6/30/2012

A Moving Day...

Today Jacey moved into her very first solo apartment.  I am very proud of her.  It's a big step... living alone... so it was Moving Day... 

But this... this is what moved me most today....

A moving day indeed... 
LOVE

6/29/2012

Pinch Me!

Seriously!?  Pinch me!  I am so happy!  
I am remembering what it feels like to have a fire in my belly for my career.  
Today was FANTASTIC! 

On my way to finish the new hire paperwork my phone rang.. it was a woman who I had emailed about a possible rental.  I will look at it tomorrow.  So cool! 
Then while filling out paperwork I learned my paycheck will start next week! Sweet!! I stopped to say hello to the Supt and ask for some reading for next week... she gave me 4 books!  (For the summer, not just for next week!)  
Then I called my hairdresser and asked if by chance they had any appointments today and sure enough... an appointment was available and fit perfectly into the rest of my day..(after a bit of shipping for some new dressy/casual summer clothes appropriate for an assistant principal)  And figured I had nothing to lose and called my garage to see if they had time to do an oil change and they sure did at a time that again, worked perfectly into my schedule.  I was on a roll! Then I went to Staples to buy a new planner... I splurged and bought a fancy one... leather bound and everything... Red!  
Then... 
Then I went to my new school!!!!!!!!!  Met with the other assistant principal and principal and it was AWESOME.  They seem so excited to have me on board.  The other AP said that he was so excited after meeting me at the interview, that my passion for kids was so apparent and he could tell I was really student centered.  AND he told me that he LOVES being an AP because of how much he gets to work with kids... MUSIC TO MY EARS!  Working with kids... ahhhhhhhhhhhh!  
They gave me a yearbook which is an AMAZING idea, allows me to start putting names with faces and get a bit of a feel for the school and see what clubs/activities there are for the kids.  And... I got to see MY office!  MY OFFICE!! Ahhhhhhhhhh!  So exciting! 
Then I went for the oil change... and one of my god friends called, Judy, and she asked if we could meet so I could drop off some books that she had me pick up the other day at school... and I told her I could swing by and drop them off... and when I got to her house my other great work friend Debbie was there and we had a GREAT visit!  They are so happy for me, and sad that I won' t be with them at work anymore... 
We agreed that we are going to spend time together this summer AND are going to set up monthly dinners to keep in touch.  I like that idea... A LOT.  
I feel GREAT... really really Great!  

the Beautiful Jacey!

The bond between a mother and daughter is something I cherish... something I cherish more than most things in life... I was so lucky to have the relationship with Mom that I had...one that out-shined any Hallmark movie or card... and today I definitely thought of her... how proud she would be... how her face would light up with her crooked smile... how she would tell me all my hard work has paid off... 
I could not be where I am without Mom and Dad... they have offered so much love and support in my life... Not just as I worked through my masters degree program... but through everything...  I am grateful.  

but this post is not about me... it's about Jacey... and Betty... 
Betty and Jacey have been through a lot together.  They have an amazing bond, one that reminds me of mine and Mom's relationship... a parent/child relationship evolving in to a friendship.  It's wonderful.  

A few weeks ago Jacey got in touch with me and asked me for a favor... she wanted me to go with her as she got her head shaved to honor her Mom and her Mom's battle with breast cancer.  The idea of that made me get all teary.... how amazing that is... Jacey is a soon to be 23 year old woman... most women her age are so concerned about appearances... and would never consider doing something like this... but Jacey... Jacey's not like most other 23 year old women.  Her life experience has made her really appreciate family (I am honored she considers me family) and is really good at expressing that love.  

So today was the day she went to get her hair cut, chopped, shaved... and she looks BEAUTIFUL! 


She IS beautiful.  
Not just because her head has a nice shape to it (as the hair dresser noted) but because she made a choice to show her support for her mom in such a big way.  Her shaved head will bring awareness to people about breast cancer.  Some people may assume it is her who is undergoing chemo, not her mom, but Jacey will set them straight and encourage people to do all they can to prevent and detect early... 
The stylist was very moved by this... asked Jacey several times if she was sure... and Jacey never waivered. Before the shaving began, Jacey asked her to make a small braid to save for Betty, to put with Jacey's hair from her first hair cut.  So sweet.  And in the end... the stylist would not take money for it, wanting to support Jacey as she supports her Mom.  
Afterwards we had ice cream!  Sat on the tailgate of my truck to enjoy it as we texted Betty to let her know what Jacey had done.  I think Betty was surprised...taken aback... and moved.  I am sure seeing Jacey hairless will evoke many emotions.  (Dad and Betty are coming down Saturday to help Jacey move into her new place.)  Jacey didn't want to surprise Betty, which I think was nice... 

I am honored to be your 'step-sister', Jacey-girl! 

  

6/28/2012

Unofficially Official!

Wow... a lot has happened in the last couple of days... phew...
Last night's interview resulted in an early morning email alerting me that I was one of the top two choices for the job (up north)... followed by a phone call from the supt. up there asking me to let him know some days I would be available to go back to meet with the school staff.... (insert juggling act here... between the local job and the north job...and wanting time to relax)... so I emailed some options... and then later in the day went to the local school for the interview with the supt. where... I was offered the job, officially, and I officially accepted.  Yahooooooooooooo!  While I was in the meeting the North Supt. left a message with a date and time to meet the staff at that school... after consulting with a mentor, I called the north supt and told him my decision.  (I had told them last night that I was a top choice for another job and that I would know more by Friday.)  The northern Supt. was very gracious, telling me that he was very pleased to have met me, that I did very well in the interview, that I should be proud of myself for all of my accomplishments and wished me well.  I must send a card to him.

After meeting with the local Supt and I accepted the job... I was then taken to the benefits specialist... and was given a thousand forms to complete... okay maybe not a thousand... lol... and as it turns out I went to college with this woman's daughter, which earned a hug!  Ha!  That's one of the things I love about Maine... the connections... I also found out tonight that an aunt of one of my cousin's wives works in the same school district and I think I met her today! Too fun!

And more good news... This means I can relax a little... And even though my contract starts July 1... I am on vacation next week!!! Ha!  Heading north for some rest and relaxation and I can't wait!

Yahooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Tomorrow, finalize some paperwork... and go tour my new school and my office... I met my secretary today... MY Secretary!! How cool is that?


Next step... Officially gonna resign!  ASAP!!!

6/27/2012

Oh yeah...

Hit it out of the park!!! 


Feel good about today's interview... hoping tomorrow's meeting is even better! 
Feeling good... (cautiously good, but good!)  



Direction...

The next two days will offer direction.  
Two interviews... for two different jobs.  Tomorrow the first round interview for a principal position.  Thursday, what I have been told is a formality, with a local superintendent for a job I have been told is mine... 

Tonight... I feel calm... ish...
My heart is telling me that the local job is my job... and perhaps my heart has already decided for me, if there is a choice that needs to be made.  
I think I have given myself permission to choose... instead of waiting to see what choice is made for me.  And that is freeing... 
If I have two offers to choose from... how amazing that would be... how lucky that would make me... 

Walking forward with my head held high and mustering up some courage to have faith... faith that it is all going to be okay... 
because in the end... it will be... 

6/25/2012

The week ahead...

Hello Universe... me again....
Thank you for the opportunities you have in store for me this week... job wise.  I have decided that  the interview for the job up north will go well and  that the local meeting with the superintendent is going to go well. I know that my path and direction will be clear to me.  I appreciate your support in these decisions.
- K


6/24/2012

Geese

Also wanted to share this video... hope you can see it... 
video

The geese are so cute!  The babies have already gotten their adult feathers and are almost as big as their parents! 

A Clear Mind?

I wouldn't exactly say my mind is clear... but... today I had a moment... one of those subconscious sighs... where some stress was released... what was I doing that caused that? Kayaking... of course.  
Kayaking at the place very close to my house... It was a GREAT way to spend the afternoon.  





You have seen this place before, a few times... and one of the reasons I love to kayak is that every time you go someplace there are new things to see.  Today... the beaver dam was gone from the tunnel! (I am not sure if that was from the recent high water that could have washed it away, or if some humans decided the dam needed to go...)  

Of course I had to go through the tunnel and see what was on the other side...

It was pretty cool back there... a couple of narrow paths to explore... 

Felt like I was in unexplored territory... then I saw a boat on the land.  
 Frog! 

Then A heron flew out from the trees and I watched it fly and land in this tree...with TWO other herons.  WHOA!  I have never seen three herons together.  I was very excited.  My theory is that it's a parent with two youngsters... but who knows.  I could not get any closer,  so the quality of the picture is not great, but... that's okay.  



So I came back through the tunnel... and wondered about the expression, there's always light at the end of the tunnel... true.  There is.  No matter what side of the tunnel you enter... I think that no matter our paths, there is light ahead... and darkness... just as there is light and darkness behind us... 



I paddled up the river for a while.  The current was stronger than usual because of the recent rains... and after I had paddled paddled paddled... I decided to let the current take me... I surrendered a bit to it... put my feet up and went with the flow... 

 For a while...eventually I paddled again... but really enjoyed taking my time... A group of five other kayakers came down the river.  (How dare they interrupt me! HA!) I purposefully slowed down and let them pass so that I could have it all to myself... 








Ahhhhh.....my heart and soul needed this today.  

6/23/2012

Perspective.... part 2

This picture seems appropriate today... because I have been feeling like I have my head in the sand... With all that is in my head... I have been kind of blocking out the rest of the world... 
But the rest of the world is moving... and things are happening.  
This week a dear friend and colleague, Pam, has been dealing with things that are so much bigger than my quest for a new job.  I wrote about her a while back, her husband has battled brain cancer for three years.  In April, the tumor was back and he had surgery in Boston to remove the tumor, for the third time.  They were told that would be the last surgery for the tumor due to fear of really damaging his brain.  
This week he had a follow up appointment including an MRI.  
Brain bleed. And tumor regrowth. 
He had surgery to stop the bleeding and they were able to retract some, maybe all of the regrowth... and they are now home... again... 
Such a hard road they are travelling. My heart aches for them.  

6/22/2012

Perspective...

So... I have no idea where this post will go.. my head is swirling in so many different directions... I am stressed... really really stressed... and it is good stress... but still overwhelming.  A friend of mine reminded me to step back... and to look at the good things happening...to worry less about the unknown... 

I know he is right... perspective is important... like this picture I just found on google... I like it... you have a broad view of things, but the frame makes you focus on the road... 


So... as I posted before I have a new job...but... the way that things work it is not yet official.  
The interview committee said I am the top choice for the job... and the next step is meeting with the superintendent on June 28, which I was told is just a formality... but then it has to go to the school board... which may not happen until July 9! UGH... I hate waiting.  This is a GREAT job, an AMAZING opportunity... A job I think I would LOVE... I would be able to stay in this area, keeping my support system and my kayak spots... but...because I have not signed a contract there is always a chance that something random will happen and the position could fall through... so... I have to keep job searching...grumble grumble... So... I have an interview on June 27th... for a job that has many pluses and minuses.  It's a principal position vs. an assistant principal... in a small town...about two hours away... a job that has been cut from the budget but because of community support was put back in the budget... so stability may not be there... and... there are only two external candidates interviewing... they have already done the internal interviews and apparently have not chosen one of their own... and... because of its size I would be very comfortable jumping into that role, as principal... but I fear that my professional growth would be more limited in some ways.  The more local job will provide lots of opportunity to work with a very diverse population, ethnically, economically, and in many other ways... the two hour away job would have some economic diversity... Here I would have people next to me, another asst. principal and a principal, to help show me the ropes... the 2 hour away job, I would be flying solo... 
I would not be honest if I said that the idea of having my own school, being THE person in charge, making all the decisions.... was not appealing.  It is.  Very.  I have a clear vision of what I think should be happening in a school and would work hard to get a school moving in that direction... But... I feel there are experiences here that I would learn from.... and would give me experience that would really put me in a great position to move into another role whenever I chose to move on...  
I have not been offered the two hour away job... so I really can't begin to make a choice...but I have to think about it.  And I am stressed most about it I think, because I may be forced to make a decision I don't want to make based on timing.  If the two hour away job is willing to have me sign a contract before the local job... what do I do? I don't dare not to sign a contract because I want change so badly...but... I do want it to be what I want it to be... I don't want to feel forced into one position over another... perhaps my saving grace will be the 4th of July.  I imagine both districts will be shut down for a few days over the fourth... so maybe I can breathe...
And... because I am still in job search mode... today I found yet another job that would interest me... so...I will apply... I can't not... 
There was part of me that was nervous that the conversation about getting the job was a dream.  So... I sent an email to the principal I will/would be working with and asked if I should be ready to attend the school board meeting that is happening the night  I meet with the supt.  He responded and it put me at ease... a little.  He said how excited  he is to have me on board, excited to get started.  And told me the next school board meeting is July 9th... I wrote back and told him that I am ready to jump in, to become familiar with the school its staff and students and told him if there is anything I could be doing in the meantime to let me know.  Of course his response was that we have to wait until I meet with the Supt. (I knew that would be the case) but that after that, we will meet, and set up a time to get acquainted.  So I feel better... knowing it's real... a real possibility anyway... 
So then... there are all of these layers of things on top of this... It's summer vacation.  I want to relax.  
I have yet to relax.  
(And I know... really know I need to...and know I am missing out on enjoying summer)
There were/are loose ends to tie up at my current job... I was finishing up some of the special education paperwork for the kids I am sending to the high school... all the paperwork that I hate... and I get an email... from one of my bosses... I had shared my news, of the new job, with my building principal and assistant principal... because they are two of my references...and without my permission...grumble grumble... they shared that information with other district administrators.... so the director of special services immediately sent me an email... it was disguised as a congratulations email, but what it really was, was a 'don't let the door hit your ass on the way out' email.  It said something like: Hi Kim. I hear you have been offered a new job.  Congratulations.  Do you mind if I post your job? Thanks, -Director.  
Perhaps it was because I was in the midst of doing the paperwork I hate.. or maybe because I NEED to move on.... but it hit me in such a negative way..  Bad form, Director, bad form.  That is in no way a congratulatory email.  First of all.... my building administrators should not have said anything.  It is my news to share. Or was.  And while I have not been secretive about the process... and I have shared the news with several people... it was not their place... and the director... well... I think that was unprofessional.  I understand that her job is to make sure the special education department is working well, that services for kids are in place... but I think that she is so overly focused on the logistics of things that she does not appreciate what people do... and she comes off as uncaring... I was not happy.  My response was something like: Wow, news travels fast.  Yes I have been told I am the top candidate for a job, but there are still factors that need to be considered.  I need to meet with the superintendent and make sure it is a job that I want and a contract I am satisfied with... I have not yet resigned from my current position.  No, you may not post my job. 
Yesterday I stopped in at the Superintendent's office (Current job's Supt.).  I needed to drop off my time card for the work I have done on a summer grant, so that I can get paid.  The work is not yet done, so I need to keep working on it, but I have put in the hours that the district has approved, so ... I want the money.  (Technically I could walk away and not do more work on it, but... it is a project that is close to my heart - designing the curriculum for a school wide  program I started two years ago. It's been my baby, and I want to make sure I leave with things being in a good place so that it can continue.)  So... I dropped off the cards and the superintendent's secretary is an amazing lady.  She is so professional.  I told her that I was considering a different position and she smiled, having already heard.  (grrrr)  I asked her what the process would be, should I decide to resign.  She told me it is very simple, just an email will do.  I asked her, based on her experience, being involved with hiring of staff for 30 years... when I should officially resign.  She said, with 100% certainty, not until I have signed a contract.  I explained to her the timeline as I know it, for the new local job.  She suggested that I don't do anything until I meet with the Superintendent (new job).  IF that meeting goes well (All signs point to yes, it will go well) then I can tell the special ed director that she can post an anticipated opening for my job, making it clear that at that point I am still not resigning.  Then, once the school board has said welcome aboard and I have signed a contract, then resign.  She said that something recently happened with hiring that she had not seen in 30 years... two candidates were put forth to the school board, recommended by the superintendent, and the school board did not approve the choices...at first.  She said that it took two meetings to approve the candidates, which she said was crazy.  But.  It happens.  Nothing is 100% until the contract is signed.  

Yes it is stressful and yes it is good stress, but ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh... I just want to get started!  I want to sign on the local dotted line!  I want to get into my office and start going through files, reaching out to families, meeting staff... Soooo ready... 

So then there's the other exciting stuff... the dreaming... of the new job, of the exciting opportunities, of a new place, of being debt free, of going on a vacation (Sea Kayaking with Orcas in the Pacific Northwest is at the top of my current list!), getting my passport, and creating more stability in my life.  I feel like I have this HUGE carrot dangling in front of me and I can't quite reach it... because I can't do anything until I sign something... but... because I am who I am... I have been looking for a new place to live... my ideal? A house in a specific area of the local job's district.  But am also looking at houses in other towns and apartments.  I am starting to think that maybe in two years I will buy a home... and then maybe think about other areas of my life that I want to change... perhaps adoption... yes universe, I am putting that out there... I still would like to consider being a parent. And, since that has not happened in the traditional way... and since I am okay if I don't get married (Would like to, but...)  ... this job will afford me possibilities that would have been more difficult otherwise... But that's a ways off... but it's there, in my head... 

Fret...Fret... Fret... 
Think think think...
I know I need to be patient.  I know this will work out.  I know change is in store.  But fear creeps in. 
Fear that the bottom will fall out... fear of that up in the air feeling I grew to hate so much when mom was sick... meh.  

Don't get me wrong.  I am SOOOOOOOOOO excited, incredibly excited... I just feel like I am in a holding pattern, back and forth, back and forth... and I am a person that needs movement, direction... 
good thing I am not a goldfish.  

Oh.. and I have to work at the tolls this afternoon... I'm beginning to contemplate giving up the tolls... but it has offered a bit of security for me... hard to do... but... contemplating.
My head is tired. 

6/15/2012

Happy Dance!


I have a new job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   It won't be official until June 28th, but today I was offered an assistant principal job at a local high school.  

YAHOOOOOOOOOOOO!  

The best of both worlds... a NEW job in a place where I can keep my SAME support system and kayak buddies! 

6/14/2012

When a community comes together...

Betty has been a teacher for a long time.  She has been dedicated to her work and to the students in her school... She's at a point in her career where she is teaching kids of kids she taught... pretty amazing... 

I haven't posted much here lately about Betty and breast cancer... Technically she is cancer free.  The lumpectomy was 'successful' in removing the cancer.  Because of the kind of cancer she had, the doctor felt that doing chemotherapy reduced the chance of recurrence enough to warrant going through the treatments.  Her treatments began about a month ago.  And in all will last 24 weeks.  Her second treatment was Monday which means she missed school Monday through Wednesday, missing the final few days of classes for her students.  The school got together, to do something to honor her.  This is the result:  


All of the students in the school are in the picture.  And... it is taken from the windows in Betty's classroom.   Beautiful.  The way people come together to show support for someone they love... is beautiful.  
Betty is amazing.  The chemo is not as fun as going to the spa, and she is facing it head on... showing a lot of courage.  Betty, You are AMAZING!  XOXOXO

6/10/2012

Packing & Trashing...

So.. while I wait to see what the universe has in store for me as far as job stuff... I am packing... and purging... I am going to get a new job for next year... in fact, I have decided that I will get a minimum of two phone calls this week to schedule interviews.  With a new job, I will move.. even if my new job keeps me in this area, I want a new place to live.  (And, on the slight chance that I do not get a new job, I will look for a new place to live in early fall... )  I need change... and that includes a new place to live.  This apartment has been a place to live... but it has never felt like home... it was a place I moved into when Mom was diagnosed with cancer, when my then landlord was moving into the apartment I was renting, causing me to need to move out... so this place... was a safety net... and I want more.  So... starting to pack is a move in that direction... also it is time to purge, to get rid of things... today I went through some boxes that have been taking up space in my spare room...boxes filled with graduate work, school papers, and other stuff... and I decided I don't want that stuff anymore... so I tossed it.  When I visited my aunt back in April, for one of the interviews, I picked up a couple of boxes of dishes that my other aunt had packed for me... a set that belonged to my grandmother who always wanted me to have them... today I repacked them so that they will do well in a big move.  They are so pretty.  It was nice to look through all the pieces.  I also packed up some of the glassware that I had taken from my other grandmother's house after she died... I packed up board games, photographs... and even took some things off my walls because there was room in the boxes for more stuff... I feel like I got a good start... and as I was going through things, I threw out a lot.  my trash can outside is overflowing.  I also was doing some laundry today... and my dryer requires two cycles to get clothes dry, so I had a rule for myself....whenever I came up the stairs without clothes, I had to bring other things up... So... from my basement I brought up 12-15 flower pots and some other gardening stuff that I will see if any coworkers want and if not will give to goodwill... I also brought up my walker and my crutches... The walker and crutches moved here with me even though I moved here almost a couple years after surgery... there was part of me that felt like I would need them again...  and that keeping them would also mean that I would trick the universe... if I had them, I somehow believed that I wouldn't need them again... but.. today I decided enough is enough... and they are leaving...

I think that I am going to pack up a lot of stuff...even dishes... keep out a few plates, bowls, and pots and pans... but pack most everything else... or get rid of it.  I have a couple of plates that have chips in them... time to get rid of them... Also, as I was doing laundry today, I am separating things... clothes that are too big in one bin gym clothes in another, and clothes that I just don't like anymore are going to goodwill...

There are things right now that I can't control... mainly the job thing... but... I can do so many other things in my life to make change and get me where I want to be... eventually... simplifying... it's time...

6/07/2012

An afternoon walk...

The marathon training has officially started... and today I was supposed to walk three miles... so... decided to walk along the ocean, a place that is fairly new to me... and I love it.  It makes me appreciate Maine... and fall in love with the state where I get to live... Here are some pics from the walk... Enjoy!

I am not sure what this little house is... but it is beautiful... walls made of rocks... beautiful color and textures.  

 Complete with slate shingles... Always makes me think of mom... 













Juniper? Not sure... 








This is the location of Winslow Homer's studio... no wonder he had so much inspiration!  (Check out his art if you do not know who he is!) 


So lucky to live where I do... in a place I get to explore and appreciate...

My Favorite Place

My Favorite Place