Sunday, February 3, 2013

Ya gotta love the state of Utah

This was one of those weeks that felt like a month.  So much has happened, yet so little.  Isn’t that odd?  Hopefully I can explain.
            Sunday morning was nice because, after updating my blog, I got to make breakfast for Nicole before she headed back home to Vegas.  I made some French toast and bacon, and it was nice to have another hour together.  Church was nice, particularly because one of the boys brought his rubic’s cube to church and that allowed me to show off some of my cubing skills.  We even made a nice analogy connecting the cube to the apostasy of the early church and mankind’s effort to put it back together.  I’ll have to tell you about it sometime. :)
            What really defined this week was discovering that, through Facebook, Nicole and I are able to video chat.  It was so nice to be able to see her again, and this has, I feel, really kept the fire ignited more after a week apart than I could have hoped for.  Of course, and I may get mocked for this, it’s also allowed me a week with the fewest hours of sleep.  We went from signing off at 1:30 at the top of the week, to 3:00 on Thursday morning.  We’ve had some great conversations…and that’s all I’m going to say about that.  However, I should add that Friday night I’m driving down to Vegas, and she and I are going to spend the weekend together.  I can’t wait.
            This week provided a ton of snow up in northern Utah.  Okay, not a ton, but dad tells me it was likely 2 feet at his house.  Here, it was more like half that.  Still, my driveway is easily 25 yards long.  That’s a ton of snow for one guy to shovel.  I got home Monday from work and shoveled half.  Tuesday I got home from work and shoveled that half again.  Wednesday I got home from work and finished shoveling the other half.  A beast of a job, if I say so myself.  And maybe helped in the loss of a few pounds.  :)
            School went well, despite a scare that hit me midweek.  We had another tournament this weekend, so much of my focus was getting prepared for that, when I got an email from my principal which was actually a forward from the district office.  This email claimed that 2 of the classes I was now teaching, classes I was scheduled to teach next year, I was not qualified for.  You can imagine this left me feeling adamant and worried; I really don’t want to ruffle any feathers at this job; if it were my choice, I’d be on no one’s radar…ever.  Needless to say, I hiked over to the district office immediately and talked to Claudia about this (she’s the super’s secretary) and in the process of that conversation, Leslie (the superintendent) stepped over and I was talking to her directly about this issue.  We stepped back to her office where she pulled up the state website; we talked about what might be required to update this, and then after printing some paperwork, she sent me back to the school to make some calls and figure things out.  First, I was told Musical Production I was under qualified for.  Part of me wanted to say, “durr,” but I held back.  Instead, I pointed out that what took place in this class was not what we’d originally planned.  You see, the hope was that most of those participating in the fall musical would be in the class so that we could actually work on the production during school hours.  Didn’t happen.  Not even close.  As such, this class was more of a technical one, working lights, sound, and costumes, while a ton of time and effort was spent cleaning the auditorium.  With that in mind, all we had to do at the district level was change the name of the class to one that, on the books of the state, better fit this description.  One problem solved.
            Back at the school, talking to the state, the woman I was speaking with was pleasant and informative, but also the harbinger of bad news: a speech credential for me in the state of Utah would require an addition 24 credits.  24!  Insane.  Still, I kept positive and assured her I was willing to do what it took.  She encouraged that this was technically not my fault, that the school shouldn’t have put me in this position without doing a check of my requirements.  She asked me to send a check to a specific individual at the state, and that they’d look over my requirements and maybe there would be enough to get me started on the right track.  You can imagine I was a bit worried, but still optimistic.
            Then, to my surprise, I got an email from Claudia at the end of 4th period.  Imagine the relief and stunning news to find that, if I change the name of my Speech class (and I’ve been calling it Speech and Debate since school began) from Speech to Debate…now I’m qualified.
            Problem 2 solved.  You gotta love the state of Utah.
            Our tournament this week was down in Richfield.  Less than 90 minutes away, so we drove down and back Friday night and down and back again Saturday.  A little tiring, but so much less expensive for the kids.  Friday night I was asked to sit and judge a session of congress, and it was terrific!  These kids governed themselves and intelligently presented some impressive bills.  This may be my new favorite event, and I can’t wait for more opportunities next year.  Our region tournament the 28th of the month, and I’m excited about it.  While I wish we had more success to boast of, I’ve really learned a lot this year and have a much clearer idea of how to more effectively handle this next year.
            I'll keep ya posted.