I really, really, really need people to stop saying stupid shit where I can see it today.
I can find Ukraine on a map, and I could have found Ukraine on a map prior to all this happening. I know Ukraine is a former Soviet republic. I know it’s “Ukraine” and not “The Ukraine,” although I can’t tell you why everyone seemed to spend so much time thinking it was “The Ukraine” or whether there was some formal name change or this is some sort of Mandela effect nonsense. I know that Kyiv is the capital, although until recently I was under the impression it was generally spelled “Kiev,” and I’m not sure when that change happened either.
I read a book by a pair of Ukrainian authors last year, and liked it quite a bit, but until earlier today I was under the impression that Chernobyl was in Siberia.
I just discovered that the golden dome that seems to be in the background in a lot of shots of Kyiv’s skyline is the Cathedral of St. Sophia, and it looks really damn cool:
It also looks weirdly computer-generated in a lot of the pictures of it online, and I can’t quite figure out what about it is generating that impression.
In addition, the following is true:
I am, in general, Against War.
I am, in its entirety, Against Tyranny.
While I am fully and entirely aware that the US has, to put it mildly, not been remotely the force for good in the world that we pretend to be, I am one hundred percent comfortable with trusting anything Joe Biden has to say against anything Vladimir fucking Putin has to say. Putin is an autocrat and a tyrant and a murderer, and I need you to understand that when I call him a murderer I am saying that he, personally, has murdered people. Joe Biden has blood on his hands too; it is impossible to be the President of the United States without having blood on your hands, but there is no credible moral comparison between him and Putin, period.
Combine the following with the fact that I was in elementary school during the Reagan years, when we were all convinced that global nuclear war could break out at any moment, and fuck an “active shooter” drill, we had actual nuclear bomb drills, and it should not be surprising that I take the side of the Ukrainians in this conflict. I am in a situation where I feel like “the facts” are mostly outside my grasp but the moral fact of the situation does not seem to be; the Russians are invading a sovereign country under what seems to be utterly bullshit premises, and regardless of any other details I feel pretty good about coming out and stating that they shouldn’t do that.
I am also encouraged by reports that there are protests happening in hundreds of cities across Russia.
I am not– and this is where I seem to differ with a lot of people online– going to be arguing with the Biden administration about the details of how they push back against Moscow on this. I had never heard of SWIFT before today and I think probably 90% of the people who are online arguing about whether we should kick Russia off of SWIFT had also never heard of it before today. I support the idea of “sanctions,” but that doesn’t mean that I have any real fucking clue what form they should take. I voted for this dude so that he could either make those decisions himself or hire people who were smart enough to tell him what decisions to make. I’m a motherfucking middle school math teacher in Indiana. This is about as “not my lane” as anything could possibly be. And I have not the slightest idea what the hell we or anyone should do if whatever sanctions package gets put into place doesn’t work, because I really, really, really, really don’t want to go to war with Russia.
…wait, how the hell is it 8:00?
I know the answer to that, and that’s that I had a ton of errands to run after work, so I didn’t get home until almost 6:30, ate dinner before I melted into a puddle, and then had to sit around and do some productive staring for a little while before I made it into the office. I did indeed pick up an Xbox Series X today; it’s still in the box, on the floor over there; I’ll set it up tomorrow. I don’t think any gaming of any kind is going to take place today, honestly; once I finish this I have laundry to put away (the Saga of Putting My Laundry Away has been going on for far too long) and after that I’m probably going to collapse into bed. Didn’t we get a snow day this week? I think we did, and somehow it was still the longest week ever.
I had a lengthy conversation with another teacher on my math team this afternoon, who popped by my room to express some concern about something I’d said to her in a moment of weakness earlier in the week. She basically wanted to make sure I was okay. Eventually we reached the conclusion that neither of us were especially okay and that furthermore neither of us really had any good idea about what to do about it. I haven’t talked about HB 1134 much around here other than a few scattered allusions here and there but I don’t think anyone is prepared for just how many teachers are going to quit if it passes. This year has already been substantially harder than last year was, in firm keeping with the Nothing Ever Gets Better law of public education, and of course next year is going to be worse. Much worse, if the statehouse has anything to say about it, and they’re doing it to us deliberately.
Anyway. I’m gonna go fold laundry.
… and I am following instructions. See you tomorrow.
I have had two mental states available to me this week: Angry and Tired. Worse yet is the pervasive feeling that I’m going to be stuck here for some time; while 2021 is the first year in at least the last five or six that has no claim whatsoever to the title of Worst Year of my Life, the cumulative effect of all of that shit combined with 2021’s own unique shittiness is outpacing my ability to deal with it. The fact that I made it to work all five days this week without seriously considering staying home for any of them counts as a triumph; I spent all week covering classes during my preps, and I know for an absolute fact that two of my teachers who were out this week were out specifically because of stress-related health issues.
I think I’ve written about the rash of kids lately trying to get switched into my classes from the other math teacher’s class; I discovered this week that I have fifteen more students than he does, which sounds unfair to begin with, a situation that does not get any better when I point out that two of his three groups only have fifteen students in them. So the difference between our two student loads is equal to one of his entire classes, and yet somehow on Thursday I had a transfer student added into my 3rd and 4th hour class, which is my murderer’s row. And not to belabor the point about being tired of things, but I am also tired of having to have conversations with our school counselor about stuff that should be obvious, such as when one teacher has fifteen students fewer than the other teacher who teaches the same classes, that teacher is the on who gets all the transfer students. He and I have the exact same schedule so there’s no argument to be made that any given student has to be in one of our classes and not the other’s. Every new 8th grader who comes into the building needs to go into his classes until our class loads are even. Every single one.
Next week is only two days long, and the following Monday is an e-learning day, so at least I have a break coming. I can make it– of course I can– but finding a way to get my mojo back would be super.