Saturday, January 31, 2009
I will reprint the NYTimes article here. Note, not once did Randi protest Klein's use of the word "undesirable" or call this new measure unfair and discriminatory. It took her 3 years to wake up only because some ATRs took this to court.
Klein Halts Plan to Make Schools Take Unassigned Teachers
By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN
Published: September 2, 2006
On the eve of the new academic year, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein abruptly scrapped plans to impose a hiring freeze that would have forced principals to fill any last vacancies with unassigned teachers already in the system.
Mr. Klein said yesterday that it was more important for principals to choose their own staff than it was for the city to place potentially undesirable veteran teachers who must stay on the payroll even if no school offers them a position.
The decision to lift the freeze, just hours before it was to begin, was aimed at bolstering Mr. Klein’s position in a labor dispute over 44 unassigned assistant principals. To circumvent provisions in their contract that would force the assistant principals on principals who do not want them, Mr. Klein said he would created unneeded jobs for them, wasting as much as $5.2 million.
His stance on teachers once again allowed Mr. Klein to portray himself as a champion of autonomy and authority for principals.
City education officials said they believed most of the unassigned teachers would find jobs in the system. But Mr. Klein’s move raised at least a possibility that the city could be forced to pay the salaries of as many as 1,500 unassigned teachers, at a cost of nearly $100 million.
Officials said that 1,001 veteran teachers had yet to find positions and that about 500 newly hired teachers were also awaiting assignments.
Mr. Klein said unassigned teachers would be used as substitutes. “We will assign them to permanent substitute basis,” he said. “That may have some cost implications, but it’s costlier, I believe, to force individuals on a school.”
The number of teaching vacancies fluctuates, but has ranged from about 400 to 800 recently, ahead of the opening of school on Tuesday, said Elizabeth Arons, the system’s chief executive for human resources. Last year, the system carried 200 to 250 teachers without regular assignments on its payroll.
The city and the principals’ union — which represents both principals and assistant principals — are locked in a bitter contract dispute, and Mr. Klein has said that the seniority provisions are a major impediment. The provisions allow veteran assistant principals without assignments to bump junior colleagues who are not permanently appointed, potentially upending efforts by principals to build cohesive teams.
The union, the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, said management failures by the chancellor’s office, rather than the contract, were the reason the 44 assistant principals did not have jobs.
Last year, the teachers’ union agreed to relinquish similar bumping rights in exchange for a transfer system that allows teachers to apply for openings citywide. Mr. Klein said yesterday that those changes were among the most important of his tenure because principals for the first time “have the authority to hire people who are aligned with their vision, their mission.”
Jill S. Levy, the president of the supervisors’ union, said she was willing to negotiate changes but has accused Mr. Klein of blaming the contract for his own failures. The union said 37 of the 44 vacancies were caused by the administration’s closing or downsizing schools.
They taught at schools that were closed down.
They taught programs that were discontinued.
They are over 30 years old.
They are not young and beautiful.
They don't belong to the right ethnic group.
They have been teaching for more than 5 years.
They have been union members speaking out for people like you and your children.
The UFT sold them out when they gave up the right of seniority transfers and the Principal's got the right to hire only those that fit the mold.
I'm not an ATR. I don't like change and by staying in the same school for more than 20 years I have unknowingly protected myself. My school is a good school so it is not likely to be closed down or reorganized. I teach math so there is no way that my position can be done away with. I am safe.
But, suppose I was not the teacher described above. Would it matter that I have been teaching for over 30 years? Would it matter that I am well liked by parents and students? Would it matter that I always get good results and that I spend countless hours of my own time helping my students? Would this have meant anything?
No Principal would ever higher me. Once I leave this job, I know the door will be slammed behind me. Exit only. Unlike years before, retired teachers who changed their minds were welcomed back. Once I leave I know no one will let me come back. (That is why I am holding on now--until I am sure I am really ready to go.)
Check out this article in the Chief to read about this ATR art teacher who has done for more for her students than all you doubters out there will ever know.
Our wonderful union is running workshops on how to interview and how to write a resume. These people are not incompetents. They know how to do this. Our union is making videos to show them off. Since when have teachers become pets to show off in a store window?
All you newbies out there, think ahead. If you are fortunate, you will one day be a senior teacher like the ones out there now. You too might be an ATR. Maybe you should start taking an active role in the union now.
Let's stop blaming the ATRs for the position they are in. Let's stop blaming everyone and put these teachers back in the classroom where they belong and where they want to be. Let's help the city solve its budget crisis by letting the people already on the city payroll do the job they were hired to do.
I know that this blog is an open forum for people to comment and to express their thoughts but some of those words make me sick.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Wow, that's a real good letter, i really hope they take it into consideration. I was looking at all the question you mentioned, and i looked them up in the Math B January 2009 Regents and key online, and everything you said was true about them. Also about raising the raw passing score was the first thing i went to look for and i couldn't believe they raised it to 49, that's when i started worrying about myself passing. I hope they do take in consideration for these questions and give everyone the benefit of the doubt and give the full credit for those questions. Yea, also i was telling Daniel that i felt doing the old regents was kind of a waste of time since it didn't really help much on the actual regents. So this letter is also exactly how the students felt, hopefully all the complaints they are getting will persuade hem to fix something. It didn't surprise me that you would appeal, your one of the few dedicated teachers n the school, glad i had you as a teacher last year.
From every paycheck our union takes $47.27.
What are we getting for this?
The union is running ads on prime time television showing an art teacher in a well equipped room working with two students. Is this reality? I think not. How does this commercial improve my working conditions? Doesn't a lie like this feed into Bloomberg and Klein's Keep It Going NYC Public Schools campaign? Doesn't this support them instead of us?
The union is running worthless and insulting workshops for ATRs. These bright, intelligent and experienced people being told they cannot find a job because of what they are doing, not because of how the union sold them out. My dues is being used for this nonsense too.
I know we need a union but, we need a union that works for us, not against us. The UFT of today is not that union.
Thanks to Mrs. Tsouris, the inspiration for this post.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
There was also a question on the mean and standard deviation. This is a question that can be answered by pushing a few buttons on a calculator. Doing this requires no understanding of the topic being taught. In spite of this, the powers that be decided pushing buttons was worth 4 points.
Missing from the non multiple choice questions of this exam were trigonometric equations, trigonometric graphs and probability. These are topics taught and emphasized in the third part of the course, the part most recently in the minds of our students.
It was interesting watching the kids reaction when they left this exam. Many were confident that they did well. After all, the only other math regents they ever took was Math A, where if you breathe on your own, you pass, they expected this exam to be the same. The cut off for passing on this exam was much higher than on the math B exam and while their raw scores were much higher than the score they received in math B, the conversion was much worse. (49 was passing--out of 86 points) The poor little girl with the Ms POd on her shoulder only got a 39.
Some administrators think that the teacher should be able to predict accurately how a student will do on these exams. Very few of my predictions would have come true. Kids I gave charity passing grades to last year came through with grades in the 70's and 80's. (I had to plead with Mr. AP to let me pass one of these kids.) Others who did very well, bombed this exam badly.
My students will be taking the geometry regents in June. I worry about how they will do. Not for me, I am a hardening my heart against criticism from Mr. AP. I worry for them. These kids have low self esteem, especially when it comes to math. I would hate to see it go any lower.
The phone rings at 10:15 PM. We worry. We're old and our phone never rings that late unless something is wrong. I look at the caller ID and see my friend Dinger's name. I answer the phone and say "What's wrong with your graphing calculator?" Dinger laughs. He can't figure out how to get the y1 to show up so he can graph a linear regression. He spent 30 minutes working on it and then remembered his old friend POd and decided to stress no more.
Dinger and I have a long graphing calculator history. For a brilliant math guy, he is totally brain dead when it comes to any kind of technology. He has kept a whole group of us entertained for years with his graphing calculator (and computer) woes. A few years ago he called up because he couldn't get rid of his "dots". They were all over his screen and he thought his calculator had the measles. When my husband told him I was out of town, he got visibly upset. He called my cell phone so I could help him with his dots. Dinger carries his graphing calculator with him, whenever we are together. He even had it at his daughter's wedding. He always has some problem with it and counts on me to help him out. Dinger taught AP calculus the year I was on sabbatical and called me from his classroom when he could not figure something out.
To know Dinger is to love Dinger and everyone that has ever come in contact with him feels the same way about him. Many years ago, when all the math teachers in Queens met in the same place for staff development, I had a brilliant idea. I had everyone add a note to the evaluation form proclaiming Dinger, from XXXX High School, the calculator guru. These forms made it to the superintendent's office and then back to Dinger's AP, who knew the true man. Everyone had a good laugh at Dinger's expense (including Dinger--he has a great sense of humor.)
We were on the phone quite a while. It only took 20 seconds for the phone to ring after I had hung it up. It was Dinger again. He checked the time on our conversation and it was 32 minutes and 32 seconds. He had to call back to tell me how mathematical our call was.
I don't get to see Dinger and the rest of our gang as much as I would like. But when I do see him, or even speak to him, I remember that he is one of the people responsible for my love of teaching. He was always smiling and happy. He loved the kids and he loved teaching. He was never too busy to stay late or come in early to help a kid. He was always ready to pick up a basketball and shoot hoops in the school gym. Dinger is only a few years older than I am and was only teaching a few years before I started teaching, but I learned so much from him. All future generations of teachers need a Dinger of their own.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Belle, I am so honored to have worked with you. I valued you as a colleague and will always value you as a friend. Enjoy your retirement. You earned it.
She is sick and needs some medical attention but can't get it for lack of insurance.
No one in the school seems to know where she can turn for help. We've checked with guidance, the health office, the social worker and the parent coordinator (who at least has a few ideas).
This girl is being abused by the system.
I'm looking for any real advice I can get to pass on to her.
Why risk my car and my safety on roads like these when I live and work in places easily accessible by public transportation.
This poor guy looked miserable. He is here from California for four months and he is not enjoying the weather at all.
I still want this guy's job!
Teacher footprints in the snow
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
When Ginny saw me after the Math B regents, she ran over and gave me a big hug. Since Ginny is not a particularly good math student, I was wondering why?
"Ms. POd", she said. "I was failing math but Mr. P said he would pass me if I passed the regents. He didn't think I could possibly pass. I know I passed. He only taught me 1/3 of the work. I learned the other 2/3 from you last year. While doing the exam I felt like I had a Ms. POd sitting on my shoulder yelling out things like CPCTC. I'm bringing you a big bouquet of flowers when I get my grade."
I don't know if Ginny passed or not. It is nice to know that she felt confident about the things she learned in my class. I do know, that the papers I marked from the kids I taught last year, the proofs were right. I'm going to look for Ginny's paper as soon as we finish marking tomorrow. She made my day!
There is nothing like creating a warm, comforting environment for kids taking a regents exam, especially when these children have unsuccessfully taken the exam before.
YOU CAN REMOVE THE GIRL FROM THE BRONX BUT THE BRONX CAN NEVER BE REMOVED FROM THE GIRL. The Bronx in me demanded this story be told. Sorry, it is only being told here.
Monday, January 26, 2009
While the camera was out, I asked if I could take a picture of T. If he only put the same effort into math that he puts into coordinating his clothing he would not be stressing over whether he is passing this class or not.
These two had to get into the action and get a picture taken. I managed to use photoshop to crop out the faces. Too bad I can't show them. The boys eyes twinkle. The boy is really trying to pass this class (too bad he started trying so late in the term) and the girl is a pain in the you know where. The kids were working on a practice sheet for our "Last Chance Harvey" exam. (One last test to try to pass the semester--they seem to relate to movies better than they relate to math.) And, surprisingly enough, it worked!
Sunday, January 25, 2009
We got there early. It was so cold we decided to walk around the American Craftsman (52 St and 7th Avenue). I found this great new kitchen clock. I'm a sucker for anything with a face. The weirder the expression the better it is.
I was pretty upset reading this month's union rag--all that talk about how the UFT is doing so much to help the ATRs, teaching them how to write resumes and to go on interviews, as if these intelligent, experienced adults are clueless and then I thought of these tickets and the show I would not have seen without the paper. I just have to remember to turn away from the ugly pages without reading them.
John Smith is a young man whose intellect and virtues go far beyond what the numbers on his transcript represent. To evaluate the true John, a person must know him and know the tremendous strives he has made in the last year.
John is an extremely bright young man. When I first met him, school was a place he came to spend time and he did not take it too seriously. Over the course of the year, he slowly matured and began to realize that an education was very important. Slowly, at first, he began solving difficult problems. He was able to reason out solutions to examples that baffled others. His test grades improved. He now regrets the errors of his ways and is planning on a bright future. John is so concerned about doing well that he spends most of his free time getting extra help in many areas. Now, he is not concerned about passing. He just wants his grades to soar.
John told me that he plans on studying engineering in college. He knows it will be a long, difficult journey. He knows he has to make up some of the areas he slacked off in during his high school years. I know he is ready to do this. His mind is sharp and inquisitive. He is determined. He is more than ready for this challenge. My own son studied computer engineering in college and is now a successful engineer. He too had to grow into school. I see in John the same qualities my son has.
Any school that John attends will benefit from having this bright, funny, kind, caring, virtuous young man as part of their student body. I recommend him highly.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
From JHS 113, in the Bronx
To Mr. O'Leary who took a whole bunch of us to Chinese restaurant for lunch in his little Volkswagon bug. He did not say a word when I ordered a lettuce and tomato sandwich.
From Evander Childs HS, also in the Bronx
To Mr. Josephs the English teacher who met with us in a neighborhood church during the teacher's strike in the 60's.
To Mrs. Nierenblatt, the economics teacher who invited us all to her fancy house in New Rochelle to celebrate our successes.
To Mr. Stohler, (I think I might have his name slightly wrong), the academic team's advisor who drove us there.
To Mrs. Palley who took us out to lunch to celebrate the perfect score we got on our regents exams.
To Mr. Sodicow, the ARISTA advisor and English teacher who claimed to hate us all but spent hours after school working on special projects with us.
I hope there will be a day when students will have these good memories of me and what I tried to do for them.
Dear Fellow Constituent:
The George W. Bush Presidential Library is now in the planning stages
and accepting donations.
The Library will include:
1. The Hurricane Katrina Room, which is still under construction.
2. The Alberto Gonzales Room, where you won't be able to remember anything.
3. The Texas Air National Guard Room, where you don't even have to show up.
4. The Walter Reed Hospital Room, where they don't let you in.
5. The Guantanamo Bay Room, where they don't let you out.
6. The Weapons of Mass Destruction Room, which no one has been able to find.
7. The National Debt Room, which is huge and has no ceiling.
8. The Tax Cut Room, with entry only to the wealthy.
9. The Economy Room, which is in the toilet.
10. The Iraq War Room. (After you complete your first visit, they make
you go back for a second, third, fourth, and sometimes fifth visit.)
11. The Dick Cheney Room, in an undisclosed location, complete with shooting gallery.
12. The Environmental Conservation Room, still empty.
13. The Supreme Court Gift Shop, where you can buy an election.
14. The Airport Men's Room, where you can meet some of your favorite
15. The Decider Room, complete with dart board, magic 8-ball, Ouija
board, dice, coins, and straws.
Note: The library will feature an electron microscope to help you locate
and view the President's accomplishments.
The library will also include many famous Quotes by George W.Bush:
1. 'The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country.'
2. 'If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure.'
3. 'Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother
4. 'No senior citizen should ever have to choose between prescription
drugs and medicine.'
5. 'I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and
democracy - but that could change.'
6. 'One word sums up probably the responsibility of any Governor, and
that one word is 'to be prepared'.'
7. 'Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things.'
8. 'I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments
in the future.'
9. 'The future will be better tomorrow.'
10. 'We're going to have the best educated American people in the world..'
11. 'One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some
fantastic pictures.' (during an education photo-op)
12. 'Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not
13. 'We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur.'
14. 'It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the
impurities in our air and water that are doing it.'
15. 'I stand by all the misstatements that I've made.'...George W.Bush
to Sam Donaldson
PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY!
Jack Abramoff, Co-Chair
G.W. Bush Library Board of Directors
Friday, January 23, 2009
Case one: Farah is in a specially created math class for slower learners. Her teacher is going at a nice, slow pace and building her confidence. Farah is finally getting the math and getting grades in the 90's. Should Farah be moved into an honor class? Does the 90 mean Farah no longer needs the TLc she is being given?
Case two: Luis is brilliant but very hyperactive. In tenth grade, he chewed up an empty coke can because it was there. Luis does not always perform well on exams because his mind works quicker than his pen but anyone observing him would see that he is miles ahead of everyone in the room. Should Luis be doomed to slower classes his whole life because of his test grades? [Luis was my student. I realized early on how bright he was and arranged for him to be on the math team. Luis is now in his junior year at a major university studying computer engineering.]
Case three: Karla cut half the semester. When she decided to stop cutting, she returned to class and her grades soared. Her final grade was still quite low due to poor attendance and missing exams and homeworks. Should she be programmed baded on this grade?
Case four: Donald would come into class and swing from the ceiling lights. He had trouble focusing, partly because of his ADD and partly because he was bored. He was placed in a slow class based on this grade? Was that the correct thing for Donald?
The kids took the second half of the geometry midterm yesterday. They felt confident and did surprisingly well. In class today, all I heard was,"Ms, did you mark the exams?" When I replied "Yes" I got the follow up question "Can you tell me what I got?"
I kept my cool and replied, "NO!!!!! You guys tortured me all term and now I get my revenge. You have to wait until Monday to find out your score." They begged and pleaded. They needed the grade to get out of punishments. I did not budge. They said, "Why are you making us suffer?" I just said "Revenge is sweet."
I gave them a practice sheet for our "Second Chance Harvey" exam on Monday. They actually worked hard on it. The sick part of me is looking forward to preparing them for the regents in June. It should be a wild and interesting ride.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Judy stopped me in the hall. The following conversation transpired:
Judy: Ms, are you dying your hair?
Me: Yes, after two years of you, if I didn't I would be totally white. You would even have sucked the gray out of me.
Judy: You mean 2 and a half years of me. [She smiled as she said this.]
Judy walked away laughing. She drove me crazy but she knew I loved her.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Too many people from my school are reading this blog. People who I don't know and can't imagine how they know me are reading and coming up and telling me they read. My bitchy side must really go undercover. If you are on the list, you can check out the latest at Packemin HS. If you are not on the list, don't feel you are missing anything. Most of my stuff is just mindless dribble, nothing much reading anyways.
Since the feed does not work, I will post here whenever there is anything over there to read.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The speech was broadcast throughout the school. I usually hate anything that wastes class time, but this was good way to spend time. This was history in the making.
Monday, January 19, 2009
2. Saw Gran Torino and enjoyed it immensely. It was wonderful to see a movie before it made it to television.
3. Got to visit my dad. I usually see him every weekend but was about to bow out this weekend due to weather when the sun came out yesterday afternoon. We played a couple of hot games of Rummy Q and had a good time together.
4. Saw 21 on DVD. Being a math teacher and a wannabe card counter, I loved the movie.
5. Saw Defiance today with some good friends. I actually saw two can't believe I saw two first run movies in one weekend and got to catchup with friends at the same time. The movie by my house was recently redone and on Mondays, ladies only pay $4.50. My husband was complaining about there being no Man's day, but that's life. Since all our money is our money, we still saved on my admission.
6. Dinner at Grimaldi's--coal oven pizza at its finest.
7. Marked the first half of my geometry classes midterm exams and put those marks into excel. The marks weren't all that bad. The class average was 28/40 (70% for you non-math people.) I'm still not expecting much on the next part, but I'll have to wait for Wednesday to find out.
And now, to figure out what to teach tomorrow.
(Pictures from an earlier post)
No matter what I do, half the kids in my geometry class are clueless. I'm not talking about the kids that do nothing, I'm talking about the kids that try.
I decided to take the suggestion of an administrator and talk to the kids about their problems. One of the kids I work with a lot just showed me his PSAT scores. He only scored 34% in the critical reading category. If the child can't read and pick out details, he can't put clues together to solve a geometry proof. Figuring out whether he has consecutive angles or opposite angles in a parallelogram is beyond his scope of understanding. They know that the distance formula is used to show line segments are congruent, they repeat this over and over. They know that a triangle is isosceles if two sides are equal. On exams, they use the slope formula to do proofs involving these concepts. Another kid showed me his math score which was 29%. How can this kid be expected to learn geometry either?
The administrator suggested I talk to other teachers and see if they are having the same problems. I asked Mr. P how his class was doing. He said "Fine". I asked, "Approximately what percent of your class is passing?" He answered, "I have no idea. I don't look at those things." I did hear him and another teacher agonizing as they marked the first part of the midterms about the same mistakes my students make.
One boy told me it would have been better if he had paid attention in the beginning of the term. While that would have made a tremendous difference, it still would not have compensated for his inability to solve word problems. I am at a loss as to how to reteach him all the things he might have learned if he had paid attention.
The DOE is running a big campaign, Keep It Moving NYC Schools, touting the success of our schools under the reign of Klein and Bloomberg. Why aren't there any real reporters out there showing what is really going on in math education today?
Sunday, January 18, 2009
As a result of the reduction of money budgeted for all department areas, we are forced to cut down on our number of personnel. Under this plan, older employees will be asked to take early retirement, thus permitting the retention of younger people who represent our future.
Therefore, a program to phase out older personnel by the end of the next fiscal year, via retirement, will be placed into effect immediately.
This program will be known as SLAP (Severance of Late-Aged Personnel).
Employees who are SLAPPED will be given the opportunity to look for jobs outside the company. SLAPPED employees can request a review of their employment records before actual retirement takes place.
This review phase of the program will be called SCREW. (Survey of Capabilities of Retired Elderly Workers).
All employees who have been SLAPPED and SCREWED may file an appeal with upper management.
This appeal is called SHAFT (Study by Higher Authority Following Termination).
Under the terms of the new policy, an employee may be SLAPPED once, SCREWED twice, but may be SHAFTED as many times as the company deems appropriate.
If an employee follows the above procedure, he/she will be entitled to get: HERPES (Half Earnings for Retired Personnel's Early Severance) or CLAP (Combined Lump sum Assistance Payment).
As HERPES and CLAP are considered benefit plans, any employee who has received HERPES or CLAP will no longer be SLAPPED or SCREWED by the company.
Management wishes to assure the younger employees who remain on board that the company will continue its policy of training employees through our Special High Intensity Training (SHIT).
We take pride in the amount of SHIT our employees receive. We have given our employees more SHIT than any company in this area.
If any employee feels they do not receive enough SHIT on the job, see your immediate supervisor. Your supervisor is specially trained to make sure you receive all the SHIT you can stand. And, once again, thanks for all your years of service with us!
Ms. M didn't send in my NYU recommendation. She promised she would do it but
I just got an e-mail from the college saying it is missing. I don't want to
bother her again. She already wrote me some. Would you please do it? I know it
is short notice but I really need it?
The above is the story I heard from one of my calculus students Friday. When I heard the teacher involved was Ms. M, I said, "Ask her again. I'm sure it was either an oversight or it got lost in the mail." My student did not want to bother her. It seems Ms. M deleted the original recommendation from her computer and my student did not want to ask her to rewrite it.
What I would like to know is why these kids think it is okay for me to write it? I just counted. I wrote 31 individual letters as recommendations. Thirty one students. Most students are applying to four or five schools. You don't have to be a math teacher to do the math and figure out the amount of work this has been. Why am I always the one who can't say no!
Norwegian Math Test for an Engineer
Ole wants a job, but the foreman won't hire him until he passes a little math test. Here is your first question, the foreman said. 'Without using numbers, represent the number 9.' 'Without numbers?' Ole says, 'Dat's easy.' and proceeds to draw three trees.
'Fair enough,' says the boss. 'Here's your second question. Use the same rules, but this time the number is 99.' Ole stares into space for a while, then picks up the picture that he has just drawn and makes a smudge on each tree. 'Dar ya go.' The boss scratches his head and says, 'How on earth do you get that to represent 99?' 'Each of da trees is dirty now. So, it's dirty tree, and dirty tree, and dirty tree. Dat is 99.'
The boss is getting worried that he's going to actually have to hire this Norwegian, so he says, 'All right, last question.
Same rules again, but represent the number 100.' Ole stares into space some more, then he picks up the picture again and makes a little mark at the base of each tree and says, 'Dar ya go. Von hundred.'
The boss looks at the attempt. 'You must be nuts if you think that represents a hundred!' Ole leans forward and points to the marks at the base of each tree and says, 'A little dog come along and pooped by each tree. So now you got dirty tree and a turd, dirty tree and a turd, and dirty tree and a turd, vich makes von hundred.'
'So, ven do I start?