Wednesday, August 20, 2008

How cute

Monday, August 18, 2008

Work Starts Tommorow

So classes start next Monday with my little self reporting tommorow for HR Orientation (finally) and wandering down to School during the afternoon.

My dear friend and housemate Dan read this poem at a reading last week and I thought I'd put it here.

The History Teacher - Billy Collins
Trying to protect his students' innocence
he told them the Ice Age was really justthe Chilly Age,
a period of a million years
when everyone had to wear sweaters.

And the Stone Age became the Gravel Age,
named after the long driveways of the time.

The Spanish Inquisition was nothing more
than an outbreak of questions such as
"How far is it from here to Madrid?"
"What do you call the matador's hat?"

The War of the Roses took place in a garden,
and the Enola Gay dropped one tiny atom on Japan.

The children would leave his classroom
for the playground to torment the weak
and the smart,mussing up their hair and breaking their glasses,

while he gathered up his notes and walked home
past flower beds and white picket fences,
wondering if they would believe that soldiers
in the Boer War told long, rambling stories
designed to make the enemy nod off.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Maybe if i wait right in front of the door

I hate being left waiting on the stoop

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pictures of the Home Church

Here are a few pictures of the church I took during the baptism. It's a parish of maybe 80 families and most of the people are well over 60 but they care about their church quite a bit.

Elias in Pennsylvania

We wandered up to Pennsylvania late last night to go to my neice Ella's baptism.

Eli was terribly confused by this flock of turkeys.

So I decided to insult his doghood and see if he wouldn't chase them with me.

Eventually he got the idea and and a fun time turkey herding.

Here he is with Jake my brother Michael neurotic miniature pinscher.

He really wanted Jake to get off my mom's lap so he could ocupy that position.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Elias loves the beach

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wow. Money.

So I am not really in education for the money. It should however be noted that I fully support the biblical clause that states "The worker is worth his wage." So when I finally so the payscale that the chancellor of the city schools is proposing I was very very happy.

You'll have to click on the imaage to see how the graph works but the long and short of it is that I would have a base salary of 50,000 a year with raises to keep up with inflation andan additional 5000 raise each year on top of inflation. This would bring me up to almost 67,000 in three years and that doesn't take into account the merit based bonuses which can reach an additional 20,000. I expected to hit this number in ten years and am really excited that I might actually be able to pay off my student loans in a timely manner and you know afford property here. Seriously my greatest ambitions are having no debt and a nice little condo (maybe a cottage on a mountain when I'm 45)

The downside to this is incredible oversite and an "at will" status as a teacher but honestly for that kind of money I will more than happily kiss every bureaucratic ass in hundred square miles of this fair federal city. I have friends who have taught in private schools for decades who are not making this kind of money.

Here's hoping the contract is approved.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

At the Cemetery

As a historian I am obligated to like cemetaries. This would also be true if I were a ghoul or Vampire of some sort; being Ukrainian is close enough. Here are a few of the gravestones at my parish church. I always try to stop by and say hello to Baba and Pap when I'm visiting my parents and Niko was all to haapy to come along. It really must be a Slavic preoccupation.

When I was a little shit one of the church trustees told me to always wash my hands before I left the cemetery and like most things from such sources never explained why. I still do it out of habit and Niko seems to think it is a Jewish hold over. In any case there is a bath tub in the cemetary for filling water cans and fulfilling cryptojewish rituals.

Back Blogging

So here are a number of posts that ought to have been put up last month but that were not. Starting with the trip I made with Niko to the mountains of Pennsylvania.
Here is a picture of one of the homemade memorials to mining down the road from where my parents live. with Niko standing reverently in front of it.

We arrived during the week and my mom took two days off to hang out with us. I was eager to take Niko for a walk around the mountain and so we wandered out one of the old raillines to Where they were constructing the first lovely things to grace these mountains other than the trees.

It seems three windmills are going up on the mountain where I grew up and I am very excited by that. You can tell by the full out smile I am wearing in this picture; I normally only smirk. I'm actually croutched inside one of the fins of the turbine to give you an Idea of the scale of the windmills.

The land around Centralia is among the most brutalized I have ever encountered. Between the mine fire and the strip mining there is a lot of damage that has been visited on this place by humanity. Still there is a beauty to the top of this mountain that I have never found elsewhere and I am very happy people are adding something no destructive to the landscape.

I can only hope that more of these will be put up in the area. They will provide well paid secure jobs and really do look stunning on top of the mountains.