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

Friday, November 30, 2007


Please feel free to explore the charities I have listed on the right hand side of my blog. If none of those specific charities interest you, please explore Give.org and perhaps you may find a cause you'd like to support or share with your readers on your own blogs/sites. Also, don't forget to try the Free Rice link and test your knowledge of vocabulary and feed the poor at the same time!

12 Year Old Arrested For Having Sex With Grown Men.

What? Huh? Excuse me? Yes. A minor is being punished for having sex with men as old as 27 and most likely older than that too. I'm glad they at least made reference to the fact that she may be suffering from ill mental health. I guess when there is no such thing as a "statutory rapist", and that minors can be found guilty of "sex" as opposed to victims of rape.
Boy, I wonder how much jail time she'll get? After all, at that age we ALL know what we're doing, right? Especially when raised by someone who has shown lack of judgement in the area of sex and men too, right?
She made stupid decisions, correct, but what about the older guys who should have known better? Why don't they pay a price for having sex with a CHILD?
MAN, it really pays to have testes and a penis in the Middle East.

* Due to my not taking my own advice to not read and write while I have the flu, I mistakenly wrote that only the child was in custody. Thank you, Qwaider, for noticing my enormous error.*

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sick Of Nigerian Scam Artists?

These guys at 419Eater are Scambaiters actively respond to scammers and give us some hilarious transcribed results. Click on their letters archive and enjoy the mayhem!

Are You Praying Or Are You Going To Exlpode?

There's a time and a place to tie an object to your head and practice uninterrupted prayer, and apparently public transport during the day apparently ain't it. Unbeknown to the passengers on the Chicago train, their fellow commuter was a Jewish man who was simply trying to carry out his morning ritual and it freaked everyone one out and they accused him of being a potential terrorist. Bit embarrassing, really.
Admittedly, it's not every day you get to see a tefillin.
Hey, look on the bright side, it's not just Arabs being accused of looking dodgy on public transport!

Tinted Windows and Leering Perverts.

For those of you who may not be aware, it's quite popular in countries such as the U.A.E. to tint car windows for various reasons. It can reflect some of the sunlight, provides privacy for important individuals, acts as a status symbol, but more importantly protects women from harassment.

Now it's sad to think that men are so incapable of controlling themselves that we really have to block out all visuals, but it's my experience that, for whatever reason, some guys do take many advantages of lightly tinted cars by stalking and freaking out the woman therein. The Gulf news has an article on the topic here. The harassment is driving women (no pun intended) and their husbands to tint their windows to unsafe degrees in an attempt to have the right to be on the roads without a horde of horny perverts putting them and their family's lives in danger.

I like having tinted car windows, and I think they have the right to tint them to a safe level, but something also has to be done about the behavior of the perverts. Something preemptive. What is it that makes the boys of a country grow up to think it's okay to behave that way? I know they love and respect their mothers, so why not extend that respect to other women? Do we honestly need, dare I say it, sensitivity training? That always sounds so... Mushy. And. Californian.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ten Little Indians.

Lakota East High School in Ohio has canceled its production of Ten Little Indians by Agatha Christie because the original title of the book back in 1939 was Ten Little Niggers. Now, as abhorrent as the term may be, the story hasn't been called that in years and the content of the play has NOTHING to do with racism, although there is one comment that can be easily omitted that doesn't change the story one jot. As offensive as that one comment is, it was an expression befitting the time period. As the human race is pretty good at ignoring bits of history, this shouldn't be too hard to do at all. (The Song of the South NEVER HAPPENED. Shh.)
Another article explained how the school wimped out by saying that they realize how offensive this must be to everyone and how the violence depicted in the show is in poor taste given today's climate of violence in schools. The play isn't about school violence. It's a good old fashioned murder mystery CLASSIC and immensely entertaining to watch or read and has been performed in schools many times over.
To be honest, I can see why the school backed off because no one wants to look like a big racist speaking against a declaration made by the NAACP, but honestly... This just makes the NAACP look stupid because it's obvious they don't know the play and surely have far more important matters to attend to than a high school play that USED to have a different name back in the thirties but actually contains no racist matter whatsoever. Maybe. I doubt they're grasping at straws for incidents of true racism.
And why aren't the Indians screaming out that this is racist? The current title apparently threatens them, why aren't they making noise? It didn't even occur to the NAACP that maybe it would be more offensive to native Americans than to African Americans.
Funny how the last time Mr. Hines of the NAACP made such accusations against this school district that he then swiftly offered diversity training to them for a fee. Nothing like creating a problem to then get paid to solve it.
Mr. Hines, there are real problems that need addressing, you needn't go through the trouble of creating new ones out of thin air.

The Voice Behind "Mind The Gap"

I've heard of voiceover artist Emma Clarke before. For some strange reason, I have an interest in voiceover artists and love to find out about who it is I've been listening to over and over through cartoons, adverts, public service announcements, etc.
She's been fired by the London Underground due to a misquote. She said she found it "creepy" to use the underground because she hears her own voice warning the passengers over and over to "mind the gap", but they took it to mean that she finds the whole experience of riding on a potential terrorist moving target full of zombie-like commuters, over-burdened tourists, and talentless beggars with guitars they most likely pulled out of your rubbish bin was a bit "creepy". It IS really creepy. Especially when you think about people huddled down there during the War. And the way the train rumbles in the dark before you even see it, and the blast of stale hot air like some sort of dragon in the depths... Now, I love London, and I love the convenience of the Underground, but I'll admit IT IS CREEPY. And that's not even what she apparently meant.
It puts me in mind of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. Fun read, that.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Critical Thinking.

I'm still in the midst of my online masters class and we've come to a section about critical thinking. This topic is quite intriguing to me as I've been so used to the confines of Middle Eastern society that limit such naughtiness and blasphemy.

Forget for a moment that Islamic scholars of the middle ages were perhaps the most enlightened of their time and instead, look to a modern Middle East where progress and religion seldom go hand in hand.

Take the situation involving a teenage, hormone driven, quiet adolescent version of me.

Teenage TeacherLady: Miss? I was wondering if I could start a club at the school.

Miss: What sort of club?

Teenage TeacherLady: Uh. A debate club.

Miss: No. Not a good idea. Not going to work.

Teenage TeacherLady: Wh... Why? (looking down at the extensive paperwork I had drawn up on topics I was going to have a room teaming with inquisitive, outspoken free minds discuss)

Miss: Well. What would you debate?

Teenage TeacherLady: Um. Abortion. Death penalty...

Miss: God.

Teenage TeacherLady: Excuse me?

Miss: Someone will just say "God said this was wrong and that was right. End of discussion." It won't go anywhere.

Teenage TeacherLady: Oh. Yeah. Hadn't thought about that. I was hoping we could have two sides...

Miss: Won't happen. Sorry. I can see what you're trying to do, but any discussion you come up with, someone will stand up and say "God already gave us that answer" and stop the discussion there.

Teenage TeacherLady: Sigh.

I've noticed it's really hard to have discussions and debates with people who think there really is only one right answer to everything, regardless of whether or not religion is involved, and they always get so angry... I guess it's all down to the individual. I've known religious people to be able to discuss things without getting all hot under the collar, but I guess that comes with confidence and inquisitiveness combined and without quite so much egocentric thought processing.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Suspended For Hugging.

I took it for a cultural thing... Upon starting my first year teaching, I was struck by how casually students give each other hugs, and to their teachers too. It transcends race, ability level, and socioeconomic standing, so I took it to be the norm.

Given my upbringing in the Middle East, I'm not entirely comfortable with male students from my past years of teaching approaching me with arms wide, but I do my best to lean forward so there's absolutely no breast-student contact whatsoever. It still feels awkward when they do it, but I'd hate to reject them when thier other female teachers don't.

If you were to stand in the hallway I work in, you'd struggle to count the number of hugs you'd see. I just wonder when this started? My friends would have looked at me strangely if I'd embraced them every time I saw them each day, and even repeatedly between classes, yet that's exactly what these kids do. My husband, who was educated here in the States, said it wasn't like this when he went through high school... So when did it start? Did it spread from the emo kids of this generation to the rest? They appear to do it a little more than anyone else, after all.

Anyway, here's the story of a kid who got suspended for hugging, I just can't imagine how they'd enforce a rule like that at the high school I work at...

Is anyone else noticing this new trend?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Turkey Day.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers! (sorry, Canadians, I totally forgot to say Happy Thanksgiving to you a while back... I guess I really am becoming American now that I totally disregard the cultural practices of other countries...)

May your bellies be full of turkey and your hearts full of thanks. Or resentment. Just make sure to get some turkey.
And if you're Native American and reading this... I'm sorry. You guys can call it "you're welcome day" (joke courtesy of some stand up comedian on The World Stands Up.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Seven Random Facts-Tagged Again.

Here's the rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

I've been tagged by Saudi Stepford Wife and once I feel the need to make rules for my blog, I'll let you know.

7 Random and or Weird Facts About TeacherLady

1. I don't wear ANY make-up unless I really have to.
2. I once shed silent tears listening to Mike Oldfield's Songs of a Distant Earth while gazing up at the stars because I knew I'd never be able to go into space. I was a teen, so it was probably hormones.
3. I adore stories of the supernatural but hate it when they're told by someone who actually believes they're true.
4. I get nostalgic for time periods I was never alive for.
5. I stole back the pink shell you took from me when we were 6 and that was the only thing I knowingly stole! (She'll never read this.) Now I limit my theft to the downloading variety.
6. The mere thought of what the interior of a plane smells like makes my stomach turn.
7. I posed for a professional artsy fartsy photo shoot years ago and those photos will NEVER see the light of day. I dig them out once a year or less and smile at them.

Instead of tagging specific people, feel free to be tagged and then post on here to let me know you've done it too so I can wander over and take a peek! If you don't blog, feel free to just post your seven facts in a comment on here.

The Soundtrack To My Life.

At the request of the Guy Who Knows a Pigeon Named Frank, here's the soundtrack to TeacherLady: The Movie.

At the beginning: Rainbow Connection- Kermit The Frog.

During my childhood scenes: What a Day for a Day Dream.

During the "rebellious" teen years: Let It Be- The Beatles, Leysh Natarak- Natasha Atlas, We're Not Gonna Take It- Twisted Sister, It Ain't Necessarily So (Gershwin).

When I leave for America (and every time I have to say goodbye): Leaving on a Jet Plane- Simon and Garfunkel and Saying Goodbye- The Muppets and I'll Be Seeing You..

When my father dies while I'm away: Hurt- Christina Aguilera.

When I get the guy: Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)- Ella Fitzgerald and Come Rain or Come Shine- Billie Holiday.

During the naughty bits: The Principles of Lust-Enigma.

When I get shit from Arab guys for not marrying one of them: The Lady is a Tramp- Ella Fitzgerald and Let's Face the Music and Dance- Nat King Cole.

Life with the baby and my man: Perfect Day- Lou Reed.

When people from high school who never spoke to me try to contact me on Facebook: Don't Ask Me- OK Go.

In my protest against violence: Zombie- The Cranberries. Yes, I know she sounds like a baby seal in a dryer. Humor me.

As I fade out into the sunset: Mr. Blue Sky- ELO and Rainbow Connection.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Israeli Women Soldiers Recount Army Trauma in Film

To See If I'm Smiling is a film I hope to see somehow. It exposes some of the horrors some Israeli female soldiers were forced to carry out during their service. Identifying the problem is one step towards the solution. Too bad the UN is about as useful as a condom machine in the Vatican (thanks, Mr. Ben Elton, for that one) and too bad there isn't enough outrage .

Rape Victim Sentenced Longer Than Her Rapists.

Wow. I know Eve got a bad rap, but this rape victim in Saudi is getting a lengthier sentence than that of her rapists who were found guilty of her rape!!! Even if she did commit a crime by being in the presence of men who were not her relatives, you would think that the consequences of gang rape would exceed hers? Maybe? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Sigh.

Real Life Rocks Part 3

In science class, I help out two kids from the more severely handicapped caseload as well as my own students who have mild to moderate needs.

The other day, the students had to get into groups to gauge the speed of marbles rolling down a little track, noting how it slows down as it reaches the various peaks. I casually stood at one of the tracks and waited for the two students to join me, which they did instinctively. To my surprise, another student joined us, and he wasn't one of mine at all. He is the resident white goth kid of the class and has recently taken to wearing red and black make-up around his eyes and on his cheeks. Much like the goth kid in South Park, he's constantly messing with his dyed black hair, alternately flicking it away from his face and smoothing it down over his features so that you may get to see one eye surrounded by red.
He held the marble out to one of the girls and sweetly offered for her to release it on the track first. We all worked for a little while before:

Girl: What's that on your eyes?

Resident White Goth Kid: Eye shadow.

Girl: (thinks for a moment) It's cool. (smiles)

Resident White Goth Kid: Thanks.

It made my week. Hell, it made my year. You may think it's stupid, but it bowled me over in its saccharine mushiness. I think John Hughes directed that moment and was hiding behind the sinks.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pedophile's Community Service... In a Kindergarten?

Whose fucked up idea was this? A court who missed some of the important details about his previous conviction, ie. the fact that he molests little kids. Kinda important when picking where the guy is to carry out his community service.
If I were one of the parents of that school, and especially of one of the abused kids, I would demand heads to roll.

Cat Hitches Ride In a Car Every Morning

This story is silly, but the video made me laugh, so hopefully it'll give someone else a little giggle too...

Hamas Boy Band

Yes, it's true, out of the ashes there arises a phoenix in the shape of a Hamas Boy Band.
At about 0:50 you can hear the humor in the voice of the reporter as he comments on the artistic endeavors of the bearded chaps. He sounds as though he wants to add "flower pressing" and "crochet" to their repertoire.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Your Wife's a Dog.

Wow. Okay. A man in India married a dog in the hopes of lifting a curse he believed was placed on him after killing two dogs... If this story is true, I do sincerely hope he doesn't consummate the union. If he does, he may just add to that curse, not subtract from it!
Oh oh. Maybe it IS true.

Rubber Johnny For Your Hair?

Holy cupcakes, these Chinese are weird (yes, Hot Asian Teacher, you to0). They're making hair bands out of recycled condoms... Any girl who has used rubbers bands and such to tie her hair is aware of how typical it is to hold it in your mouth as you gather your hair back into a tight pony tail. Ew. Genital cooties.

Let me know if anyone finds out this isn't true. I'm started to wonder if people are just going to hop on the "they serve dog in restaurants in the States" wagon...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Weird Subs.

I had previously made mention of Crazy Vietnam Vet Guy, the substitute teacher we occasionally enjoy when one of our teachers is absent, but one particular individual seems dedicated in his goal to win the "Nuttier Than Squirrel Poo" competition. Ladies and gents, let's give it up for Weird Little White Dude.
WLWD has brought us such great moments as: the cowering in the corner on the phone to security because the kids were throwing candy around the room, and my personal favorite-
Teaching honors math students the Chinese national anthem rather than... Y'know... Math. This morning, he sang for about half the bell, if not more. I tried desperately to find Hot Asian Babe Teacher (and NO, not because she's half Chinese... I just wanted to have proof), but I couldn't find her.

I remember when I used to feel proud of myself that I was selected over other applicants for this job... Now I've lost all self-respect as I was hired by the same people who hired that guy.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Cookies And Clocks.

My daughter is at the amazing and horrifying age at which she absorbs language and behaviors from her environment faster than an Arab in Canada. She's 18 months old, going on 16 years old.

At heart, I can tell she is a teacher too. A month or so ago, she attempted to educate my husband in the area of nutrition- She picked up her array of food successively and for each one simply stated:

TeacherBaby: This? (looks at my husband with a patronizing expression on her face and holds up a pea.) No. (Replaces said offending pea onto the plate.)
This? (holds up a green bean) No. (Replaces it on the plate)
This? No.
This? No.

Her lesson completed, she proceeded to climb out of her high chair and move onto more important matters of state.

To our great amusement and slight fear, she has also started to mispronounce things with amusing results.

TeacherBaby: Cock! Cock!
TeacherLady: What the...? Oh geez. Oh baby, it's a cookie, coooookie. Dear Lord, we're going to get calls from Child and Family Services.

Thanks to Sesame Street, she is now not only able to say "cookie" correctly, and with a deep, growling gusto courtesy of Frank Oz.

We go through her flashcards and up comes the image of an old fashioned clock, complete with bells on top.
TeacherLady: What's that?
TeacherBaby: Cock!
TeacherLady: Dammit.

A Horse Is a Horse! Of Course! Of Course.

In history class today they discussed the poor sanitation of the United States in the late 1800s.

History Teacher: If you look at the picture on page 636, you'll see a dead horse in the street where kids are playing. Why is there a dead horse in the street? What should have happened to it?

TeacherLady: (Attempting to telepathically convey the correct answer to the sea of clueless faces in the room- "No sanitation laws, no governmental responsibility, that kind of shit should be cleared away by someone! Hello? Can anyone hear my thoughts? Curse my mortal limitations.")

: (Stare. Pick noses. Eat Starbursts.)

Clueless student 1
: Use it for fur!

Clueless student 2: Eat it!

Clueless student 1: (Still determined to prove horse pelt would make a great fashion accessory) Make a hat...

TeacherLady: (I hope you can read my thoughts right now. Shut up. Please don't ever work at any of the fast food places I may patronize in the future because I wouldn't trust you to be able to put fillings in a taco the right way. Thank you.)

Actually, that girl isn't usually that clueless, so she must have just had an extra serving of stupid for breakfast today.

To quote MamaTeacher, who I want to be when I grow up:

The horse is dead. Dismount.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Where Did I Park My Car? Oh No.

Wow. I know I'm forgetful as hell, but if I ever leave my car at a gas station after filling up, just lead me out to the woods to die quietly without bothering anyone.

(Note: For those who don't know, the subject title of this post is a reference to an old commercial/infomercial in which an elderly woman forgets where she parked her car because she didn't have the dandy product that was about to be presented)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Do You Trust A Hairdresser With a Hijab On?

Is it okay for a woman to be turned down for a funky hairdressing job because she wears the hijab? Do employers have to overlook their capitalistic priorities to avoid causing offense? Does this mean I can really be a Hooters girl even though my bottom would protest the constraints of a tiny pair of orange shorts? If not, can I sue for discrimination?

TeacherLady: It's because I'm Arab, isn't it?
Hooters representative: Er no. It's the ample supply of cellulite on your thi...
TeacherLady: RACIST!

On a serious note, I can see how she isn't being treated fairly at all, so perhaps we can just draw the line at the base of the religion argument. Everything has to be taken on a case by case basis.

Suffer the Students.

A child died as a result of getting slapped by his teacher. Boy am I glad that in all those times I got smacked around by my Arabic teacher that it never got THAT bad. I wish all countries would abandon the idea that smacking kids around in the classroom is a great way to drive a point home. God knows I'm tempted at times, but then reason has the nasty habit of taking over, as well as that whole "I'm the adult, he/she is the irrational bag of hormones and inexperience" philosophy.

A Roofie For Your Kiddie?

Just in case you hadn't heard enough about recalls of Chinese made toys...

Scary Sister Story.

How freaking weird is THIS story?! That sister sounds more than a little creepy.
Yeah. I know I've got to lay off of Gulf News for a while, but they just keep giving me such useful material!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Suicide Is Painless?

I had previously been under the mistaken belief that it would be wrong to assume that the young man who tried to commit suicide would be of no danger to others... This young lady proved me wrong. And then, of course, you have to take into account the types who are selfish enough to kill themselves in ways that would undoubtedly cause harm to others (ie crashing your car into other cars, etc).

Justice and the Emirati Way!

I've never really been a fan of pranks, unless they're of The Office ilk, but this one is just odd and very sad. Given the usual sensitivity of the black and white judgements of the U.A.E. justice system, the man has committed a crime in attempting suicide and will be punished through deportation. What's even more tragic is the fact that it was so believable for him that he was not getting paid because it happens all too often to the migrant workers of the country that he didn't even question it. If that hadn't been so prevalent a problem there, he wouldn't have so readily believed it.

By the way, just in case you notice, my posting will be a lot more infrequent now as I pursue my masters online. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

We Have No A.I.D.S. In The U.A.E.

The U.A.E. is really going to have to learn that their government can no longer sweep nasty secrets under the rug and be content in their positions of power and influence. This article about a teenager boy's rape by some Emirati men isn't even mentioned on Emirati newspapers online, which doesn't come as any surprise to me at all. As sure as Iran has no homosexuals, the U.A.E. has no HIV infected citizens. Only foreigners bring such a filthy disease to an otherwise snowy white country. (Here's another version of the article, kindly provided by Cairogal)
My mother had plenty of dealings with influential people there and she told me of the young Emirati man who was wasting away of the effects of A.I.D.S. but had to be kept in isolation for fear that the secret would get out.
They need to stop pretending that Emiratis are as pure as the driven sand dune just because their Sharia law prohibits such activities. And don't EVER believe their bullshit that their system of government is fair regardless of race, class or what color shoelaces the person is wearing. The Sharia system is archaic, misogynistic, and the whim of the judge or the status of the accused is far more influential in the final verdict than anything else.

So come on, U.A.E. If you're going to be the shining beacon of hope for the Middle East you're going to have to actually treat your citizens AND foreigners like human beings and get off your high horses. You can't let people off for crimes because of their family names anymore, and you can't punish foreigners on the basis of bullshit "evidence" anymore. (Exhibit A: Checking a girl's armpits to determine virginity when her detainment had NOTHING to do with sexual activity.)

The days of the Big Boys' Club are OVER. Grow some ethical consciences, you selfish buggers.

Please note, it should go without saying that I address only those who perpetuate the system of privilege and persecution, not those who oppose it, so I don't accuse all Emiratis of being selfish buggers.

Science Strikes Again.

How disappointing to think that science would totally ruin a really cool concept such as ghosts, vampires, and zombies, but then this article makes for interesting reading for fans of science or the spooky.

Notes From a Teenage Mind.

The teachers I work with directly have found a new source of entertainment for the whole group. They've taken to confiscating notes and then staging dramatic readings of the discoveries amongst ourselves. Sadly, I've learned a thing or two about the mind of the average student I teach (not necessarily ones with special needs.)

  1. They can't spell worth shit. Who the hell spells 'why' as 'wy'?

  2. Girls who "sucks things" are nasty and no guy wants to kiss them. Girls who swallow are even more gross. Thankfully, my husband is open-minded about such matters and doesn't hold it against me. He such a sacrificing, tolerant man.

  3. The best way to romance a girl is to ask "wanna fuck?"

  4. The only written response to such a question has always been "NO". Always in all capitals.

  5. Boys don't necessarily feel above the possibility of then pleading and begging and asking "wy".

  6. History class is apparently an appropriate time to ask your friend if her boyfriend "pulled out" or not.

I don't know which moment is more amusing... The look on the student's face the second the teacher picks up the note amid it's composition or the passing process, or the next day when they know said teacher has read it and knows something he/she shouldn't about said student, usually involving their genitals, sexual activity, or who they would most like to mount like a rabid bunny.

On a personal note, (no pun intended), I never confiscate notes. I just give a look and they gratefully stuff the note in their pocket, relieved I've not learned of their dark secrets. They are then scared enough to actually get to work without complaint. There's no way they'd be able to concentrate on the lesson if they were too caught up in the embarrassment of knowing the note will be read by someone they have to see five days a week. I use the situation to my advantage.

However, that being said, I bet we're going to find some great ones around mid-February!


Did you know that ALL white people are racist by virtue of being white? No? Neither did I. Apparently, the University of Delaware can tell you all about it. And then MAKE you agree...