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The Duck Debacle

Phil Robertson had the audacity to speak his mind in an interview.  Shocker:  You can tell by watching the show that he is (as Popeye would say) what he is.  We have in Louisiana a very free and open society.  Many people do not want to believe this as it is the South…

1- It is a very Laissez-faire attitude that (unfortunately in some cases) prevails the state.   What you choose to say or do is not our problem.  Our problem is how to survive this area and economy.  You can do as you please, we may not agree with you, we just won’t care. 

2-Religious freedom is what brought most of us to America.  Remember that?  Trying to stop others from expressing their religious ideas is a path NO ONE wishes to travel.  Besides, make a martyr out of old Phil and you have a whole new nest of snakes with which to deal.

3-Phil had a crossbow.  Wish I had one.  I killed a cottonmouth on my back porch three weeks ago while holding a small dog.   One of the fields I own seems to grow bears.  The deer are everywhere.  Please, let me tell you I had to fence in ¼ of my home place to protect my dogs and grands from the alligators.  AND I DON”T LIVE NEAR A SWAMP!  I live in Louisiana.  Animals are everywhere. 

Animal husbandry is a science more people need to study.   If someone does not thin the herd, density dependent factors come into play.  Animals starve, or become disease ridden if allowed to over-populate. 

5-My neighbors are all shades of brown.  My neighbors are of so many persuasions, ethnicities, and religions that I don’t notice.  Many visitors to my home have expressed horror at the fact that there are no clearly defined “areas” where certain populations live.  I never realized I needed to notice this phenomenon.

6-I am both a scientist AND a Christian.  I do not find a dichotomy in my beliefs.  One enhances the other. I teach Chemistry and Physics.  I have taught Biology.  No problem.  God is Great, and I don’t try to explain that.  Science tries to explain the natural world from a human standpoint. 

  I can explain many reasons for studying both the bible and science, but, most people don’t want to know both sides of the coin.  Most of us enjoy an insular existence.  Most of us want to be comforted by the truth we know and embrace. 

7-Do not bother trying to change my mind.  It is not closed; I am just no longer interested in the debate.  Let it rage…I won’t care.  To misquote Nanny Ogg:  My mind is so broad I could pull it through my ears and wrap it around my head.

8-Trolls abide.  Speak your truth Phil Robertson.

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what are we teaching these kids???

Today we began administering midterm exams.  At the end of one period I listened to J.G. explain the following social studies lesson to her cousin CT…

“No, we own that…Because it is in America.”  (I don’t teach social studies, but then maybe no one does)

C.T. seems to not believe we own something.  He says “no we don’t”

By now I am being sucked into the argument.  “We won it in some war. Everyone knows it.”  I can’t stand it.   

“What do we own?” There, I asked.

“Mexico.”  J.G. is so proud to trot out her vast knowledge. We are aghast.  

Finally, C.T. says that no, he doesn’t think so…else why would there be a border? 

Why indeed? 

No good explanation can be found for teenagers. I just went back to working with students wanting help in science. And left the brain trust in the back of the room to prep for their social studies midterm exam.

 

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Jaws

A 15 year old student had her teeth buried in my arm.  All I could think was  “huh…”  (backtrack to how we got here)

My first few years teaching I learned A LOT, much that I wish I could forget.  1995 (man, this story is hard to get into words) I transferred to a small school.  I had a student that became obsessed with me.  Don’t know why, she just wanted my attention.   I tried every technique in every book to get rid of her.  I had students attempt to warn me about her behavior.  Talked to my administrator and she assured me that the young lady would realize that I was NOT her mother.  right.

On a Thursday I was working on my planning period, helping a very pregnant student try to get ahead in her work.  I was also helping a state FBLA officer catch up with the month’s work she had missed.  Not one sound except pencil scratching on paper.  Muttered questions.  Quiet. 

I reached across the table to help one of the students.  All at once, That Girl jumped out from behind my desk where she had been hiding.  She latched onto my arm and locked her jaw tight.  Very, VERY calmly I said “You have five seconds to get off my arm.  Don’t say anything, just get out while you can go.”  I remember time sloooowwwingggg as I thought “now, that is weird…” 

She started to try to cry.  I said “Now, you are down to three seconds.  And may I suggest you go?”  I really was holding myself very still and trying to keep calm.   The pregnant girl started to cry.  The young lady in question RAN from my room.  I went to the office and reported the activity.  I had to go through a hearing to get her suspended. I did not ask for expulsion or even an unreasonable amount of time.  I asked for enough time to let me calm down.  Her  Parent kept calling me to explain her behavior.   Did NOT want to listen.

End of story?  NO.  The story went parish wide.  Which is bad when your entire area has less people in it than a small town. 

The next year, the entire school was absorbed by a larger high school 5 miles away.  First day of class, In walks That Girl.  I said “good day, please take your seat.”  and pointed to a seat near the middle of the class.  She sat down and I thought that would be the end of the story.  Is there ever an end to a wild tale like this? No. 

A student from the new school announces loudly “Hey, ain’t that the girl that bit Ms. Boothe???”  Entire room inhales, time slows, and That Girl bolts from the room. 

My new administrator (Mr. K) came down and asks if I can come to the door.  He explains that the superintendent had informed him about the young person…and really he understood if I didn’t care…but, she is in the floor of the girl’s restroom crying..      I told him that I would go get her if he would watch my class.  I went to the restroom area and said “Get up. Quit acting like you are hurt.”   

She said that she could not face people.  That she could not deal with what she had done.  I told her to make a joke out of it.  “How? How can I do that?”  she asked

“Tell them that I am the only teacher on staff with good taste.  Tell them Ms Boothe tastes just like chicken.  H, I don’t care if you tell them THEY should try it.  Just get up and laugh it off.  IF I can laugh it off, so can you…”  

I’m not gonna say it was easy.  But…we made it through the year.  She graduated and TOOK ALL HER TEETH WITH HER!!

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