Christine
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30-05-2017, 06:22 PM (This post was last modified: 30-05-2017 06:31 PM by JesseB.)
Christine
I want to put something here. It's not really a request for support. Just something I've never had anyone to talk to about, and I kinda want to.

Christine was the school administrator up here. When I first moved up here I was very lucky to land a job at the school doing IT work. This continued until mid last year (about a week after school started) when some things happened that hmm.... sucked.

I was actually pretty happy up here and as long as I had the school contract I could have easily continued to live up here for a long time. I had my little Mazda still (after this happened my parents discovered the loophole in the title and loan paperwork that allowed my mom to sell my car to my dad without my consent, title said either/or next thing I knew I had no car). My life wasn't perfect but It wasn't that bad and after a year or so I could have easily gone back to college which was the point of my coming back to California in the first place.

The ladies that worked at the school are all kinda cool, very hard working and dedicated. There's also the grounds keeper sometimes I'd also help him out with his projects. It's a very small school with only about 20 students in a very remote location so these kids if they couldn't be here would have to be bused hours to and from school. Christine was a hero, the school was pretty much in shambles when she started, when I came on she asked me to "modernize" the school and get things ready for etesting (you know taking the standardized tests on the computer instead of by paper) so I was working hard on that, I was also working closely with her on securing a grant to get better internet up to the school. We worked very hard all summer to get things ready. I only worked weekends but I also volunteered to help her move furniture n stuff so she could have the classes ready for students by the time the school opened. She was there every day. She was 2 years past retirement and was committed to continuing to be the school administrator until she could leave the school in proper condition for the kids (fully modernized running smooth and taking care to select good replacement staff for herself). The budget was tight but she was a wizard at making it all fit. I respected her so much I asked for a fucking pay cut so I could get more hours in to get things done.

On top of that she would always listen. She was Catholic but never made me feel bad or wrong for anything I thought or believed. I felt safe saying anything with her despite it being a work relationship. Often it was just her and I working together during the summer so it was pretty relaxed. When she would respond with advice or analysis... how do I put it.... I've never encountered anyone in my entire life that could say so much with so few words. Her insight and experience were a force to be reckoned with. She wasn't faking it, she wasn't showing off, or bragging. She was fucking brilliant. Growing up my teachers were kinda stupid, in the end I'd make them look like a horses ass the sleep through class. And still managed to ace all my tests much to their exasperation (since I never did any homework). If Christine had been my teacher she'd have kicked my ass, not physically, but mentally. She would have been fucking smarter than me and I would have known it. Instantly. I wouldn't have been able to get away with the games I played on my teachers, and frankly I wouldn't have been so unhappy or bored in classes. I would have been far more motivated to try as a child. I would have wanted her respect more than anything as a child, and as an adult I wanted to be worthy of the respect she showed me. It's not that I think myself some super genius, it's just my teachers were all REALLY stupid, largely because i only ever got to attend religious schools I'm guessing. Possibly my greatest regret in life that I can think of now is that I never got the opportunity to have her as a teacher. But as a colleague (I mean technically she was my boss but it didn't quite feel like that), she treated me with respect, and kindness. She empowered and motivated me to do far better than at the time I thought I could. And I feel like I got to learn so much from her in the short time I knew her.

I want to say it was a week after the beginning of this last school year. It was a Saturday if I remember correctly she came to me and said "I'm not feeling well, I'm going to leave early. You can go home early too." Of course this was because she was planning on locking up the school and as a part time IT guy I wasn't on the list of people who could lock up the school. Fine by me. I decided I was going to take a mini vacation and play video games until she called me in to work next weekend. Only... she never called. "Ok I thought, she's prolly busy with some other project no need to bug her just yet." My schedule was pretty loose and I always cleared with her before going in to work on stuff because she had so many other things going on at the same time. So the Sunday of the week AFTER the last weekend I saw her, I ran out of soda, ran over to the resort to stock up. I was there paying for my soda when TIff while ringing me up just blurted out "did you know Christine died" I don't remember what I thought, I don't remember what I felt. I do remember Tiff saying "Oh I am so sorry I didn't know no one told you!"

Christine had died the very next day after she told me she wasn't feeling very well, on the operating table at the hospital. That entire week I didn't know. I just sat at home thinking she was busy with work and enjoying my mini vacation.

For her part Tiff is a good person, I spent several weeks before school started living in a refugee camp with her and her husband and son and a little old lady named rose and her stray kitty cat she saved while forest fires threatened all of our homes. Tiff's son is a student at the school and I helped elect her to school bored because the school needs someone on the board who actually has a kid IN that school. She felt horrible that she didn't think to message me on Facebook or go in person to tell me or call, but I certainly didn't blame her. I think everyone was in shock. I mean what the fuck do you do when a superhero dies?

I wish I could have known her longer. I wish I could have learned so much more from her. Most of all I just wish she was still here.

DLJ Wrote:And, yes, the principle of freedom of expression works both ways... if someone starts shit, better shit is the best counter-argument.
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30-05-2017, 06:27 PM
RE: Christine
For anyone who may wonder why I lost my job when Christine died, it's because the new administrator took over and suddenly the school is about to go bankrupt, and can't afford to pay me. Even though I know for a fact that I was being paid out of a grant and that grant money was exclusively for hiring IT support. Christine had told me she had secured my job for the next 5 years, but as soon as he came along everything changed. He scrapped the projects she was working on, made me put back the computers that were being used that are as old as I am and most of them won't even turn on any more.

I've been told (by him and the school board) that she was paying me out of her own pocket but I know that isn't true. My checks came from the damn county, and even though I was part time I was the highest paid employee there. I mean come on no other IT guy with my education, training and skill would go work in a place like this. There's so much more I could say about this, personally I think he's stealing money from the school. Not like there's a damn thing I can do about it. Also technically I was a contractor not a direct county employee.

DLJ Wrote:And, yes, the principle of freedom of expression works both ways... if someone starts shit, better shit is the best counter-argument.
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