Wednesday, September 14, 2011

U is for Unhappy

Last year, when I was volunteering in T's class, I was given a group of kids who needed help with their times tables. I was handed a stack of flash cards and we went in to the hallway to work on them. I asked the kids how they'd worked on them previously and they told me that the person helping them before would just go through card by card and they'd try to solve the problems.

I thought that sounded boring so came up with a few games on the spot. We had a lovely time learning the multiplication tables and whenever the kids would miss one, they had to do a trick. It was great fun and I saw some pretty cool tricks!

After three weeks, the teacher had me take an extra kid in the hall with us and he was happy about playing the games until we came to a # X 9 problem. This kid's name is... E. E is a doughy child who wears sweats to school every day and they aren't even the shiny sweats with the racing stripes along the side. They are the kind made out of sweatshirt material. With the elastic around the ankles. I've been to the family's house and they are far from poor.

Anyway, we come to this X 9 problem and E has trouble with those. The other kids were showing him the finger trick and I was telling him the other trick. (Saaaaay.... it's.... 6 X 9. 6 - 1 is 5, 5 + what = 9? 4. So.... 54.) He was getting upset, so I asked the other kids to go over the cards they had in their hands and I turned back to E. I said, "It's ok, E, No big deal. Let's take a deep breath and try again. Which trick do you prefer, the finger one or the number one?" He got all huffy and puffy and then said, in this really, whiny voice, "You're making me unhappy."

I was a bit taken aback and gently said, "No, E, I'm not making you anything, I'm just trying to show you the easy ways to remember these problems. Shall we try again? Now, the finger trick...." and in the middle of my sentence, he got up and walked away. He walked over to a one desk in the hallway and sat there pouting. I said to the other kids, "Um. I guess E needs a break. Who's turn is it?" and we went on playing.

The teacher came out a few minutes later and helped E sort things out and he rejoined us and was fine after that.

When it happened, I remember thinking, "Oh, E, honey, I bet at home you're neeevver unhappy." That poor kid's nails are down to nubbs and he seems nervous all the time. I know I'll get comments, as usual, as to the kid's mental state and who knows what goes on at home and blah, blah, blah. But the thing is, I bet if this kid had some direction and boundaries at home, he wouldn't be half so nervous and rude.

I've already ranted many times about how kids are over-indulged and they end up being soft and feeling entitled and act out accordingly. So we'll skip that today and I'll just have a little whine fest of my own.

Ever since that happened, whenever Dave and I are playfully getting on each other's nerves, we say that now, "You're making me unhappy."

These are things that are making me unhappy (and yes, I am also doughy and my nails are currently down to nervous nubbs):

How is 1.5 pages of paper that cites 2 internet sources acceptable, but my 5 pages with no sources but all solid material backed by my TEN years as a massage therapist not acceptable??

Facebook sucks. A friend pops up out of the blue and you have all these great conversations. The whole thing made me very wary at first because back in the day, things ended badly and I got my heart ripped out. But it seems things are different now. It seems we can laugh about those days and talk and heart-to-heart and be friends again. Then, after a long time, you get smacked in the gut with the fact that nothing's different and, sadly, it hurts just as much as it did Way Back When. (yea, I'm blaming Facebook for that. sigh.)

I don't get enough sleep. Still.

I don't get enough sleep, despite the fact that the job I work for is cutting hours for everyone due to low volume of business now. Tuesday I get off at 8p instead of 11p and Wednesdays, I'm off at 9:30p instead of 11p. You think this would be a bonus! But the lack of money due to losing roughly $200 a week in income is keeping me up still.

People in CO won't shut up about the earthquakes here. I get that they haven't had an earthquake here in 44 years so it's something of a novelty but, seriously! It happened, like, 2 weeks ago and it was only a 5.2. Growing up in California, we used 5.2's to stir our cocktails. Calm the fuck down, people.

I had this whole post written up about peeves I've had about swaps:

1. If you join a swap and then start talking about how strapped your funds are, I want to slap you. If you can't meet the minimum requirements, then don't join the swap. Simple, right?

2. Also, for the love of YARN, don't tell me you don't have access to "good" yarn. If you are online, joining a swap, you have access to ALL yarn. And if you don't want to pay shipping twice (once to you and then to send to swappee), then have the seller ship it directly to your swap partner. Equally simple.

3. I don't mind if you're late. Hell, half the time I'm late. Life gets in the way! But communicate!

That last one comes with a tale:

I was in the Alphabet swap in Rav. My swap partner was not only the moderator of the group, she was the founder of the group. It was a straight swap, so I send to her and she sends to me. I sent to her. She sent to me........... nothing. After a week, I emailed her and she was all "Life!" and I said, "np" and she said she'd send. 2 weeks later, still nothing. No communication from her unless I initiated and she kept telling me she'd send that day or whatever. After it was 6 weeks late, I said she could just paypal me the $20 I spent on the yarn I sent her and she could keep the rest of the goodies in the box as lovely parting gifts as I was giving up on the Alphabet swaps.

Another 2 weeks later, I forgot to leave that group so I went to take care of that. I saw that she'd ANGELED a really great package to someone else in that same swap! WTF??

I pm'd her again asking her what was up. She said that it was the package she'd made for me but since I'd been so nasty about it and clearly just wanted money, she gave it to someone else. I made it clear that I was polite and patient as I could be but somewhere around the 6 weeks mark, my patience for late packages turns into resignation that no package would be forthcoming. I pointed out that the communication was non-existent unless I initiated and also pointed out that she hadn't even paypal'd anything anyway. She paypal'd the money that day and that was the end of it.

She's making me unhappy.

I've been sick the last week. T has a dry, hacking cough for over a week now with no signs of letting up. D2 threw up at school yesterday - Dave had to pick him up and D2 threw up in Dave's truck (but at least into a bag), and threw up 6 more times at home (in a bucket). I was at school so I couldn't be home taking care of my little guy. That breaks my heart.

Good things:
Absentee Girl quit. Not good for her, obviously, as she owes about $6K with nothing to show for it and that sucks. But when you're absent so often that people start calling you Absentee Girl, you're going to have a tough time catching up to all the stuff you missed. Class has been kicking along much faster since her departure.

Theory II has one day this week and four days next week, then it's the break between quarters. After the break.... the real work starts! Speed tests and practice all the time. I can't wait! Yesterday, the teacher skimmed through the last 4 chapters of the book. There wasn't much in them that we hadn't already learned and so as of yesterday, I know about as much Phoenix Stenography Theory as I'll ever learn and I just have to practice it all to get the muscle memory and the speed.

That's all the good I can muster today.

I stapled my thumb in class and it's making me unhappy, Ruth!


Heide said...

Maybe Mr. Little Unhappy has a spectrum disorder like Aspbergers. Or maybe he's just a PITA brat. Sometimes it's hard to tell. I know that my youngest daughter (who has Aspbergers)went through phases where she wouldn't wear anything but elastic band stretch pants because denim is too rough. I also know that all of my children have the ability to be little shits too. Don't get me wrong, I love them to pieces, but sometimes it's hard to figure kids out. That makes me unhappy!

Anonymous said...

Hey Ruth!

In the interests of making you happy, instead of making you unhappy, next time you need references for ANYTHING massage related, like a paper, let me know. I can whip a couple references your way in no time flat.

Sandy in Tucson