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A shiver in my bones just thinking about the weather

To quote a 10,000 Maniacs song above, lately the weather has been freaking me out. I cannot believe the death and destruction in this country as a result of tornadoes and floods. It is jaw-dropping to see pictures of neighborhoods that have been leveled. And it is so sad to think about the lives lost, many of whom went to bed the night before as they always do, never to awaken again. Wow.

Two nights ago, while lying in bed, I listened to the wind howling. A few times I closed my eyes tight, hoping the roof would not lift off. My heart was pounding, and I was praying that one of the tall trees in our backyard would not come crashing through the roof (or our year-old windows, for that matter). Fortunately, when I walked around the house the next morning, the only thing I noticed was about a dozen tree branches scattered throughout the yard and our ladder that blew off the side of the house (really wish Brian would put that thing away!).

Then last night, after going to bad happy that Hines Ward won the coveted Mirror Ball trophy on "Dancing with the Stars," a storm came through. There were a couple of loud claps of thunder that jarred me, shaking the house, which once again made me worry that something would happen to our house or the people in it. But fortunately, the storm quickly passed, and I managed to fall asleep, thinking about another storm...

Yeah, speaking of storms and things that send a shiver through my bones, I have been compiling results from the school survey I helped carry out. I have over 80 in my possession, which is about a 35 percent response rate. It was more than I thought we would get, but fewer than I hoped. A number of parents are happy, which is great. I have read through what I consider a lot of good ideas and reasonable complaints. The thing, however, that sends the shiver through my bones is what a couple people said on the survey (and one person directly to me).

Some parents think there was a "secret" meeting/group prior to the survey, which is not the case at all. What did happen is, as I sort of mentioned in my last post, people at the tuition meeting had some good ideas and wondered what could be done, so the principal suggested a committee be formed, and she passed around a sign-up sheet at that meeting. So, yes, if you were not at that meeting, then you would not know about it. I have no control over that, and I cannot speak as to why it was not opened up to everyone. But the main thing that came about as a result of the meeting was the survey I had suggested and put together (which ultimately contained much input from the committee, a few teacher friends and the principal). If people are so upset that they did not get to speak up, isn't that what the survey is for? Share your concerns there!

And if people have strong ideas, then talk to the principal. Don't just complain about things; be part of the change! If I had been unable to attend the tuition meeting, I might have felt ever-so-slightly slighted that I did not get to be part of this new committee, but I am confident I would move on, grateful to have the opportunity to speak my mind on a survey (which, again, is pretty much all the committee did). I hope that the people who feel slighted talk to the principal and volunteer to help make some of the changes. Quite frankly, I am not sure what else those people expect or want to do.

Maybe an objective person can help me understand. Please?!


Lynnette said…
I think that somehow, no matter what good you're trying to do, some people will find something to be mad or upset about. So I'm not sure there's anything you could have done differently. You did nothing wrong. The people complaining are the ones who are in the wrong. They should have been at the tuition meeting. If they couldn't attend, and they wanted to know what went on there, they should have asked someone. Instead, they get mad at you for administering a survey which you did to try to make things better for the school. If they want to wallow in self-pity about not being able to participate, that's their problem, not yours.

Having been responsible for something very big in the catholic school system, I speak from experience. No one else volunteered to do the job that my husband and I were doing, yet we certainly got a lot of complaints from a few mouthy people about how bad of a job we were doing. You know what? They can't complain... if they didn't like how things were being run, they should have volunteered or got involved or something. It's just so wrong to complain about the job that people are trying to do who are volunteering their time, and in the end, are doing it for the school, and not for any personal gain.

They need to just get over it.
Facie said…
Lynette, you are right, I know. I want to walk up to these people and say what you did about the meeting, but I am going to let it go unless someone approaches me first.

I also would love to remind these people that in the fall, the school hosted a "casual conversation" meeting, where people could talk about their concerns. Only about 10 people showed up. In fact, most of the people at that meeting were the same ones who were at the tuition meeting and volunteered to be part of the new committee.

I did not have a lot of friends at that school anyway, so it is not as if I will be losing much. But if this affects my kid in any way...
As a former teacher, it seemed to me that lots of people - students, parents, fellow teachers, administrators - were often interested in seeing change, but weren't always so interested in helping make positive change happen. It's easier, I suppose, to complain than it is to work to help improve a situation.

I think it was Gandhi who said, "Be the change you want to see in the world."
Facie said…
Good quote, Kristen. Thanks! From reading through over 90 ranked surveys with comments plus another 70 "free-writes," I think the masses will get restless if nothing is done. But I do hope those who complain are willing to step up and help.

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