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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Woodstove, the Rhode Island Department of Education, work, and other such things

So it's been a while and you're probably wondering what I finally decided to do with that Sweet Georgia yarn I picked up on the Yarn Crawl.  At first I was just knitting a simple top-down sweater with no real plans, but then I realized that I really wanted something special.  I pulled it out and started scouring Ravelry for pattern ideas.  I kept coming back to one pattern over and over, and I've already knit the child's version once so I knew I eventually wanted one for myself.  Ladies and gents, I'm now knitting myself a Woodstove Season

I'm to modifying it a little bit to make sure the sleeves are long enough and to account for two fewer buttons than the pattern calls for (because I got these at the crawl as well and they're special order).  I've already made it through the sleeve increases and have put the sleeves on hold.  I'm also working through the decreases right now...at least I was until I saw Denise working on a sock from her Quaere Fibre yarn one night during class and had to immediately wind mine up.  It only makes sense.  My Woodstove Season is just too big to haul around anymore and I need to have a project to work on in church :)  So I cast on my 10 Stripe Rainbow and started a toe-up sock.  It's obnoxiously bright and beautiful.  I love it to pieces.

In work news, I'm just plain exhausted but things are finally coming together.  I've been doing the job long enough now to feel more comfortable when I have to sub in another room.  I've also learned that a lot of my struggle was just my own attitude.  I was afraid of getting hurt, or of a student hurting themselves and not knowing what to do.  I can say now that I've experienced aggression from each of the students in my room and none of it was as bad as I'd imagined.  I find that I'm not afraid now, and now I'm enjoying work more than I was before.  My co-workers help a whole lot too.  They're hilarious people and I love the teamwork aspect of it.  However this job, in combination with my personal life and my new responsibilities as the Primary President, is just plain overwhelming.  I don't have time for much of anything and when I do, I just don't feel like doing anything. If this continues, I'll need to talk to my doctor again about starting my anti-depressants again because this is the start of the downward slide.  I've been able to wrangle things back into order the past three times but I don't know if I'll have the energy to do it a fourth time.

The battle with Alex's school has turned ugly.  I called the state Department of Ed and they confirmed my suspisions that his case has been badly mishandled from the very start.  There were four areas where they did things that they shouldn't have, (or failed to do things that they should have) done.  They also read the requirements to qualify for a 504 plan to me, and Alex met three of the six requirements, confirming that he should indeed be on a 504 plan.  The school flat out refused to even consider him for one until after we get him evaluated on our own (which isn't supposed to be a requirement).  The school is responsible to handle this and shouldn't have pushed it off onto us. 

All that being said, we are now scheduling mediation to discuss the issues we've been having.  I also have an appt with an attorney on Tuesday specializing in special education issues.  I'm going to have them go over the case thus far and ask for their advice going into the mediation.  I also found a copy of a functional behavior assessment and put that in Alex's file so that I can prove that the fba we received from the school was incorrectly conducted and written, and that it should not have been the deciding factor used to determine Alex's eligibility for special education services.  I think things will improve after this.

And finally, I have to apologize for my lack of consistent blogging.  I'm finding it hard to find things that I feel comfortable talking about online.  I've actually shifted over to using a journal.  My blog started out as a way to talk about personal happenings so that I could more easily keep my family in California updated.  Then I started to knit and used it to chronicle that as well.  Then I started to design and I had to be a little more careful about what I put out there because the blog represented me as a person and as a brand, and if you want to keep customers coming back you have to take care to avoid offending them, lol.  Then I started to hear from people that I knew that they were following the blog.  That was when I really had to think about what I was writing.  It's hard because I felt a certain freedom when I could just write what ever I wanted knowing that only about two people ever read my blog.  Now it's different.  I have a leadership position in my church where I directly work with children and teens, and some of them read the blog (or their parents read it) which means that I have to sensor myself even more than I ordinarily would to avoid setting a poor example.  That doesn't leave much of interest to discuss here, and my rediculious schedule doesn't allow me to knit fast enough to talk about knitting.  So, blog posts will come and go until after school is finished (about a year from know), and I once again have time to knit and design.  You're welcome to hang in until then (and I'd love it Dear Reader if you would), but I completely understand if this blog drops off your radar for a while.  I've been there.

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