I was all set to rant today about some teachers inappropriately indoctrinating our children during the recent contract negotiations here in Portland, but alas, I cannot. Why? Because this is a very complicated subject demanding serious writing effort, and now I don’t have time.
Again, why? I’ll tell you why:
Because Archie, the Psychotic Chihuahua, decided to go on an unapproved and unchaperoned walkabout this morning. He was gone for quite some time, and just when I began to hope against hope he had become Sunday Brunch for our neighborhood pack of coyotes, he returned. Asshole.
He didn’t even apologize, he just showed up at the front door and sauntered in as if he owns the place. This especially annoys Margot, who actually does own the place.
Don’t misunderstand me, as we do love Archie and we want him to remain in our family. However, he seems to forget who is providing him with a damned fine existence. He was about 4 days away from being executed when we stepped in. You’d think he’d be a little grateful.
Because I already have a very well-researched and extensive piece planned for next Sunday, I’m not sure I will get to the teacher propaganda subject while it is still timely. I’ll try to sum it up in far fewer words than I originally planned and without a general discussion of the issues being fought over between the district and the teachers:
I am angry that our kids were made the captive audience of one side of the conversation via their teachers’ impromptu speeches about the district, the teacher’s demands and why they should get what they want or be forced to strike.
Perhaps it is OK I don’t have time to dissect the most contentious issues in the contract negotiations because it truly doesn’t matter. Here is what matters to me (and since this is my blog, that’s what counts):
1. Kids were told over and over again that the teachers were being “forced out” of the classrooms simply because they were “fighting for the kids’ rights to a good education and the school board doesn’t care about you.”
2. Several teachers gave lectures on what makes a scab a scab and how awful they are. If I want my kid’s educators to talk about scabs, let’s leave it to the simple lesson of “don’t pick or you’ll make a scar.”
3. Worst of all, the teachers vowed to demonstrate at the schools. Nothing says “I care about the kids” more than picketing their school, yelling slogans and chants and butting heads with those teachers who vowed to cross the picket line (and there were many, since the union reps made several last-minute and totally new demands when both sides were close to a resolution).
I am all for demonstrating. I personally marched in several demonstrations during both the first Gulf War and (more importantly) after the announcement that Sak’s 5th Avenue was leaving town.
(can you see me in there?)
What I don’t care for is picketing schools. District decision-makers are not at the schools, they are at the headquarters. The only purpose of threatening to picket the schools is to increase anxiety for the kids and the parents and as a result have parents apply pressure to the school board to capitulate.
Like I said, I don’t have enough time to dedicate to this issue today. But I find it disheartening that the teachers would communicate such blatantly one-sided information to young and impressionable students. It’s not as if the school board can do the same, nor would it, because swaying the children in either direction is pointless and moot. Shockingly, even in the ultra-liberal People’s Republic of Portland, we don’t let students drive educational policy.
If you left it up to the kids, the school year would be three weeks long, subjects covered would be getting to third base and learning to say “bitch” and “dick” in Spanish and the school lunches would consist of pizza, pepsi and skittles everyday.
So why would it make sense to protest your grievance with the school board at the school? It doesn’t. Nor does blathering on about this in class. If I were a teacher (I’m not, ’cause I’m dumb and lazy) and I were asked by a student what was happening, here’s what I’d say:
“Portland teachers are in discussions with the school board about several matters and we are all working hard to resolve them. I know everyone wants your education to continue uninterrupted, so I feel pretty confident we will hammer out an agreement soon. If we can’t agree, we may have to be absent from the classroom for a while. If that happens, you will have some substitute teachers come in until your regular teachers can return.
Please treat them with the respect you do me and I will be back just as soon as possible should a strike occur.”
Finally today I have to indulge in a mini-rant:
Donald Trump. Seriously, fuck this guy.
As an avid yet decidedly shitty golfer, my dream is to someday play with Tom in Scotland. Have you heard about what Donald Trump did in Aberdeenshire? If not, or even if you think you know what happened there, PLEASE watch the documentary movie “You’ve Been Trumped.” You can view the trailer here: You’ve Been Trumped.
Doesn’t his mouth resemble an asshole with teeth? This man is the epitome of everything that is wrong with people today: he is selfish, greedy, arrogant, without compassion for others, tacky, rude, boorish and has raised children who seem to emulate all these personality characteristics.
Watch the film and email me with comments. I’d like to see if others have the same reaction to it that I did. By the end, I felt such overwhelming sadness over the powerlessness of the townspeople and how their government sold them down the river to appease this disgusting orange blob of a man.
I must apologize for today’s rant, not nearly as cohesive and coherent as I strive for. New carpet arrives this week and closets must be cleaned.
Have a great week, everyone! Tune in tomorrow when a man laments the loss of his longtime friendship because his buddy hooked up with a gold-digging bitch. Now you KNOW I am going to have fun with that one!