Tuesday, October 19, 2010


It's always satsifying when the campers listen intently during a lecture or demonstraton, then take that knowledge learned and move it to a new, higher level. I just love project-based assessments, don't you?

Last Thursday, I showed the campers a video of the glass artist Dale Chilhuly. I explained how glass was made and the process of hand-blown glass. They seemed very interested. One child in particular.
Monday I discovered this little gem in a cardboard box, in the back of the room!
Our science teacher asked me today if I knew anything about some missing test tubes from her lab. I said I didn't know anything.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Waiting for Schmuckman

Ding, ding, ding . . . we have a winner!

John Harmer, Tea Party Darling for California’s 11th Congressional District in the upcoming election, doesn’t just want to ‘reform’ public education; he wants to do away with it entirely! He wants to return education to "the way things worked through the first century of American nationhood." You know, when kids had to write on planks of wood with charcoal? Neat!

In 2000, Harmer published a lengthy op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle titled, "Abolish the Public Schools." In that piece, Harmer argues that "government should exit the business of running and funding schools." He contends that would allow for "quantum leaps in educational quality and opportunity" and notes that he's simply pushing for a return to "the way things worked. In Harmer’s mind, this is how it was, back in the day:

Literacy levels among all classes, at least outside the South, matched or exceeded those prevailing now, and . . . public discourse and even tabloid content was pitched at what today would be considered a college-level audience. Schooling then was typically funded by parents or other family members responsible for the student, who paid modest tuition. If they couldn't afford it, trade guilds, benevolent associations, fraternal organizations, churches and charities helped. In this quintessentially American approach, free people acting in a free market found a variety of ways to pay for a variety of schools serving a variety of students, all without central command or control.

Wow! I really hope this lunatic wins!

And I just love the family. Right out of central casting, no?


For the past two days, I have left signs, asking our crack custodial staff to give me a supply of paper towels, so the little campers can dry their hands after washing. No paper towels on day one. No paper towels on day two. Day three, I was notified that apparently I have gone through my yearly allotment of paper towels. I had no idea there was a limit although the little campers, being somewhat inconsiderate little jerks, do go through quite a few towels during the day. Even demonstrating that one can efficiently dry one's hands with two, perhaps three towels max. However, it is more fun for them to grab a handful of towels, half of which will fall to the floor, relatively unused.

Discovering this conundrum, I suggested that they bring towels from home, or dry their hands on each other's clothing. The boys seemed to like this solution, but the girls? Mmmmmm, not so much. It is my understanding that charter schools have an unlimited supply of paper towels. That's why they are better.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hitler learns about Rich Iott's SS photos -- original


While driving to Camp this morning, I made a quick dash into the Wal-Mart (spawn of Satan) in Hog Lick Corners to pick up some supplies for the class room. Seems our purchase order has been ‘lost’ somewhere in Dr. Chee’s office.

After filling up my little blue basket with No. 2 pencils (which the idiots will chew down to stubs in a matter of minutes), erasers (which they don’t know how to use) and some pencil sharpeners (which they will destroy before the day is through) I went to the check out. An older villager lady was working at the register. She asked me what all of my purchases were for. I told her I was a public school teacher at Camp Nickleby. She asked if I liked my work and a said, “No, I hate it!” She then asked, as if reading off of cue cards supplied by Arne Duncan, “It’s because of those teachers’ unions, isn’t it? The school can’t get rid of all of those BAD TEACHERS because of tenure!”

I was going to ask her, “How many bad teachers do you think are actually in our schools?” But I figured, why bother? She’s probably Waiting for Superman too!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I went in to Camp today, on a SUNDAY, on my BIRTHDAY, on my ON TIME, to grade some work and get the room ready for the new week. Yes, a unionized, librul, quasi-socialist, evil public school teacher working OFF THE CLOCK! In the words of John Lennon, 'IMAGINE'.

Much to my surprise, I came upon this little gem. Seems REALLY SMART CHILD #1 couldn't get the glue out of the bottle Friday while working on his or her project because REALLY SMART CHILD #2 failed to clear the cap on the glue bottle before putting it back in the cabinet. REALLY SMART CHILD #1 really, really needed some glue so . . . he or she did what every thinking REALLY SMART CHILD would do, cut open the bottle of glue with an Xacto knife, thus making the bottle useless! THANK YOU, REALLY SMART CHILD.

60 on 10-10-10!

Not sure how this happened, by awoke this morning to find that I’ve been on this planet for sixty years now! Ouch.

I’m now at that point in my life where I have both an orthopedic surgeon and a urologist on my speed dial.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE
9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980
HE was always my favorite Beatle!

Monday, October 4, 2010


Well, last Friday proved to be an interesting day at Camp Nickleby. My sixth period class, you know, my favorite, came apart again. This time, it was because there was a rumor going around that two of the Idiot Children were going to do battle in class. A group of about six Idiots Girls could smell the blood in the water and were unable to come into the classroom, choosing instead to run up and down the corridor, waiting with anticipation for the exciting event.

Idiot Boy #1 and Idiot Boy #2 became engaged in a pissing contest on Thursday. Anybody's guess as to what it was about. I received a call from one of our counselors warning me that something might happen. The plan was, Idiot Girl #1 was going to try to get me out of the classroom, under false pretenses. When I was out of the room, the Idiot Boys were going to clobber each other.

Well, apparently the Idiot Boys decided to put their pugilistic plans on hold for the day. Unfortunately, they failed to notify Idiot Girl #1 that they were not going to clobber each other that day. She tried to get me out of the class room anyway, saying another student needed my help outside in the art patio. Idiot Girl #1 failed to realize that said student was still in the class room!

I just know these kids are going to end up in a future edition of THE DARWIN AWARDS!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Schools Matter: Rick Ayers on WfS at Democracy Now

Schools Matter: Rick Ayers on WfS at Democracy Now: "From Democracy Now: Waiting for Superman, a new documentary by filmmaker Davis Guggenheim, has caused a stir in the education world for its..."