Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 TU Looks Back

Hard to believe isn't it? 2013 is history.  For some it has been a tough year.  For others things have gotten better.  For us the saying "Not doing our best, simply doing the best we can" pretty much sums up all that was 2013.  So as we close out the year a quick look back with some commentary seems like what we are supposed to do.  Cheers.

Obamacare-  What the heck was that?  If I was trying to design a way for people to lose faith in what amounts to the biggest issue I am advocating for, I would use this administration's moves a guide.  As if the shutdown wasn't eroding faith in the system enough we had to double down and show for real that this government can screw anything up..  It was quite the one - two punch and many adults and students simply do not want to talk about either anymore. Sad.

Boston Marathon Bombings
And you thought people never watched TV anymore.  At once, we saw the comfort and benefit of 21st Century technology as the perpetrators we're so quickly identified and caught, and experienced the reality that pretty much everything we do today is tracked and recorded.  The tragedy and triumph of this event is

Aaron Hernandez
Staying in the Northeast this title really should read, The Murder of Odin Lloyd.  He was the man who lost his life to someone who if you believe reports appears to be less of a football player and more gang member.  Way to go New England.  Nice job.  I always disliked Belichek and never knew why.  WTF?

Lindsay Quits Facebook-
Well that was actually in 2012 but no one noticed until later.  Well actually, no one noticed.  I did see people later who thought I was dead.  but Facebook doesn't miss me and I certainly don't miss it.  I instead focused on jazzing up my Myspace Page. (note from Turner: You're not on Facebook anymore? I didn't notice. But to all of the Facebookers out there who've liked our page, this would explain why it is so rarely updated any longer)

The Poop Cruise
Trapped in a living hell and not gotten much sympathy from the only people who could help.  No I am not describing the cruise and response from carnival, I am talking about those days of teaching when it all goes south.  The only thing that can make it better is the bell to end the day and the chance to star fresh again tomorrow. 

Travon Martin, Zimmerman, Paula Deane, Phil Robertson and Afluenza
Just this week stories of Duck Dynasty's Phil Robinson headline grabbing comments and indefinite suspension, then re-instatement from filming illustrate a few things.  Among them is that people need to recognize that having a right and exercising it in a manner that harms or hurts others(be it with words or a weapon) are two different things.   Think whatever you want.  But before we speak and act remember we all live in a civil society.  Let's do our best to keep it that way.   Guess we have a long way to go in so many ways.

Edward Snowden
I don't follow this whole story as much as I should but the more that comes out, the worse I feel.  I remember learning about the Rosenbergs and what happened to them and that provides some context.  If I am nothing else, it is loyal, so shame on him, even though I am a strong proponent of the Constitutional Protections of the 4th Amendment and just love America.

(Shhh.  I don't like them listening to my conversations so I will whisper.  They track stuff you know.  What happened to needing a Warrant?  Where's the Congressional or Executive oversight?  WTF?  I like being safe as much as the next guy but what do we have if we do not have our liberties? (note from Turner: So what do you think Snowden was all about?)

Michelle Rhee-
We just wanted to throw her in cause...well we are like elephants and have good memories, especially for grudges.We got an import on our staff from a DC Magnet School and he is a really good teacher.  He also wears suits everyday.  No joke.    Describing Rhee as "effective" he rattled off a list of stuff he liked that she did.    I had simply asked what he thought about her and he talked for 5+ minutes.  So it was a lot to digest. But his view differed from mine.  Where we agree, she is not the chancellor anymore.  Period.  Almost.  I always like Kevin Johnson and so in the spirit of the New Year, forgive but don't forget.

The Heart Attack
The week before winter break, we had a two hour weather delay on Monday. One of our colleagues in the basement retreated to the restroom ill. We called down the school nurse and he was taken out of the school on a stretcher. In the ER, he had a heart attack. This event highlighted the many variables that can arise while teaching. We, and he, had twenty plus students in each of our classes, but for a few moments there was another priority that superseded education. Happily, he is well on his way to recovery and should be back at school when we reopen on the sixth. In true Underground fashion, we have quite a treat waiting for him on his return. Rule #1 of the basement: don't leave your room unattended for longer than 24 hours or we're not responsible for what happens.

There were so many good and bad things that also happened but we don't have time to cover them in the level needed:

The Chicago Teachers Strike
The New Pope
Diane Ravitch's new book

So goodbye 2013.  We probably won't miss you ...that much much.  but absence makes the heart grow fonder.  The award winning photo below pretty much sums it up.   My 2014 be a blessed year for each and everyone.

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