I’m not sure I needed to know that.

Published March 12, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

According to what’s trending.com, there is a litany of things I need to know about Suge Knight.

It took me a moment to actually remember who Suge Knight is, but then I remember I heard of him on a WatchMojo list of famous people who are in prison.  Or course, that thought led to another wondering if perhaps it’s the un-famous people in prison we need to know.

Before I jump down the rabbit hole on that, there are a few more things on the trending site of note (the things are of note, not necessarily the site.  My head is thrumming off beat to my thoughts so I’m having a bit of a challenging putting together the correct grammarage. There may be some fusion jazz thing happening in my head.)

Illinois junior Senator Mark Kirk got called out for being a racist .  To be fair why should he watch what he says when the President does not.  This led me to CNN, which, quite frankly, disappointed me. (This a plus, since it usually enrages me.)  My other source of new-like information, Cracked.com. It’s amusing and amasses items in chronological order by date of publication. Since it’s content is largely written by free-lancers, I lend a lot of credence to the writing; free-lancers have to maintain a level of integrity so they can continue to work.

There is some interesting information on the site, including the one about Benjamin Franklin and the kite experiment.  Apparently Franklin freely admitted that he made the whole story up, which, at least makes him more honest than the current newsmakers. Thus goeth the propaganda machine.

Meanwhile, as reported by CBS news, a sixth grade student in Alabama has written a will “just in case something happens”.

Just in case? Why does an 12 year old have to make a will? (I bet you all were wondering when I was going to hop on the soapbox.)  I know the answers, but those are all followed up by more questions, like why is it please, that our  Secretary of Education can’t explain her own policies and why our President won’t (fill in the blank with your choice of words)

What do I think would help?

I think Betsy De Vos should have to live for a year on a teacher’s salary. According to TEA, having a Bachelor’s Degree and no teaching experience, her minimum salary would be at least $28, 080. Now if she taught in a private school, her minimum salary would be $31,000.  Her children are grown, but for the sake of argument, let’s say she has two children to support on that salary.

A first year teacher usually has to meet with a mentor teacher at least once a week. This is one top of a full school day where she has taught at least five classes of 15-20 students. This includes grading papers and planning lessons for these 145 students. The school day requires a teacher to be on campus for at least 8, but usually 9 hours a day. All teachers, new or otherwise are required to accrue a minimum number of professional development hours to maintain their license.   Now, since Betsy doesn’t have a teaching certificate she would have to go through an internship program where she would have to clock some time online with a coach for her initial certificate.

If even one of those 145 students misbehaves, she will have to document the incident in the computer, follow up with the principal or counselor and/or talk to a the student’s parent.  To tally- 9 hours on campus +1 hour per day for meetings, etc +1 hour for planning and grading (this is a very kind estimate.)   That is an 11 hour day for at least 200 days a year. 11x 200= that’s 22,000 hours. That’s about 14 dollars an hour, not bad you say?

Well child care runs, on average any where from 11-14 dollars an hour, if you want a qualified person watching your child during your 11 hour day.

So now you have about 3 dollars an hour x 22,000 an hour for lodging. That gives you 66,000 per year for housing and everything else. That works out to about $ 5,000 a month. My mortgage just went up to 1,200 a month.  I do not live in a particularly palatial abode. My bills run about 800. But I don’t have 2 kids. I’m sure Betsy would want to eat and wear clothes and maybe go somewhere besides school and the babysitter. Plus I bet Betsy’s school has a dress code, and professional clothes are expensive, plus I’m pretty sure all three of them want to eat once in a while.

I’m fairly certain I made a math error in there somewhere, but you get my point. Teachers are underpaid. And the person in charge of education has no idea what we are really dealing with. I am on Spring Break and I am spending at least half a day looking for a side gig so I can afford to take less help from my parents, who are great and are, indeed helping me out.   I will also spend at least one and half days getting things ready for the next week of school.  So I lose two days of my seven day break doing a job I am already doing 50 hours a week.

That’s why I don’t need to know Suge Knight

Strange Days Indeed

Published March 11, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

“Just how does one become a professional blockhead?”-Fox Mulder

I find it strangely synchronotic (I think I just made that word up.) that as I am writing this particular bit I should hear that snippet of dialogue. You see, and how could you not, but if you don’t, I’ll tell you. There are strange doing afoot. I am officially on Spring Break and my head is fraught with worry.

I am worried about finances. Quite simply, I am not making enough money to cover expenses, and this time it is not entirely the fault of the vicious whomping my savings took last year when I worked for a school that had a shaky understanding of how the business world works.

I, and my fellow teachers, are quite frankly grotesquely underpaid and there is not a thing we can do about it.  Exacerbating this situation is the fact that my mortgage has gone up to the equivalent of exactly one half of my paycheck.  (Why yes, this is the same house that had sparks shooting out of the floor this time last year and had similar sparks shooting out of the ceiling two years ago.  For some insane reason, the property has been appraised at about $20,000 more than it was last year.)

Clearly it is time to get out of the house.  Like my fellow teachers there is not much I can do for the immediate fix, with the exception of getting a second job or selling plasma.  I already work approximately 10 hours a day, and if I sell plasma The Mom will reach into my chest and pull out my still beating heart. Plus the plasma alone won’t cover the already stretched bare spots in the budget.

I know the problem: teachers are simply not paid enough.  It is the second most senseless thing in Education, the first being that we, as a country, can not find away to keep our children safe in our schools and BTW, have you noticed that in wake of the far too many school tragedies you haven’t heard a single story of a TEACHER fleeing the scene. No, teachers understand that their first responsibility is to their students, which is why we put up with the low pay and terrible hours.

In a mostly related note, I just finished reading the book,A matter of days by Amber Kizer. I generally stay away from the “This is how the world ends” genre, mainly because I think Stephen King did it best with The Stand.

This book was a great read, kind of a The Stand, light.  It pushed forward the idea that when it does end it will be as sly and fast as an OkCupid date. You won’t see the horror coming until you are trying to get away from it. (If you reuse this phrase, please direct people to my books on Kindle which are still free through the 13th! )

Now why, you may ask, did I leap to this book review and shameless plug?

Because I have genuine anxiety about the daily circus that is our current administration.  If any of my students ran off at the mouth like that (Just go to CNN.com and check out the latest) they would miss recess for the next few weeks, possibly the rest of the school year.

And now the President plans to meet with Kim Jong-un.  I think the problem of underpaid teachers might just go away, along with the rest of us.

Because I see the horror coming.

And I’m just an amateur blockhead


St. Joseph lost his head and it was all downhill from there.

Published March 9, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have very strange days. I am constantly reminding little boys that it is in no way appropriate to sumo wrestle in front of the prayer altar and trying quash squeals of delight from three students of which only two are girls.  In my last blog, I was a bit spent from unpacking fifteen years of emotional baggage into one confessional onto a very surprised but remarkably hip priest.

My students rallied, perhaps sensing my level of tension and spent on entire morning working! Silently! Productively! Three days before Spring Break! I took a picture to prove it happened.

Unbeknownst to me, a statue of St. Joseph fell off of a shelf causing the patron saint of foster parents to lose his head.  (He’s fine now, someone was dispatched to the hardware store for some Gorilla Glue so St. Joe is back together again). This is when the day took a turn for the worse. Some of my students had presentations that day and for the most part they were very good. One of my students went to the library (!) and asked a librarian for help (!). I have two students who have yet to turn theirs in. Tomorrow is the last day. I suspect I will be seeing some amazing feats of diorama and poster making.

Today was a blur because I only got five hours of sleep last night. BatCat  thudded out of the window and knocked the power cord going to the TV askew (I have to sleep with the TV on, otherwise I have dreams about Evil Robert Lizards and Aliens who want Egg Recipes.) causing a series of strobe like flashes to come out of the TV. I did not want to have a seizure at 3 in the morning so I had to get out of bed and fix it. I did not get back to sleep.

It’s not all bad, I will probably sleep great tonight and probably real soon, but first:

SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION: Tomorrow through March 13, all of my Ebooks will be FREE on Kindle!

Read them!

Rate Them!

Review Them! (Even if you hate them!)

St. Joseph will love you for it.



What seems a dim image ( or something like that.)

Published March 5, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have been assigned the task of reading I Corinthians 13:1-13. I am to read it critically and reflect.

There are many reasons why this hit me like a gut punch, not the least of which is that I wonder if the

Corinthians ever sent anything back to St. Paul ( the person, not the city.) requesting that he let up on the correspondence until they had a chance to process and write back.

This passage is about how good works are meaningless if one’s heart is unclean. I’m going to let that simmer while I examine my patience while my students jump around and seem utterly baffled that I won’t let them draw tanks and pictures of Logan Paul in their prayer journals. ( I know, they are only ten, but at what point an they hold themselves responsible?)

I’m trying to be hopeful. I’ll let you know how that goes.

What, happened.

Published February 16, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have been working on my second novel for slightly less time than the first one. (In case you missed itCircumstance)

The characters have been in my head for almost a decade, and for a while I toyed with calling it “What. Happened.” Then I realized that selling, publicizing,etc would soon look like an Abbot and Costello routine, and that I should probably figure something else out. (That something out is “Intentionally Left Blank”.Coming eventually.)

The title stuck with me because after some huge disaster everyone is always running around like a blind dog in a meat locker asking, “What happened?” The answer is usually easy. What is what happened. This means events have defied all description and there is no way a logical mind can put it together. (Even someone who his mostly non-logic has a hard time tossing the pieces in place. )

This week is weird for me (weirder than usual)  A year ago Monday, the world lost the bright light that was Fayth Norman. She was my student and she was killed in a murder suicide by her grandmother. So, yeah, that has me a bit down.

I also decided to try Whole30  for the first chunk of Lent, so I went ahead and started on Sunday, even though Lent didn’t start until yesterday.  Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, and this year, Ash Wednesday was February 14,

Now Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. True Red is my favorite color, and I am drawn to the heart shape-It’s the true symbol of eternity because Love is the only thing that is Always.  Well this year, my sweetheart is in Myrtle Beach, doing the pirate thing and while I know that I will be with him in a month, I can’t help but remember that it will be a few months before I see him again, and the who knows?  Grim indeed.

February 14 is also the anniversary of my grandfather’s death. Angelo Gonzalez was a true saint on this earth and his death marks the 15 year long decline in my brother’s health. That is a story for another time. (Suffice it to say that I am fully prepared to have to leap out of my classroom to help the Mom handle something. )

For several days I have been poised to spring back into writing something because I certainly do have something to say. I am working on an official, well researched diatribe on the disaster that is Logan Paul and  the trail of ignorance he leaves in his wake. I also have plenty to say about the day to day madness that is my work life (I love it and there are many, many stories that will make you guffaw with laughter and a few that will make you tear up a bit.) I also have an entire bucket of anger to aim at the current administration and their inability to protect the poor and feed the hungry . (Seriously, boxes of canned goods instead of food stamps? Are you seriously saying that the poor don’t deserve fresh produce and fresh dairy? Are you trying to create a new Mongol Horde?, you know those guys who were starving, had no hope and nothing left to lose so they invaded and pillaged and basically destroyed their current civilization? )

And then there is the recent school shooting.

As a teacher, this kind of thing is particularly chilling.  My students generally only talk about Takis, the lunch menu, and Logan Paul, but today they all had something to say about the school shooting. They are scared. So am I. Because I know exactly how I would react if a shooter were to barge into my classroom.

I would keep them safe  at any cost.

Because we have lost to much.

That’s What Happened. S

I think that Yak has my math homework (Parmegeddon, it’s starting to grate.)

Published January 16, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

So I am currently listening to the audio book of what I am referring to as “The Emperor’s New Clothes” The rest of the world is referring to it as “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” by Michael Wolff. It’s good and it’s making the side of my head ping a little bit.

I was a trepidatious about using my Audible Credit for this book, because I knew it would just make me  mad, but considering I am usually listening while cleaning or exercising, I could just use the rage.

But the thing is, I don’t know to whom I direct my rage. I can rail and rant at the situation, but let’s be honest, I’m certain that my race, gender and age, not to mention socioeconomic status (really, don’t mention it, I’m kind of freaking out about that) puts me so far below the Trump radar I’m touching the magma filling in the hollow earth. (Earth Science +Conspiracy theory for the win!)

Let me make you a list of the things related to the current political landscape:

a) The false alarm nuclear alert in Hawaii

b) This headline from the New York Times:

Military Quietly Prepares for a Last Resort: War With North Korea

 c) The Department of Homeland Security Secretary is pretending not to know that Norway is full of Nordic types.

d) The President of the United States used language that denigrates two whole ethnic groups, and his cabinet seems to be okay with it.

In the middle of all of this I am teaching Math to Fourth Graders. I am not comfortable with Math, especially with these key concepts that lay the foundation for the rest of their educational careers.

We were working on the Order of Operations.  I was explaining that, in this case, the rules are finite and will not change. One of my cherubs likes to be the dog at the end of the towel and asked, what if does?

I assured him that the only thing that would bring about a change in the law of Mathematics is a collapse of society and if that happens I will happily rise out of the desolate wasteland and send him a note attached to a Yak stating:

” You were right. The rules did change. Please keep the Yak as recompense for your time.”

I can’t be responsible for a missing Yak.

“ipsa scientia potestas est” Parmegeddon, the cheese continues

Published January 11, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have often heard that  knowledge is power, or so sayeth (probably) Francis Bacon, and who doesn’t like Bacon?

The last few days have felt off, at least from my perspective, and how else can I feel things, hmm? I do feel a bit better, now that I know that Oprah is poised to save us, or at least preovide us with a taco fiesta, and since when were things not made better with tacos?

In the years prior to MBH, I was frantic and often poised to flail. Post MBH, I am very well medicated mostly to prevent any new surprise attacks, and I haven’t spent the last fourteen years repairing brain cells (you can’t say that doesn’t happen! No one knows!) and re-routing neuro transmitters to have it all go, literally kerflooey)  One of the medications is an anti-seizure pill that was initially prescribed to because there was a lot of dried blood working its way out of my brain, but I now continue to take to prevent migraines.

My prescription expired several days ago and I just got my refill about an hour ago.  I think the brain chemistry was a bit skewed.

The last few days have felt odd. I still think we are  circling the drain of this stage of our civilization and I will quote and surmise and make fun, pithy comments, citing chapters of recently read tomes, but I need the brain juice to settle a bit.

It’s possible  my students have noticed things are a bit hinky. I have over programmed my cherubs and have been keeping a tight schedule so that there is little time for my brain to wander.

Today I had a bit of slippage.

I was going word by word through a study guide for a chapter in the seriously dry and uninteresting Social Studies book.  My objective was to demonstrate some research skills.  No one could feign interest in this madness so as their minds wandered, I loudly lamented the efforts of the Sumerians who invented the paper that the book and worksheet was printed on and the efforts of  the Mesopotamians to perfect the written word, not to mention poor old Gutenberg who invented movable type, all of these who have gone before us to make this lesson possible and eight nine year olds couldn’t be bothered to at least keep up.

It was in this moment that I realized my students would report some of this at home and  I would either come across completely insane or totally brilliant.

I can live with either