Tuesday, August 28, 2007


It looks like the inbred city of Woodstock slightly to the north of me is looking for a slogan. I'm not a citizen of the city, but I think I have a good idea or two. Try these on for size.

  1. Where bigots go to die.
  2. Hey! We don't have as many black people as Marietta.
  3. After awhile, you stop giggling at our city name.
  4. No, Jimi Hendrix didn't play here. But his sister did!
  5. We're not just a cute little yellow bird.
  6. Do you have teeth? You're in!!
Okay, they're not great. Any better suggestions?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

grr, arg

Just thought I'd drop in to update on my current educational saga.

Here is the rather timid response I received earlier this afternoon.
Thanks for your input. I've read your comments and will take them under consideration. However, for the first nine weeks of this semester teachers with 3rd period planning will have lunch duty similar to what was outlined at the meeting. I have had numerous teachers make suggestions and I will outline the duty rosters in another email that will include all teachers with 3rd period planning. I appreciate your support and understanding in this matter. I will make sure your duty station is in the magnet courtyard, if you so desire.
Allow me to dissect the response.
Thanks for your input. I've read your comments and will take them under consideration.
I took a few minutes to scan your document.
However, for the first nine weeks of this semester teachers with 3rd period planning will have lunch duty similar to what was outlined at the meeting.
What I read makes more work for me so I'll choose to ignore them for now.
I have had numerous teachers make suggestions and I will outline the duty rosters in another email that will include all teachers with 3rd period planning.
You're not the only one squawking so don't feel badly that I am ignoring you. You're not the only one I'm ignoring.
I appreciate your support and understanding in this matter.
It'd be nice if you just shut the hell up and stopped making this difficult for me.
I will make sure your duty station is in the magnet courtyard, if you so desire.
If it'll make you happy, I'll give you an easy post. Whatever it takes to placate you so you don't get other people's feathers ruffled.

Why wait 9 weeks? It didn't take you that long to make this decision. Why should it take that long to choose some other possibility? And you can't answer "because I don't want to."

This issue is not over.

Monday, August 06, 2007

the dude does not abide

This aggression will not stand, man!

How do you ruin a whole week on the first day? Tell me, one of the unlucky few that won 3rd block planning through one of Satan's slot machines, that people with this formerly fortunate ailment are going to have to turn over even more of their precious time "for the good of the school." Why? Because they need more supervision (aka babysitters) in the cafeteria. Makes you feel super, don't it?

For those not in the know, our school is on a 4x4 block schedule. It was dreamed up by some hippies out in California from what I've heard and as soon as it failed to pass muster there it was immediately adopted here on the east coast. That follows other educational trends, but I digress.

The 4x4 block works by having students take four classes per semester, each for 90 minutes a day. They get four completely new classes in the spring. It has its pros and cons like any schedule, but for me in science the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Anyhow, students are provided with a 30 minute lunch period during their 3rd block class each day in four shifts. These are called A, B, C, and E (fooled you! it is D) lunches. That makes 3rd block two hours long with B and C lunch having a 30 minute break, one of the cons of the system.

Each full-time teacher is given a schedule with 3 classes and one planning period. They are also provided with a 30 minute lunch. Effectively, each teacher would have two hours each day for these activities, including those on 3rd block. So why did it at one time seem to be advantageous to have 3rd planning?

Lunch is during 3rd block. It can never be shortened because the law requires us to feed the children. You can't serve food faster or ask the kids to eat faster so 3rd block never gets cut. Not for homeroom, not for pep rallies, not for assemblies. Even on the rare early release days when the kids leave 2 hours earlier than usual 3rd block is still 2 full hours. Nice, right? Well, when you crunch the numbers, each person on 3rd block gets a whole 3 hours of extra time. Woo! 3 hours! Maybe I can finally shine my shoes with all of that extra time. Not to say it's nothing. It is something. But scheduling is done by a scheduling committee and a computer program so getting this extra time is like winning the lottery, not something you have a lot of influence over. And very rarely does someone have the same schedule every year, the love gets rotated around.

But this year is the year for change, by golly! We've got a problem and these guys are an easy target for our solution with their 3 whole extra hours each semester and a perfect schedule to help us out.

I'd go through a lot of my problems with this here but I've already drafted my response to their proposal. As a matter of fact, I am proud to say that productivity was lost by these guys today because I spent part of my work day writing this up.

Here is the rough draft.

I have two major problems with this proposal that aren't related to the proposal but rather to people involved.

My first beef is with the affected people. I was the only one with the testicular fortitude to say something in the meeting where they announced this plan. Not only that, I was continuously the only one to speak on the behalf of about 20 people that were being shat upon. I got some nods, but what a bunch of pussies. I need some support people. I'm not asking for a union here, just some justice. And not just for me. For you too. Help me out here.

My second beef is with an administration that doesn't have a single person that stood up and stated adamantly something along the lines of "you can't do this to my people."

Is there such a thing as "buyer's remorse" for someone that signed a year-long contract last April? Because that's what I think I'm feeling.

You want to know the real reason public education is a waste? You have fourth-tier managers running the show and people that have intelligence and other alternatives see through this. Those people tend to leave. What are you left with? That's who is most likely teaching your youths.

There. I just saved billions of dollars for educational research with five sentences.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

tiered justice system

Can I register my home as a congressional office? Seriously? Is there any senator or representative out there that wouldn't mind setting up a filing cabinet and a desk or two downstairs in my basement? You don't have to keep much here, just a few useless papers, maybe some stationary. That way, when the police or FBI or whomever shows up at the door with a warrant I can proudly tell them that they aren't allowed in because it may intrude upon the congress members duties. I could have a closet full of dead hookers (I may already!) and there wouldn't be a thing they could do about it according to a recent ruling.

Jefferson argued that the first-of-its-kind raid trampled congressional independence. The Constitution prohibits the executive branch from using its law enforcement powers to interfere with the lawmaking process. The Justice Department said that declaring the search unconstitutional would essentially prohibit the FBI from ever looking at a lawmaker's documents.
What?! Ever? Whatever!

They found $90000 wrapped in aluminum foil in this guy's freezer. Is that off limits too because it was next to the congressional ice and the lawmaker's Lean Cuisines? He needs ice for his beverages so he can continue his filibuster and frozen dinners because a man's gotta eat even if he is watching his waist line. That means this freezer is off limits, Mr. D.A., A.G. (or who-ever-the-hell prosecutes representatives).

So what's the real problem here? I'll tell you. It's idiots playing fast and loose with the English language. It's the same judicial phenomenon as in Kelo vs. New London when "public use" became distorted into the more vague term "public purpose." In that case public purpose means nothing more than higher government revenues and maybe an extra half-acre of premium green park-space somewhere amongst the high-rises, but I digress. This case is not too different. A rule in the Constitution barring arrest and other impediments to a congress-person showing up for their job is being "interpreted" as "oh by the way, you can't look at any of the stuff in my office."
They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
See? Back in the day, it was not unheard of for lawmakers to be detained in order to keep them from voting on important matters, filing amendments, debating bills, etc. so they wrote in a provision making it illegal to interfere with that process. So the obvious solution here? Let's expand that statement to include assorted paperwork and such in the dude's office. Oh, and don't forget to totally ignore the part that says except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace."

Last I checked, when the police show up at my door with a search warrant, I don't get to reschedule their search. That'd be retarded. I'd have moved the bodies by the time they came back. So why does the law apply to us Regular Joes one way and another to an "ultra-important" congressman? No! Fuck that! There isn't anything in your office Mr. Congressman that shouldn't be made instantly available for public scrutiny. Who do you work for? Oh yeah! Me! Your fucking boss along with millions of other taxpayers. Who pays your salary? You want the hundred grand in the freezer instead? Work for someone else, maybe the person that gave it to you, but have the decency to at least put in your resignation first.

Where is the outrage? I know it's trite and overused, but tell me this wouldn't have played out differently in the news if this had been a Republican. Or a white dude. Don't get pissy! The Democrats are the ones that pulled out the race card. Read the article if you want proof.
Following his indictment, Jefferson's supporters accused the Bush administration of targeting black Democrats to shift attention from the legal troubles of Republican congressmen.
Yeah, that was the plan. Look at how well it worked. Third rate ranking on the CNN page below top stories such as Madonna's latest adoption woes and Ving Rhames' dogs mauling a guy. "You 'Publicans are so mean tossing this fucker to the dogs just to cover your own scent!" Eat my ass conspiracy mongers. This type of argument should be left to professional third graders, not a person put in office by his/her electorate. Give me a break.

In other justice news, do you think Vick has a chance in hell of spending even one night in jail? I think the answer is no, a la O.J., as in he has enough money to pay a defense to effectively confuse the hell out of everyone in the courtroom to the point that they think he's really being accused of mixing Fruit Loops with Cheerios and not using skim milk. "If the rape stand does not fit, you must acquit!" But then again, it seems that not even Paris Hilton had enough money to elude jail time. But that was all planned for publicity. Stop yourself. You're starting to sound like a conspiracy monger yourself.

And by the way, anyone want to join the union with me? Stupid.