Saturday, December 15, 2012

Gun Violence + Schools = ?

Yesterday, a lone gunman armed with three weapons went into a school in Connecticut killing 20 children and 6 adults. This is a somber time for the nation, a time for us to ask "why", also a time for us to ask "can we do better?"

No doubt, there will be a huge storm of far left liberals using this tragedy as fodder for their cries to make all guns illegal. I count myself as a member of the center, subscribing to ideologies presented by both sides of the political spectrum, but I do not believe it was the gun's fault for this tragedy.

Pardon my brief moment of heartlessness, but the weapons functioned exactly as they were supposed to. Upon the increase of pressure upon the trigger, the weapon activated a hammer that drew back and struck the ignition cap of the bullet. The bullet's explosive charge ignited, launching the bullet and the barrel of the weapon guided the bullet out in a straight line. However, what each of the weapons had NO control over, was where they were pointed or whom they were pointed at. I want to be VERY technical here with word choice: Guns aren't DESIGNED to kill, they are DESIGNED to fire projectiles at high velocity in a single direction with accuracy. Guns' primary USE is to kill or wound people.

That being said, we now get to the question "Why?"

I do not know why this man did what he did. I do not like it, not one bit. What I do know is he demonstrated something, that schools are not fortresses and we have limitations to how far we are able to protect.

This is not a bad thing to know, it gives us the ability to evaluate our current ability and to learn from it. I do not mean to say the ends justify the means, but we must learn from this tragedy.

The next question "can we do better?" is a complicated question pulling at many pieces of our lives. I personally believe there should be a psych evaluation for first time gun buyers and ANYONE purchasing a weapon (be it the first or four thousandth) have a record check done for any kind of behavior demonstrating mental instability. I do not wish to deny people their second amendment rights, but we must make a better effort stop those whom are highly likely to abuse this right. I also must ask those opponents of the 3 day waiting period "what is so important that you absolutely HAVE to have a gun RIGHT THIS SECOND?"

I mentioned earlier that schools are not fortresses. They should not be. As of 2010, there are 67,140 elementary schools in the United States. Not all of them can afford the security measures we'd like, not all of them are in high risk areas. Some of these schools have daily incidents of children bringing weapons to school but never make the news because they're in impoverished areas when such things are the norm.

There are a few simple steps we can take to make schools safer. First, replace any glass doors with solid doors. In the time I've worked for schools, I have noticed many elementary schools have all doors made of glass, secondary schools have fewer doors made of glass, but only by a small margin. Second, classrooms with glass viewing windows in the doors should be replaced with smaller windows placed far enough away from the door handle that someone can't break the window and reach in for the door handle. Third, elementary schools have large playgrounds (which is good for the kids), but these playgrounds are fenced with simple waist high chain link fences. Replace these with 6-8ft stone/brick walls, this prevents someone from doing a drive by, makes general access tougher, and has the added bonus of preventing the pedophiles from coming by and watching or taking pictures.

Those three things are obscenely expensive, it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to do that for each school in the US, so what's a more practical solution? Just keep your eyes open for suspicious behavior. Everyone is so burred in their own worlds they seldom look up from their phones of turn off the mp3 players. If we were to just pay attention to the world around us, we'd be able to prevent a lot of the tragedies we see on the news.

This holiday season has been marred by horrible events. Please take some time out of your own plans to talk to your neighbors, get to know your community, do a random act of great kindness because sometimes, these little things, these insignificant actions mean the difference between someone committing suicide or deciding life is worth living, helping a neighbor in extreme poverty may prevent them from robbing a store just to buy their kid a Christmas present. We call this the season of peace on Earth and good will towards our fellows, then lets do it and make it count. There are 26 fewer of us tonight, lets make something good happen in their memory.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The "Family Values" Lie

"Family Values", those magic words used by both sides of the political spectrum we've heard for who knows how many years is a deceiving phrase. The more I hear it in the news, the more I hear the word "Republican". It seems, the republican party has a special romantic interest with this word yet I feel the need to quote Inigo Montoya:

I have observed that whenever the words "Republican" and "Family Values" are used in the same conversation, it's not so much about real family values, it's about homosexuals. I believe republicans use family values as a political safety word to protect themselves from outright insulting homosexuals.

So what are REAL family values? I'm gonna stick my neck out and say this: REAL family values are the values that say we treat each other with respect, that no matter someone's lifestyle choices you care for your family. When your brother's boyfriend breaks up with him, you're there to comfort him through those hard times. When your sister has lost her job, home, children, and life savings due to a nasty and public divorce, you stand by her. When your children get in trouble, you discipline them, but you never stop believing that they can be better than you. That your needs do not come before the needs of your loved ones and as a parent, you are responsible for raising your children.

You won't find a single elected official who will say to the contrary (and if you do, they won't be elected for long).

I would love to vote for republicans because some of their ideas are good ones, but so long as they keep using "family values" as a catch all for gay bashing, then no republican shall get my vote. No one deserves to be unjustly discriminated against because of what they do in the privacy of their own home.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The news has been reduced to a Vaudeville carnival

Through the years prior today, I have noticed a trend in journalism. The quality of the material being broadcast has declined sharply.

I know from the point of view of those in the media, I'm only some random schmuck who further dilutes the overall collective of journalism, but I believe I have a point.

Many journalists enter the field with the dreams and desires to have their names listed along with Murrow, Frost, and others. But, through a whole slew of terrible management decisions, these bright aspiring individuals have their light extinguished. Everyone panders to their masters: the heads of the news companies, who have their own insidious plots. They put pressure on the anchors and staff to write stories that fit their agendas, use certain words and phrases to turn public opinion in their favor. On top of all of this, they are also pressured to refrain from attacking their corporate sponsors. They could be sponsored by a company which runs illegal Chinese immigrant sweatshops that kill kittens, and they would sweep all of that under the rug with a song and dance about how great the company is and how the mean old opposition is being unfair and wrong.

Why do we, the consumer, sit back and let the news companies spoon feed us lies and half truths? Why don't we write in mass numbers to them and tel them to give us the news and not the opinions?

Answer: We're stupid and Lazy.

We're too lazy to fact check the claims that are broadcast over the airwaves and we just accept it as truth.

"What? Bill O'Reilly said that I'm a burden on society because I'm black? Well, I may not like it, but it's on the news, it MUST be true!"

That's an's Bill O'Reiley in my example, so maybe it's not. I'd also believe it if some one told me he read my blog and going to smear me on his show tonight. It's people like him (along with a few notable others) who cater to the lowest common denominator.

Bill, here's a request: Instead of yelling at people and talking over them because you don't like their opinions, let them have their say. YOU invited them on your show to tell their side of the story so let them say it, then tell them you respectfully disagree on several grounds and ask them to corroborate their claims and leave the final decision to the viewers. If you treat your viewers like they're capable of making their own choices on controversial ideas, then you're going to be head and shoulders above many talk show hosts both literally and figuratively.

Much of what I see on the local networks is nothing more than drivel, why have 4 broadcasts a day when there's only enough to fill the content of one or two? We all know that the big news will interrupt regular programming.

Mostly local news consists of three things, local flavor, local tragedy, and low level investigation. Low level investigation is the anchor's attempt to find the one story to get them out of the purgatory they call the city station. It usually involves blowing a non-story out of proportion. Local tragedy is always important because it tells us the state of the city, whether a house burnt down and caught the entire block on fire, or someone was kidnapped, it's all valid reporting. Now the last type of news is the type I loath the most; local flavor. They go out and talk to a random person who has done nothing of significance and make them the story, or three anchors pretend to laugh at a video of an animal doing something cute. It's filler and the world knows it. They don't have anything else to say or do and they need to fill the last two or three minutes of air time before the next 5 minute commercial block starts. I would rather watch the traffic reports, at least they affect me.

So why am I throwing a fit over something like this? Because it matters. We're being spoon fed crap and we've been trained to like it. I for one would like to demand a higher level of reporting from the news outlets. Local news: scrap the crap and tell your journalists to find corrupt politicians, engage the citizens in a dialogue about local events and law, talk about the state/federal representatives in thare and hold them accountable for their actions, promote the knowledge of the things that effect EVERYONE.

Even the major news outlets like CNN have had their balls chopped off. I have discovered CNN specifically putting up an inflammatory non-story news report for the sole purpose of getting people to fight about it in the comments section so they can have 3 days worth of "What do you think" articles to talk about. While I will be reasonable and count it as an ATTEMPT to engage the readership, I classify it as a FAILED attempt. I don't want to read an article about one illegal immigrant and have to endure days of them putting the ensuing flame war on the front page and calling THAT news.

My note to the major networks: sometimes, there's just no news. DEAL WITH IT.

Journalists, go after the stories you know you should, bite the hand that feeds you. YOU need to remind us there's more to life than squirrels on surfboards and calling your company's political enemy a dirt bag. Also, please stop using shock value to sell a story, tell us how it is.

To everyone else, tell congress to clean the news up. Eradicate corporate sponsorship of the news, and let the real journalists do their thing. Until then, make your own news because those guys aren't cutting it.

A final note: I want everyone to know I respect the REAL journalists, the brave men and women who put their lives in danger by entering unfriendly countries for the purpose of letting the world know of the atrocities  taking place in those borders. These brave people, along with their support crew help change the world and I thank EACH and EVERY one of you!

Friday, August 10, 2012

School discipline and families

Articles like this (click here for the text) make me unhappy.

Not because of what he does, but because people treat it like it's a sudden revelation that's never been thought of in the history of the world's civilizations.

"Hmm, treat kids with respect and talk out their problems instead of blindly punishing them?"

Well, how about I put it like this; every time you make a lane change without looking over your shoulder, you get a ticket. Some magic MacGuffin is in your vehicle watching you and whenever you change lanes, regardless of circumstance, gives you a ticket for not looking over your shoulder.

Does looking over your shoulder make you a safer driver? Certainly! Does NOT doing so constitute grounds for punishment? Certainly not!

That example right there is the equivalent of what many kids go through at schools.

We're going to break this entire article down section by section and not only take a look at what is being said, but also what is not being said.

Section 1: The Dark Underbelly of School Discipline

Dark underbelly? No, we all know exactly what is going on, no one wants to admit it. If you have kids and are in the least bit attentive and use your brain, you'll know something's wrong with the way discipline works. First, every time a news article throws segregated statistics at the public, they continue to propagate the idea that race determines one's limits.

Eric Harris and Dylan Keibold

If the names are unfamiliar, then that is unfortunate. They may not be the direct cause, but they certainly contributed to the "Zero Tolerance" policy most campuses have adopted. Those boys are the two shooters in the Columbine shootings, where they injured/killed 36 people including themselves.

You can ask any one who's had a gun aimed at them and shots fired with the intent to kill (like our brave solders), it is in those moments that you find out the limits of your mortality. You try to save your life. Teachers are no different, we will try everything in our power to protect our students, but there is a threshold where the instinct to survive overwhelms everything else and we are compelled to run too.

It was in the spirit of preventing this tragedy from happening again, and creating a drug free environment that "Zero Tolerance" was created.

This isn't to absolve parents of their own idiocy though. I've said it before, parents are stupid. Teachers are NOT a substitute for them and yet they expect teachers to raise their children. Okay, fine, we'll raise your children too. Then we get grief for not raising them the way the parents wanted.


If you are a parent who's abdicated your responsibilities to your child's teachers and don't like the outcome, it's YOUR FAULT. YOU are to blame, your lack of interest in the human being YOU brought into the world is not their fault, if you didn't want a child then have an abortion or give it up for adoption! You'll never hear a teacher say any of that because they're too scared, the moment a teacher speaks out about the subject they get fired so fast it makes their heads spin and it's not the principal's fault. The principal has to do it to protect the rest of the school from the rest of the stupid parents who will flood the school and the district office with complaints. So what do we do? Fire the teacher who told the truth and pretend everything is A-okay.

These knee jerk reactions are why we use "Zero Tolerance", teachers know that two kids pretending to stab each other with pencils are only goofing off and pretending they're in a horror movie. But, we have to write them up and send them to the office or else we get in trouble.

Suspensions were supposed to be a hefty slap to the face, used only in extreme situations where the principal really didn't want to expel the student. But, for many of the lower achievers who are proud of that mark, they see it as a badge of honor. How can you be cool of you don't get suspended for telling a teacher "you're a dumb motherfucker if you think I need to know how to read this bullshit"?

That's the kind of language that gets thrown at teachers by some of these students. The sad part is, sometimes they believe it too. Most of the time they say things like that to see if they can make the teacher explode. We're good at shrugging it off, but it will eventually wear us down.

Suspensions are not bad, they may be overused, but they're not bad. I applaud the Principal in the article for actually practicing alternative methods, and to the rest of the educational community, I say "why haven't YOU joined in too?"

Actually I know exactly why: we're outmatched. With class sizes pushing 30:1 in favor of students, we just don't have time to do that with every single problem student on top of everything else. Its not an issue of we don't want to, it's an issue of there are not enough hours in the day.

This section of the article finishes with a mention of alternative learning schools (ALC's) and how they're bad. I flat out disagree. There are some people out there who just don't care about school, they don't want to be there and they will do everything in their power to get out. Laws require them to be in school so why not put them somewhere where they won't disrupt those that are learning and taking their education seriously.

The article tries its hardest to tell us that each child is unique but should be treated equally. That's nonsense, everyone is different and should be treated differently. Before you get your undies in a twist about me being a racist or something, I will be clear about what I mean. Every child requires a different approach in the pursuit of convincing them that education is important. Every child reacts to information differently. Every child learns differently.

I once taught a trombone player who no matter what he did, could only play one note. No matter where the slide was on that instrument, the same sound would come out. I sat with him for three days trying every method at my disposal and making new ones up, but nothing worked. Eventually I could find no other way to explain the concept he needed to learn and I just told him what I wanted in college terms. I used explanations that were 10 years ahead of what his understanding should be. I explained the science behind what he was doing and all of a sudden it clicked for him. In another two lessons not only could he could play the trombone successfully, he was able to self teach the rest of his materials.

With that diversion aside I want to stress that ALC's are not pretty, but I dare a single parent to say they want their kids sharing a class with someone who routinely brings a lighter to school and has no qualms about setting fire to the building just so he/she doesn't have to be in class. Tell me that's not disruptive behavior, I DARE you to tell me.

Section 2: How Mr. Sporleder stumbled across an epiphany in Spokane

I categorize this entire section as a "Nah, really?!" statement. Seriously! Here's a few excerpts from the article to prove my point:

"Severe and chronic trauma (such as living with an alcoholic parent, or watching in terror as your mom gets beat up) causes toxic stress in kids." -John Medina

"Punishing misbehavior just doesn’t work. You’re simply adding trauma to an already traumatized kid."

NAH, REALLY?! So you're saying that being abused is bad for kids and not allowing them refuge from it at school is bad too?!

It really raises my hackles that this is being treated as some ground breaking discovery! Its all true info, just implement it!

Section 3: This is your (damaged) brain on ACEs

This section is one that I rather enjoy, it's where they actually bring in proof to support their claims. Now it is rather unfortunate that several of their claims and numbers are being misrepresented to suit their own desires.
The article cites this chart to back their claims made earlier in the article. I applaud their efforts, but all they've done is shown is that children with traumatic childhoods are more likely to become alcoholics. A brief summary of the chart: the vertical axis is the percent chance a child will become an alcoholic, the horizontal axis is the number of types of traumatic experiences (up to 10) a child has. This chart says nothing about how that info affects school work or discipline.

This chart discusses the chances of developing depression per gender versus the number of types of traumatic childhood experiences. Like the previous chart, it mentions nothing about how it affects school work or discipline.

Now, we can infer that  there is a higher ratio of children with these higher numbers in discipline oriented classrooms (or ALC's), but where is the chart that says just that? The article  gave us great examples, but failed to apply them to the subject at hand: how a traumatic life may affect a child's education.

Section 4: Natalie Turner’s two simple rules for dealing with troubled students

The two simple rules are good, in fact I would love to use them, but I have two issues with it. One, you can not stop class for 30 minutes to have a heart to heart with a student. That gets you in trouble with the principal. You're a teacher, you followed the two rules and the student has connected with YOU. Sending the student to talk to the councilors won't help, the student didn't connect with them, he/she connected with YOU. You can't leave your class unattended to talk to him or her, if anything happens in there while you're gone you're fired immediately. I can't justify using this system until there is a way for me to talk to them without ending the class for the day and disrupting the learning of the others. I fully accept that this student needs special attention and help, but if you are the only one the student trusts to talk about these matters and they won't talk to the councilors, then you better be prepared to put up with not being able to teach anymore.

My second issue is the examples given of complex abuse are things I would call the child abuse tip line for. By the way, if you suspect a child is in one of the living situations listed in this section and may be in dangerous living conditions, call (800) 4-A-CHILD and leave an anonymous tip. It's free, it's guaranteed anonymous for your protection so don't hesitate to call and protect someone who can't protect themselves.

Section 5: The red zones of Lincoln High
I'm not a fan of buzz words but if it works, then use it. The important thing is that it gets them to calm down and working thins out like adults. I whole heatedly support this idea, teaching them to calm down and work out their differences verbally and politely is a huge step to preventing them from becoming future criminals. Unless you're Jason Borne, you don't start a fist fight with a level head. This idea of cooling off should be applied to the political world as well. I am a rather big fan of two opposing ideologies sitting down and working out their differences peacefully. So perhaps our leaders can learn form the examples provided by the students of this school.

Section 6: What else do the kids say?

This is a look at what the kids of the school have to say and how they're doing. I'm happy for them, happy that they are overcoming their problems, able to learn to deal with them and are becoming successful. Each one of them had a rough time, I feel especially for the young bullied girl because it should have never gotten that far, yet it did. The young boy who was removed from his family and sent to foster care has done admirably in dealing with the difficulties of his personal life and I hope he is able to accept that those issues were not his fault in any way. These are good kids who needed help, help from an over worked system of underpaid teachers and administrators and they finally got what they needed.

Section 7: School’s ACE survey helps kids, teachers understand each other

They give us a sampling of the questions they ask and some of the results, a rather unfortunate look into the lives of these kids. Then the article goes on to once again draw a conclusion that this causes diseases in the future. I still can not accept that these are related directly to physical health. I can accept a direct correlation to mental health and an indirect link to physical health, but not direct physical.

Section 8: The Health Clinic at Lincoln High

Children are impressionable, we have always been aware of that and what possesses some people to have families then neglect their offspring is nothing but sickening to me. I am not surprised at the revelation that kids need more mental help than physical, now the data backs up what teachers have instinctively know for a long time. Kids from broken or damaged homes need help. The fact that they built a health center to help teach these kids to heal and be safe mentally and physically all through volunteer efforts is an admirable achievement. There are many school districts that could learn from this and make great changes for so many disadvantaged students.

The rest of the article wraps up the whole story of this school and its principal, their desire to continue improving this new program, and the wish for a successful example towards other school districts. I wish them the best in this endeavor.

My personal conclusion about the entire article is that it is foolish to treat this like a novel concept when in fact it should have been done long ago. I would personaly condemn many states and communities for neglecting their disadvantaged populations for so long, but it is also important to keep in mind the limitations created by the parents. If you should take anything away form this, take this; if you ever want to be a parent, be active and positive in your child's life. If you're irresponsible enough to blow your government assistance on a tv as opposed to keeping your family fed and clothed then consider birth control or abortion. Don't let a child be born into a family that will abuse it.

If you suspect ANY child is in an abusive home or situation, do not hesitate to call  (800) 4-A-CHILD or else YOU are part of the problem.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

(applies to women too)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Your teachers are NOT paid too much money

I have yet to meet one, but there are people out there who believe school teachers are paid too much. They are wrong. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, even wrong ones, but this is an opinion that shouldn't be allowed.

Why do they think that?

In explaining this we come across a multi-faced problem, the biggest ones are; the state, parents, students, and teachers.

The state is the eternal thorn in the side of every teacher. The state has in some form or another provided free education, available to any child, so it is only natural that they wish the institutions they fund to meet certain standards in quality. The most popular form of this takes the form of state testing. The critical flaw in this line of reasoning is in how the testing and the state mandated curriculum overlap (I will use Texas as an example because I am the most familiar with it). The state standards for the curriculum are set by the texas board of education. A semi-civilian/state business who's role is to oversee all school districts in the state (and in extreme cases, take over or shut down schools or districts). There are fifteen people in charge of this organization and the unfortunate part is they are all associated to political parties. So instead of 15 people who wish to provide the highest standards in knowledge and turn the student population into free thinkers (whom are able to objectively review information, make decisions for themselves, and synthesize new information), they want to redact Thomas Jefferson's emphasis on the separation of church and state and emphasize the importance of religion to the founding fathers. Anyone who simply reads some basic history books will learn that the founding fathers were non denominational or spiritualists and they designed the Establishment Clause in the 1st amendment for that reason. The primary issue teachers take with the state is the state testing. Because so much of our job security relies on students passing it, teachers tend to suspend teaching the subjects in lieu of teaching students how to take the test and what will be on the test. We have to do this because it is all that we know that will be on the test, if we try to go beyond the test, we risk the grades going down, lowering government aid, and risk intervention from outside agencies.

The students are the easiest problem to fix and are directly related to the issue of the parents. Kids are kids, they will always misbehave and they will always find a reason to do it as often as possible, but with the parents standing behind the teachers the children will improve drastically.

The teachers as part of the problem invokes the classic adage: "those who cannot do, teach". You can not fathom how wrong this is.  I have personally refused to accept jobs I am qualified for because I desire more practical experience in my field before I teach so I can expand the knowledge of my subject. Then there are the few unfortunate teachers that prove the adage right, they have spent twenty years a geologist for an oil company that just went out of business and need a new job. They're too old to be hired at another company so they tell themselves "well, geology is a type of science, so I'll teach!" so they get their certification and begin to fail miserably at inspiring and teaching. They do not understand how to teach children, they never had to manage a room of thirty or forty kids without a safety net of any kind (the master teacher to back them up or the assistant principal on standby). So they yell and scream at the kids assuming that is how it works. This is a terrible idea, one of the most important functions of a teacher is to impart the desire to achieve greater things and yelling at the kids isn't going to work. Another BIG issue is one teacher trying to teach a class of over thirty-five students. There are very few fields of study that involve classes of that size (music and physical education being two of them). Music teachers are used to classes of fifty and larger because that is the environment they were taught their subject in. However when a math teacher has to teach forty disinterested kids, it quickly devolves to hell on earth. So why do we have classrooms with thirty plus kids on average? Because of budget cuts. Schools know they don't have enough space so they try to get a building expansion, but the taxpayers don't want to pay anymore so the school has to make do. The school shuffles the room assignments around to free up some extra space to hire more teachers but when the school district proposes another tax hike to pay for their salaries, the tax payers say no. These kids are the ones who will be running the businesses you shop at, the backbone of your community and yet so few are willing to contribute what is needed to make their education more valuable.

The last group that causes unmitigated pain in the word of teaching is the most significant: parents. At some point in the 80's or 90's parents activated some form of telepathic osmosis and decided that school wasn't a place to learn, it was a free babysitter. "My kid dun need no lernun', he gun be a tow truck drivr like mah daddy, and me." Well bravo sir, you're now part of the problem. I have nothing against tow truck drivers, they perform a necessary function, what I do have a problem with is people down playing the importance of education just because they don't think they'll need it later. Even the lowliest of jobs require math, reading, basic science, critical thinking, and reasoning. There is NO reason for parents to tell a child that education is not important, NONE what so ever. Parents, teachers aren't trying to tell you how to raise your children, they're giving you tools to make it easier and to give your child a better chance at being that famous doctor or lawyer or scientist. No matter the economic background, if a parent is willing to be interested in their child's life and education, the teacher will bend over backwards and jump through as many hoops as possible to help, guaranteed. Parents, YOU are the final say as to whether what we teach matters so please PLEASE help your teachers.

Finally, we return to the subject that this article was written for. NO your teacher is not paid too much. Teachers are willing to spend their own meager earning to try and give their students a chance at success, something the parents should be doing. We work hard to make the day's lesson a positive and memorable experience, worthy of the student saying "Yes, this is important to know."

I wish to impart one last piece of info before you return to your daily routine, how much a teacher is paid.

about $46,500/yr

Lets break it down:

the summer break is on average 2-3 months long, some districts allow teachers to take all their salary during only the school year, some get it all 12 months. We will look at both types.

Monthly pay:
9 month: 46,500/9= 5,166/mo
12 month: 46,500/9= 3,875/mo

Daily pay:
9 month (30 day/mo avg): 5,166/30=172.20/day
12 month (365 days): 46,500/365=127.39/day

per student*:
9 month (180 students): 172.20/180=0.95/student
12 month (180 students): 127.39/180=0.70/student

*the average teacher has 6 classes of 30 students each (6*30=180)

That is before taxes (federal/state/local/social/etc.) which varies from state to state. If you wish to get more accurate, then the final result would be to subtract 7 to 13 cents from the per student numbers.

Conclusion: Your child's teacher is paid 0.70 to 0.95 cents a day to teach them. If you think being paid less than a dollar a day per student is a fair wage then you are wrong. Plain and simple wrong.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

99% of you won't re-post this because of breast cancer


I want it to be known that I HATE activist text images. Specifically the ones you see on facebook that talk about some real life problem then concludes by saying "I bet 99% of WON'T repost this, but if you have a heart then share this on your wall!"

That is bullshit

Being 'aware' of something doesn't make it better, it just becomes common knowledge that you're not doing anything about it. I don't care that you support bully awareness! You're not helping! If you want to help stop bullying, go and volunteer to be a mentor for troubled kids at a school. Seriously, I'm tired of everyone saying "I'm [insert problem here] aware". Don't talk about it, don't 'be aware', don't mess around. FIX THE PROBLEM. If you have a kid, preemptively stop them from being a bully by teaching them to not be a jerk OR to be so passive. Bullies pick on those they think won't defend themselves, so teach your kid to stand up and do something about it. This goes for Haiti awareness too, don't just talk about donating money, get some serious cash, donate it then volunteer to go in and help them rebuild. There's a whole mess of problems out there, don't be aware, be a fixer.

Next Rant:


That doesn't mean I don't like women or value others. I simply do not support the idea that women should be placed above men. I don't believe the other way either, you knee-jerking idiots. If you want to make a huge deal out of researching and curing a gender specific cancer, then I call for equal treatment. Why not have a prostate cancer awareness month? Sell armbands that read I LOVE NUTS! It'll never happen though, it's not marketable. It's quirky and funny seeing little boys and girls wear wrist bands that read  "I love boobies!" but the moment you have a little girl wear one that says "I love nuts!" her parents will be arrested and investigated for child abuse.

Individuals and companies pour millions into breast cancer research and that's wonderful, it will be a golden day when breast cancer is beaten. However, in the meantime, prostate cancer is still there, we have no idea how to figure out who will get it and if its not caught fast enough the result is death (like most cancers). So women, men go to bat for breast cancer research, why can't YOU go to bat for prostate cancer research?


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Feed your children the arts


I want it to be known to everyone out there that anyone who doesn't put their children into some kind of creative arts program is an idiot. I want to wage a war on the vacuous mindset of this country, cast down the idiots and install creative, cultured, intelligent people in their places. The greatest minds of our time have all spoken on the importance of learning music and the arts and it's the same message:

"There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres."
-- Pythagoras

The United States of America is looked down upon because of our terrible school system and our fascination with celebrities, I want to prove them wrong. Go out, be creative, make music or art or write or express yourself in a way that makes others think and for the love of crap: teach your children to do the same!