Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hodgepodge Wednesday

1. Did you know there is a National Day of pretty much everything in the universe? February 23 happens to be National Inconvenience Yourself Day...when was the last time you were inconvenienced?  In my case, taking care of our now enormous, 4-month-old puppy is pretty much a daily inconvenience of some kind or other.

2. When a room in your house needs painting who does the job?  My hubby. And he gets a wee bit antsy if we help -- he's a perfectionist about that stuff.

3. Are you friends with your cousins? Yes indeed! Thanks to Facebook, we found each other again after many years apart. It's wonderful to have them in my life!

4. Do you use an alarm clock? If yes-is it an actual alarm, music, or something else?  My cell phone is my alarm clock and it is set to a nice ethereal kind of sound for the morning alarm. Because otherwise I might throw it across the room.

5. What do you put ketchup on?  Occasionally I put it on fries, but that would be only be when there isn't any "fry sauce" available (fry sauce is a regional concoction of ketchup, mayo and horseradish). So it takes us a long time to go through ketchup in our house. 

6. What smells make you nostalgic?  The sweet, musky scent of very old houses in the East. I once worked as a docent for a historical site in NJ, and that peculiar aroma always takes me right back. Now that I live in the West, though, no such scent exists -- I have to get it through a blend of essential oils that I purchase locally (it's not intended to mimic the scent of an old house -- it just does).

7. Have you heard about the high school English teacher recently suspended as a result of some things she wrote in her personal blog? You can read the story here but in a nutshell she vented a lot of frustration onto her blog. She didn't mention individual students by name but she did make some harsh comments about kids in general and their parents.

What are your thoughts-If you're a parent is your child's teacher online and are you 'friend' or 'follower' there? If you're a teacher are you on facebook and do you accept or friend students on fb? How about their parents? If you're a student are you friends with your current or former teachers online? Do any of them have blogs you read? If you're a teacher or a parent do you ever use your blog as a place to vent your frustrations with our educational system? So much to discuss...
Teaching is an incredibly frustrating job these days. Teachers have always been viewed as "villains" by their students, but now they are viewed as real villains by the parents, the district administration and the school boards. They are in a precarious position with little to no support, yet are expected to bring about top results in every class. Kids ARE unruly in school. They do talk back, they are disrespectful and too many of them don't know how to work hard (nor do they want to). Too many have parents who live vicariously through them, believing their child can do no wrong -- these are the parents who will come after a teacher just on the say-so of their disgruntled child. I don't know how anyone stays in teaching as a long-term career anymore. 
All that said, I think the teacher in this case should have either refrained from making those comments or should have rewritten the post to tone down the inflammatory level. The online community is an extremely public place to be. She probably should have found another avenue by which to vent her frustration. 
8. Insert your own random thought here. [rant on] Randomly speaking, there are days when I think the entire world is going to hell in a handbasket. The unrest in the Middle East is disturbing. The media distortion of world and national news is disturbing. 
Just on the local level, our state is on the brink of enacting a package of so-called "education reforms" that will, in the end, gut public K-12 education and deliver it into the hands of privately owned, for-profit, on-line curriculum companies (many of whom contribute to the campaigns of our politicians).  In addition, one of our state universities had its Faculty Senate summarily dissolved by the university President, with the backing of the State Board of Education (all political cronies of the Governor).  Our state seems to believe that it will be able to survive with an ill-educated citizenry. Our state will one day be very surprised, no doubt, at the hole it finds itself in. What corporations will settle and stay here, providing well-paying jobs to the area, if they can't get a decently educated workforce?  How will these corporations attract their upper-echelon employees to a community with lousy schools? What college students will want to come to this state for their education if the universities are unstable? The short-sightedness of the state of Idaho is deeply disturbing. [/rant]

I hate to end on a downer note. So I think I'll go play racquetball with a couple of local teachers. We can all vent our frustrations on the little blue ball.

- Catherine


Joyce said...

I have a perfectionist painter type here too : )

I'm curious where you worked...wonder if I've been there? It's not a huge state: )

Nanato4 said...

Re: #8 - Oh my, that's rather frightening. And what's even more disturbing is that all this is being done without any input or say from the average citizens of your state. :-o

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

April said...

I'm right there with you about the sweet, musty smell of old houses. Kind of makes me think of my granny and granpa's house back in Arkansas. I enjoyed all of your answers...have a terrific day!