education

The Letter is “T”

Mrs. G.  was my first grade teacher.    Now, keep in mind I’m from a small town in South Central Texas and this little hamlet wasn’t very enterprising.  In fact, I think back on it now and I believe progress scared the hell out of the City Fathers (this was 1965, there were no City Mothers yet).  Construction of a Dairy Queen in late 1972 made some quake in their boots.

Even so, many who graduated from High School especially after World War II went to college  and then came back for some reason.   Family perhaps; it was easy and  familiar.    Others  left and never returned.  Still,  a few went home the night they graduated from High School  and just stayed there.

My father and mother dated in High School.   Both went to college and both came back home.   They got married and spawned three girls.    I’m the youngest.  Many of my parents’ siblings also came back home, settled down and had kids, so it wasn’t a big deal that my first grade teacher and a few subsequent teachers in later grades, also taught my older sisters, most of my cousins, my parents, every aunt and uncle.  They were also either friends or members of the same clubs and organizations as both of my grandmothers.

So misbehaving  in class: not an option.   Comparisons to older family members:  a constant occurrence.

I was hardly unique.  Lots of kids I knew were second generation students, especially in Mrs. G’s.  class.    She taught everyone in my family.   She was also principal of the school which housed first and second grades.   She was kid savvy, large and imposing.   She could be stern when need be, but basically, she was good teacher and above all, she was extremely patient.   One would  have to be in order to teach students with varying degrees of aptitudes..  And back then, kids were piled into three separate first grade classrooms.    I’m not sure of the methods used in terms placement, but I remember my first grade class being a mixed bag of quite gifted kids and others who (in the simplest terms) weren’t.

For privacy’s sake, I’ll call him Carl.

He came from a large family from “the wrong side of the tracks” as they say.    He sat across the aisle from me in  Mrs. G’s class.   He was very tall, lanky and shy.   He kept to himself, in class and during recess.   He’d talk infrequently.   Occasionslly, he’d initiate a conversation.   At other times, you might attempt to talk to him, but he’d ignore you and look straight ahead.   When he and I did speak, which was rare,  conversations were  always brief and about mundane things, such as the the Friday night football game or the raging thunderstorm that blew through  the night before.    Yes, Carl was different,  but he remains a very vivid first grade memory for two reasons.

Reason #1:  I remember looking at him;  his long legs,  the well worn, hand me down   “highwater” pants he wore.  I stared at his profile and saw  longish, blond whiskers growing above his upper lip.    At the time, I didn’t quite understand what that meant since none of the other boys in the entire  school  were as hairy or as tall.   Later on, I realized  he must have been held back several grades.   It was either that or Ma Nature cruelly bestowed puberty upon him at the tender age of six, which college biology later taught me, was highly unlikely.

Reason # 2:  One day in May, when the end of first grade loomed near, Mrs. G decided to test us on spelling and our familiarity with the alphabet.   She’d hold up photos of simple objects and we would either be called upon or we’d raise our hand s to tell her what the object in the drawing was and then we’d spell it out now for her.    These were easily identifiable things, nothing above our reading  level.

For example, she’d hold up a picture of a boat and Sheila would raise her hand and tell Mrs. G that the item began  with a “B.”    It was boat and spelled  B-O-A-T.      Gold star for Sheila.     Then, she’d hold up a pic of a car and Timmy would get a chance to demonstrate his spelling prowess.

Mrs. G got all the way down to “S” without a hitch.     Then came the next letter in the alphabet.     She held up a photo of a common vegetable, a terrific side dish, often baked or mashed, great with fried chicken or diced and fried, making it the perfect accompaniment for a hamburger.

Carl uncharscteristicslly raised his hand and announced to Mrs. G and the entire class that the object in the drawing began with the letter “T”.     Mrs.  G stopped him before he could say anything else.  I distinctly remember the perplexed look on her face.

“A “T” Carl?    Why would you say the item in this picture begins with a “T”?, she asked.

To which Carl replied adamantly, “Well, it’s a tater, ain’t it?”

I don’t remember how Mrs. G handled it.    I don’t remember how the class  responded.   But I remember thinking it was funny and to a six year old girl, it was.  I knew what a tater was a slang term for a potato.   I was six.  Name a youngster who doesn’t like Tater Tots or know they are born from potatoes.     But for me, it was also the emphatic way Carl answered Mrs. G’s questiin, as if every other  human was an idiot  for NOT knowing  the object in the photo wasn’t commonly called a tater.   There was an unusual certainty, a surprising confidence in a voice rarely ever heard.    There was  no gold star for Carl that day, but you have to give him credit.     If the bulk of what’s learned in childhood comes from home, he merely proved  that point, whether right or wrong and in his In his world, a potato was a tater.   Case closed.

My childhood memoties are getting blurrier everyday, but while I clearly remember Carl’s tater comment, I honestly don’t remember him after that.  I can’t remember him being in any my other classes.  I have no point of reference, either.  After a million moves,  I have no idea where any of my yearbooks are and I’ve only been to one of two class reunions.   I went to the first one, 30 years ago.    And I don’t keep up with my classmates, so I’ve no one to ask, not that they’d know of his whereabouts either.   You see, this particular  class of 1977 has never been very close.    But if I were to see Carl today, I’d ask him if he remembered me then I’d hug him, if he’d let me, and I’d ask him about his life, hoping he’d be willing to fill me in on things since 1966.

At the appropriate time,  I’d say goodbye and wish him well.   And I’d silently  apologize to him  for being a victim of ignorance to certain disabilities, which  at the time, was also used as another means of exercising prejudice.    Once again, I don’t know what happened to Carl, but it was obvious his problems hadn’t been properly dealt with by his family, but due to certain circumstances, might not have even been aware there was a problem.  Nor was he properly dealt with by the educational system in the place I once called home.    I’m currently far removed from anything school or student-related, but I’m pretty that 51-years ago, having developmental issues, coupled with being from a poor, struggling family  meant it was easier for educators to label, allow those particular kids to slip through the cracks, then simply look the other way.

I think Carl was a prime example of an unspoken caste system that once existed in public education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Education: The 50 Year Difference

Scenario:  Young Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with a loaded shotgun in his truck’s gun rack

  • 1960 – Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack’s shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack. They compare and contrast, then laugh uproariously about a recent hunting trip involving deer and beer.  Guns go back into their respective vehicles
  • 2010 – School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or shotgun again
  • Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers
  • Six parents sue
  • Three don’t even have children enrolled in that school

Scenario: Peter and Mark get into a fistfight after school

  • 1960 – Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Peter and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
  • 2010 – Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Peter and Mark. Both are charged with assault, both are expelled even, though Peter started it
  • Mark tries to cope with what has happened; he then makes every attempt to “settle down and fly right”
  • Eventually gets “The Calling” his Senior year in high school
  • Graduates from HS; Goes to seminary, becomes a priest, then amid nasty rumors, becomes a  “Youth Pastor” who within a brief, seven year span, the Diocese moves from parish to parish
  • A lot….

Scenario:  Jeffrey fidgets; can’t be still in class. Ends up disrupting other students.  This frustrates the teacher

  • 1960 – Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by the Principal at Columbia Elementary School.  He returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.  Ever.
  • 2010 – Jeffrey is sent to the school counselor and after three minute evaluation, is given note to take home  to his single parent mother who including Jeffrey, has “five kids from seven different fathers” (her words, not ours).  She is also an unemployed alcoholic and severely addicted to Benzodiazepam and Skittles.  Protests diagnosis saying it will present  even more of a hardship on her struggling family.  She sobers up long enough to send Jeffrey, as directed by the school counselor, to a free clinic.  The child is given huge doses of Ritalin.  Becomes a veritable zombie
  • This becomes just another “confirmed” case of ADD, but good news for school;  it receives extra funding from state because Jeffrey has “a disability”
  • New funds are used to purchase additional Mexican flags to place above “Old Glory” on flagpole in order to make children of illegal immigrants, which now comprise 65-percent of school’s student population, feel more “at home”
  • A militant Sean Penn holds a press conference on the matter; rages against a society and educational system that would rage against poor, alcholic single mothers with Skittles addictions.   Michael Moore starts writing a screenplay about it.  Working title is “Tiddly Winking for Columbia”
  • Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins sympathize with Jeffrey’s poor, alcholic mother. They decide to give her all the profits from their last two movies
  • She’s awarded a check for $635.92

Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor’s car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt

  • 1960 – Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman and father of three
  • 2010 – Billy’s dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care, is sexually abused by older, foster brother. He turns to drugs and alcohol and the wrong element in school. Eventually, joins a gang known as “The Bloods”.   Their rivals are “The Platelets”.   Billy and company knock over a Crate and Barrel (this is a gang in an upper Middle Class neighborhood, you understand)
  • Gets caught, trying to sell stolen booty at a neighborhood yard sale
  • Sent up to serve seven years at Statesville Prison
  • Prison psychologist encourages sibling counseling.   Robert Turnbull informs Billy’s sister that she also remembers being abused and their dad is sentenced to five years at Statesville Prison
  • Mother also meets with Billy’s psychiatrist for sessions
  • She ends up having a torrid, two year long affair with him
  • So does Billy’s imprisoned father

Scenario: Pedro fails high school English

  • 1960 – Pedro goes to summer school, eventually passes English, goes to college.  Becomes a well known Civil Rights lawyer
  • 2010 – Pedro’s cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro’s English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway, but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak any English
  • Keith Olbermann writes, produces and anchors an extremely slanted and bombastic 49-part series, “Pedro’s Failure: Still Bush’s Fault–Just One More Example This Man’s Epic Failure as President” to be aired on MSNBC in prime time

Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed

  • 1960 – Ants die
  • 2010 – The ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are called.  Johnny charged with domestic terrorism.  The FBI investigates parents; siblings removed from home and all computers are confiscated.  Johnny’s immediate family is placed on an internatiopnal Terror Watch List and is never allowed to fly again
  • The New York Times declares him, “Jihad Jonnny–Ant Hater”
  • The Dixie Chicks perform in London and tell crowd of 900 in the Royal Albert Hall they’re embarrassed that Dick Cheney survived last heart attack which was caused by his obvious responsibility for “Jihad Johnny’s” horrible life experience that made him want to kill.   Psychiatrists label  him an  “Anty Semite” .  
  • If nothing is rectified immediately,  a very angry Alec Baldwin threatens to move to Europe
  • Alarmed by this impending move, the E.U. submits a formal protest to The Hague
  • Baldwin moves to Salina, Kansas instead
  • Angry, but confused residents of Salina, Kansas then file a formal protest with Al Haig

Scenario: Mikey falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He’s found crying by his teacher, Mary

  • 1960 – She hugs him to comfort him. He feels better, pain is quelled, self-esteem reinstated, he continues playing. Goes on to become very successful actor-turned-chemist
  • 2010 – Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job
  • She faces three years in the Statesville Prison
  • Mary is convicted; serves her time
  • Becomes a lesbian
  • Mikey undergoes five years of court intsense court ordered psychotherapy
  • He also becomes a lesbian

..,

Ars Gratia Artis

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Melinda Snodgrass is many things.

She’s a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife and a warrior who valiantly battles “The System” each and everyday as a teacher within the Houston Independent School District.

You see, HISD is large…very large and while it’s dealt with many issues (as most large metropolitan school district’s have in recent years) it still manages to educate it’s charges.

To some parents with children currently enrolled in HISD, that last sentence might be debatable.

Even so, Melinda is a very good teacher— the last of the truly concerned educators. She sees many things. She’s been educating the minds of second graders for the past 16 years and has learned to read all the signs. She knows which child comes from a stable home and which ones don’t. She can tell how involved parents are with their child from the behavior, grades and of course, the child’s appearance. Melinda told me once that she can practically tell what the child’s home is like without ever having to step foot in the structure.

Very often, she knows more about the child than the parents. She’s interceded before and was able to nip certain things in the bud; things that could’ve grown into much bigger problems. For her stance as the child’s first line of defense, HISD’s widely ethnically and culturally diverse parents should take their hats, John Deere gimme caps, kofis, sombreros, fezzes, turbans and doo rags off to her.

Recently, Melinda and I made plans to have drinks and dinner together. I met her after school in her classroom at Haile Selaisse Elementary School on Houston’s near east side.

She was finishing up a few things–grading a few papers or what have you, so I killed time by taking a look around the classroom. It’d been almost four decades since I’ve stepped into the world of second grade. Much has changed. There are computers in place now and the teaching techniques were nothing like they were in my day. I took one look at their homework on the chalk board. I fear these kids at this very moment, know more than I’ll ever know in my lifetime.

But I was pleased and in a sense relieved, that one subject hadn’t changed: arts and crafts.

Kids still draw the same way. Melinda stresses free associative expression through art and her students often take advantage of that. She encourages them to draw whenever they experience feelings,  be those feelings good or bad.

She proudly displays their artwork around the classroom. Some drawings were extremely interesting and through the magic of advanced cell phone technology, I was able to photograph a few.

This is from Brittany P. who’ll be eight in a few weeks. Her drawing pays homage to her family. The women in her phyla obviously wear a lot of long dresses and based on the ruffles at the bottom of each, I’d suspect they’re all Bob Mackie originals.

Apparently the men in her family have a thing for gowns, too.

draw3.jpg

This is the handiwork of Tyler S. As you can see, the seven-year-old’s artistic abilites are more progressed and rather sophisticated.

His subjects are varied: space men, a flying saucer or a flying pierogi–not sure.  there’s a vine swinging Tarzan or Spiderman  manhandling a lion by it’s tail, hotel balconies,  a golden pyramid and what looks like a tiger confronting a French gendarme with a whip in one hand and a gun in the other.

And all of this is unfolding as the clock in the tower strikes seventeen o’clock.

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Madison H. is an seven year-old whose family, says Melinda has just endured a divorce. This is a drawing of Madison and her identical twin, Amber.  They’re seen here in pink dresses and turquoise pants.  One sister stands outside while the other remains inside their home……

…..or perhaps she’s actually standing under a gray chupah which her freakishly long arm is holding it up.

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And finally, this drawing comes to us from Cynthia T. and it’s a tribute to her mother’s “occupation” in uh…well, let’s just call it “showbiz”.  

draw6.jpg

Young Cynthia shares a desk with a little girl whose father is a Houston fireman.   They’re the only two kids in the class with parents who work with poles on a nightly basis.    This does not include the little boy who sits four desks over.

His father works as a janitor at the Polish consulate.

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Changing Times

This is actually from an e-mail joke thing that’s made the rounds in inboxes across the country.   It’s focus is how times have changed in the 50 year expanse between 1959 and 2009.   This is a fairly encapsulated  review of all those changes… in society, education, activism…the works.   It’s been a very active 50 years.  Change is afoot and not just because of His Highness Obama.     We change, we adapt for survival.   What worked in 1959 won’t work now and vic-versa.

This was sent to me in early 2008.   It was funny, but the enigmatic  brain trust at the world renown Laurie Industries assured me that we could make it funnier.

We did.   Enjoy!!

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Scenario : Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with a loaded shotgun in his truck’s gun rack.

  • 1959 – Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack’s shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack. They compare and contrast, then laugh uproariously about a recent hunting trip involving deer and beer.  Guns go back into their respective vehicles.
  • 2009 – School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or shotgun again.
  • Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.
  • Six parents sue.
  • Three don’t even have children enrolled in that school

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Scenario: Peter and Mark get into a fistfight after school.

  • 1959 – Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Peter and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
  • 2009 – Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Peter and Mark. Both are charged with assault, both are expelled even, though Peter started it.
  • Mark tries to cope with what happens; he then makes every attempt to “settle down and fly right”.
  • Eventually gets “the calling” his Senior year in high school.
  • Graduates from HS; Goes to seminary, becomes a priest, then amid nasty rumors, becomes a  “Youth Pastor” who within a brief, seven year span, the Diocese moves from parish to parish.
  • A lot..

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Scenario: Jeffrey fidgets; can’t be still in class. Ends up disrupting other students.

  • 1959 – Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by the Principal. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
  • 2009 – Jeffrey is sent to the school counselor and after three minute evaluation, is given note to give to his single parent mother who works three jobs to make ends meet after her child’s father skipped town one night, six years ago. Mother is also an alcoholic and severely addicted to Benzodiazepam. She sobers up enough to send Jeffrey to the free clinic who in turn, is given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie.
  • Another “confirmed” case of ADD. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.
  • New funds are used to purchase additional Mexican flags to place above “Old Glory” on flagpole in order to make children of illegal immigrants, which now comprise 65-percent of school’s student population, feel more “at home”.
  • Sean Penn holds a press conference on the matter.
  • Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins sympathize with Jeffrey’s mother. They decide to give her all the profits from their last two movies.
  • She’s awarded a check for $635.92

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Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor’s car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

  • 1959 – Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.
  • 2009 – Billy’s dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care, is sexually abused by older, foster brother. He turns to drugs and alcohol and the wrong element in school. Eventually, joins a gang The Bloods and Platelets. Knocks over a Crate and Barrel (this is a gang in an upper Middle Class neighborhood, you understand)
  • Gets caught, trying to sell stolen booty at a yard sale
  • Sent up to serve seven years.
  • Prison psychologist, Dr. Robert Turnbull tells Billy’s sister that she also remembers being abused and their dad goes to prison.
  • Mother also meets with Billy’s psychiatrist
  • She ends up having a torrid, two year long affair with him.
  • So does Billy’s dad.

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Scenario: Danny gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school .

  • 1959 – Danny shares aspirin with Principal out on the smoking dock.
  • 2009 – Police called, Danny is expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.
  • Stale poppy seed bun is found in bakery bag in back seat. Tests performed on poppy seeds indicated a false positive for morphine and heroin. Danny is deemed an “addict” by an angry, bitter Social Worker suffering from three as of yet undiagnosed STDs.
  • The High School Junior is forced to spend 36 days in state supported rehab.
  • Danny exits the facility addicted to cigarettes, coffee and group therapy

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Scenario : Pedro fails high school English.

  • 1959 – Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college
  • 2009 – Pedro’s cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation s racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro’s English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English
  • Keith Olbermann writes, produces and anchors an extremely slanted and bombastic 42 eight part series, “Pedro: One More Example of George W. Bush’s Epic Failure as President” to be aired on MSNBC in prime time

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Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.

  • 1959 – Ants die.
  • 2009 – BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated. Johnny’s immediate family is placed a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.
  • The New York Times declares him, “Jihad Jonnny”.
  • The Dixie Chicks perform in London and tell crowd of 900 in the Royal Albert Hall they’re embarrassed that Dick Cheney survived last heart attack, caused by his obvious responsibility for “Jihad Johnny’s” horrible life experience.
  • As a result, Alec Baldwin threatens to move to Europe.
  • Alarmed by this news, the E.U. submits a formal protest to The Hague
  • Baldwin moves to Salina, Kansas instead
  • Angry, but confused residents of Salina, Kansas file a formal protest with Al Haig

..

Scenario: Mikey falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He’s found crying by his teacher, Mary.

  • 1959 – She hugs him to comfort him. He feels better, pain is quelled, self-esteem reinstated, he continues playing. Goes on to become very successful lawyer
  • 2009 – Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job.
  • She faces three years in the Statesville Prison.
  • Is convicted; serves her time.
  • Becomes a lesbian.
  • Mikey undergoes five years of intense psychotherapy
  • He also becomes a lesbian.

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Say What?

I met Ted and Selena Pendergraff while working in San Antonio.   Ted was an architect and Selena, a stay-at-home mom.  Paul and family moved to Pittsburgh in 1990, about the same time I moved to Houston.   We’ve tried to keep in touch over the years but it hasn’t always been easy.

He had a growing family and my ass just got bigger.

Ted’s firm was and still is  a very reputable one and was contracted as part of the post Hurricane Rita reconstruction effort.   The city of Beaumont, right at the Louisiana line, was hit particularly hard and  when offered, Ted decided he’d take the job, mainly because it brought him back to Texas.  While not a native, he truly loved the  state, but hadn’t really spent that much time in East Texas.    It was  a brave new world to this Kansas home boy.

The duration of his assignment was for just over four weeks.  On weekends, he’d go back to Pittsburgh or Selena (suffering empty nest syndrome) came down.

Well, the assignment lasted a bit longer than expected and one weekend, when Selena was visiting, she and Ted decided to check out Houston.  Save for a few airport layovers, they’d never been here.     This was their weekend to get to know my hometown.

We were to meet for dinner that Saturday night–after they spent the day  sightseeing.    They hit all the spots–NASA, the Texas Medical Center.  They drove downtown, through the Museum District.  Drove by Reliant Stadium, Minute Maid Park and in the hours before dinner, they strolled through the Galleria and did a little shopping and watched ice skaters.

We met at an Italian bistro I liked.  We were happy to see each other–it had been years.   We were seated and the wine flowed immediately.

After updating each other on our lives and all that that implies, Ted relayed a very funny story.

A funny, but terribly pathetic story for my Houston proud ears.

It seems that earlier that afternoon, he and Selena somehow strayed off the beaten path.  Had they stayed on the Interstate, they would’ve been fine, but Ted took an exit and somehow got lost in South Houston.   He had absolutely no idea where he and his bride were.    And unfortunately, it was one of those neighborhoods that my friend, Don F. would call “under siege”.  Not a good idea to be there after dark.

They happened upon a fast food restaurant and that was  convenient because Selena wanted a Diet Coke and they could ask for directions.

They walked inside, ordered two Diet Cokes and after the transaction, the young woman was handing them their drinks, and Ted asked her, “Could you please tell me exactly where we are?”

He then conveyed that the girl looked at him with a furrowed brow and a rather confused expression.    She moved her head towards them and said slowly,  as if they didn’t speak English, “You’re at Buuurrrgggeeerrr  Kiiinnnggg”.

Ted and Selena burst into laughter;  I buried my face in my hands.

Thanks Houston Independent School District!!!

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Hedging Your Bets

Response from the teacher:

Dear Michael,

Every year I attempt to boost my students’ final grades by giving them this relatively simple exam consisting of 100 True or False questions from only three chapters of material.   Three very short chapters, might I add.   For the past 20 years that I have taught Intro Communications 101 at this institution, I have never once seen someone score below a 65 on this exam. Consequently, your score is the first in history and ultimately brought the entire class average down a whole eight points.

There were two possible answer choices: A (True) and B (False). You chose C for all 100 questions.  There was no C answer.  Obviously, you did this in an attempt to get “lucky” with a least a quarter of the answers. It’s as if you didn’t look at a single question.   More than likely you didn’t.   My TA, Ms. Phelps, said  you turned in your test form 36 seconds after you received it.   That would be deemed impossible for any normal student who doesn’t fall under the category of sociopath.

And this emboldened attempt on your part to “scam the system”,  dealt a devastating blow to your overall grade in this class to 0, goose egg, zilch, nada, cue ball, sqat, vacuous emptiness and of course,  Satan’s asshole.   Sorry Michael, but this is what you kids today call, “epic fail”.

That said, I’ll see you next year and may God have mercy on your soul.

Seriously..

Good luck in prison,
Professor William Turner

P.S. If all else fails, go with B from now on.  Besides, I hear B is the new C

An Early 60’s School Film & Cautionary Tale Redubbed For 2008

Remember these special “how to” elementary school films, my dear mid-40 somethings and older folk?

These carefully homogenized, Anglo-centric, post-Eisenhower, Cold War era celluloid efforts, like the prodigious Mr. Bungle series, taught us to be kind, courteous, studious, clean, neat, responsible and decent young, white children.

Well, drop some acid like you used to do and take a “trip” down memory lane. What you’re about to bear witness to is a school film we  wish the sexually ambiguous PE teacher we had in fifth grade, should have shown us.

Gee, that would’ve been swell!!!