope so.  I’m OCD like that and this is literally driving me crazy!

Daily Prompts – City Planners

 

City Planners

If you could clone one element from another city you’ve visited — a building, a cultural institution, a common street food, etc. — and bring it back to your own hometown, what would it be?

While visiting Florida, (my first experience on a big plane), we entered the airport, and the only word that comes to mind is magnificent.  There were palm trees and water fountains galore!!

I never really traveled before this trip, so the sight of this alone left me speechless.  I would LOVE to have this right outside my front door, or better yet… tear down the ugly vacant buildings in the heart of town and put this in its place!  It’s beautiful to look at and I’m sure it become a popular spot of inspiration.  I’d actually like to see this in several places throughout the adjoining towns. How could a display of such beauty be a bad thing?  Palm trees in NY… imagine that.

A picture of the inside of the airport… A little slice of heaven.

Florida</

 

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