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Oklahoma

Oklahoma Teacher Walk-Out My Thoughts | juliekmccomas.com
Confessions

Oklahoma Teacher Walk-Out – My Thoughts

First of all, I want you to know that I do not claim to know anything about this hot topic.  I can only address what I am hearing and seeing on social media or television. One of my favorite people in this whole world is a teacher in Oklahoma (Love you, Sis!), we have a granddaughter in Oklahoma public schools, and several of my friends are teachers here so, this is why I am concerned. (Yep, that is a run-on sentence. You know that because of a teacher. Hmm)

What I am hearing from the people that are not in the teaching profession is that all the teachers want is a raise.  Wait! Before you teachers start commenting about how wrong that is, let me finish.  This is all about my thoughts, so be sure you read this well before commenting. Read it twice if you need to. One of the main reasons a lot of people think this is because of a certain man in the OEA was heard on the news complaining that the raises that will be given are not enough. Then, our fabulous news media shows it over and over. Social media isn’t much better. I think the OEA needs to get on the same page as the teachers.

What I am hearing from the people that are in the teaching profession is that they would have rather had funding for the classroom than a raise. We need more teachers because they need fewer kids in each classroom, but there’s no money to hire more. We need new textbooks! When kids have to tape their textbooks together to be able to use them, that is no bueno. (Do you know what bueno means? Thank your Spanish teacher.) Oh, and get this, the tape used to tape those textbooks together was bought by the teacher or the parents.

I know that many teachers need a raise.  I know that many of the staff need a raise.  I also know many people who would be looking for a new job if they were not given a raise in a year or two years.  How long have teachers gone without a raise?

What about the funding that the teachers are asking for?  Do you go to work for a company expecting to supply your own pens, staplers, file folders, calculators, computers/tablets, supplies, or coffee (that’s a big one for many)  needed to do your job?  I for one loved being able to pick all new supplies to be provided by my employer when I started a job. I know a teacher that decided not to go to the Capital today to take a stand. Instead, she bought paint and was going to take the day to paint her classroom.  Am I the only one that finds something wrong with this? She bought the paint? And she has to paint the classroom? Why is she doing this? Because, she takes pride in her classroom. She wants her kids to have a nice place to learn. (Yes, I said her kids because believe it or not every teacher I know worth a damn considers them their kids. Just ask one.)

Yes, I know the argument.  Teachers only work nine months out of twelve, and they get paid all year.  They get Spring Break, Thanksgiving and Christmas break, and they only work until four p.m.. I’ve heard it all, in fact I’ve used it. That was a long time ago, and after watching my sister and many teacher friends through the years, I know the facts. The facts are that teachers work almost all year, and they are paid for nine or ten months (I am not positive which) over a twelve month period. They are almost always working over every break they get. They get sick days and/or personal days, but if they run out of those days they have to pay a substitute teacher out of their own pocket.  It isn’t that they just don’t get paid, they have to pay. They get off work at four in the afternoon. Yea, I know that isn’t true.  I mean, they may leave the building most days by four, but they work at home, coach, sponsor extra-curricular activities, or work in the concession stand at school sporting events. Yes, I know, coaches get more money for coaching. I was married to a coach, and I know that they money they paid him as a contract coach didn’t amount to anything. Many teachers have more than one job. I’m sure I could go on and on, but this has to end sometime.

Speaking of this having to end sometime. When will this end? When will everyone be happy?

Not everyone is going to be happy in the end. If the teachers get the funding that they deserve, then legislature won’t be happy. If the teacher walk-out continues then parents won’t be happy. Finding childcare for that many on such short notice won’t be easy or free.

What needs to happen?

I don’t really know, but I will tell you what I think.  You have your opinion and I have mine. We do not have to agree. We (most of us) are adults, and should be able to act accordingly. This is my website, therefore, I can say anything I want to here. Capiece?

I don’t think the teachers will get funding unless the walk-out causes pain and suffering for others. By pain and suffering I mean, I think parents need to have to find childcare for their kids or have to take off work to care for them. I think those parents then need to complain to the legislature, and make a stand any way that they can. People usually don’t react until it affects them. That is what I think might help teachers get the funding that they deserve.

Whatever happens, I am praying for the teachers, the kids, and even the legislature. I am praying for an outcome that will be better for everyone. In the end, the kids are the ones getting the short end of the stick. Our future teachers, employees, even politicians. How is this affecting them?

Travel

Road Trip – June 2011

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Last week we hit the road for a long overdue week long vacation.  Just me and McD.  We started planning this vacation back in March or April, and we were planning on taking the trip in July.  In April life threw us a curveball, so in May we decided to just take the trip a month early.   I am so glad that we did!

We were cruising down the road when we came upon this group of bikers.  My Dad had a chopper back in the day, and these guys made me think of  him.  We were in Nebraska going North to South Dakota, and just figured that these guys were headed to Sturgis, SD.  Who knows whether they did or not, but it sounded good at the time.

These guys were from Nebraska, that is where the bikes were tagged, so they didn't have to travel as far as we had but, can you imagine driving down the road with your arms over your head?  I can't. It just doesn't look comfortable to me. 

We traveled to nine states in seven days.

Kansas – Nebraska – South Dakota – Wyoming – Montana – Idaho – Utah – Colorado – Oklahoma

We went to Mount Rushmore, Little Big Horn, The Top of the World, Yellowstone, The Grand Tetons, and Grand Junction, CO.  I will be sharing photos and stories throughout the weeks to come. 

I would like to thank everyone for their travel tips!  I wish we could have done all of the things people suggested.  Monie suggested that we float the Snake River, but all of the rivers were high.  We didn't see anyone on the rivers.  We didn't have time to do everything, but we have decided that this was just a trial run and we will go back when we have time to do more.

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Threes – Part 1

I'm not sure why we say things come in threes, but I hear it all the time.

With that being said, this is part 1 of three posts today.  I don't know why.  I just felt like catching up over here.  I've been neglecting the ACR blog lately, and I don't like it a bit.

We are planning our vacation.  We hardly ever get to take a vacation.  We do travel, but it is normally business or to see the kids.  This is going to be a real vacation.  Sight-seeing, camping, and the whole tourist thing will be happening.  I hope to get some beautiful photos, have funny stories to share, and some fun tweets along the way. 

Here's where I ask for a little guidance from you guys.

Have you ever been to Mt. Rushmore? Yellowstone National Park? Grand Tetons?

Any suggestions on things we MUST see? Where we really should eat? Stops along the way that regular tourists might not know to look for?

I am trying to travel to each state before I take my last breath, and this trip is going to knock a few of them off of my list.  Now to just decide where to go after I finish chemo. :)  That would be a reason for celebration, don't ya think?

 

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday – 2/10/11

Things have been happening over here at Another Chance Ranch.  Behind the scenes kinds of things.  Like me sitting on my hiney surfing the web, finding new bloggy friends via blog frog, and visiting said blogs. 

A few years ago I decided to declare Thursdays, Thankful Thursday.  I would post what I was thankful for, and I encouraged everyone else to share what they were thankful for as well.  Little did I know that someone else was doing the same thing.  In fact, they were a little more organized.  They had a group already set up, and I wasn't a part of this group.  I could have joined in the group right away, but something held me back.

Fast forward a few years.

Today I was, as mentioned before, finding new bloggy friends on Blog Frog and I came across Mommy J's Thoughts of a Working Mom blog.  She had posted her Thankful Thursday post, and instantly I was inspired to write my own.  Some of you might know that I started trying to bring my Thankful Thursday posts back here and there. 

I clicked on over to her blog to read her post, and guess what!?!  You could have knocked me over with a feather, there is another Thankful Thursday group.  A different one that was together when I first discovered someone had beat me to the punch.

Something is different this time though.  This time I am joining in!  I hope you will too!

This week we were hit with between fourteen and fifteen inches of snow.  We live in Oklahoma, a state where we get only get snow every once in a while and it is usually just an inch or two here and there.  But in December of 2009 we were dumped on, and now we've been dumped on again.  Twice in just about a weeks time. 

Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining, I like the snow.  I enjoy playing in the snow.  I have many, many memories of playing in the snow.  In fact, yesterday as the snow was falling I texted my mom and told her that I wished she were here so we could make a snowman.  We used to always make snowmen.  This isn't the best snowman making snow though.  We could've gone sledding though.

With all of this snow covering the ground my mind shifts to things that I should be, and am, thankful for.  Like indoor plumbing.  Oh my goodness, I can't even imagine having to trek through fourteen inches of snow just to go tinkle.  This morning it was 22˚ below zero.  I don't know about you, but when I get up in the morning the first thing I want to do is go to the potty.  If we didn't have indoor plumbing I might have stayed in bed all day long.

You might think it is silly to be so thankful for something so common, but just think back to the Little House on the Prairie days.  I am thankful we that we have a home where the cold drafts are not coming in everywhere. 

I am so very thankful that we have running water at our barn too.  I can't even imagine having to haul water in buckets in this stuff.  I guess seeing Little House on the Prairie on the tv guide listing a while back kind of got me to thinking.

Click on the photo above if you would like to see who else participated.  Click on the photo above if you would like to play along.  You can grab the button when you visit the Grace Alone blog.

JulieBlogSigw

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A Day at the Museum

A while back we went to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.  It is a great place to visit, and if you have the time you could spend the whole day there.  I am pretty sure that is why they have a little cafe' inside the museum. 

It has been a while since we were there, and I had forgotten how lost one can get in a museum. 

You know, in some museums they can be pretty persnickity about photos being taken.  I truly believe that one lady followed me around to make sure I didn't take photos in the prohibited areas.  I just didn't take many photos, but I did take a couple. 

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I just love this one.  You see it as soon as you enter the museum, and it almost takes my breath away each time I see it.

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I didn't even realize this statue was there.  We didn't have much time in the museum that day, because we were with a group.  In order to fit as many things into the day as possible, the planners only allowed us 30 minutes at the museum.  Oh, we were so disappointed.  We have been there before, but most of the people in the group had not had the opportunity.

As we were on our way out, I saw this statue out of the corner of my eye and I ran for it.  At the time I didn't care if I missed the bus or not.  I had to get a photo of this statue. 

We made it to the bus on time, and then we went to our next stop.  I will share more photos another day. 

 

Shout Outs

Linkin to You

A while back I had a little cookbook giveaway, and I asked people what their favorite quotes were.  I expected 15 entries or so.  Then Mrs. Ree re-tweeted my tweet and I got 1678 entries.  I loved it!  You see, I had a plan.  I wanted to see where you are, what you write, and photograph, etc.  I wanted to branch out in this blogging world. 

I am not making "New Year's Resolutions" per say, but I do plan on being a more social blogger.  I have been coming home, blogging and watching television or whatever else I need to do around the house.  I need to work on being more social. 

I am not a social person.  I like driving home knowing that I will be spending the time at home with McD and no one else.  I am not the social butterfly I could be.  I am not saying I am coming out of my cocoon or anything, but I am going to try.  :)  We started the year off just right for me to meet my goal.  We went to ring in the New Year with some friends and their family.  Some of their family brought friends, so it was a social event in my book.  :) 

So, the first (or second if you count the party we went to) step is going back to the 1678 comments on that one particular post, and linking to a few of you that were so kind to leave a comment or 20.  Yeah, there was a prize, and there will be again on Friday, January 8th, but it still made me feel pretty good.  I may just ask Ree to RT the contest again.  After all, it is her book that I will be giving away. 

Live from Tormville!

Sharyn has great photos, stories, ideas, organizational skills, etc.  You really need to check out her New Years Resolutions post.  WOW!  

Her favorite quote was:

We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails – Dolly Parton

Pretty good one if you ask me.

The Wide World of Mommydom

Babs has some great ideas, like A Word A Day Keeps the Doctor Away.  Cute huh!?  Did you know that Happiness is three pairs of fuzzy socks?  Cute, cute stuff here! 

Her favorite quote was:

"What fresh Hell is this?"  -Dorothy Parker

Delta Whiskey

What an interesting name!  This is not my first visit to her blog, I really enjoy reading here.  She has great photos, stories, and recipes.  Please check her out. 

Her favorite quote was:  (It is one of my absolute favorites!)

"I love you." ~My husband.

Sorry there are only 3 today, but I am supposed to be getting ready to leave.  We are headed to my grandparents house to celebrate Christmas.  You see, last year (hee hee) we had the Blizzard of the decade, or even the century in Oklahoma.  Some places got 14.1 inches of snow in one day, highways were closed, people were stuck on the sides of the roads, in their homes, at work, etc.  It was nuts!  So, we decided to wait until the roads were better to drive the 2 hours to granny's house.  We are safety oriented. Not really so much, but it sounded pretty good.  🙂

I didn't get photos of our Christmas Day celebration, but I will today.

Have a great weekend!