The MPFL reconstruction went very well. I had the surgery in June 2010, went religiously to physical therapy 2-3 times per week for 6 weeks, and am feeling great. I still have some pain, but mostly just when I do some kind of deep bending or squatting. I still have atrophy in my quadriceps, but it's getting better. This was a workers comp case, as I slipped and fell on rain water in my classroom. The case is finally in its last stages, and I'm glad I got the surgery. It was a hassle, for sure, but my knee feels much more stable and I'm not as scared now to participate in different forms of physical activity.
As far as my job goes, I did not get a pink slip since I have 10 years of seniority with my school district. Many of my colleagues with fewer years did receive one, though. This semester I've been completely out of the classroom as the school's testing coordinator, but that position has been eliminated. This means that maybe the school will still find a way to fund the position, but maybe not. If not, I'll return to the classroom. I'm not sure what I'd do if offered the position half-time. I did that first semester, and it's very hard to switch modes from the classroom to testing office like that.
One good thing that happened to me just this past week is that I found out that I passed the School Leadership Licensure Assessment. I took this gruelling test back in February to see if I could get my administrator's credential. It costs about $500, and this was the last administration of this particular test in California. I figured it would be much cheaper to cough up $500 than go spend two years and $15,000 getting a Master's in administration. I don't have the masters, but I have the same credential now that anyone who just graduated with a Masters or PhD. in educational administration would have. It was a tough test--six hours of essay questions. I wrote for the entire six hours! My score was good--188 out of 200. California has the highest minimum passing score in the country--173--so I was happy I passed. Now, I can apply for the Certificate of Eligibility which allows me to seek jobs as an assistant or full-time principal. Crazy, huh? Some friends and I have begun talking about starting our own charter or pilot school, and this would give me some great options with my credentials.
Another thing for which I'm keeping my fingers crossed is that my friend and I win the Fund for Teachers grant for which we applied. We are asking for $10,000 to travel to New Zealand to study the Maori achievement gap and the Kotahitanga programs that have successfully started closing that gap. We hope to take ideas from their programs and incorporate them into our current (and hopefully new pilot/charter) school. I find out on Monday or Tuesday of this week.
Finally, I've been sad this week because Elizabeth Taylor died. I've always loved her and have often said I'd take a sick day at work on the day she died. Well, I didn't get to do that because I had to give a test. But, it was fun hearing everyone's stories about her. It seems everyone in L.A. has some kind of Elizabeth Taylor story. She was an amazing person, and I have always admired her most for her work with AMFAR. Oh--have you seen the Decorah eagle cam? I'm totally addicted. I have no idea why I am compelled to sit and watch a bald eagle sitting on its nest, but it's cool. I love that the mom and dad take turns sitting on the nest, and when one gets tired of sitting, they screech and the other comes to provide relief. Check it out if you get the chance--the eaglets are set to hatch this week!