Thursday, January 25, 2007

What's black and white and stupid all over?

SLHS is located in a neighborhood, which has its own newspaper. Now, what you're about to read will make you think that it was written by a hater. In truth, it was... written by... a hater. I hate the thing, and since "hate" has such a broad connotation; let me elaborate.

I hate Nazis. I hate getting kicked in the scrotum. I hate people cheering when I get kicked in the scrotum (an insult to injury kind of thing) and I hate The Lookie Loo. That’s right—The Lookie Loo.

Aside from publishing upcoming community events, The Lookie Loo publishes letters to the editor from concerned citizens. Did I say "concerned citizens"? I meant disgruntled parents who feel that they have been spurned by their spoiled brat's teacher because they refused to treat the kid as they do... the Second Coming. You know what I'm talking about. They’re pissed because you take off for late work or don't spot three points on a final grade or confiscate cell phones.

Now, I recognize that I am making a gross assumption, but what is one to do when it is The Lookie Loo's policy to withhold the names of those who submit letters to the editor upon their requests.

That's some nice journalistic integrity. They're not inside sources whose livelihoods could be in danger if their identities were revealed. They’re people who bitch when they don’t get their way, and thanks to The Lookie Loo, don't have to answer for what they say. And that's the first step in a dance I like to call, the Libel Lambada.

Another assumption of mine is that I was the subject of one of these letters to the editor this week. Someone, behind guaranteed anonymity, wrote in about the "travesty" occurring in her daughter's English class. The teacher, stated the editorial, spent the entire period reading to the class.

I must admit I did the unthinkable. I took one day out of the year to read a chapter of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to my students. Gasp! It was only one chapter. I promise, and no one’s ears bled or nothin’.

Anyway, the letter writer went out of his or her way to point out that by not letting the students to read independently in class instead that their daughter could have gotten further in the book and would have had less to read outside of school, which is vital because she needs as much time as possible for cheerleading practice.

Two things:

First, the book is like a billion pages long and I took 45 minutes to read and discuss with my students. Is that really going to hurt this little Evelyn Wood?

No, no, it was wrong of me. Shame on me. Screw auditory learners! And damn the idea of discussing how the word nigger is used in the book.

Second, so much for requesting for anonymity. Cheerleading practice? That narrows things down a bit, especially when I have a cheerleader in my sixth period, who starts every sentence with, "My mom says...."

Seriously, heaven forbid my kids actually hear tone and voice in a story. Typically, their only experience with these literary elements is reading the definitions in the back of the textbook and remembering them just long enough for a quiz. Besides, it was a chapter where Jim is speaking for pages and pages. Do you know how many times I would have heard, "This book is gay. I stop reading after two pages" the next day, if I had just assigned it for homework? (Note to self: search for a book with a character, who goes by the name Gay Jim.)

There's so much more, but I better stop here for my own mental health. To the point—I’m surrounded by jackasses, and there is no law to keep them from procreating.

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