Friday, April 23, 2010

More Than Workforce

Last Tuesday, we had a teacher inservice on revising our ESLRs--boring, irrelevent work, but it has to be done. The woman who came to talk to us about it kept referring to skills our kids would 'take with them to the workforce'. She said it, I don't know, maybe ten times.

A note on Catholic education, and, I would argue, all education: our kids are not just 'workforce'. Our kids will be lovers, spouses, parents, children of aging parents, godparents. They will be next-door neighbors and friends. They will be spiritual seekers, artists, PEOPLE. If we educate them to only be 'workforce', we're cheating them and ourselves.

Just sayin'.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Interview Down

So, the first interview of my annual job hunt is over...went well...we'll see.

It really would be nice if I could just get this one, and not have to shlep all over interviewing until July, which is what sometimes--usually--happens.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Junie B. Jones

Are you acquainted with Junie B. Jones? Junie B. ("the B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all"), currently aged 6, is the star of delightful series of children's books.

She is also #71 on the most-challenged and -banned list the ALA has compiled for 2000-2009.

Junie, you see, is a darling child who tells her adventures in a unique and self-posessed voice. She sometimes misspells words, and she makes an occasional grammatical error. She runs her poor first grade teacher, Mister, "He has another name too. But I just like Mister, and that's all.") into the ground. And she sometimes disobeys her parents. There's an element in town that objects. In a serious damn way. Junie B., as I said, is #71 on the challenged and banned list. She comes in 5 ahead of The Joy of Gay Sex.

Apparently these challenging and banning people can't wait until the kids are in high school to ban Huck Finn, so they'll go after his little, suburban sister.

And don't get me going on the people who've set their sights on preventing their children from reading And Tango Makes Three. Suffice it to say that if you fear your children's purity may be damaged by a story about two male penguins hatching out an egg together, the problem is most definitely with you. Rather than with the penguins.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

In Which West Virginia Kicks The Ass of the Westboro 'Baptist' 'Church'

I honestly wonder sometimes if Fred Phelps goes around with a battered yellow legal pad covered in ideas that come to him at odd moments for how to be as vile and disgusting as he possibly can. "Children's oncology ward?" his notes must read. "How to get in? Press coverage? Serial killers? Show support for serial killer? How to make sure S.K. not gay?"

Fred's latest thing
was to send his followers to West Virginia to let them know that the death of 29 miners was the wrath of God on the well-known godlessness of West Virginia. They came with signs that said "Thank God For Dead Miners" and "God Hates West Virginia"

They were sent running.

This video is the best thing I have seen in ages. Favorite moments include the man in overalls shouting Bible verses at the Phelpsers, the girl yelling that she loves Catholics, and of course, the victory hoe-down.

Watch it. You'll see what I mean.

(Warning. This was done by a community news station, and the sound is a little variable.)

Back To Work Tomorrow

It's been a great vacation, but I almost feel as though I could use another one. Today is rainy, rainy rainy, and I'm sitting here doing the grading I managed to put off for a week and a half.

I'm stressed. You know? I'm just stressed. My father, thank God, is recovering nicely from his health problems, but by mother-in-law's cancer has recurred. I'm job hunting again. My husband has a terrible toothache, and needs to have a tooth pulled. My husband is still unemployed. I feel out of control. There is too much going on, no money, and not enough down time.

But I did finally get some down time, and I'm going to go back to school tomorrow with a vengeance, finish up the year, and find a job where they give me my own classroom. I have an offer of an interview, and some possibilities, and I'm just going to get through all of this.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

QUIT Turns Out To Protest Gay Israeli Films

Several people came up to me as I stood in front of the Roxie Theater on 16th Street with my Israeli flag and asked for clarification--who were we? And why were we there? And who were the other people?

You have to love San Francisco. Here is what was going on...

The Roxie was showing Eyes Wide Open,a film about an Orthodox man in Jerusalem, struggling with his sexuality. This was part of Out In Israel, a month-long celebration of things LGBT, Jewish and Israeli, organized by the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco.

Now, if this had happened a month earlier, the Westboro Baptists might still have been in town, and they could have come and protested the gayness, but instead they had moved on, and the film was being protested by QUIT. That's Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism. No, I did not make that up.

QUIT was there because they hate the State of Israel. They were there with pink banners, complaints about 'pinkwashing', and very creepy signs. My friends and I were there because they were there. We were showing support for films about closeted gay men in Jerusalem by holding Israeli flags, rainbow flags, and signs that were much more delightful and amusing than those held by QUIT.

I was struck, as always, by the passion and intensity of the people I find myself across the lines from at these events. The jumbled tangle of anti-Semitism and vague left-political platitudes, turned into something so irrational, heartless and strange that I can barely make out what these folks think they're doing.

The question I wanted to ask, and didn't get a chance to, was this: "Is there another country on earth, no matter what its human rights record, that you would protest gay films from?"

The answer, of course, is 'no', as one of my fellow flag-wavers said briskly. But it does highlight the unique place Israel holds in the minds of her haters--the only nation on earth with no right to even make films about its LGBT citizens, reviled by these 'activists' far more than nations that, say, just KILL their LGBT citizens.

Strange world. Queer, even, one might say.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

I Can See The Hametz At The End of the Pesach Tunnel

Not a bad holiday, overall. My mother and I went to the first-night seder at the JCC, and then friends invited me to their second-night seder, and conveniently, Easter break for St. Dymphna's started on Thursday, so I have been at home, which makes eating for Pesach that much easier. My cholesterol has probably gone up a notch, but otherwise, so far, so good.

Today being Easter Sunday, the Husband has ham, and I bought him some chocolate rabbits to bite the heads off of.

Now, for a delightful Easter moment, I present the photos of the first annual wolf Easter egg hunt from Everything Wolf.