Published: November 24th 2007November 24th 2007
i woke up this morning to the roar of a big storm. the sky is dark and clouded over, and the wind is howling. as angry as it seems outside, it is so peaceful in my house. i have some candles lit for if the power goes out (which i assure you, it will), and a big cup of coffee sitting next to me. now it's time for an update:
i have joined a gym! it's called the mandi asian spa and it's at a resort at the north end of the island. since it is a full spa facility and i have a year membership, i get to work out, use all their fancy pools, saunas, library, and HOT showers! it also gives me discounts on massages, hair treatments, and all the food served at the resort. it's pretty rockin sweet. it feels so good to start working out again, and after a long day at school, it's the perfect place to go to unwind.
i can't remember if i have written about my car, but whatever you may know about it, picture it now 10 times worse. after erik ran into a tree with it, the bumper is falling off and the trunk won't even open anymore. well, my neighbor and landlord, jerry, backed into it a couple weeks ago with his truck, then, coming out of the gym last week, found my back left light all smashed up from someone else who backed into it in the parking lot. haha. the poor thing. it still runs really well, but in real bad shape.
wednesday was a day off from school for the students, but the teachers had 'education day' where we wasted a whole day doing stupid things that didn't need to be done, such as dance around for the staff members, watch powerpoints about things the principal didn't know anything about, and get our checks which had all suffered big cuts. yes, that's right, all the teachers working for pss (public school system) got a pay cut. the thing about it is no one told us until we were handed our checks. we had no idea it was coming. no one could plan for less money this pay period, because the commissioner of education, our superintendent, not even any of our principals had the guts to tell us. they jsut sat back and watched our jaws drop as we opened our checks. it sucks. it really sucks, not as much for me, but for those families that are working from penny to penny, paycheck to paycheck. i work with plenty of families who can't make ends meet. just the other day, a teacher on my team came into my classroom and asked me to buy some beautiful, old, expensive(!) tiffany necklaces that she was planning on passing down to her daughter, because they couldn't pay their bills. and these are the people with the best jobs on the island. minimum wage here is $3.05, which is insane anywhere, and some of the employees at my school are getting that wage. how can that be cut any more??? it doesn't make sense. now, teachers are threatening to leave the island if they don't get the money back. what if pss can't give us the money? do they just lose all their teachers? what happens if all the good teachers leave island? do some schools shut down? there are just a lot of questions running through everyones' minds right now as to what will happen between now and next pay day, when we are supposedly going to get refunded for the money we lost. it's also really bad timing because this month i need to start paying off student loans, and the money they took from me is two months worth of payments, down the drain.
considering the paycuts and all the other chaos in my life right now, i have officially decided what i am doing for christmas! drumroll please....i am going to bali! me and three of my friends i have met on island are going to go because it is so cheap and a beautiful place for diving and shopping! the plane ticket, round trip, is a little under $600, which is way better than the $3100 i would have to spend to get to prague to be with my girls, although i would give anything to be with them this christmas. also in bali, the dollar goes really far because it's such a poor country, so we'll be able to do a lot on a little.
thanksgiving was a fun day i got to spend with my saipan family at my old house on navy hill. a couple of my old roommates are still living there and hosted the party. we had 16 people show up! it was a lot of fun, with lots of food! even though we were all together, there was a hidden, underlying sadness throughout the day because we all wished we were with our real families instead. when i got home that night, i had a major meltdown on skype with my family in bemidji, which made me feel a little better, but it will still be 7 months until i get to be back home with them for a while. a year is a long time to be away from family, especially this far away, and during the holidays, it's really starting to hit me hard. skype is definitely a lifesaver though, because there is just something about being able to see the people i am talking to really helps me deal with being homesick a lot easier.
last weekend, i got really sick of how boring and un-homey my house was, and kinda went crazy redecorating. i went to this sweet asian-themed store and bought lots of cool things which make my house look way better already. i was also going to paint during this long thanksgiving weekend, but got too busy doing other things, so maybe i'll have to make it an evening or weekend project.
i can't really think of anything else to write about right now, so i'm headed to the gym for a while, then back home to get some work done, since i haven't done a thing for school all weekend.
hope you all had a great thanksgiving and are enjoying the holidays!
love you :)