Archive for May, 2010

My life is like a chicken dance. You know the chicken in the cages they use to have at state fairs, I’m sure they are illegal now. A chicken, in a cage with a light, a feeding tray and a coin slot. You put in a quarter and the light comes on the chicken gyrates, bobbing and turning while flexing it’s wings a few times. The food door opens and a hand full of chicken feed rolls down into its’ feeding bowl. The chicken is happy and eats her corn pone. Then all is right with the chickens’ world.

I’ve been doing odd jobs to get by up here during the recession. Being over qualified, over educated and out of work for a year now; I’ve done some pretty odd jobs. This current one is grading tests from home. It’s a great gig. “Nice work when you can get it. ”

I wake up at 6:30- 7:00 am shower, put on business casual clothes, jeans and a comfortable shirt, earings and perfume. I am after all going to work. I sit in a comfey chair, in my cubical office cum pantry off the kitchen) and log in to my task.

Like that chicken, I wait for the light that lets me know the que is full of tests to be graded. Then I dance. Depending on the contract I make 6-20 cents per task. Don’t knock it I made eight hundred bucks last week at 6 cents a click. Hellofalotta clicks. But at the end of the day 800 bucks ain’t hay.

Only problem is the que is unstable. This week I’ve made maybe 200 bucks as the que is empty. No joy. I can imagine the pullet in a cage staring out at the inevitable audience of 8 year olds at the Texas State fair gathered around the row of chicken coops outside the farmers building thinking. Which one of you little rascals is going to wanna see me dance.


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Lately, I’ve been using all my education as a substitute teacher k-12 (how the mighty have fallen) I miss being a professor, and someday, I’ll find a Northern college that will hire me. In the meantime, when I’m not wiping noses or passing out detentions.

I work with nonprofit Peacemaking and Community Building programs like AVP Alternatives to Violence Program working with violent offenders in the Massachusetts prison system, training folks in E.I., Emotional Intelligence, which is a fancy name for using some common sense so you stay out of jail. You’d be amazed at the changes that people make in their lives when they know how to act. Another Volunteer effort is Nonviolent Peace Force, Npeaceforce.org which is training to be a cooler really.

I just be my own self and ask people nicely to stop doing annoying things and mediate between opposing parties. I have a bunch of training in it, and give seminars in Dispute Resolution and Conflict management. The DCCCD, North Lake & El Centro have a program to train mediators and ombudsmen.  SMU, my old school, has a masters in Dispute Resolution, they call it a MADR, I think it’s funny; even if no one else gets it.

I digress, I’ve used some pretty fancy terms, mediation, ombudsmen and others. I’d like to put forth some ideas on them.

alas, time grows short… I’m in Boston area now and I will outline some of the mediation programs in this area soon, I promise.

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