Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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The Good:

-I'm back to blogging after the conclusion of my basketball season. 

-The basketball season went quite well.  The team went 20-6 overall, ending the season on a 12 game win streak and securing the spot of co-champion with Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa.  The last game was a dandy at Cardinal Newman, where players that weren't the usual scoring threats made their presence felt in the absence of my two centers (one injured, one on a field trip).  It was one hell of a way to end the season. 

-As you can see from the picture,  the Student Government named me Staff Member of the Month for December.  That was pretty cool.

-The varsity is going to be in play-offs, so I still get a little more basketball.

-It's finally raining.  Water rationing has been the talk of the town recently as Lake Mendocino (the water source for Ukiah and just about all of Sonoma County) has become less of a reservoir and more like a large hole in the ground.  The rain will help, although to make a serious dent it will have to rain like this for a month.

-I'm on vacation for a week.  I need it. 

The Bad:

-Teachers are there for the students and to support the students.  Of course, it becomes difficult to actually support students that don't show up.  So, when I get correspondence talking about the lack of support from teachers at the school from a student that misses half of my classes, I don't feel sympathetic.  And when I receive this correspondence five minutes before I leave for the biggest game of the year, and on the Friday before my vacation, I not only don't feel sympathetic, I feel resentful.  I promptly marched up to my classroom, collected all my information on the student, and went over the letter in my head that was going to say something like, "I did what you asked, and you failed to meet your end of the deal", only more diplomatically.

-Whoa, was that a stimulus package that I just saw?  Actually, it wasn't.  It's an interesting quandary to have to explain the politics of this stimulus bill to students without sounding anti-Obama.  Some teachers just preach that the bill is the next step towards socialism (it really isn't, it's too stupid) and that is that.  I just read off some of the programs contained within the bill and when students finally ask, "How's that going to stimulate the economy", I say, quite honestly, "I don't know".

-By the way, the Republicans in Congress are idiots too.  The bill was passed because more pork was added into it for Collins, Snow, and Specter.  Nice conservative values.

The Ugly:

-Last week's conversation revolved around one thing; budget cuts.  Teachers will be losing jobs, class sizes are going up (mine are basically already full, so I'm pretty deaf to complaining), and all those pretty extras are on the block to take a hit.  The tragic thing is that there are good, really good, young teachers that are up for a pink slip while a few teachers that are cashing in on being public educators will sit in their classrooms and surf the net.  It makes me physically ill.  I don't think California's citizens have a clue about what this budget is going to do to public education in those schools that are not fortunate to have "foundations" that supply education with dollars.  Today I heard the rumor mill in full effect as one coach stated that Frosh sports were toast next year.  I can't confirm that at all, so don't take it as fact.  However, these kinds of things are being looked at as being cut, like everything that costs money.  Be prepared, it is going to get ugly in public ed.        

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