Friday, October 13, 2006

Ramblings for the Evening (10/13/06)

Friday the 13th. So many people were scared to be out because...bad things happen today. Didn't happen to me.
Oh well.
So, without further ado: YOU CAN'T SEE ME
An Open Letter to Some Teachers:
Dear fellow teachers from my district,
Thank you so much for telling the teacher of our class the other night not to give us a break. That was brilliant.
No really
I enjoyed feeling my legs fall asleep as I watched that video at the end.
It was even BETTER when we still left at 6:30...even though we were supposed to leave earlier.
Maybe it's because you, oh I don't know, didn't listen to me when I said, "That's a really bad idea."
"Oh, but we could leave early," you whined.
Hey, we all had a long day. Hell...we're all having a long year so far. Thanks for getting our break, our chance to get away from the education setting, taken away.
Maybe it's because you haven't been to many of the classes, but those of us who are veterans understand: They will go until the time is up...always.
Remember that.
You also don't get to complain about not having the break...when you asked to have it canceled.
ESPN Oops:
Tuesday afternoon, while driving over to Maple Grove to pick up my son, I was listening to ESPN Radio when they started talking about
Cory Lidle. The sports pundits were going on about he and someone else were dead. Then they cut to Mayor Mike Bloomberg's press conference.
The listeners hear:
"Mayor? Do we know the names of the people who have died?"
Bloomberg responds quickly. "We are not at liberty to release the names of the men who died in the plane crash. I'm not going to do that. Until we have successfully contacted the next of kin, we will not release those names."
The press conference suddenly disappears, and the radio goes silent for five seconds. In life, that's not so much, but in radio, that's a lifetime. You can almost hear the directors, producers, and on-air talent at ESPN thinking, "Oh crap! We've spent the last few minutes talking about this pitcher and how he's dead...and they haven't contacted the next of kin.... His wife doesn't know yet."
After those five seconds, one of the on-air personalities says, "Well...we can only hope that his wife and 6 year old son have already been told of this tragedy, and they are not learning of this from our station or its affiliates."
I think my jaw dropped to the floor of my car.
Could you imagine being Lidle's wife or son and hearing that your significant other/ father (respectively) was dead from a radio station?
Not hearing it from an authority, but from some guy shooting off his mouth about why he hated interviewing the pitcher?
This speaks to two of the problems:
1. There is so much competition now, that they will do anything to get a jump ahead. During Martha Stewart's trial, one of the stations had a guy doing semiform by the court doors. I mean that's insane. I understand the need to hear what's happening, but at what point will we draw the line? Will stations start dropping bugs inside people via food in order to get the scoop? "CNN...reporting live from John Michael Karr's stomach. We'll hear the verdict...FIRST!"
2. Technology has allowed us to be so fast, that thinking has been replaced by the flying of fingers over cell phone or Blackberry keys. A friend of mine told me about being in a car accident, and watching some guy pull out a phone and text someone. Next thing he knew, he was talking to the cop, and the guy who hit him was talking to a reporter.
It's too easy now. If I had DeRusha's cell phone number, I feel confident I could get him to a story quickly if I needed to (this is not a dig on DeRusha. Let me make that clear).
Of course, only about 22.5 million Americans are apparently reading the "new" media, so who cares?
Dear Fox Sports:
Dear Fox Sports,
Please stop cutting away from at-bats during the Mets game to show fans doing things like buying hot dogs. I missed a go-ahead run for the Mets so I could watch John Rubenstein ("lifelong Mets fan") buying and eating a kosher hot dog for the camera. Not cool.
Yesterday was PTC time (Parent/Teacher Conferences). I really don't like conference time, because everyone is on edge. The kids and parents are fretting about the grade, and the teacher is trying to figure out how to break bad news (Yes, it's not a doctor talking about death, but some people flip out...more on that later).
The conferences were good overall.
Predominantly I, once again, saw the kids and parents I DIDN'T need to. I'm glad that the parents that did come out care enough to talk to their kids' teachers, but it's the parents of the kids who are failing that I want to talk to; that I need to talk to during conferences.
Highs and lows:
High: Meeting some of the parents was great. Apparently my students like me (I pay them to say that), and several parents talked about what I was doing or discussed how I was teaching. It was nice.
Low: A parent who was not happy with me not sugarcoating my discussions with the kids. "Do they really need to know there's sex in Romeo and Juliet? Yes.
Low: The parent who asked me not swear in class (this included "Hell"). Seriously? They say and hear worse from adults.
High: Watching a parent cry from hearing about how wonderful her child is. Apparently I was the first teacher to say that her child was something positive. It was a nice moment.
Low: The mother who cried at her child's failing grade.
High: Getting to the end of my line.
Low: Watching parents walk out of my line, because they were tired of waiting. I went as fast as I could.
High: No one exploding and tossing my laptop across the room (this happened one year to another teacher).
Low: The parents who were upset with me telling them, "The conferences are over now. I know you've been waiting, but leave your name, number, and email, and I'll make sure the teacher contacts you. I guess I should explain. As the head of the department, I wanted to check in with my fellow English colleagues that were still there (several left a little early). There was a line at one teachers' station, so I told them they needed to leave an email. The look on the parent's face was told me she was pissed. My colleague knew it as well and decided to be generous. "I'll see her," she told me. So I acquiesed.
It was definitely better than last year, but I admit...I missed the blogging time.
In a few months...round two.
and finally....
The Adventures of Frank:
Frank (another teacher) had a student who brought a gun to school. The student somehow got the gun from his father. The reason? Partly due to the recent rash of school shootings as well as due to frustration with staff and fellow students. The student had a gun and a list. The key here isn't the gun, but the list. The list had names of staff and students. Frank's name was on that list. It's not clear if the list was students and staff who were safe or who were targeted. It's scary to think about how a student could choose to kill a teacher or choose to leave him or her be.
We have had a student at my school removed for bringing a fake gun. He wanted to scare students who had picked on him. I just can't imagine.
Then again, what do I know? I'm just a teacher. I could be wrong.


Admin Worm said...

Apparently, radio host Glenn Beck learned of his mother's desk via the radio.

Sassy said...

Hey - what district/school do you work in?

e-mail me, I'm curious.