Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I still love to talk shop

A six-year-old boy and two of his classmates have been suspended from school for one day. They took paper towels and stopped up a urinal. The urinal was broken and was running water. They flooded the restroom, the hallway and part of a classroom.

Mom is doing the right thing. She is backing the school's position.

In the meantime, a urinal running water is sort of like a mud puddle. Well, not as attractive as a mud puddle. Have you ever seen a small boy and a mud puddle? I've seen few who didn't rise to the occasion of splashing it. Girls have a lower rate of splattering the water, but they will too.

I worked for a non-profit and some of the wilder science night programs produced a broken tuning fork. It is a pretty stout piece of metal. One school would run the science night for two hours.  One obnoxious thing some boys would do was take the chemicals for the chemical change activities and just pour them all together. No one could do the activity. At one, a grandfather did it. At the two hour program, a girl did it.

I don't like the child's punishment for flooding the floors. We have moved ahead and backward. In my opinion, two smacks with a paddle and have them miss recess and empty each classroom's trashcans for the custodian. You can't do either one today.

I would have let mom punish him. I used to tell students they could get their parents to write a note and to excuse them from doing homework. It never happened.

But I know why the school took that tactic and they really had to. They have to have discipline and water on the floor destroys the building and can produce an accident.

In a county I worked in, a teacher was using alcohol burners for a science experiment. Two boys decided to toss a lit burner between them. The teacher told them to stop. You guessed it, they did not stop. One boy was sloshed with alcohol and his clothes caught fire.

The teacher was sued and the boy collected damages. Even though he was seventeen, the teacher was held liable because she did not stop class and take the alcohol burners away. A simple request to stop the behavior was not enough.

Meanwhile, there have been so many times I walked into the boys bathroom because too much was going on. It was almost always water and soap on the floor and the crew was sliding. The restroom was shut down until the floors were dried.

I have to say I was lucky. I never had a serious accident where a child was harmed nor was I sued.

Called on the carpet, is another story. The irony of this is when I did screw up, the parents were OK that I was human. It was always a crackpot that called the complaint.

Since I have retired, I have had a bad experience with a formerly home-schooled individual. They have made false police reports about me. They said I had been pulling fence posts out of the ground for one thing. I'm strong but not that strong. Plus at my age, you don't risk your rotator cuff or back over stuff like that.

Law enforcement came by to make sure my dog was not the guilty of what it was accused one night. It wasn't. The dog they reported had a broken back. The officer was nice and she casually asked me these questions. I know they had to verify, but I was disgusted. Particularly since they have done some pretty annoying and threatening things to me. I have told them to stay off my property and put a fence up.

Long story short, they aren't honorable which is what I suspected about many crackpots, I know I have not given details, but they could harass me with specifics. The bullies in my life have taught me sometimes you lose.

Parents might not agree with you but if you were honest and had their child's welfare at heart. You could work with them. And yes, if it did not affect other kids, I gave them what they wanted. I had one student whose parents felt it was unfair I made him keep a notebook. I didn't push the issue. The other children knew it. They said nothing. They turned in their notebooks. It wasn't worth the battle.

One thing I do know, I was never able to teach a high school student how to organize their work. Sixth grade was pretty rocky the first week, the first three weeks but by the first six weeks, it was an easy A for all.

Monday, September 7, 2015

My favorite job

What was my favorite job?

For someone who has bellyached the most about retiring too soon. I don't know.

I've been reading others who joined the blog hop on A Life Examined by Michael G D'Agostino.

My experience with work was I owe, I owe, its off to work I go. The spectre of poverty has hung over my head my entire life and taken so much joy from it. My parents grew up in dire straits during the depression of the 1930s and the scarring was passed down. The South suffered the most in the depression.

The South has had a system where wealth was concentrated with a few and most people lived on quite paltry sums of money. Pierce Butler, lived in Philidelphia, was a congressman from South Carolina and owned the largest amount of slaves before the civil war. His grandson who was also named Pierce Butler, sold off a large amount of slaves to settle debt. So many families were broken and separated by this event. Fanny Kemble and Pierce Butler

That shadow still haunts Georgia. You have islands of prosperity such as Atlanta and military installations contrasted with huge stretches of cotton mill wage places.

I retired early to take care of family members. The recognition that earning money was not the only important thing in my life was a jolt. I initially started writing to  Make Money. Now I know, you don't write to make money.

I don't have the money I had. I have had to learn to live within a budget. However, embracing my creative side has produced a change in personality and confidence. So I have to say, this unpaid hobby of mine has to be my favorite.

Socrates said a life unexamined was a life not worth living. I don't know, shallowness has its own appeal. Writing has made me examine my life and the world in general. When I spent my time chasing my tail, I had no time to really know what was going on.

I have made huge life decisions at times of forced solitude. One momentous one was moving to Atlanta without a job before the summer alotment of my teaching checks stopped. I was working as a peach grader and had a lot of time to think. So I quit, found an apartment in Atlanta and moved. I wound up teaching school again but it was in a better situation with a much better boss. I had some room to grow and relax.

Paid jobs I have had are peach grader, waittress, cafeteria worker, anatomy lab aide, fast food counter help, teacher, grocery checker, check processor, retail sales, non-profit coordinator, school programmer and performer. Each one of them have provided what I wanted, money.

I was a caring teacher. However, I worked for a paycheck. So, when politicians want to pay teachers peanuts, there is going to be a shortage. I almost left two times because the pay was so poor. Working class people can't afford to work for nothing.

This is why I put the purple in a red state. I appreciate the values of hard work and independence. I have been blessed with a job most of my life. I just know the Koch brothers only value more money for themselves and I am just disposable like the slaves were to Pierce Butler. What I like about writers is so many are independent thinkers. They recognize the vaguries of life.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Getting on schedule

B-b-b-back to making a schedule. Then follow it.

I am in pitiful shape.

Well, not pitiful shape. I think I might reserve that for people caught in a war zone or in dire straits.

For me, it is resolve. I need to mow grass. The devil is beating his wife. I'll try to slip out in about an hour and see if the grass has dried enough to not clog up the lawnmower blades.

I picked muscadine grapes last night. We are all eating them like they are going out of style. I'll be picking more soon. It's a good thing we don't make wine. I don't know that we could stop eating them or drinking their juice. It would be hopeless to try to pick enough.

I have decided with much regret to go back to an exercise facility. I love going, don't get me wrong. I just hate giving that time up. I have not gotten into an exercise routine at home. My diabetes is being cranky and I have to exercise to get it in check.

I signed up for Playbuzz and I plan to create a few quizzes. I have a personality profile called Animal, Vegetable or Mineral in the works. No, it is not scientific. Just a series of questions with a laugh I hope. Of course, I don't think anyone think the profiles are real, just a laugh before you get back to work.

My series of science literacy will be a bit harder. However, a winner will not be ever called a nerd or geek. No stereotypes will be reinforced by my quizzes. But there will be lots of pictures of my dogs.

My goal is to produce one once a month on the fifteenth of the month. I also plan to work on science drawing activities which I hope will improve math skills for children. My home obligations are erratic, but I am hoping to volunteer at an elementary school to see how well they work. Give some teachers a break and hopefully help a few children. I have missed the classroom.

My last schedule goal is to finish the screenplay of a film I would like to make this winter. After the first big frost, all the snakes will go in their holes and I will get my cameras out. Hopefully, the screenplay will jive with some local actors and we will be in business.

So how do you do with schedules?




Friday, September 4, 2015

You don't always get what you want.



I always say I don't watch reality television. Well, I am not being totally honest. Every summer I watch Big Brother. I don't watch the show the first couple of weeks. It is boring.

But after about four or five get voted out, I get interested. Each week, I am usually heartbroken over who gets voted out. After all, they are young and so likable. There is always one you do not like. I have to remind myself that all but two will be voted out. It is amazing how much drama they can create in one hour with editing hours of video.

My favorite this year, was James, the Chinese hillbilly. James grew up in South Carolina, and he is a Southern man through and through. He is unusual for Big Brother in that he had guts and took bold moves when he had a chance. It is hard to root for those who use the "old boy" system to the end. They call them alliances but people drop one another on a dime.

I'm pretty much done with the show now. There is no one I really care if they win. The winner will probably be my least favorite, Vanessa. She is slightly older and has done a great job manipulating who gets voted out.

There is a set of twins and one of the twins have a showmance with a professional wrestler named Austin. Johnny Mac is a longshot, but he is who I like best. Steven has a snowballs chance in hell of winning. He is not with the main crew even though he has been loyal to them. He is head of household this week which means he will choose the two who will go home.

It is like politics. Such a disappointment when your candidate loses but your friend can be thrilled they lost. How the decisions affect people remains to be seen.

One thing that has been on the web is the release of names with Ashley Madison. Nothing done on a computer is secure. I am predicting quite a bit of blackmail. I hope there are laws in place for people being prosecuted for blackmailing someone.

One reason I side with the members is that so many signed up out of curiosity and nothing more. I have joined sites just because I was nosy. I had a Facebook account for years with no friends. I only used it to snoop.

Secondly if we were all responsible for nefarious thoughts not expressed, we would all be up the creek without a paddle. There was a presumption of privacy. The fact that people had to pay to have their profile scrubbed speaks volumes.

Josh Duggar's involvement has more to do with his family's "holier than thou" attitude and their influence on our culture. So many would emulate them and their family size is impractical. Their public disapproval of others just makes them more vulnerable to public chastising.

I don't think it took Ashley Madison to expose Josh. So many already knew.

It is like Bill Cosby. People knew. His wealth and money-making clout for everyone around him keep his perversion secret. I call it a perversion in that many women would have had sex with him just because of his celebrity. He didn't need to drug women. Jared Fogle being a pedophile. Someone had to know. But once again, Fogle's clout probably silenced victims and possible witnesses.

It is surprising where your opinions land sometimes. I hope Josh Duggar moves forward with his life in a positive way due to the scandal. I think he has a lot to offer to his wife, children and himself.
Ashley Madison is a bit of madness. I mean hooking up with a sex worker online speaks for itself.

I have learned much about posting comments. I comment to most blogs I read. On passionate topics in the news, I try to not have an opinion. The comments can be better than the article. The comments can also be a waste. All I know is an ill-formed tweet or comment could backfire.