Thursday, April 16, 2009

What’s your sign?

Another weekend is down. It’s a chance for me to get into the real world. I don’t have to be holed up in my home or classroom working. Sadly, I still have to do work to stay afloat, but at least on the weekend this inmate gets an hour in the yard if you know what I'm saying. This is also the time where I get a feel for the state of public education. I mean, I’m out in the real world—the place we send teens after eighteen years of grooming.

So how are we doing? Well, I did come across a sign in front of a business with the quote: “To be, or not to be”

The establishment also gave credit to Anonymous for the quote. I couldn’t help myself and decided to go in and point out the error. After informing the man behind the counter that the quote is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. He returned the favor of information by telling me he forgot so he just stuck Anonymous on the end.

Yep. That sounds about right. Those are my students—rather making the slightest effort to be accurate, just slap something up there. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a conversation with a student after they failed an essay, and I have to tell them that they failed because their work was incoherent. Frequently that’s followed with, “But you know what I meant!” Occasionally, that is followed with a “Gawd!” as they storm off.

My concern is not having the right answer. Hell, no one always has the right answer. My concern is being comfortable with the wrong answer if it means you don’t have to make an effort. I just don’t get it. When did It’s better than nothing go from a folksy saying to a blueprint for life?!

I'm sorry. We've got another week of state testing starting tomorrow and that always gets me riled up. I find soap boxing it up a bit quiet cathardic. At the very least it's cheaper than drinking.

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