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, March 31, 2007

Big Deal or No Big Deal?

Lord knows I never want to be a principal, but if I were to be one, I wouldn't make a statement as stupid as this in response to two 5th graders accused of having sex in a classroom while two others were fondling each other in the same room:

"This is one incident and everyone is making a big deal out of it," Futch said. "I never had a teacher complain to me, but I have heard them complain to each other."

First of all, it IS a big fucking deal (no pun intended) and he should at least pretend to be outraged and concerned about the emotional well being of kids that young engaging in sexual activity.
Secondly, it doesn't matter HOW the idiot hears of complaints, whether directly or indirectly, he should take them into consideration if they are supported by evidence in the number of incidences that take place in the school in any given week. One thing I can't stand in a school is a princpal who keeps his head in the sand or shove serious incidents under a rug rather than deal with the situation to the best interests of the students. If it weren't for the complaints and outrage of other adults, a lot of administrators would be so quick to bury crap like this faster than you can say smaller scale conspiracy theory.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Quotes of the Day

On the third day of watching Apollo 13, during which the students are required to record 15 facts relating to what they have learned thus far in the field of physical science, I heard two fantastic quotes. Bear in mind, neither of these quotes came from any of my students with special neeeds.

"Is this in space?"


"Is this back in slavery?"

I claim absolutely no responsibility.

Oo-er Missus!

(Note: For those of you who don't know, "oo-er missus" is a British expression said in response to comments that have intentional or unintentional elements of sexual innuendo)

My husband is a letter carrier/mail man, and so if I'm able to give him a call during the day, he often chats with me using a Bluetooth ear piece. I would never be able to use that because I'd constantly feel the urge to draw attention to it so people didn't think I was a maniac gibbering to herself.

Anyway, I get to hear him on his rounds and occasionally hear people talking to him- "Hot enough for ya?" and "Oh ho ho, you can keep the bills, I don't want those!" or nonsensical ramblings of one of the neighborhood crackheads running a daycare out of her apartment are the most common things I tend to overhear.

What I often like to do is say completely obscene things to him while he's politely interacting with whomever has just approached him or else make remarks about specific things the person says, especially if they say something stupid.

One day, while I was chatting to my darling, I heard him ring a doorbell, so I said:
"Hello! I've got a big package... Just for you!" and laughed. I heard the door open and my sweetheart said, in his most cheery tone said:
"Hello! I've got a big package for you!" and I heard some excited woman's squeals follow. I'm such a dirty-minded perv, had my mailman said that, I wouldn't have missed a beat in responding with:
"That's what HE said."

Thursday, March 29, 2007

If It Ain't Broke...

In my experience in the arts, there are musicals that I dare to call "perfect".
The "perfect" musical is one that has the right balance of humor and drama, entertaining characters, tunes that plague you long after you've seen the show, and don't have The Hoff involved. Some of my choices for "perfect" musicals are Jesus Christ Superstar, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Little Shop of Horrors, Mary Poppins, and -at the risk of sounding like a real wet blanket- The Phantom of the Opera (every middle-aged woman's favorite musical), and Les Miserables. Jekyll and Hyde might be one, but Frank Wildhorn keeps bloody changing it.
Tanz Der Vampires or Dance of the Vampires is another such "perfect" musical. Based on the Roman Polanski film entitled The Fearless Vampire Killers, it tells the tale of a young apprentice and his eccentric, vampire-seeking professor companion and their encounter with an odd little town that is being terrorized by vampires. The naive young man falls for the town beauty who is, in turn, drawn to the vampire count Krolock who really knows how to live (for an undead guy).
The music, by Jim Steinman, captures the gothic elements of the story beautifully, as well as the eccentric silliness of the townsfolk or the playfulness of an amorous homosexual vampire. I don't care that he re-used some of his more well-known tunes (Total Eclipse of the Heart), although it was a little sensitive that he re-used a tune that he had composed alongside his good friend Ray Fox for a musical they had written together (The Confidence Man) as it was their baby. It doesn't seem to me that Steinman does any of that in malice, he simply knows a good tune when he's written one and I would hate for such beautiful lesser known tunes to fade into obscurity. All in all, the quality of the music is consistent, which is to say- excellent. I'm very much a fan of rock opera, and this is a prime example.
What never ceases to amaze me is how erotic the count was as played by the late Steve Barton. I can't say there are many songs or music pieces that actually inspire a physical reaction in me, but the combination of Steinman's music which strays anywhere between throbbing and caressing, and the growling seductive power of Steve Barton can actually get me squirming in my seat! Forget Marvin Gaye, put Steve Barton singing as Von Krolock and I'm aching!
Phew. Better stop thinking about it that.
I'm sure there are plenty of YouTube sources for clips you can check out, and you may be surprised to see that it has been performed in a number of languages in a number of countries. It's brief existence on the Broadway stage was disastrous as a grave mistake was made (no pun intended). Someone tried to change something that which was already perfect.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go take a cold shower. Or else take a look at my students. Same effect.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pimp That Snack!

You can almost understand why poorer countries hate the West so much when websites like this exist in light of their own poverty and starvation! I think it's deliciously decadent! I want the giant Twix.

You Have Choices!

You can watch paint dry, you can watch grass grow, or you can watch cheese mature. Isn't life just full of great choices? God, where would we be without the Internet???

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Stranger Things Have Happened.

We’re never short of strange events at school and last week was no exception. We have yet to find out what exactly happened, but it appears one of our students went off the rails.

I’d never really noticed her because she’s one of the few independent students who keeps to herself and never asks for help and pretty much has straight A’s in all classes. I was in her history class in the morning and was going over a study guide with one of my students who was seated right next to her when she started inching her desk towards us and seemed to be listening in, so I turned to accommodate her.
She inched away again.
Then back to us.
Then away again.
She wandered over to the window and the history teacher had to tell her to return to her seat. I didn’t think anything of this because I didn’t know her at all, and I thought the cute pajama pants she had around her neck were just an expression of some charming personality quirk.

Later on, I saw a locker that could have easily been the victim of an internal explosion with most of its contents spewed out onto the floor. It was hers.

After the kids were all gone, I was chatting to one of our security guards and she described a girl who was moving from seat to seat in the cafeteria. When asked what she was doing, the girl responded that she was going to class. She then wandered into the gym and started walking around it. The security guard followed her and asked what her name was. She looked at the security guard, then looked at the bottle of water in her hand, then answered in a voice that lacked any hint of a smart ass:

“Fuji.” She then slowly poured the contents of the bottle onto the floor.

She has yet to return to school, and I really do worry about the poor thing. I can’t imagine what kind of event would cause her to snap like that. I guess my day will come once I’ve been doing this job long enough…

My Little Project

I often refer to my scary little gangsta kid as “My Little Project”, which sounds thoroughly condescending, and implies that I care little for his wellbeing beyond my academic successes with him. This is entirely untrue. I adore My Little Project very much because he reminds me why I love to work with the kids that I do and he makes me smile! He managed to get to 9th grade without anyone bringing to light his obvious learning disability in the areas of math and reading and maybe his gangsta fa├žade scared them off or maybe he did a great job of hiding his deficits like so many do. Either way, I noticed his My Little Project had problems and quickly took him under my wing, and the rest of my colleagues were fantastic about it.

MLP quickly learned that I was on his side, and I was delighted to see him begin to greet me openly in the hallways before I even got a "hello" and a wave out to him first. In class, if another student misbehaves, he looks at me, rolls his eyes, and we share a moment of calm amid the storm. I have always been curious about his home life, but never asked, preferring to maintain our subdued relationship as it was. I should have guessed I'd learn something about it now that I've requested to have him assessed by the school psychologist.

His father tried to shoot his mother while she was pregnant with him, he didn't succeed. His father then tried to shoot himself, botched the job, and gave himself a permenant speech impediment. MLP's mother tried to get him to open communications with his father again so MLP flew into a rage and threw his own X-Box out the window in protest. I can understand his reservations. People always seem to assume that bonding with family members is really important regardless of how horrific they are. I don't always agree. Family is NOT always best. In my own case, I should have given my father a second chance, but I would have a hard time convincing MLP to do just that.

Sometimes I wish I didn't know so much about my "little" guys.

My Kind of Science.

I may suggest to the science teacher I work with that we start teaching this lesson. I just don't know how we could align it to the state standards that we are required to teach... Somehow I think the science of Batman just won't fit in any of the set categories...

Monday, March 26, 2007

To Our Egyptian Brothers and Sisters.

Thanks to brave individuals like Sandmonkey, the world is a little more educated about the plight of the Egyptians who seek liberty, democracy and a reformation of a corrupt police force. I fear his recent encounter has disheartened him, but I hope he continues to fight the good fight.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Get Disney's People On The Phone!

Can't you just see this news story making a cheesy Disney live action movie?

The sniffer dogs make a huge piracy bust and the Main Baddie Malaysian guy's best trafficers get caught in the process.

The Main Baddie Malaysian guy bangs his fist on his big shiny table as the camera zooms in on his face:

"Get me those dogs!"

Cut to: The two dogs happily roaming the streets of Malaysia, being greeted by name by all the shopkeepers. They make their usual stop at the butcher to get their usual treats.

"Oh hey there, Lucky and Flo! It's a gosh-darn good thing you guys are emplyed by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, because otherwise it would be you up here on these meat hooks!"

Oh wait. That doesn't happen. I've been listening to far too much Distorted View Daily ...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Middle Eastern Humor

Axis of Evil Comedy Tour
Allah Made Me Funny
New York Arab American Comedy Festival
Stand Up For Peace

You Ugly.

A study revealed that mock jurors doled out harsher sentences to unattractive defendants and more lenient ones to hot defendants. Wouldn't you just hate to have your photo used in the study and wonder which category it was used in?

Cry Me a River.

Part of me wants to say JESUS CHRIST, if a student wearing Winnie the Pooh socks is a big freaking deal to you, why don't you come spend a day in my shoes ,or someone who teaches in a far more violent school than mine, and get a gander of the bigger picture..? But then a bigger part of me says, the student knew full well what the rules were and if she wants to fight them, she should do it through the school board and not instigate situations she has to know will arise once she breaks the rule. She knew the school has a uniform policy, it shouldn't come as some big surprise... I guess it was one way of bringing it to the attention of the lawmakers and the noisy public.

Further Update.

The bloody fight I mentioned in this post revealed more. The kid who did most of the ass-kicking had a box-cutter on him. I also found out that he kid he beat up was one of mine two years ago. A nice kid, big pot-head, but sweet. He just has the unfortunate ability to piss people off and not know when to shut up sometimes. Hopefully he wasn't so high at the time that he actually learned his lesson.
Maybe this would be a good time to install metal detectors? I've seen enough kids freak out when they see what they think is a metal detector in the library (it detects smuggled books) and refuse to go through it to know that maybe it would be a good idea.

Further Update: A fight in the cafeteria and one of my favorite students balled up his fist and threatened to punch the math teacher I work with. He arrived late to class and the math teacher's abrupt attitude with him set him off. Sigh.

Snapping Bra Straps Doesn't Compare.

It would probably bore you to know that another fight was averted by teacher yesterday in the very hallway I work in, so I won't speak of that... The day started off a little differently when I saw a young man curled up in the smallest way possible. Short of some Chinese circus gymnast, I've never seen someone collapse into such a tiny- almost portable- size. Apparently, he had been a fan of "ball tag", until his friend got too enthusiastic and hit him a little too hard in the happy sack.
"A man got to protect his nuggets..." a passerby commented eloquently.
The history teacher I work with was already all over the situation and rather than waste time asking if the guy was okay, or even what had happened, he stood over him grimly to make sure none of the kids stepped on him.
I've always noted that nothing can bring together two or more men in empathy, solidarity, and support than when one of them gets hit in the testicles. Their faces adopt the look of men who have seen a buddy take a bullet in 'Nam.
When I later found out it was a student who towers over me, I considered suggesting to him that he join the circus, but I doubt he'd fully appreciate my reasoning.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Children Pay The Price.

If these terroriss really believe their cause is just, how on Earth can they justify using children in a suicide bombing but not including themselves in the blast? Practice what you preach, you sick fucks, preferrably in a big empty field and without little kids. Why do they act as though they have no options? Their futures don't lie in the gas chamber of a Holocaust, nor in the hands of bitter starvation in the midst of a famine nor, THANKFULLY, in the hands of the likes of Saddam Hussein, Pol Pot, or Stalin, so when are they planning on teaching their kids how to live instead of how to die?

I've Got a New Hero

... And his name is Amir Taheri. His reaction to the Iraqi polls is one that I share, I must admit, so my adoration of him is more than a little narcissistic.

Best Geek Hotels

Geeks, need some place sufficiently sexy AND suitably geeky to meet your nerdy vacation needs? As discovered by Geek Monthly, take a look at these hotels that designed their rooms with you in mind. And no, they don't provide a Seven of Nine lookalike to be your room service attendant.

Pavement Art

I've seen Kurt Wenner's pavement art, but I've never had the opportunity to see this art form from different angles (Julian Beever's portfolio) to show just how much thought and effort is put into making them appear three dimensional. It's quite breathtaking.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

More Money Than Sense

I've said it time and again. Paying $817,015.57 for a vanity plate is a clear demonstration of possessing more money (or credit) than sense. I guess at least his heart was in the right place. I guess.

School Days: Guns, and Knives, and Rape, Oh My.

I've had the unpleasant duty of monitoring kids on a school bus during a field trip, and it may be the stale smell, the bumpy seat belt-less ride, or the excitement of getting passing trucks to blast their horns, but these brats get a little horny. I've had to chastise two kids who barely even spoke to each other before from getting a little too friendly now that they were seated next to each other. I guess it's a good thing they're all usually so very loud, because it was their sudden drop in volume that clued me in. Despite being prone to motion sickness, I did my best to make sure there was absolutely no hanky-panky or bullying on MY watch, thank you very much.

Apparently, that's too difficult for people who are paid to be bus monitors in New York City. Little kids are being raped on the backs of buses and apparently a large number of these substantiated complaints have also gone missing. When did schools stop caring about the safety of kids?

My own place of work has documented that 13 doors are left unlocked for most of each day through which any angry parent, enraged child, or random loony could walk in off the street, guns blazing. I also know damn well that they won't do a thing until something actually happens. I'm sure they'll put on a great show of sympathy for the families involved and generate a lot of money for the relatives of the deceased, but God forbid they should preempt something like that even when they've got the facts staring them in the face.

I have to feel a little nervous when I heard that the one armed guy (um, he has two arms, I mean he's packing) in our building is thinking of looking for work elsewhere because he says he knows of things- threats, events, weapons being found- that we teachers have no idea about and HE'S SCARED! Dude! You're the guy with the taser and gun!

There's little I despise more than people who bitch about a system then don't offer a solution, so that's not what I'm trying to do. I know we can't stop the spread of the philosophy of violence from generation to generation but I KNOW we are capable of stopping a lot of this before it even starts. I KNOW teachers are doing their part because I hear of, see, and occasionally assist in many heroic moments where a situation is diffused or a child is dragged off before any more blood can be spilled...

As I was typing the last sentence above, I just got another e-mail that yet another fight has broken out and another kid we teach got beaten up pretty badly.

Something more HAS to be done. Beyond all the basics of better security measures and harsh punishments, right from the start we need to stop creating confident idiots with all ego and no skills and start prioritizing independence. If we have kids who are expected to be more responsible, they will develop more well-founded confidence in their abilities then these dolts who are frustrated by their own limitations and have a false sense of confidence built up over years of being applauded every time they showed up to school at all, didn't beat the shit out of someone and snored more quietly than usual in class. If we set the expectations higher, they CAN reach them. We just need to abandon our fear of hurting their poor little egos for the sake of fostering a sense of independence and achievement they can be proud of.

I'm not saying this will cure all ills, but it'll sure knock out a few of them. We can't change their home environment, but we can certainly set our school environment to not take this kind of crap. On the other side:

  • Counselors need to teach coping strategies to all age groups since they don't learn this at home.

  • Teachers need to make sure they're doing all they can do to establish the kind of environment where the kids know that they'll get into deep shit if they dare get into a fight and establish a sense of safety in their own rooms. Also, I know of teachers who (either accidentally or purposefully) set kids off and promote an aggressive mood. Those teachers need to stop fueling the fire. (Thankfully, I don't know many of these types of teachers.)

  • Administrators need to stop hiding their heads in the sand until something dreadful happens and only THEN take action.

  • Getting a little vacation from school should not be the consequence of getting into a fight. Community service and then far more serious consequences for repeat offenders should be established. As funny as it would be to try to fine the families of kids who fight, that would only exacerbate things further, I imagine. But damn, think of all the money you'd make for the school at first!

We're not doing enough to make these kids feel safe and it makes me sick to my stomach.

For the teachers who do their part (you know who you are) : well done. You make me proud. But without support from everyone else, you're going to be breaking up fight after fight and risk getting seriously hurt in the process of holding back the tide. We have no idea how many knives are found on students. We only get told about the ones that teachers already know/hear about and so the administration is forced to admit it and not sweep the situations under the rug, which they are so wont to do. I know of plenty of things that they have swept under the rug and it really disappointed me. I was even asked to spill my guts to a news station once, but in fidelity I joined in the cover-up.

I'm going to keep an eye on our armed guy. As soon as he jumps ship, I'm going to look into getting a bulletproof blouse.

UPDATE: Two more fights broke out since I wrote this post. One was bloody enough to close down a hallway.

Monday, March 19, 2007

What Have We Done?

Steven Avery was wrongly convicted of rape and spent 18 years behind bars... Too bad after he got out he went on to brutally rape and murder a 25 year old woman with the help of his nephew. You can't help but wonder... Did the system create a monster or would he have done it anyway? Maybe he really did commit that rape and just got off through some legal loophole.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spring of Sex!

Bahrain is one of the more modern Middle Eastern societies, and so I was dismayed when a performance of Laila Wal Majnoon was touted as indecent because of the dancers dress and movements implying the romantic relationship between the characters. It was performed during Bahrain's "Spring of Culture", which is how the offended individuals went to great creative depths to come up with "Spring of Sex" and "Spring of Foolishness".
I'm just sorry I didn't get to see it...

Juliet, Juliet...! Let Down Your Hair?!

Not one, but two students in two different classes offered up this tidbit of information on their background knowledge of Romeo and Juliet:

"Ain't Juliet the one with the long hair? You know, and the dude climbed her hair?"

You can rest assured, tax-paying citizens of the United States, that we will set them straight.

Mona Lisa Speaks Up For Herself.

I'm afraid I would only believe in these scientists' ability to predict a voice by the appearance of an individual if they were able to take my own photo and give me an accurate assertion as to what my voice sounds like without their hearing my true voice. There have been plenty of times when I expected a certain voice to come from someone and then was surprised to hear how far off the mark my guess was.

Apparently, my voice makes me sound a lot older than I am because more than once I've had parents come in to meet me after having spoken on the phone and they express their surprise at my youth. One woman even said she thought I would be in my fifties!! I hardly think I sound that mature, but I guess I should be flattered. I guess.

What I would really love is for an accent specialist to try his/her damndest to figure out what my mutt accent is made up of. I love that bizarre mixture of accents Arab teenagers acquire, some lean more towards a British, some towards an American... My personal favorite is when an Iraqi acquires a Scottish lilt. There's another word to describe a Scottish accent but it eludes me... I know it ends with an 'rl'... Hmm...

Why the Dead Should Stay Dead.

You may or may not recall the Hypercolor t-shirts that came out in the 80s that changed color when exposed to heat. Being the big doofus that I am, I had two- despite living in a country that was pretty much always brain-boilingly hot, so it was only cool when I wore it indoors and my shoulders would turn my orange t-shirt yellow or my purple t-shirt pink. I wore them during my tomboy days and so promptly abandoned them to the depths of my closet when I started to "blossom" into a young lady and didn't want my newfound, much-hated tits highlighted in a different color.

Anyway, thankfully those days are gone, but they're not forgotten as you can see with this heat sensitive paint. They also make a wall paint, which would look vile if you had kids putting their warm paw and butt prints all over the living-room. Guests would think you've got brats running rampant with paint.

And you know damn well if you had a car painted with their heat sensitive paint that some joker in the neighborhood would be sure to make a rude impression just before you leave the house for work and you'll be praying the air is warm enough to erase all evidence of the penis-shaped mark on your door. Or is that just something I would do?
Class. Pure class.


Feeling run down? Stressed beyond words? Why not consider the Britney Breakdown Package in San Fransisco? It exudes class. Just as much as Britney possesses.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Nah Nah Nah Naaaah Naaaaah! You Can't Catch Me!

As much as this was a waste of police time, I'd much rather read stories like this for the sake of a smile than some of the horrid stuff that makes the news nowadays.

Ooh, I Want It!

I should set down my sword and my slaying of kobolds and vampires and pick this game up in the name of peace! If it's truly realistic, I'll be pulling my hair out within days of starting it!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Stop It Or I'll "Condemn" You!

Thank God for the UN, going around CONDEMNING things. We can all rest easy tonight, knowing the UN has shaken its finger at Sudan's government over the atrocities of Darfur. They demand international intervention, but then my guess is that the Imperial Power that is the United States would be accused of expanding their evil clutches to include the African continent if they did intervene.
Why is everyone fumbling around like the Three Stooges over this one? Why are we using words like "outrage" and "condemn" when we should be carrying out strategies and plans?
The UN has to be one of the most ineffectual organizations I've ever seen in the face of enormous crimes committed against humanity.

Gag Order.

Wow! Those Israeli diplomats certainly know how to have fun! I love the second paragraph...

"Reports say he was able to identify himself to police only after a rubber ball had been removed from his mouth."

It's that kind of writing that makes for great journalism!

The Culture Of Concerts

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a bit of an old fart in the field of night life. I'd much rather throw a zombie-themed movie night with my D&D buddies (which I have done) than go to a drug-fueled underground rave (which I haven't). Recently, however, I decided to break from my usual fare to see a Flogging Molly concert. I had heard it could get a bit wild, but I so wanted to hear their music live that I risked it.

The music was amazing. The audience... Not so much. Moshing is just plain stupid (and gross- keep your nasty sweat to yourself, Mr. Three-Hundred-Pound-Beardy-Man) and despite the sign at the door that said crowd surfing was not permitted, plenty of idiots did it. They reminded me of my cats when I toss them off of my furniture or my lap. It was uncanny-that same look of confusion and then scurrying back to doing exactly what they were doing before. It was quite comical seeing the same motards get chucked forward time and again by people who honestly just wanted to get some distance between themselves and the repulsive, drunk individuals they were forced to bear or risk getting squashed by. It was kinda funny seeing the poor security guy near me struggle with a particularly large 15 year old girl who landed with anything but grace as she tried pathetically to pull her tiny t-shirt down over her generous belly and pierced navel.
To my right, two people down, was a red-headed man who was clearly there to just enjoy the music. We both struggled to get away from the yahoos (rather hard to do, given that we were right up front), and if we happened to look at each other while singing the same songs, I'd smile and he'd hold up his Guinness that he got from Nathen Maxwell, the bass player, and a look of respect crossed his flushed, sweating face. It was a pleasant sense of camaraderie that I felt, though he probably barely noticed me in the throes of his sheer enjoyment of the music.

What really confused me was how the audience showed appreciation... I saw many a raised fist or a finger pointed at the musician they were enjoying, which I understood, but then I saw one guy waving his middle finger. Now, call me old-fashioned if you will, but what kind of sign of respect is that??! I looked at the guy's face to see if he meant it maliciously, and he clearly didn't.
To my left was a tiny little lady who I feared would get crushed and we often exchanged friendly smiles and shared a rolling of eyes at some of the morons around us. Next to her was a lady who I thought was her girlfriend because she kept touching the little lady, but it turns out she was just a bit of a pervert who took every opportunity to grope or kiss any woman within reach. I was grateful I was far away enough from her that she just stroked my cheek and didn't get any of my good stuff. She was far from enticing. In all my experience watching movies and TV shows, I figured maybe she'd taken some Ecstasy.
I'd never do it again, because the concert culture just isn't for me, but what a delight to see a band who's every bit as good live as they are in their studio recordings and I learned a thing or two as well. I'll stick to seated performances only from now on, thank you very much.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The World Has Gone Insane.

I know this is an old article, but it's a perfect example of the insanity mankind can be capable of in the political arena. I would have loved to have seen how nervous the supporters of a pedophile political party would be at gatherings! It would be the largest collection of sweaty, scary looking men in raincoats the world would have ever seen!

I've Been A Naughty Girl!

How much does your sin bill amount to? I found this on this lady's blog.
Mine rang up an embarrassing $405.50. And no, I haven't peed in a pool for a very long time. I could have added another $25 but my seatbelt wouldn't let me. I'd rather be safe than end up like a character in a The World According To Garp.

I don't even get why number 7 is in there.

1. Smoked pot -- $10
2.Did acid -- $5
3. Ever had sex at church -- $25
4.Woke up in the morning and did not know the person who was next to you -- $40
5.Had sex with someone on MySpace -- $25
6.Had sex for money -- $100
7.Ever had sex with the a Puerto Rican -- $20
8.Vandalized something -- $20
9.Had sex on your parents' bed -- $10
10.Beat up someone -- $20
11.Been jumped -- $10
12.Crossed dressed -- $10
13.Given money to stripper -- $25
14.Been in love with a stripper -- $20
15.Kissed some one who's name you didn't know -- $0.10
16.Hit on some one of the same sex while at work -- $15
17.Ever drive drunk -- $20
18.Ever got drunk at work, or went to work while still drunk -- $50
19.Used toys while having sex -- $30
20.Got drunk, passed out and don't remember the night before -- $20
21.Went skinny dipping -- $5
22.Had sex in a pool -- $20
23. Kissed someone of the same sex -- $10
24. Had sex with someone of the same sex -- $20
25. Cheated on your significant other -- $10
26. Masturbated -- $10
27. Cheated on your significant other with their relative or close friend -- $20
28. Done oral -- $5
29. Got oral -- $5
30. Done / got oral in a car while it was moving -- $25
31. Stole something -- $10
32. Had sex with someone in jail -- $25
33. Made a nasty home video -- $15
34. Had a threesome -- $50
35. Had sex in the wild -- $20
36. Been in the same room while someone was having sex -- $25
37. Stole something worth over more than a hundred dollars -- $20
38. Had sex with someone 10 years older -- $20
39. Had sex with someone under 21 and you are over 27 -- $25
40. Been in love with two people or more at the same time -- $50
41. Said you love someone but didn't mean it -- $25
42. Went streaking -- $5
43. Went streaking in broad daylight -- $15
44. Been arrested -- $5
45. Spent time in jail -- $15
46. Peed in the pool -- $0.50
47. Played spin the bottle -- $5
48. Done something you regret -- $20
49. Had sex with your best friend -- $20
50. Had sex with someone you work with at work -- $25
51. Had anal sex -- $80
52. Lied to your mate -- $5
53. Lied to your mate a bout the sex being good -- $25


A use for cockroaches! Back home, we had cockroaches the length of your pinky and there was many a time that they would traumatize us by hiding in our hanging towels. I took to swatting at the towel before pulling it to my body. I'll never forget the time a big fat one plopped out onto the floor and scuttled away. My voice is too deep to emit a girly scream, but I managed a pseudo-squeal at that one.
I also fondly remember (remember fondly? Boldly go... Go boldly... Hmmm) the time my huge brother, who has served in Afghanistan, (AGAINST the terrorists, in case you were wondering) came out of the bathroom with the first towel he could find wrapped around his waist (pink, frilly, one of mum's) with a look of sheer terror on his face. Then this man who knew various ways to end a person's life quickly and quietly stared past me and said:

"A six foot cockroach just landed on my head. In the shower."

I offered my sympathy then laughed.

By the way... I had such a hard time searching for pictures of cockroaches here at work. I guess the blocking software thinks I'm looking for cocks. There is a distinct difference. I'm looking for pictures of the one that you're more likely to see being stuffed into a woman's mouth on Fear Factor, and unless that show got a whole lot more interesting, I'm talking about the insect variety.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Contender For Stupid Comment Of The Year.

Class settled down to watch Of Mice and Men. I'd forgotten how much I used to fancy Gary Sinise, but anyway... Ten minutes into the film...

Social Butterfly: Is he slow?

The class collectively groan and roll their eyes. My eyes go right along with theirs. Social Butterfly looks annoyed.

Social Butterfly: Well, how was I supposed to know? I didn't read it.

TeacherLady: I know. You had it read to you.

The class chuckles. I won that pointless battle.

I'd rather it be read to them and allow them the opportunity to be exposed to beautiful literature rather than what they would do if we dared leave them to read it themselves. Obviously, I wish we could raise the standards and expectations to the point that ninth graders would actually read at least part of the book themselves along with teacher guidance, but eh...

Uh, Mailman, There's a Head In My Mail...

Holy crap! I'd freak out if I was accidentally sent body parts in a box!!

Brain Man.

If I could memorize things as well as this guy, I'd be a much happier person. I'd never have to look like a refugee in a parking lot trying to find my car, I'd never embarrass myself in front of people whose names escaped me, I'd never miss an appointment, a birthday... But wait. I would never be able to use the excuse "I forgot." Hm. Is it a gift, or a curse?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Name That Tune.

I must admit, the first time I across Song Tapper through B3ta, I was more impressed because it actually got my two songs absolutely correct, but when I looked it up again, it failed to impress me as much. See if you have more luck!

An Artist Deprived.

Sigh. Seeing stuff like this really makes me feel behind on my art. Not only have I not drawn something in ages, but I have no hope in hell of getting to the point that I expand my media to that of computer programs like the one used in the above video.
I plan on drawing my beautiful daughter some time before she's one, so I'd better do it soon because the way she's going she'll be in college next week.


Whenever people find out I'm a special ed. teacher, they almost always react this way.

"Ohhh." Pause. "You must be very patient. I couldn't do it."

Usually, I'm quite a patient person who only tends to appear frazzled when I fear I may forget something, but this gig has made me grow some major gray hairs.

Here's an example. I have a student who is very capable but is unmedicated for his inability to focus. I can sit two inches from him and look him in the eye and ask him if he understands the assignment and he'll still be miles away and not really see me. At first, I was concerned he was having minor seizures, but apparently not.

We've had a conference with his mother about his laziness coupled with his inability to focus and it's driving us all insane. I watched him today in math class and was glad that I was never like him because I would never have survived in my own school.

The students were told which assignment to do, he had the paper in front of him, he had a sharpened pencil in his hand (not a frequent occurrence), he was ready. He stared at the clean blackboard for about two minutes. He then looked down at his paper. Oh good, I thought. His eyes then dropped lower to the tag hanging off his jeans. He fumbled with it for a little while. He looked at his paper again and put his pencil to it. Yes! I thought. He picked the pencil back up again and inspected the point. He then pulled out a notebook and tore out a page. He pinched it in half and then slowly pressed along the crease. He set it down below his assignment. He looked at it again and moved his pencil to the notebook paper, looking at the first question. He heard a noise behind him and turned around. Bear in mind that he did this all at about the speed of an emaciated sloth with only one arm stuck to a very sticky pole. A good 8 minutes has passed and he'd done fuck all. I began to realize my morbid curiosity wasn't helping.

TeacherLady: Spaceman! You know how to do these, I've already helped you on them. Get started, PLEASE!
Spaceman: Wha..? Oh. Yeah, yeah, I know how to do these.

It usually takes at least four of these prompts to get him to actually start. He always needs more to keep going. I look at my calendar again to see how long until spring break. To heck with spring break, when does the summer holiday start???


One of my students wasn't on his medication today, and it was painfully evident. Don't ask me how, but when he takes his pills, he doesn't shout out, he doesn't answer back, and he works. No, they won't put this stuff in the drinking water, so don't ask. Anyway, he decided to forgo giving his teachers the pleasure of a nice start to a Monday, so he yelled his way through three classes that I was lucky enough to have to be in today. During the third class, he came charging up to me with his right hand up in my face.

I-Don't-Need-No Stinkin-Meds-Kid: I broke my knuckle. Look at it, it's busted.
TeacherLady: You look fine.
IDNNSMK: No, look, see? It's bleeding.
TeacherLady (squinting): I'd need a microscope to see any blood. Anyway, you'd be in a lot more pain if it were broken.
IDNNSMK: Nah, I've been knocked out and didn't feel nothin' (I bet you didn't). I would't cry or nothin' if I broke it.
TeacherLady: Well then just go sit down. Get out of the hallway or someone might bump into it.
IDNNSMK: If that happened, I'd just give him a swing on the right.
TeacherLady: Uhu. Only that was your LEFT.
He laughs and it makes me smile because it's the first time he's ever acknowledged the possibility of being wrong. Finally!

Amidst The Primordial Soup Lies a Crouton.

Today in science class the teacher asked the students if they recalled the parts of an atom...

"Umm. Crouton!"

I was reminded of the times my uncle and I used to laugh about the silliest things as we drove across the British landscape, stopping whenever we felt like it and roaming around some charming historical site. Once, we imagined Chicken Kievs in their natural habitats, nibbling on garlic cloves. Another time, we giggled about hamsters in their natural environment of the great plains of Africa, taking down their prey: the antelope. And then there was the soup. If there was primordial soup, there must have been primordial croutons.

I haven't had a nice long drive with my uncle in years.

Friday, March 02, 2007

You Call That Art?

I know I could pick on far worse examples of shite art, but I have to point this out. Cutting out photos, painting them with watered down pink paint and then drawing blue crayon circles onto them is NOT ART... Unless you're talking about mass-produced crap that people fall over themselves for. Dave McKean can pull it off. This lady can't.

In reality, I'm just jealous because I haven't picked up one of my drawing pencils and created something in a very long time...

If You Can't Beat 'Em...

The Beeb's got the right idea about YouTube... They're using it to promote themselves instead of suing.
I think Hollywood is going to have such a hard time fighting groups like Pirate Bay in Sweden that the only way they can get the profit margin up would be to pay their actors less... If they were paying them tens of millions because that's what they were worth, and they're no longer worth as many millions because of a drop in sales, then is it naive of me to assume they should lower their pay?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Not a lot to do in Serbia, apparently...

I read this story a while ago, and forgot to share it on here... It's sad and funny at the same time:

Serbia- Two elderly women who are the only inhabitants of a remote village have gained cult status after refusing to talk to each other for years, trading insults via the press instead. Ruzica Markovic said of her neighbor ljubica Paunovic: 'I am having the newspaper specially delivered to me just so I can find out what she has been saying about me.'

I can just imagine... "Ruzica is a smelly whore and her goats all have syphilis. Further details in tomorrow's edition."
I'd buy that paper!

The Illogical World of Special Ed.

If you know anything about the teaching profession, then you're aware of their love affair with changing their minds back and forth between the philosophies over and over.

Classrooms first held the belief that the less capable kids would either sink or swim in the regular classes. Kids weren't identified as having special needs or disabilities, but were certainly noted as being less than "all there". Then the move involved their being taught in an isolated environment (usually in broom closets or boiler rooms!) and the expectations for them would be all over the place depending on more factors than you can shake a ruler at. Then the move went towards putting them into the regular classes or special ed classes based on their ability, but with individualized attention/support either way. Kids could be included in regular classes whenever the lesson plan involved an activity they'd be capable of participating in, and it made for a nice little outing for them.

Now the move is yet again, to shove them all into regular classes, regardless of whether or not it's the best move in the interests of that specific child. I thought we were arguing that one size did not fit all, and yet the assumption is being made that inclusion works for everyone. The result is a lot of scared, upset kids who can barely write their own names being put into regular science and social studies classes in front of many staring kids, having their anxieties magnified by how uncomfortable everyone feels when they start to get upset. The teachers try desperately to "include" the kids by creating a whole separate curriculum that the kids actually capable of doing and, more often than not, has little to do with what everyone else is doing.

I hate to break it to the world of special ed., but putting a kid in the same geographical vicinity of regular ed. kids is NOT inclusion. If anything, it's a sad example of EXCLUSION whereby they can't participate in most class activities, they have no idea what the classroom teacher is talking about, and the rest of the kids are doing their best to ignore them and are hoping that they haven't been placed in a special ed. class by mistake, because that's what it's starting to look like.

And I'm not talking about kids with dyslexia, or even mild mental retardation... I'm talking about kids who still require toileting skills, kids who will most likely never live an independent life, kids who could benefit far more from learning about the chemicals found in home cleaning solutions than learning about the periodic table of elements. If anything, I feel we're perpetuating a gross disservice to these kids by taking time away from their learning life skills in order to meet some well-meaning but totally baloney political move that makes non-handicapped people feel better about themselves that they're letting those special kids have what everyone else is having.

Here's an example. I have a kid who knows enough about math that he can add, subtract, divide, and multiply with a calculator. His disability is that he is learning disabled, and so based NOT ON HIS ABILITY but on his label, I was told he had to be put into the regular math class in which they would cover solving systems of equations, graphing inequalities, and beginning trigonometric equations. He can't read a clock. He can't calculate change unless you tell him which number to put into the calculator first, but his label and not WHO HE IS determined which class he should be in. I explained all this and was told outright "we are NOT moving backwards. He has to take the state required graduation test and this content will be in that test."
"Er. But he doesn't have to PASS that test. He just has to take it." Politics. I love it.
"Yes, but he still has to take it."

Fine. Whatever. I called the mother of the student and apologized, saying I was unable to move him into a more suitable math class. She complained to the board of education. I got an e-mail from the same lady who had the above conversation with me stating:
"Why isn't he in a special ed. math class? Make the move immediately."
She had forgotten our whole conversation and all my pleading e-mails.

So the lesson is this... It doesn't matter if we don't teach these kids what they need to know in order to build upon skills. It doesn't matter what's best for the child- Just stick the kid in a class he'll never need in order to be better prepared for a test he doesn't even have to pass. Faaantastic.