Disclaimer: Some content is inappropriate for readers under 18 years of age or those offended by swear words, references to sexuality, atheism, and libertarianism.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Justice was served.

It's only a shame that he didn't suffer the way he had made so many suffer.

Friday, December 29, 2006

And the Most Annoying Student Award goes to...

The same student I mentioned below in the history class found an annoying new trick a few days later.

Humming. Really loud. In the room were three adults... The regular history teacher, the college student, and myself. The teacher asked her to quit, so she started doing this:

Annoying student: MMMMMM... Oh shi... Sorry, sorry. Can't help it. MMMMMM.... Oh sh... Sorry, sorry, you see? I just can't help it. MMMMM... Oh there I go again!

I quietly walked over after about five straight minutes of this.

Teacherlady: Can I help you?

Student: No. I don't need no help.

Teacherlady: Well, it's just that you've been asked a number of times to stop humming, your friends aren't laughing anymore, so I figured you were doing it to get adult attention. Do you want attention, because you can just ask for it.

Student: I don't want your attention! I don't want to talk to any of you!

Teacherlady: Oh okay. Well, we just thought you wanted our attention. Next time, don't hesitate to raise your hand.

Again, she was silent for the rest of the class. I love my job. Sometimes, I even get to teach more than just manners.
Sometimes.
Sigh.

You have no one to blame... But your teacher.

Obnixious female student walks into history class late. The class is currently being run by a college student who's training to be a teacher.

Teacher: Late.

Student: Yeah, cuzu YOU.

The teacher was busy getting organized for the class and was unfortunately used to taking crap from this particular girl who seems to think her seat in the back of the class grants her the anonymity to say whatever the hell she wants and get away with it. The class' usual teacher would NEVER take that kind of crap. He's very stoic and professional. This young would-be teacher just wants to survive the bell.

The student then proceeds to explain to the whole class that she was late because of stupid teachers like her. If the teacher hadn't given her the essay from homework she wouldn't have had to go to her locker to get it and that's what made her late. She went on for long enough. I did my very quiet walk over, I'm really good at those. It makes the whole area I'm heading to go absolutely quiet, wondering who I've caught now, since I always manage to catch kids that the classroom teacher doesn't see.

Teacherlady: Are you honestly going to blame the teacher because you're late, because you couldn't get from your locker to this room in the appropriate amount of time?

Student: Yes.

Teacherlady: That sounds like a child's excuse. Grow up. I'm a woman and I can admit when I make a mistake. It's about time you became a woman too. It's okay to make mistakes, it's childish to blame someone else for yours.

She didn't make a peep for the rest of that day.

Glands of the mammary variety.

Yet another fun filled event involving a student with an emotional disturbance. Sadly, he's one of the ones that responds very well to medication... When he's on it. When on his meds, he raises his hand, stays silent during the lecture portion of the bell, and writes down all the information given to him. When he's not on his meds... Well... Here's an example:

Student: Oh my GOD.

Teacherlady: What, Student?

Student: Oh MY GOD, that Jessica Simpson's hot.

Teacherlady: I was hoping you had a science question.

Student: Oh and her titties...! (He proceeds to make a "motorboat" sound)

Teacherlady: That's not appropriate. Call me over when you have a science question. (I leave his general vicinity, which upsets him because he rather likes me. To be honest, I like him too, though I wouldn't trust him to behave well around his own grandmother.)

Student: Oh no, miss, miss. I'll be appropriate (Yeesh, we use that word so much that kids recognize it as a perfect buzz word), aw shit.

Minutes pass, and I continue to give him stern looks across the room and each time he gets a little angry with himself that he's disappointed me again. He eventually raises his hand. I walk over, trying not to look cynical.

Teacherlady: Do you need any help? (Boy, is THAT the million dollar question.)

Student proceeds to lift his rump off the chair and humps the air in some attempt to be funny and then starts to ask a legitimate question. I've already started to walk away.

Student: Aww, no miss, I have a question, really... Miss Teacherlady? Fuck.

Female student: You nasty, boy. She don't wanna see that crap. You need to go to church.

Student: I go to church... Sometimes. I was baptized.

Female student: Did you no good, huh?

I try with all my might to stifle my smile. I fail, so I pretend to help a student behind me.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Angry.

You know what really pisses me off? People who criticize something without offering a possible solution. Okay, so the war in Iraq sucks. Okay, a lot of people don't agree with what Bush decided was the best course of action in a "fight against terror", but what do the hecklers suggest as a workable solution? Talk? Tried that. What about Saddam? If you honestly think it was a bad idea taking him out, tell that to a Kurd who's lost everything and whose race's genocide was most definitely ignored by the rest of the world and the useless excuse for an organization known as the United Nations.

I'll admit that I don't like how many are still suffering long after the dictator of Iraq has fallen, but he had to be removed. I don't even care what the motive was in his downfall, in the interest of humanity or some bizarre scheme to get oil- the mass execution of innocents had to end. I know that innocents continue to pay the ultimate price, but if you happen to know a beautifully surgical procedure of war in which no innocents have to die, please tell me what it is...??? Do you have a bomb that only kills bad people (Oingo Boingo reference there, sorry)? Would talking really stop the suicide bombers, the genocidal maniacs, the terrorist cells from sprouting all over the world like ugly weeds? A reasonable discussion requires the participation of reasonable contributors, and the guy who thinks that murdering innocent people will lead him to some pretty place with a bunch of bimbo virgins all falling over themselves for a piece of his action isn't exactly working with all engines running.

Of course war is stupid. Of course settling an argument by ending the life of your opponent is absurd and lacking in civilized graces, but that is what humanity is. We're limited, we're fearful, we're ignorant, and even if one side attempts to take the higher ground they still have to deal with a side that plays dirty and the descent begins again.

Sure, freeze yourself until humanity has gained a higher level of thinking, but know that the time ain't now, baby. The majority of us are still savages who don suits or hide under the guise of religious mores in the hopes of fooling others and ourselves that we're better.

Persepolis


I have recently finished reading Persepolis and really enjoyed it. I look forward to the second part. It was funny to see illustrations of experiences I went through as a child growing up in a Muslim country when I knew I didn't fit in with their ideals. While the experiences I had never reached the horrific magnitude that Marjane Satrapi 's did, I felt the same dichotomy she did.

It really is worth reading and if you know nothing of recent Iranian history, it will fill in some gaps, albeit from one person's perspective. It's charming and will bring a smile to your face at times too.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Help Line.

I think I've lost count of the stories about how ineffectual our child abuse help line is. For those of you who don't know, it's a help-line for allegations of suspected child abuse and they supposedly investigate such claims and keep kids safe.
Here's what actually happens.

Another special ed. teacher suspects a child on her caseload is being beaten by her father. She calls the help line. They ask how old the child is.
15.
"That's within the range of normal behavior..." They don't investigate.
It takes until her senior year for the girl to admit to her coach that her father has been raping her ever since her mother was out of the picture and in fact, she was made to sleep in the marital bed every night. She confessed in fear of the fact that her father was trying to stop her leaving for college (she got a full athletic scholarship) because then he wouldn't have her to "enjoy". She later said that school was the one place she felt safe. If the help line had only listened to the teacher, she could have been saved at least four years of the abuse.

More recently, a colleague of mine (another special ed. teacher) found out from his student that she has been molested many times by the uncle she has to live with. He touches her and she often wakes up with him standing over her. So her special ed. teacher calls the help line. They say that since the uncle hasn't actually had full intercourse with her, there's nothing to be done. Feel free to puke at any time.

And another thing. The help line will actually ignore a call if we ask a school counselor to call on our behalf. They actually led piddling protocol get in the way of saving a child.

WILL EVERYONE PLEASE STOP IGNORING THE TEACHERS??! We may not be the brightest sparks in society, but we know children and we know when they're not right. We can tell within a few minutes of being near one of our kids that something is going on.

I understand that the help line may get a lot of calls, a lot of them from spoiled little shits who think not getting a second X-Box 360 for the game room is tantamount to neglect, but how can you sleep at night saying that because the uncle didn't penetrate his niece, you're not going to do anything about it?

Merry Christmas, you heartless bitch.

Out of the mouths of babes...

The latest fad of the season the administrators are adopting (for as long as they remember to) is to drop in to various classrooms and observe for five minutes in order to see if certain expectations are being carried out by the teachers. One patricular administrator is not cared for very much by students nor faculty alike. On her first day observing in a particular classroom, she rubbed an emotionally disturbed student the wrong way by glaring at him.
"Bitch, you better stop mugging me..." We never know how to handle the emotionally disturbed since we're required to let them participate in general classes even though we all know damn well most of them can't handle it.
Anyway, on a second observation date, the aforementioned student saw the return of the principal and announced to the class:
"Guys, you better shut up or the bitch is going to try to fire her!"
What a knight in rusty armor he is!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

My solution.

Thankfully, I will never be a figure of great influence in terms of running a country, but if I were Queen of Teacherlady Land, the following would be in place:

1- Optional public boarding schools with high expectations of the students (the only way the children living in slums/ghettos will ever have a hope of getting out of them is to know HOW to live outside of them and do it successfully).

2- Job training centers that provide day care by instructors and students of child development/psychology/education.

While people may argue that taxes would go through the roof for these facilities, I argue that the outcome will be fewer people reliant on a welfare state, fewer criminals to pay for, and thus taxes will be spent on proactive instead of reactive measures. I would also be a lot more discriminating about how tax dollars are spent.

3- High school students should be required to participate in some sort of program to benefit the community or an international charity.

4- Welfare support would be limited to five years per person and unless they are handicapped to the point of not being able to work, the job training they receive at the center should help them get a job. Also, welfare support in terms of a check should not rise with the number of children born to the household, day care is still available for free and food stamps (that can only be used on FOOD and DRINK DAMMIT) can rise with the number of children only.

5-Prostitution should be legalized so that their abuse can be reduced considerably. Pimps can get a real job instead of leaching off of others.

6- Abortions should only be used in situations of rape, if the mother's life is in danger, or if the child is clinically determined to be unable to survive long beyond birth or in-utero.

7- All parks should include fruit bearing trees for the hungry.

8- Instead of dumping huge amount of farm produce to maintain prices, excess harvests can be gathered by charitable organizations and distributed through shelters.

9- Taxes should be hugely off-set by foreign investments and any profits made by government organizations such as the post-office.

10- It should be compulsory for prisoners to earn their keep and only through doing jobs earn any sort of privileges (books, or seeing the news on TV).

I shall periodically add more to my own concept of an Utopian, naive, surprisingly socialist TeacherLady Land.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Progress... I guess.

The first electoral process is underway in the United Arab Emirates and while that sounds quite progressive, one has to take into account that the voters number less than 1% of the Emirati population (obviusly the high number of immigrants who do not have citizenship are excluded) and each voter was hand selected by the government, as were the candidates.
I'm reminded of how we fool our students into believing they have a choice between two things that we want them to do. Either way, we win.

Can't take heat, Mr. Ahmadinejad? Get out of Iran!

Apparently, the students of Iran are treading where many brave students of the past have dared to tred in the name of justice. They braved to take the path of vociferous disapproval of their political leader, in this case, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They now fear for their lives and I imagine their families aren't too safe either. Say what you like about the American government, but you can rest assured that at least you can say it without the threat of your life being on the line, or your kids being shot to death outside their school, or your toddler's legs irrepairably crippled for life.
What f*cking low-life uses kids to get revenge? How can a political leader be taken seriously if that's the course of action he takes in defense of critisism? Only megalomaniacs who have no interest beyond their own gain take personal offense at negative comments rather than prioritizing the needs of his people. Only an arrogant leader is more concerned about his appearance as a world threat than a positive contribution to the lives of his own people.

No government is perfect. We are an imperfect race, with limited resources, and are prone to err, so we do what we can with what we've got, trying to make as few inevitable mistakes. The least we can do is not murder our own people for speaking their minds.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Stupid kids fight back.

Okay, so I'm not entirely grateful for all stupid kids. Today in a science class, the kids got their grade reports detailing why they have the grades that they do. The most stupid (and hence the most vociferous) students were outraged at their grades and announced that the teacher is trying to "play" them and that the teacher is to blame. After they were done shouting, they went back to what they always do... Chat and nap.

It's one thing to do absolutely nothing to help your grade, it's another to have the half-wit balls to blame the teacher.

What kind of self-entitled monsters has this welfare state/society created? I'm so tired of dealing with kids whose parents let them get away with murder at school and teach their kids to blame others first and never take responsibility for their own actions (or lack thereof). I'm tired of hearing kids boast of all the illegal ways they'll make more money than me (though if you figure in either the length of their possible jail sentence or shortened lifespan, it works out that I'll make more in my lifetime), and I'm tired of kids getting everything done for them out of fear. Fear of being fired, fear of parent retaliation, fear of what the student will do if he's not being spoon-fed the answers. It all propogates it, I know, but it's about time they learned to give back to society.

So why the hell don't the teachers do anything about this, I hear you say?

Let's say a teacher takes it upon him or herself to be mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. So the kids fail. So they get up and throw a chair at the teacher or another student (happens a lot). So the kid gets sent to the office. So they have a little vacation for 10 days, miss loads of content, come back even more confused and angry and we start all over again. In fact, it gets worse.
You must be an awful teacher. Look at those grades, look at the discipline issues. Maybe teaching isn't your thing.

Or, you try to be the teacher of the year. You design an amazing, interactive, inspirational lesson. The kid comes in and puts his head on the desk and sleeps. You nudge him awake, he yells at you to get out of his f*cking face. You try to calm him down in some pathetic semblance of maintaining control of the situation in front of his peers. He gets angrier that you still haven't left him alone. You send him to the office, but it takes 10 minutes for him to actually leave the room because he's stopping to shove chairs and yell at you. Or, you do leave him to sleep and he fails just the same.

And the government's idea (and this predates Bush) is to make teachers more accountable.
Thanks. That'll make everything all better. So glad to know it was us teachers all along.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Thank God for stupid kids Part thumanya.

Kid traces his hand on his desk. Kid traces his hand again, this time with his middle finger extended. Kid is huge. So is the traced hand. He tries to blame a much smaller kid. Teacher places kid's hand in the outline and it fits like a glove. Kid laughingly admits he did it, then two minutes later tries again to blame it on another kid.
Apparently, not only was Teacher born yesterday, but with mental deficiencies in the reasoning department.
Sigh.

It's the most wonderful time... to bitch.

Ahh, it's that time again. The air is crisp, the leaves crunchy beneath our feet, and the whine of easily offended cry-babies rings in your ear like nails on a chalkboard.
Apparently, the rabbi who complained about the lack of menorahs in the Kennedy airport wasn't trying to have the existing Christmas trees removed, but just wanted his religion represented too.
I don't think I'd ever feel it my place to walk into someone else's establishment and request (at their expense) that they cater to my beliefs. If I had any overpowering religious beliefs, I'd hope that I wouldn't place so much stock in material objects that I would only be happy if they were on display.
If you want to look at it as a symbolic geture of respect to another religion by representing it, then let's think reasonably... The majority of people in America are Christian (that includes all followers of Christ in my book, so don't argue semantics, I'll just get pissed off). Like it or not, the majority is the one that is representated most often in all media and forums (fora?). In Muslim countries, one would feel rather foolish demanding a Christmas tree be posted in a public space. Actually, I'm rather proud of how open-minded a lot of Arab countries are in the fact that Christmas decorations often adorn the malls and shop windows as well as the honor of keeping the commercial tradition alive.
In fact, I just heard from someone who recently stayed at the Jumeirah Essex House (a swanky Dubai-owned hotel in New York that would probably throw out scum like me) that despite its Muslim ownership have their lobby decorated with Christmas trees AND menorahs! God bless Lady Commercialism, she knows no borders!

Snatch.

A couple of years ago, I learned the best game ever to play when bored and in the company of friends. Basically, you take the word "snatch" in it's most graphic sense of the word and substitute it into known movie titles to create the names of films you wish they made.

Demonstration to follow:

The Big Snatch.
The Pursuit of Snatch.
Raiders of the Lost Snatch.
The Usual Snatches.
It's a Wonderful Snatch.
Million Dollar Snatch.
Finding Snatch.
3 Men and a Snatch.
Lethal Snatch.
Dances with Snatch.


You get the point. It's far funnier when you're coming up with these among friends. Feel free to add some of your favorites.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Kids and bullets shouldn't mix.

The recent slaughter of three boys in Gaza brings me back to the ugly truth that adults who should know better keep dragging the children into their bloody messes.
I certainly don't see brutality as blatant as that, but I've taught a kid who came to school bleary-eyed because he had to spend the night in a bath-tub for fear of being struck by a stray bullet in some sort of fight that was taken to the streets. Pity the children... Northern Ireland, Palestine, Iraq... We should be ashamed that there are even more to that list.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Look out Hollywood...!

I've been inspired by a recent post on Sandmoney's blog to devise a whole plethora of Arab remakes of Hollywood classics...

Seven Brides for Two Brothers
In The Heat of the Burqa
Lock Stock and Two Smoking Sheeshas
How I Learned To Stop Thinking and Love the Bomb

I'll add more as they come to me. Feel free to contribute your own.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

You're a RACIST!

The high school I work at is about 50-50 black and white, with a sprinkling of other races thrown in (yes, I do know enough math to know they can't be exactly 50-50 with more races added on top of that, I said "about"). As teachers, we are given classes on cultural sensitivity to the effect that we realize that certain behaviors coming from black kids are "cultural norms" and should not be perceived as inappropriate behavior (eg. shouting).
Fine. Whatever, once I get into my classroom I can set whatever expectations I feel are apporpriate and have my kids aspire towards them. I happen to believe that all kids can be capable of good behavior if they have the will and desire to do so and a teacher capable of guiding them towards it. What I can't stand is the learned helplessness these kids have developed because of continously sliding expectations. For God's sake, they only have to get a 2.75 or above to get on honor roll now!!! They have to get 46% or higher to pass the math portion of the graduation test!!! I'm pretty certain we'll soon give them passing grades simply for turning up to school and not killing anyone.
Anyway, back to the race issue. Today I was in a history class in which the students were given a list of events and they had to write them down in order and briefly describe the significance of each event. Everything was right there in the textbook. No real thought involved until you had to decide which month comes before which (THAT posed a huge problem. One student who does NOT have special needs asked me which came first, July or September). A student was merrily chatting away, as usual, and was talking about inappropriate things so the teacher directed him and his partner (yes, they need a helping hand putting things in order) to another part of the room.
"You're racist. That's racist." He retorted, and then started spouting off in an imitation of Jesse Jackson, only he was using big words he didn't know the meaning of in an attempt to be comical, I guess. He and his partner moved to their new seats while he continued to complain about the plight of The Black Man. He went on to argue that black men always had their luggage searched first in an airport (HAH) and so on. He continued to not do his work. I leaned over to him and told him to get back to his assignment, but he kept on complaining quietly and chatting about other non-school related things.
It makes me want to puke thinking about his ancestors who really did struggle to gain some semblence of respect from their white counterparts and fought for the rights that their now ungrateful, lazy descendants make a mockery of and abuse. Obviously, not all of my black students are like this one, but you can bet that the ones who do avoid doing their work play the race card every time to explain their failures.
Oh hell, I'll admit it. I love playing the race card. I went into my job interview and ranted about the oppression of Arab women, the indignities we have endured, the opportunities taken right from under our nose and given to our brothers because we don't pack a johnson away in our pants...
Oh no wait. I just showed them my sterling college documents/grades, Dean's List awards, letters of reccommendation, portfolio, and told them why I'd make a damn good teacher. Silly me.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I'll get you next time...!

It looks like Mr. Saddam Hussein may just evade his fate of hanging after all. Apparently there is a little publicized law in Iraq that forbids the execution of individuals over the age of 70. Mr. Hussein is filing an appeal and guess when his birthday is... April. And guess how old he is... That's right, children. Our favorite number... 69.
I hope he chokes on his birthday cake.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thank God for stupid kids.

My favorite type of stupid-kid stories are the ones where they try to get away with things but are impeded by their obviously low ability to reason and avoid making a complete ass of themselves. It's that kind of behavior that gives us hope that should they become criminals some day, they will be easily apprehended and the world will be a safer place.

Examples:
Student skips (or "ditches" as we used to call it in MY day) a class and stupidly walks past the class in question in full view of the teacher.

Student skips a class then makes it onto the school's daily TV announcements filmed in the school hallways during the time he's supposed to be in class. Added bonus that he was grinning and waving into the camera like a complete idiot.

Student can't formulate a sentence using words that have more than one syllable, and yet produces homework with sentences such as this: "Intrepid Polynesian sailors in outrigger canoes were the first humans to reach the Hawaiian Islands". Riiiiiight.

Best Served Cold.

"Hey Student. How're you doing? You okay?"
"Yeah."
"Sorry to hear about your cousin."
"It's okay."
"Don't worry. I'm sure the police will catch the guy who did it."
"They better not."

I puzzle over it then understand.

"Don't do anything stupid, okay?"
"I won't!" Big grin.

Another teacher approached me yesterday.
"Hey, did you hear? That kid who killed Student's cousin? He got shot dead."

I bet there's another kid hoping the cops don't catch the killer.
Damn, cycles are hard to break away from.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Whatever happened to Tough Love?

Children seek boundaries like Arabs seek chic coffee shops. The twain shall always meet, given appropriate adult guidance or a lazy summer night. They test them, step over the line, get a smack on the back of the head, then get back to whatever they were supposed to be doing. Generally speaking, obviously it's not always that easy.
It is now argued that instead of the metaphorical smack on the back of the head, we need to give the figurative kiss and cuddle when they break a number of laws. Call me old fashioned if you will, but I always thought that you responded to good behaviors positively in the hopes of reinforcing them. If we respond to crappy behavior with a freaking X-Box, DVD player, and trip to Disney World with the cast of Sesame Street (okay, I made up the last one) I fear we are saying the behavior was permissible and even worthy of such rewards. What are the well-behaved kids to think when they see little shits who smash into churches and vandalize them earn expensive hardware for their troubles? What are they to learn from the situation? It would as ridiculous as a tresspasser suing the business he illegally gained access to because he hurt himself on their premises...
Oh wait, that already happened. Sigh.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Stop saying we're violent or I'll kill you!!!

Okay children, for today we're explore the concept of irony. My objective is that you will all understand the requirements for "irony", use an example to illustrate it, and in the process have a pretty good idea of what a dumb-ass sounds like.
In order to construct an ironic situation, let us look at it from a literary perspective as stated by dictionary.com : a technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated.
In my previous post, I described the kind of propaganda exposed through the media to various Arabs on a daily basis. Samples of these soaps and public declarations were shown on an American TV talk show hosted by Glenn Beck. His aim was to explain the thinking behind the people we fear the most. He did not create the clips himself, he did not have them mistranslated, he simply showed them for what they were. Because of this, he and his family have been threatened.
I don't care what your individual politics may be, but surely you can see the irony illustrated here... If they ("they" being people who support genocide and the use of terrorism) believe all that crap to be true, they watch it on their TVs, they hear it from their religious or political leaders, they sing the songs, burn the flags- why threaten the guy who shows all that to others? Is it because they know their bull has been exposed for what it is and now everyone knows what manipulative, lying, pieces of crap they truly are? Are they actually ashamed that their kids are being shown on international TV singing about the slaying of human beings? Because shame would stem from a cognizance of guilt, tantamount to an admission of wrong-doing. So now they have a new target for their blame. God forbid they should take any responsibility for their own actions and put down the sword to pick up their children?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Wake up and smell the guhwa

How gullible is a whole population willing to be in order to place blame on others and avoid taking responsibility? How much common sense do they sacrifice to feel self-righteous in their ignorance?

I have recently had the opportunity to witness some clips of Arab soap operas in which Jews are depicted in an almost comical extreme as the Bogeyman of the Arab-Muslim world. Such gross caricatures are simplistic to the point of being childish and grotesque, and it's pitiful to think that any mature individual would believe that any more than they would believe in a monster under the bed.

Do they REALLY believe that Jews drink the blood of gentile (non-Jewish) children? I'm not asking for an opinion of the existence of Israel as a nation or the actions of their army, I'm asking if they REALLY think that Jewish people sneak around in the shadows and make matzo-balls using the blood of kids? Also, do they REALLY believe they pluck out the eyes of Palestinian kids to implant them into a Jewish kid?

It was that kind of shit that they were showing on these shows and I find it patronizing that the writers of the shows would think everyone would be so ignorant, so ill-educated, so backward as to not only put up with hearing that kind of crap, but put credence to it. I guess some of them do... The media treats them like children, contorting their views of reality in order to get them to do exactly what they want them to do. If they are so naive as to only see in black OR white and never gray, then they are like children who believe in pure good or pure evil when, I assure you, neither exists on this world.

Don't think I don't paint all media with the same brush, because as horrific as the terrorists are depicted, I have a hard time believing they are all the spawn of Satan and that even their mothers didn't love them. Someone loved them, and they loved someone too, but their hate overrode all sense of identity until they just became a collective pawn of the propaganda they were fed since childhood. Even the cartoons depict suicide bombers in a favorable light, and I can't begin to describe my disgust at seeing that.

Which brings me to my next point: Children. Obviously, the education of children is high on my list of priorities, but what kind of ignoramus thinks there is any room in a child's upbringing and learning for hatred? Whoever held a newborn in his/her arms and thought "Oh the rage I will put in your heart, the dangers I will expose you to, and the blinkers I will put to your eyes" and yet that's exactly what they do. A speaker on TV urged all the parents of Palestine to teach their children to hate with every breath they had, and remind them every night before they go to bed that they should hope to become "martyrs" in the name of Allah. Is that REALLY what they want for your children? I don't care how much they despise the Israelis/Jews- there is no reasonable, pardonable excuse for sacrificing your own child's chance of happiness and life itself.

I understand that life is excruciatingly hard in Palestine, and I'm not excusing anything carried out by other nations or peoples, I'm just addressing what some Muslim Arabs do that no other people do quite the same way- Blatantly teach hatred to the young in school, in the home, and in the media, robbing them of the childhood they deserve. Children shouldn't start their school day singing about killing another human being. Children are flowers growing out of garbage, they bring beauty to a place by their sheer existence and these "adults" have no right to turn them into garbage too.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Cycle of suffering

I'm eternally grateful for the twist of fate and the wisdom of my mother for the fact that I was raised in a safe, loving environment. I don't think I can even begin to understand the hellholes some of my students come from. I don't understand their enjoyment in dog fights where the losing dog is either gutted by its opponent or shot by its owner, I don't understand their infatuation with Scarface's lifestyle, I don't understand the pleasure they gain from the fights they witness or participate in, or the glee in which they revel in stories of the latest shooting in the neighborhood which they then pin to their sleeves literally with t-shirts depicting the deceased whom some of them barely knew, but want to absorb some of the coolness associated with knowing someone who had been shot to death. We've often struggled in our attempts to teach these kids that fighting is not the way to resolve a conflict, but how can you contest with "my momma told me: don't take no crap from no-one, you got to fight and get your respect"? Who are they most likely going to side with? Their mother or some middle-class woman who has no inkling of what they go through each day, trying to save face and their lives.
This isn't a "culture", it's a blight. I'm not being culturally insensitive to say this is wrong and children shouldn't live this way because their parents insist on perpetuating the limitations they place upon themselves which they then go and blame the government for. This cycle of failure and violence is perpetuated in various races/religions and in various ways, but this particular video depicts an African American instance of passing on the concepts of violence, racism, and poor expectations of each other. What will it take to break this cycle? What's my answer to this generational concern?
Boarding school. I'd rather spend my tax dollars on prevention than on incarceration.

"IF" I Only Had a Brain (and a book deal detailing the crime I got away with)

As a special educator, it warms my heart to read news items that show that the cognitively disabled can still make a "success" out of their mentally challenged states.

Geez, what a freakin' idiot. Actually, maybe he's the opposite... Hm.

Monday, November 13, 2006

How NOT to be a pervert teacher.

I just got the best piece of mail in my teacher mailbox... It's about avoiding false allegations of improper conduct with students and the title is the absolute best...

Teach But Don't Touch.

I couldn't have come up with better myself. Niccccce.

Oh my God, it gets better...

"... But as a general rule, it's best to avoid most forms of physical contact, especially kissing, hair stroking, tickling, and frontal hugging (what, is spooning okay??). And use common sense: a "high five" to acknowledge a job well done is fine; a slap on the bottom is not."

Holy crap, what freaking teachers tells a kid he's done a good job by groping his buttocks?? We reserve that kind of behavior for staff parties.

The Emotinally Disturbed- Fun for all the family.

Another quirk of the education system is the recent idea that inclusion is a great idea for kids who are Emotionally Disturbed (ED-not Erectile Disfunction). They may be convicted criminals, biologically imbalanced or have come from a life of hell and re-enact what they know. They are also a great source of entertaining stories because they have such amusing contributions to make in classes.

A friend of mine used to teach ED kids when they used to have a classroom all to themselves and weren't out amongst the rest of society unless they earned their way out with appropriate behavior, which was far too logical an idea to continue to follow. The Powers That Be decided it would be really great to just dump them out into mainstream classes and let them drown... But I digress. It was back when ED classes still existed that this brief story originates.

Ms. Teacher was administering an important exam to her students and even they realized its importance and sat quietly, getting as much of it done as possible. All that could be heard was the rustle of papers and the scritching of pencils, when all of a sudden, one of the students had to let off a little steam in the only way he knew how. He stood up, took a deep breath and bellowed:
"C*cksucker!" before sitting back down and quietly finishing his exam.
Oh how I'd love to take a page out of his book during some of the teacher workshops I have to endure for hours on end.

Parents know best?

For those of you who don't know, inclusion is a movement in the education world and the philosophy behind it is to include students with various disabilities into a "regular" classroom with the help of varying levels of accommodations and modifications supplied by people like me. The point is that if we provide them with the right amount of support, they can do what everyone else is doing. You wouldn't make a legless person run in a race (you sick bastard), but give him a wheelchair and he's raring to go.
The problem is... Who can be included and who is so far out in left field that you'd end up designing an entirely independent mini-class in the corner so that "inclusion" is not happening in the least bit. That's when parents dive in and give you an answer you can't turn down! Stick their child in there anyway!
Yes, it's genius like that which has led to my having a student with severe mental retardation, an inability to speak, doesn't use his signs unless prompted to many times, bites himself and others, and has only recently mastered the ability to go to the bathroom when told to - If not encouraged, he's very likely to have an incident- He can barely identify numbers, and doesn't have the ability to write.
Instead of going to the classes that are designed to advance students like him both in academics and in life skills, his mother insists that he not only be "included" not just in regular classrooms, but at the college preparatory level! FREAKING GENIUS! So while the students are preparing for their SATs and other life changing learnings and assessments, this kid can sit in the corner and drool, squeal, grope, grab, and maybe get some academics done with his one-on-one aide.
Don't get me wrong, the lady who is assigned to be at his side at all times is a wonder to behold, but there's not much she can do in a classroom that isn't designed for a student like him to learn. The mother thinks he's doing great because he's learning to function appropriately in front of "normal" peers. So the kid has no friends, but he's learning to not act TOO retarded in front of other kids. Glad to see the mother has her priorities straight.

Now I ask you, are there many instances when you feel you're more of an authority than an experienced professional? Do you barge into doctor's offices and tell them what medications they should give their patients? Do you leap onto Broadway stages and stop the choreography because they're interpretation of Fosse just plain sucks and you can do better?

I try to look at it like this... I'm an interior designer and some doofus has asked me to paint her walls hot pink and put zebra print all over the place, and even though I think she'd a f*cking idiot, I nod and say "yes ma'am" because she's the customer... Except this isn't drapes we're talking about, it's a child, and God help this young man when his parents die because he won't know what the hell to do.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A lesson in safety.

I feel like I took a bit of a cheap shot going onto the subject of abortion the other day. It's such an easy target for discussion that I feel a little disappointed in myself. I'll try not to let that happen too often.

Instead, in this post I shall share a lesson the security members of our school learned the hard way:
If you're going to tase an enormous student who's going ape-shit in the hallway, make sure all those security staff who are desperately trying to subdue him by hanging on for dear life LET GO FIRST. Ouch.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I'm pissed.

One of the few good things that could come out of Democratic power didn't... 5% of America's adult population still don't have the right to marry the ones they love - phew doesn't that make you feel better! That gay people can't go marrying other gay people? Because if they could, locusts would plague our lands, the rivers would dry up, the whole fabric of time and space would unravel.
Also, more children will be murdered. Oh I'm sorry, did I say murdered? I meant aborted. That sounds so much neater and clinical. Funny how killing a pregnant woman can be 2 counts of murder, but when a doctor does it it's called a "termination" or "abortion". For those of you who don't know about partial birth abortion, you should. If you really, really believe this should be allowed, then you can stomach these illustrations.
What really pisses me off is that this is yet another example of how people today avoid responsibilities. What if we adopted this philosophy in other areas... I take in a roommate, but he kinda cramps my style because he won't let me party anymore, so I shoot him in the head with a .38. Problem gone, bring on the beer bong. It's okay, he wasn't married, had no family, no one wanted him, and he had no job, and was a die hard Trekkie, so he wasn't really living. And don't worry, if I make the mistake of getting another nuisance of a roommate, I can do it again.
Don't get me wrong, I believe there are grey areas too that would justify the sacrifice.
I'm not religious, I don't do this because some dusty old book says it's wrong, I say it because I believe that ending a child's life is WRONG and arguing semantics is just a pathetic way of avoiding responsibilities.
However, if you're willing to consider my proposal for LATE late- term abortions, I have some prime candidates here at the high school...

Monday, November 06, 2006

The kitchen appliance of DOOM

Rarely does such legend grow around a household utensil as one has in the case of... THE MICROWAVE. In my house, our first microwave sat atop a kitchen counter before our awed, slack-jawed faces much like the monolith intimidated the apes at the start of 2001:A Space Odyssey.

"Don't look into it, you'll get cancer in your eyes, and for GOD'S SAKE, don't put metal in it."

The mind boggled at what exactly the disaster would befall us should we dare to defy the Rules of the Microwave and offer up a spoon to its insides. Would the aforementioned piece of cutlery burst into flames? Nah, it was metal. Would sparks fly? Would the whole house wink out of existence?
I think despite its great use in warming up my mother's many fantastic leftovers, I always had a touch of fear in my heart reserved entirely for our cancer-causing, exploding, flame-inducing kitchen device of death.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Taking the piss

A few years ago, a student of mine constantly tried to avoid work by saying he had to go to pee. He had run out of passes but continued to protest loudly that he had to "go". He eventually came to class with a note and a smug look on his face.
"I've got a doctor's note saying I have a medical condition, so you have to let me use it whenever I want."
I looked at the note. I reread it.
"Student, is this a joke?"
"What?" his smile droops a little.
"Was the doctor joking around?"
"Why?" he started to get angry.
"It says here 'When student drinks a lot of water, he needs to urinate.'"
"Yeah?"
"Student... When ANYONE drinks a lot of water, they need to urinate. This doesn't tell me that you have a medical condition."
"Oh."
I don't know if the doctor used poor wording or if he was a genius.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Just goes to show...

The student I previously referred to has a very good reason as to why her parents had become incommunicado... The mother is in jail. Thankfully, I was following my second rule for today's teachers so I have nothing to feel guilty about. I wonder how many teachers in my past even gave it a second thought if one of us came to school tired and withdrawn or teary-eyed. We may not have endured quite as many instances of ill-fortune or been victims of poverty like these kids, but we all had our pain we bore to school each day.

I remember how embarrassed I was at the other Arabs in my classes who were from the same Arab country as I am from... What ignorant buffoons they often were... Not doing homework, failing tests, speaking with disrespect to their teachers. I had had enough when one of my "countrymen" was alseep as we read Julius Caesar in the 9th grade and I thought "typical, I bet he'll get a full scholarship to university and a kiss on the ass as he leaves for his business class flight". Turns out his mother and sister had just died in a car crash recently and he was unable to sleep at home for days since it happened. Actually, he was a lazy-ass student too, and he did get a full scholarship, and the metaphorical kiss on the ass, but it was a high price for him to pay in terms of karma. He was a fun guy. I can easily imagine him sniffing various illegal substances off the faultlessly perfect backsides of high class call girls. He was that kind of guy :) I hope he's behaving himself and enjoying less dangerous pleasure in life.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Give me liberty or give me heels

I don't think I'm a bra-burning femi-nazi... Really. I focus on crimes made against any human, it just so happens that the target of a lot of individual and collective aggression seems to be made towards those with ovaries... But anyway, the topic for today is true sexual freedom. Is it really freedom or is it a cry for attention and yet another reason men think we're all stupid sluts?

Exhibit A: Pole dancing classes. It is a sassy medium to express your sexual liberation or is just feeding the belief that every good wife should be a chef in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom? Are women really doing it for themselves or desperately trying to fulfill the pubescent fantasies of their male partners? I guess that's down to the individual. Don't try to give me that "oh but it tones you up and it's great exercize" because you could go for a swim and do that. However, if you're doing this for your health AND you have a kinky night scheduled in the bedroom, fine. But be honest with yourself... Why would you want to do this? Who is it really for?

I struggle with this because I'm certainly all for the exploration of self and having fun in the bedroom, but I don't exactly see men scrambling for classes on how to be sexier for their partners! I think that, rather than letting women take on the sole responsibility of spicing things up, men should take Full Monty classes or do whatever it is their partners find sexy. Maybe we need a few more of THESE! "Tell you what, honey, I'll learn to twirl my tassles in two directions if you learn to treat me like a lady! Um. Yeah."

I think I only resent the concept of it being a one-sided deal. If it's mutual, I wholeheartedly encourage sexual exploration. Share and share alike. And THAT's why the Penthouse magazines are mine too. :)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I'm prime rib, baby!

"Australia's most senior Muslim cleric has suggested that women who do not wear headscarves are to blame for sexual assaults, comparing them to uncovered pieces of meat. "

Sadly a universal belief that extends into all cultures one way or another. I remember the mortifying story of the nine year old who was kidnapped from her back garden in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates who was raped by her captor and dumped back on her property after the ordeal was over. The man was caught and the judge decided that seeing as she was wearing a see-through dress, he couldn't rightly punish the man.

To the perverts (who are unlikely to be reading this, but here I go anyway): I'm sorry if you have the willpower of a kid in a sweet shop, I'm sorry if you're sick in your twisted little mind, and I'm sorry if you wife left you for another woman or your mother beat you with a broom handle and stuck you in a closet, but the violence ends with YOU.

All this violence against women in children in the news every day is enough to make me puke like a millionaire model... And those are just the stories that even make it to the news. God knows that's just the tip of this hideous iceberg. I tried so hard not to turn this blog into a soap box situation, but MAN these people push me onto it.

I'd like to say that my attention was diverted to this article by my dear husband who doesn't abuse me... Unless I ask him to. ;)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Tips for today's teachers

On a serious note... Here are the best tips I have to give to those in the education field.

1. Be consistent. I can not stress this enough. If you say you're going to do something, you better make damn sure you do because otherwise the kids go ballistic on you. For some of them, you are the only constant, regular thing in their lives and you have high expectations to live up to.

2. Be Fair. If have set consequences for the breaking of specific rules, plan to follow them but always give the students a brief opportunity to explain themselves at the appropriate time or place (ie. after everyone else is quietly working on something or just before the class is over. You don't want to punish a kid who slept through class then find out he didn't sleep last night because daddy was beating mommy again).

3. Establish routines. The kids should know exactly what to do on days that you are absent. They should be telling the sub exactly what happens each day of the week.

4. Don't be afraid to be firm. The kids will lose all respect for you if your priority is to be their "friend". You CAN be firm without being cruel.

5. Always take a brief moment to take notice of something. "Hey Johnny, you were really quiet today, are you doing okay?" "Hey Susie, you did far better with the hand-raising today, I'm really proud" "Hey Bob, I like the new haircut". No matter how bad the kid, if you pick up on the tiniest positive thing, they will ALWAYS say "thank you" and view you differently. Don't make a big performance out of it, just a passing comment.

6. Document as much as possible. If you offered help, the kid refused, then failed the test, then you get an angry parent calling you, it sounds so sweet to say "well, Mrs. McScarylady, I offered to go through the whole study guide with him on the 23rd but he told me to get stuffed." Oh the delight!

7. Have a variety of assignments and assessments. Some kids respond well to multiple choice, some to creative presentations. Give them the opportunity to succeed in whatever way they can. If possible, give them the choice between different types of assignments so they can utilize their strengths and individual learning styles or types of expression. Also force some variety once in a while so they can explore different methods and maybe find new strengths.

8. Talk to the trees. By that, I mean the guardians. They can be invaluable with helping stamp out discipline issues in bad apples, giving insights, and also preventing the kind of calls mentioned in number 6. Also, please call giving enough time for the parent to help make a change in their child's performance BEFORE grades are set. The call should be a means of prevention and not an opportunity to whine about things that can't be changed because it's too late.

If I think of more quick notes of advice, I'll make further posts. Feel free to add your own comments/suggestions.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Hey, aren't you...?

I suddenly remembered something that happened to me while I was in college. I was in line to pay for my lunch and the cashier caught my eye. Was he Arab? His skin wasn't very dark, but his hair was, and his eyebrows were thick and his nose prominent. He gave me the same look of silent analysis.
"Excuse me, are you..?" "Do you mind if I ask..?"
"You first."
"Are you Jewish?"
"No... Funny, I was about to ask you if you were Arab! Just goes to show, huh?"
"Yeah! Hey, nice to meet you..."
"Nice to meet you too."

An armistice in a cafeteria. I always knew a place of eating was the right environment for peace.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A moment to remember.

I went through my contacts in my hotmail account and found the information for a friend who died over a year ago. It was like looking at a moment frozen in time... A memory written in bytes. I'll keep it. Who knows, I may find another dirty joke to pass on to him... :)

You Know You're an Arab Woman When...

Here are a few weird circumstances Arab women often find themselves in. I wish I were making some of this stuff up: You know you're an Arab woman when...

You get a marriage proposal from an Arab guy you JUST met. Perhaps he misread the way you passed him the spare bottle of ketchup in the fast food joint.

Arab men talk to you like you're a retarded three year old. They make it worse by smiling when they do it. It's amazing how they find the time to do this in between calls to their mothers...

You may finally be allowed to spend the night at a female friend's house at the age of 23, a few years after your 12 year brother has spent his third vacation in Amsterdam with his friends. (okay, I exaggerated with the ages, but the truth lies in the sentiment)

Arab hospitality is second to none. You can drop by someone's house and they'll offer you tea and snacks before they finally get around to telling you someone is in the next room in labor and they really must get going to the hospital (absolutely true story, I shit you not).

You have the sexiest underwear on under your jeans and long sleeve blouse. And abaya. And no one gets to see them.

Your friends mothers yell at you if you haven't talked to them in a while. They also compete with you when it comes to fashion... And they usually win. Don't worry, you'll eventually take their place.

You've heard someone pronounce "comfortable" as "con-fort-ibbel" or say it that way yourself.

You've forgotten how many cousins you've got.

You rarely keep your real hair color as is.

Your perfume is nothing compared to that of your male counterparts.

Your "nickname" given to you by older Arab women is often much longer than your real name.

Look at the amount of luggage you travel with. Tell me that doesn't look like you're running away for good.

You say"no" by tutting and jerking your head upwards.

You have heard, or said the words, "open the light".

In a bizarre Freudian twist, your mother calls you "mommy". Didn't happen in my case, but to enough of my friends I noticed a pattern.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sometimes I want to punch the tree.

Every year, the teachers of a special ed. student meet with the parent/guardian/distant relative/bookie/dealer to discuss the child's progress in his or her individual goals. I like to invite the student in question to the meeting because who likes to be talked about behind his back? Once in a while, the parent is tempted to turn the whole meeting into a discussion of last week's incident of little Johnny, little Susie, the blender, and the disillusioned frog. Recently, I conducted such a meeting in which the parents decided to dust off their soap boxes and complain how their son will NEVER meet any of these goals, so what's the point in drawing up these papers every year? The father then went on to say that his son is "borderline mentally retarded". To add to his son's embarrassment, he actually started that sentence with "as I've told you before", so not only has he said his son is almost retarded, but he's said it more than once. This, coming from the man whose clueless expression and bone-crunching handshake brought to mind images from "Of Mice and Men".
I was pleased that I didn't recall the parallel someone made between the father and Hank from "King of the Hill".
So the entire meeting was a bitching session, but I got them to sign it and walk out before the end of the period, so the victory was mine.
I was so relieved at their departure that I forgot to offer to show them the way out.
Too bad he didn't lose his way.
"Duh, which way did he go, George, which way did he go?"

Monday, October 16, 2006

War on Terror... The Board Game!

Ever wondered what you could get little Timmy for Christmas or Grandpa Ed for his birthday? Why not consider War on Terror, the board game? "You're either with them or against them... Or sometimes you're both!" It includes a balaclava (ski mask), an axis of evil spinner, suicide bombings and oil trade! A charming exercise of free speech in a box! Thankfully, not living under a dictatorship, the creators of the game will not be dragged from their beds in the middle of the night and shot! Yay!

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Power

Teaching in an urban school, we all learn the power of "calling home". The huge drug-dealing, foul-mouthed youth before you can be turned into quivering mass with the threat of bringing momma up to speed on his shenanigans. In dealing with a particularly difficult young lady this year, I made full use of her mother's cell phone number to let her know how her daughter was talking back to teachers, running out of classrooms, skipping and so on. The principal had had enough and called the mother to schedule a meeting. On the day of the meeting, the mother didn't show up. We called her cell phone. Disconnected. Her husband's cell. Disconnected. Home phone number. Disconnected. To be honest, I was impressed at the speed and dedication it took to disconnect all three lines in the space of a couple of days for the sake of avoidance of responsibilities. Say it with me, people... Apple... Tree.

Don't burst my bubble.

While I'm thinking about the fantastic parents I come in contact with through my line of work, I must devote a moment to another fine example. She had given her son one of those Speak N Spell knock offs that tests words on the fourth grade level in the hopes of improving his spelling. An admirable purchase. I used to have the original Speak N Spell and often wondered why they chose a man who either had an unfortunate speech impediment or had the microphone in his left nostril while recording, but I digress...
"Sometimes I like to play with that thing...!" She announced and we can all grin at the realization that, once in a while, we all like to tap into our inner child and play with bubbles and the like.
"And sometimes, I WHOOP that thing!"
Bubbles burst. Apple... Tree.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Darwin's Sad Duty

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of teaching one of the largest, most charming liars I've ever known. She had a smile that could have melted the heart of Joseph Stalin on a bad mustache day, and was a cronic liar, a theif, and avoider of most things academic. She would make any excuse as to why she couldn't write anything down each day, from a very obviously hastily wrapped "bandage" (scrap of some rag) on her hand to being unable to work because she was crying about all her dead brothers and sisters. This disturbed me and so I called a meeting with the rest of her teachers and her mother.
The mother was just as generous of size (apple... tree) and I felt grateful I didn't teach in a kindergarten school because she would have had to park herelf in one of those tiny chairs barely able to accommodate one ass-cheek of an emaciated model. When I brought up the student's story about her deceased siblings, the mother's reaction surprised me. Instead of a furrowed brow and a frown on her lips, her response was reminicent of a person reminded of the time Uncle Marty embarrassed everyone at the wedding with the story about the sheep but everyone thought it was funny afterwards.
"Oh she always knows when I'm pregnant because every time I am and we go get McDonalds (bingo) the smell makes me sick and when we go back again and it doesn't make me sick, she knows the baby's gone."
As I was leading her back to the front door, I mustered up every diplomatic cell in my body.
"Have you considered using some form of contraception?"
"Yeah, I had my tubes tied years ago..."
"..."
"But it didn't work after a while."
"Ah."
"I guess they came untied!" she chortled.
"I guess so."

Only then did it occur to me that someone wanted to sleep with this woman more than once. I shuddered.
"Ooh, there's a breeze."

Apple... Tree.

Teachers utter familiar phrases so frequently that we can often abbreviate them and still know what we're talking about. "Apple... Tree" is how my colleagues and I refer to the "apple doesn't fall far from the tree" phenomenon that we see with parents and their spawn whom we educate. We always love the parents who are able to show up for open houses and conferences, but sometimes it only make things worse... When told her son would be tested on his knowledge of all the states East of the Mississippi, one well-intentioned parent nodded sagely, looking at the map given to her, and then asked "Which are those?"
I was thoroughly impressed with the subtlety and speed of which the teacher made eye contact with me before he gestured to the map which states those were.
It may have been more embarrassing than calling in the parent of a girl who dresses like she may get picked up by Hugh Grant at any moment, only to see the mother show up in a mini-skirt, fish-net stockings, and heels to give drag queens a run for their money.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Feel free... When I tell you to, dammit.

Oct. 9- Some audience members jeered as Barbra Streisand performed a Bush-bashing sketch alongside an impersonator of the Commander and Chief (Steve Bridges) in her NYC concert. The heckling came to an abrupt halt when the veteran diva retorted "Shut the f*ck up! Shut up if you can't take a joke!". Later on in the evening, she delivered a speech highlighting tolerance. It must be nice to be omnipotent and infallible.

"Stop, or I shall say 'stop' again!"

With North Korea's lastest exploration of nuclear weaponry, the world's response is every bit as explosive.The UN has talked very seriously about imposing sanctions that North Korea feels won't affect them. China, Japan, and the US has had intense discussions in which they condemn North Korea's actions. The rest of the world has been abuzz with the news. At the thunder of all these voices, Kim Jong Il responded by plugging up his ears and singing very loudly (but with a voice of unmatched beauty, no doubt). This angered the UN who in turn is reported to be planning a party in which they won't invite the Adonis-like miniature leader, and in fact will invite everyone else in the world except him. They may even raise their voices at the next global conference. A spokesperson shared "If he won't listen, we'll shout EVEN louder and then he'll REALLY regret it." The rest of the world holds its breath in anticipation of the UN's actions and is slowly turning blue...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Real life rocks part 1

Once in a while, I'm reminded of how amazing real life can be, giving fictional writers a run for their money. Being a special educator I get to hear loads of great stories, and the first I'm going to share is of a kid whose teachers started to notice that his brand new sneakers were getting more and more worn and marked. This wouldn't be abnormal for his friends, but this young man was in a wheelchair and has never walked a day in his life. When questioned, all he would do is smile (especially given the fact that he couldn't speak), so his teachers figured it wasn't anything to be worried about. It turns out, a peer of his kept forgetting to bring appropriate shoes for gym class and saw an ideal opportunity... A thankfully innocent reason. It would have sucked if he'd used them in a messy crime, leaving footprints in his wake...

Friday, October 06, 2006

Assault is never funny, except when...

If you ever thought the Smurf's were innocent of social misconduct, you may want to check this out. I guess his name is Shifty Smurf.

Probing medical study

According to the British Broadcasting Corporation News (BBC), Francis Fesmire, Majed Odeh, Harry Bassan and Arie Oliven have discovered a quick fix for the hiccups... Their paper is bluntly entitled: The Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage.
I can see how that would distract one from a bad case of the hiccups. I just want to know who volunteered for the study.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Think Pink

I'm not referring to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I'm referring to Sony's proposal to release pink PlayStations in an attempt to attract younger female gamers. Yes, a pink PlayStation is exactly what I want to use when fragging your sorry @$$.

A new breed of alarm

I love cheesy ads on the radio. On my drive to work each morning, I hear about a new alarm system that includes a two-way voice so some guy with an announcer voice can check up on you if the alarm is tripped. The female client in the advert apologizes to the disembodied voice and says she set the alarm off by mistake while getting her shopping. The voice says "That's okay" and asks for her ID number.
In my mind, she fumbles for the code too long and suddenly she's disintegrated ala Duck Dodgers and her bag of groceries falls to the floor in a fizz of smoke and ashes. Now THAT would be an alarm system to inspire confidence.

Blogs away!

Right. Here we go. I'm blogging. I had really hoped I wouldn't start doing this. I don't even write in my diary anymore, for God's sake. Is it narcissitic to think anyone would be remotely interested in my thoughts on life, the universe, and everything? I suppose there's always an audience for someone out there. If I've gained one or two, welcome. I'll update the look once I've learned how.

Let's start with this. I'm Arab, female, and no I don't dress like a "ninja". Nor did I ever intentionally walk a few paces behind a man unless I was surruptitiously checking out his assets. Not that I make a habit of that... Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate the well-rounded aspects of a person, but I've been far too ditracted recently to notice. I'm Arab and I've got the bushy eyebrows to prove it. I've got the feel of sand at my fingertips, the beat of the tabla in my hips, and an uncontrolable urge to eat Indian food at any opportunity. Okay, the last one isn't entirely Arab, but Arabs do like a nice Indian dish for the most part. I have an insatiable appetite for learning. And chocolate. Feel free to feed me both. I salivate equally at the thought of a good book or a Milky Way. Anyway, my point is that this blog has one goal... To propogate learning. Mine and maybe yours.People have fought and died for the right to learn, to rise above their station, to expand the horizons of the opportunities that lay before them... And all of that leads to this blog! What an anti-climax... :)