They did not even send the forms to me on full sheets of paper.
One hand written note from the District's Human Resources Executive Assistant asking me to fill out and return the attached form as soon as possible in order to officially resign from the district.
The form itself is photocopied onto pastel purple paper, requiring all of my contact and identification information and my signature. A half sheet of paper in the annoying non-font of Comic Sans--cartoonish and cheerful as all forms from school officials try to be.
As if a comical font would offset the news of hours of meetings to come, programs to be reduced or demands to be met.
I resigned with my own black Pilot G-2 05 pen.
Click. Scratch scratch scratch. Click.
Refolded the paper and placed it in the envelope provided.
I must use my own 42 cent stamp to finalize the end of my teaching career.
The President of the San Diego City Schools School Board spoke about the Governor's severe budget cuts that would reshuffle the positions of district employees so that even if a teaching credentialed administrative assistant position is cut it will mean a Vice Principal becomes a classroom teacher, a classroom teacher becomes an assistant of some sort, and whoever was last hired leaves the district. It's called bumping. Something to do with city employees and fairness to someone or another and the state not having made enough money in sales and property taxes this year.
I listened and was relieved not to have to prepare to do battle to keep our journalism program afloat or our English photocopy allowance in place.
But these papers make the destructive work of Depression so final.
My life has been stripped away.
Now there is no work that can serve as my source of success-based self-esteem or relationships.
Even the dogs don't need me to walk them each morning anymore.
I am left to attempt what my doctor told me people do to have a place in the world with healthy relationships. All I have to offer is loyalty, generosity, sensitivity and love. Somehow, that is supposed to be enough for someone to let me hang around.
If depression wanted all of me, it got it.
I am just a million grains of sand on the beach indistinguishable from all the other grains. There is no Best of Show sculpture left. Just the ashes and dust from whence we all began.
I will not build another castle.
I know they blow away.