Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cold-Blood and Warm Hearts

For the third time in five years, Audrey has found herself laid off from her position as an Educational Assistant. This time, however, her future is even more uncertain, and if she does get called back, it is unlikely to be to the same school.

From a safety perspective a different school suits me kinda fine, but I recognize that this is just me being selfish, and that it takes a special kind of person to want to be in that environment. Once you have worked with that type, it is not too likely you are going to want to trade the people who heard the St. Crispin's Day speech with you for a potential bunch of glassy-eyed clock watchers. Not quite Stockholm Syndrome, and yet...

Still, this sad news didn't stop Audrey from following through on her promise to look after 'Dude', the Kindergarten class's leopard gecko.

The girls have talked about getting a lizard for some time now, and while I have no serious objection, I certainly have questions about space, lighting, the questionable aesthetics of our fridge hosting live worms and dead newborn mice (the endearingly named 'pinkies') and so forth.

Like his namesake though (waitaminnit, what the hell are kindergarteners doing watching The Big Lebowski anyways?), Dude is pretty laid back, and a good houseguest, dietary issues notwithstanding. He is not particularly leopardy, and may actually be an African fat-tailed gecko, so part of his easy-going nature with me might actually be due to common ground in that regard, but who knows.

I'm hoping Audrey can take Dude back to 'her' school in the fall, but that seems like a slim chance given the depth of the cuts this time around. Next best outcome is going to another school that will undoubtedly be glad to have her, since very few classrooms are going to be eligible to have an EA next year, and class sizes will need to increase due to a lack of teaching positions.

Obviously, budgeting of any sort involves having to make hard decisions sometimes, and living within your means is important, but we haven't even recovered from the effects of the Klein-era cuts from the 90s, and same as then, the ones most affected are those who can least afford it: the developmentally disabled,the elderly, and our children.

I mean, at least if Dude gets his tail cut off, he gets a chance to grow it back, y'know?

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