Tuesday is a day I'm not ever wanting to repeat.
I was sitting in my Women's Studies class, watching a very funny routine by Whoopi Goldberg about how women and their communication (about womanly things) had changed over the last 50 years. Teresa and I were laughing, sometimes so hard it was hard to breathe.
Suddenly, a classmate sitting in front of us turned her phone to me and showed me a text. Wilma Mankiller had past away.
I learned that her influence on me was greater than I'd thought and that my tear ducts not only still function but they can function in front of people. (I don't cry often, and rarely ever let anyone see me cry) I left the room to compose myself and came back feeling stunned and somewhat alone. My role model had just died.
There are supposed to be some existing pictures of me with her. I'm hoping the person who told me will follow through and send them to me. (I met her a handful of times)
I left class and went onto child psych. Somewhat subdued, along with my classmates that take both classes. We'd just paid tribute to her a month ago (today).
In Child Psych, the professor dropped a bomb on us. Extensive plagerizing. While I didn't plagerize, (as a writer, that would never happen! I've been plagerized and I know how it feels!) her definition of plagerism had me conscerned. I had a quote in my paper that was in quotation marks because it was a commonly used phrase ... however, not being a 20 year old, I should have given credit to one of them. Most people over 40 are well aware that Hillary Clinton first said "It takes a Village." I'm well over 40 so I have no excuse.
Long story short, after a sleepless night, a conversation with instructor and she did not consider what I did plagerizing. I was safe. Next time she said, use 'x' instead of "X" for catch phrases or at the very least put "(from unknown origin)".
Left school to go to my sons IEP. Anyone following this blog will know how difficult those meetings have always been for my family. (IEP is the annual meeting between families of children with special needs and the teachers and administrators responsible for giving him special ed services.)
For years, I've struggled with Benjamin's special education services. Whle this school district is significantly better than the previous, it is still falling far short of what is needed. (one teacher flat out said he would not make accomodations for him, and then gave him a hard time in class for not passing. Going so far as to one day saying "we have only one F on the test and we all know who that is." (um what happened to not discussing special ed students with others not a part of his team?) And no, as far as I know there were no consequences for this mans statements.
They've never given him appropriate services and I've tried to walk the tightrope between doing what is necessary to get my son the most I can without causing them to hate me. (so they did not take it out on my son.) When the doctors told us that he should be in special education classes, he was not quite 3 years old. We took him in for the evaulation and they said "no, he's just fine" and sent us out the door. He wasn't three yet, so we let it go. The next summer, we did the same. They again said "nope." Docs said "yes!" and we took them, successfully, to due process. Again,t he next year they did the same and back to due process we went. The next year, they did the same and this time we went to arbitration. Abitrator told us all that he was to be enrolled into Head Starts Accomodated Services at school expense.
The next year ... OASIS in the dangerous desert that is Public Schools Special Education Services and he was accepted to the highly successful The Little Light House.
The Little Light House is a non profit, special education, Christian school that is no cost whatsoever to the parents. At this school he recieved his OT,PT and speech therapy. So not only was this a break from the public school battle, but for a year, we had to take him to school. Not to school AND PT AND OT AND Speech. Support for the parents, education for the children, services for the children lead to a very safe place. Unfortunately, they only take birth to age 6 and he was 5, would be 6 during the school year. He'd only be elligible for 1 year.
That was ok, because I thought he'd be accepted for Special Education services the following year. (TLLH has such a reputation, schools RARELY go against the programs recommendations. However, the district we were in, made the exception on a regular basis) TLLH could have been his kindergarten and we couple place him into first grade or we could use it as pre k and place him in K. We didn't trust our district to provide appropriate services (any wonder why?) and chose kindergarten to give him the best chance possible. I often wonder if the battle would have been less if we'd place him in first grade.
Long story short, we didnt' get an IEP until 2nd grade. Even then, the placement was wrong and not enough or appropriate services. They were only doing it because I'd gotten fed up and called a congressman who ordered the special ed services to be audited. We have been fighting, to a lesser degree ever since. They've always tried to prove to me why he was just fine (he's delightful was their best excuse. Um, so you're going to remove every delightful child from special education? This is SpEd not education for the emotionally disturbed!
They have made me point out all his deficits, while they tell me what a terrific child I have. It always frustrated me and caused great pain to be put in the position of being the one to tell them what is wrong with my child. NO mother should have to be the one pointing out their childs faults to the school!
So, Tuesday, they tell me what's wrong, and what's right and place him with appropriate services. I learned something ... being told your childs faults really isn't easier than being the one to tell them. (I still firmly believe no mother should be placed in that position)
Benjamin however, took it great. Listened, took notes and plans on using what he learned to help him improve.
I get home and I'm sitting on the computer, reading blogs and the doorbell rings. It is the police wanting to know if my sons best friend is here. He was. His sister had called the police to do a wellness check. Clinton, who has a hard time with the police because he watched them TWICE take his father away, was less than thrilled. He also didn't feel that telling his sister "I'm tired of all this mess" was worthy of a suicide prevention call.
All of that took place between 12 noon and 5:30 pm.