Monday, June 22, 2015

Shining Stars

My youngest great niece is graduating high school this month and will be heading off to college in the fall. Her new school's colors are navy and gold.

Juliette's a bit of a shining star herself.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I Feel Sick

Recently my Facebook feed contained a friend's post about one of her subordinates at work. Said subordinate had taken two days off because of a misspelled illness, very close to the time she was to have completed an on-line course for an advanced degree. My friend posted because of incompatibility: either between a misspelled word and an advanced degree or because of the timing of the illness and the deadline for completion. In either case, the post generated some interesting comments. This happened around the same time that another friend spoke about a classic Nunzilla, this one the head of a Catholic school whose policy was that a doctor's note was required for any sick day and a funeral card must be produced to verify that sort of absence. Of course, I got to thinking.

On one occasion during my growing-up years, my mother let me miss school to go with her on a bus trip to New York City. I don't remember anything at all about the Big Apple day, but I've never forgotten this uncharacteristic behavior of my mother, who actually lied in writing an absence note for me, saying that I had been sick.

Perhaps this is why, when my kids got to be of high school age, I introduced them to the concept of Mental Health Days. I told them that in adulthood there were occasions when the stars were not in alignment, and a day off from work was in order. Throughout their three years of high school, I said, I would be willing to sign one absence note per semester with no questions asked. It could be because it was a Monday and they'd had too much weekend, the term paper was due and it was far from finished, a major test was coming up and much additional study time was needed, a broken heart from a break-up with a beloved, or anything else. To the best of my recall, my daughter was striving for a perfect attendance award and never partook; whereas, her brothers only ever completed their term papers due to this loophole (I think Tom claimed the broken heart option once). I figured they'd learn about time management/due dates when they were in college and hoped they'd land jobs where unscheduled paid time off didn't require six kinds of documentation. At the time I was working at a Quaker school where a very occasional Mental Health Day was a legitimate reason for an absence.

I've never had a job where I had to keep account of subordinates' absences, though I did have to read a lot of questionable "sick" notes when I worked at the school. My Facebook friend, I suspect, is the sort who would look the other way as far as the days off so close to the exam. The spelling -- well, that's between the candidate and the college.

In looking for a graphic to illustrate this post, I stumbled across this site. The spelling and grammar errors notwithstanding, it could be just the product you need if your sweetie broke your heart last night!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Two World Views

This lengthy quote -- erroneously attributed to the actress Meryl Streep -- has shown up in my Facebook feed a few times in the past couple of weeks. Turns out that Meryl never proclaimed this but rather it came from a Portuguese self-help guru, but that isn't why I'm sharing it.

The whole piece strikes me as oozing arrogance and self-importance. I'm astonished at the people who are posting it and implying that they share the sentiment. I'm imperfect; so is everyone else I know.

It is interesting that this seems to be shared as wisdom acquired by reaching a certain age. Perhaps this is so for some. My mileage has varied: As I've aged, I believe I've become [somewhat] more patient and have developed a bit more tolerance. I've tried to adopt a different mantra:

Some days, I'm  more successful than others!