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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

 

Curiouser and curiouser.

Published September 9, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Statistics are scary, especially when they are saying that a large percentage of minority middle school age children are functionally illiterate. I don’t understand. I have a number of friends whose children are just starting school. They are dissatisfied with the quality of education that their children are getting.   There are so many questions that I have to do research to form the questions. I love to learn and I love to teach. I acknowledge my failings. I truly want to teach. I am not certified. It is cost prohibitive for me to seek alternative certification at this time. (It will cost me upwards of 5K to start the process. I am not a science or math teacher, so Theatre and English are not on the priority list.)  It doesn’t really matter in the now.  I want to know what can be done right now. So I need to address the questions right now. I want to find the best way to make the powers that be, and no, I haven’t done the research to find out who that be, exactly, but I will. I want someone who can do something to feel the abject panic I feel when I learn about the state of education right now. Most of my information is coming from independent research and documentaries. I understand that I have the kind of personality that is prone to panic.   Hence, the research to make me calm down enough to formulate the kinds of questions that I need to ask.

I will include what prompted the specific question and document where necessary.

Does the system protect academic failure?  ( Documentary The Lottery)

What I know from my personal experience:

Many schools are “teaching to the test”. This means that the primary educational goal for the schools is for the maximum number of students to pass whatever Standardized test that is in vogue at the time.   (I make it abundantly clear that I think that standardized tests are proof that Evil walks among us.) Standardized tests do not allow for intellectual curiosity or individuality.  I think this is why students lose the love of learning.       I have seen instructions on tests that say “choose the most right answer.” What the sweaty hell does that mean? If it makes my well-read, slighted dented head go all wobbly; imagine how the average eighth grade student must feel. (And take into consideration that an eighth grade student in a public school is not likely to be well-fed and well-rested.  Many inner-city students also have social crises that they are concerned with. (I haven’t checked the current statistics, but twenty years ago when I started to teach gang violence near the schools had gotten so bad that the Police Department negotiated a truce between the major gangs during school hours. When I started teaching, there was a special school for pregnant students. The school was for 6-12 grades. )

All of that was just for the first question.

And I don’t have an answer. But I’m working on it.  But until then I will be ghost writing more romance stories,

I do have a sense of humor as does the universe.  I am very amused that I am in the plague equivalent of romantic love . (I’m not saying dried up, I’m saying  tumble weeds rolling by wolves howling waiting to nosh on my corpse while I feebly brush away the gnats provided by OkCupid and other dating sites.)  And while in the state, my only income is provided by ghostwriting romance short stories.