Saturday, February 27, 2016

Oh, Golly

Today I found an email from Scott's Guidance Counselor:

I was wondering if we could set up a time to talk?  It is anything urgent/crisis but a couple of teachers have talked to me about Scott and I would like to talk about possible resources. 
This can be conference call if this is easier. 
Let me know when a good time would be for the two of you.


This is a Friday, and it's 3:11 when she sent it, 3:15 when I got it.  Gary got it too because he's already replied.  He didn't even ask what it was about.   He wrote:  "I can generally talk anytime during the day.  Right after school gets out will be fine too."

Uh.  I'm sure she meant "it is nothing urgent/crisis...", but she did write, "it is anything urgent/crisis..." etc.

I put off finishing my work documentation long enough to write:

Would you mind letting us know what the teachers have talked about with you?  That kind of message usually strikes fear on my heart.  Monday or Tuesday might work for me.  Around 330?  Or I might be able to come in in person on Tues.

OK.  We've been through a really hard last 10 months.  It's totally wrung me out.  A hideous, awful thing happened last year, involving Scott, and now he's in his first year in high school.  He left a small school of about 300 total (K-12) and moved on to a polytechnical high school with over a thousand students.  While things went fairly well at first, mid-term he took a nosedive academically. Gary and I spent a few weeks at the end of the first semester working with the counselor in getting him some accommodations through Section 504. With tutoring 2 days a week his rocking boat began to steady.  He's had a good start to the first month of the new semester.  And now this?

Oh, and look at that typo.  Great.  Fear on my heart?  How did I not see that before I sent?

She replied:

I didn't mean to strike fear which is why I am emailing you on a Friday night so you can have a good weekend.  The concern is that Scott's focus has been on the "social" aspects of school.  Not uncommon with teens and I understand that this is very important.  Again, nothing in a "crisis" ...just something I think that we should talk about how to best support him.
Monday after school we have staff meetings and Tuesday I already have booked after school. Anyway you can come in on Tuesday before 3 pm and then we can call Gary?


Sigh.  Am I projecting?  Her response sounds a little stiff.  And, actually it doesn't make sense that if there was nothing to worry about she'd email a message like that on a Friday "so you can have a good weekend."  I'm sorry, that seems like a total non-sequitur.  You don't send something like that on a Friday afternoon if you're expecting someone to have a good weekend.  At least, I wouldn't.  And then do I read into it that she thinks that I don't have a cause to feel worried, and that it should have been obvious to me that if, on a Friday, late afternoon, she sends something like this, it's because I don't have cause to worry that she'd send it?    I guess that's what I sense; a bit of rebuke, that I should know that if she sends something like that on a Friday afternoon I can rest assured everything is all right.

Then to add insult to injury Tuesday is my day off.  My only-every-other-week day off, which I cherish, and try to not do chores-like stuff on.  Except the last several of my days off I've had chores-like stuff to do.  This upcoming one was already a bit compromised because my car needs maintenance.  Apparently it's all-day maintenance because they're going to give me a complimentary car for the day they have mine.  I'm taking my car over Monday evening and presumably picking it up sometime before 7pm on Tuesday evening.  Scott's school is in an opposite direction from the car dealership, and the other direction from my home.  It would put a serious dent in my day off, to be over there at two (not to mention the anticipating of the conversation all day).  (Another sigh.  I'm being selfish.  A discussion about Scott's wellbeing should take precedence over my day off.  I'm petty to not have surrendered it already without a thought.)

This in the larger context, for anyone who's read any of the earlier (now ancient) stuff I've written here, of a prolonged separation and (at last) completion of the divorce in late September last year (and then having to hit the ground running to refinance the house in my name-- and get it done before the interest rate jumped its huge quarter-point--get a new home equity line of credit, sever our joint bank account, take Gary off of my benefits package from work, while doing Thanksgiving and Christmas, whew.).   (At least I didn't have to change my name.)  Anyone who has read the earlier writings knows that I spent a year or two blogging about my process of decision to divorce, and then my spottier 5 years' chronicle of  living separately (I had to get a job, and there went the writing time).  Roughly 3 years of our arrangement involved Gary and I doing the switching from apartment-to-house-and-back while the kids stayed in the house.  Nearly two years ago Gary moved into his own place on a houseboat and the boys began to do the commute.  Now the house is  mine, having paid off Gary's interest in the settlement.  Scott is two weeks with me, and one week with Gary.  That seems to be the best arrangement for him.  Connor has graduated from high school, is taking college classes, and has a less formal schedule.  He stays with me when it works for him; with Gary when it works for him.

So, anyone who reads this, would you feel uneasy if you got a message like that from your child's guidance counselor, at the end of the school day?  On a Friday?  Does it make sense to you that a message like that would assure you of a good weekend?



Lori Lavender Luz said...

Well, I had a comment all lined up and it went away. I was empathizing with you both about the late-Friday alarm bells and with being faced with giving up precious hours of your day off.

Ugh on both counts. I hope by now you've got an idea what's up, and that the school is sharing with you some helpful resources. Glad to hear you and G have settled things after the long limbo.


Anonymous said...

A late-Friday message like that would definitely leave me very uneasy and I would never send something like that to parents if I wanted them to have a "carefree" weekend! I'm guessing, though, the counselor was thoughtlessly just trying to "clear her plate" before she left for the week. Or she was trying to get all her appointments for the following week set up.

In any case, I'm sorry it fell on your rare time off--I get so frustrated when I think I have this block of uncompromised time to look forward to and then something untoward occurs. I'm pretty sure I would have tried to move the appt. by a day or two unless it felt very ominous. In any case, I hope the counselor was eventually reassuring and things are back on track.

So glad to see you writing (and excavating) again! Whew, what a year you've had!

excavator said...

My apologies in being so late to respond to these comments. Being so long away from blogging, I think something's gone wonky with my notifications.

Yes, the counselor WAS reassuring, things are on track. Scott's doing well in his first year of high school, though I won't entirely exhale until we get his 4th quarter report card. The progress report looks good, though.

Thank you, for your support--so appreciated