Sunday, July 31, 2011


For years, the only exceptional (gifted) classes have been given to the same teacher. And for years she has commented, every time people are complaining about how low are students are, how SHE has no problem as HER students are WONDERFUL.

And, for years, Suzy has complained to me about how Ms. Wonderful is not the only teacher who COULD teach the gifted kids and why did she always get them?

This year, Suzy got two gifted classes of her own.

She cannot comment about anything without dropping the names of these classes (I have 4 classes of repeaters - the kids aren't stupid but it is a different level of motivation there).

Save Our Schools

5000 teachers marched on Washington and this is all you can find in the news.

I know we're broke and waiting on Washington to fix it. But when that many teachers travel across country and march on the White House - you think someone would notice.

Advice to Single Women

Ruth patiently waited for her mate Boaz.

While waiting on YOUR Boaz, don't settle for ANY of his relatives: Brokeaz, Drunkaz, Poaz, Lyinaz, Cheatinaz, Dumbaz, Cheapaz, Lockedupaz, Lazyaz or Marriedaz and especially his third cousin Beatinyoaz.

Please, wait on your Boaz & make sure he respects Yoaz.

Have a nice day!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Today's email: Maxine

Friendship ~ None of that Sissy Stuff

* When you are sad ~ I will help you get drunk and plot revenge against the sorry person who made you sad.

* When you are blue ~ I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

* When you smile ~ I will know you are thinking of something that I would probably want to be involved in.

* When you are scared ~ I will rag on you about it every chance I get until you're NOT.

* When you are worried~ I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be until you quit whining.

* When you are confused ~ I will try to use only little words.

* When you are sick ~ Stay the heck away from me until you are well again. I don't want whatever you have.

* When you fall ~ I will laugh at your clumsy butt, but I'll help you up.

Friendship is like peeing your pants, everyone can see it, but only you can feel the true warmth.

This is my oath .... I pledge it to the end. 'Why?' you may ask ~ because you are my friend.

Send this to 10 of your closest friends (including the one who sent it to you).
Then get depressed because you can only think of 4.

Six Word Saturday: Absents makes the heart grow fonder.

Absents makes the heart grow fonder.

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

No joke, that is how an English major wrote a PowerPoint. All absents have to be reported to the administration.

And what was the other one? Oh, yes, "unexcused absent."


English is such a beautiful language.

I love, just love having this person lecture me (well, I was sitting in the audience) about improving the students' vocabulary.

I will do that if there are no absents. Hey, that one almost works.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Today's email: Pick your battles carefully

And this’s why you should learn to pick your battles.

This morning I had a fight with Victor about towels. I can’t tell you the details because it wasn’t interesting enough to document at the time, but it was basically me telling Victor I needed to buy new bath towels, and Victor insisting that I NOT buy towels because I “just bought new towels“. Then I pointed out that the last towels I’d bought were hot pink beach towels, and he was all “EXACTLY” and then I hit my head against the wall for an hour.

Then Laura came to pick me up so we could go to the discount outlet together, and as Victor gave me a kiss goodbye he lovingly whispered, “You are not allowed to bring any more damn towels in this house or I will strangle you“. And that was exactly what I was still echoing through my head an hour later, when Laura and I stopped our shopping carts and stared up in confused, silent awe at a display of enormous metal chickens, made from rusted oil drums.

Laura: I think you need one of those.

me: You’re joking, but they’re kind of horrifically awesome.

Laura: I’m not joking. We need to buy you one.

me: The 5-foot tall one was $300, marked down to $100. That’s like, $200 worth of chicken for free.

Laura: You’d be crazy not to buy that. I mean, look at it. IT’S FULL OF WHIMSY.

me: Victor’d be pissed.

Laura: Yup.

me: But on the plus side? It’s not towels.

Laura: Yup.

me: We will name him Henry. Or Charlie. Or O’Shannesy.

Laura: Or Beyoncé.

me: Or Beyoncé. Yes. And when our friends are sad we can leave him at their front door to cheer them up.

Laura: Exactly. It’ll be like, “You thought *yesterday* was bad? Well, now you have a enormous metal chicken to deal with. Perspective. Now you have it.”

Then we flagged down a salesman, and we were all “What can you tell us about these chickens?”, as if we were in an art gallery, and not in a store that specializes in last years’ bathmats. He didn’t know anything about them, but he said that they’d only only sold one and it was to a really drunk lady, and then Laura and I were all “SOLD. All this chicken belongs to us now.”

So he loaded it onto a trolley, but Beyoncé was surprisingly unstable, and the giant 5 foot metal chicken crashed over onto the floor. And Laura and I were all “CHICKEN DOWN! CLEAN-UP IN AISLE 3″ but he didn’t laugh. Then the manager came to see what was causing all the commotion, and that’s when he found the very-conservative salesman unhappily struggling to right an enthusiastically pointy chicken which was almost as tall as he was. The salesman was having a hard time, and he told everyone to stand back “because this chicken will cut you“, and at first I thought he meant it as a threat, like “That chicken has a shiv”, but turns out he just meant that all the chickens’ ends were sharp and rusty. It was awesome, and Laura and I agreed that even if we got tetanus, this chicken had already paid for himself even before we got it in her truck.

Then we got to my house and quietly snuck the chicken up to my front door, rang the doorbell, and hid around the corner.

Victor opened the door and looked at the chicken in stunned silence for about 3 seconds. Then he sighed, closed the door and walked away.

Laura: What the hell? That’s it? That’s the only reaction we get?

me: That’s it. He’s a hard man to rattle.

Victor was surprisingly pissed that I’d “wasted money” on an enormous chicken, because apparently he couldn’t appreciate the hysterical value of a 5 foot chicken ringing the doorbell. Then I said, “Well, at least it’s not towels” and apparently that was the wrong thing to say because that’s when Victor screamed and stormed off, but I knew he was locked in his office because I could hear him punching things in there. Then I yelled through his door, “It’s an anniversary gift for you, asshole. Two whole weeks early. 15 YEARS IS BIG METAL CHICKENS.”

Then he yelled that he wanted it gone, but I couldn’t move it myself, so instead I said okay and went to watch tv. Then when the UPS guy came I hid, but he was all “Dude. Nice chicken” and Victor yelled, “IT IS NOT A NICE CHICKEN”. Which was probably very confusing to the UPS guy, who was just trying to be polite,

Victor. Victor seemed more disgruntled than usual, so I finally dragged the chicken into the backyard and wedged it into a clump of trees so that it could scare the snakes away. Then I came in and Victor angrily pulled me into his office so that I could see that I’d stationed Beyoncé directly in front of his only window. And I was all “Exactly. YOU’RE WELCOME.” I told him that he could move Beyoncé if he wanted to, but he totally hasn’t. Probably because of all of the giant rocks I piled on Beyonce’s feet to dissuade burglars. Or possibly because Beyoncé is growing on him. Still, I can’t help but think that we wouldn’t even be having this argument if Beyoncé was towels. Honestly, this whole chicken is really a lesson in picking your battles more carefully. Plus, he’s awesome and I can’t stop giggling every time I look at him. Beyoncé, that is.

Best. 15th anniversary. ever.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What does Balkanization mean to you?

I will comment - tomorrow - but I want you to tell me what this phrase means to you.

Avoid Balkanization.

I only ask because I sat in a faculty meeting today (did I mention that every male in the Social Studies department has his Specialist degree?) where this phrase was used and no one knew what it meant.

So, not trying to put you on the spot, don't cheat. Give it your best definition in the comments and then I will come back.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What is wrong with people?

Thefts are picking up at farms where they take bees, grapes and anything metal

In LA they are stealing batteries from the traffic lights.

In Texas they are stealing ambulances.

In Sacramento they are stealing storm drain covers.

Here, where it is unbelievably hot, thieves are stealing copper from air conditioners.

Six Word Saturday

This will be a good year!

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

It is so close to school starting and the kids arriving that there is hardly time to breathe.

And yes, we start in the dog days of summer which is absolutely ridiculous.

Friday, July 22, 2011

APS cheaters - more leaving

A total of 41 of the 179 cheaters have left APS. Some have retired, some have resigned. The may still face "criminal prosecution, potential job loss and potential certification loss."

The 4 big wigs are going to tough it out (for now). One hundred thirty eight teachers and principals are planning on fighting it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A reason for rubber rooms ** updated

Ms. Cornelius blogged today about the Atlanta Cheating scandal and I posted several comments which I may share here later.

I think it is time for Atlanta to institute Rubber Rooms here. I know some people in New York were not guilty of anything more than getting older, but 172 educators and 4 superintendents refuse to leave even though the state has proved they cheated.


They cannot be trusted to teach kids. They are under contract to teach - but they are cheaters, so they cannot be trusted, really, to do anything. Have them report to rubber rooms, every day, on time, and sit there.

Why should the be allowed to draw a salary and be at home?

I can think of someone else who should be in a rubber room. But she'd get the vapors.

** update: The number retiring or resigning is now at 30.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cheating - ad nauseum

Well, if you are looking for a teaching job in the Atlanta area, it may be your lucky day. Here is a list of APS openings. And school will be starting soon.

DC is firing a ton of teachers - apparently they believe their new evaluation process is working (why do it this close to the beginning of school? Just saying.)

The governor is now looking at Dougherty County for the next chapter in Georgia's cheating scandal.

And it is so nice to know we are in Huffington's.

The same evening that Davis sent the letters to implicated educators, he assured parents that those involved in the incident would not be back in front of classrooms.

"It is not an overnight process to get rid of them. It certainly is an overnight process to tell them not to show up." And maybe that is what is happening to the teacher in my school. God, I hope so.

In actuality, she is nothing to me

I don't know why I cannot let this go. I have no control in this situation. It really no longer impacts my life - as we will not share students and she will not be there to tell me I am not doing it correctly when she is the one screwing up.

I know people in the department gave her recommendations so the could "pass the trash" not because they thought she was any good - although, at one time I think she might have been outstanding.

It is more than what she is doing is wrong - although that gripes me - and she may well be mentally ill. I don't know.

I'm not allowed to run the train
The whistle I can't blow
I'm not the one who designates
How far the train will go
I'm not allowed to blow the steam
Or even ring the bell
But let the damn thing jump the track
And see who catches hell.

Do I feel responsible for her? No, more relieved that she will not be there to bug me this year. She seems to think she is in charge and can delegate work - her job being to tell us the rest of us are wrong.

She has no computer skills - not even rudimentary ones. Therefore, it is not our job to teach her how to do things but to do them for her. Riiiiiight.

Sad part? I could post her name here and she would never find the blog. I have found her employment in the various part time jobs, but she couldn't find a link with her name on it.

Karma is a beautiful thing

Don't you just love it when someone craps in your cornflakes and then, when time has passed a little, you are given the opportunity to exact revenge?

I don't get mad.

I do get even.

Take that!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The part of me I usually hide under a rock

We all have sides we don't like, things about ourselves that we work on to improve. I am about to let my official Esmerelda loose, because I am super pissed, uberpissed.....

I have written vaguely about a colleague who is, to be kind, a miserable excuse for a teacher and a human being. She probably is mentally ill, but I really don't care as most of her problems are not only self inflicted but spill over and cost other people too much.

She is also a liar and a manipulator.

She abandoned her students this year, after not teaching them for a semester and failing most of them. And The Powers That Be decided she had a mental breakdown. So they put her on disability. How is she dealing with the time off that is intended to help her heal? She is working three different part time jobs.

If you were so sick you had to be out on disability do you think she ought to be resting - or working while accepting disability?

Ok, ranted about this - hasn't changed the opinion I have of this douchebag. I am just pissed that she is getting payments that I pay into the system. And there is no way to tell The Powers That Be that she is manipulating them.

CNN Headline


Um, not really.

Six Word Saturday

What a choice: fight or flee.

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

As the APS cheating scandal continues, the new superintendent has removed staff involved and has told 178 teachers resign or be fired.

I don't know how it is where you are, but quitting is really their only option here. Non-renewal is really a kiss of death for your career. As I wrote here and here, non-renewal in Georgia is a career killer. (The young teacher is applying for a teaching job again and not having any luck).

So, what if some of those 178 are really innocent of the charges against them? In this witch hunt, how would you prove you hadn't cheated, that the wrong-to-right erasures were the students own doing?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What the kids are up to this summer

My students are getting arrested.

Since school let out, a dozen of my former students have been arrested. Shoplifting, drugs, sexual assault, stupid stuff. Three females, 3 white - most black males.

Could the economy have anything to do with it?

With no jobs and the lack of good sense to be nice to authority figures (more in a tad), getting arrested is inevitable. (I keep telling my students they don't have to like authority figures - teachers, admins, and cops - but they do need to learn to be polite out of self defense. Is that racist? Or practical?) Three quarters of those arrested were black, most of those male. At a point that (any given year) less than 20% of my classes are made of black males.

I have lost any respect for one - I have written about Curtis before. This time he apparently has started (or continued) shoplifting and took a friend along. They got caught. (No real surprise - the friend is a looker with an attitude. She is not who you would want on a crime with you unless she was to be the distracter.) Curtis was out almost immediately - posting all of this on his FB. She has an absent mother and lives with her grandmother, who apparently is not posting bail.

Since he is posting all of this on his FB - don't you think there would be a little remorse on Curtis' page? Nope. Business as usual, whining about nobody calling him and how he is going to be a BMOC this fall(if he doesn't cost himself his scholarships with his idiocy).

I hope somewhere in here he grows up - but it isn't likely.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More on APS

"Atlanta teachers caught in scandal told Channel 2 news ‘We begged for help'

Several Atlanta teachers who claimed they have been falsely accused of altering answers in school test cheating investigation said they went to an outside agency to complain about harassment to boost test scores but no substantive action was taken to address their concerns. "No one listened to us. We tried to tell. We couldn't trust anyone in the system," said teacher Sharona Thomas-Wilson. Wilson showed Channel 2’s Tom Regan emails her co-workers sent nearly two years ago to the Georgia Association of Educators, an organization that represents public school teachers" (AJC)

This is so disappointing as GAE and PAGE are our 2 "unions" - not really, but they are the watchdogs to protect the teachers and here GAE let things slide.

And here for more fall out.

Monday, July 11, 2011

And the locals hit a new low

Dallas Fort Worth has had seven churches robbed of their air conditioners. They are stealing the air conditioners for the copper.

We have had four churches robbed in the past week.

Do these idiots not understand it's July? In Georgia? Is wanting other people's stuff that important?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Atlanta Cheating - spreads to Texas

So, do you think she'll keep her new job?

One of the Superintendents from Atlanta Public Schools - one of those named in all those pesky reports on cheating - has been hired in Texas. Parents are not pleased.

She is supposed to start tomorrow - and they are voting on the pesky problem tomorrow.

She said, he said

Wife's Diary:

Tonight, I thought my husband was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a nice restaurant for dinner. I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I thought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit late, but he made no comment on it. Conversation wasn't flowing, so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but he didn't say much.

I asked him what was wrong; He said, 'Nothing.' I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He said he wasn't upset, that it had nothing to do with me, and not to worry about it. On the way home, I told him that I loved him. He smiled slightly, and kept driving.

I can't explain his behavior I don't know why he didn't say, 'I love you, too.' When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him completely, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there quietly, and watched TV. He continued to seem distant and absent. Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go to bed. About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. But I still felt that he was distracted, and his thoughts were somewhere else. He fell asleep - I cried. I don't know what to do. I'm almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster.

Husband's Diary:

Boat wouldn't start, can't figure it out.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mixed bag

Weapons of math instruction have been found throughout the city. I would LOVE to know why.

I have no words. Rumors about the cheating have been rampant for years, but Beverly Hall was the Golden Girl. Will she give back her bonuses now? Her awards? Or will continue to deny she played any part (although THAT lie is falling apart).

Six Word Saturday

Hold teachers to a higher standard.

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

This has been the week where Atlanta became - once again - the butt of America's jokes - in this case because Atlanta Public School was finally outed and over 100 educators have confessed to changing standardized test scores so that it looked like the schools were improving. I am not providing a link as there are literally thousands.

I understand being afraid of losing your job, but I do not understand selling your soul in order to keep the job.

But I digress.

I spent the week wrapping up a summer school class. Everyone had to do a PowerPoint presentation (because it was easier for the teacher to grade than a paper, I guess. Sitting through 2 dozen PowerPoints was torment.)

I am not a big fan of PowerPoints.

But I digress.

Everyone of these students was also a teacher and had at least a bachelor's degree. While no one owned up to teaching Language Arts, several talked about teaching reading.

I am so tired of the misuse of your and you're, of its and it's, there and they're and their. If the teachers would do this in a class, for a grade, in front of their peers, you know they misuse those same words when they teach.

No wonder the kids misuse the words. THEY WERE NEVER TAUGHT CORRECTLY.

I know every blogger, myself included, flubs while we write passionately about something. (I have corrected this 3 times now. But I corrected it!) But surely you take extra care when it is a class you are taking and presenting? For a grade. In front of other (theoretically) educated people?

One talked about "a families economic situation." Really?

No wonder the teachers in APS felt they had to lie and cheat. And, no, none of the teachers I am ridiculing were from APS.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Denver Hulsey: Esom Hill

This is one that Denver wrote - about the town he was born in. The man can play and sing - but the songs he has written himself are to blow you away.

Denver Hulsey - you'll be hearing more.