Friday, October 9, 2009

Taking the Good with the Bad

I spent a lot of time this week feeling somewhat depressed. That's the bad news. The good news is I didn't eat. In fact I'm down to a 50 lb. weight loss. Twenty to go.

I still have some restriction, as long as I follow the food protocol. I have my protein shake in the morning, usually 3oz of tuna or chicken for lunch, and various meats and a veggie for supper. I have a Kashie bar (choc. and cherry) for a snack at night. Sometimes I have applesauce and/or a small V8 for an afternoon snack. If there's a treat at school I take a small portion.

I seem to have a special event almost every weekend and I eat 2 protein shakes that day and go ahead and eat everything at the event. I just don't pig out.

I'm walking as much as the weather permits. I'm going to have to clean off the treadmill which currently is full of cement and other dust down in our stripped to bare bones, newly drain-tiled basement. I can't say I'm looking forword to walking on it when the weather gets even worse, but it's cheap excercise.

The depression was caused by news about the financial condition of Roseland Christian School. The other teachers are depressed over the expansion of their responsibilities in order to help the school financially. The school board is depressed because previous boards allowed the mess to happen and now they have to clean it up.

I think its doable and I'm working with the promotions committee to bring in the financial support we need. The school does great work with the kids. Seven or eight blocks from the school a young man was recently beaten to death, which made a change from all the children shot to death, and therefore made the news all over the world. RCS gives kids a safe environment, an excellent education, and a Christian foundation that gives them hope and stability and a good chance to make a better life for themselves that doesn't involve violence.

I have kids who've shown me scars of bullet wounds they received as young children in drivebys. I have students who have fathers shot dead or in prison. I have students who were born crack addicted.

I have students whose parents are dead because of poverty--poor access to timely health care.

I have students whose instincts and brain development have been geared to survival, and not to academics.

I work hard to make my room a safe, loving, nurturing environment, where students can make progress academically, discover their strengths, and begin to visualize a future that goes beyond mere survival.

So do the other teachers at Roseland.

Pray for us, support us.

Tomorrow we have our final celebration of our 125th year. It's a worship service at a church near Roseland. I'm singing in the gospel choir and in a trio.

Then I'm going to my 40th high school reunion at a Christian high school a half hour's journey from where I teach. It will be like traveling from one country to another. I expect to experience culture shock walking back into my all Dutch highly traditional conservative roots.

I walk between two worlds, each with their strengths and weaknesses, not really belonging to either one of them. This makes it very difficult to form deep, lasting friendships.

This is partly caused by my ADHD, as I let slip things better left unsaid, or I avoid deep friendship in order to avoid saying things that might be hurtful or misinterpreted. I've always had to fight recurring bouts of foot-in-mouth disease.

But I will open my mouth and fight for my kids, my Roseland kids. I love them fiercely. During the time I have them, they become my kids. I pour myself into teaching them, guiding them, seeking to improve the school environment and the academic skills and materials available to all the teachers teaching them, and to use my writing and storytelling skills to help bring in fianancial support.

I don't have a whole lot of time for much else besides seeing my own chidren and grandchildren. Singing in the church choir spiritually sustains me. My husband and I try to do some fun things together that don't cost much on weekends.

But Roseland Christian School has become my cause, my passion. Please pray that I will still find myself working there next year and in the years to come.