Archive for the ‘Nice Try’ Category

Hey You, Out There On Your Own…

Hello.

If you go to a town hall meeting to shout and scream, listen up.

Your rights are not being violated when you are called out on your behaviour. In point of fact, when your unruly actions shut down an otherwise calm discussion, you are violating the rights of those around you. You, Mr. Town Hall Screaming and Spitting Guy, are essentially in the wrong.

The Town Hall meetings are supposed to be informational. And Senators are not required to have them. They are a courtesy to constituents. Something we saw none of during King Bush’s Reign of Ignorance. That we are, as taxpayers, being offered the chance to hear facts about the proposed bill and decide for ourselves how we feel about it is actually kind of nice.

Not being able to engage in a discussion because some random is pushing an agenda, not so nice.

Are the disruptions being organized and funded by third parties? It wouldn’t surprise me one bit. It’s the oldest tactic in the book(cough TammanyHallcough). Disinformation through disruption is a very old and effective political trick. But that’s all it is , a trick.

The use of these disruptive practices; false information, misleading statements of fact, is killing the necessary overhaul of the American health care system. Palin’s ridiculous and damning assertion that the proposed bill would put her Downs baby to death is nearing the criminal. Particularly since she probably has the means to afford proper life long care for her child. What if she didn’t ? What if she was working a minimum wage job and trying to pay for medical care out of pocket because her employer was getting around the health care benefit requirement by only giving her 38 hours a week instead of forty? Or she was denied access to necessary care because the child was born with a pre-existing condition? I’ll bet she would be singing a whole other tune.

These are the people who are being hurt by the current system. The ones who need the reform.

Not Palin. Not Republican middle class screamers. Not insurance companies.

Let’s face it, the health care industry makes an assload of  profit. It’s only right that they would throw a temper tantrum when someone tries to rein them in a little. That doesn’t mean they are in the right. It doesn’t mean they are free to disrupt and derail the democratic process.

Whether or not we agree with the proposed bill, people at least have the right to hear about it.

No one has the right to shout insults or scream until they silence the understandable curiosity of another person.

No one has the right to bring guns to what should be a rational disscussion, regardless of their right to carry concealed. This is an implied threat.

And  why aren’t those who are using Twitter  to issue these threats of retaliation and violence at Town Hall meetings (and they are legion) being arrested?

Dogwoman

If You Only Knew

Hello.

I read a news report about a substitute who was fired for doing a magic trick in class. Oh and he let students use a computer. I’m willing to bet he didn’t let the students use it, they just waited till he wasn’t looking. Or lied to him.

Another Sub was fired for having blue hair.

The charges against the Subs were, respectively, wizardry and paganism.

I find this interesting, considering that Subs are expected to be magical beings who can wave a wand and keep a class of forty two strangers under control while simultaneously getting them to do ridiculous busy work.

The complaints came from parents. Parents. Oh, parents.

Recently, I was redirected to another job at the last minute. After getting into the class and starting my morning walk about, a parent came to the door with two little ‘uns and began without preamble to scream at me. I watched and waited for them to take a breath. This took a while. When they finished calling me everything they could think of except ‘fine individual’, I smiled and said:

” I wasn’t here yesterday and I have no idea what you are talking about.”

“Aren’t you the Sub?”

“I am a Sub, but not the one you are looking for I think.”

” Oh. Well my kids” indicating the two children who hadn’t said anything thus far, “said he was screaming at them.”

I nodded. ” Well, you could go to the office and discuss it with them but, right now I have to finish reading the lesson plans. Sorry.”

“Right.” Then they left.

The problem is that the parents have no idea how their children behave in school. The class mentioned above contains no less than eight conduct disordered and special educations students. I know this because I have spent a lot of time in that particular class. The students don’t get away with much when I am there, though they do try. Of course they try, they’re kids. And it’s ten times worse when a Sub is there. On this day, a student from this class was given a three day suspension. He came back after I sent him to the office and said ” You got me suspended.” I replied in my best teachery voice, “No, —, you got yourself suspended by making a poor choice. Next time, think carefully before you act.” Which of course was followed by the student yelling “I hate you.”  Sigh.

If parents could see what their children really do when Substitutes are in the room, I think the two people at the beginning of the article would still be employed.

Wizardry and Paganism are not really the issue. The issue is parental complaining. If they think that their children are being treated badly they don’t stop to rationalize the problem, they just go off. My children, over the years, have come home telling me about a mean Sub and I always ask them what they did to make the Sub mad. Inevitably, the answer is ‘nothing”. Bull. I know better. And so do they.

In the course of this last year I have been subjected to: Paper airplanes , paper wads, bits of erasers, pencils, paperclips, books and marbles thrown at me during lessons. I have been threatened with physical harm, spit at, screamed at, pushed and physically intimidated. I’ve been told to fuck off, get fucked, fuck you. I’ve been called bitch, geek, loser, stupid, dumb, not a real teacher, idiot. These are general education students. Every parents’ precious little snowflake treats strangers this way. Strangers, I might add, who have come into the class to help them learn.

So the next time your angel comes home whining about a Sub who was mean, take a minute to think of all things said angel might have done to push that person too far. Everyone has limits, even substitutes.

Paganism and wizardry, my ass.

Dogwoman

Edumacation And Bad Spellings

Hello.

I could rant on about the candidates, but watching them shadowbox each other is so boring I can’t be bothered.

However, I can rant on about the new No Child Left Behind regulations that Margaret Spellings is rolling out.

Miss Spellings , a woman who has never been in a classroom, whose degree is in political science, has decided we need more ‘accountability’ from the schools and more programs to involve parents.

I live in a place where all three high schools have failed to meet the NCLB standards for the past five years. The city’s solution has been to make ALL of the teachers re-apply for their jobs for next fall. When I ask student’s about it, I get an earful. They are afraid that the teachers they are familiar with enough to take their problems to will be gone next year. When I ask teachers about it they just roll their eyes and shrug, as if to say ‘What can you do?”

Spellings is not concerned about the students or failing schools. In this district there has been a significant elevation of students who are classified as Emotionally Impaired, most of them being conduct disordered. However, there are few solid programs to deal with this influx and many EI students end up in general classrooms, where they are disruptive. Overcrowded classrooms, lack of educational aides, run down, non-functioning schools are just some of the actual problems facing Administrators. Where are the increases in Federal funding to help? Don’t hold your breath waiting for Spellings whose real concern is mirrored in the following statement:

“Over their lifetimes, dropouts from the class of 2007 alone will cost our nation more than 300 billion dollars in lost wages, lost taxes and lost productivity,” said Secretary Spellings. “Increasing graduation rates by just five percent, for male students alone, would save us nearly eight billion dollars each year in crime-related costs.”

Because being fully educated means one will never commit a crime. Alberto Gonzales, Paul Wolfowitz, various Republicans caught with their pants down.. these people have cost our nation millions in prosecution and work loss but apparently, if you’re over educated this is more acceptable.

As for parental involvement. In this district they practically drag parents into meetings and programs. Every night I get phone calls about town meetings, forums, PTA, special programs for  parenting…. it”s endless. The fact is, some parents just don’t care. Many do but, some just don’t. All the regulations that Spellings wants to impose on the schools won’t make them care. It just makes the NCLB goals that much harder for the district to reach.

I have a solution. If Margaret ‘I’m a Political Hack” Spellings were replaced with an actual Teacher or School Administrator whose primary concern is real students rather than imaginary numbers things might change. Continuing the number crunch and calling it Educational Reform is just garbage. The NCLB is churning out students who can take a test but can’t hold a job, spell or do basic problem solving. And people like Spellings are taking it out on the only people who are willing to work for low pay and even less respect, Teachers.

Education is about the students and their futures. It’s about making sure that student’s have the basic tools to live and work in an increasingly complex system. NCLB and Margaret Spellings are throwing political wrenches into that system at  will and then blaming the very people who are trying to do what they ask.

Our political system, the one that controls our education system, is full of twits.  And Spellings is the worst of the lot.

Dogwoman

Win At Any Kost

Hello.

I just came across a post at the Daily Kos stating that Michigan voters should vote for Mitt Romney because it would screw the Republicans. And since our votes don’t count anyway, what’s the harm?

The harm is:

1.Why would would we want to duplicate Republican tactics that say “win at any cost” ? Emulating shysters makes one into the very thing one is fighting against.

2. I hate Mitt Romney. If we really wanted to screw with Republicans we should vote for Giuliani.

3. I have to live with myself after the election, you know. And one can only take so many showers in a day.

4. There isn’t a Republican candidate that stands a holy hell’s breath of chance at winning the Presidential election. Honestly, President Rommney? Huckabee? McCain might give a a good run but he’s crazy and a liar, so no. And even the Republicans know it.

So thanks Kos, but no thanks. And stop encouraging your readers to participate in this nonsense. It’s a smokescreen. The Kos backs Obama, who is not on the ballot in Michigan. They wouldn’t want Hilary to win Michigan by much of a margin. Between the inevitable write ins and other factors it’s possible to crush and dismiss a Clinton win in Michigan.  What better way to avoid that little faux pas than to ask us to vote for a Republican candidate?

I’m not buying what you are selling.

Dogwoman