What are you Watching?

I've become more than a little addicted to teevee lately; it's perfect for background distractions while I'm doing boring things like report writing and what-not. Here's what I've been busy watching:

  • Ringer - I love me some Sarah Michelle Gellar, even if the twin scenes are particularly bad. I love looking at her outfits each week & I love how the story is going. I'm hooked!
  • American Horror Story - This is a guilty pleasure of mine. I watched the first episode and freaked out, and I've been coming back for more since then. Also, I sort of want Connie Britton's hair.
  • Glee - I have to admit, my patience for this show is on its last legs. I'm still watching.. but barely.
  • Grey's Anatomy - I'll always have a soft spot for Grey's. It's one of my favourite series, though it's not as great as it used to be. I'm hanging out for the last part of this season, hate waiting around to find out what happens next.
  • Sister Wives - Is anyone else as fascinated by this show as I am? I started watching during our travels this time last year and I've been catching up online ever since. The final episode {with the birth of baby Solomon} is happening soon, and I can't wait. They're such an interesting family!
  • Grimm - A fairly recent addition to my teevee list, but I like what they've done with it. The gory bits mixed with the cheesy lines are fabulous. I like it a lot.
  • Once Upon A Time - I'll admit, I watched all four episodes today, I enjoyed it that much. I wonder how long they can drag this storyline out for? Thoroughly enjoying it. :)
What are you watching lately - have you got any other suggestions for me?

Disappointed Turtle

Firstly, thank you to all of you superlovelyfabulous people who left me some love on my previous post - I've never felt so emotionally drained as I did this past week, and I think I'll carry that doubt inside for the most part. I'm learning to let go of the things I cannot change. Seeing Mrs. X continue to avoid me by physically hiding after school, well, that just cements my gut instinct that she's feeling guilty about what happened. And so she should.

Anywho, on to bigger and brighter things. The house! It continues to plug along. Next week will see the tilers get busy fixing up the wet area {bathrooms/laundry} floor and wall tiles, as well as the carpenters visiting to install the cabinets and skirting boards. We're due for a visit to inspect the house pre-painting, so I don't have anything fun to show you right now - especially since we now have garage doors and a front door. The house is in lock up mode!

{Can I get a HUZZAH?}

They've been going at a cracking pace lately, which is nice. Unfortunately the external walls of the house still need to be rendered & painted, but with the miserable wet weather that's set in lately, I doubt it'll happen before Christmas, when everything shuts up shop.

Since there isn't much we can really do in the home department right now, I'm focusing on the more important things; namely, hunting down breeders for our first dog. I am so frigging excited to become a puppy mum once again, and as soon as we move into the house & get the backyard all turfed up, IT'S HAPPENING. We were debating between one pup or two, but since Jase hasn't owned a dog before, I figured we'd start small and see how he copes. I'm planning on researching my brains out since we have the time to do it right; if anyone in Sydney can recommend any sensible breeders for Golden Retrievers, let me know.


And that is about that. I'll spare you the horrific stomach flu I'm suffering from today {my poor Twittererererererers have already seen enough whingy tweets to last a lifetime} & focus on the good. So, good it is.

Teacher vs. Parent

This has been the week from hell - thank goodness it is over. This is how I feel today: half tired/half stabby. Meow.

{Warning: this post is turning into a fairly epic story. Read on, friends.}
For the first time in my teaching career, I had a parent make a complaint about me. I found out in the most round-about of ways, and it's really thrown me for a loop. I pride myself in being careful and empathetic with my parents, so this has been a real blow to my teaching pride. And add in the fact that both {yes, both} of the alleged 'incidents' are a complete lie/misunderstanding, and, well, it just stinks. And I'm exhausted.

Let me share a little background information with you first.

Student X comes from a blended religious family. Mrs X {mum} is Christian. Mr X {dad} is Muslim. Student X is on the Autistic spectrum and has been diagnosed since she was three, and we are currently awaiting a report to see if she also has Aspergers. She is a lovely little girl and has no behaviour problems at school; her Autism presents itself in other ways. There has been talk all year of moving Student X to an Islamic school nearby, as Mrs X admitted that her husband would prefer her to have an independent religious school upbringing. I've worked with Mrs X all year, as Student X is quite a high maintenance child, and I have always done my best to make the parent/teacher relationship as amicable as possible. Fast forward to this last term, and we've still not been told what's going on - so our principal got in touch with Mrs X to touch base and to have a chat about the following year.

That being said, it's onto the good stuff.

Complaint 1: During this phone call, Mrs X informed the principal that I had made an inappropriate comment to Student X about her clothing, that I was disrespectful to their religious beliefs, and that they were pulling her from the school as a result. Say..... what? The words spoken by Mrs X were as follows, in summary: 'Mrs D told Student X that she was not allowed to wear pants to school anymore.' Er.

The reality? We had 36+ degree weather out in the suburbs last week, and it was a stifling heat. I had kidlets in my classroom who were playing outside in the heat with their jumpers on. Of course, they'd come in after playtime, sweating, red faced, feeling ill, and looking like they were about to pass out. As part of our sun safety program, we talked as a class about being smart in the sun - and I informed the class that it would be a good idea to take all their jumpers off before heading out to the lunch and recess, making sure their hats were on as well.

Somewhere in this scenario, Student X has either been a) completely confused and not entirely listening {which is common with students on the spectrum} or has b) taken the jumpers/hats information and misinterpreted it as her long pants needing to be removed as well. Student X has gone home to her parents, relayed the incorrect information, and BAM. Complaint made.

I was gutted after hearing this remark. As a teacher in modern times, you have to be so careful when dealing with different religious beliefs and practices and all that jazz - and I am really sensitive about being on top of this. For Mrs X to go over my head about this issue, without even checking with me first to clarify what had happened, well, I just felt sick. Did Mrs X honestly think I would say something so blatantly disrespectful? This is me, the teacher who just last week approached her after school to seek her approval/permission for Student X to participate in the end of year Christmas concert. Why would I go to the efforts of asking her advice/seeking her opinion as to not offend any religious beliefs, if I were going to slander her religion the very next day? It just makes no sense. I felt like I'd been slapped in the face. I went about my week, and that was that. Until yesterday.

Complaint 2: My class was having their talking & listening news time in the morning, when the principal popped by to have a chat with me. He'd had a second complaint from Mrs X about something I had allegedly told Student X, and wanted to clarify with me what had happened. To summarise her next complaint: 'Mrs D told Student X that all pizzas were halal and that she could eat whatever she wanted.' Again, eh?

To cut another long back story short, last week our class won a school competition run by our parents/community committee. The prize was a class pizza party. I had nothing to do with this: I didn't order the pizza, I didn't arrange the notes being sent home - it was all organised by this committee. The one thing I did do was to make sure I requested an allergy/ingredient listing so that the kids in my class could observe what was in each pizza and make the choice as to whether they could eat it or not.

When the pizzas and allergy sheet were delivered, I called my students up with food allergies, religious beliefs or food aversions first, so that they could have their choice and/or head outside with their regular lunch. If they weren't sure about an ingredient, I asked them if they would be allowed to eat this sort of meal at home. Several kids opted out {including one another Islamic student}. Student X chose a pizza slice with no qualms or questions, and that was that. At no time was anything mentioned about our pizzas being halal, as this information wasn't on the allergy sheet I was given. In fact, I made absolutely no mention of that subject at all.

So, two complaints. Two allegations. Two skewed truths and/or blatant lies. Way to kick a tired teacher in the teeth.

Now thankfully, the rest of the staff have filled me in on previous years dealing with Student X and Mrs X. Her teacher last year was a teaching Assistant Principal, and is one of the best leaders I've worked with. By the end of the year, she had tallied up a total of four complaints made against her, on a variety of topics.

The good news is that the rest of the staff, including my principal, are on my side. The bad news is that this ever should have happened in the first place.

I've spent this week flipping from emotion to emotion - anger {as if I would ever say any of these things, bitch please, who do you think you are?}, frustration {why didn't Mrs X just come and speak with me first, so that I could put her at ease}, panic {what if these allegations put my job at risk for next year?}, terror {what if my principal suddenly thinks I'm this awful person?}, empathy {dealing with ASD kids is hard work, poor stressed out Mrs X} and tears {I cannot believe that someone could think I'm capable of being anti-religion} or {I've put so much work into Student X this year and this feels like a slap in the face} or just {I'm suddenly not wanting to be in the same classroom as Student X any longer for fear of bawling}.

I know it will all be ok. The school year will end, Student X will move on to her new independent school, life carries on. But after working my arse off all year and having such a positive, wonderful experience back on-class, this week feels like it was all for naught. For the teachers out there: you are wonderful. Your job entails so much more than just the '9-3' babysitting of kids - you are a carer, a social worker, a lunch lady, a play supervisor, an exam marker, a parent liason, and a rock star. I salute you.

Now, someone please pass the vodka & the shot glasses.


It's that time again.

Time to write my end of year report cards.

They are in full force.

I am losing my mind.

That is all.

Life Snippets

There are six weeks of school to go. THIS EQUATES TO 30 WORKING DAYS. Yes, I am counting them down. I love, love, love my school (& am keeping everything crossed that I can stay on for another year, if numbers permit) but I am completely exhausted right now. Over the next fortnight, I need to complete all of my end of year reports, which I cannot even begin to comprehend. Ah, how quickly I forgot what it was like to be on class for a year at a time.

Clomid has begun. And now begins now the lovely wait of whether or not it's actually going to do its job. I'm not expecting great things to happen in the first month, but I'm hopeful all the same. That's ok... right?

The house stuff has sorted itself out, thanks to some sweet talking and a case of beer - seriously. The electrical rough-ins passed inspection, the walls have been insulated, and the gyprocking has begun. They were even working on it today - on a Saturday! Impressive, eh? Fingers crossed that it will go well as it continues next week.

A Rant About Building

/begin rant

I hate this building process. There, I've said it.

I don't hate that we're getting to build - that part I am thankful for, every single day. The home we're {eventually} going to have at the end of it all, is going to be amazing.
Here's what I'm hating right now:
  • The people we are dealing with at our chosen building company are utterly useless. We have this one 'consultant' who is our go-to person, who basically acts as a shuttle between us and between our site supervisor. We don't want to talk to an office lackey; we want to talk to our BUILDER.
  • Speaking of which, the site supervisor is rubbish. He doesn't return phone calls. He has never once given us an update on our build. He isn't visiting our block enough - which we have PROOF of, when we discovered a structural flaw in one of the walls ourselves and had to call him up on. What the heck is he doing?
  • Lying tradesman are assholes. You put your electrical holes in without drills, we've seen them, we've worked with what you did. And now, after it's all said and done, you're going to lie and say you DID use drills, and WE used hammers? I call bullshit.
  • I hate delays. I hate waiting around on perfectly good building days with beautiful weather - and I hate that they use the occasional rainy day as an excuse to be slow.
  • I hate our future neighbours on one side, who are constantly causing problems. 
In summary, I'm grumpy. I want them to do as much work on the house as they can before they close up shop for five weeks over the Christmas/summer break, because I'm OVER living in this apartment AND I WANT IT DONE.

/end rant.

Have you ever built or renovated before? Have you got any tips/distractions for me?

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