It wasn't trivia that won me that Starbucks card over at Nancy's blog. Whatever it was, I'm a happy, happy soul. You need to go over there and meet her darling boys!
Maybe good fortune was really smiling on me because I not only won that gift card, but I escaped near death when a slew of cans fell out of a kitchen cabinet. There has been a rise in insurance claims involving kitchen accidents in the last couple of years. I may not have gotten hurt, but the cans did cut in half my son's cell phone charger wire to the tune of a $26 replacement.
On Monday, I was greeted by an enthusiastic yet muddled student who has spent the first half of the semester questioning my course structure, the assignments, the worthiness of English to be taught at a community college, how writing essays would help her as a plumber, and so on. But this day, she was loving English. The essays finally made sense. She had conquered her personal version of Writer's Block and was actively engaged in liking me and my class. I assured her that while 30% of college freshmen drop out, 50% of all college enrollees never graduate, so her fourth attempt at passing English was exemplary.
At some time during that lovely exchange, my son's school called to say he really couldn't breathe. Our family scale is 1-10 for asthma. One means he could run all day without trouble while 10 means we need to see the doctor today. When the secretary, who clearly thinks my son is a bit of an actor, put him on the phone, he whispered, "I'm 5.5." It was enough for me to leave work and pick him up. After all, the number of pediatric asthma deaths has declined since 1999, but the number of doctor visits to treat asthma has more than doubled in that same time-frame.
On that same note, we are going to see the ENT next week to determine if afore-mentioned child needs another set of ear tubes. One pediatrician said yes; one said no. We shall let the ENT decide. Doesn't it boggle your mind that 700,000 kids get ear tubes each year?
I should have been an ear tube doctor or maybe an orthodontist. The husband\wife team charged with improving my daughter's smile, work three days per week and see their final patient at 3:00. The first appointments start about 9. Consider these facts and then cry at the career choice you did make:
- private practice average income = $420k, based on a survey by the American Association of Orthodontists
- average # days worked: 4
- average # hours worked per week: 32
- average malpractice insurance : <$5,000 per year - only 2-3 years of residency after dental school, no fellowships required or even available
Those numbers make me cry (I don't know whether they were emotional tears or reflex tears) but I do know that when I was done, I remembered that I forgot to thank our hostess this week, Mrs. 4444. I don't think she earns $420k a year, but I suspect that what she does as a special education teacher is of far more value than straightening smiles.