Thursday, November 10, 2005

Ramblings for the Evening (11/10/05)

Well, today is, for intents and purposes, Friday. Why? There's no school tomorrow. No student means a nice calm day. Granted, it's a staff development day, but it's not really work, more "work". You know what I mean?
Well we should get to it.
So, without further ado: SHE BLINDED ME WITH SCIENCE!
School Shootings:
As you may or may not know, another
school shooting, this one in Tennessee, took place. We had a discussion with students about what happened today. Also, several schools across Minnesota practiced their "Emergency Procedures" for cases like this. One person failed today when he forgot to lock his door. It meant that if a student had a gun and was on a rampage, that the teacher and all the students in his room would be dead or injured. Michele, over at her site, made mention of this story as well, and she brings up a good point: When did it become so unsafe to be a teacher? Now, I don't think it about it at all. I'm not kidding. Never in the last two years have I walked into a building thinking, "Wow, today I could be killed by a disgruntled student." I know there are students who like me, and I know there are students who wish I were dead, but I cannot fathom these teachers who now want tasers in their classrooms. Seriously. A former classmate of mine moved to Los Angeles and is now a teacher in, of all places, Beverly Hills (yes, it's cush, as in cushy). Still, people in Los Angeles (even in the BH area) are worried about the school violence. A few teachers are now requesting to have the same setup as pilots. They want a secure area where they can be safe from possible shootings, AND they want taser guns in the classrooms. Anyone else think that's a bad idea? Sure, a teacher could be safe (and I stress the COULD very hard), but what about the student who manages to get that taser? That would great for classmates, wouldn't it?
Still, I don't fear for my life as a teacher. Should I? Should I be scared that one of the students may decide that my joking around and my nicknames are just too cruel and decide to off me? Maybe. Seriously I don't know. Maybe I'm stubborn, but to me, I truly believe that I'm just not important enough to rate a shooting. That's just me however. I know some of my colleagues (and I'm not talking about Michele here) are worried that they would be the first target. Again, I just don't see it happening. However, I do agree with Michele: I shouldn't ever have to be even a little bit worried about life threatening situations at my job. That's just me, however.
Arrrr, Me Hardies!:

I'm a big fan of Pirates. I even know that September 19th is National Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day. When Washington University in St. Louis did Pirates of Penzance while I was there, I was asked to write about the history of pirates (something that I know about. Yes, I'm a nerd). That's why I find it both kinda horrifying and cool that a cruise ship was attacked by pirates last week. How can it be both? Well, in some ways, it's fascinating that pirates of the high seas still exist (versus hackers who are just computer pirates of sorts). Granted, I don't think the modern pirates adhere to the codes that the pirates of old did, but imagine the life style. It's also horrifying because of the cutthroat tactics that these pirates use. If it hadn't been for this so-called "sonic weapon" the media has been talking about then many of the people aboard that ship would probably have died. With pirates back AND a new strain of superflu, it's like living in the 1700s again. What's next, monarchies?
Signs of the Times:
A friend and former colleague of mine is a manager at one of the movie theatres in Minneapolis. He called me out of the blue today and asked me to drop by and see him after-school. I hadn't seen him in almost a year, but he remembered my number. So, I get to the theatre and see that he's speaking with four security guards. Why? Well, with the new 50-Cent
movie opening today, many theatre chains are installing extra security in case violence breaks out. I'm not kidding. I wish I was. Two large men were assigned to each theatre. Each guy was armed as well. So, I talk to my friend for a little bit and find out that these guys are also there because of a bounty hunter (more on that later) who was looking for a bail jumper.
Three hours later my phone rings again. Same guy. I thought I forgot something, but, in fact, he was calling to tell me the security guys had already clamped down on someone. Apparently two men stepped up to each other, and one of them pulled a gun on the other. How sad is that? You go to a movie theater and someone pulls a gun on you?
When did everything move to the extremes? It used to be that there were safe havens, but now drug deals go down in libraries, people get shot in movie theaters, and prostitutes can be called to your boat (or so channel 5 tells me).
A film about a guy who chooses to be a rapper instead of a gangster has to have extra security because the people watching it want to be gangsters. It's kind of ironic and an unfortunate sign of the times. I still think Spike Lee was right.
I get "Dogged":
Ok, if you've ever seen Dog the Bounty Hunter, you know he's a bounty hunter (I mean it's IN
the title). As I mentioned before, there was a bounty hunter at the movie theater looking for a bail jumper (he apparently got his man, I later learned). When I left the theater, I had a long walk back to my car. I didn't know why at the time, but I noticed Bob (not his real name) following me. Right when I got to my car, he jumped me. Apparently, I look like someone else who is wanted by the state. This guy was convinced I was him. Even after showing him my license, I had to show him another form of ID AND the insurance card that was in my car in order to show I was Leab and not Mr. Daniels.
My wife calls it plain bad luck, but I just find it...funny. I've never heard of someone being mistaken for me, but I am always thought to be other people. Maybe this is life's way of telling me to be an undercover cop. I don't know. Oh well.
And finally....
Learning to be careful:
I like my students. As I've said before, I don't think they'd ever shoot me. Sure, I probably annoy them with my nicknames and my attempts to help them avoid my mistakes (step 1, learn to say, "no" at some point). However, I always find it quite funny when they slip up and include me in something they didn't mean to. Whether it's having me "marry" a student and learn we'll have "24 children," or something to that effect, I like joking around with them. Now, I say learning to be careful, because one student accidentally (or I think it was accidentally) sent me a picture of the girl who runs the crew. It sums up her total feelings about working with me (or so I think. It's a great picture that I figured should be immortalized here. This would be Greta.

This is why you have to be careful.

Have a good night all.

Oh, and I'm still taking applicants to join to the Search Team. So far only Meridita and the DeRushas are aboard. We'll take anyone interested. Head on over to the blog and join up.


faith said...

Unfortunately, I do not have time to join your search, but I have a thought, try checking with channel 9 news, and see what they can tell you. Just a thought on where to start. I wish I had time to join, but with 2 jobs, I hardly have time to find myself somedays much less someone else. But good luck and I look forward to hearing how things are going!

Also, I think that every person in every job could be killed at any moment, (there are A LOT of phyco's out in the world!) so I say that is SO good that you are not afraid of your students. If the teachers are afraid, that gives the sutdents all the power! Also, I agree tasers have NO PLACE IN THE CLASSROOM! I cringe at the thought of what would happen if they got into the wrong hands.

Thanks again for another wonderful posting! I really enjoy reading your blog everyday!

greta said...

okay, things to note: i did NOT hurt myself with the saw, the stick bit me and i was sad about my finger and happened to have the saw in my hand...

also, i have no intention of going after you with a saw... let me rephrase that, i have no intention of spending the rest of my life in jail, so i will not be going after you with a saw.

and i am careful, think about when dima creates a set... now think about when i created a set... which had more injuries? Dima's by far! so, ha, i am careful.

Leab said...

I don't mean careful in the sense of power tools. No, I mean you need to look at who's address is in your email. Click the wrong one and the picture gets to the wrong person.