March 10th, 2011 — I walk around the corner from bringing the kids home from school. I’m already uber nervous because Drew is leaving on a trip to Ireland in a few hours. He says, “I have some bad news.” My mind races about cancer, or his parents, or my parents. No. “Dave gave me a pink slip today, he’s pretty sure he’ll revoke it — but he had to give it to me before I left.”
I should say this is one of the very few years that we were NOT worried about getting a pink slip. The district had put on their website to hire for one of the band director positions. In fact, they had that eve after Drew got his pink slip (but took it down within a few days).
We brushed it off. Knew it’d get revoked… they always had in the past, hadn’t they?
I sent him off to Ireland with a promise to not think about it. We both broke that, but not by much. He had a great trip. I didn’t have a coronary.
Mind you, he went on the trip with the school board president. His former band booster president was the mayor.
Did they fix it? no.
Honestly, in my heart of hearts — way, deep down I think that if he hadn’t found anything they might not have given him his final layoff notice.
But our hearts knew it was time to go within a few weeks.
And it’s turned out good.
Here we are a year later. That school district is still in a lot of trouble. They’re considering up to 10 furlough days next year, and laying off more elementary teachers. That school district wasn’t just where our job was, it was where our kids were going to school. And if we somehow stayed on last year, we would’ve been chopped this year for sure. Honestly, I think it will take SO long for California to get its act together…. I don’t know when the school districts will “stabilize”. They have to pay SO much for good teachers, they really just can’t afford them. I adored our teachers in California, but I see them getting more and more stressed with less and less pay.
But I digress…. enough about how California is falling apart. I think you’re all aware….
What I am here today, to toast Santa Clara Unified Liberation day — is that March 10th is the day that we started to live our own lives. Prior to that I felt depressed, I saw my whole life in my tiny house laying straight out in front of me. I was starting to figure out how we could maybe increase the size of our house. Drew wanted to get a masters, but all the programs had nothing that he was interested in. His school had a guy who ran ALL THREE music programs (band, orchestra and choir) and made great relationships with kids. They just saw someone they could lay off.
He is Santa Clara Unified School District’s loss. They didn’t even say thank you.
The thing is, that is the place for a lot of people to work. It’s great for them, but we were meant to come here. It was a scary, horrible journey that was a HUGE relief to be done with.
I have so many blessings knowing that this is where we are supposed to be. We are amazingly blessed, and I will probably do a few “a year later” posts in the coming months. I just have to say the SCU liberation day was what started it.
So, when you get a pink slip, maybe it isn’t the worst day of your life. It could very well be the best.
We’re going to celebrate with scones. My kids love them, and we were definitely sent into the proverbial deep fryer a year ago today.
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