Devine site

A little bit about my day, my family, and my knitting.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

I feel good, da da da da da da da!

Over the past two days I have learned first hand how caring people can be. I have a child in my class who lives with her mother. They are from Haiti. They came here 2 years ago but mom doesn't speak a word of English. I have been trying to communicate to her that there is a program in my school. sponsored by Toyota, for non-English speaking parents. It helps them get an education, teaches them how to work with their children, etc. A few weeks ago I did a parent conference with this parent, with the assistance of Mona, one of the aides in our school who speaks Creole (and Spanish, French and English, all fluently). During this conference, the parent opened up to Mona and told her that her family's culture dictates that women do NOT get an education, while the men are highly educated and get good paying jobs. This poor woman was illiterate, she couldn't even write her own name. Mona told her about the Toyota program, and also assured the woman that they would meet regularly and that Mona would teach her how to read. By the end of the conference, the 3 of us were crying.
Two days ago Mona came to me and told me that she has learned that this woman does not work and for whatever reason, is not eligible for any public aid that we know of. Plus - she has no furniture in her one-room apartment, and buys what little clothing they have from the thrift shops. I told Mona that I would get things for her....I sent an e-mail out on the district's bulletin board (where people usually post items for sale). I asked for donations of clothing, furniture, etc. Within just an hour or two I had several responses/offers, and many more since then. Today I met with a woman who gave me pillows and two large bags of clothing. On the weekend Mona will take her son's truck to pick up futons, bunkbeds, livingroom furniture and bedding, and I have more people bringing and offering clothing. I am so happy, and delighted that many of our people in the school district are opening their hearts and helping. I feel as if that woman's family "tradition" is finally broken. She will learn, her daughter will learn, and they don't have to sleep on the floor while they do it.

That was the bonus of the day. The bummer was that I mentioned to my principal that I might want to take a week off in January to accompany Gerry to Cozumel for a dive trip. He had booked it about a month ago. At that time I told him that the dates for the trip were not very convenient for me, as I return from a 2 week holiday vacation from school just the week before. Hard to come back after 2 weeks, work a week and go away for a week. We were talking about it the other night and he said, "Just ask." My principal is wonderful, but given the time involved, I felt I owed it to her to ask and go with what she said. And she! She is very understanding, but she felt that with my low-functioning class, coming back after vacation, and a whole week just doesn't work out too well. And...the district is coming down hard on people who take so much time off without a doctor's note. Luckily for me, I have a very understanding husband, and I have no problem with him going off and enjoying what he loves to do...dive. Wish I could go with him, but we will have other weeks (besides, we have fun all the time).
Tomorrow afternoon we head up to The Villages, a huge community b/t Orlando and Ocala. My in-laws Eddie and Billie bought a house there and just closed on it, so they are there for a week. Gerry is so happy that in about 1 1/2 years they will be moving there for good. I wish I could see Becca and Phil this weekend but we will be busy and she has to work the whole weekend. Oh, well! I am looking forward to spending the long ride up....knitting!


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