Thursday, January 14, 2010

I Should Have Been a Cowboy

The state of Arizona is experiencing its worse budget crisis in recent history. The state of Arizona has a three billion dollar deficit. Over the past few years the state has got itself into this deficit by borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. Peter is now pissed, and he wants his money back. Peter has friends in the Mafia and so the state has decided to balance the budget. Since, fifty percent of Arizona's budget is spent on education (which happens to be in the bottom five for the amount states spend on education), then the cuts will affect the field of education the greatest. I should have been a cowboy.

Last year, Cartwright School District (whom I happen to work for) had to make a nine million dollar budget reduction. In order to cut this much money, Cartwright had to borrow from Peter to pay Paul. Now, one would think that Paul would have learned his lesson with the state, but he must be co-dependent. Anyway, this year Cartwright has to make a $7.4 million to a $9.8 million cut to the M & O budget. Of course, cuts to the M & O budget involve cuts to the school personnel which includes teachers, principals, secretaries and aides. Aides will be let go, teachers salaries will be cut, teachers will be cut, assistant principals will be cut, class sizes will increase. It is called The Stack 'em Deep and Teach 'em Cheap Theory. I should have been a cowboy. I should have learned to rope and ride.

I have worked for the Cartwright School District for thirty years. This is my thirty-first year, and I should have received an award and gift for thirty years of service. I was overlooked and told that there was no more money for service awards this year. (That damn Peter-Paul thing!) But, really what was I going to do with $100 gift card to Home Depot; paint my room again? One reason I continued to teach for the Cartwright District was it had a great retirement package which is now gone. Now, I continue to work for the insurance which the district is thinking of changing or taking away. I should have been a cowboy. I should have learned to rope and ride. Wearing my six, shooter riding my pony on a cattle drive.

In the past, when there were budget cuts at the district I had no worries. I had seniority. I knew I had a job. Guess what? Not any more. The state of Arizona has taken tenure away from teachers. I no longer have seniority. I no longer have any job security. I could be riffed for no reason. If one is a numbers person, and if one needs to make cuts, it would be obvious to start at the top salary. And that would be me. I should have been a cowboy. I should have learned to rope and ride. Wearing my six shooter, riding my pony on a cattle drive. Just like Gene and Roy.

My New Year's Resolution was to NOT be a pissypants! So, I must look on the bright side. This next school year I will have a job. The Cartwright District has promised to honor seniority, this next year, but, at one time, the district also promised to buy back one's sick days at one's time of retirement. A promise to buy back sick days that the district might now just take away. OOPS! I will not be a pissypants! I will not be a pissypants! I WILL HAVE A JOB! I WILL HAVE INSURANCE (one way or the other)! And I LOVE my job. I really do. I don't like breaks. I would rather work. My job brings me joy. My job fills my heart. Even though I am asked to do more and more for less and less, I still love my job and I wouldn't want to do anything else!

Aw, let's face it, what else could a fifty-four year old crippled kid do? I am not fun, but I am funny. I could be a stand-up comedienne. Oops, I can't stand. I could sing and dance my way to fame and fortune. Oops, I can't sing. I could sell flowers in a tube top on the corner. Yikes, that is an ugly visualization.

I should have been a cowboy.
I should have learned to rope and ride.
Wearing my six shooter,
Riding my pony
On a cattle drive.
Just like Gene and Roy,
Singing those campfire songs.
Aw, I should have been a cowboy.
lyrics written by Toby Keith

Paco's Perspective

Yea, and I should have been a great dane, Miss Pissypants!

The Flip Side

I should have been . . . . I should have been . . . . I should have been . . . . okay wait, give me a minute, I'll think of something.

4 comments:

  1. Cathy,
    Patti Ore linked this to her facebook page. We are in the same retirement boat and it keeps getting more and more holes punched into it. If you do decide to be a cowboy at this stage of your life, let me know...I really would make a great sidekick.
    Cindy Eick
    Davidson

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  2. Yeah. *sigh* It's hard to not be a Pissypants. :(

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  3. 你怎麼能經過一片海,而忘記它的藍?.........................

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  4. You are indeed funny, but you are ALSO fun! Thank God for your commitment to teaching. My world is a different place thanks to your influence.

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