I almost skipped out on writing this entry, as the topic is overplayed by this point. However, this is not a literary work of genius. It is a diary. There are moments for literary magic and moments for fearless ranting...to spare the few close ears who have endured too many of my stresses already. This is one such raw, fearless moment.
I cannot find my green grass. I suppose I came more from the desert to a patchy, brown prairie but I've tried for many months to view it as a pasture. Just not working. I have found guilt in all sorts of new places...like my ever-growing disdane for a child I work with daily who has cerebral palsy. He has pissed himself through clothes and wheelchair and/or threw up all over himself almost every day for the past month. I am sick of cleaning it up (though I have to give credit to my colleagues for dealing with the worst of it). I am sick of smelling it on him every single day. I am sick of getting drooled on every day even though it is not his fault that he has this particular issue. I just want one day without having to deal with bodily fluids that are not mine....and my empathy and compassion for such situations is being spent much more quickly than I anticipated. Can I also add that I am pretty fed up with constantly being bitten, scratched, or charged at by other students? I feel like I should have more patience....but I'm broke, working 2 jobs...3 as of a couple weeks ago, and I just don't have the stamina left for patience. It's not fair that I work so damn hard and don't see anything in return. I make just over 1100 a month doing this job....where I plan and teach skill building lessons every day, set up and train entire grade levels on reading programs, create and teach lesson plans for a severely autistic child functioning at a 3 year old level, log data sheet after data sheet after data sheet for our severe kids, AND deal with the pissing, the puking, the biting, the scratching, the chasing, you name it. Not only is the pay crap...we are constantly overlooked by most of the people in our school. Teachers don't remember our names. PTA members forget to include us in "teacher gifts". Even the freaking principal thought I was a student teacher my first month and a half before I finally had to embarass him and explain that I was one of his STAFF members. I received one Christmas gift from one parent of one student. Our supervisor is great. She showers us with praise and thanks....but there's only so much one person can do. It just gets so incredibly draining. I am extremely disappointed that I don't have the hope of getting out mid-year anymore. I'm in it for the long haul now...and I hope to god I can land a teaching position in the spring.
To be fair, I am happy to be back in the school system. But the job I have now is brutal, underpaid, and underappreciated. I am learning a lot and am grateful for the position but my pride is hurt at being the "assistant" among so many "teachers" and my perseverence is hurt at the turning of another year without using my degree for it's purpose. It is painfully clear to me that this is the last time around for me. I simply can't go another summer without getting a teaching position.
I have spent the last 6 months so broke that I've had to pawn my most cherished piece of jewelry twice for short-term loans; I've had to ask for a payday advance from one of my employers; I've had to survive the blow of about $300 in overdraft fees simply because I had to eat and I had to have gas in my car to get to work; I've had to inventory everything I own multiple times to see what I could consign or simply sell for the extra couple dollars I needed just to make my rent; I've had to sit at home for weeks at a time because I only had enough money to the dollar to pay for food, gas, and bills; I've had to visit volunteer clinics where my FRIENDS volunteered as a patient because I couldn't afford to get treatment for a condition that would have landed me in the hospital had I ignored it; I've had to hide my stringy hair in buns and braids because I can't afford even $10 to get it cut; I've had to continuously empty my savings account every month just to stay current with bills; I've had to buy groceries and gas with my Christmas and birthday money instead of gifts; I've had to put off multiple maintenence concerns for my car because I simply can't afford them despite the risk; I've had to put off eye exams, dental exams, etc because I can't afford them either. I have gone from upper middle class dependent to lower poverty level independent in 24 short months. And whereas I am sure this experience will benefit me in the future, I don't feel like I particularly needed it. I have been fortunate my whole life but very aware of it. I never took advantage and was always the first to be involved in any sort of charity work I could get my hands on. But for some reason, I am stuck in this rut. Sometimes I'm just not sure there really is a purpose in all of life's events. Sometimes, I think, shit happens just because. But man it would be nice if shit could just STOP happening just because soon...