Thursday, September 15, 2022

Skin Deep

 She spends so much time on her outward appearance.  There is never a hair out of place.  Her makeup is perfect and her clothes are stylish and match to perfection.  And I won’t even mention her jewelry here.

This outward beauty cannot disguise her ugly soul.  There is no need to take a hard look when you see her.  The scowl says it all.  And, when she shows her teeth and tries to smile, the demon appears.

In her case beauty is not even skin deep.

Sunday, June 05, 2022

Dummying Of America

 When I was teaching, guessing correctly on approximately 50% of math multiple choice questions got the student a passing grade. I remember my group of seniors who had never passed a math class all passing this exam. I repeatedly told them they still knew no math and had a long way to go if they wanted to succeed in college. I met several on the college campus 3 years after high school graduation and they were still struggling with remedial math and lacked proper skills to get help, study and pass.

Now the Regents has decided anyone with a grade between 50 and 64 can appeal and get a waiver to graduate.  We aren’t helping these students, we are hurting them. Dumbing down requirements is not only not preparing them for the future, it is holding them back.  

Sorry shape of education today.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

A True Diamond

 I just received an e-mail announcing the funeral of a former guidance counselor, a man I worked with for years.  There are many things I remember about him, some good, some bad but the good outweighs everything else.

This Diamond had a way with difficult students.  He knew how to talk to them, how to calm their stress and how to set them on the straight and narrow.  

COVID is keeping me from paying my respects at his funeral so I pay them here.  Diamonds are forever.  

Friday, December 25, 2020

Why Bother?

 Facebook advice that the poster does not take.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Actions, Not Words

I had a teacher friend who walked around telling everyone what a great teacher she was.  SHE WASN’T!

I had another friend who always talked about how she was smarter than everyone else.  SHE WASN’T!

And another always talked about what a rebel she was but she only talked loud when the people she talked against were not around. SHE WASN’T!

The friend who always said she loved her life was very unhappy.

No one happy, brave, smart or great has to walk around saying it.  Others will know from actions.  This cartoon reminded me of these people and while others might be fooled you can never fool yourself.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

No Social Distance or Masks at this High School

I took this pic from a Facebook parent of a Texan High school student.  I blocked out faces so you can’t see that there is not one mask in sight but you can see the crowds of kids jammed into the gym for the pep rally.

No wonder we will never see the end of this virus.


Monday, September 14, 2020

My Neighborhood

 I grew up in the Gun Hill Projects in the Bronx.  I went to Evander Childs High School and City College.  I rode (and still ride) the buses and subways and never gave integration a thought.  My world was made up of people of all religions and all races and I assumed the world was like that.  I guess I was just dumb and sheltered.

When I moved to Queens I expected the neighborhood would be the same.  Boy, was I wrong.  My lily white neighbors had a fit when a Black family bought a corner house and were pissed at me when I was happy to have them as neighbors.  My only criteria for a good neighbor is one I can say hi to and who keeps the house nice.  More is nice, but not a requirement.  Friendships take a while to develop although my husband and I quickly became friends with the family on the corner.

Today, as I do every day, I wander the neighborhood, camera in hand and check out blocks I have never walked on.  Today's walk included blocks with houses mostly owned by Asians, Hispanics, African Americans, South East Asians and every nationality immaginable.  The houses are beautiful, well kept and if there are people outside, they are always friendly.  It warms my heart to be living in such an international area but it hurts when I think of the people who fled when the neighborhood "changed".  It hurts to see young people who look like me are no longer interested in buying homes here.

The guy in the White House is worried about keeping the suburbs safe for suburban house wives.  While I am not in the suburbs, I am in a suburban part of Queens.  These people keep my neighborhood safe so I and people like the women pictured below can live safely and in nice homes.

I never want to go back to an era where we can't all live together.  I want Trump to lose big and I want to send all the racism and hatred he has brought back to go back to the 50's 

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Substitute Teaching During Covid

A friend was approached by a Nassau County school.  They wanted her to be a special sub in case a teacher needs to quarantine for 14 days.  The pay is a big $157 a day, no health coverage, no sick  leave and the job ends in January when a vaccine might be available.

This did not seem worthwhile to her and it certainly would not be worth the risk to me.  I guess, if you need the money, you have to take a chance.  Just seems like a gamble with small returns.

(Pictured above is the animal Zoom conference with participants from the Bronx and Queens Zoos.)

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Goodbye Chaz

From today’s Newsday.  Chaz was an amazing guy.  He never let the DOE or principals affect his caring and devotion to his students.

Sunday, July 12, 2020


Covid 19 means more time to speak to the people we don’t often talk to.  I have been speaking weekly to my 94 year old aunt, a woman I avoided for many reasons I won’t go into here, and not for the reasons in this post but underlying sentiments of hers must have been coming through loud and clear for years.

Our conversations started out light.  We talked about health, loneliness, family, children and grandchildren.  She then started complaining about two of her grandchildren’s liberal ideas, surprising to her since they grew up in a family that gave them everything. I told her I thought that was wonderful. Her son raised great kids and I told her how my kids felt the same.  She then went on to tell me how lucky kids were today and how easy it was for them to do well.  I didn’t agree and told her so.  Things might be easier for those who came from prosperous backgrounds but those without the background or education still struggled.  In her day it was easier to succeed if you had the drive.  Inflation is way ahead of income now.  From here we moved to the protests.  She kept insisting Black people have it much better now than they did when she was young.  And, while I agree things are better, I kept trying to tell her that better was not good enough.  Just because she sees some Black faces on the news doesn’t mean all have the same opportunities. Blacks are still being treated differently and harshly by law enforcement.  I couldn’t convince her of the inequities I saw at Packemin and how, while no one would admit it, there was still a big difference when it came to race treatment in advanced classes and in discipline.  I ended up saying goodby and hanging up.

Racism is alive and well.  

Friday, July 10, 2020

The Coward

Talks big and loud about all the things she would do. Threatens to take action.

Reality:  Does nothing.  Cowers in the shadows when any action is needed.  Afraid to to take a stand.  Terrified of consequences.  Her bark is worse than the bite.  Her bark has no bite.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Covid 19 Funeral

I just attended my first Zoom funeral.  While it is good to see so many of my fellow temple members attending, showing love and care, physical presence is greatly missed.  Seeing the rabbi and the deceased family gathered around the grave is heartwarming and heartbreaking. This man suffered so much in the last year of his life.  I am thankful for the technology that at least allows us to partake, even from a distance.  Even a beautiful song and eulogy by the wonderful Sol Zim was streamed.

I am hoping one day soon, I can hug my friend, the grieving widow and tell her I love her.

Sunday, June 14, 2020


With Covid 19 and not too many places to go, the beach is it!  It is so easy to enjoy the beautiful weather and to social distance.  I aslo spend too much tme with Photoshop

Monday, June 08, 2020

Our Students

Internet learning is not working. I spoke to the dad of a ninth grader today.  The student has two concerned bright parents and a stay at home mom.  The parents try and try but they can’t get her to do much school work,  her schedule is screwed up.  She is awake at night and then sleeps all day.  The dad told me many of his friends are seeing the same things with their children.

I don’t have an answer.  I can’t see schools going back and they will never be the same.  If kids with concerned, educated parents are not getting education, imagine what is going on with others.  I fear for the future.

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Covid 19 Tribute

So upsetting, this is a church not far from my house.  Each flag represents a person that has died from Covid 19.

Friday, June 05, 2020

Social Distancing At The Beach

To the person who grew up in Rockaway-apologies, I accidentally deleted Your comment

I am so fortunate to live not too far from one  of the best beaches in the world-Rockaway.  It is not overly crowded and very easy to walk, take photos and stay far away from others.  There is no better way to spend a warm summer day while social isolcating.

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Counting My Blessings

As I picked up this broke hanger to toss out, I thought, “how lucky I am.”  I was remembering my trip to Cuba, a country where people have nothing and toss nothing away.  A Cuban would have put it together or used the pieces to create some needed item,  I watched a documentary about the Cuban people where a man spent an hour fixing a dollar pair of flip flops and was so happy with his results.  The flip flops were the only shoes he owned.

We are stuck at home with no end in sight.  Instead of whining I try to count my blessings.  I have a nice, comfortable home to wait this out in, food on the table, internet, telephone, and plenty of entertainment on television.  Everyone in my family is healthy.  And this is what I do when I get sad and depressed.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Being Thoughtful

EastEnders Unleashed: BranningEnders: A FISH STINKS FROM ITS HEAD ...

This photo reminded me of someone I know.  No words, just the photo

Monday, March 30, 2020

Corona Virus Musings

Times are hard and uncertain.  A good friend just lost her 102 year old mom and couldn't be with her at the end.  I am on a committee from my temple that arranges for food deliveries after a death.  It broke my heart doing this yesterday and although the death wasn't Corona related and welcomed as he was sick for a long time it was sad to order food for only three people.  I am sure there are so many more who would like to honor this man.

As I walked this morning I thought of people I had been friends with.  Through mistakes, misunderstanding and lots of anger on both sides those friendships have dissolved.  I have resolved to write to these friends and try to reconnect. I am not saying a friendship will ever resume but I am hoping to soften the sharp edge between us.

Stay safe, sorry for the depressing post.  Bless the teachers struggling with online teaching, the poor kids who found school to be their only refuge from the hard lives they have at home and all the people working to keep us safe.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Helping Others Helps Me

Our mailman asked me to help his daughter with math as she was struggling.  He heard I was a math teacher from his friend who had a son in my class several years ago.  Although I don't usually tutor, my mailman is the best and there is almost nothing I wouldn't do for him so of course I said yes.

This happened to be a great week to start, since school were closed, Jill had lots of free time and it just so happened I didn't have a lot to do this week either so we met on Monday.  My mailman and his daughter walked in with the biggest box of cookies I have ever seen and sure enough, they were my favorite cookies.  I told them not to bring anything again as they were friends and friends don't need gifts from friends.

Jill and I worked for about an hour and it was obvious from her facial expressions that she was catching on and feeling really good about the things we were going over.  She even seemed to enjoy the math.  When she left we made plans for two more sessions this week.  I had a fight with her dad when he wanted to pay me.  Friends don't take money from friends and I only help people I like.

My mailman is back to work so Jill has been having her mom bring her over.  Today mom walked in with a huge bag of fruit.  More important was the way Jill was able to write a geometry proof when she left and her new confidence.  On Monday she just wanted to pass.  Today she wants honor status in math.  I assured her we will keep working until she gets this on the regents.

Working with Jill reminded me of how much I loved teaching and how much I loved working with students who needed me.  It felt good to give and it felt great to get the hug when she left. 

Sunday, January 05, 2020


I just finished dumping the rest of my lesson plans.  I guess I held on to the calculus ones for so long because I spent so much time working on them and it was truly a labor of love.  Anyway, I came across this cartoon,  I always tried to lighten the load by adding a little humor to everything I did.

I hope my students are all doing well and have nice memories of our classes.  I miss them all but don’t miss all the other BS that went along with the job.  Retirement is great.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Since this has happened to me, the article really hit home.  I know exactly how I would handle this!  And, I feel for the writer.  Being ghosted hurts.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Dilbert Says It Again

Saw this and thought of all the unqualified Principals and assistant Principals in schools today like the totally unqualified math teacher (she certified after leaving a business career, failed teaching exam first time) who became an AP in special education or the math AP who observed my AP calculus class with not a clue about what I was doing.  I could go on and on but every teacher reading this can add plenty of their own examples.  Also add in all the people who think they know everything about teaching because they went to school.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Goodbye Mr. L We Will Miss You

Most people don't realize that Mr. L was really a shy, introverted guy.  The loud man who told lots of off color jokes just covered up a very private, very insecure person.  We spent a lot of time talking.  When Mr. L told me he liked a pair of shoes I was wearing, I nicknamed them Mr. L's shoes and wore them long after they should have been discarded.  Imagine, I took fashion advice from Mr. L!  When Mr. L told me his attraction for short, chubby women, I kept my eyes open always looking for a good one for him.

I remember one Passover when he came to my seder and how my dad who did not like too many people, liked him.  I remember when he had trouble walking but still vowed to walk his son down the aisle and he did.

Mr. L had health problems towards the end of his career and he could not physically be the teacher he once was.  Our principal at that time (not Principal Suit) respected what he once was and gave him an assignment he could handle.  Hats off to that administrator.  Unfortunately, not everyone was so nice.  I won't go into details here but I no longer speak to her.

Mr. L loved his job and he loved people, especially the people he worked with. Mostly he loved his sons and his grandchildren.   He glowed when he talked about all of them.   I always said he would probably die with a piece of chalk in his hand.  I wish I was right.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Letter to Editor

A recent Newsday editorial said that education standards were getting low, partly because there are teachers who want to pass everyone.  Here is a response from an actual teacher!

Friday, September 20, 2019


A vacation in Amsterdam when flights are cheap, streets and sites not overly crowded as the school year begins.  

Picture taken in Delft.  Bikes rule in the Netherlands 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Right Choice For Me

I know people who say they don’t know what they would do if they retired. To me, it is a no brainer. This is so much better than fighting with my ill mannered, ill tempered, stupid former AP.  

Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Scowl

Let me begin this post by saying THANK GOODNESS LOOKS CAN'T KILL.  If they could, I would not be here to write this post.

I passed this woman in the supermarket today.  I know she saw me before I saw her because as soon as I saw her, her eyes darted away.  I thought, how sad.  We were friends, good friends.  We shared so many holidays.  I opened my family to her when hers was not there. I know intimidate details about her marriage, her family, her health, things I was told but asked to never repeat.  I never will.  I made a promise I will keep till I die.

I understand people grow and change.  Bonds that once held wear out.  But, should friendship be replaced with hatred?  I can't, for the life of me, think of one incident that would cause this kind of disgust.

I come home and reflect.  I write this post to get things off my chest.  I wish I could have told her  I don't hate her. I don't,   I feel sorry for the hate she holds inside, the hate that turned her attractive face ugly.

Being friends and being civil are mutually exclusive events.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Education Today

Credit recovery, everyone passes, the story of a high school diploma in today’s world.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Goodbye Greece

One of the benefits of retirement is a May vacation on a 15 cabin cruise to Greece in May, way before most tourists arrive.

These pics are through the window as we enjoyed our last breakfast on board.

Another great experience from Road Scholars.