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Entry date: 10-14-2022 - Huffing and Puffing - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Today I get to wake up in Maine. By the time you read this, Mark and I should be headed to some sort of adventure in the Rangeley Lakes region. It will be the first time Mark has been in Maine and I’m so happy to have him with me on this first leg of the journey.

It is time, yes, for Rhondi to start the process of coming home. I am so happy about this. It also means that I have another long trip in front of me and I’m okay with that. With everything that has been happening lately, it will be nice to get out on the road and clear my head.

When I start back to work on the 24th, it shall be interesting to say the least. I will be at my fourth school in the same charter network in four years. The school I really want to work at, the online school, is not an option this year and may not be again. Perhaps I will find my new home and not want to leave.

This whole experience has shown me a lot about the company I work for right now. I call it a company because that’s what it is. School districts are companies, too, in a way, but they must answer to the neighborhood a bit more than a charter school does. At least it feels that way.

This is probably a good time to really consider that for next year, I should find a job with a district. There are many aspects of where I currently work that I enjoy, of course, and I would miss it if I were to leave. I’ve been with my current employer for over three years now and am nearing the halfway point of my fourth school year with them.

I have only worked three places longer: Casa, Easy Street, and Televerde. You will learn about the latter soon enough. I am a loyal guy when it comes to work and I don’t like rocking the boat unless someone insists that I do so. It is feeling like it is time for me to rock the boat. I believe the powers that be are insisting that I do.

Considering that I am just a cog in the wheel, it really won’t matter to them, the royal they, if I stay or go or if I am happy or indifferent to my job. Turnover in my company is huge. I fear it is expected and the ones who suffer from this are the students.

When the letter went out at the beginning of this week to parents about the changes that are being made to their children’s schedule, there is no mention of music and Russian being taken away. I’m wondering upon whose shoulders the responsibility for communicating that two teachers the students love are just going to be gone when school commences on October 24.

Is it my responsibility to let the students know I won’t be back? No one was talking. I had an interview on Monday for a new position. Hopefully I will have heard by now if I have that job. I hope my future self is feeling a lot better about all of this.

A week ago, I asked (via text) my soon to be former principal if we could have a short chat as I had some questions. He never responded. The regional director of the charter school network I work for also sent me an email on Thursday that said I should reach out if I have any questions, so I did. She did not respond either.

At least the email did say that I would have a job.

Enough of that stuff. I want to get back to having Mark in Maine. One of the things I have longed to do for years is show the people I care about most this place. My dad has been up twice and I’m sure would come back often if possible. My mom and stepdad even visited once, but I’m not sure they were as enamored of Maine as I am.

Eric was my best man when Rhondi and I got married and I know he would like to come back. I have extended the invitation, of course, and I’ve also told several of my other brothers from other mothers that they need to come see for themselves. Next summer should bring a few visitors, but with my work schedule about to change, I will have a lot less time to be in Maine, most likely.

Mark and I have been friends for 37 years. That’s a long time. It’s very fitting in a lot of ways that he is here with me this week. Once I get back to Phoenix, I will write about what we did and share those stories. I might even have to add some bonus blog stuff. We shall see.

I think Mark will appreciate the easiness of Maine and how time just sort of slows down a bit. I hope that the short visit will be long enough to get a taste of that. Three days is not very long, but we do have to get to Chicago so he can fly home. More than anything it will be nice to have a week together, almost to just talk and be and see things together.

If time travel were a thing, I would pop back and watch the action from the first time we met. I think it was at Tommy’s. Ben had started at Camelback at the beginning of the 1985/86 school year and had met Mark then. They became fast friends and then Ben introduced me to Mark a little bit before I had decided to move across town and in with my mom.

We hit it off pretty quickly and as time went on, Mark and I bonded and became the friends we are today. Oh my, the stories I will tell about the adventures we have had. Some were borderline scary, too.

Have a wonderful day, dear reader.

See you tomorrow.

Rangeley from up over Haley Pond.

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