Friday, August 24, 2007

All Present and Accounted For

Shoes, That Is

Scott Previte, my farrier extraordinare, extends greetings to all who read my blog!

I told him of my British friends' comments about how hard it was to get a shoer out. Scott wanted me to tell you, "Americans believe in providing great service!"

Mind you, this was said with a big grin as he drove off. He also said he warranteed that Tucker's shoe would stay on at least until his brake lights disappeared from my driveway.

Well, so far, so good, except that I have left Tucker in his stall all day. I did do a lunging session with him and will again tomorrow before my lesson. If we don't get any more rain, it will be dry enough to turn him out tomorrow afternoon.

The foot does look better, but at this point, I will be worrying about that shoe every time I see him frolic.

The last two days have been very busy.

I went to school yesterday morning to talk to my principal-the administrator in charge of my school, to protest the teaching schedule he had assigned me. Suddenly, I have become the Freshman English teacher. These are the kids just coming into the school. I have not taught regular level freshmen for over 20 years! My last class was just the college prep kid and the curriculum was entirely designed for them. Technically, it cannot be used as is for the regular level kids. Virtually all the lessons, materials, plans, etc, I have are for the upper level grades. To top it off there is a mandatory theatre arts component in the 11th and 12th grade curriculum. Not only did I help design that, but I am the only English teacher in the department with a theater arts background--8 year as producer of a community theater, some 8 play scripts I've written have been performed, and I have played a number of roles on stage.

I got the usual explanation for why I was "chosen" to teach the freshman. They needed a strong teacher who was stable in the position to do it.

I stopped him in his tracks on that one as I have heard that word "strong teacher needed," far too many times as my teaching schedule has been messed with over and over giving me all kinds of courses to invent and difficult classes to teach. Every time they run into a problem with English, I have ended up somehow bearing the burden of fixing it. Tech writing, test taking/remedial English for Practical Nursing candidates, inventing the entire college prep curriculum for all four grade levels, teaching 5 different courses every day, and even, twice, filling in as a history teacher.

This is the final straw. My enthusiasm and joy in the job have been completely destroyed. I do not want to go back to teaching in September at all.

I have lain awake for several nights already fretting over this. I am the most senior English teacher in the entire district of 5 schools with over 36 years of experience. I should not be treated this way.

So, Thursday did not go well.

At night, I did go to a meeting with the warehouse foes. That was basically good, but I did have a problem with one of the members of the group who apparently has all kinds of contacts and information about how to protect and preserve historic sites and she has never bothered to make even the least effort to help the EVA with the Van Dyke Farm.

I bit my tongue on this as the spirit of the meeting did not deserve my resentment, but I sure wish people would take an interest--as I have done--in issues not limited to their own back yards.

OK, Thursday spent.

Today was totally occupied with Kelly and the NJ State 4-H horse show.

She had qualified for the dressage competition and rode Training Level Tests 1&2. As I've said before, her horse, Sax, is a beautiful mover. Kelly, has not, however, yet managed to learn how to harness that movement. While Sax can go beautifully on the bit, he does not easily give that to his rider and Kelly is too new to dressage riding to really understand how to get him there. On the plus side, he is very obedient.

She rode two OK tests. There were some moments when Jazz went to the bit, and sometimes not. We eventually left before the classes were pinned, but Kelly ended up somewhere in the middle with scores of 58.6 or so and 63.3.

I am really hoping she will stick with the dressage. She really is a jumper rider, but the dressage basics would make Sax so much better at that would be a shame not to see that horse in the dressage arena working to his potential. Wow!

We also hit Rick's Saddle Shop's tent sale--about 20 minutes from the Horse Park. I managed to pick up a new winter blanket for Chance, several pairs of bell boots for Tucker, some really nice half chaps, a pair of Ariats, (My shoe size has changed and my old ones don't fit), and some dressage whips and lead ropes, since I either lose or destroy both fairly regularly.

Everything in the store except for the feed and wormers was 20% off in addition to the the tent sale items which had drastic markdowns. There were some fab jackets and breeches, etc, but I avoided them. I already have too many of both.

I am completely exhausted.

Lesson tomorrow. Hope my knees feel better than they do now.


  1. Of course it doesn't count as being a shopaholic when it's for the horses, does it Jean :-)))


  2. I can't tell you how many times my wife has heard the experienced teacher line. She is now the tech coordiantor fo Special Ed and doing a bang up. Maybe it's time for you to take a slight turn in the career. Still even teach maybe something different if possible it's been the world of difference for my wife...

  3. Oh I am sorry to hear about your job problem. I hope you will soon find a solution, maybe as James point it out a new move in your career.

    All that retail therapy would have helped a bit :-)

    I had a wonderfull pair of Ariat Terrain, but they were not waterproof, they did not last long ... I bough another pair but they were too narrow. Do they make of different width in the US of A??

  4. Wish I could change my career path, but after 36 years I am on the brink of retirement. I was hoping to teach for only two more years, but I may cut that short. We'll see.

    Muriel, I'll post this on your blog too. I bought a pair of men's Ariat paddock boots, the Devon Pro. They come in a US D width instead of the women's B. I think I went down a size and a half from the woman's size. They give me plenty of room for my problem toe.