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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in crit_knitter's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
2:50 pm
Testing, One, Two Three.
Anything but that. 

Shall we pick up where we left off?  Angsty teacher who still has no time but no longer hates her job because working with middle schoolers is just so much more fun and is now being given the mad props she deserves?  Who is starting to yen for creative outlets again because even though she is still hella busy, IEP writing and lesson planning are starting to become mundane.
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009
4:22 pm
Hi, not dead.  Still.  On with other stuff.

I have realized that I haven't really posted anything, or read anything, or commented on anything, or really anythinged on anything for well over a year.  And it's not just here on LJ, it's Twitter, it's PetPo, and all the other creative sites I've been a member of.  I decided to think about why, mostly because I'm very good at thinking about things, partially because I have alot of brain time to think about things- being a teacher means I'm often have lots of mini-breaks where I can't get anything major done, but I can think and plan things.

There are several reason I'm not updating anymore.
- I'm not spending as much time at a computer, due to how my grown-up job works.  The adults in my social circle that LJ with the frequency I wish I could manage don't have jobs like mine.  They have a job that sits them at a computer for around half their day, or jobs that don't require as much creativity as mine does.  Neither of these are good things or bad things, they just aren't where my life is going any time in the near or distant future.
- The creative juices that I was using on "creating content" are now being used at work, at knitting, at other pursuits.  I'm just not writing as much anymore, at least in the fluff areas that I used to in college.  I'm writing quite a bit professionally.  So now, I average about 10-15 hours a week creating, but I'm creating lessons, IEPs, games for my students, etc.
- The time I do spend in the online world is being spent other places.  I made a list of all the sites that I have the crit_knitter username, and came up with about 10.  Then I added the sites that I enjoy that don't require a user-name and added about 15 more.  Then I highlighted the ones that I actually use.  It took my list of about 25 down to about 5 or 6.  And it's not that I don't enjoy the other 19 or 20 sites, but I just don't have time anymore to keep up with everything I love.

How am I going to go forward?
Well, for me personally, I'm going to use my google account or facebook account to properly RSS the sites that I use and miss when I don't visit.  I'm going to trim down on the sites that I consider "my usuals."  And I'm going to streamline where I create my content- namely to facebook.  Say what you will about "the new facebook," but that interface works for me.  Being able to just quickly update my status or write a longer note when I have more to say.

How does this affect you?
For you, the people that may actually still read this, it means that this LJ account will eventually be deleted.  I'm going to transfer stuff that I feel is pertinent to other places where it will remain pertinent, but eventually I'll get around to deleting the entire account.  But the stuff that I was putting in here (on the rare occassion that I did update) will start going on facebook, so add me to your facebook friends.  If you don't know me in real life well enough to know my first and last name, comment on this post with an email address- I'll want to confirm who you are, but chances are I'll share that info with you so the stalking can continue.

Other than that, I guess this is good bye...
Monday, September 22nd, 2008
9:56 pm
serious musings.
I had a sick day today, which is a great rarity for me.  I've been working in a position that allows sick leave for less than 3 years, and I have over 250 hours of sick leave stored up.  No, seriously.  However, due to the general brokeness of the school system, I couldn't call in sick by myself today and had to go into work, where I had to work UNPAID for an hour while they got a sub for me.  When I got home, I slept for several very restful (albeit odd-dream-filled) hours asleep.  When I woke up, I sat down at my dining room table and took out the grading I had brought home.

It dawned on me.  EVERYONE at work KNEW I'd already worked an unpaid hour that day when I, queen of "I'm fine, I just need some tea," was admittedly ill enough for a sick day.  (I'm not kidding about going to work almost dead.  Usually Adam or one of my co-workers bullies me into a sick day)  But here I am, at my dining room table, with grading.  Doing more unpaid work on my sick day.  My boss knew I was taking home work and no one stopped me.  No one berated me for doing work I wasn't getting paid for.  The admin secratary even praised me for it.

My job is always and will always be like this.  It will always be so bad, so understaffed, so busy that if I am to keep up with my job, I will have to work unpaid until the wee hours of morning and drive my health flaming into the ground, but not take a day to heal because I have X, Y, and Z still to get done before the end of the week.  I lie to myself and my loved ones constantly.  I say "As soon as I get these September IEPS done" or "If I can get the kids to Winter Break it will get better" or "Everything goes crazy the week after Spring Break, it will die down" or "Summer is almost here, I just have to get this finished by June 22nd."  But the IEPs are never done, it never gets better, it never dies down, and I have yet to finish the last day for teachers and actually be done with the school year's work.  And I'm not the only person who does this to themselves.  There is an entire fucking system of us, convinced by our bosses that if we aren't working ourselves to death, we aren't working for the kids, and that if we just give a little bit more of our soul to the job, we will see results with the students.  Our government convinces us that it was worth it because they will pay for us to go to school, but then worm out of their end of the bargain because of a 1% difference.

I, for one, am finished.  I will try to get to the end of this school year, but I am not coming back in the fall.  There is a masters degree in something more sane than this, and that's my calling.
Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008
4:38 pm
New Slang

I am officially coining a new phrase:
Gay Like Dumbledore

Meaning:  A famousor not famous person who happens to be gay.  This person is not in the closet or out of it.  They discuss their homosexuality much like they discuss the fact that they need to vacuum their house.  It's there, there is no shame, they would like to get on with their life, thank you very much.

I would like to note that Gay Like Dumbledore is something to be aspired to.

Latest celebrity who is Gay Like Dumbledore- Neil Patrick Harris.  Apparently he's been out since 2006.  I pay attention to this shit, and I was surprised.  Which leads me to create the slang.  I think it's important that we as a society get to a place where being gay is about as big as what they ate for lunch.  Which, let's face it, is always something the tabloids will consider interesting, but most of the planet doesn't care overmuch.

So, Gay Like Dumbledore.  Pass it on.

Sunday, July 20th, 2008
3:04 pm
Ta Da!
You'd think I'd be less busy during the summer. I think what happens is that I over-commit even worse during summertime, thus staying about the same level of busy.

Update Meme I stole from hasting1066

You know how sometimes people on your friends list post about stuff going on in their lives, and all of a sudden, you think, "Wait a minute? Since when are they working THERE?" And then you wonder how you could have missed all that seemingly pretty standard information, but somehow you feel too ashamed to ask for clarification because it seems like info you should already know. It happens to all of us sometime.

Post this list of items in your journal with your own answers and elaborate where necessary.

1. First Name: Harm
2. Age: 25
3. Location: Seattle
4. Occupation: EBD Teacher at Garfield High School
5. Partner?: Adam the Nerd.
6. Kids: Malcolm and Bucky, age 1 and 13 respectively.  One is sweet and moronic, the other is gay and complains about everything. 
7. Brothers/Sisters: 3- Leia is working for a company that sells bikes?  Kaia doesn't even know what she's doing right now, and Nate can say "shark" in 3 or 4 languages. 
8. Pets: See #6. 
9. List the 3-5 biggest things going on in your life:
1) Tattoo!  Tattoo!!!! Will post as soon as it's finished. 
2) I can has a Seattle best friend and still have the Ashley bester friend.
3) Roller Girls invaded my house.
4) I still practice pantsless o'clock.
5) I am in the middle of getting a kick ass knitting tattoo. 

10. Parents: The moms are doing whatever it is they do over in Moses when they're there.  Bio-Mom is in Kentucky taking care of Bio-Grandparents.  Step-Mom is a stay at home mom, I guess.  If I were her, I'd be bored by now.  Father is still in WI, current feature of his paranoid rants is the post-secondary education system.
11. Who are some of your closest friends? I has The Ashley, keeper of the Mini-Ashleys; Crystal; Adam; and Chris.  That seems to be my default pack.
2:33 pm
Monday, June 30th, 2008
5:19 pm
Books! I'm SUCH a library whore.

The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed."

I'd beaten the average adult before I finished high school.  And for those of you wondering...it's true.  I didn't have friends in middle school, so I made friends with dead people that wrote cool books.  :)

Sunday, June 29th, 2008
5:10 pm
 I don't love Seattle right now.

It's HOOOT.  and HUMID.  It feels like i never left Wisconsin.  And I don't have air condiitioning!

I smell.  :(
Tuesday, June 24th, 2008
10:10 pm
Heinz made this funny advertisement:

Creepy Christian Far Right Responded

Heinz pulled the ad

I wrote them this letter:
To Whom It May Concern,
I am very disappointed in your actions regarding a recent commercial that featured a homosexual couple.  I am NOT disappointed that you showed such an add.  I am VERY disappointed that you chose to pull the ad after what appears to be light pressure from conservatives.  As a person who grew up with two mothers in a blended family, ads such as yours give me hope that we are accepted enough to simply be included in mainstream media such as advertising.  After all, you are supposedly marketing to me as well.  I did not see your advertisement "pushing" any agenda or view until the news stated that you had stopped showing it.  I now fully understand where your company stands, and so will no longer bother you with my liberal money.  Since you seem so very eager to distance yourself from anything that upsets the far right, I will also assist in making sure that everyone in my equally liberal circle of friends, family, and co-workers knows that you do not want their business either.

If you want to make your opinion known, use the Creepy Christian's easy form letter:

That's how I did it.

Thanksrhonanfor keeping me informed.
7:20 pm
Yay I love Seattle!!!!
Lesson learned: Always wear a bra. ALWAYS.

So, hastings1066  took me to Elliot Bay Bookstore, because I had never been and apparently it's the perfect bookstore for my, um... proclivities.  Turns out that, yes indeed, this bookstore has several good places to engage in naughty.  Also, David Sedaris was there that night, something completely random.  I got to listen to him speak a little, wander the bookstore, and then buy good shit.  As we were leaving, David Sedaris came back into the store because the person with him had gotten their car stolen.  I smiled and nodded and left- he seemed polite but not in a mood for fandom.  I pointed out who is was to hastings1066once we were out of the store.

Now, the reason that this ties into lesson learned: When/If David Sedaris writes a short story about car theivery in Seattle, he may (ok, probably not) use the description of me for ambiance- woman with faded blue hair and a new tattoo that looks like a knitted scarf who smiled and apparently had no shame in the fact that she's carrying an erotica book- but he will not be able to describe me as having saggy boobs.  Because I was wearing a bra.  :)
Thursday, June 19th, 2008
6:59 pm
I cleaned my bathroom! Yay!

However, it seems the the best way I know how to clean a bathtub always ends up with me in the nude. I'm fairly certain other people do not scrub their tubs nekkid, but because I don't seem to have any "cleaning clothes" and I clean with bleach, I always end up scrubbing starkers.

I'm going to go clean my kitchen now. The one that Adam got all messy be making some strange Canadian dessert called Nanaimo Bars.

Dammit, now I've got the urge to write down the full list. Damn my ADD.
- Clean bathroom
- Clean kitchen  halfway there- first load of dishes in the dishwasher- will save the rest until the dishwasher can be emptied and re-loaded.
- Clean dining room table
- Pick up bedroom
- De-fur the dog with the furminator (that shit actually works, buy it)
- Celebrate with Muppets.  liquor.  Celebrate with hard liquor.

and my big goal for the summer break? Inventory and organize the personal library Adam and I have. Possibly set it up for tracking when I lend out books...
Wednesday, June 18th, 2008
4:18 pm
Thursday, June 5th, 2008
10:59 am
Test 1, 2, 3... Anythng but that.
We're just checking to see if I can actually post by email. In theory, I set it up ages ago, but never used it. But my LoudTwitter is not working, so I'm running diagnostics. Because I do actually want Twitter to tell you the inane little things I do during the day, as a stop gap to me have a phone that will allow me to somehow post on LJ.

I've discovered that I have all sorts of things I want to post on LJ, but I forget them before I get a chance to post them. Having a method that doesn't require me to be at a computer when I think of these things may help me post more.

Twitter lets me text them messages, so that's helping right now, but an entire post by text message would rock my planet. But not until I have a phone with an entire keypad...and possibly internet access.


"We need to recognize that a government that would deny a gay man the right to bridal registry is a facist state!"
-Margaret Cho
Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008
6:44 pm
So, I am apparently perfect at my job. My preformance eval came back, and I got double marks as satisfactory, and in the needs improvement spot there were no improvements, just the stuff I already do, with a statement that this is what I already do. Yay me, but if I'm so awesome why won't they give me the department head job? The other returning teachers decided today at lunch that next year, we're just going to call me the department head until Howard simply starts giving me the stipend. I'm doing all that shit already anyway, might as well call a spade a spade. And if he never gives me the stipend, it's not like I'm able to ignore stuff, so I'd likely be doing it anyway.

I am hearing rumors of a major switch-up of who teaches what in the sped department next year...these rumors include me teaching the sped math instead of EBD. I command (in a very regal tone) everyone to send good vibes, prayers, religious-begging-of-your-choice that this actually happens. I SOOO want to teach math. I kick ass at teaching math.
Friday, May 30th, 2008
12:36 pm
I have my last personal day of the year. Turns out, if you don't use them, you don't get to keep them. Which blows, because I was hoping to save up my personal day for Ashley's wedding or a visit to WI at a time when the weather is not nasty/gross/ugly. Fine then, I get two personal days a year and I will damn well use them every year. Now, I just have to find some CO2 and some marshmallows, because I've got a little bit of time on my hands.

My sick days roll into the next school year though. Which is good, because otherwise I would have lost 172 hours (I can't be sick, because when I am, my administration siezes the opportunity to wrongfully suspend half of my students) at 22 bucks an hour. Which is less than I make when I'm actually working. Not much less though- like a dollar less. That's if I only work 35 hours a week, which we all know is a joke. How sad is it that I'm in a job that requires a bachelors degree (at the very least) and I'm making less than some people make in factories? Maybe I should go be a postal worker. And I'm stuck at this pay rate until I get a certain number of clock hours. I should find out how many I actually have and then cash in the bunch I have sat through and earned, but haven't paid for yet.

Yes, that's right. In order to keep my job, I have to pay a set fee AND sit through a set amount of mind-numbing professional development courses...

Teachers don't leave education because we don't like teaching. Teachers leave because we hate bullshit and are constantly being forced to shovel it while saying "this smells purty, like roses dipped in honey."

To end on a non-ranty note, I am going camping! yay, gay men and tide pools! (ok, maybe I'm the only person that gets excited by both of those things, but I know that most of you get happy about least one of them.)
Wednesday, May 28th, 2008
2:46 pm
with the I'm still not dead...
My life hates me and makes me uber-busy so that when I get silly ideas like "I wonder if marshmallows explode if one fills them with CO2," I don't have the time to carry them to fruition.

Good news: My caseload at work is no longer overloaded and I have a continuing contract, which basically means that if SPS wants to get rid of me, they've got to fire me (which with out union is an impossible action). I have two IEP meetings left this year.

Bad news: I sprained my ankle (again) and I'm being ignored by the powers that be over fixing the broken shit here at work. The department has decided that our principal is under the (mistaken) impression that if he lets shit get bad enough, someone from downtown will sweep in with funding and fix it for him.

It's very frustrating to know what is wrong, to know how to fix it, and to be told to leave it alone by your boss, even though you both know IT SHOULD NOT BE LEFT ALONE.

Only 14 more days of school for the year!
Thursday, May 1st, 2008
3:07 pm
In other, funnier news

The new Anticraft is up.  This issue is entirely about bacon.  Slightly disturbing, highly awesome.

Today I coined the phrase "tiny, undignified ball of suck" to refer to the state of lying on your bathroom floor between bouts of vicious vomitting.  No, I was not a tiny undignified ball of suck.  I was speaking about my PMS, back when I did get periods.

I am knitting socks just for me.  Haven't done that in several years.  To celebrate the occasion, I am using yarn I stashed years ago, just for me.

2:40 pm
What do I want to be when I grow up?
 BTW, the long LJ blackout was due to lack of internets.  Comcast, we hate you a little.

Back to the subject line.  I can rule out the easy, actual jobs.  I don't want to be a classroom teacher my whole life.  I like it, but OMFG can I not have a job that expects 60 hour work weeks for less than they pay crack whores?  Also, the whole ass-crack of dawn thing- thought I would get used to it, and after two years....I'm so NOT.  I like teaching, students are fun (we had huge breakthroughs this week, which is helping with the glow) but the politics and pragmatics suck total ass.

That being said, this kind of rules out going somewhere in the mathematics field.  I like math, I'm good at math.  I'm good enough at math to teach high school math.  Teaching high school math does not solve the wage-slave-ass-crack-of-dawn bullshit that I hates.  Being a principal makes it worse.  And I don't think I'm a strong enough math mind to be a college professor.  I think too much math love got killed by my high school math experience.  But I'm not sure I want to be a college professor in my current field either.

I can't figure out where I would fit in the technology world.  I don't want to leave education entirely, and I can see plenty of tech shit that needs fixing in our district.  I could get the training to fix that shit.  But SPS does not seem interested.  For example, they are JUST now getting to a pilot level program of a new IEP writing system (remember how I'm always bitching about this program and how PDF is just not good for this?)  There's also The Source, which when we had someone to kind of be the mommy to it, worked AWESOME and we were on track to require it for teachers.  Now that the Source-Mommy is gone from SPS, the Source languishes in out-dated code, storage problems, and stalled at "Volunteer-Only" because we can't fix the interface with parents so that enough of them use it well enough to demand it's use.

Same with the librarian thing.  I can see the field in general, but would I be tempted to leave education?  If I stay in education, how do I convince schools to hire me and create a sped-friendly library?  If I don't, how do I convince libraries in the public sector (ok, I get that schools technically fall in this category but I don't know what else to labelt it) that I'd make a kick-ass young adult librarian, or a rockin childrne's librarian?  Could I successfully market myself as a Special Needs Specialist?

Then there is the subject of babies, which I CONSTANTLY am waffling over, stupid hormones fluctuating from being around all the babies and pregnant women and woman trying to get pregnant.  I swear to Goddess, there are at least half a dozen women at Garfield hauling their bumps around.  And while sometimes I'm very annoyed at their "I'm pregnant, you should let me go first at the copy machine" biz-natch-ness (not all of them do it, only 2), and sometimes I'm grossed out by the parallels to Alien, I am occassionaly caught in the daydream of being pregnant as I teach, something I thought I would never do because of the population I always work with.  Although, I learned today from a LJ community that this waffling makes me more normal than crazy, which is validating.

Let's review options if I do have babies.  I'm fairly certain gravybrain would like a stay-at-home mom, and he could support us on what he makes, but I grew up SO not a homemaker.  I'm craftier than Martha when it comes to making cool shit (as opposed to the crap that she spackles and paints blue and calls "a good thing"), but the day to day of keeping house eludes me, mostly cuz I hates it.  And I'm fairly certain if it were just me and a little blob of flesh that doesn't carry conversation, I'd go crazy bored.  So, if I tried the mostly-stay-at-home concept, perhaps I could run a day care and target special needs families (who often can't get child care because of how much care their children need).  This would ensure a client base, as I would be getting paid mostly through government respite care and parents would likely be very comfortable leaving their child with special needs with a former sped teacher.  I'm thinking, maybe I'd also be a writer.  Gravybrain scoffs at this because he never sees me write anymore.  Which, not so true.  I just don't have time to write anywhere but LJ (see reference to the 60 hour workweek).  But, would having a child at home mean I still have no time to write?  Then, there is the subject of what genre would I write?  Would I even want to write fiction, or should I try to make it in non-fiction sped literature?

I thought after college all this shit would make some sense.  Now it seems I will be confused until I retire, or die.
Saturday, March 22nd, 2008
5:47 pm
In this post, I actually talk about....something other than work!
I know, it's a brand new frontier.  Let's take this strange new journey together.

Adam and I went to Norwescon today.  First of all, I don't think I'd realized just how many people I'd met in Seattle until I went and saw a ton of them there, and then realized I was kind of looking for other people I hadn't seen yet.  I also missed how small and tight PointCon was, but really enjoyed the panels- something that PointCon didn't have because it just wasn't big enough.  I really want to go next year with more planning- so that it's not spur of the moment and I don't get there having already missed a bunch of the cool panels and stuff.
Monday, March 17th, 2008
4:44 pm
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