Am I a geek or a nerd?


Summer Stuff
June 4, 2010, 9:00 am
Filed under: Geek | Tags: , ,

A mish mash of stuff regarding summer:

1. PD:  2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade networks begin in August, China Corp Summer Camp registration is happening now for July, The Center for Korean Studies at U of M is offering several workshops, the various centers for ethnic studies at U of M are combining to offer a cultural competence workshop in mid June (contact hclittle@umich.edu),  and I’m still working on a Econ workshop for August 26.  There is a Principal Walk Thru series in August by invitation, and a group of economics assessment writers meeting several times to create items.

2. Summer Contract Work: By contract I can work 29 days during the summer, although I must account for each day. I could have done the same this year, but we were asked to ‘really consider how many day you need’ meaning try not to take 29 days but we can’t say that because it violates contract. So I’m working 23. That means I’m off for two weeks in June, three weeks in July, and one week in August. I have to say I’m pretty excited, although concerned about making sure my August workshops are well planned and that the fall conferences and workshops don’t feel rushed. I’ll be out of the office from June 15 to July 25 (I’m attending  conference for some of that time and doing PD out of the building, and oh, going to Italy).

3. Tar balls in Pensacola: I find the oil spill to be heartbreaking and frustrating. I can’t even look at the pictures of the oil spewing from the pipe, but today watched a news story on the oil on shore in Florida. I’ll admit some of my attention to this story is related to Ironman. I wonder what impact this has on water, the beach, the race. Will they swim if the water is super oily? My friends and coach who are training for IMFL might find their efforts to be for naught. I think of my swim in the gulf, how clear the water is and how when you are alone the great expanse of life beneath you is frightening and overwhelming.  My first practice swim was alone. I headed out from the beach and at first its a light blue, almost clear, and you can see small fish and sand and its pleasant. Soon the water becomes deep and dark but you can still see quite far and the immensity of it combined with the knowledge that shit lives out there is disconcerting. So I turned parallel to shore and found that breathing shore side was fine-I could see the light water and the buildings and sand. But breathing sea side was the same disconcerting feeling. So I turned to head into shore and again was happy to see the sand and tiny fish and that’s when it happened. I gigantic (I’m sure it wasn’t, but at that moment it seemed bigger than life) ray swam directly under me, from my toes toward my head. I think my heart stopped. And then adreneline shot through me and I practically ran on top of the water back to shore. What will the oil/tar balls/death do to this place?

5. Cheap Property: Yippee! I got my condo for a price lower than a new compact car. I don’t want to revel in the economic misfortunes of Michigan but how can you not be thrilled?

6. Office Environment: The dust hasn’t settled. The folks who expect to contract pulled up stakes and got out by May 28. Those who aren’t expecting to contract are trying to make their decisions by next friday. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. I can confidently say we won’t replace our retirees and that will make some elements of our jobs more challenging. I’m already the only consultant for SS and World Languages, so I’m familiar with not having a back up, but our newly lonely-only science consultant was worried about the load. We initally lost two math people, but one rescinded. I’m not sure about ELA. Our data person retired but will most certainly be contracted to do the same job (he’s amazing!). Some of our existing contracts probably wont’ be renewed. We are negotiating a new contract that will cut our pay and require us to contribute to health care. Add in the 3% contribution to retirement and the best I can say is that our office is not a positive place right now. My biggest concern is the future health of consultant services; shoudl I be looking for a job now?

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