Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In My Blood

I have been enjoying my time off and thinking that maybe it is time to put down my chalk.  While not dreading going back, I wasn't exactly looking forward to my first class and waited until the last minute to open the book and see what I had to teach. 

I got out of my car and felt nothing except for a slight irritation at the woman who took the parking spot I wanted.  I walked into the office, said hello to the secretaries, made my copies and walked to class, still wondering why I was there instead of home.  And then, I saw the students waiting to go into class and something went off inside me.  I felt my apathy slowly change into enthusiasm.  When I put my books down and started talking everything changed.  It all came back.   I was where I belonged.

I didn't care that I was standing in front of remedial students instead of the pre-calculus students I had been promised.  I saw kids that wanted to learn.  I saw kids in need of help and I was ready and willing to give it.  I told them not to be ashamed of where they started.  There was nothing wrong with needing a little reinforcement.  After all, high school taught them nothing and they all agreed. 

I'm not going to get them all to succeed but I know I will get many to move ahead.  I am now looking forward to my next class.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Chihuahua Vacuum Cleaner

Last night some friends were sitting around reminiscing about the old days and somehow the topic of vacuum cleaners came up.  The guys were remembering the old Eurekas and how much suction they had.  They even remembered putting the hose up to their faces to suck their skin.

And then, one said to someone who couldn't remember "they looked like chihuahuas."  I know a chihuahua who sucks the life out of all the good people around her.  Yep, this vacuum was correctly named.

Retirement Questions

I got this e-mail from a retired teacher and reader.  she has lots of good points and questions I can't help her with so I am posting in hope of getting her some answers. 
Hi Ms. PO’ed,

I wanted to vent and didn’t know to whom to vent (sorry, I am an old English teacher). All the blogs are concerned with Bloomberg’s attempts to destroy education in New York as we know it and I can’t seem to find any that deal with the day-to-day complaints of our retired brethren. In fact, one of my formerly favorite bloggers seems threatened (his column this past week) by the retired teachers chapter members, afraid that if we vote in mass we will somehow make things worse both in the union itself and in the system.

I know you are (somewhat newly) retired and several of your followers are too. Do you know of any blogs that are specific to our needs?

My vents: 1) I paid into the 25/55 retirement plan for many years, confident that I would make it past the 25 years, even expecting to work beyond. But the sudden targeting of older teachers, the Principals Academy no-nothing principal I worked for, the lack of protection from the union, made all my plans go up in smoke. I went out after only 23 years. That means that the retirement figures bounce back to the 32 years model and the money I paid in goes for nothing. Why can’t we get that back? Since so many of us older teachers are going out early, being forced out by the Bloomberg policies, where is all that money going? Since I am now on a small fixed pension, smaller than I had ever dreamed because I went out early, I could so use that money. I emailed the retired teachers chapter leader, Tom Murphy, and got an email back saying he would look into it. I can’t possibly be the only retiree who has asked about it, can I?

2) I know that all the teachers are now being told they must use express scripts. I hate express scripts. I hate the idea that it is a monopoly and I have no choice. I hate that this badly affects neighborhood pharmacies trying to survive in this awful economy. I hate that even though I can get discount coupons from the drug companies that reduce my costs, express scripts will not honor them (the neighborhood pharmacies always did). I hate it taking up to 30 days to get my meds. I hate that I have to rely on the post office, which is on the verge of bankruptcy and is cutting services, to get me my much needed medicines.

3) Where did the deductible suddenly come from for lab tests? I thought the medical coverage (GHI) stayed exactly the same after retirement. I just received a denial letter on routine blood tests my husband and I got two weeks ago, saying I was responsible for the entire amount because my deductible had not yet been met. WTF? I have never, in all my years as a City employee, had a lab bill denied. And what does this mean when I go in later this year for some surgery? Will there suddenly be bills that wouldn’t have been there if I were still working? If so, why, if it is the same plan??????? And why does no one explain this? Nowhere is it written – all I find is that the medical coverage is the same after retirement.

4) Can anyone explain SHIP to me in laymen’s terms? Do I save all my doctors’ and lab bills and then submit them? Why? I am confused about the purpose of SHIP and what to do about it.

5) And finally but perhaps more important than the rest, why should it, in this era of computers, take 5 full months for them to get me my actual pension? I retired in the off-season, not at the end of a school year when so many others were putting in their papers. And, more to the point, why did they “tide me over” with less than half of my projected pension – I figured that my twenty-something daughter who works for little more than minimum wage was earning more than I was getting, certainly not enough for a person to live on! I know, I know, they give you interest on the monies, as the person at the pension office kept saying, but I had to take out loans to get through these five months! That is a sin! Why can’t they err on the side of the newly retired teacher?

Thanks so much for letting me vent. You know I am such a big big fan of your blog. If you want to use any of this in your blog, of course, feel free.


Sunday, January 29, 2012


Struggling to learn how to bid in bridge.  Moving left when you are supposed to be moving right in Zumba.  Throwing an arm when you should be lifting a foot in kick boxing.  Having that straight line you are trying to draw come out crooked.

Being unable to succeed--something some kids deal with every single day.  Everyone needs to experience this frustation to better understand what their students are going through.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Teach What Helps

Peter was a former special education student of mine with an IQ of 75.  In spite of his limited intellect, he learned how to cover up his disability.  He was a personable young man and easily got a job in a nearby fast food restaurant.  He worked hard and was promoted to manager, a job he did exceedingly well most of the time.  I say most of the time because he had a big problem when the computer that ran the register went out.  He couldn't make change and needed someone to help him out.

I remembered Peter today when a friend told me the story of a cashier who didn't know what to do with the dime he was handed when the change due was $9.90.  I told this friend the story and he was glad.  He never thought of people being too limited to even make change.  I then told him about a girl I taught several years earlier who would not ride the bus by herself because she could not count out the four quarters she needed for her fare.  No one would have guessed this about her.  She looked like you and me.

Things are different today.  These two students would probably be in an ICT class because some administrator or guidance counselor with an IQ slightly above that of those two kids decided it was right for them.  They would not be able to pass.  If by cheating some miracle they did pass, what good would it do them?  College should never be in their future.

I don't know what happened to the young woman but Peter's life has been a success.  He got a job sweeping floors at a major company.  The guys liked him and taught him to drive the truck, a job that paid a lot more money.  He married a registered nurse and became the father of two wonderful children.  He didn't waste time or money pursuing a college education, something he never could have completed.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Cheating Allowed--If You have The Title

You are teaching a class which is full of  kids who failed the previous term and need to do an online project  to earn back this credit.    You tell the students not to worry about learning anything new and encourage them to work on their assignment instead.  You even allow them to bring the questions up on the smart board which gives everyone in the room a chance to help do the assignment for them.

You might worry that your supervisor won't approve this activity, but the teacher doing this had no worry because, this teacher was the supervisor of the department.

(Actually witnessed this last semester.  The AP encouraged kids to do this.  No wonder 78% of CUNY freshman need remediation.)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Memo_015 In Its Entirety

There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call The Twilight Zone.
—Rod Serling

Entering the Twilight Zone of Packemin H.S. Math Department
For the students who only showed up for one part of the final exam, please prorate the part of the final they took and calculate the average if you wish to pass them, but leave the exam field blank. But if a student gets 38 out of 40 on Part II and their average is below 90, I would not count the final at all.
Nice, huh?  You can count the good grade for a 90 student but not for a student who hasn't done so well in the past and now has studied like a dog to make the grade.

 No student who failed the final exam in my class had a passing average because the grade we give is a performance indicator. 
Wow, isn't he wonderful.  I don't even know why he bothers to make his students take the final since he has magic powers to know who is passing before hand.

In some extreme cases, the only exam a student was able to pass was the final exam.
This is what happens when the same exam is given all day long--kids get the questions and answers in advance.  And, what message does it send the kid who studied his behind off and still fails the class?

 If a student’s average is in the low 60’s and the student has passed some exams during the term, s/he can be given a grade of 65 provided their final exam grade is at least 65. For students with a passing average who failed the final exam with grades higher than 57, you can give a grade of 65.  For students whose final grades are below 57, a grade of 55 should be given.
A child who scored a 57 is so much more prepared and knows so much more than the one who scored a 55 or a 56.  That 57 is such a meaningful number.

If a student is absent more than 15 times and you wish to issue a passing grade, please make sure you speak to me first. Such students certainly did not participate in class while they were out. The question you should ask yourself is –“if a student is absent so many times and the student is doing ‘satisfactory’ work, what have I taught in that class?”
There are kids that can pass, even when out.  We have all seen it. 

You have to decide on the 55 or 65 based on how much harder they will work when they see the grade. After all, you know your students.
Some teachers might actually have brains. Besides,  grades should be uniform and not based on what you think your students will do.

Once again, I would like to thank all the grade leaders for the work they did on the uniform exams. There are some issues with a few exams - not indicating clearly our expectations on how to solve a problem, easy problems and errors on the exams. Directions should always include “show all work whenever possible to receive credits.” I will check next time.
I can't believe Mr. Micro Manager actually missed something. 

And printed in its entirety so anyone wishing can view this memo without commentary:

January 23, 2012

I would like to wish everyone a happy lunar New Year to those who celebrate.

Once again, I would like to thank all the grade leaders for the work they did on the uniform exams. There are some issues with a few exams - not indicating clearly our expectations on how to solve a problem, easy problems and errors on the exams. Directions should always include “show all work whenever possible to receive credits.” I will check next time.

I would like to remind everyone of the following when giving grades for this marking period in the required courses (for graduation). If you are teaching an elective, please speak to me directly if you have any issues.

Thank you very much.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Some Actually Take Education Seriously

A former calculus student writes:
i feel like i go to a university where everyone from these non urban areas gets way to hyped up about going out every weekend. relax, it's not that serious. yes, i'm studying on a saturday night. i have a future set in my mind.

Blindness Instead Of A Senior Moment

I just read memo_015.  The title of this post is the subject of that e-mail. (I guess you had to be there to understand this.)  Thanks to the many people forwarding these beauts.

Get ready for a good one.  I have no time to do it justice now, so I will post it later.  These things should be in Ripley's Believe It Or Not.  I guarantee they are unbelievable.

Editiorial Comment

Bloomberg's plan to close A rated Maxwell H.S. and others like it because the city scores don't reflect the state standards is just another indication of how flawed this rating system is and how clueless Bloomberg is when it comes to education.

Bloomberg is a mean, vindictive ego maniac who cares about his agenda and his agenda only.  And the media that sucks up and buys into it is just as bad.

No matter what he says Bloomberg wants to keep the lower and middle class of NYC down.  He wants to create a class of workers who will be fit for no more than doing his bidding.  He wants to keep his ruling class elite.  It would be a stretch to put him in this group, but if there was a list of the ten most evil government officials, he would be on top.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

DOE Hot Shots

Saw this sign and thought of all the people running the DOE right now.

Even A $20,000,000 Bonus Wouldn't Have Helped

Hard work and a desire to do well are just not enough to be a success at some things.  If I didn't believe this before, I would believe it now, after completing my first Zumba class. 

I'm looking for activities to fill my days.  While I am enjoying not working, I need to be in motion.  There is a limit to the amount of time I want to spend on the computer or reading.  My friends are doing mahjong and bridge but card games are just too sedentary for me.  When Living Social came up with a $20 coupon for 6 classes, I grabbed it, not knowing what I was getting myself into.

Being born with two left feet, and being extremely unathletic, I worried about looking the fool.  But, I learned I had nothing to fear.  The class had people from 20 to 70 years young, in all physical conditions and with varying levels of talent.  Everyone was so busy doing their own moves, no one had time to look and laugh at me.

The leader was a young man.  He demonstrated the moves and kept us going for an hour.  As we gyrated, he kept his eyes on the mirror, moving around the room and offering individual guidance to many of the needy students.  With 30 students in the class, it was impossible for him to give the individual attention I was desperate to have.  Oh, he tried all right but one teacher cannot successfully guide so many students.  Five minutes was the most time he could give me.

This was a fun class, no one was graded and really, the goal was to keep moving and get lots of exercise, which we all did.  The teacher really did a great job.  I don't know what he is paid, I'm willing to bet it is not very much, but he worked like a dog.  A huge bonus wouldn't get  him to do more.  If the class was smaller and he could have spent more time with me, I know he would have and I might have gotten a tad better.

I get why my Zumba class is big.  This is a business and profit is important.  Kids, on the other hand, are not a business.  They need smaller classes so they can get the attention they need to succeed.  Teachers, even the best, cannot give them what they need with class size as big as they are.  And, just like the Zumba teacher, public school teachers won't be able to do any more, even with the promise of a $20,000 bonus, something most will never see.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Footprints In The Snow

I keep telling my two little rescue cats how lucky they are to be indoors and not out in the ice and cold where they would have to scrounge for food.  I showed them these prints in the snow from the poor little ones that no one has saved.  I know they don't get it but that's okay.  They remind me of the Bloomberg and his cronies and the media.  They don't get education.  I just figured out why--they have cat sized brains!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I was supposed to teach a pre-calculus class this term but after registration, I was given a remedial class. 

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the lower end work and I definitely don't have anything against the students but teaching this class is sometimes so depressing.

A remedy should heal, and should right a wrong.  But, how do you fix wrongs wrought by twelve years of inadequate education in just four months?  These students don't need a fix, they need an education.  They have been deprived of one for almost their entire lives. This emphasis on NCLB and teaching to the test has not taught them basic facts and it has not taught them how to think and process material.  To keep their schools afloat, Principals have instituted so many credit recovery programs that failing kids know they don't need to do a thing, or even show up for class for years and then, at the end, they will have a chance to get four years worth of credits in one year.  Believe me, I have seen it and, I am embarrassed to say, have been a party to it. (If I didn't do it, someone else would have.)  Several years ago, I had a class of seniors who had passed exactly one math class before they got to me.  I had them in a double period.  At the same time, many were going to night school and getting credit for the exact same class with a different code attached.  Kids would sleep through day school because they were tired from night time classes.  Then they would do their day time homework in night time classes.  The biggest farce was 27 out of 28 passed the regents that year.  I warned them that although they would graduate, they still had no math knowledge.  Six years later, there are some still floating around the community college trying to get though the remedial class.  Most have dropped out.

Another problem is that the kids come in expecting everything to be handed to them on a silver platter, like it was done in high school.  They miss exams and expect make ups.  They do not work without review sheets and other hand outs.  They are excessively late and absent.  They don't do homework.  And, they always expect to be given a second chance.  Last time I taught the class a young woman handed in a blank final and didn't understand why I wouldn't give her an incomplete instead of an F in the class.  High school has trained her to expect second, third, fourth,..., hundred,....thousand chance.

Then there are the ones who don't belong in remedial but screwed up the entrance exam.  Everything is so easy for them and I always feel bad about wasting their time and money (financial aid iis their money) on a course they don't need.  It is sad that there is no way out.

Lastly, the ones that break my heart are the good students who just can't get the work no matter how hard they work or how many hours of tutoring they sit through.  Face it, people are different, have different abilities and not everyone is meant to pursue academics.

The hardest thing is passing the borderline student.  Once they get through remedial, they move on to a class where they are expected to have basic algebraic skills.  Like a fish out of water, they can't survive and many don't.  I see this happening all the time.

Arthur Goldstein wrote a great opinion piece in today's Daily News about the demise of education under Bloomberg's reign of terror.  It will take at least an entire generation to repair the damage he has done to the students of NYC.

Why Do You Want This Job?

The retired teacher had the per session job for over 25 years.  He had tenure and retention and had never been rated anything other than satisfactory so it came as a shock when he was denied the position this September. He grieved.  The principal claimed the number of positions available had been reduced but this should not have been a problem because he had seniority over almost everyone in the system.  He went to the next step and the arbitrator had the nerve to ask why he wanted the job and why he wouldn't just give it up to a young person.  He smiled and said nothing.  He didn't have to.  He knows he has to win on the next step.

The process is dragging on.  When it finally ends, he will not only get back pay, he will get several sick days. The city will have lost thousands of dollars and children will have their education disrupted.

No one seems to care.  The whole idea is to make him miserable and leave.  He's not dong that.  He's not laying down quietly and passing away.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Reminded By The Snow

Today's snow reminded me of the Christmas House on 185th St and the pictures I forgot about.  Anyone who still wants to think about Christmas can find them here, on Facebook.

Use Them And Abuse Them

Several years ago, in an effort to get rid of high paid senior teachers, the state offered the 55-25 plan to encourage early retirement.  They needed our money to stay afloat and they wanted to lighten their payrolls.

Now the state is trying  to raise retirement age and do away with pensions.  In the interest of saving money, they want new workers to be unable to retire and collect.

They will just keep dumping on the us little people, using us to solve all their problems.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bloomberg Overhauls Winter

The city has decided that, in order to save money and avoid the problems caused by last winter's snow storm, winter will now be cancelled.  Without winter, there will be no need for snow removal and millions of dollars will be saved.  The city will not be paralyzed and life can go on as usual.

Sounds ridiculous?  It is.  And just as ridiculous is the mayors plan to overhaul 33 struggling schools by replacing  up to half of their teachers.  The only difference is the mayor can ruin the lives of teachers.  He can't change the weather.  And, he can't improve education with this stupid plan.

NYC mayor pushes plan to overhaul 33 schoolsJanuary 18, 2012 by The Associated Press / KAREN MATTHEWS (Associated Press)

(AP) -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed Wednesday to move forward with his plan to overhaul 33 struggling schools and replace up to half of their teachers.
"The students in these 33 schools that we're talking about deserve effective teachers, as do all of our students in all of our 1,700 schools," Bloomberg said during a visit to the Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science in the Bronx.
Bloomberg announced the plan to effectively close the 33 schools and reopen them during his state of the city speech last week, saying the move would allow him to sidestep a battle with the United Federation of Teachers over teacher evaluations.
If state education officials accept Bloomberg's overhaul plan, they will free up nearly $60 million in federal aid that the 33 schools are supposed to receive.
Bloomberg said Wednesday that the money is important, but overhauling the schools is even more important.
"These are 33 schools that have not been performing," he said. "We have an obligation to the kids in those schools."
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said hearings on closing and reopening the schools will likely take place in March or April.
"These children need to have high quality-schools, high quality teachers, plain and simple," Walcott said.
They spoke one day after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued his own challenge to unions over teacher evaluations.
Cuomo said Tuesday he would give school districts and unions 30 days to settle a lawsuit that is blocking a statewide teacher evaluation plan or he would draw one up himself. "Education really isn't an employment program for adults. It's an education program for the students," Cuomo said.
Bloomberg praised Cuomo's action and said the governor "understands the problem."
Asked if Cuomo might impose his evaluation plan on city schools, Bloomberg said, "I don't think the governor wants to do that yet. He wants each city to negotiate with its union."
Earlier, Bloomberg visited an English class and a physics class at the Urban Assembly school.
He told the English class that since he graduated from high school in 1960, he didn't remember much about the two books being discussed, "Of Mice and Men" and "To Kill a Mockingbird."
He told students in the physics class, "What I like about science is, there's a right answer and a wrong answer.

Something To Think About

Lifted from a friend's Facebook page:--Thanks Michelle

Hmmmmmmmmmm... YOU MIGHT BE RIGHT!!.........

Now, since Obama's regime, all of a sudden, folks have gotten mad, and want to take America Back...BACK TO WHAT/WHERE is my question?

After The 8 Years Of The Bush/Cheney Disaster, Now You Get Mad?

You didn't get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.

You didn't get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate Energy policy and push us to invade Iraq.

You didn't get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.

You didn't get mad when we spent over 800 billion (and counting) on said illegal war.

You didn't get mad when Bush borrowed more money from foreign sources than the previous 42 Presidents combined.

You didn't get mad when over 10 billion dollars in cash just disappeared in Iraq.

You didn't get mad when Bush embraced trade and outsourcing policies that shipped 6 million American jobs out of the country.

You didn't get mad when they didn't catch Bin Laden.

You didn't get mad when Bush rang up 10 trillion dollars in combined budget and current account deficits.

You didn't get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.

You didn't get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans, drown.

You didn't get mad when we gave people who had more money than they could spend, the 1%, over a trillion dollars in tax breaks.

You didn't get mad with the worst 8 years of job creations in several decades.

You didn't get mad when over 200,000 US Citizens lost their lives because they had no health insurance.

You didn't get mad when lack of oversight and regulations from the Bush Administration caused US Citizens to lose 12 trillion dollars in investments, retirement, and home values.

You finally got mad when a black man was elected President and decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick. Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, job losses by the millions, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, and the worst economic disaster since 1929 are all okay with you, but helping fellow Americans who are sick... Oh, Hell No!

And one of my own--Bush's NCLB--the beginning of the end of education as we know it.
Obama might not be a bargain, but look at the alternatives.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


That someone like this runs a department.  More time in the job doesn't mean she is getting better at it.  You won't believe what she is up to now.

Use Money For Schools

Catholic schools are closing allover the place.  They say it is declining enrollment but we all know the bottom line is money.

I visited the Vatican several years ago.  The money being spent there to keep the floors clean would be more than enough to send every Roman Catholic child to a Catholic school if it was desired.

(The opulence I saw there sickened me when I thought of all the children here being denied the education they and their parents wanted.  My husband was not happy about my giving voice to this topic.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Don't Blame The Unions

I just finished reading this bullshit piece by Alexander Nazaryan and once again, I say thank goodness this guy and the editors of the Daily News who published it are no where around or I would be seeing the inside of a jail cell.

I don't think anyone can deny that there are some bad teachers out there, just like there are bad doctors, nurses, plumbers, sales clerks, etc.  But, the fact that these people have kept their jobs has nothing to do with union protection and has everything to do with the administrators highered to keep their schools moving ahead successfully.  If a principal is only seeing what the teacher is doing during formal observations, that principal is not doing his job.  The principal of Packemin, much to the annoyance of many teachers (no one likes Big Brother constantly looking in on them even when they are doing nothing wrong) , roams the halls on a daily basis, peering into classrooms constantly and he knows who is doing their job and who isn't.  He knows which teachers are prepared.  He knows about kids being locked in closets and he knows which teachers have no knowledge of the subject being taught.  And, in spite of what Nazaryan says, good administrators can get rid of incompetent staff.  It takes work, but it can be done.  I've seen it done at Packemin HS under the auspices of four different principals and in my former school, the math AP also weeded out the ones who weren't very good.

Unions are now being blamed for all the ills of society, probably because many of these ills can't be fixed.  Unions, and especially teachers right now are being scapegoated.

Nazaryan insults the female union leaders, saying they could play for the Giants (this has absolutely nothing to do with what he is writing about) and insults his former principal because she happens to be Caribbean.  He thinks working in an all Black or Hispanic school gives teachers the ability to sit and do nothing but I disagreee.  I taught in one of those schools with some of the best and most competent people around, all who have gone on to bigger and better things (still working in education) when the school was broken up.  Back in the '80s, it was not the teachers who caused the schools to be disfunctional, it was some of the children, the ones who snuck guns into the building and started fires during drills.  Many of the students were top rate.  I went to a 30th reunion from this school and met former students who are now doctors, lawyers and Phds.  The teachers were given choices of where they wanted to go because everyone knew the teachers were fantastic.

Union protections is a necessity.  Principals today often have no knowledge of what goes on in the school.  A 28 year old leadership academy graduate does not have the ability to know who is good and who isn't.  The recertified ISS AP who knows nothing about special education students and little about anything else should not be in a position to have life and death decisions over a career. The math AP, who believes he is still living in a Communist regime and wants little marching soldiers, teachers who show no individual initiative, and favors only young teachers of his own race should have no position of power.

This opinion editorial is another example of union bashing.  The edtiors need to go back and reread history to see the importance and necessity of unions for everyone's protection.  This article makes me happy I dropped my Daily News subscription years ago.

Maybe Doing Nothing Isn't So Bad

I can get used to this--watching the Colbert show I slept though last night while wearing my pajamas at 9:30 in the morning. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Success Story

Jimmy was restless.  No matter what his teachers did, they could not keep him interested in the classwork.  Numerous calls to his parents did nothing but upset them as they did everything humanly possible to get Jimmy working in school.

When Jimmy turned 16 he did what he wanted, he legally left school.  His parents, teachers, and guidance counselors told him his life would be ruined without that little piece of paper.  He didn't care.  Jimmy liked the outdoors and was not afraid of hard work so when he was offered a job laying asphalt, he jumped at it.  It was hard work, unbearably hot in the warm summer months but he persevered.  He learned that he liked what he was doing and got interested in other construction projects.  Little by little he not only learned every job, he mastered them.

Jimmy is now approaching his 60th birthday.  He owns his own company and has 100 people working for him.  He just built an 8000 square foot house complete with two swimming pools, the inside one filled with salt water and a gym.  He also owns a house in Florida which he visits every 6 to 8 weeks and vacations in the Caribbean several times a year.  Jimmy is ready to retire but doesn't want to leave his workers in the lurch so he agreed to keep on for several more years, giving them a chance to find other employment.

Test scores weren't so important when Jimmy went to school but if they were, he would have been a major mark against the school he went to.  This shows how insignificant these statistics are.  Jimmy makes more money and has a better life style than the people that would have marked him a failure and he is probably doing a lot better than most of his classmates who went on to receive advanced education. 

Jimmy, well read and self educated happens to be one of the brightest people I have ever met.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Some Aruba Pictures

Wifi Aruba sucked big time so I couldn't post too many pictures while there.  Here are a few, posted in their usual spot on Facebook.

One Thing I Miss

Lifted from a former student's Facebook page:

okay midterms BRING IT!! good bye to everything for now. Its just gonna be me and my buddies the textbooks!!!
Kids like her make me miss being in the classroom.  (Maybe not enough to give up a trip to Aruba for.)

Saturday, January 14, 2012


But I will be back.

After Sunset

They say that home is where the heart is.  Mine is in Aruba.  I can't believe the week is over.  It went so fast.  Next year I need two weeks.

At the airport with no plane in sight.  Hopefully it will be here and we can leave on time. We'll be back to the cold soon.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dumber Than Dirt

Mayor Ass Wipe wants to pay teacher who graduate in the top quartile of their class up to $5000 a year for 5 years to repay student loans.  Did the Mayor actually graduate from college?  If he did, he should know that the best and the brightest are not the most capable teachers.  They cannot empathize with kids who have trouble learning.  I bet he would feel differently if he had an MIT professor with a Phd trying to teach him remedial math or even an introductory calculus class.  These guys find the material so easy they cannot understand how average mortals cannot comprehend.

This is just another example of the piece of crap the city elected mayor saying and trying to do things he knows nothing about.

FU Bloomberg

I'm fortunately not home so I missed the ass wipe we call mayor's address.   This freak hasn't learned a thing about what teachers do although he is spent part of his own fortune to keep the throne.  Since I can't address him personally, I'll address him here.  He won't read this, but writing it will make me feel a whole lot better.



Thursday, January 12, 2012

Don't Begrudge My Pension--I Earned It

I was talking to a guy on the beach and I told him I am a retired teacher.  He told me I must be doing really well, living high and mighty on a big fat tax payer subsidized pension.  I told him I am living comfortably on money I worked hard for and saved.

This man owns his own business and two huge houses with swimming pools. He is staying in a penthouse suite with 4 other people.  He is paying for everything.

I don't begrudge him the money he earned.  He got it doing business with people like me, people who might have a little more if he only charged a lot less for what he did for them.  I didn't earn anywhere close to what he earns and my pension is not even close to his income now.  He, and others like him, shouldn't begrudge my pension now.  I contributed to it and earned it and I am entitled to what it buys me now.

(Pictured is what I am looking at as I post.)