Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm thankful for a lot this year. Of course I'm thankful for friends and family. I'm thankful for my little dog who hangs with me no matter what boring thing I'm doing, including writing the blog. He motivates me to get out and walk, even on bitter cold days like today. He's gonna need a winter coat today for sure.

I'm thankful for living by the water and for being able to walk by it every day. I'm especially thankful for the days, months, and years when the water doesn't come to our house to visit. We're Sandy-free for five or six years now. 

I'm thankful for having the best job there is, and I'm thankful for the drive to keep it that way. I'm thankful to all the kids from all over the world who come here and make my job possible. I will fight for them this year, because New York State is depriving them of much needed instruction. I'm thankful for the ability to do that, and I'm thankful for support from my friends, family, and union brothers and sisters.

I'm thankful for the subway ad that led me to this job in 1984, I'm thankful that my driver's license expired that month and I happened to be on the way back from the DMV in Jamaica on a subway train and came across that ad. I'm absolutely thankful for the administrator who asked me if I wanted to teach ESL, and when I replied, "What's ESL?" answered me with, "Try it." 

I'm thankful for colleagues who don't hesitate to get right in my face and tell me what they want and need. I'm thankful they chose me to be their chapter leader. Sometimes I tell people my job is crazy, and I'm sincere in that. Sometimes people take that as a complaint but it isn't. I'm thankful to know that I thrive on having a crazy job, I guess I should've known that after lasting as a New York City teacher, but I wasn't really conscious of it until I became chapter leader.

I'm thankful to all those who read this little blog and my scribblings elsewhere. I'm driven to do this work and I can't stop. I'm thankful for education warriors in and out of the union, too numerous to mention here without forgetting some key person or other.

I wish each and every one of you a joyous Thanksgiving. Please don't spend the weekend fighting over crap in stores. If you must, go online. Go to and look for the crap you want. You'll be thankful you didn't get trampled in a mad rush to save eight dollars over the new iPhone.

I'm thankful not to work in Walmart, and I'm thankful not to have to direct the herds of shoppers looking to buy some New Thing. I will work to make sure our jobs don't become like Walmart jobs, despite the druthers of many powerful grifters. I'm thankful to have the long weekend, and I'm thankful my students have it too. I only hope some of their parents are as lucky as we are.

I'm thankful to be in a position to support working people and fight for bettering working conditions. I'm thankful we were able to elect a blue Senate in New York, and thankful for the possibilities that implies. I'm thankful we were able to elect a Congress that will stand as a check on our frothing-at-the-mouth batshit crazy President.

I'm thankful for having administrators that, though we tangle over this and that from time to time, are generally Not Insane. I'm thankful and lucky to have had such administrators for most of my career.

I wish everyone reading this a restful and joyful weekend, and I hope that spirit follows you for the rest of the year and beyond.
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