Thursday, October 31, 2013

This is a Rant

Every year I become struck more and more at how entitled younger generations assume themselves to be. They don't pay supply fees, feel others should subsidize them or even that teachers should magically be able to pay for all materials out of their own pockets. Even more, these same students often believe that they should not be held to the same criteria as others. They blame teachers, the schools and indeed everyone but themselves for failure.

While I do have some diligent, intelligent and courteous students, today I was faced again with what I can only call rank ingratitude. I teach an AP Art class. My students have deadlines every three weeks. Sometimes, if a student is struggling or has bitten off more than they can produce, I have been known to extend deadlines. In one particular case a young man slept through the first three weeks of class. Parents were called, but no return calls were made. The second three weeks I did the student the favor of listening to his case and extending deadlines on the first work. Needless to say, all subsequent work was late up to the day of the semester exam, which is a portfolio for this class. Rather than twelve pieces, this student had nine. He said he couldn't find work from earlier classes so I cut him a break and gave him an 80 on the portfolio rather than the 70 he deserved. I also accept work that was weeks late for a late grade to avoid zeros.

So imagine my frustration when this same student comes striding in after school complaining about my favoritism to other students and demanding to know why I was so hostile to him. I admit it, I lost it. I had had to confirm grade changes with my principal in order to give the student credit for late grades and as a result his grade jumped from a 60 to a 72. And after extending deadlines, working to get him a passing grade, he accuses me of favoritism and hostility. I told him he needed to get out of my class if that was his opinion. I have beggared myself to get supplies for kids. I have done without things to get kids enrolled in elite schools, writing recommendation after recommendation. While a few express thanks, more and more I am getting the impression that too many kids are gaming the system through intimidation or extortion to get higher grades. I'm tired of the ingratitude.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Obama Shutdown

 Unemployment among young people in Greece hit 55 percent last week. We're on a similar track — bloated federal bureaucracy, unsustainable social programs, unprecedented millions of Americans on the public dole and more debt to come — it might be time for the young to stop listening to the music of the pipes on their electronic devices.-John Kass, Chicago Tribune

No shutdown is good for the economy. In Kass' column he cast a justified pox on both their houses. That being said rampant and unchecked government spending doubleplusungood for the economy. Right now we have a stalemate. It seems that leadership in both parties were taken aback by the lucid and accurate statements of Senator Ted Cruz. He is making the case that many of us have wanted to hear for years now. It's upsetting applecarts in Washington and that's a good thing. That's good because we have a government made up of people who have been there for decades and who merely visit their districts. These people no more represent their constituents than Miss American represents all American women. The Founders never envisioned that anyone would want to spend a lifetime in Washington, so they didn't write in term limits. I think that the sluggish and thuggish quality of what passes for leadership in Washington begs for term limits.

"A NYT researcher managed to register at 6 a.m. on 10/1. But despite more than 40 attempts over the next 11 days was never able to log in.Her last several attempts were a blank screen."
-----on Affordable Care Act in the New York Times

As for the shutdown, like the sequester, this is an Obama construct. He has chosen why and where pain will be inflicted. And he's doing this so that average Americans develop both a fear and gratitude for what Government gives them. This is not what the Founders envisioned. The Founders saw representatives as the voices of the People. The People were the boss. Now we have elitists in both parties who want to tell us what we're going to think, say and do. And they are doing this in direct conflict with constitutional rights and provisions.  

Do you trust your healthcare to the same folks who shutdown the EBT cards this weekend?

We have had 17 shutdowns in government, the most recent being only a few days. That this has lasted so long so far demonstrates a few things. First, it demonstrates that Obama WANTS a shutdown in much the same way he wanted sequester. Jack Lew of the recent claim not to know how many had enrolled in Obamacare the first week (it was 51,000) was the speaker in this column: from Forbes. The shutdown, milked by the White House for political affect, gives ample cover for the disastrous and laughable failure of his much ballyhooed healthcare website. Given the various public examples of the unworkable nature of this program along with the reasons why it is failing which is documented in The New York Times of all places there is plenty of cause for delay. But Obama seems to be delaying on the shutdown not because of the defunding attempt, but because to inflict more problems onto the system would shut it down through natural attrition.

 “The extent of the problems is pretty enormous. At the end of our calls, people say, ‘It’s awful, just awful.’--on the Affordable Care Act, New York Times

I don't believe that Ted Cruz minds being the lightening rod for this debate. Washington insiders underestimate him. I've talked with him, he's a nice guy, but makes no mistakes in his political stance. In a way, after hired hecklers showed up at a conservative meeting, I think he's somewhat amused at the antics of the Left. Given the vitriol being spewed by the likes of the Washington Post and New York Times I have to wonder how close to a nerve he's hitting. But as Senator Cruz himself said, " 
“The nice thing is, the left will always tell you who they fear, 
and they fear you, the American people.” -