Thursday, July 19, 2007

Shitty professional development and $6.50 movie tickets

I officially began my summer about three days ago. I don't have any conferences or visits that I must attend, so I'm beginning to have my time off. Of course, I'm doing professional development on my time off, meaning I'm taking shitty classes from the University of La Verne, a credit factory that is meant to have teachers basically buy units. The two classes sounded interesting, and have ended up tedious. I took an Art History class about Van Gogh, except that the book we have seems to demand that you already understand the concepts of art, which I don't. The second class is a study of Modern Terrorism, which is just a huge collection of essays I have to read on terrorism and fill out a packet of answers. Van Gogh's packet of answers is 52 questions. Terrorism's is 100. Terrorism had a PBS video about Bin Laden that also had 32 questions that might be around 8th grade level. Then the essays I have to write. Van Gogh's involve creating a 4 page modern conversation with the artist, and then an explanation on why his paints are valued so highly. The Terrorism essay is something about my opinion on how likely another terrorist attack will be. I could pump out the essays in a night, but the packet questions are just so damn tedious. I'm dumping any packet work I ever gave kids into a dumpster and lighting it on fire. It is seriously the worst crap. However, at the end of the summer, I'll be all the way over on the pay scale.

I've also been to more movies than usual as of late. Up in Seattle I used a couple of freebies to see Die Hard 4 and Ocean's 13, both good summer fun movies. Then I saw Transformers by myself (I grew up with them), and my wife and I watched Harry Potter yesterday. I really can't believe that a matinee price for a movie ticket is is now $6.50 here in Ukiah. My wife and I were pretty appalled at the realization that going to see a decent movie is now a full $30 proposition if you include snacks. What happened to the good old $1 movies? Those in Sacramento have to remember Birdcage Cinema. The days of the $1 film, that were only a few weeks old and still fresh in the minds of the Sac Town natives. I can remember going to the walk almost every Friday and Saturday nights for a show. Hell, I saw Pulp Fiction there. I remember it so well because I didn't want to see it after my fellow students kept saying it was an "artsy, independent" movie. Then my then girlfriend said, "You haven't seen Pulp Fiction yet??? Oh my God, we are going now and you will love it. You will so love it." I did.

Alas the days of the Birdcage and cheap movies are gone, and the studio is using the excuse that Americans always go to films, even during times of the Depression, as a reason to jack up ticket prices. Bummer.
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