Archive | November, 2021

Holiday Masks

30 Nov

Last January, I pulled these two from the dryer and put them away. At the time, I believed I’d never need them again.

Last week, after decorating my house for the holidays, I pulled them out again. It’s disheartening that we are still navigating the pandemic. Although I wear a KN95 all day at school, I use cloth masks when I go to the grocery store and library. It is nice to have some festive flair as we enter the darkest time of the year.

Let’s hope that, when I put them away in January, they stay put

The License

23 Nov

On September 23, three months before my birthday, I hit the submit button renewing my teaching license. The last time I did so, five years ago, I had a remarkably fast turnaround, getting my new license in less than 10 days. I knew it would be different this time – everything is different now – so I hit the button and forgot about it.

The email arrived on Thursday

Now, it used to be that teachers got an actual license in the mail. Several years ago, they stopped sending the paper and gave you a digital image. This time through, I could find no digital image to send to HR. Instead the email stated, matter-of-factly that Employers can view your license record through the Public Search feature of eLicensing, and you can print a copy of the Licenses tab to use as proof of licensure.

Weird, I thought as I took a screen shot of the page and searched for the person in HR I should let know. Like, the image of my license, it was not to be found, but I found an orange button that said EMAIL HUMAN RESOURCES so I did.

I went back to the License Tab. When I’d filled out the form, I’d accidently left off one of my endorsements and I wanted to see if they’d included it. They had, but I discovered something far more interesting. My license expires on December 23, 2026. That’s the year I hit 30 years in our retirement system and the year I can retire on a full pension. This will be my last teaching license.

It would have been nice to get a paper copy.

Twinvent

9 Nov

The word in the wild is that shipping was going to be slow this holiday season. My holiday gift giving might small, but I always send a package to my twin sister in Canada. Over the years it has gone from just presents, to presents and an homemade Advent calendar.

It’s one thing to get a box of presents to her home before December 25th. It’s something else completely to get an Advent package to her home by December 1st. With the rumors or slow shipping swirling in the stormy Fall winds, I knew I needed to plan, prep, and ship early.

In September I sorted through my leftover skeins of yarn. (Did I mention we now send yarn Advent calendars?) I kept my eyes peeled for other little treats whenever I shopped. By October, I was ready to pack. Last Monday, November 1st, I mailed the parcel.

Shipping is usually pretty straightforward. I wait in line, fill out the customs form, pay a ridiculous amount of money, and off the package goes. This time, I got a postal clerk I’d never seen before. She must have been a newbie because she was a stickler.

“What does this mean?” she asked pointing to the words Advent calendar on the form. Clearly she’d never heard the term because blank eyes stared back at me.

“Can I just scribble it off?” I asked, moderately frustrated.

She nodded then asked about the other two words on the form: yarn and candy. It was the candy that bothered her.

“What kind? Is it gum? Chocolate? Canada is usually not a problem but it says ‘detailed description of contents’. ” She wasn’t using a friendly tone, so I reciprocated.

“Look,” I began, “There are 24 different kinds. I have been doing this for many years. I’ve never had a problem and I am willing to take my chances.”

She rolled her eyes at me, skeptical, but processed to my package as I desired. I left, a little disgruntled with my service, but I let holiday replace that feeling. I had a tracking number!

I tracked my package from Portland, to Hillsboro, to San Fransisco and through Canadian customs. I could see the package would probably arrive by the end of the week and let my sister know. She had mailed her package containing the Advent calendar she made for me on Tuesday, November 2. Her tracking said it should arrive by Friday November 9. Holiday festiveness filled my heart.

Yesterday afternoon, during my lunch, my phone pinged. My sister sent a photo of the package. It had arrived. One week was a new record.

When I got home, I was gobsmacked by a parcel sitting on my front stoop. her package had arrived at my house the same day mine had arrived at hers. I dubbed it Twinvent.

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