Category Archives: Monroe County Community School Corporation

Hot Air

A Refreshing Truth

I was sitting around shooting the breeze with a few MCCSC employees, one principal and two teachers, earlier this week.

Now generally I tend to run like the wind when there are teachers around but I have to admit that since I’ve moved to this town I’ve met some teachers who don’t make me want to scream. In fact, I’ve met a teacher or two hereabouts whom I’m actually fond of. Imagine that.

Take the principal from last night. S/he (See how cagey I’m being here? Just try to figure out who this is — I dare you.) told us about the parents at his/her school. A photo of them, s/he implied, could illustrate the dictionary def. of “helicopters.”

“They’re involved in everything,” this principal said — and it was no compliment. The stress this person put on the word every made his/her lip curl in disgust.

This inspired one of the two teachers to spout off about parents who post gazillions of pix of their little darlings on Facebook. “Yeah,” the other teacher chimed in, “and what about the all the people who have to comment about how gorgeous and cute the kid is.”

Mom Meme

Mom Meme

“And these parents who constantly say that their kids are the absolute joy of their life!” the principal said. “I mean, c’mon! No kids are that perfect.”

One of the teachers nudged the principal. “Tell ’em what you told me that time about your kids,” the teacher said.

“Oh yeah,” the principal said. “You know how these parents go on and on about how their kids have brought nothing but joy into their lives? I mean, I love my own kids, sure, and they really do bring joy into my life but, honestly, they turn all the other joys of my life into shit!”

Now there’s an educator (and parent) who’s got this kid thing figured out.

B-foods Kirkwood Store to Shutter

Bloomingfoods is doing the right thing. Any time I’ve ever gone into the Kirkwood store, I’ve felt as though I’m walking into the set of some post-apocalyptic movie. Y’know, not much of a selection and no other customers around.


Ghost Town?

Sometimes you have to admit the times have passed you by. Besides, the place never did offer the caviar and Champagne fare the new breed of Richie Riches at Indiana University demands.

Know Your Homeland?

From Washington Post blogger Suzanne Dovi comes the news that nearly a dozen states may make passing civics tests mandatory for their high school students. A sample test reveals the knowledge demanded of HS seniors amounts to little more than memorizing a few dates and geographical locations of certain historic landmarks. Civics Lite, as it were.

From "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"

Anyone? Anyone?

Dovi offers the following Q’s for a more thorough understanding of this holy land’s civic environment:

True or False:

  •  If the police knock and ask to enter your home, you don’t have to admit them unless they have a warrant signed by a judge. (Answer: True)
  •  If the police come to your home and ask you to step out and you do, they no longer need a warrant for your arrest. (True)
  • If you are arrested outside and you accept any offers to let you go inside — to get dressed, for instance — the police can escort you inside and then search the rooms you enter without a warrant. (True)
  • The police are not allowed to lie to you. (False)
  • The right to videotape the police depends on the state you live in. Twelve states have adopted “eavesdropping” laws that prohibit videotaping police without the officer’s consent. (True)
  • The police are allowed to delete photographs or videos on your phone under any circumstances. (False)

Multiple choice:

  • If you feel that your rights have been violated by the police, to whom could you file a written complaint?
    • Police department’ internal affairs division
    • Civil complaint board
    • ACLU
    • All of the above
  •  Under OSHA regulations, an employer cannot retaliate against whistleblowers by:
    • Firing
    • Demoting
    • Denial of benefits
    • Reducing pay or hours
    • Blacklisting
    • All of the above

The answer to the T-Fers are T, T, T, F, T, F. Both multiple choicers are All of the Above. Howdja do?

A Boatload Of Criticism

I have no particular axe to grind concerning the Dave Matthews Band. Meh is pretty much the most voluble reaction I can muster regarding them.

Pitchfork music critic Jeff Weiss has schooled me, though, on turning a non-reaction into an emotional extravaganza, thanks to this critique written by him and passed along by bassman extraordinaire Gordon Patriarca:

Once upon a time/When the world was just a pancake/Fears would arise/That if you went too far you’d fall/But with the passage of time/It all became more of a ball.

— some Dave Matthews lyrics

You want a real American Horror story? Sit in the back of an SUV with off-key sorority house members singing along to Dave Matthews Band. “Dave” is a jam act with no jams. They make Perrier seem vibrant and ethnic. Dave Matthews croons like Kermit with a hangover, for a presumed intended audience of trustafarians and frat bros bonding via hacky sack and horseshoes. Them, and folks whose favorite book is The Da Vinci Code and favorite TV show is Two and a Half Men. They are permanently beige, the sonic instantiation of Ambercrombie & Fitch cargo shorts, South Carolina Gamecocks hats, and flip-flops flailing.

Weiss is a wordsmith. Permanently beige? Inspired. Trustafarian? Brilliant.
Sometimes the curmudgeon’s art must be acknowledged.
BTW: The DMB was involved in one of the grossest incidents in Windy City history a few years back. It seems the band’s tour bus was crossing over the Kinsey Street Bridge, one of the city’s landmark ironwork bascules spanning the Chicago River. Just at that moment, the bus driver opted to empty the vehicle’s septic tanks. Now, Chi.’s bascule bridges have iron grate roadways so the effluent dropped down toward the river below. Only the tour boat Chicago’s Little Lady, carrying a hundred passengers who, prior to the incident, were enjoying an architectural tour on a sunny afternoon, happened to be immediately below the bus.
They got hit with 800 pounds of the band’s piss and shit.
Kinzie St. Bridge

Chicago’s Kinzie Street Bridge

From a Chicago Tribune article on the driver’s plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor reckless conduct and water pollution, the tour boat’s passengers “described a downpour of foul-smelling, brownish-yellow slurry that ruined their clothes and made several of them sick.”
Happy Friday!

Hot Air

Who Needs Hallmark?

The Loved One was up almost all night earlier this week designing our 2014-15 holiday card. Her cards, in case you’ve never seen one, are whimsically creative. For my money, they’re the best.

Holiday Card 2014-15

A Little Taste

We don’t send holiday cards to many people largely because I’m a Grinch and won’t turn over to her any list of people I like. But those we do send them to uniformly are impressed by TLO’s eye and sensibility.

I dunno, maybe I’ll pitch some names and addresses over to her this year — not because I’m becoming less of a winter holiday curmudgeon but because more people should see her great stuff.

Teach Your Children Well

So, the Monroe County Community School Corporation just laid out forty G’s for a consultant to figure out if voters might pass a referendum to help the MCCSC get more money.

What else can the MCCSC buy for $40,000? Let’s see:

  • 166 iPad Minis
  • 3333 Social studies textbooks, Amazing Americans: The Rise of Industry: Jane Adams, McGraw-Hill
  • 4449 Copies, To Kill a Mockingbird, Grand Central Publishing
  • 7286 Boxes, Crayola Crayons, 64-count
  • 7421 Mead composition books, tape-bound

Mead Comp Book

  • 13,652 Free student lunches provided by the US Dept. of Agriculture, Food & Nutrition Service, under its National School Lunch Program
  • 363,636 Staples No. 2 yellow pencils with erasers, 4 doz. pack

The MCCSC, though, has elected to direct a precious wad of 40-extra large to the coffers of Springsted, Inc., “a public sector advisor with services spanning every stage of your community’s life cycle” (from its website), to gauge the odds of getting more money from you and me.

Money, I might add, I’d be happy to pay for things like, oh, pencils, books, or iPads. In fact, I’d be happy to pony up scads more dough for the kids and their teachers. It can be money well spent.

Not on slick consultants, though.

Who Needs Books?

Speaking of education, a recent poll commissioned by the BioLogos Foundation and conducted by Calvin College sociologist Jonathan Hill, have found that more than half the citizens of this holy land believe:

  • Adam and Eve were real people
  • Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design should be taught in public schools
  • The Bible is the actual or inspired word of God, without errors

From "The Ten Commandments"

Where’s Your Certainty Now, Moses?

A full one of five people believe Creationism alone should be taught in our schools.

Slate mag requested Hill’s numbers breakdown for this poll and lays out the details in a piece written by William Saletan. It turns out that when people are pressed on these beliefs they shy away from them a bit. When specific questions about creation and God’s role in it are included in the questions posed to poll respondents, people’s certainty in their beliefs begins to deteriorate.

This reminds me of all those polls that ask Americans if welfare is a good thing and most of them say hell no. Then, when pressed — for instance when asked if federal and state gov’ts should assist the hungry and the homeless — people suddenly become more altruistic.

The devil, you might pardon the pun, is in the details.

“Yes, we’re a creationist country,” Saletan concludes. “But apparently, we’re pretty creative about what that means.”

There might be hope for us yet.

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