The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Scenes From a Strike– Day 3

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I’m usually not short on optimism, though I’ve learned that sometimes you have to dig through a lot of gray to find a silver lining.  My silver lining du jour has nothing to do with the progress of contract negotiations, the feeling of comradery during the strike, or anything on district grounds.  This one is right in my living room:  This time off has helped me get my condo in nice order.  The whole place is clean, which only happens a few times a year.  I took all the holiday decorations down and stowed them until next year, did all the laundry, washed all the dishes, changed the oil in my car, and have even prepared some excellent meals in the last few days.  It will be nice to come home from a day on the picket and enter a clean, warm domicile with a refridgerator full of tasty leftovers.  That should help alleviate some of the stress.
I’ve picked up a new skill, too–one most of my students mastered long ago.  They seem to think they have the ability to stick one headphone in their ear and listen to their music while they are going about their normal duties of the day, and tuning their free ear to whatever business is at hand.  I’ve scoffed at this for some time.  It’s not much of a problem in the classroom, but I have insisted during my extra-curricular activity that students pull out their blasted headphone and focus on what we’re going.  They acquiesce, but not before telling me how they are perfectly capable of focusing on what we are doing and enjoying their music at the same time.  It’s a generation gap thing, methinks, but me also thinks the gap has now narrowed.  I passed several hours last week and today doing the one-headphone boogie, and found I was able to speak with coworkers and enjoy some music to pass the time so long as the volume was low.
Some of that music I’ve tuned in has been inspirational.  I’ve found it helps (but is not essential) to stick to classical so I’m not tempted to focus on the lyrics.  I listened to Ravel’s Bolero late in the day on Friday.  I’ve always been drawn to the march that builds throughout the piece.  There are snare drums throughout, an exciting build with oboe and strings carrying an inspirational melody, and there are sedated horns in the background leading up to blasting trumpets and crashing cymbals.  I’ve often thought that if I listened to music when I ran, I’d listen to Bolero because of the huge glorious finish.  It’s bound to push you through when you’re facing an uphill climb.  It helped get me to the end of the day last week, and will probably become a frequent spin on my MP3 player throughout the strike.

The Zion Paddy Wagon acts as a powerful symbol: It tells passersby that the cops are ready, warns strikers to be mindful of their conduct, and also implies that there has been trouble.

We have a four-year old technology school in my district, and because of the nature of how it was staffed, the teachers there are young and with little experience.  Of the thirty of so teachers, only one is tenured.  I was thinking about how critical the tech school staff is to our cause, and figured that I would spend most of today with them in the hopes that having some more experienced bodies in their mix would bolster their enthusiasm and bouy the feeling of comradery, similar to what I experienced when I walked station to station Friday.  I showed up at 7:15; it was 30° and windy.  The sun hadn’t yet made it up.  There were 25 of us huddled together.

It wasn’t long before I learned that the only thing more difficult that standing on a picket line in freezing temperatures is sitting on a picket line in freezing temperatures.  I brought some chairs, and eventually sat in one for a while and chatted with a long-time coworker, but couldn’t take it anymore once my legs froze.  I got on my feet and walked laps around the school until 11am, and then headed for some lunch.  After lunch, the sun had broke free from the morning cloud cover and was fully ablaze in the sky.  It made a huge difference, though the wind was still substantial.

The lot of us continue to be amazed at how great the weather has been, despite the coldness early on today.  But I think this morning was a shot across the bow.  Mother Nature is warning us to get these issues wrapped up.  If we think this morning was cold and uncomfortable, it’s nothing compared to the punishing frigidity she routinely dishes out at this time of year.  According to the forecast, we have two more days before the high temperatures will be lower than the lowest temps we’ve experienced thus far.

Not that it matters to me.  Sure I’d love it to be warmer and more comfortable, but I’ll be damned if the temperatures and conditions keep me away from my due diligence on the line.

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Written by seeker70

January 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. hang in there, bro. Hang in there.

    Ray Uloth

    January 10, 2012 at 12:26 am


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