Saturday, September 24, 2011

What's Wrong With Education

I know I said I'd do a cute shoe post, but after my experiences working with a kid this week, I just had to rant.

     People spend a lot of time blaming teachers and teacher's unions over the poor state of public schools.  I have seen a lot of poor teaching, but I have seen many more parents who don't value a good education.  When I see people ranting over how bad their kid's teacher is, how she corrected a paper wrong, how he blamed their child wrongly for talking in class, or how stupid a school rule is, I want to ask them a few questions?  Have you ever made a mistake?  Does your child not lie?  So you think the rule is stupid, is there not a stupid rule in your work place?  I've met so many well meaning and yet inept parents who instead of working on their own kids blame others.

     I've been working with yet another lazy, insecure, immature kid.  Mom spends lots of time in the classroom playing at being the teacher's helper and has earned the reputation of being involved, and yet I see almost no real value placed on education in the home.  I see work books that are barely touched.  I see Mom handing over answers because the child is so insecure and lazy she won't do the work on her own and Mom doesn't want to be bothered to put up with the fight it's going to take to make this kid work.  I watch as Mom puts this nine year old in her lap and feeds her breakfast with a spoon like an infant.  Mom loves being a mommy and doesn't mind having an immature, dependent nine year old.  That's great for an emotionally needy adult who clings to her children for fulfillment, but doesn't work out so great for a kid who will be functioning on the maturity level of a fifteen year old when she is an adult.

So far the only teachers Mom has been thrilled with are those who tell her what she wants to hear.  Mom was particularly thrilled with the teacher who helped her place the kid in special ed.  Mom is one of those parents who demand special services for their children because of poor grades and homework struggles.  No matter that the child did not test into special ed, or that Mom doesn't exactly put herself out and spend her evenings at the books with her child.  With a few well placed sentences and a pushy parent, yet another kid who has no discernible learning disability is in special ed.

Mom means well and thinks she is doing what is best for her kid, as do most parents.  Mom didn't like the principal and when she was told her child didn't qualify for special ed, Mom was not happy.  Mom knew her rights.  Mom had a teacher backing her up.  Mom was going to kick up a fuss.  Mom got what she wanted.  When Mom showed me the paperwork and I was shocked.  The child did not test in a below average range except in three areas!   Mind you not there were two more levels below, below average.  I asked what the hell did the people on the IEP committee say and Mom had the decency to look embarrassed.  It seems she was advised not to sign those papers, but to try and work with the child a while longer, tutoring programs etc.  Mom, having her head in the sand on her part in this failure, resented those who were telling her what she didn't want to hear and signed.

The thing is that Mom is a typical member of the public complaining about how horrible educators and teacher's unions are, and yet I have yet to see her put any priority on her child's education.  Notes have gone to school with some BS excuse why this or that wasn't done.  Mom knows these excuses are BS, but gets insulted and irate when things aren't excused.  Mom will spend vacations in cities full of museums and historic attractions and instead take the kids to the local amusement park.  If Mom's kid is in trouble for misbehaving in school, it's the teacher's fault for not making learning fun.  If the homework is getting in the way of TV time, there is too much homework.  If the test isn't passed, it's because there isn't enough homework.  Mom and many others think that school days need to be extended, and yet they say the kids have too much work.

Mom's kid has now started telling me, "I think my teachers taught me wrong," when she gets an answer wrong on her homework.  The kid has had five years of working on place value.  If all those teachers are getting it wrong, why hasn't Mom set her straight?  No wonder the education system is a mess.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What I've been up to for the past few weeks...

A little bit of this and a little bit of that...

 Snowball season will soon be over so I'm hittiin' the stands while I can.  (This was Al Copeland's donut stand waaaay back in the day.  He was 18 when he owned this building and was actually testing his future Popeye's recipe on customers.  (I know this because J's family, being loyal customers, were offered free chicken as a taste test.)

Second Harvest: Harvest the Music concert Big Sam's Funky Nation
 I hate, hate, to see anyone go hungry.  Be it cat or man, I'm happy to feed them all and if it takes having to sit through Big Sam's Funky Nation and a couple of beers then all the better.  Second Harvest Food Bank

Cajun kitchen.
We took a quick trip to Cajun country to show the niece a bit of her grandmother's culture and visited LARC's Acadian Village.  There was a reenactor in each house and we had such a good time we swore we were going back and taking grandma with us.

Southern Decadence washed out. 
Being a fan of all things costume and recognizing that the local gay community are some of the best costumers in the world, we headed out looking for fabulous and found a washout instead.  : (

Sometimes when you are walking there are places that just cry out, "take my picture!"

Next week... cute shoes, 'cause there is a sale at Dillards.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

That day my BIL was supposed to be working in the Pentagon.  He was running late because he had to stop off at another office.  The phones weren't getting through and we spent the day worrying.  Remember those families who weren't so lucky today.  Life is fleeting.  May all who died rest in peace.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy Who Dat Season!

     It's that time of year where our lives change and everything revolves around the New Orleans Saints' schedule; our first game is upon us.  While the rest of the country is decorating their homes for fall, the New Orleans metro area is pulling out the black and gold.  Wreaths, flags, and signs  in black and gold are seen all over town and tomorrow is black and gold day at just about every other school.  It's a new season and the chant "Two Dat" has returned and so the preparations begin...

    Tomorrow will be the usual game day wardrobe black and gold undies, jeans, lucky tee, gold sparkle shoes, and I realize I'm going to have a fashion crisis.  The lucky tee.  It has Reggie Bush on there and I'm not sure how that is going to affect the mojo.  I feel slightly panicky knowing that the lucky shirt's mojo has run dry.  Don't ask me how I know, I just do.  I need a new lucky shirt, but nothing has hit me yet.  Again, I don't know how I know what is lucky, I just do.  If we lose I'm going to feel horrible.
Gumbo The Saints Cat

     I feel better about the other game deciding factor; Gumbo the Saints Cat, (please note that Saints Cats are always black and gold).  Gumbo is the second Saints Cat.  The original Saints Cat was Mimi, and we lost her this year, but she put in nineteen good years before she headed over the rainbow bridge.  Gumbo seems to be in a good enough mood although she didn't get her nap time with her dad today.  That could be a negative factor.  I'll try to offset that with extra cat treats.  

     To recap, lucky mojo for shirt not good, but Saints Cat is under control.  This means that this is going to be a close game and who wins is uncertain.  I just hope that Friday isn't going to be a black Friday, (eek).  Lets all hope for a Happy Who Dat Season!  Who Dat!