Archive | May, 2013

Protect the Head…Please!

8 May

 

Did anyone see Super Bowl 44? Sorry, for you sports fans out there I mean Super Bowl XLIV…If you did, did you see Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees with his son at the end of the game? His son was wearing headphones to protect his brain (kind of ironic isn’t it?) from the noise generated by the thousands of screaming New Orleans Saints fans.

Way to go Mr. and Mrs. Brees! You all may be going to Disneyland but you also know that your son is headed into the future and he’ll need his brain to be fully functional and intact when he gets there.

So to everyone out there, whoever you are and wherever you are, PROTECT THE HEAD!!

And speaking of head protection, it’s the Baby Boomer generation that has been responsible for parenting over the last 3 decades or so and consequently we are responsible for whatever decline there has been in the education of America’s children over that time but it was our parents who were  responsible for raising us and they were members of “America’s Greatest Generation”. They were the ones who defeated Hitler and Fascism and who saved the world for Democracy and who won World War II (more Roman Numerals!) so wouldn’t you think they’d have known all about the importance of head protection, as in wearing helmets and protecting the brain, since they had spent so much time getting shot at and being blown up and jumping in and out of fox holes and such…(all while wearing helmets I might add) but did they make us wear helmets and force us to protect our heads when we were growing up?

No! They did not. So thanks a lot mom and dad. Your kids’ world was dangerous! You were the ones who gave us Monkey Bars and that playground death-go-round that would spin us around and then fling us off into space, knocking so much sense out of us that we all thought it would be a good idea to go on it again!

You were the ones who gave us school playgrounds with concrete floors! And then you gave us multiple siblings and equipped them with toys that were actually designed with the specific intent of putting our eyes out! You invented Little League Baseball and actually gave us real hardballs to throw at each other’s heads…then you thought Little League Football would be an even better idea.. for crying out loud you put helmets on little kids with the sole intent of making us crash into each other like battering rams. Thanks to you guys concussion was our middle name!

So all bets are now off. We Baby Boomers refuse to take any more responsibility for the decline of American Civilization. We all had and have PTSD and did not know what we were doing from adolescence onward.

So let’s all start protecting our children’s heads now by putting on their thinking caps instead of weaponized head gear. Then perhaps a new generation will grow up with the ability to start thinking of ways that will actually get us out of this mess that all of the previous generations concussed themselves into.

Which One’s the Referee?

7 May

One day in school I was standing outside my door waiting for the bell to ring when suddenly a fight broke out in the hallway. Two students, seemingly from out of nowhere, began slugging it out right in front of me. Without thinking I did what any good referee would have done and stepped into the middle of the clinch and separated the combatants with my arms. Thankfully the students in question were flyweights and not heavyweights or I’d probably still be there, crushed like a slice of sandwich meat between two hoagie rolls.

Anyway, I tossed one of the students into a row of lockers while I pushed the other up against my classroom door, holding him there while yelling for help. A teacher always has to yell for help in a situation like this because the other students in the hall will never offer any assistance whatsoever. Those who aren’t closing in to form  the traditional spectator ring are too busy microwaving their popcorn in the hopes of settling down into a nice long championship bought.

And if it’s two girls fighting? Forget about any chance of help…The cheering mob will become the very best Hollywood paparazzi with their cell phone cameras and iPods all a twitter in the hopes of catching an impromptu topless ingénue to tweet around the world…

But again I digress…for security soon arrived and the fighters were removed to their corners while the disappointed crowd broke up and went off to class. But my own students were in awe of me for the remainder of my class period as I was now the old man who still had “skills” and I must admit that it felt good to have stepped into a crisis and to have prevailed with the use of quick wits and brute force while helping to avoid a larger brawl. (And with no guns!)

And later that day the building principal came up to me to offer his approval, support and praise for a job well done. However, he then offered me a word of caution…

“Be careful out there, he said. Apparently you broke up a fight between two rival gang members and now they might be out to get you. Watch your back!”And with that he was off bounding down the hallway to no doubt spread cheer among another unsuspecting colleague.

One of the things that can make being a teacher difficult and exhausting these days is that sometimes doing the right thing can somehow be the wrong thing.

Sometimes Kids Say the Darndest Things

6 May

 

One day in class…and for no apparent reason at all, my students started complaining about me and my teaching style. They said that I was too boring and uninteresting in general. So I stopped my lesson and asked who they thought would make a good teacher. A boy in the back raised his hand and said, “Eddie Murphy!”

“Eddie Murphy?” I said. “Why Eddie Murphy?”

“Because, the student replied, he’d tell us jokes and make us laugh.”  The other students all agreed.

Then they all failed my surprise quiz.

One of the things that can make teaching so difficult, and learning for that matter, is that you always have to be ready for new ideas…and for disappointment.

Tanks… A Lot

4 May

Congress just can’t get any more irrelevant. Once again both parties, despite having absolutely nothing to agree upon when it comes to getting things done that the American people need done,  have found something to agree upon by coming together to spend nearly a half-billion dollars in taxpayer money to build improved versions of the 70-ton Abrams tank.

And even though recently sequestered programs that serve real people are in dire need of refunding, Congress has decided to once again make a bipartisan effort to spend an extra $436 million on a weapon that their experts…namely the military… say is not needed.

The Sponsors of the bill to fund the tanks, who are also two of Congress’ most vocal advocates for cutting the federal budget, say that their support for what seems like obviously unnecessary spending  is all about national security,  even though the military says it’s not!

But actually the spending is all about General Dynamics, a major defense contractor that produces the tanks for the military and spent close to $11 million last year on lobbying…Congress of course…and they most probably use some of that money they get for producing the unneeded tanks on their lobbying for more…

And even though the Army would rather take a pause in their tank production so that they could spend the money on research-and-development work for a new and improved model…they of course need Congress’…and General Dynamics…permission first.

And to top it all off the  Defense Department has to spend around $115 billion over the next half decade just to keep tanks in tip-top condition by keeping them clean and rust-proof while in storage, otherwise they may fall apart while left locked up….because…they don’t need any more tanks!

How about this for an all around solution to our defense spending, gun control and 2nd amendment problems? Take the 4500 unused tanks that are already in storage and trade them to the NRA for a few thousand guns apiece.

That way we get rid of the tanks, round up the guns and give American militiamen, when the time finally does come for taking on the federal government,  something that they can really defend their rights with…tank you very much.

10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America

2 May

I found this to be an excellent post with lots to think about and digest. What do you think?

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