It’s a sad state…

Every Monday there always seems to be some residual effects from the weekend.  For my students, it’s usually something that happened that is not a good thing.  Today I overheard one student talking about how she’s going to live with her dad.  Everything will be so much better with her dad.

The sad reality is that dad is so far out of the picture that many times, going to live with dad never materializes.  I probed a little deeper and found out that dad is getting married and has recently been released from prison.  At this point I stop asking questions…

These kids just want a stable home life and a parent that loves them.  Is that too much to ask when someone chooses to have a child?

Kill the Survey Monkey

Is it the season for surveys?  In the past couple of weeks I’ve been sent several of them.  The topics include, my administrators, staff development, classroom management and connected counseling – whatever that is…

In every one of these surveys I’m told not to forward the survey because it is linked to my specific email address.  Yet, when I take the survey, it’s anonymous.  Do they honestly think I believe that statement?  Hello?   The best ones are when they tell me that I’ve been randomly selected.  Who is this person whose job is dependent on me doing these surveys?  Don’t they have anything better to do?  How about we do some budget cutting starting right there?

When I do actually take one of these surveys, the answer choices are too narrow and don’t fit my answer.  I know that a survey needs to be written so there are some extremes so you can interpret the data.  But I usually just get frustrated because the answer choices just don’t work.

Even though you really value my opinion and would like my input, I’m sorry Survey Monkey.  You’re going to the cyber black hole known as my trash.

Sense of Smell

I’ve never thought of myself as someone with a good sense of smell.  Depending on the situation, this can be a good thing or a bad thing.  (I have a friend that is a surgeon that is very thankful for his poor sense of smell.)  It’s not that I can’t smell things.  It’s just that I’m not very discerning.

For instance, I’m taking another wine class right now.  Do I smell the peaches or apricots?  Nope.  I know that I like what I’m smelling, but that’s about it.

On Thursday morning I smelled that all too familiar smell of weed.  Some kid had just gotten high and must have walked by my door.  It was that smell that seemed to be combined with a touch of sweaty, dirty clothing.  You can’t help but make a face when thinking of this smell.

I walked into the stairwell.  Nothin’.  Every other kid in the hallway noticed it and was wondering where it was coming from.  I even innocently said to one of them, “This is pot we’re smelling, right?”  Head nods.

All day I could faintly smell this stinky stuff.  Finally when 4th hour came around I asked another teacher if he could smell it.  He could.  But barely.  I was guessing that it was in a locker.  That teacher was on prep and informed an assistant principal.  Sure enough, after a little searching…  Jackpot.  The clothing in the locker just wreaked.

I’m kind of amazed at myself.  Normally I’m not that astute at catching kids that have smoked something.  I usually consider myself pretty clueless when it comes to that stuff.  I’m quite innocent, you see.  😉  Score one for Ms. B!

I should have known better…

On Thursday after first hour I went back to my desk and found four little chocolate bunnies.  There wasn’t a note.  Just the chocolate.  I wonder who left them there?  Are they safe to eat?  Are the kids in my first hour REALLY that sweet?

I went the entire day thinking that some nice kid in my first hour had left me a nice surprise.  After school I realized that it was the teacher whose office is next to mine.  I should have known better…

Newspaper Bully

There was an article in the local paper today.  It was one of those opinion pieces by a regular local columnist.  I don’t usually read his column because I have a totally different viewpoint.  It’s pretty easy to tell he sits on the right side of the fence (as opposed to the left).

Earlier in the week I read about some local students going to the City Council meeting and asking for a ban on the sale of candy cigarettes.  They were basically saying that it targets kids for smoking.  The students were praised by the City Council members for bringing it to their attention and that’s about all I remember about it.

So today, this columnist twisted the argument around.  He misinterprets a statement made by one of the students.  He interprets her as saying that she’s a victim of the cigarette companies because she’s being targeted by the candy.  That’s a stretch.  He goes on to blow a bunch of smoke and act like he knows everything (like usual).

The part that really bothers me is that he names the student and treats her like she represents every kid.  I would be bothered by this anyway.  But the student he names is one of my math team kids and a student of mine.  She does not deserve to be the object of his rant.  She is a leader in the school, a great student, and very poised and mature.  I have no idea if she has read the article or knows anything about it.

This is probably something that deserves a response – letter to the editor – or something.  But whatever the case, this a-hole would always have the last word.  What would you do in this situation?

Idiot Proof

My recent road trip lead me to the motor city.   Actually, to Dearborn, the headquarters of Ford.  If you ever visit Dearborn, it’s pretty amazing to see the Ford campus.  The first time I visited, it reminded me of a college campus in its size. There is also the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village if you’re looking for something touristy to do…

Do you have any idea of what those engineers are doing when they are trying to ensure your safety?  I’ll admit that I’ve learned quite a bit over the years.  For instance, part of the reason why the fuel economy isn’t as good as we may like is because of the weight of the safety features.   But what about those safety features?

I was sitting in a new Flex.  By me sitting in the passenger seat, there was a sensor that was able to tell that I was over a particular weight.  Because of this, the passenger airbag was engaged.   If you are under the weight threshold, the airbag could be too powerful and therefore will not deploy.  Why is this technology necessary?

I don’t have any kids of my own.   But from what my friends and relatives tell me, it is illegal to have your child riding in the front seat.  Does the law stop people from putting their children in danger and letting them ride in front?  Nope.  In come the car companies…  Creative engineers now have to design safety systems that are idiot proof.

There has been a lot in the news lately about American car companies.  The media doesn’t paint a pretty picture of them.  But really.  If you know anyone working at one, you know that they’re working hard and doing more for less, just like the rest of us.  And they’re looking out for the idiots too.