My Boss is Back

To tell you how it’s going at school, now that my boss is back, let me give you an analogy:

You’re in the midst of a divorce and you sit down to talk about assets.

In the conversation, your ex (who pitched you out; you were fanatically loyal) implies that he’s considering paternity testing on all of the children born of the marriage.

He goes on to gush about his shiny new family, and how he can’t wait to get started with that.  His life is going to be so much better when he’s rid of you and those inconvenient kids he had with you.

You sit there, realizing you’ve been duped for your entire marriage and wonder if you have the energy to fight for your kids and what they deserve.

So, yeah, it’s going fantastically.

Posted in Burnout, Self-Care

Isolation

So, ’tis the time of year to prepare to make resolutions regarding what one will and will not do during Lent.

Lent is the 40-day time before Easter to purify ourselves and to get ready for Holy Week, which represents Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice and resurrection.

The joke this year is it starts on a day dedicated to chocolate and candy (Valentine’s Day; St. Valentine would probably not be thrilled with what his day has become) and ends on April Fool’s Day (Easter).

To get ready, we generally give something up and/or make promises to do things better.  On Fridays, we don’t eat meat (in Catholic circles, that means broth and “things from the sea” including alligator are good, but poultry are not; our Orthodox friends get to have chicken and turkey) and on some days (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) we Catholic fast and abstain from meat.

Catholic fasting is a joke for Jewish and Muslim friends: we eat two “little meals” (together not totaling a meal) and a big meal.  We brush our teeth and drink water and everything.  We are lightweights on fasting.

It’s popular in Catholic circles to give up social media as a sacrifice during this time because somehow it’s destroying us all.

Under an argument that it wastes time, I guess I can see that.  There is a certain time waste associated with social media; the endless scrolling and hope to find something to “like” or with which to interact get tedious.

However, some people use social media to connect because they are unable to have such deep, rich, and varied interactions in their “real” lives.

In fact, for some of us, an in-person visit is insipid and pointless.  I’ll use the time to get to know your cats, dogs, and other pets.  Maybe I’ll talk to your grandmother or young children, but honestly, the “age appropriate,” human types bore me.

That in person visit is a waste of time for me.

And, in my own life, Facebook has become like that pointless visit in the living room; I mostly use it to scan through prayer requests from a group of women I’m in, and I pray for them and move on.  But I don’t develop anything meaningful there.  It’s mostly full of people I knew in my past, but haven’t bothered to keep up with.  Some of these people are parents of Autistics and like to post junk from Autism $peak$, so it helps me greatly to avoid them, particularly around April since they have ignored my repeated pleas to consider dumping the eugenicist organization as a source for news about Autism.

But Twitter is different.  Autism Twitter is fascinating; we meet up there and we chat and we defend each other against the attacks of people who don’t understand Autism.  It is there we meet up with the other big names of the Disability community and share information, all in reasonable-sized chunks of information.

And we can also look at kitties and puppies, too, if we want.

Continue reading “Isolation”

Posted in Disability in Education

The Null Curriculum: That Which We Dare Not Speak About

At a Diocese meeting yesterday, the other principals were surprisingly helpful, trying to see what they can do to help me personally and professionally.

It was kind of creepy.  I’m not used to colleagues caring.  Then again, it was probably easy for them to see that it could happen to any of them, so they are genuinely concerned.  If I became a wheel in the machine, I would expect to see fake caring, the kind of thing neurotypicals do because it’s expected.

This was genuine.

Beyond that, though, there may be a job open next year, through one of my colleagues who told his priest he was only doing the job for one year.

The holy spirit may be at work here, because this is also my priest’s home parish (his parents, who adore me, are parishioners) and they have Spanish-speakers, besides.  We share a teacher who comes to do some religious education at my school who likes me a lot (and she has the ear of the priest besides).  Also, they are not in danger of closing any time soon for they are closer to full and well-supported financially.

I’m not sure if anything comes of it, or if I want to be at the mercy of another priest’s whim, but this particular priest is older and more experienced, which comes with it both good points and bad points.  It’s less likely that what happened to me with a sudden school closure would happen there, though.

On paper, I know I am valuable (I went over my CV; it’s a bit gappy in places, since, well, Autistic; but it’s got a solid combination of degrees, educational experiences, and professional “appearances” that I’m kind of a unicorn in the K-12 market), but I am still Autistic.  I know this is a strength, but sometimes it’s just people getting past my oddities, to see it.

Having people trying to open doors for me, though…this is what I needed.  I tend to get jobs this way, with someone pointing out how great I am first, and then we can go from there.

I’m told neurotypicals get jobs this way, too, through connections and networks, but it’s hard to get that narrative of working hard leading to success out of your head.

It’s amazing what stories we tell people about how to get ahead, which we don’t really mean.

Continue reading “The Null Curriculum: That Which We Dare Not Speak About”