Monday, December 05, 2005

Ripon City Cameras and a toga

My students have been doing quite a bit of writing as of late. As I stated last week, my Intro students did a Quickwrite about the city of Ripon in Central California. The city has put large amounts of funding into cameras for the police to view city streets. I asked my students to put themselves into the shoes of a Ripon city councilmen, and to decide if the cameras should have been installed. The results were interesting.
-The ratio was about 70-30 against having the cameras. The number one reason against the cameras was the age old argument of "invasion of privacy". However, the interesting point is that the students usually did not simply stop with that argument. Many pressed on stating that the funding used for cameras should instead go towards more police on the streets. The cameras, they decided, were too expensive and not effective enough.
-There was no racial or economics disparity that I could see. Both Hispanic and white students had the same 70-30 split, as well as men and women.
-There were only a couple of papers that had the whole "cops are bad" thing going. Much less than I expected if you listen to my classes during discussion. This shows the machismo that is prevalent in discussions is suddenly gone when the thoughts are private.

In my College Prep class, the bills are done and one targets the President (that would be me). The "Toga Tuesday" act of 2005 is to force the teacher to wear a toga (over clothing) on Tuesday of every week. Right now the bipartisan support is generally strong, but showed signs of weakening when I started to talk to certain members of the House about possible White House favors (ie: extra credit). Last year's class created the "Pink Tie Act of 2004", which forced me to wear a pink tie every Monday in support of Breast Cancer research. That bill was very well done and avoided the pitfalls of being vague. This bill has holes that I intend to exploit. I better, otherwise my Greek half will be coming out during school.

In totally lighter news, I found an old cd that has Doug E Fresh and Slick Rick tunes. I was driving to Willits to help my wife out with a situation, bumpin to "La Di Da Di" and "Mona Lisa" was a huge trip. Most kids can't comprehend that I listen to rap music, and get a huge kick out of the moments when I bust out the funky old school lyrics.
Totally clean lyrics........of course.
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