Zigaboos

Just a funny word to start a problematic post. Problematic because I wrote it yesterday and thought I’d posted it only to discover it disappeared; likely, because of my haste to get a dozen things done at the same moment.

So I’ll start over. Right now I’m swimming like a salmon upstream to spawn with lots of Grizzly Bears in the water. For three days I have written, roughed out really, half a dozen long tomes to send fellow school board members and our administrators. I have the thinnest possible chance to stop the School District into leaping into a black hole and I’m almost beside myself trying to figure out how to stop an implosion minutes before the plunger falls.

Today, if I’m up to it, I’ll do the next and tougher step of editing all the thoughts I’ve let tumble out on nine separate letters comprised of 19 pages of heartfelt logic, history, metaphor and any other kitchen sink I can think of to throw in.

Some this I’ll eventually make public. One that will soon see the light of day is a plea I’m likely to give when we vote on the the teacher’s contract. I may soon compose another to send to the Duluth News Tribune. I don’t know when the guillotine is about to fall but I’ll be working like this till the executioner pulls the cord.

But I have a life to life in the meantime and that’s what I recorded in brief yesterday before I pushed something other than the upload button on yesterday’s post.

Mostly I talked about the books that are piling up around me. Here are some new ones in no particular order:

I read aloud to Claudia. I think she welcomes this despite a formidable reading list of her own for her Seminary classes. She has about twelve books to read in three months. She has cheated on her Book Club by letting me read aloud a couple of books for that group even though listening to me is far slower than reading the books for herself.

I found a book I’d heard about on NPR recently when we stopped by to pick up more books at Barnes and Noble. That shopping expedition earned our grandson’s school some magic brownie points and we almost tipped the scales with a one hundred dollar book purchase. One of the impulse buys was a National Book Award winner, Sherman Alexie’s: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Tme Indian . I just read that “young adult book to Claudia in three days. It helped that it snowed straight through one of those days. Claudia knitted while I read and we paused to watch the cars spin uselessly below our sun room window.

I’d like to read it to the kids at Lifehouse where many of the kids our school district fails wash up. I’m just a piece of the furniture there to the kids who probably only see a gray bearded old fart hanging around awkwardly not sure how to start a conversation. Fortunately I’ve played Scrabble and Table Tennis with them and brought my sketch book to ease into conversations. I’m set up to be a tutor and I guess I passed my criminal background check. I’ve got a tutorial set up to learn the Plato computer learning system for kids working on their GEDs.

I’ve got the Blue Book of Minnesota Government that Sen. Roger Reinert sent me and today, a couple days after I received it another interesting book written by one of the Authors of the Charter School legislation that brought Edison and a hundred other Charter Schools into existence just before I got elected to the School Board in 1995. Like Rudy Perpich whose brainchild Charters are Ember Reichgott Junge is a DFLer. I’m guessing that I’ll find a dull book fascinating the way wonks often do.

I’ve also got the School District’s 70 page budget for last year in front of me. I got about 12 pages into it when I was seized with worry about our next four years worth of budgets, the projections of which the Business Office has withheld from the Board as we contemplate approval for salary increases we can’t afford for the next four years. Oh still my beating heart.

By the way I’m not through with my medical evaluation. I go into St. Lukes for more testing tomorrow. No caffeine for me until I walk on the treadmill and get fitted for 48 hours heart monitoring……speaking of which there’s an uncomfortable sensation near their now…..probably from sitting at the computer keyboard too much lately.

I also have a fascinating document from the past which says that the IRRRB (Iron Range Resources Rehabilitation Board) is unconstitutional. I found this when I inquired about the Triple RB’s giving Iron Range Schools money to build a new school. I have my fingers on lots of interesting history.

The last book I’ll mention came up in a conversation with Claudia yesterday. I mentioned to her that a few years ago I had gotten a widely acclaimed book by Harlem Renasaince author Zora Neal Hurston. I explained how she was an ethnographer of her people and wrote the southern patios they spoke in “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Then I dug it up and read the first chapters. I can tell its going to be a powerful book but you have to get through some pretty tough dialogue to get there. Luckily I’m pretty good reading it. Here’s a sample:

“Most of dese zigaboos is so het up over yo’ business till they liable to hurry they self to Judgment to find out about you if they don’t soon know. You better make haste and tell ’em ’bout you and Tea Cake gittin’ married, and if he taken all yo’ money and went off wid some young gal, and where at he is now and whereat is all yo’ clothes dat you got to come back here in overhalls.”

“Ah don’t mean to bother wid tellin’ ’em nothin’, Pheoby ‘Tain’t worth de trouble. You can tell ’em what Ah say if you wants to. Dat’s just de same as me ’cause mah tongue is in mahfriend’s mouf.”

Gotta Go. I’m meeting with a financial advisor to put our retirement finances in some kind of order in fifteen minutes.