Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Winner's Circle

In more upbeat news, I won NANOWRIMO!

I wrote a 50,000 word, mostly coherent novel, set in the Jewish community of Winchester around 1200, in 29 days--I had thirty, but wrapped up yesterday...and I rock.

I even get a cool little doohickey! (See cool doohickey to the right.)

This was a really good thing for me to do this month. It took my mind off the problems at work, and the meds, and all that, and got me focused and working on something. And it paid off really well. I feel super-accomplished.

I am proud of me.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Exit Strategy

It's December on Wednesday, and the new job has pretty much become a disaster.

I didn't want to leave St. Dymphna's. There's a reason I left middle school. I now remember what it was.

Today, my principal had a long talk with my class, and I had a long talk with my principal. And I'm starting to wonder if there is a way out of this before the end of the year.

I had applied to an MFT program, been accepted for the fall, and just didn't go. Because...because money, stuff, new job, whatever.

I'm trying to find out if the application is salvageable, if they can admit me for the spring.

A student loan.

A part-time job.

A way out.

I'm depressed, of course, that's part of it. I'm off the Paxil, on the Zoloft.But how do you treat depression when you spend all day, five days a week, trying to teach kids who don't like you or respect you, and have no qualms about showing it?

It's not exactly the most mental-health-friendly environment, let's put it like that.

I feel like hell. I have to go back tomorrow--thank God tomorrow is Tuesday, my easy day. I still don't know if I can face it. I still don't know if I can get through the day. And the next one. And the next one. So far so good. I haven't cried in front of them yet. Everyone else in the damn school, yes, but my students, no.

I need an exit strategy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Here is the J's Mealy-Mouthed Take On The Assault

Read it and weep.

BTW, as a life-long human-rights activist, the Balabusta cannot but fail to be amused by JVP's wild endorsement of themselves for disrupting Netanyahu's speech in New Orleans. They unfurled a banner, yelled a slogan, and were kicked out by security. I've done that. I was doing that when I wasn't yet a bat mitzvah. Big whoop.

The kind of bravery you'd expect people who beat up middle-aged ladies to congratulate themselves on.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jewish Voice for Whaaaa? Again?

Over at Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers, the irrepressible Grant Patel writes up a recent encounter between the poorly named Jewish Voice for Peace and a local pro-Israel activist who was physically attacked and continues to be attacked in words by JVP.

Here are her words. The Balabusta will add that she has met this lady many times, and that she has also seen JVP's choice of 'nonviolent' friends at a number of demonstrations. Given JVP's inability to notice threatening and violent behavior carried out by those they choose to like, I'm not surprised they also fantasize violence by those they attack.

That's all, folks.

"Jewish Voice for Peace" has issued a press release that I attacked several people attending one of their events with pepper spray. They also go on to make absurd allegations regarding my politics and intentions at the meeting.

This is completely bizarre. I am a DISABLED WOMAN (see the legal notice on my car). I carry pepper spray as my only means to defend myself. It IS true that on the evening of November 14, at a JVP meeting, I needed to defend myself. I was physically attacked.

The JVP meeting at Berkeley Senior Center was advertised to the public. I attended this meeting as an individual and not as a member of any organization, in order to deepen my understanding of their perspective on the Middle East conflict.

Ironically, a stated goal of the meeting was to HONOR activists that had recently PHYSICALLY DISRUPTED a speech by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Perhaps I should have understood that as a warning.

THE ATTACK: Around 20 minutes into the meeting, I tried to photograph a woman speaking in support of Israel. Almost immediately, several JVP members surrounded me and tried to take my camera from me. Then they attacked me. They took hold of my arms and would not let me go. They also pushed their chests into me many times and knocked me against a wall. I yelled at them 20 to 30 times to let go of me. They refused to let go of my wrists and forearms and continued to bang their chests into me. They banged me into the wall over a dozen times. Their faces were red from hatred and exertion. As a result of their violence, my wrists and arms are bruised and I am currently suffering serious pain in my lower back. I am unable to work this afternoon and I must take medication for pain relief.

I am a large woman but I am physically frail. As I said, I am disabled.
- I see a pain management physician regularly for chronic back pain. I am unable to move without severe back pain. I have had major surgery on my back. I am unable to stand for more than a couple of minutes without unrelenting back pain and sciatica pain.
- I also have had nine surgeries on my knees which are another main source of pain.
- I have asthma, and I use inhaled steroids daily; the anti-Israel activists’ attack on me exacerbated my asthma and I had to take medicine while at the senior center.
- I also have a serious blood disorder that weakens me. I am currently under treatment by a hematologist/oncologist, and I am on daily chemotherapy.

I am 58 years old. I have a Disabled Person’s license plate for my car. I am physically incapable of overpowering or attacking anybody! The people who attacked me were physically fit and at least 20 years younger than I;

While pleading with the attackers to let me go, I tried to get away but they followed me and kept grabbing my arms. At one point they knocked my camera out of my hand. I bent down to pick it up and tried to walk away. They followed me and continued to grab my arms and shove me into the wall. They isolated me from the rest of the crowd. Because they were beating me up and because I am disabled and could not defend myself otherwise, I sprayed pepper spray into one woman’s face. As soon as I did that, they all backed off from me and let me go.

I resorted to the pepper spray because I feared for my safety and my life!!! I believe that had I not used pepper spray, I would be in the hospital today suffering far more serious injuries. Pepper spray causes extreme discomfort but is unlikely to cause permanent injury. The purpose of pepper spray is to temporarily disable an attacker, to allow time for escape. It worked.

The JVP press release is an outright lie. I cannot and did not attack anyone. I was attacked!