Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Ramblings for the Afternoon (7/26/05)

The Comics Get It Right
Today's Non Sequitur
has hit on the very essence of the problem with movies nowadays. You have to have a willing suspension of disbelief in order to get through most summer movies. Instead of the plausability, concentrate on the actual art. Is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory possible? Not really, but it sure is pretty.
The Test Has Occured
Today my reading students took their test. How did they do? Well, I won't know for weeks, but here's the breakdown for the day:
2 students did not show up for the test. That's right, five weeks of classes, and these two decide that the whole reason for showing up is unnecessary. Brilliant.
Of the 29 who showed up, seven attempted to sleep through the whole test. No matter how often they were tapped or whatever, they would put their heads back down and try to sleep.
3 students' tests will not be validated as they cheated. When you drop your answer sheet toward another student and look at their test while you're picking it up, it might or might not be cheating, but when you do it three times, that's cheating.
The other 19? A few did not finish the test, others rushed, and a few should be fine.
On Top of That, There's This Problem
I don't turn in my grades (or credits) until Friday. Several of my students in my second reading class have to be there everyday this week in order to get credit. Unfortunately the coordinator came into my class today and passed out completion certificates and passing grades. That's right, several of my students, a few who were not going to pass, have now been allowed to pass thanks to the coordinator. Not only does this totally and utterly undermine my authority, but she has now socially promoted students who do not deserve to move on to high school. What the hell? Seriously, WHAT THE HELL?!?! Why bother having these kids come into my class? Just pass them all the time then. What is the freaking point of me busting my ass for five weeks to prepare these kids for a test, when they can not show up, they can do no work, they can even skip the test that they're prepping for the whole time, and yet they can still be given credit for doing nothing. If the answer is, "I am being paid and that's enough," then things need to change. Look, when it comes to politics, I am not really a Democrat or a Republican. Think of it this way, if St. Paul is the Republican party and Minneapolis is the Democratic party, then I am somewhere neeeaaaar Tokyo. I really hate American politics (I'm using the word "hate" here, folks). And yet, politics has totally and utterly screwed up the school system. Is it the fault of one party or the other? Nope. It's BOTH their faults. However, I don't want to write pages upon pages of a political rant. Suffice to say, by allowing these kids to pass, because the district doesn't want older kids in lower classrooms. Great. My father once warned me about this. He's a History professor, and he's failed students only to have the administration change the grades without his consent. I guess this is what's happened here. Is it fair to me? No. Is it fair to the students? No way. Some of these kids just flat out cannot read, and yet, they will move into high school without being able to do the work. They are being cheated, and because they are moving on, they will probably fail on the standardized tests, meaning that the school will fail according to No Child Left Behind, which means less money, which then means fewer teachers, and on and on the vicious cycle goes. Oy VEY!
On a happier note,
I Got Quoted
In today's copy of USA Today, I found myself reading my own name and words in the "Life" section. An
article talking about whether you like to go to the movies or you like to stay at home has my little ole opinion in there. It's very weird to read my own words that have been put out for a nation to read. Granted, maybe only five or six people see it, but it's still weird. My sister is a journalist for the Litchfield County Times in Connecticut. She's read by the entire state of Connecticut, and yet she still gets shocked sometimes seeing her name there in print. It is strange. People are looking at what you're saying and then making some sort of comment. Granted, I understand the blog is the same thing, but really only a few people really read this thing. Those of you that do are quite loyal (which is why you rock). It's all very odd.
A Dating Story
So, here's a bad date story to make people feel better. When, during the summer between my sophomore and junior year of college, I was suddenly single again, I was hanging out with a girl that lived down the street from me. We'll call her, Allie. Wonderful girl. She was (and continues to be) a fantastic web designer and artist. Her skin was so white, that I liked walking down the alley with her, because she lit up the walls. For a while, every night we would end up either on her steps or my porch and would just talk while she smoked. Well, after a while, I just decided to ask her on a date. We went on our first date to dinner and a movie. Dinner was at Fridays, and the movie, strangely enough, was Saving Private Ryan. On a side note, everyone of the dates she and I went on involved movies. I was on a date with her when I almost got my ass kicked seeing The Blair Witch Project.
Anyway, we're at Fridays. We get seated in the bar area, and the way it works is that the bar is sunken and lower than the eating area. As dinner progress, Allie puts her drink up on the edge of the table which is over the bannister (who designed it this way, I don't know, but it's REALLY brilliant). Allie, prone to falling down and other famous klutzy movements, swings her hand around and knocks the drink over the side. In slow motion, I shoot my hand out and catch the glass, but most of the drink spilled down on top of a couple below us. Now, I am a short guy, but at the time I was muscular and stocky. The drink had spilled all over a biker who was much bigger than I am. Imagine you're him. You're wet. You're unhappy, and you look up to see some guy holding the glass where the fluid came from that is now all over your head, shoulders, and chest. What's the first thing you think of or do? Would it be:
A. Grab a knife and stab, stab, stab.
B. Ask your date if she's ok, and then scream and shout.
C. Go up and pour your drink on top of the person who spilled it on you
D. B and C.
E. None of the above.
If you answered B and C, you're RIGHT! That's right. He asked the girl at his table if she was all right, then he screamed at me about being, "a little bitch," and then he came up, and even though I offered to pay his bill, he poured his beer over my head. I did nothing in retaliation, except laugh at him and ask if he was still in high school. He just grunted, swore under his breath, and walked off. The bartender ended up escorting them out. My bill was free, which was nice, and Allie just felt really bad. Over and over, she just kept saying, "Oh my God, I'm so sorry."
Now, very wet, and without extra clothes, I sat underneath the hand dryer in the bathroom for five minutes, then we headed to the movie theatre. Now, I don't know about you, but I've never thought of Saving Private Ryan as a date movie. And yet, there we were for two and a half hours. After watching it, neither one of us felt very romantic. On the contrary, we were quite, well, depressed. So when we returned to her apartment, nothing happened. I dropped her off, gave her a kiss on the cheek, and went home.
We were sort of together/ sort of not for a while. I ended up freaking her out by giving some of my stuff (an old Playstation and some games) to a co-worker of hers whose son was very sick. I didn't need the stuff anymore, so I figured he might like it. It was my understanding that the kid was essentially dying, so I wanted to make him feel better. This, along with our not-so-great dates, and my stalker, and a friend who was a homosexual but was still possessive of me ended any romance. She was also in love with a friend of mine. She'd never admit it, but I know it. I would bet that she still carries a torch for him.
Final Thought
It's kinda funny when you write about a stalker, and no one really says anything to you. Even weirder is when you go to work the next day, and you swear that the girl interviewing in the office is your former stalker.
Hope everyone is having a nice day. Until tomorrow, goodbye. Off I go to the dentist now.


Admin Worm said...

Thought you might like this news story:

Teen who threw up on teacher sentenced to clean vomit from police cars
Associated Press
July 27, 2005

OLATHE, Kan. -— A high school student convicted of battery for vomiting on his Spanish teacher has been ordered to spend the next four months cleaning up after people who throw up in police cars.

Johnson County Magistrate Judge Michael Farley said during the sentencing Tuesday that he considered the boy's actions "an assault upon the dignity of all teachers.''

The teen, now 17, vomited on teacher David Young as he turned in his textbook on the last day of classes at Olathe Northwest High School. His attorney, Brian Costello, said the student vomited because he was nervous about his final exams.

But two other students testified that the teen said he threw up intentionally. One girl said he told her in advance that he planned to throw up on Young on the last day of school. The girl wasn't in class when the teen threw up, but she testified that the boy later told her, "You missed it. I did it.''

Young said the student, who was failing his class, made no effort to avoid throwing up on him. "I was just sort of stunned,'' he said

Anonymous said...

You made USA Today?! I am so proud. I will now go out and buy 4,000 copies or so. Yay you!

And thanks for the plug- that was sweet! But I think more people read your comments in USA Today than read my work - and rightly so, you're funnier and more insightful. You ever conisder journalism as a career? (don't, you'll starve...)

Yours beaming with pride,
she who used to poke you in the stomach

Boozhoo said...

"That's right, several of my students, a few who were not going to pass, have now been allowed to pass thanks to the coordinator."

Hmmm ...I wonder if this could be one of the reasons why so many of your students fail....and not their teachers fault....hmm just maybe....


"What happens if I turn it in?"