Sunday, February 27, 2011

Getting ready for the Graduation Test

The High School Graduation Test will be upon us in less than a month.

Here are some resources for the various tests. If you know of others, please share!
Hillgrove English help
Cobb's Parent Guide to English

20 Days to the Graduation test
Cobb's Parent Guide to Math

Hillgrove Science Guide
Cobb's Parent Guide to Science
McEachern's science page

Social Studies
Phoenix's Guide to Social Studies
Cobb's Parent Guide to Social Studies
Hillgrove's guide
McEachern's social studies page

Columbia County general list
Another list of study guides
The State's study Guides
Oswego's Regent's Prep
Virginia's SOL study guides

A plan redone

Woke up at the normal time this morning with all sorts of plans - but no electricity.

(Transformer blew down the road)

Since I get up at dark thirty, I did the sensible thing. I unplugged everything electrical and went back to bed.

Just woke up - there is electricity and coffee and a new plan.

Life is good.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Time management

What happens when you hit that point that you cannot possibly do everything that everyone wants you to do?

Between the nonsense paperwork that the principal wants (and it must be nonsense because he doesn't bother to read it until he wants you to spend even more time on it),he papers that students turn in without trying to do the work, calls to parents asking for help to get their darlings to do the work (except, wait, it isn;t the darling that is the issue, it is the teacher. I must have a problem as no one else calls), and trying to make sense of a curriculum that is all over the place, I am going nuts.

I have all these great ideas to help them learn, and no time to implement it.

Did I mention the graduation tests some haven't passed that I cannot get them to do anything about?

I have APs who don't do their job - or actively undermine mine - so that I have that much more trouble in the classroom.

And somehow I have to keep kids old enough to drive (read, old enough to handle a 2000 pound weapon hurtling down the street at 60 mpg) from throwing things at each other while I try to teach...

Not everyone belongs in high school and we have reached a point in society that some who do not want to be there should be allowed to go elsewhere.

If I spent a summer actively learning something else, I bet I could get a job people would value by fall.

Which is when I realized that the bully has no power over me. Want my job? Here.

Six Word Saturday

We are ready: all systems go!

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

Can we say that everytime we go before a classroom. I can usually - this year, with the students, the number of different classes, the extraneous requirements that are supposed to make it easier but are are handed out during the year - not so much.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fight Fight!!

There was a fight in my room yesterday.

If I could care more, there is an awesome opportunity for a teachable moment.

Hey, "victim" - notice the quotes?

Do you think I don't know you instigated the fight with your annoying behavior? I quit responding, so you started in on your friends.

Now that your face has been rearranged, I want you to contemplate a couple of things.

1) Your friends started videotaping before the fight started. [Now Bimbo seems wedded to her phone so maybe you didn't notice she was videotaping. Since it has gone viral on Facebook with all of your friends sending it to each other, maybe you've seen it. I have.)

2) Did you notice that you can hear several of your friend talking on the video? Your best friend is calling you a pansy, saying you won't poke Hitter again. And then Bimbo and Snarky can be heard telling hitter he is too big a wuss to hit you, regardless of what he threatened.

3) Then you poke and Hitter rearranges your face.

So you get suspended for poking. Hitter gets suspended for hitting. Bimbo and Snarky get suspended for instigating a fight. And why did we do this?

So they could be entertained.

Wow - you are cannon fodder for the express purpose of entertaining your friends.

Maybe they thought there would be no test today. Nope, I still gave it and you are still responsible for it.

Feel better now? I do.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Moving on

One of the kids I really liked - and connected with but couldn't ultimately reach - came to say she was transferring.

Another whom I never reached is probably dropping out.

How good am I really?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Money money money

Things are not looking good for Detroit which must close half of its schools. Thirty-two in a class doesn't look so bad when you realize they are facing 60. (How do you get 60 in a classroom?)

Mrs. H says her district is tightening its belt as well.

I know we will be - but there are no specifics yet.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Teachers make too much money

What do you think teachers are worth? Here is a site arguing that teachers get paid only when they are in class and $3 per hour per student.

I could live with that.

The 10% equation

Somehow this class assumes that if they pay attention 10% of the time, they should get As. I have had them ask "How hard is the test - I paid attention for the past 15 minutes."

Isn't that special?

Or they say "How can you ask us to think when you've been spoon feeding us the answers all along?" Seriously. One of them said that.

Or (when I taught about social security this past week and mentioned that the fund is no longer sustainable) one of the little darlings preceded to argue that it ISN'T going broke because his mama and his daddy are paying into it - in fact everyone he knows is paying into it so I am lying. Can't argue with that logic.

I cannot get them to follow the simple instructions of stop talking, face forward, try. Instead they talk, sleep, put on their makeup. Get pissy when I ask them to work - and then announce that I am a lousy teacher and cannot teach.

I cannot teach them.

I remember one of my classes was like this last semester - but I think this group is worse. And I am not succeeding in anything.

But, then, on the last test the errors were arithmetic. You know, 2 + 5 = 8 kind of thing.

But it's nice how they think they can dictate how I spend my time and my money......

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What's good for the goose

Blogarythm posts here about Mrs. Monroe, the teacher in Pennsylvania who is suspended for blogging.

It would be wonderful if things were equally administered.

I cannot post about my students on Facebook or in my blog, not where they or my school are identifiable. But a student, lamenting that he was being suspended for posting a video about a fight, wrote that he was leaving the f***ing school and getting his f***ing GED, to which his mother replied (showing why he has issues in the first place):

Don't worry about it, hunny, that is one b**** and he will get his a** handed to him on Monday when i [sic] come to the d*** school to meet with him, i just called [the AP] to find out what happened and he is going to call me back , maybe we should just check into you getting you're [sic] GED and being done with the bullshit that is known as [a school of higher learning]. F*** all them stupid a** people at that school. We'll get [teacher] fired yet.

And that was on a public forum.


[And before you get all riled up, while this is based on a true event it didn't happen exactly this way or even this week.]

I am shocked.

Wow. Middle schoolers who are weak in math do poorly in algebra in 8th grade. They do better if they do middle school math (basics) in middle school in preparation for Algebra in 9th grade.

I am shocked.

OMG - I understand now!!

A local columnist, Neal Boortz (America's Rude Awakening - or one of the smartest and snarkiest talk show people around - today explained my students to me.

I begin to see how they think they should have an A on a test of Algebra 2 concepts when they are unable to preform elementary school arithmetic or realize they need a calculator to add 2 numbers.

Repeat after me: “Dunning-Kruger effect.”

Now I understand and I can move on to other things.

Glad I could help.

PS It explains my administration also.

Sneaky little booger

I assume other schools are the same: at the beginning of the year you read the faculty handbook and sign that you have read it and are responsible for what is in it.

So that, later, when you have a question, the administrators can say "have you read the handbook?"

So what do you do when the administrators change what is in it (file date tells you SOOOO much, guys) but do not change the name of the file (which included a summer date) and do not let the teachers know there have been changes?

Wonder what is in there that they are going to make me responsible for? That I haven't read?

Six Word Saturday

Music DOES soothe the savage beast!

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

I was playing soft jazz for my students Friday - what a difference in behavior!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


A friend told me this at lunch yesterday.

He had a student several years ago who was not only rude, she was openly hostile. Somehow she took in enough of what he taught to pass, but both were grateful when the year was over and their forced partnership was done.

Over the years hw would see her in the hall, and they warmed to each other - nothing funny, just appreciation for their differences. He had her again for a higher level class and she passed with flying colors.

The girl's family lost their home over the weekend. Major fire that took out an apartment building, leaving them shaken and alive but homeless.

He went to see the family and talked with the father. He offered prayers and academic support for the girl - she is shaken right now and needs to keep her eye on the prize. The parents were grateful.

And being able to help is priceless.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The hard questions

Sometimes the kids ask the hard questions. Will you help me graduate if I cannot come everyday. My parents have kicked me out and I am living at my grandparents and I can't always get here. So we talked about how to do my class by internet and email.

Second question in another class from another kid. If your son's girlfriend's father was in jail - would you let the girlfriend live with you - so we discussed ways to approach his father to make it work.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Personal Responsibility

Personal responsibility.

Man up.

Seems like such a simple concept. What I do I do.

I tell my classes that I cannot care about their grade more than they do. I am not sure how they hear that, but it infuriated several of them.

I care. I teach. I try to make it make sense. I will re-explain anything that I need to. I copy notes because I know it is difficult for some students to read the board.

They can afford to own and operate a car but cannot afford glasses. Or else, they don't look cool and they would rather sit where they cannot see than move and read the board.

Personal responsibility.

I taught a problem from the book this week then gave it as a quiz.

The talkers swore I had never taught this. I wasn't being FAIR (oh, the horror). They were going to fail my class.

Well, if they continue to make the same choices, yes, they will.

I not only worked the problem. I wrote it out. I circled it. I said "write this down". I reminded them what it means when a teacher says "write this down".

I cannot care more than they do.

If they choose to face forward, stop talking, and try, they will probably pass.

I wonder how I think I can teach them if they never listen to what I say?

But it isn't just the students.

I have a friend at another school who is very close to me, but doesn't take advice well. We all have friends like that. He can be a dynamic lecturer but he is lazy. He uses inappropriate worksheets to teach. Not nasty, but not rich in math either. He never really tests the kids to see what they know - and they bluff their way through the daily work.

He pompously lectures other teachers about how to teach.

[I read that and wonder WHY he is my friend - but there are redeeming qualities. I just think he is a lousy teacher and cannot see the log in his own eye for the mote in someone else's.]

He became ill with an incurable gastro-intestinal thing that laid him up. He is afraid his job is in jeopardy because he is having difficulty being at work. In fact, he has been placed on short term disability.

His job is in danger, but not because of his illness.

He failed close to 50% of his students - and a higher percentage of the special ed students.

He says he is all about rigor.

Not with the crap he hands the kids to do in class.

Not grading it for completion and not accuracy.

Personal responsibility. He needs to re-examine his teaching methods.

Personal responsibility. The administration is tasked with ensuring teacher quality. I wonder where his is. Surely they have some idea how he teaches. I do because he brags about it - not seeing the connection.

Am I as good as I should be? As good as I want to be? No. And I strive daily to do my part. But I don't run around telling everyone else they aren't good enough. (I save that for here!!)

I cannot be everything to everybody.

More on Ludlow - he did write books

Bobby Hanson had talk-show style all his own as Ludlow Porch

By J.E. Geshwiler

The name on his driver's license was Bobby C. Hanson, but legions of Southern radio listeners knew him as Ludlow Porch, the genial down-home talkmeister who kept them company for a full three hours a day each weekday and made them chuckle with his wry comments about life's frequent silliness.
More Atlanta area news »

The name Ludlow suggested a small-town fellow from a less hectic, more neighborly era. Porch bespoke the comfortable vantage point from which he bemusedly observed the passing scene.

It was a name Hanson invented in letters to the editor he wrote to Atlanta newspapers before he ever thought of a job on the air. When he was offered a position hosting a talk show on Atlanta station WRNG -- and that's another story -- he took Ludlow Porch as his nom de plume.

Back in the early 1970s Hanson was doing well as an independent insurance agent when his stepbrother, the late Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Lewis Grizzard, recommended Hanson to Sports Illustrated editors who were looking for trivia geniuses for a feature article. The magazine went on to profile Hanson as a walking encyclopedia of trivia, and two Atlanta radio stations, WSB and WRNG, became interested in interviewing him.

WRNG moved more boldly, asking Hanson to fill in for a week for another broadcaster, and he was hooked. A week's tryout turned into a more than three-decade career -- 10 years with WRNG, about the same with WSB sandwiched around a two-year stint with WCNN, and 16 years with FunSeekers Radio Network. The latter was a syndicated operation that at its zenith in the mid-1990s carried Ludlow Porch to 60-plus stations across the Southeast.

Bobby C. Hanson, 76, of Dawsonville, died Friday at the Gold City Convalescent Center in Dahlonega of complications following a series of strokes. His memorial service is 2 p.m. on Feb. 19 at Big Canoe Chapel, Jasper, with a reception to follow at Broyles Community Center, Jasper. Bearden Funeral Home, Dawsonville, is in charge of arrangements.

Among those who talk for a living, Porch was much admired.

Grizzard, a star himself on the lecture circuit, once said, "Ludlow talks like I wish I could write."

John Long, president of the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame, said Porch's programs made him feel he had joined a group of neighbors gathered around a restaurant table enjoying a cup of coffee and good conversation. "When it came to selecting the first inductees to our Hall of Fame in 2007," he said, "Ludlow was among the top people on our list."

The secret to Porch's enduring popularity was civility, Southern-style.

"We don't do any of the angry white-guy stuff like you hear on other stations," he told an AJC interviewer in 2005. "No abortion, no politics, no gun control. We're just trying to prove that the good old art of two-way conversation is still alive and well on the radio."

Denny Ainsworth of Lawrenceville was Porch's producer, engineer and co-host for more than 30 years, and carries on with the show. He said Porch's formula for the daily three-hour program was fairly constant. "He'd do a monologue on the topic of the day, then field calls from listeners, and from time to time interview celebrities passing through Atlanta."

"Ludlow was pretty much non-political," Ainsworth said. "Basically, he emphasized family themes and nostalgia, remembering the good old days full of sunshine and 70-degree weather."

Ainsworth recalled that once during an on-air conversation about music at funerals Grizzard asked Porch what he'd like to be played at his own farewell service, and Porch replied, "Volleyball." Ainsworth said he wouldn't be a bit surprised to see people bring volleyballs to Porch's memorial next Saturday.

Neil Boortz, who became a fixture at WSB after Porch left, said, "The remarkable thing about Ludlow is that during his long career in radio he never made one single enemy, never had a sponsor dump him, never had listeners demand that he be fired. That's a testament to what a sweet guy Ludlow was."

Boortz recalled the numerous gags Porch pulled on his audience: "He repeatedly denied the existence of Montana. He had a bogus state official announce that all marriage licenses issued during the previous 18 to 20 years were invalid and the children of those unions were illegitimate. He reported that the NCAA had ruled the names of school mascots could not be duplicated, and therefore the University of Georgia would have to stop labeling its teams Bulldogs."

These pranks created a flap now and then because people took Porch seriously. The thing was, Boortz said, "Ludlow had a audience that loved him dearly, and they didn't mind being fooled."

Porch wrote several books of humor, often with quirky titles such as "Who Cares About Apathy?" and "There's Nothing Neat About Seeing Your Feet: The Life and Times of a Fat American." He had collaborated with Emory Jones of Cleveland on a new book intended for publication later this year titled: "Zipping Through Georgia on a Goat-Powered Time Machine with Ludlow Porch and a Parrot Named Pete."

"It was wonderful working with Ludlow," Jones said. "Whenever I was at a loss for a word, he'd pick it right out of the air. What you heard from him on the radio was the real thing."

One of Porch's hallmarks was his sign-off salutation to his listeners at the end of each show: "Whatever you do today, find somebody to be nice to."

His wife, Nancy Hanson, said, "If you knew Ludlow, you knew it wasn't just something he said. It was the way he lived."

Survivors also include daughter Barbara Davison of Asheville, N.C., son Philip Hanson of Marietta, stepsons Charles McGarvey of Washington and Kyle Harvey of Alpharetta, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

His books were

* You're Sittin' on Boomey!: The Best of Ludlow Porch by Ludlow Porch
* A View from the Porch by Ludlow Porch
* Lewis and Me and Skipper Makes Three by Ludlow Porch
* Jonas Wilkerson Was a Gravy-Suckin' Pig by Ludlow Porch
* Beating a Dead Horse Is More Fun Than You Think: A Partisan's View of the Southland by Ludlow Porch
* Honest, Officer, the Midget Was on Fire When I Got There by Ludlow Porch
* Weirdos, Winos & Defrocked Priests by Ludlow Porch
* Can I Just Do It Till I Need Glasses?: And Other Lies Grown-Ups Told You by Ludlow Porch
* There's Nothing Neat About Seeing Your Feet by Ludlow Porch
* We're All in This Alone by Ludlow Porch
* Fat White Guy's Cookbook by Ludlow Porch and Diane Cox Porch
* Who Cares About Apathy? by Ludlow Porch

And you can hear Lewis at

"Whatever else you do today, you find somebody to be nice to!"

We will miss you, Ludlow.

Ludlow Porch (AKA Bobby Hanson), step-brother to Louis Grizzard, also a humorist, radio personality and one of the nicest people I have ever heard on the radio, has died.

He was funny as all get out. He would take words, write "letters to Ludlow", read them on the air - and drive people crazy.

One letter was from a woman (remember, he wrote these himself) who was engaged to a man and had just found out he was bipedal. She wanted to know if a normal woman could find true happiness with a bipedal man. Oh, the humanity. Oh the phone calls he got. The next day one of the local big-time ministers called him to say he ought not to be talking about such things on the air! That several of the women in his congregation had called to complain. And what does bipedal mean? So, gently, Ludlow told him. [You can watch him here.)

My absolute favorite he did when we first moved here. I was driving on the interstate on my way to a job interview and started laughing so hard as it unfolded that it is a miracle that I didn't wet myself or have an accident.

Some of the local landmarks in Atlanta are Stone Mountain (with the carvings of Lee, Jackson, and Davis on the side), Lake Lanier (a man made lake north of Atlanta that supplies most of Atlanta's water as well as Alabama and the panhandle of Florida), and Grant Park (not that Grant) which is where the Atlanta Zoo and the Cyclorama are.

So, the person visiting Ludlow's show (in cahoots, as the say) started talking about how they had gotten several large grants from the government for art projects around the city. They were going to place large flamingos in Grant Park - 20 feet tall pink flamingo statues. They were going to place large inflatable lily pads on Lake Lanier - with large inflatable frogs - probably 30 feet tall. But the best project would be to turn the carving on Stone Mountain into the world's largest black velvet painting. They would flock the background of the carving to look like black velvet. Then they add color to the three figures - like bright green plaid pants. And the visitor kept waxing euphoric on how absolutely wonderful these project would be and how much the people of Atlanta would enjoy them.

And people started calling the show. Half joined in the fun: we could paint a large yellow daisy on the OTHER side of Stone Mountain so those people could have something to enjoy, etc.

But what had me rolling on the floor as I am driving down the interstate was the other half of the callers. They were irate. They wanted to know who to call to stop this foolishness. Ludlow kept saying "Don't worry a whole lot about it." and then would say some other hairbrained thing the artists could do. Stone Mountain Park got so many calls they had to shut down the switchboard and Ludlow had to apologize on the air the next day. I think they banned him from the park.

I can still remember all of this - he was awesome.

But the other call I remember was some woman calling and talking to him for a really long time about nothing. When he hung up, his producer asked (on the air) why did you talk to her for so long. And Ludlow said "she needed someone to talk to."

He ended every show with "Whatever else you do today, you find somebody to be nice to."

What great advice.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Six Word Saturday

God trips: trying to reach you?

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

I just finished reading Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (author of Seabiscuit). In it Louie Zamperini talks about times in his life where he felt God was tripping him in order to get his attention. I feel like that as well but I usually feel like He has to whack me with a 2X4 to get my attention.

This has been a hard year for everyone in the school. The reasons why are beyond my control, but my response has to be within my control. As awful as I think the kids are, they have never done anything to me close to what they do to other teachers. [threaten to slash tires, make not-so-veiled threats on the boards with really foul language,get physically violent] [mine just tell me I can't teach and that they will fail the class. I ask them to stop talking and tell them we both have the same goal: that they learn the mathematics and pass my class. And I tell them I believe everyone can learn math.] I have to improve my response to them in hopes to be able to teach them.

The book is a hard read - well written but the subject covers plane wreck, death, lost in the Pacific and brutal Japanese prison camps which makes the going rough. I thought it was well worth reading.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Now THIS is totally bizarre

I belong to several of the social media networks as myself.

I even "talk" with some of you on some of them = which is downright wonderful.

But I just got a request to connect with a parent of a student I taught a couple of years ago. Now I also have connected with parents in the past because some people are truly wonderful EVEN if they are parents. (kidding)

But this parent only let me teach her child for about a month. She was a very adamant proponent of homeschooling and, even though she is not good at math (as evidenced by how poorly her child understood basic Algebra and Geometry), she insisted she was right and we were wrong.

Why would I want to connect with her when she wouldn't return emails while I was teaching her child?

Yep, totally bizarre.

It takes a village

It takes a village to raise a child and, when an adult is unwilling or unable to fulfill the obligations of the job (like showing up, writing lesson plans, and teaching the students), then it takes a math department to make sure that the students are not left behind.

No snow

Only a couple of the northern counties are closed. I am off to slay more dragons.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another snow day possible!!

No harm meant to my Northern friends, who have got to be past-tired of the white stuff, but we may get another snow day on Thursday.

Oh, wouldn't it be loverly.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

It's just a game

You should watch the Hockey Canada PSAs at the Principal's Page. They are too funny and too true.

"If it's wrong here, what makes it right at the rink?"

How to sabotage your teachers

This is advice to Highly Ineffective Principals, to make sure they don't miss any tricks.

* Make sure to give teachers as many preps as possible. Rather than give 3 teachers each 2 preps, if you juggle it correctly, you can give them each 3 or 4. This keeps them too busy trying to do an adequate job to question you about yours.

* If they question this, tell them they cannot count. A yearlong class and a block class of the same subject, you say, should not count as 2 preps as you cover the same material eventually.

* Make sure your APs belittle the teachers when a student has a behavior write up. Tearing up the write up in front of the student and saying you hate to hear from the teacher will keep that teacher busier with classroom management and take the focus off of you. For example, a student is written up for classroom disruption. Make sure the AP disrupts another class to talk to the student, then marks the write up as Time Out rather than any sort of punishment.

* Deflect any discussion about the effectiveness of the APs as bias on the part of the complainer.

* Schedule off campus meetings on the day before district walk throughs. Make sure you add additional requirements for waht you expect to see in the room the day before the off campus meeting.

* Make sure any complement you give has an underlying bite.

* Try not to give complements at all. Telling someone they are a disappointment and the worst teacher in the department and need to rethink their career choice is a great motivator.

* Bypass any structure in the school when dispensing information. In other words, don't tell the department chair what he needs to know when you can tell some other flunky and have them disperse the news.

* Try to abuse someone so thoroughly that they take extended sick time at a most inconvenient time - and make it someone else's problem to raise that teacher's students' grades to passing.

* make sure you hold up as a paragon of teaching someone who has a bizarre grading plan - and fails 1/2 of his classes (and 75% of his special ed students). Do not listen when other teachers try to tell you this is not the route they want to take.

* Tell some other teacher that SHE is the worst in the school. Again - a great motivator.

You call home and you learn too much

I was calling home to discuss grades and behaviors. As usual, I learn more than I want to know. If I feel over whelmed, I can only imagine what the kids feel. And I don't know how to help them learn the math with their life going on.

^ A girl acts out so is in ISS or OSS constantly. She has mentioned dropping out to get a GED. Her parents are divorced and still fighting and undermining each other - with the girl as the weapon they use to hurt each other.

* Another acts very immature, demanding passes out of my class for the library, the nurse, you name it. Her brother is in jail for the third time in a year - this time for assault.

* A boy was very aggravated Friday - turns out his 18 year old brother has been arrested for sexual assault on a minor - a girl a year too young, according to the law, but not the girl.

* Two girls were fighting in my class (except it was an act as they seem to be good friends) - again, divorce at home.

Throw in the usual learning disabilities, job and home loss, a pregnancy, Asperger's. I am overwhelmed with wondering how I am to teach them all.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Absent? How do I teach you?

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

The kids I am struggling with this semester are absent - because they cuss out the AP and get 2 weeks out of school, or pull out their cell phones and get a week out - or read books or do other assignments while I am writing material on the board.

They struggle with what I call basic Algebra 1 - the ability to move things around in an equation and isolate different variables. And yet, they need that in so many classes (chemistry and physics to name 2).

I had two students write on the last test that they couldn't work any of the problems because I didn't teach it. While I was giving examples of switching between vertex form and standard form of a quadratic, one was writing poetry and drawing, the other was filling out some sort of an application.

When I finished my example, and they had NOTHING written on the graphic organizer I had given them, I stood beside their desk and told them it was hard for me to take any argument that I cannot teach seriously when they cannot follow simple instructions. I will be calling home - and I hate that.