Christmas missive gone digital

I have sent a LOT of mail this year. You could probably measure my mail by gross. I love to send mail. But it’s a matter of mental health that I not go to the post office for a while. I exceeded my Post-Office-Patience quota sometime in May. One benefit to moving out of Salem is that I don’t have to go to the post office with the woman who thinks I’m a moron. You bring a UPS box to the Post Office ONE TIME and suddenly you’re transformed from a (mostly) capable adult into a competitor in the Special Olympics of Mail.

Last time I went to the post office near our new place, my car battery died. So I’m just steering clear of it all. I’ll start fresh in 2010. Until then, I’m sidestepping the stamps and paper cuts and dyslexically written addresses. I’m going paperless. Digital. This is Christmas letter meets Photo Journalism.

In  January I was working two jobs in the Salem-Keizer School District. One was running a computer lab after-school hours for students to take online classes to make up for deficient credits. The other was as an assistant in a class at the area’s alternative school. It was a strange place to find myself, the most opposite a school could be from my own high school. I went to a huge high school in Idaho… and found myself teaching in an ESL class in a tiny high school made up of kids who had been expelled elsewhere. “Challenging” is an insufficient adjective. I worked in the midst of a supremely talented staff and I learned at least as much as I taught. Here are some of my guys kicking butt in the school Volleyball Tournament.

Proof that we got 6 to look in the same direction at the same time. ONCE.

Their parole officers are all very nice on the phone. 🙂 I’m so glad I got to be a part of the school and to work with the kids we had in class. I’d never have survived that class room without my teacher, Marianne. If you’re reading this, Marianne you’re a clown. When I say “survived,” I mean that in a more literal sense than when most people talk about their jobs that way. On April Fool’s day, she and I changed the sugar shaker with salt before they got there for their morning coffees and hot chocolates. I kid you not that it was ten minutes after one said “Oh we’re gonna get you back” that she and I realized the following: my keyboard unplugged, my purse missing, a paper covered in honey on her chair, and our security radio gone. We’re lucky that they were doing this in good-natured fun and not a backlash of sorts. They gave little hints to help us find these HUGELY IMPORTANT ITEMS. I’ve got a hundred stories like this.

Up next, February and March…

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1 Comment

  1. June 16, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    […] I spun around for another celebration. Some students I worked with last year (I may have mentioned them before) have graduated, after facing challenges I didn’t even imagine when I was in high school. […]


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