Thursday, January 31, 2013

Let's Be Friends Now That I No Longer Have A Need To Abuse You

Teacher  said...
I thought I would pass along the goodbye letter my former principal sent out last week after her resignation:

Dear Staff:

I can't believe after 9 years the time here has come to an end. Many of us have become friends, and many of us are here as acquaintances. I know we don't always get along. I know I can be a bitch. I am a bitch because I know you can do it. I know you can always try harder. I know that I pushed you because you can do it. I have enjoyed mentoring all of you over the years and look forward to staying in contact in the future. You can find me on facebook under my name. We can now be friends since I am not your boss. I feel like a mother to so many of you.

I thank you for your allowing me into your lives over the past years. It is you that has helped prepare me for my new experience in life.

My cell phone is ***********

Call me for anything you need. I don't bite. I only bite food.


Former Principal

That is what my former boss sent out over district email a few weeks back - only thing changed was the phone number and left out her name.

Teacher sent me this letter and truthfully, it made me sick, and here's why.

Teachers are adults.  They have their own mothers and don't need another one, especially one at work.  My former AP considered himself every one's father and that did not work out well.  As for the pushing, if her pushing made her a bitch, then she pushed way to hard.  Teachers are not athletes, they are human beings and their endurance does not need testing.  This former principal might have enjoyed working with her staff but I wonder how many, if any, enjoyed working with her.  As for her new experience in life, slave task master is no longer a valid occupation so heaven only knows what she will do now.  From the sound of this letter, I am sure the teachers at this school must be having a party.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Change For The Sake Of Change

Changing the look of the muffins doesn't make them taste any different.

Valuing The Teacher


College is my only job now and I go in with a smile on my face.  I have the best of both worlds.  I haven't lost the classroom experience, only the crap that used to go with it.  My class, a wonderful group of pre-calculus students is capped at 28 students.  At present, there are 17 on register and 13 attended the first class.  I feel like I moved from the slums (high school) to Beverly Hills.

I am not alone in feeling this way.  I ran into two former colleagues last night.  Even after working a full day they were both all smiles at the college.  They know they are working in a place where they are appreciated.  They know they are valued by their students and the administration.  And, this appreciation gets passed along to their students.

I know I've wrote this a zillion times before, but I can't help but write it again.  School administrators could get their staffs to work so much better if they treated them better.But,this is something not taught in Administration 101.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Classes Resume At The College Tomorrow


Right Decision Led To Happiness


Happiness is not having to sit through meaningless PD knowing I have tests to mark and grades to enter.

Happiness is not having to think about how the UFT will handle the grievance filed by a terrific chapter chairman who is trying to get teachers released from PD to do the work that needs to be done.

Happiness is not having to deal with an administrator who only pretends to know how much work I really have to do.

And lastly, happiness is my only worry of the day--will I make lunch with friends or will I postpone due to the weather.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hard Lesson To Learn

All semester I told them to go for help.  I collected homework and even accepted it late.  I volunteered extra help before or after class.  Almira did none of those things.

The term has ended and she has barely earned a C-.  To transfer, she needs a C.  Almira is crying and begging for extra credit.  She even sent her dad in to plead her case.  If she will do anything to pass now, why couldn't she have done things earlier.  It breaks my heart to see her so miserable, but it is a lesson she must learn.  Hopefully she will retake tithe course and get on with her life.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Differential Equations

is it too early for math jokes?
From a former student's Facebook page.
This girl was a student of mine my last year at Packemin.  She was one of the students who originally was not going to take AP calculus, or even any calculus class because the tight budget only permitted two classes and her previous scores were not good enough to make it in.  When I realized there were a lot of kids in her position, I gave up the double period, promised to do extra tutoring and took on a third class.  While  her grades weren't great, she got a great foundation and, more importantly, she developed a love of math.  She is currently in her second year of an engineering school doing well.
If the classes hadn't been changed, this young woman might not be where she is today.  The AP said these kids weren't important in the whole scheme of things.  These kids weren't taking exams that counted in the schools ratings.  The system made him forget what education is all about.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Clapping, Bitchy Chihuahua

The bull dog had enough and decided to retire.  The chihuahua, the one he helped and defended for years sat behind her desk and clapped as he walked out the door.  The bull dog had the final word.  He turned around, looked her straight in the eyes and called her a bitch. 
Everyone in the kennel hates the chihuahua.  She was hired because her lack of morals allow her to do whatever her boss asks.  She has surrounded herself with young pups who obey her every command.  But, they agree with the bull dog and think she is a bitch.  One day they will find a way to rise up against her tyranny and they will be the ones clapping as she walks out the door.

Lesson Learned


Don't like studying and doing homework?  Don't want to sit in a classroom you find boring?  Don't want to follow directions?  Don't even want to go to school?  Still want a diploma?  Well, it is all possible in the twenty first century.

Kids who don't want to go the conventional route but know they need that piece of paper to get anywhere have learned one thing in high school.  They don't have to.  All they need to do is go to class 4 days, for just three hours a day and they will get the credits needed to graduate.  Or, if they don't want to do that, they can sign on to an online learning program and get credit that way.  One AP has been heard telling the kids all they need to do is sign on, no work needed to get the credit.

I've been there, done it and still can't believe what passes for education today.  One of the top neighborhood schools in the city is giving away credits in this manner.  The school had been known for the superior education its students got.  No more.  Everyone has to graduate so the school can keep its "A" rating.  Now kids are getting an "F" education.

(Pictured is subway cleaning.  Diplomas of today won't even qualify kids to mop the stations.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Joy Of Learning

Despicable But That Is Nothing New

Bloomberg is supporting "microscopic" apartments in the city to make city dwelling more affordable for young people.  BS!  He wants more apartments per square foot to increase revenue for land owners.  These young people will be here for a short time and leave.  He should be looking into more affordable housing for families that will stay and help the city grow.

He is despicable, but that is nothing new.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Get The Heavy Duty Aspirin Out

January 22, 2013

I would like to thank all the grade leaders for the work they did on the uniform exams. 
I would like to remind everyone of the following when giving grades for this quarter.

For the students who only showed up for one part of the mid year exam due to a good cause absence, please prorate the part of the final they took and calculate the average if you wish to pass them, provided they had been passing. Please 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 that heavily since students tend to do better on the long part. For the student who cut part of the final or the student had been failing, you should put down the part of the exam score and calculate their average.  By the way, please make sure you enter mid year exam grades of all other students under the exam column. 
In order for you to pass a student, one of the two grades, the class average and the mid year exam grade, has to be higher than 65.  No students who failed the mid year exam with a failing average should pass a class because the grade we give is a performance indicator.  In some extreme cases, the only exam a student was able to pass was the mid year exam.  A grade of 55 might be prudent.  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 mid year exam grade is at least 65.  For students with a passing average who failed the mid year 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 and use the comments 24 and 10 (for Regents classes only).  You should speak to the parent and let them know about the failing grade, particularly if you passed these students before. 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. There are many effective teachers in our department, but we do need the students to sit in their seats in order for us to teach them.  A student who did not complete all the homework should have their grade lowered.  However, do not fail a student because s/he was allowed not to do homework if they have a passing average.  The question you should ask yourself is “Did I communicate with the parents regarding missing homework assignments?”  We are annualized.  There is really no difference between a grade of 55 or 65.  When a student passes the Regents exam and the final exam in June, we will pass them in the course provided they meet all other requirements.  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.

You can use the last quarter’s grades if it helps your students. Please do not use a grade of 60.  You can use CR or NC in electives only.
If you have additional questions, please speak to me before you send in your grades. Thank you very much.

If You Get Their Heart...

Along with birthday wishes, a former student sent me an e-mail  stating she is failing trig miserably.  My heart went out to her.  I met Riha my last term at Packemin.  She was in the 3rd term of a 4 term algebra sequence.  The year before her teacher left on a medical leave and the class did not get a regular teacher until the end of the semester.  The kids were passed on based on a ridiculous uniform final, an exam where they all had access to the questions and answers way before they had to take it.  Riha was one of the many who knew nothing entering the class.

Little by little Riha's math skills improved.  In fact, they improved to the point where she was getting 85 or higher on my exams and she got an 83 on the regents.  Her parents were thrilled.  She was studying at home and talking positively about her math class, something she had never done before.  Believe me, this change did not come easily.  First, I had to make sure she  (and others) understood what was going on in class and, at the same time enjoyed what they were doing.  This was no easy feat.  Anyone who has ever taught a class like this knows these classes are full of kids who are behavior problems and who don't want to go to class, to say nothing of their limited math skills.  Then, I spent almost every lunch period sitting on the floor outside the cafeteria (only place to work and, it was a good place to catch kids walking by who needed help) working with her and others.

Riha has a good math teacher now but he is young and inexperienced and hasn't yet learned the best ways to grab kids like this and get them to learn and like what they are learning.  The rigid text book approaches have failed these kids for years.  They won't, on their own go home and study.  The teacher doesn't know that first he has to get to the kid's heart, the brain comes after.

I would like nothing more than to go back to Packemin and help all the Riha's get through trig, or at least learn enough so when they have to retake it in college, they will succeed.  I can't do that.  I can't bring myself to go back into the toxic environment I left behind.  I can't help a man who abused me improve his statistics and get his big bonus.  I feel bad that the damage he did to me is extending to the students left behind but that's life.  I am sure there are other retired teachers like myself who have the time and the desire to keep on helping but are too burnt to return.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Merchant House Museum

Paid a visit to the Merchant House today.  It is New York's only family home preserved, inside and out.  Definitely a worthwhile way to spend a few hours in the city.

My pictures aren't so great.  I didn't have my good camera and flashes weren't permitted.  I loved this view from the parlor window.

(More pictures on Facebook.)

Sunday, January 20, 2013



I wonder why an AP has to talk dirt about retired a certain retired teacher.  What does the AP accomplish by bringing up this man and dragging his name through the dirt?  The man had a long career.  In his prime, he helped lots of students.  Why does this AP have a need to constantly degrade him and throw garbage on his memory?

I can only think of one reason-the AP's own feelings of inferiority.  He can only feel good about himself while he is putting others down.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Low Expectatins

We cripple kids with lowered expectations.

Above comes from my friend Ricochet's latest post.  Those words say it all.  The only lesson many kids have learned is they don't need to do anything to get a diploma.  A program in a school I know well put kids who did nothing into a special late afternoon program and rewarded them with food, trips and smoking breaks.  They got credit for doing online assignments during a class they were getting credit for.  They disrespected everyone and got away with almost everything.  Kids plotted as early as ninth grade ways to get into this plush place where a diploma would just be the icing on the cake.
Sadly, this crap is going on everywhere.  I got an e-mail from a teacher in Portugal who is experiencing similar things.  Kids graduate prepared for nothing.  Many enter into college expecting the same treatment.   It is time to stop worrying about graduation rates and start concentrating on graduates.


Friday, January 18, 2013

The Sell Out

In political movements a "sellout" is a person or group claiming to adhere to a one ideology, only to follow these claims up with actions contradicting them, such as a revolutionary group claiming to fight for a particular cause, but failing to continue this upon obtaining power.

In film and television "selling out" refers to compromising the content of produced media, primarily for financial reasons; for example, introducing product placement.

There are two distinct forms of selling out in terms of music. The term 'sell out' referred to those who signed for major labels and those who licenced their music to companies for use in advertising,[5] and more recently it can also refer to those who sacrifice their musical integrity through a change in their musical sound, sometimes due to pressure from major labels

The second definition of selling out refers to putting aside musical quality or original intentions in favor of commercial success, where a distinction is made for those who achieve success without changing their original sound. The difference between the two is often subjective.  Whilst artists may change their musical direction for commercial reasons, such as pressure from major labels who require songs to appeal to mass markets a change in sound may also be part of a natural progression of creative maturity.

I wonder how Wikepedia would define a person who takes a job in educational administration or education policy making to help students and then does everything possible to sabotage this education in interest of keeping money in their pockets.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

No Fun Anymore

Teaching used to be a fun job.  In fact, many of us loved what we did so much we didn't even consider it a job.  We cared about them, and taught them.  Test scores were the last things on every one's mind when we stood in front of the classroom.  And, while test scores did not matter, our student's educations did.  Not only did we do our best to make our lessons engaging and easy to understand, we spent hours outside of the classroom working with students.  We didn't think about VAM.  We did it out of love for our students.

Today's teachers can't think about having fun in the classroom.  They can't deviate from the script.  Their only goal is test prep.  I walked past the first school I ever taught in today and remembered the days, once a month, where the entire school went to a nearby gym to play, get to know each other and to learn things you can't learn in a book.

I'm glad I am not a young person going into teaching today.  I am sure I would not survive.

(Education today goes so well with the things I saw at Houston Funeral Museum.  Above is a photo of an very early hearse.)

Time To Enter The 21st Century

I enjoyed Sun Flower and the Secret Fan so much I decided to read Lisa See's other book, Shanghai Girls.  This one takes place from 1937 to 1957 but the message to women in that era is the same, OBEY, OBEY, OBEY.  First, it is the father, then the husband and when widowed, the son.

The story repeats today.  The American wife would not obey.  The husband got abusive.  The mother came to live with them to help care for the child.  She too, would not obey.  He sent her away. 

The husband and wife are no longer together.  Although he lives in the 21st century his mind set is still in the 1800's.  He will not let go of old ideas.   He has found a new Chinese woman to be with.  He hopes she will OBEY, OBEY, OBEY.   She might, for the minute.  If he wants any happiness, he must grow with the times.  Women no longer bind their feet or bow to everything a man says just because he is a man.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Anything To Get Them Through

To:  Jones, Marcie:

Due to PAST/CURRENT failure in the courses listed below, you have been MANDATED to take the following courses beginning Tuesday, January 22, through Friday, January 25, 2013.

COURSE                                        ROOM                                TIME
Algebra I                                             512                                      8am - 11am
Phys Ed                                            Gym                                    11am- 1 pm

Attendance is mandatory each day in order to receive credit.  If you are scheduled to take a Regents/RCT you will be exempt the day of your exam.

Marcie to AP:  Ms, I have two RCTS.
AP:  Don't worry.  Just show up two days and you will receive credit.

And so the sorry state of education in the city of New York continues.  A whole semesters worth of work will be made up in six hours.  No wonder kids graduating today are not ready or able to succeed in college and the work place.

(Imagine expecting a student to go to school 5 hours straight!  This schedule has got to be illegal.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

License Requirement

Peanuts cartoon dated 12-30-97.
Special thanks to @[170394193013257:274:Real Truth Now].


Letter To Staff

Dear lowlifes teachers:

It has come to my attention that some of you are teaching subject matter  rather than teaching the students in your classes to pass exams.  Instead of giving multiple choice exams where kids can guess and  their eliminate ridiculous answers, you are giving them questions that require them to not only understand the material, but to show you they understand.  I don't care if looking at their work helps you evaluate them better.  I want results and I want them now.  Passing percentages are everything.  I still can't believe one of you, one who has plenty of experience only got 92% to pass last term.  It doesn't matter that four kids were absent.  This teacher should have made it a priority to get those kids to take the exam.

I know some of you losers teachers think you can wait until regents review time to teach with multiple choice.  But, by that time it will be too late.  The kids will already have low grades and be discouraged.  They might know the material, but unless they show it to you early on, I don't care.  They must have passing grades going into the regents.

And back to statistics.  We must all work together to keep them high.  Those with good stats must keep up the good work.  Those with low stats better shape up.  I don't care if the kids don't do homework or come to class.  It is your responsibility to call parents and get them to do this.  And, if you can't reach parents during the day, call at night, or early morning.  If you still can't reach them, go to their homes on weekends.  It is not enough to leave a message or send a letter.  And, I don't care if the child is performing at a fourth grade level.  Figure out what you have to do to get that kid up to par.

If I have told you once, I have told you 1000 times.  You are lucky to be working for the best AP in the city.  Do your job and keep me on top.  When I get my big bonus, I might even treat you all to a meal again.  Well, not all of you, only the ones I like.  (I will be sure to let everyone know the people I don't like and will not include.)

Thank you very much and have a wonderful week.

(pictured--George Bush from Adickes Sculpture work--Houston, Texas.  George Bush, the man who began the descent of education with NCLB.  More pictures on Facebook.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cry For Help

Received this letter from a teacher friend.  She could be working anywhere in the USA.  Money should be spent helping this teacher and these students instead of spending it on VAM.  I'd like to see the people pushing evaluations deal with the situation she is in.

Dear Friend,

 I have a conference Thursday morning with a parent. My head tells me that less is more (as in listen don't talk), but I know this will get interesting (terrifying, difficult, painful - pick a word). First it is called for 7:30 - or when school has started and someone will have to come cover my class in order for me to go.

Second - the kid sounds reasonable. He isn't, but he sounds reasonable.
 He is convinced that I only write up him and his friends because ethically I cannot tell him about all the other write ups. To say nothing about it being none of his business. He doesn't grasp that most of what he wants to know is none of his business.
 He has told me in class that he is my boss. My son visited at one point (to talk with the Juniors about preparing for life after HS) - and finally told him that he had never seen anyone be as rude to his mother as he was being. (This is not like him as he knows I can handle myself)
 He and a buddy went to administrators a dozen times at the beginning of the year to complain about me (can we call it as it is? Threatening my job) - I wrote them passes each time because it was a relief to the entire class that they were gone.
 I taught his older sister a couple of years back (no problems, darling girl) so hopefully his mother isn't going to come in with a chip on her shoulder. She wouldn't return my calls for the first month and a half. He said (in class) that she wasn't talking with teachers this year.
 This is an incredible waste of time. The boy and his friend have done more to make me question why I ever went into teaching than any other incident I have experienced. I am starting the process now to change schools because I will not work with them again.
 So, how do I survive the conference without stressing out more than I am already? He takes too much of my time in class and outside of class. I am having difficulty putting him on the shelf when he is not in front of me and ignoring most of his behavior when he is in front of me.

 Everything is about him. I can be writing myself notes and he is in my face (or reading over my shoulder) to see what I am writing. I am so stressed about everything (as in not just him) that I have to write things down to remember. (since last spring I am taking medication for stress .blood pressure .) And very little of my life involves him (from my point of view, not his).

Oh, did I mention that he is in the class from hell. I called 9 parents the first day of school because that class is unlike any I have ever been in. Not as a student, parent, sub, teacher - never have I seen a group like this. They failed 9th grade math. They are convinced they got the teacher fired. They cannot grasp that after 10 years of history in this school it will take more than one group to get me fired and it will cost the district a lot because I am documenting everything.Of the 98 referrals I have written this year (the two classes of repeaters, not the other two classes) he has 11 and his buddy 10. I will be writing up a dozen today (and calling their parents for talking during a test. again.) so my total will be way over 100 referrals in 3 months.

 Keep me in your prayers - send my positive thoughts - and any advice you might have.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ivy League Education

My cousin has a PhD in physics and, is without a doubt the smartest person I have ever met.  When the economy tanked, his job disappeared and he had a hard time finding a new one.  As a stop gap measure he took a job teaching general science at a local high school.  Science was his forte so he figured the job would be a piece of cake.  Boy was he wrong.  His Bonx High School of Science, Columbia and Yale University educations had done nothing to prepare him for the type of students he was now teaching.  He had no idea kids like these even existed.  His well thought out lessons and superior knowledge did not keep the classroom from ending up in shambles.

Chaz wrote a lost about inexperienced teachers and TFA.   High grades and fancy schools does not make a good teacher, or even a barely satisfactory one.

(My cousin has since gone back to private sector where he is working as a well paid, well respected physicist.)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Education Reform: A Blog Of Cartoons By A Nationally Certified Teacher

Usually I ignore any requests to promote other blogs and I refuse advertisements, but this one Education Reform: A Blog Of Cartoons by a Nationally Certified Teacheris an exception.

I could write some comments, but he sells himself so well, I decided to just publish the e-mail he sent me:

I am a progressive advocate of preserving education as a PUBLIC trust, making it equitable and high quality for ALL children across the United States. I am a Nationally Board Ceritified teacher and have been teaching for 19 years. I teach English language arts to low income populations in a New York State public school.

Thank you for posting my blog on yours:

My blog was written about by Diane Ravitch back in late December. The site is VERY different, and it's actually a self-help tool and resource for ANYONE who is fighting back against these horrendous and misguided corporate reforms in public education.

My site is a blog of cartoons that ANYONE who is like minded can grab the images and literally cut and paste them into their own advocacy literature, and all images are FREE. Advocates for public education can take the images through whatever "grab" function their computers are equipped with and communicate them in tweets, facebook, myspace, blogs, and hardcopy periodicals and newsletters.

Prior to this blog, I have been published in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Sacramento Bee, the Los Angeles Times, the Society of Illustrators, the American Photography/American Illustration Show, and have been featured on the Stephen Krashen's blog "Schools Matter", "Education Notes", and "Susan Ohanian".

Robert Rendo

Go check it out, you won't be sorry.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Making Of Good Teachers

I  taught at a low performing school.  There were semesters no one passed the regents.  Everyone knew it wasn't the teachers, it was the students.  Still, everyone also knew that the teachers in this school were top notch and did more for their students than the contract stipulated.  An administrator I know called a father who decided his daughter didn't need to come to school anymore and threatened him with jail if the girl didn't come back.  She returned, graduated and went on to college with a full scholarship.

Julia Richman, the school I am writing about, was one of the first one closed.  The teachers picked the schools they went to and all went on to schools with higher functioning students.  They no longer taught the lowest performing students in the city but used the skills acquired in this school to help everyone.  Most are retired now, but all were respected and considered master teachers.

Kudos to the teachers in the difficult schools.  It takes a special kind of person to work there.  Politics and economics is making it impossible to see the value of an education beyond a test score, but the kids in these schools are gaining immeasurable wealth from the ones teaching them

(Picture is a money coffin from the Funeral Museum in Houston.  I thought it went well with the way politics is pushing education today.)

The Chihuahua Takes A Dump

The cats and dogs got together to iron out differences.  Basically, the problems involved waste elimination.  The chihuahua, lazy and arrogant insisted on using the cat's litter box.  The chihuahua's fecal matter had a disgusting smell and the cats did not want her to use their area.  The dogs didn't want her anywhere near them either.  Her yap, along with her smell was too much for them to bear.  The chihuahua took control of the meeting when she stood up on the middle of the table, took a dump and then left.  The others, not being able to stomach the odor left as well.  Nothing was accomplished. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

At Last, Sun

The sun has finally come out after two days of vicious rain, weather that kept us from  visiting NASA and the Alamo.  Still, it was great being with family and at least we should get home without any delays.

Tomorrow it is back to blogging with my computer so I can post pictures again.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Feeling Good

One of the best feelings in the world is waking up to a Facebook page and mailbox full of birthday wishes from former students, kids who should have long forgotten me.  Some go back 10 years.

My AP thought I was awful.  The students, the ones that mattered didn't and really, that is all that counts, or should I say counted.  I feel for today's teachers who, because of VAM, won't be able to do what I did.

Not Smoking Peace Pipe

Finally the long awaited meeting between paras and teachers was set up.  There had been a lot of hard feelings and a lot of misconceptions about job functions.  The union wanted to smooth things over and straighten things out.  After all, when people get along and there is no friction, things run better and everyone benefits.  But, the AP had other ideas.  She walked into the meeting and announced loudly that it was all BULLSHIT!  At this point everyone stopped paying attention and nothing was accomplished.  This AP was not even supposed to attend the meeting.  She added fuel to the burning fire.  It is impossible to understand whether boss doen't smoke her.

Correction:  Only the attitude said bullshit.

Monday, January 07, 2013

City Wasting Money Again

I watched kids use an online program that was supposed to improve their level of understanding and their test scores.  I should say I watched kids who were supposed to be using the program for educational reasons but instead checked out Facebook, you-tube, e-mail and anything else they could find that had nothing to do with education.  Students don't need another app.  It will not do a thing to help.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Better Too Early Than Late

I missed a flight once because I fussed around too much.  I will never do that again.

We got to airport a little more than two hours before the flight.  I am grateful for Jet Blue's Internet access.  It is making the time pass quicker.

Texas wedding, here we come!

Paranoia: What Makes You Do What You Don't Want To Do

The woman claimed there were certain places she would never go.  They repulsed her and made her ill.  And then her boss decided to go to one of these places with a bunch of co workers.  She didn't want them to be alone with him.  She feared they would say things against her.  Her paranoia won out.  She made the trip she swore she never would.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Little Chihuahua Doing What It Takes To Get Ahead

Here is little Chihuahua doing what she does best, licking the feet of the man who her future depends upon.  The feet smell, but she doesn't care.  She will anything to move ahead, even things that she claims repulse her.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Keep Those Standards Up


It should not be a surprise to anyone that graduation rates in the city's two year colleges is falling.  Colleges have standards. High schools do not.  To pass a class in college, a student has to show mastery of the subject.  There is no boot camp, or credit recovery classes.  Students can't just answer 100 questions online and make up all the work they didn't do during the semester.  There is no extra credit or second chances. High school students know the schools will do everything to get them to graduate.  No matter how poor their grades are, they understand that the school's standing and their teacher's job depend upon their passing and pass they will.  No principal wants his school closed.

I fear this new push to improve graduation rates will have the colleges lowering standards as well and soon the college diploma will be as meaningless as one from high school.   Schools like John Jay, York, and Hostos cater to a different type of student than schools like Baruch and NYU.  But, what all these schools have in common is that their degrees mean something.  I teach at a community college.  While it might be easy to get in, it is not easy to get out.  Anyone who graduates from this school as well as from York or John Jay or any other CUNY has gotten a first class education and a degree that means they have learned their stuff.


Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year

Times Square Ball
Permanent display in Times Square Visitor's Center