Walking the dogs today, a young girl about 8 years old was on the greenbelt, with her grandmother, picking wildflowers and putting them in a nice basket. Periodically they would stop to look at what was going on around them - a flock of robins migrating, a colony of carpenter ants, two squirrels fighting. That's the kind of grandma I want to be!
Chris needs a duplicate Social Security card. I lost his original one. He finished the classroom part of Drivers Ed in November, but needs his SS card to get his permit and do the driving part. So I sent in his birth certificate and my passport and the application only to get it back. They need another piece of identification for Chris, the letter says.
So we get a VOE (verification of enrollment) from school and send it in with the other papers only to get them back again. This time the VOE is not good enough because it does not have his birthdate on it. The letter also says something about my pasport not being accceptable as well, this time. So I decide to try to go to the office during spring break and clear the mess up.
I get to the new SS office, take a number and sit and wait for just about an hour before my number is called. While there I notice that there are 48 service windows. Only about 12 of them are staffed and there is a good sized crowd, about 40-50 people waiting in my room, another room has about that many as well.
When I get to the window, the guy asks what I need, and I tell him I want to know why our application for a duplicate card keeps getting sent back, taking out all the identifications I had for Chris in his folder at home. He informs me that a birth certificate is not an acceptable form of identification. It says you can use it on the website though. Only for an infant, he responds. Chris' passport is expired and therefore not valid for ID (I expected that, but brought it anyway). His VOE from school is not good because it does not have his birthdate on it. The baptismal certificate is good only if it was issued less than 4 years ago. Like a dummy I answered truthfully when he asked when I got it. And the immunization record from the doctor's office is no good because it is a copy and has not signature on it. So you mean all I have to do is get this signed by the doctor's office and I am good. Yes, he acknowledges.
So off I go to the pediatrician's office. I chill for an hour at the mall because the doctor's office is closed for lunch. I walk in and tell the receptionist what I need. One of the nurses comes over, signs the form, and off I go again. Back to the SS office.
Sit in the SS office once more, this time for 87 minutes. Walk up to the service window when my number is called and present the signed copy of the immunization record, the application and my passport. Clerk looks at it, says "Fine and thank you" handing me my receipt, telling me that Chris' card should be here within 2 weeks.
All I could think of was that I wasted at least 2 hours of time. I should have just walked out, signed the paper myself and walked back in! They would have never known the difference.
Nine years in elementary school (K-8), four years in high school, 6 years in college for my BS, and 28 years teaching = 47 years in a classroom of one kind or other.
June 3, 2010 - I retire from public education.
I am excited to be able to take some time and figure out the next chapter. I usually have it pretty well planned out, but not this time. The decision to retire only started to simmer a couple weeks ago. The latest round of budget cuts just made the decision easier.
I am sad to leave my absolutely awesome 8th grade team, and my wonderful science department. But everybody has to go sometime, and it is time for me! I leave knowing I did make a difference, and although some things will be left unfinished or not 100% successful, like my athlete children, I leave knowing I did give 110%, sometimes at the expense of others near and dear to me.
But now they get 110% of me, whether they want it or not.