Sunday, June 30, 2013

Unplanned Events

I'm sure that many unplanned events are happy.  A surprise marriage proposal, a chance meeting with an old friend, an unanticipated delightful meal.  These all sound positive.

Sadly for me, the unplanned events in my life are usually painful.  This is mostly because I am a klutz!

The latest painful event in my life happened on Friday night, as I rushed to get my shoes to go out to eat.  Apparently though, I forgot where my furniture was located and my foot collided with one of the wooden legs of our coffee table.


Radiologist says:

Nondisplaced transverse fracture through the base of the fused middle and distal phalanges of the fourth toe.  Hairline incomplete fracture through the medial aspect of the base of the fused middle and distal phalanges of the fifth toe.  No dislocation.

That's right!  I broke two toes walking into something I actually own!  

I'm not sure if it beats the time when I broke my ankle while walking and talking, but it might.

So, for the short term, I will be resting, icing, taking ibuprofen, watching movies and going slightly insane . . .  I am not too sure yet what the long term brings, physical therapy, patience, drinking lots of milk for growing bones AND as my husband says, "No more kicking the furniture!"

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Schrödinger's Cat

I am not a scientist.

However, I do watch the Big Bang Theory regularly, my husband is a scientist, my brother is a scientist, my stepdad is a scientist, and heck, some of my best friends are scientists!  

So I am familiar with the story of Schrödinger's cat.  This slightly mad scientist in the photo below is Schrödinger.  

Schrödinger had some wild story that proved some scientific theory about how two opposite things could both simultaneously be true.  (At least, that's my best memory of it, I know that I could google it and give you the actual true story, but you can do that if you really care!)

Regardless, here's my probably very garbled version of the story. . .

Schrödinger proposed that if you put a live cat in a wooden box with some sort of edible poison and sealed up the box so that you couldn't see inside, the cat could be said in theory to be both dead and alive at the exact same time.  And that only when you opened the box would the equation collapse and only one of the truths would continue to be true.  (I got that collapse the equation quote from one of the best friend scientists!  Thanks!)

So, you ask yourself, what does this have to do with anything?

Well, that evening in late April when I held an envelope from HR in my hands that I knew contained the letter about my leave, the first thing I thought about was Schrödinger's cat!  In that very instant, my leave was both granted and denied, and I was very nervous about opening the envelope and collapsing the equation!

After staring at the envelope with shaking hands and wondering whether the cat was dead or alive for what seemed an eternity, I finally managed to open the envelope, and when I read the letter inside, this is how I felt . . .

Friday, June 28, 2013

Formatting a blog is hard!

Let's just get it right out there. . .  I am not amazingly technological adept!

Now I know that some of my colleagues would argue that point, and I love them for it, but just because I may sometimes be more technologically adept than them doesn't make me a technological genius.

And setting up a blog is easy, but making it look like you want it to — hard!
(I am growing increasingly concerned with the proliferation of exclamation points in this blog.  I guess I'll add that to my list of blog subjects for the future.)

For example, to the right and above, it says view my complete profile.  Unfortunately, if you click on that link, you'll discover I have no complete profile.  YET!

Also, my blog has a purple background, a dark blue title, and the post itself has a lighter blue background.  Is that how I want it to look?  I don't know, maybe.

Then there is the distinct lack of photos in this blog so far.  I know, I know, it's only the second day of my blog, but I really want pictures!  Pictures of what?  I'm not sure of that either, but I do know that I appreciate the photos in one of the blogs I follow.

And that's the easy stuff. . . What font do I want the blog in?  How do I change the font?  Who can post a comment?  How do I read the comment?  How do I figure out how to list the blogs that I follow?  What are all these links on the page where I am writing this?  If I touch the wrong link, will my blog explode?  Will my head explode?

So. . .

this entire post is to let you know that the look, information, and virtually everything pertaining to this blog may change.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Welcome and just what is a general, non-compensatory leave?

Welcome friends!

I feel I can call you friends as most of the people reading this blog, at least initially, will be people I know personally.  This blog will be a record of my thoughts, feelings, and doings during the next 61 weeks.  Wow, 61 weeks!

That seems like a ton of time as I write that down, but I know from experience that it will speed by.  I'm sure I'll write more about that in times to come.

For now, back to the title question.  Just what is a general, non-compensatory leave?

I am an educational professional and as such, in my contract, I am periodically allowed a leave.  Most people have heard of such a thing, but they confuse it with a sabbatical.

A general non-compensatory leave is NOT a sabbatical.  Let's compare the two, shall we?

In most contracts, a sabbatical can only be taken every seven years (the word sabbatical has common roots with the word sabbath, having something to do with resting, generally every seven days/years).  In my contract, a general, non-compensatory is allowed every five years at the discretion of the superintendent.  (Here is where I say, THANK YOU UNION FOR NEGOTIATING LEAVES IN OUR CONTRACT AND THANK YOU SUPERINTENDENT FOR APPROVING MY LEAVE!)

During a sabbatical, an education professional is paid a certain amount depending on the contract.  If I had to guess (and it would only be a guess!) I think my school district pays a half-time salary for a sabbatical.  During my general, non-compensatory leave, I am paid nothing by the school district.  (This is the non-compensatory part.)  I get no benefits.  (I will do some work for pay during the year, but I also expect that the money I have been saving for the past five years will disappear.  Additionally, I will go on my husband's health insurance.)

Since one gets paid during a sabbatical, there is an expectation that one will be doing something educational, such as taking classes, getting an additional license, working towards a PhD, learning a new language, etc.  (Again, I am not exactly sure what it entails, as I have never taken a sabbatical.)  My leave does not require me to do anything.  You heard right, I have no responsibilities, nothing!  I can do whatever I want for the next 61 weeks.  If I wanted to go live in a yurt in Alaska, great!  If learning to make ice cream on an industrial scale was what floated my boat, I could go for it.  I could even sail around the world, curing my issues with seasickness!

Note:  I will be doing none of those things over the next 61 weeks.  I do have many goals, but those three are not in my current plan!

However, one of the crazy things I decided I will be doing is publishing a blog . . .  this blog.  I am not sure yet whether I will publish seven days a week or just Monday to Friday, but check back often to read about my adventures during my general, non-compensatory leave. .  .