Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge: Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Today’s prompt: Write a piece of prose around the question: “How do we stay focused when the world around us is falling apart?” https://godoggocafe.com/2020/03/17/tuesday-writing-prompt-challenge-tuesday-march-17-2020/

Our world is falling apart. People are scared. People are dying. If you are one of the millions or billions of people who live on our earth and are paying attention to COVID-19, you are like me, you are here wondering what to do and what is going to happen.

As of this moment, 9:07 pm, Eastern Standard Time, Northeast Continental US, we (the citizens of the world) are being told to stay home. What do we do to keep our sanity? What do we do to continue living when dying seems to be knocking at our back doors? I turn to art.

For me, art is a broad category. According to Webster one of the multiple definitions of “art” is the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects. During this time I write a lot! I am also drawing, using both the worldwide web and some books I ordered, to teach me multiple techniques. I am learning to draw human features. I am learning to draw 3D objects properly. I am also learning to draw animals. My goal is to become a better artist so that I may illustrate my own children’s books. It also keeps my mind and body occupied at home.

Am I scared of COVID-19? Yes, a little bit. As many of my followers and other readers know, in the last 18 months I lost my husband and my son. I don’t want to lose anyone else, obviously, but emotional pain is draining and I believe it weakens our immune systems. I believe if more of us can keep in touch and provide positive vibes, prayers, and hope, we can conquer this mess.

©2020 March 18, CBialczak

Loss leading me to live: Sunday Writing Prompt

Sunday Writing Prompt “Life Changing” https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2020/02/23/sunday-writing-prompt-life-changing/
So for this prompt I want you to think of something or someone that has changed your life and discuss in what ways your life changed. It could be a medication, a piece of technology, a near death experience, an epiphany you had while in the shower, a television show, a sibling. The possibilities are endless!

In 2018, I became a widow. I was told by several people that I would need to get used to my new life. When I heard this, I knew it was true, but it was unfair, because I didn’t choose any of it. In 2019, I lost my son. This was the ultimate game changer. With the help of counseling and the support of loved ones I have come to realize that I need to make choices that are for me! How is this a change? Well, when I look at my past, there is nothing that I regret, and certainly wouldn’t change my marriage or children, but I do see times when I made decisions, not on what I wanted, but on what I felt was “right”.

So, now that I have begun to learn what this means I was actually put to the test a few weeks ago. I was given the chance to possibly get back teaching in a classroom. I was appreciative of the offer and felt good to be asked, but when I thought about it I said to myself, “I don’t want to be in a classroom again.” Since my last teaching job I had told the students I worked with that I was there to stay as a teacher. My students meant a lot to me. That was an honest statement. I told them I would only leave if it were to progress in my career and get an Assistant Principal job or something like that.

When I didn’t go back this past fall, I felt badly. I didn’t tell the kids, I didn’t even know I wasn’t going back. After my son passed I just couldn’t go work with adolescents again. It was too painful. To this day I have always hoped that they knew I wasn’t teaching at another school. So when this opportunity was presented, not only did I not want to be in the classroom again, I thought how much it would hurt those students who I had told I would be there for. I would have felt bad if they learned I was teaching at another school, not with them. I know this is what life is about, and that not all things go the way we plan, but when I declined the opportunity to get back in the classroom, I knew I was making the right decision. I felt good about it for myself, and for keeping my word to those children I hope I have touched in some way.

VJ’s Weekly Challenge: regulars

When I think of regulars I think of Charlie. If anyone is reading this that worked with me at the restaurant I believe you are smiling right now. I will never forget Charlie. Genuinely nice. I remember one year I asked him to come to Christmas Eve dinner at my house. He was alone and I loved having an open door for Christmas Eve. He never did come. I don’t think Charlie is here with us anymore. RIP Charlie.

I can list so many other regulars that have been in my life. The guy on Saturday mornings that came for a cup of coffee and always left 25 cents for the tip. The couples who would order the same thing every time. Now I am a regular at two places, one for breakfast, one for lunch and dinner. I do order almost the same thing every time. What is it with the regulars?

Ragtag Daily Prompt: goodbye

There once was a woman who lived on a hill. She was a smart woman, friendly to all beings. One day this woman, whose name was never revealed, suffered a terrible loss. She had to say goodbye to the ones she loved.
Later that same month the woman saw a young couple crying. She thought they were lovely, young, and probably newly married. The woman approached the couple, not wanting to startle them, and quietly took a seat next to them. The couple looked over at the woman, and since she didn’t spark any curiosity, they turned back to each other and began to cry again. The woman sat quietly. About ten minutes later the young man turned to the woman and asked her why she was still sitting there. The woman said she sat down as soon she saw them both crying. The young woman turned to the older woman and told her that they had lost their unborn baby. The woman laid her hand on both of their intertwined hands. “You will find peace once you are able to say goodbye. Know that God has an angel.”
The young couple nodded their heads that they had heard. The quietly stood up and began walking away.
The woman also stood up and began walking home. She felt close to the young couple because they too had lost someone they loved.
From that day forward, the woman vowed to be there to help others who were in terrible pain from losing a loved one. She wanted them to know they would never be alone.

©2020 CBialczak

JusJoJan #16: Experience

Once, a few years ago, I wrote a blurb on LinkedIn about having or not having experience when looking for a job. It still perplexes me that you are kind-of screwed no matter what, unless of course you find the perfect fit, which is rare but possible!

When younger people graduate from college they have limited experience. In today’s world, unlike when I was in school, internships and other practicum are widely offered and encouraged. Yes, I know, they had them back in my day. In fact, I did one! I spent a semester working in Walt Disney World in Florida. I was a salesperson, a team member if I recall the official name, at Epcot Center in the shops right at the beginning of the World Showcase. I also sold “glow” in the evenings. This experience was fantastic and I met my best friend there and we are still very close!
Anyhow, it seems to me that now this is the norm, not the exception. That being said, some students do graduate with experience, however, if they loved what they were doing they were probably offered jobs and not looking for a job right out of school.

Then you have the other group of job-seekers, those who have worked for many-a-year and have too much experience, hence…not a good fit, “we are looking for someone who is fairly new to this”.

I wrote the article because at the time I was looking for a teaching job. You see, I have two masters degrees and certification in regular ed and special ed. I then went on to get my certification in Administration. Great! right? Wrong! I put myself in a position where public schools now have to offer me too much money for their budgets based on my experience and level of education. Bit me in the butt! My last job, at a high school, was great and because one director knew another director, so they knew I was worth every penny! Now, who knows?
So, if I want to ever go back in to the classroom I probably don’t have a chance getting a job unless the district is desperate. If I want to go into Administration then I am at a good place because I don’t have that experience and therefore, start at the bottom of the ladder. Sounds like it would be okay, right? Well, then you get to the interview and they want to know what experience you have with administration, and you have none. “We’re sorry. We were looking for someone with just a bit more experience.”
I know, I know…Being a teacher and working with paraprofessionals is sort of like administration, at least comparing the duties. I have that. I think I was good at it. I was also really good at behavior management, perfect for applying for an Assistant Principal job. But, here I am, hoping to sell my home in the next few months, moving to a new state and BAM! I won’t have the right credentials!

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t!