31 January 2013

High School Memories - PART V


I went into the meeting with Andy's parents with few expectations. In fact, I was well aware that in telling them more of the story, they might just run away screaming. But I'm one to put it all out there and let people judge the truth rather than filling in the blanks with their own prejudices, even though honesty has been known to bite me in the ass.

I did apologize for my failure to alert them to the fact that Cam had named Andy as his alibi. I was so wrapped up in the moment that I didn't consider they might have appreciated a heads-up. They were not at all concerned.

They did start telling their own stories of the high school and the SRO. Although their experiences haven't been as IN YOUR FACE as mine, they've definitely seen similar issues, and they are not happy.

They asked me if I had considered getting an attorney.

I told them it just wasn't an option for me - that I've been doing a lot of legal research and have formulated a strong case as to why the district should not change Cam's placement - and I feel prepared.

They asked why it wasn't an option.

I sucked up my pride and said, "It's just not something I can afford."

There is something quite ... disturbing? About having to admit to anyone that you cannot give your child all the resources he needs for the best possible outcome. Special education is a legal issue, and as is true in all legal issues, more money usually results in a better outcome.

I often wonder if the administration of the school district uses this knowledge to their advantage.

Andy's parents talked about investments - specifically investments in their children. They see Andy and Cam's friendship as something worth investing in, and they see the issues at the high school worthy of change.

They offered to cover the costs of an attorney - of my choice - to fight for Cam. They did suggest I find the biggest, blackest, most intimidating attorney that I could *snicker* Like me, they feel that race may play a part in this, if for no other reason than the fact that Cam is easy to spot in a crowd.

Not only are they willing to cover the costs of an attorney during mediation, but they are willing to continue covering the costs of the attorney should this go to Due Process.

They've also offered Cam a job at their campground beginning in April.

And they are offering to cover the cost of membership at the "local" Lifetime Fitness for Cam, giving him and Andy a constructive outlet for all of that teenage testosterone.

Do I feel a bit like a charity case? Am I having a hard time swallowing my pride and accepting this amazing gift? Yes, and if it were not for the fact these things benefit Cam, I'd have likely declined their offer.

It also validates what I've been seeing and feeling. I was starting to think my conspiracy theorist self had tossed all logic and reason aside for some imaginary, grandiose, wrong doing. For goodness sake, if I were reading this story I'd be wondering how it could be true. Things like this don't happen in our public schools. Our public schools are a safe haven for learning, right??

The more I research the more I realize just how untrue that assumption is.

I'll wrap this series up tomorrow with an update of where we are - what steps I'm taking - where I hope this story goes.

It's good to have hope again.

30 January 2013

High School Memories - PART IV


On Friday, at 3:58 PM, I received the following text from Cam's best friend's mom, Susan:
Could you give me a call when you have a minute? No bad news ;)
A little background first.

Cam and Andy have been friends for 5 or 6 years. I used to take them to the middle school church youth group every Wednesday. Even when Cam did the therapeutic day school stint his freshman/sophomore year,  he and Andy remained friends.

Andy comes from a very well-off family, but his parents are advocates of hard work and no free ride. They are fairly strict and demand a lot from their sons (Andy has an older brother). I've always been thrilled with this friendship. The boys really are good together.

So yes, there is a lot of good history between the boys, and Susan and I communicate frequently, insuring the boys are doing what they need to be doing. Getting a text from her was not at all unusual.

I called her back and we had kind of an odd conversation. She's been following what little I post about Cam's school struggles on Facebook and had been filled in on some of the other details from both boys. She told me that she and her husband wondered if I'd come over for a few beers on Saturday. They'd like to talk to me and offer some support with the situation.

Mike has been extremely supportive of me when it comes to Cam's education. He attends all of Cam's IEP meetings. He is a sounding board and offers a different perspective. But the idea of having more support - especially from someone who also has a teenage son - was certainly welcome.

When I got to their house Saturday, they told me what had prompted this meeting. In yet another pending situation (seriously - all teenagers should be sent FAR away), Cam has been accused of what we'll call harassment.  The person who filed the complaint lives a good 30 miles from us (a classmate from Cam's therapeutic day school). Her allegations included that Cam came to her bus stop and made threats on a Friday afternoon.

I have Cam's phone GPS-ed. It logs Cam's location every 15 minutes, or more often if he changes location. I was able to prove that Cam was not within 15 miles of where the alleged harassment took place, yet because Cam was with Andy that afternoon, the investigators also wanted Andy's contact information to confirm the data I'd already given them.

Guess who was selected to interview Andy?

My friend the School Resource Officer.

When he finished interviewing Andy, he tells Andy that he really needs to find better friends. That Cam is bad news and that Andy can do much better.



Then the SRO calls Andy's parents to inform them of Andy's interview. When Andy's dad asked why he was interviewed, the SRO mentioned that there was an incident with Cam in a neighboring town and Andy was his alibi. Oh! And by the way ... they really should keep Andy away from Cam because Cam isn't a good friend for Andy to have.



Although I'm certain the SRO's intent was to warn Andy's innocent parents about the evils of Cam, what it did instead was confirm to Andy's parents that what I had been saying on Facebook was true.

They know Cam.

They know what kind of kid he is.

They've seen his struggles and his successes.

I'm not one of those "NOT MY KID!" parents. I'll be the first to admit that Cam has not been a perfect angel. That he's forged some questionable friendships in the past that have altered the way some people (those in authority) see him. That he's made some mistakes along the way - more mistakes than many kids make. He's not had an easy time of things, and some of that is his own doing.

I also know that I've been told by many of Cam's friends, and a handful of parents and teachers, that they believe Cam is being singled out - watched more closely - punished more severely.

Why? *shrugs*

Although it makes me uncomfortable to say it, the only thing that makes sense is that it is, at least in part, a racial issue. Cam is the big (6'-4", 225 lb), bad, black kid - 1 of maybe 10 in a high school of 800 kids. He had to be sent away to a therapeutic day school for 1-1/2 years. He questions authority. His grades are "bad".

Unfortunately, the public school system seems to be immune from the checks and balances of the rest of society. I was told by the Dean of Students that he was the "judge and jury" of the high school and it didn't matter if I thought he was being fair or not.

The only way to fight this ignorance is with an attorney, and that has been a luxury not available to me.

That was about to change ...

29 January 2013

High School Memories - PART III

*NOTE* You can read PART I HERE, and PART II HERE


The meeting was scheduled for 3:15. When Mike and I arrived at the school office, my advocate and Cam were already there. As the district personnel headed to the conference room, we were told we needed to wait in the office until they were ready for us.

I mentioned to the advocate that it was difficult to feel like an equal member of the IEP team when the team needed 15 minutes - without all of the team members - to circle the wagons. She commented that this was pretty normal to which I responded, "Just because it's normal doesn't mean it's right."

I knew at that point that it was time to fire her. Her priority was not fighting for Cam. Her priority was flying under the radar and hoping for the best.

About 15 minutes later, the meeting started as all IEP meetings do - introductions - sign in - a review of why we were there. 

The Director of Compliance Education Services was leading the meeting. Being that the Local Education Agency Representative had been adversarial in our previous meetings, the change was much appreciated.

There were minimal discussions regarding the wording of the IEP. The advocate took the lead on that and ignored much of what I had told her I wanted changed. Discussions quickly turned to placement.

The Director of Compliance Education Services asked Cam what he thought was appropriate placement. Cam was all in for full-time placement at his home high school, expressing his renewed commitment. He told the team that if they were to place him in the self-contained program, he wouldn't go - that he knows that in Illinois, once he turns 17 (March 1st), there are no issues of truancy and he can just drop out.

I echoed those same sentiments, including why I felt the self-contained program was not an appropriate placement.

Then the district team members gave their perspective. Apparently they'd all had some sort of divine intervention, because they cumulatively decided the self-contained program was not the best placement for Cam. Now? They felt it was in Cam's best interest to attend his home high school for periods 1-3 (History, PE, and Band), and then attend the night school program full-time.

This would allow him to stay involved in music and in the high school community, while giving him access to a program that he has shown "significant success" with - computer based learning.

Side note? He has had 1 computer based learning summer school class, and 2 weeks of computer based credit recovery experience ... compared to 2-1/2 years of traditional education where he is still on track to graduate with his class.

This placement would mean he would leave for school at 7:00AM - return home at 10:30AM - leave for night school at 5:15PM - return home at 9:45PM ... Monday through Friday.

Not only that, I would be responsible for transportation to night school (night school is not a special education placement, therefore transportation is not the responsibility of the district) and since it is held at a high school in our district that is 17 miles away, this equates to roughly $100/month in fuel costs.

I thanked them for their time, and let them know that Cam and I would be discussing if this was an acceptable placement and would return all necessary paperwork by the end of the week.

Cam wants to keep fighting for what is right - full-time placement at his home high school. I think Cam's request is not only reasonable, but the best placement option for him, and as his mom, I must advocate for his decision.

On Friday, I checked the "I do not agree ..." box, sent an email to the team informing them of Cam's decision   and thanking them for their attempts at resolution, and prepared - again - to contact the Illinois State Board of Education to request mediation.

Three hours later, things took an unexpected turn ...

28 January 2013

High School Memories - PART II

*NOTE* You can read PART I HERE


The end of Cam's first semester this school year was bad. He was suspended for the 4 days preceding finals for pushing a friend of his in the lunch room (resulting in the friend putting him in a choke-hold and taking Cam to the floor) during what could only be called a 7-second, 16-year old, alpha-male, pissing match ... where no one was injured. The administration made it impossible for Cam to get any of the review information for finals that was presented in class, going so far as to tell me that district policy was that suspended students were not allowed any instructional information, and could turn in no assignments, during the period they were suspended (a policy that does NOT exist). He failed his Algebra class (by 2%), but managed to eek out a passing grade in his other classes. 

He was also charged with battery and disorderly conduct by the School Resource Officer (SRO) - charges that are currently in the hands of the State's Attorney's Office.

But that really wasn't what initiated the school administration's plot to have Cam out-placed. It was back at an October 30th meeting when it was first brought up. What I didn't realize then was that the school administration was beginning to lay the groundwork for removing Cam from the high school. After that October meeting (not an IEP meeting, but a meeting that was presented to me as informational only) all hell broke loose when I declined a voluntary change in placement.

That is when Cam started being sent to the Dean's office at least twice a week, for things as minor as having a backpack in class, wearing earbuds in the hallway, and not doing his work in class. The Dean even went so far as to arbitrarily change a 1/2-day suspension (for disobedience/defiance) into a 2-day suspension because he didn't like the way Cam reacted to his consequences. There were daily calls from the school that disrupted my work day and eventually led to performance review issues and the loss of 25% of my year-end bonus.

It became clear the administration had a plan of action, and they were hell-bent on bringing it to fruition.

I was no longer a member of the IEP team. I was that parent who needed to be forced to do what was easiest for the administrators.

I wasn't expecting much from the January 22nd meeting. The team was still district personnel with the addition of the Director of Compliance Education Services.

I did hope to get the corrections made to the wording/facts that were screwed up in the 7-day old IEP, but I figured placement wouldn't change. How does the administration back down from recommending a self-contained program, just 7 days after that recommendation? Even if Cam's performance was measurably better than it had been the previous semester?

See? This is the rub ...

Since second semester started (January 7th), Cam has had no referrals to the Dean. He's had no tardies. He's not only passing all of his classes, all of his teachers are marveling at the 180 turnaround he's made. For whatever reason (and he has yet to be able to articulate it), Cam has finally made the decision to do better.

That has been my proof that out-placement was unnecessary.

The meeting invitation included TEN district personnel. I had Mike, my advocate (the one who has since been fired), Cam, and Cam's band director (who has been AMAZINGLY supportive during this process - fighting to keep Cam at the high school full-time). 

This wasn't going to be an IEP meeting ...

This was going to be a Beat-Em-Down ...

27 January 2013

High School Memories - PART I

*NOTE* I intended this post to be a single post update, but as I started writing,
it became clear that it was going to be far too long for any of you to actually read to the end,
not that any of you will now, but I thought I'd attempt to increase the probability.


It's amazing what can happen in 2 weeks - just how deep of a hole people who claim to have my son's best educational interests in mind can dig - and how help can come from unexpected places.

The last time I wrote about Cam's educational struggles, we were in a bit of a holding pattern. The IEP team had agreed to allow me 8 days to research the four placement options they felt were appropriate.

The meeting did reconvene with a "modified" IEP team - the Local Education Agency Representative (LEA), the Education Services Generalist for Teaching and Learning, Mike, and me. My advocate did not make the meeting, nor did she alert me to the fact that she would not be attending the meeting.

I have since "fired" her - not specifically for this incident, but for her pattern of not being dependable, nor aggressive, in advocating.

Anyway, the meeting was short and ... well? Sour.

I was presented with the four original placement options (Cam's home high school not being one of those), but was allowed to briefly present why I thought he should remain at his home high school. I was then told the other team members not present at the meeting had given "non-verbal agreement" that placement at his home high school was not appropriate.

I requested some additional changes to the verbiage of the IEP as it did not reflect current performance, data included in the IEP regarding past performance was inaccurate, and wording used in the IEP was geared towards a predetermined placement outside of his home high school. I was told that I was presented with a draft IEP on January 4th, that I had plenty of time to review and present any proposed changes at the meeting on January 7th,  that the team had made some changes to the verbiage of the IEP at that January 7th meeting, and that the team would not consider discussing any remaining concerns I have with the  verbiage of the IEP.

And then they changed Cam's placement to the District Alternative High School (the self contained program for students with emotional and behavior disorders, and special education students who have been expelled).

I checked the "I do not agree ..." box, asked for a copy of the Procedural Safeguards for Parents/Guardians of Students With Disabilities, wrote a follow-up email summarizing the meeting that I promptly sent to everyone I thought mattered, and found the number for the Illinois State Board of Education so that I could request mediation.

Within 24-hours, I received an email response from the Assistant Superintendent for Education Services offering up a resolution meeting with the IEP team and the Director of Compliance Education Services present.

I accepted the offer and yet another IEP meeting was scheduled.

January 22nd

24 January 2013

An Open Letter to You - ALL of You

I'm stealing this idea from my cyber friend Gina (with appropriate-for-my-blog modifications) in hopes that I'll get a similar response ...


Dear people who read my blog,

Hi! I know you are out there, but so many of you never speak up. Maybe it's because you are the shy, quiet type, or maybe it's because you live by the "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" mantra. But here's the deal, my curiosity is ... well ... killing me.

It would be cool if you just raised your hand and said, "Hey, it's _____, and I'm here because ___________." If you want to do a little self-promotion, that's awesome too! Anonymous comments are always enabled here, so if you'd prefer to go that way, have at it.

Or, you know, if you want to send me an e-mail, that's cool, too. You can always find me at dana.luann@gmail.com

Look, I know you don't have to tell me. That's fine. The truth is that I'm not going to change my style or topics or anything no matter who says hi. You don't have to come out of hiding.

But to quote one of Gina's favorite movies (which of course I had to google because I am CLUELESS about movie quotes) ... "It'd be a lot cooler if you did."

Kisses to your privates,


18 January 2013

It's Been 24 Years

Half of my lifetime ago.

It no longer consumes my thoughts, but rather sneaks into them on occasion.

I wonder if a time will ever come when I can get through January 18th without going back to that time.

So many of life's memories have faded, yet that moment I walked into out loft apartment and found my husband with a gunshot wound to the head remains vivid - the colors - the feelings - the sounds - the smells - they stay strong.

10 January 2013


The IEP ... not Cam.

The meeting went ... *sigh* ... as expected. We got through the IEP in about an hour, removing language that was clearly written into the IEP to sway placement. Things like:

  • Cameron was suspended and arrested on 12/13/12 for battery and disorderly conduct when he pushed another student and the student fell to the floor. This caused the other student to retaliate and ended in a fight. (Cam was TICKETED for battery and disorderly conduct. The second sentence in this passage was removed from the IEP as Cam is not responsible for the actions of others)
  • Due to Cameron's diagnosis noted in the 2002 report by Dr. Barrett, Cam displays behaviors that negatively impact his educational performance. (In an informal meeting, I shared an OLD diagnostic report with two people on the IEP team, prefacing the sharing with "I am working under the assumption that this meeting is off the record," to which they both agreed, yet they continue to attempt to include this "off-the-record" information in the IEP when Cam has a diagnosis from 2009 that indicated his first diagnosis was incorrect)
  • Cameron has expressed that it would be difficult for him to graduate from high school in a traditional setting. (Cam has expressed that he believes he has been singled out - that staff is just waiting for him to do something wrong so they can send him back to the Dean's office. Cam's observations have been confirmed by both students AND staff)
I felt good about those changes. They more clearly reflect Cam's disability, struggles in school, and consequences of those struggles.

We then came to the issue of placement.

As I shared with you Monday, I was told four placement options would be considered, none of those placement options were Cam's home high school. When I asked whether placement at Cam's home high school was an option, I was told, "We have given Cam an exhaustive amount of accommodations and he has made no progress towards graduation." For the record, his only accommodations are extended testing time, credit for partial work turned in, and preferential seating. Not by any means an exhaustive amount.

There were also statements that Cam requires a therapeutic component to his education. Although I do believe Cam could benefit from a therapeutic component to his education, I know that component can be acquired outside of the educational environment, and at my expense. I articulated that I was willing to make that a provision of keeping his placement at his home high school.

Although it became clear that the team's focus was going to be on that therapeutic component (and the lack of that therapeutic component at his home high school), three of the four placement options they said they would consider do not contain any therapeutic component.

Hmmmmm ... that smells an awful lot like saying one thing, but only giving options for something completely different.

After letting the team know that I was not willing to agree to any placement without first visiting the programs, and having an opportunity to ask questions of those who run the programs, I was told that the "team" was going to change Cameron's placement on the IEP anyway - that my agreement was not necessary for them to do that. I suggested that the IEP be suspended until I was given a reasonable amount of time to explore the other placement options - 10 calendar days. They reluctantly agreed to give me 8 days.

The meeting will reconvene on Tuesday afternoon with a "modified" IEP team - just the LEA, the Education Services Generalist for Teaching and Learning (the meeting is scheduled for 3PM - teaching staff is not required to extend their day past 3:30 so they will not attend), Mike (hopefully), my advocate (hopefully), and me.

I don't foresee agreeing to any of the team's placement recommendations as none of them meet Cam's needs any better than his current placement, none of them are individualized, and none of them meet the requirement of Least Restrictive Environment that Federal Law guarantees.

This isn't going to be pretty ...

07 January 2013

I Have An IEP Meeting At 3:15 Today

Photo Credit
The school called this one ... after Cam's suspension ... I hate to have a shitty attitude going in, but this isn't going to end well.

They want to discuss placement - specifically placement in a program other than Cam's home school. When I asked what the meeting was in regards to, the Local Education Agency Representative (LEA) stated "I am scheduling an IEP meeting to discuss Cam’s placement.  The school would like to discuss the following options for Cameron to best meet his needs.Please understand that these option should not be considered as pre-determination of placement and there is an understanding that this is a team discussion and decision based on the data reviewed.", yet they didn't include Cam's home high school as a placement option.

That sounds pretty predetermined to me ... which is against Federal Law and why the LEA attempted to cover his ass in his statement to me.

The options they are giving Cam?

Night School - a program held at a high school in our district, 17 miles from our home, and where there was recently an armed robbery of a student in the parking lot. The program runs from 6PM - 9PM, Monday-Friday and is core classes only, eliminating Cam's participation in music programs.
Ombudsman - an "alternative" on-line program, contracted for by the school district and held in an office in a business park 17 miles from our home. This program offers daytime hours, 10AM - 2:30PM, Monday - Friday, and is core classes only, eliminating Cam's participation in music programs.
District Alternative High School - A self contained program for students with Emotional and Behavior disorders, 17 miles from our home. The majority of students in this program are special education students who have been expelled from their home school for weapons and/or drug related offenses. This program offers a theraputic component (anger management classes, counseling, etc.) but is core classes only, eliminating Cam's participation in music programs.
Night School with 2 periods at the home high school - the same night school program mentioned above, but adding two classes (Band and PE - Cam's participation in Men's Choir would be eliminated) at Cam's home high school.

When I asked for information on all of these programs (student demographic data, school performance data - the things I am able to easily access for public schools but cannot access on any of these programs), I was told, "Representatives will be at the meeting to answer many of your questions.  Other information can be found on the district website and/or will be discussed at the meeting."

The problem?

These "representatives" were not listed on the IEP meeting invitation which violates Federal Law requiring prior written notice for IEP meetings.

I'm not sure how this will play out, but I do know that I'm done playing nice with people who refuse to offer me the same consideration.

06 January 2013

I Still Hate My Job

I wanted to follow up on a few comments that were left on Friday's post.

Mike commented: Family owned business = very low opportunity for advancement. I thought you were a natural born accountant. What's your degree field? Are you a math major?
And this family owned business is really top heavy on family. I have worked for one other, large, family owned business. Although some of the issues there were similar to what I am dealing with in my current position, they did one thing right - they required any family member who wanted to work in the family business to work elsewhere for 5 years before becoming part of the family business. This gave potential family member employees invaluable perspective on how "real" companies work. 
My degree field is paralegal studies. I was a late bloomer - getting my degree at 42 - and was able to work in the legal field for a little over a year (commuting to downtown Chicago) before it was decided that finding something closer to home was best for the family.
I'm With Stupid (Jay) commented: It probably won't make you feel any better when I tell you that your description of your work environment also accurately describes about 90% of corporate America. I think the two big things that would make any job better would be for it to be doing something interesting and for a decent amount of paid time off. Two things that are very hard to find in this country.
I have worked in corporate America for many years, 7 of those with 3M. Maybe I just got lucky with 3M, but it was nothing like my current employer. Employees were valued. Benefits (including paid time off, excellent and affordable healthcare, and the opportunity to work on independent, innovative projects) were readily available. I know there are much better positions out there, but I also know that I need to take my time finding one of those so that I don't find myself exactly where I am now.
I've been working for 32 years, and I've had some really bad jobs. Nurses Aid in a long-term care facility. Parts Masker in a steel fabrication plant paint shop. U.S. Army Soldier (great experience, crappy job). I've also had some jobs that I really enjoyed.

There was a time when I was just happy to pay the bills, but at my age? I just have no desire to spend my remaining 15 working years dreading each week day. I'd rather work 2, lower paying jobs that I actually enjoy, than 1 job that pays the bills but gives me too much insight into the "going postal" mentality.

Know what I mean??

04 January 2013

I Hate My Job

I know, I should be grateful that I have a job ... blah-blah-blah. Here's the deal. Believe it or not, you can be grateful that you have a steady income and still HATE the manner in which you earn that income.

Two feelings at the same time. Go figure.

I have been working for the same company for 5 years. I took the job - a position not in my degree field, below my skill level, and with a salary about 20% lower than what it should be - when husband and I were still together. With his career being in the forefront, and requiring a long commute and long hours, taking this position was the best decision for the family.

When husband and I separated in 2009, I stayed at the job because it allowed me the flexibility and proximity I needed to deal with Cam's educational needs. My plan was to trudge through the daily grind until Cam finished high school and flexibility and proximity no longer needed to be my focus.

I don't think I can do it ...

I was AMAZED by the change in my attitude - in my stress level - in my libido - when I was off from work for 11 days over the holidays.

I woke up in the morning refreshed.

I had energy throughout the day.

I wanted to have sex (Yes, Mike did enjoy my vacation. Why do you ask?)

I wasn't concerned about how, or even if, my job got done while I was out, and being an accountant, I was missing not only month end, but year end (a BIG deal).

I didn't miss any of my co-workers.

I felt no longing to return to work to feel productive, because I don't feel productive in my job.

When I went back to work on the 2nd, I decided I was going to go in with a new attitude. I actually want to get some satisfaction from my work. I want to be excited about it. I figured a change in attitude could result in feeling good about where I spend the majority of my waking hours.

Within 30-minutes of returning to work, a co-worker decided to clip his fingernails at his desk. Another was chit-chatting in her cubicle - volume turned to 11. And yet another walked into the building, about 10 feet ahead of me, turned around to see me there, and then let the door slam in my face.

Attitude fucked.

Here it is, Friday morning, and I need another 11-day vacation. My stress level has skyrocketed. I'm not sleeping well. I'm tired throughout most of the day. I don't smile.

There is no accountability for work product. Reviews are based on subjective data (my phone calls with the school - about 3/week - are an issue, but co-worker Norm talking to his wife a minimum of SIX times a day is not an issue) and no employee input is allowed.

Communication is non-existent. This is a large, international, family owned business. Family makes the decisions and family decides if they want to communicate decisions/expectations to employees. They seldom do.

I have nothing in common with my co-workers and have ZERO personal relationships with any of them. In the 5 years I've been here, I have done something with a co-worker outside of work ONE time.

There is no opportunity for advancement and EVERYONE gets a raise annually, no matter what their value to the company is (or isn't).

Flexibility and proximity are no longer enough for me to trudge through the daily grind, and I would need to have my salary doubled for this job to pay enough for me to put up with the bullshit.

I cannot do another 18 months here. In fact, I'll be lucky to get through 18 more days without a temper tantrum.

It's time to look for something else.

What things are important to you in a job? What things are deal-breakers?

02 January 2013

Back To Life, Back To Reality

I've been seeing a lot of New Year's "Spirit Words" (You know, like spirit animals?). I don't remember seeing these last year, although several people claim they chose one last year too (Obviously I have not been paying attention).

Anyway, rather than make fun of y'all for conjuring up spirit animals ... errrr ... words ... I figured I'd join in. I even made one of those fancy-schmancy spirit word banners ...


  1. Having or showing determination or resolve.
  2. Having a useful purpose.

intentional - purposive - deliberate - resolute

I thought about using DRUNK as my spirit word this year, figuring it would be a lot more fun to strive for each day, but I figured a bunch of you would think that was cheating.

We'll see how purposeful works out.


Dana Does Digital

It's back ...

Unlike all of you other P365 lemmings, I started back on my Project 365 blog on December 16th.

'Cause I'm special ...

This year, my P365 blog is less about MUST.TAKE.THE.BEST.PHOTO, and more about a quick snippet of my day. Hopefully I'll get a decent photo in there on occasion, but if you decide to follow that blog you'll more often find a photo of Cam's closet, or a McRib than you will some wonderfully composed landscape shot.

That's purposeful ...