Tuesday, March 13, 2018

I'm Out

That might be the motto of the Trump White House.  It could be a sign off, it could be wave off or it could be a resignation letter and given Trump's comprehension skills more than sufficient.  And Trump is back to his signature - You're Fired - with the exodus of Rex Tillerson who never even got the chance to say Adios. This is neither shocking nor unsurprising given what we heard earlier with the Three Amigo pact that once Gary Cohn or Rex Tillerson or General McMasters were fired or quit the other two would follow in support. That did not quite play out as both men remained or sort of did while Trump busily planned their terminations. Yes, McMasters is next of his own volition or not.   Next up who will move the Rook to flank the King?  Oh Trump doesn't play Chess he is so Checkers.. and to think that was Nixon's dogs name.  Ah full circle.

The name calling, the pouting, the raging and the rallies are so bizarre that I cannot recall anyone in modern times that was so out there that they actually believed they were of import.  Oh wait.  Take a look at many modern day Dictators and their equivalent and there is little to distinguish the difference.  And you might say Trump doesn't have a uniform.  Ah yes he does, the ill fitting boxy navy or dark suit and the absurdly long tie with hair that resembles a helmet and a spray on tan you are one step away from any of those we have reviled as Totalitarian.  Even his handshake is a bizarre type of neo-salute.

Living is Nashville I have a newer found respect for stupid.  Seriously when you are stupid you are oblivious to facts and stuff.  You can simply shrug, ignore things that upset you or you can be rich enough to move to a farm in Ohio and shut out the world like the guy I wrote about in the New Hermit.  But the idiocy here takes on a new level when the news here has no news.  We have crime reports, traffic, weather, fire alarms, crime reports and some stuff.  And then buried in there is an expose on lead in the water in the Nashville Public Schools.  Ah its not just Flint just ask Betsy deVos.  Can Betsy find Flint on the map?  Funny she is from Michigan but probably has no clue where it is and would never set foot there like icky bad schools, no how no way!

I am sitting here right now in a shared classroom with the Teacher teaching Social Studies. He is reviewing Greek History and in turn the foundations of Government which came from history.  Aside from the mis-pronunciations and the boring online video lesson that they are reading, the inability to enable discussion and exchange ideas is non-existent.   I am not shocked at any point given what I have seen here as free speech is say what I want you to say and shut up the rest of the time.

Tomorrow is the day that was to acknowledge the Parkland shooting one month ago and have a National Walk Out day to demand gun control.  The focus was on students and schools where they are to walk out of class and have 17 minutes of silence in respect and acknowledgement of the 17 victims of Stoneyman.  If they did all victims of gun violence this year alone we may be up to two hours of silence; As it stands we are at 7000 (not including those killed by Police) killed by guns.   Beyond that gesture any activism or protest on a larger scale seems fairly up to the schools and the communities they exist within.   I respect this as a teachable moment and in turn the idea of what is the fundamental foundation to our Democracy - the right to free speech and to assemble.   I know here that the district has enabled the schools to set up a safe space, the gym or some other internal area which the Students congregate and in turn respect that moment of silence.  They have then a minute to return to class or be marked absent.

What they should be doing is turning this into a discussion about the state of just the schools here and what would they change?  There was another report last night on the crime/traffic/weather report about the lead in the water in the schools here. It is an ongoing serious issue that once again goes utterly ignored.  Some parents in a more "well off" school bought the filter fountains and paid for their installation. The maintenance official was caught on tape discussing how to circumnavigate their filter changes and other demands that will cost the district too much money.  This is budget crunch time with freeze on spending/hiring/traveling. Well other than the Superintendent who went to Seattle with the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce to view the public transit system and in turn do a presentation on retaining talent. This from a district with 40% turnover and currently a major budget and water crisis.  I would love to hear that speech. Coincidence much that Seattle is looking for a Superintendent?  I hope they don't ask about his concerns regarding health and well being of children or others who work in the schools.  They should ask him about the slop they serve them as well as combine that with the water it explains a few things.

I am so grateful that I am actually at the Dentist tomorrow that regardless I would not have worked.   It snowed enough on Sunday night that they delayed school for two hours and as I was scheduled for an ELL class in a portable that I would have to walk in and out all day to get the few that did show (this cohort is the most challenging for many reasons and the district made that call at  the wee hours so many have to completely change schedules to arrange for transportation or care due to the delay so instead the kids just don't show)  and sit there all day bored out my skull I thought even for 75 bucks it was not worth it.  I could have, should have but did not.  I have so little commitment to these schools that even some cash cannot motivate me.

And today I am lucky two classes only and little responsibility.  I wish that all schools were like this, well they are but this is an exception as it was designed that way and I did not have to actually make an effort to make it that way. And sitting in this class watching the video and listening to the discussion (by the way the kids don't have texts they are watching/following the video on their PCs) I see little analysis, critical thinking or engagement about what is a valid present day issue.  All history is both past/present and future.

And here in Tennessee that lives and dies history another story from Radley Balko at The Washington Post on the suppress the facts bill. (I just made that up but there is a point). I love that once again Southern Hypocrisy is always in the background.

I wish I could count the days that remain but I think I am like the former Mayor who is on three years probation. Thankfully I am half way through that time and if I am lucky I may get time off for good behavior.  Then it will be my turn go, "I'm out!"

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