Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Week in the Life, Part II

A sequel of sorts to a post I did last April.

Monday, the 26th: Meet at the local WEA council office to talk about making some changes to our bylaws. Good discussion; I'm thinking we might be able to shed some exec board members, which would be nice. After the meeting went out and got a haircut, then turned around and went right back to the council office for a local president's networking meeting, where all the union heads in the area came together to compare notes. Very productive; I learned a lot.

Tuesday: Big presentation for my education leadership class on how to implement full-day kindergarten. I don't think I did very well, frankly. Blew a couple of transitions and didn't tie things together nearly as well as I saw myself doing it. Hopefully I'm being harder on myself than Dr. Alvy will be.

Wednesday: Fly to Sea-Tac and drive to Federal Way to attend a workshop on how to lobby the legislature. Really interesting look into how it all works. This will be my first time as part of the legislative action team for the WEA, so I'm pretty excited to see what can happen. The other folks from my council are happy because I'm from the 7th legislative district and they haven't had someone from the 7th in a while; I don't know what they think I'm going to be able to do, because the 7th is more Republican than Reagan.

That said, I like what the WEA is doing with their legislative agenda this year. In the full session last time around they had waaaaaay too many high priority items, but this year there are only two: class size and compensation. I'm think they might be overreaching on the class size proposal (17:1 in grades K-3 is nice, but also easy to say no to, and it doesn't do anything for a wide swath of our members), but the compensation proposal is almost tame compared to others I've heard.

(Sidenote: Flying out of Spokane it was cloudy, but when we got above the clouds I got to watch the sunrise from an airplane. That's an unforgettable sight, right there.)

(Sidenote 2: I've whined about it before, but damn I miss being able to get 5 daily newspapers.)

Thursday: Teach a half day, then go home and crash with the kid. I needed that.

Friday: Teach a half day, then wait for a phone call from an insurance agent about a fender bender I was in. The phone call never comes. Later on that night I went to the staff Christmas party, but ducked out after 15 minutes and went to the room to lesson plan.

It's these social situations that make me think of my daughter's health problems the most, because everyone asks how she's doing. They mean well; it's the having to talk about it over and over again that gets hard. Maybe I should just send out an email, but it's kind of a hard one to write:

To: Staff
From: Ryan

Message: Daughter was exposed to a virus called CMV in the womb. The pediatrician is afraid she'll go blind, and 80% of the time the kids are also mentally retarded. How are your kids doing?

Maybe I won't write that email.

Fast forward.....

Monday: The State Board of Education was in town to talk about the new graduation standards. Instead of that, I went to a meeting of the Eastern Region of the WEA at Hill's Restaurant in Spokane, which was a great place that I'd never had the pleasure of eating at before. Good conversation with good people.

Tuesday: Eastern Region meeting. This was pretty interesting, actually. Good talks about what was going on around the state with the WEA, planning for the upcoming bargaining conference, and lots of good ideas. I hope I get to attend another one this year.

Tuesday afternoon: Dinner with State Senator Chris Marr and Basic Ed Financing Commission Chair Dan Grimm. I'm still trying to get all of my thoughts straight about this one. I was very impressed by Chairman Grimm, who has a great breadth of knowledge about school issues.

Tuesday evening: Class. Listen to presentations. Try to stay awake.

Wednesday: Nothing special! If I'd gone out again, my wife'd have my head.

Thursday: Big 6 Bargaining Conference. All of the big locals in my area get together periodically to compare contracts and talk about the ideas that we can get from one another; it's really fascinating to look at what the others have and think about how it could improve what you're getting in your own district.

In total, I had my lunch or dinner bought for me 9 times this past week. That's how it's done, folks!

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Blogger Dr Pezz said...

Ryan, I enjoy your blog and tagged you in mine. If you'd like to participate, that's be great:

6:42 PM  
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7:07 AM  

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