Sunday, September 20, 2009


Most of us in the teaching biz understand that NCLB is nothing more than a thinly-veiled attack on public education or education in general, no matter what the grade, in this country of morons we live in. When one reads that only 39% of the population believes in Darwin’s theory, and the rest believe dinosaurs were on Noah’s big ship, we are in big trouble. The rest of the world must be laughing their collective asses off at us.

My take is that the right-wing lunatics are still pretty much in control, no matter who is in the White House. The march to the middle ages continues. The powers that be continue their plan to create a generation of docile, gullible working class workers, willing to take any scraps that are thrown at them.

I found this gem of an article in the New York Times, written by the appropriately-named Dick Morris, former confidant to the Clintons, and now yet another lunatic, right-wing, overpaid talking head on Fox News. Yeah, Dick, you have all the answers. Blame it on the @%&*ing liberal, bleeding-heart professors. Teachers of all grade levels just make too damn much money!!! Why can’t everybody in the teaching profession be happy working for minimum wage?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Every now and then, in this crazy business, something comes along that just makes you proud to be alive. I had that type of experience this morning.

During studio time in my ceramics class, I noticed 'Robert' working diligently on his coil project. Perhaps a vase for flowers? I asked him what he was making and he said, "It's a present for my mom." I felt the tears welling up in my eyes.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Not since Laurel and Hardy, Martin and Lewis or even Reiner and Brooks have I been so entertained by a comedy act. Listening to NPR last Saturday morning, host Scott Simon was interviewing the new comedy team of Gingrich and Sharpton. Never have I laughed so hard. In fact, I laughed so forcefully, I blew approximately three ounces of steel-cut oats out of my nostrils! This dynamic comedy duo is currently on a 50-state tour of the United States to promote their innovative ideas concerning public education. And their innovative ideas consist of MORE CHARTER SCHOOLS! Yep, that's the ticket. Just watch those test scores rise with each new charter school founded.

Let’s review, shall we, what fine gentlemen these two are, not to mention experts on public education.

Being a family-values kind of Republican, Gingrich has been married three times. He married Jackie Battley, his former high school geometry teacher, when he was 19 years old! (I wonder what he got on the SAT) She was seven years his senior! They divorced in 1981. Jackie Battley Gingrich was wife No. 2 and supported him through graduate school and two unsuccessful congressional campaigns. She had undergone uterine cancer surgery during the successful 1978 campaign. Eighteen months later, they separated. While in the hospital recovering from another uterine operation, according to the legend of Newt Gingrich, he visited his wife in the hospital with a list of things on how the divorce was going to be handled. He wanted her to sign it. She was still recovering from surgery! Nice guy!

In 1981, six months after his divorce was final, Gingrich wed Marianne Ginther. He remained married to Ginther until 2000, when they divorced. Shortly thereafter, Gingrich then married Callista Bisek, with whom he was conducting an extra-marital affair at approximately the same time he was leading the Congressional investigation into allegations that Bill Clinton lied under oath about his affair with Monica Lewinsky You could not make this stuff up!

Al Sharpton is a former boy preacher (oh, good!). But he was caught on an FBI surveillance tape discussing a cocaine Deal. The television show HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel showed a 1983 FBI videotape in which Al Sharpton is seen talking about laundering drug money with former mobster Michael Franzese, a Mafioso-turned-undercover-FBI informant posing as a cocaine dealer. Now, to be fair, no indictments were issued and the sting operation was never completed. Sharpton got into this mess through his friendship with boxing promoter Don King, a longtime friend of his. Oh yeah, and there’s that whole Tawana Brawley thing, but we don’t wanna go there, do we?


I found the above graphic on somebody's blog and loved it. Hope I don't get busted for it!

Friday, September 11, 2009


While cleaning up some old files last weekend, I came across this card from a former student. I remember her, from about seven years ago when I taught special ed. She was a tough one. But she made it through. I ran into her about five years ago. She had a job, working at the local K-Mart. It is always great to hear the success stories. Puts all the rest of the NCLB crap into perspective.

My scanner at Camp Nick is junk. Just hit the graphic above to get a more readable image.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


No good deed goes unpunished. This old adage pretty much sums up the Camp Nickleby Booster Club’s fundraiser car wash.

Labor Day promised to be a beautiful one, up here in the pines. The air was clean and crisp, with an assortment of puffy white clouds meandering through a clear, blue sky. The ladies from the Booster Club arrived and 7:00 a.m., equipped with buckets, sponges, car-washing soap, and even several bottles of Turtle Wax for those customers who might want to go the extra mile. Several student volunteers from the Camp Nickleby Motor Sports Club were even on hand to help out. Cars started trickling in as soon as church let out at 9:00 a.m. By 11:00 a.m., only eight cars had come through the car wash. Things were looking fairly dismal. The feeling of disappointment was palpable. The ladies of the club started second guessing the whole concept of the car wash and were wondering if they would be better off just sticking with bingo games on Monday nights. Then everything turned a corner.

The girls from the Kit Kat Gentlemen’s Club a block down from Kmart went
on their morning smoke break. They noticed the car wash and decided to volunteer their services. In fact, Candy, one of the dancers, has a daughter enrolled at Camp Nickleby. As is the traditional up here in the mountains, Candy is only twice her 16-year-old’s age, so it worked for everybody concerned. Well, Candy and her friend Tiger, stripped down to their car-washing attire, and began to get busy. It didn’t take too long before word got out on every cell phone in the pines. Tiger, spying a tetherball pole at the nearby elementary school, performed an impromptu performance for customers waiting their turn. Cars were backed up thirteen miles on Road 39.

Consumed with the spirit of the day, one of the fathers joined the car washers. Dale Fernwood, father of the Fernwood twins, Mack and Darnell, showed up wearing a lovely little two-piece number, energetically waving a CAR WASH sign to attract even more customers. The ladies decided to extend the closing time of the car wash to 5:00 p.m.

Overwhelmed with the spectacle of the day, Booster Club President Era Mae Bullard is seriously considering going into Cedarville tomorrow and getting a tramp stamp at the Big Butterfly Tattoo Parlor. The other ladies tried to talk her out of it. Oh yeah, the club raised $17,549!

Thursday, September 3, 2009


While driving through Hog Lick Corners last Saturday, I came upon this sign outside of the Eye of the Needle Baptist Church, and I figured, oh, what the hell! I'm sure there will be a huge turnout. I just hope they don't yell at the people in wheelchairs. I hate it when that happens, don't you? But then again, maybe those people are in wheelchairs for a reason? Hmmmmmmmm, one of the many unanswered questions of the universe.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


The Camp Nickleby Booster Club will be conducting their first annual Fundraiser Car Wash this coming Monday, Labor Day, in the K Mart parking lot in Cedarville, from nine in the morning to two in the afternoon. The ladies of the booster club, known primarily for putting on a damn fine bingo game each Monday night at the Grange Hall, decided to try something just a little bit different. With the recent budget cuts that all schools in California are facing, the gals just thought it would be the right thing to do, and add some much-needed money into the club’s coffers.

The booster club ladies work mighty hard during the year, raising funds that are used for items such as No. 2 pencils, lined notebook paper, staples, paper clips and those little wooden coffee stirrers thingies for the faculty lounge. We don’t know what we’d do without their cheerful spirit around here.

The ladies are hoping to get a few volunteers to help out with the car washing. They promise to use biodegradable soap and 100% cotton towels for drying the automobiles. The price will be $5 for a car and $8 for a regular-size pickup, $20 for a cattle truck. They will also be offering a 25% discount to anyone who brings in a car recently purchased through the Cash for Clunkers program! I know there are a lot of them out there.

The Booster Club ladies look forward to your support this coming Monday. The ladies, pictured from left to right, are Anna Pannell, Katie Parker, Arvilla Coker, Mattie Robinson, Pearl Sanders, Dramita Pannell and Era Mae Bullard. The shadow is that of Fontina Merriweather.

See you at the car wash!