Sunday, 5 September 2010

The Undead

Latin is dead. Beta is dead. 8-Track is dead. Chrysler is practically dead. Chivalry is dead. Bell-bottom pants are dead. And the ukulele ought to be dead....but for some reason, it just hangs on.

I watched this clip today....and sat amazed over the greatness of the musical instrument.


There's Only One Place To Live

Folks often ponder over why America is the greatest place in the world to live. I often ponder that myself. Today, I noted this video....of an eccentric gal....in a stressful moment....and how her 'American-cool' seemed to kick in....and you just sit there smiling. In a humble way, this is the only place on Earth where an eccentric just might be the right person for the right moment.

When You Need Some Humor

If you needed a moment of humor...and a laugh over our little world.


The Nut

This JetBlue flight attendant nutcase....who jumped out via the chute after they'd pulled up to the terminal....won't be coming back.

JetBlue indicates, quietly, that there are still federal charges expected on this flight attendant. Some folks are thinking that this recent positive spin on the nutcase.....would force JetBlue to rehire the guy.

I've watched the whole thing from day one.....and frankly, I would have fired him on the first day and never looked back. He's got stress issues at the very least, and there's this suggestion of either drug or alcohol issues.

The Teachers and the Numbers

The L A Times took some private statistics that they weren't supposed to see....and did some value-added things....over 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teachers in L A.

The end result was this listing of 6,000 teachers who were were extremely good, fairly good.....and less than good. You can imagine the anger and hostility of these teachers. The union is unhappy. The school administrators are unhappy. Strangely enough....it's making the public ask some more questions about why certain teachers are retained.

I walked through the Bama school system in the late 60s and up until 1977. I had around forty-odd teachers in that period.

I had one five-star teacher from the entire period....and then a dozen four-star teachers. Most of the rest were three-star instructors who probably were decent and capable. I can only profess of two teachers that I considered unqualified and probably should have been kicked out of the profession.

One was a science teacher who skipped any chapter in the science book that involved evolution, for the whole four years that I had her. Another was a math teacher that took one chapter out of thirty chapters in the math book....and proceed to dwell on that chapter for almost eight weeks....never able to get more than half the class to fully grasp the six simple concepts of that chapter.

I eventually graduated and went onto the Air Force....and four university systems. From the forty-odd instructors that I had there....most were capable and bounced between three and four-star instruction.

I had three instructors that I'd qualify as one-star at best. One was the dinosaur bone digger who'd run out of personal funds....come to live with her sister in Tacoma....and attempting to teach a class that she had no real expertise in. She slept in a tent in the sister's back yard and had serious issues with modern society. I questioned her sanity but she was on the university's payroll.

Another instructor from the University of Maryland....was from Nigeria originally....and had a masters degree in international relations. Sadly, his language skills were terrible, and he never showed up until thirty minutes after the class was supposed to start. The third instructor was half-drunk when he showed up....never gave us a test ever.....and what little logic I gained in life was supposed to come from this silly class.

I worked with a guy about ten years ago whose daughter graduated from the tenth grade and he tested her on the vast amount of civics that she'd had that year. She knew virtually nothing from the Constitution. On average, three days a week, the civics teacher went into current events instead and chatted a great deal on the problems with Republicans. That kinda of infuriated dad a bit.

Then dad tested her on math. The business math class should have brought a wealth of knowledge over statistics and simple business math....it didn't.

Dad removed her from the school and went to home-schooling for the remaining two years.

There's problems brewing around in American schools. If you used simple statistics and did a fair amount of analysis....I would suggest that ten percent of the teachers in the country ought to be fired and sent back to real employment (not another school system in another state). Another ten percent are fairly close to the margin and ought to be given a year or two to improve.

We aren't advancing on that situation with the current environment. The unions would like a protective situation. I imagine that we will chat a great deal and simply accept a one-percent cut of the worst teachers....and just be happy we could get that.