Archive for September, 2008

Ah, Finland…

Don’t we all wished we lived in Finland? Perhaps no, but apparently Margaret Spellings has taken a liking to our Scandinavian friends and their immaculate education system. 

(Perfect timing on her part since the same night PBS had a documentary comparing American schools to other countries’, including FINLAND…Did she get a sneak preview?)

We’ve Got Mail!

Apparently there was a huge misunderstanding at the good ole postal service and we actually didn’t need a new mailbox! So our mail is coming right where it could have been coming for the past month. Yay! God bless bureaucracy.

Palin – High School Drama Star!

It’s not only the absurd notions Palin speaks of, it’s the way she says those lies. With her numerous hand gestures and stilted inflection, I am reminded of a high school student’s speech for student body president. While watching her interview with Mr. Gibson, I am nagged by her constant “Charlie” interjections. What an annoying public speaking “to do”! Her confidence is lacking as she slumps and wrings her hands occasionally, pushing up her sleeves…feeling a bit hot and nervous? 

What is Charlie talking about?

What is Charlie talking about?

 

She sounds as if she is at a job interview for your everyday job at a bank or school. Except that if she was interviewing at one of those places she wouldn’t be hired because she doesn’t have the paralleled experience – who cares if she can talk and smile up a storm!  Oh, and it’s not just a bank telling/high school teaching position (though, given the economy right now, those are hard jobs to get…) – she is running for vice president. G-Damn.

Personal pep talk

After a harrowing speech that seems to have been lauded by everyone (oh, David Brooks, why, why?! I do admit that she spoke well, and the “base” was “exploding” all over the Xcel Center, but sigh…) despite the vindictive (not bitchy) and condescending tone (I mean, who puts down community organizers?), I need a pep talk – a reminder of what is real (life outside the t.v. and blogs)…and what is not (i.e., Republicans’ worldview)

Jeff and his huge feet are real, Wallace and Sebastian with their fuzzy furry cuteness are real, student inmates who need my help are real, Goldfish snack crackers are real, great books are real.  Who needs to consume their mind with bitterness and anger toward lying Republicans when they have these things? NOT ME! 

Oh, and Diddy totally freaking out is also real…

The GOP: Gone off the deep end

Listening to Giuliani’s speech, I am now convinced that the Republicans are, indeed, insane. ‘nuf said.

Absolutely Amazing

 (Tribune photo by David Trotman-Wilkins / September 2, 2008) Gloria Chester of Chicago chants her support for Rev. James Meeks with fellow supporters of school finance reform at the Save Our Schools Now rally at Harms Woods, in Glenview.

(Tribune photo by David Trotman-Wilkins / September 2, 2008) Gloria Chester of Chicago chants her support for Rev. James Meeks with fellow supporters of school finance reform at the "Save Our Schools Now" rally at Harms Woods, in Glenview.

Nearly 1,000 Chicago Public School students piled into 30 buses with parents and teachers to protest funding disparities by enrolling at a suburban school district only an hour away. They were greeted with open arms and refreshments on the first day of school. How amazing to see this kind of clever, well-organized protest over a problematic source of educational funding – local property taxes.

“In a funding system largely fueled by local property taxes, New Trier Township spent nearly $17,000 per student in 2005-06 and Sunset Ridge spent about $16,000, while Chicago Public Schools spent an estimated $10,400 per student.

Of course, decent funding is not enough, but it’s a damn good help – especially when you have a community organized to fight for it.  The critics’, Daley’s, and governor’s reaction to what they may call a debacle?

“Critics charged the symbolic, well-orchestrated protest shortchanged students of a day’s education and Chicago Public Schools of more than $100,000 in potential reimbursement from the state. Daley on Tuesday described the boycott as “very selfish.” Gov. Rod Blagojevich said students “should not be used as political pawns.”‘

Oh please. One day of civil action is worth a year of schooling in their underfunded schools. Since when was asking for justice selfish? Sigh…

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/content/education/chi-meeks-boycott-schools-websep04,0,6496470.story?page=1

Book Suggestion!

 

Stone Gods by Jeannette Winterson

 

I have nearly finished this book. It is an often humorous, mostly poignant look at how humans interact with the world – its government, its technology, its nature, its people. Her poetic writing can be esoteric, but the sound of her prose in your head is worth the slight confusion.

 

UPDATE: I finished this book last week – how incredibly heartbreaking…


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