Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Shifting Things Around . . .

Filed under: Administrivia, Dark Side, Life, Media, Networking, Social Life — Tags: , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 10:29 PM (22:29)

First, I’m going to drop out of the Passion.com network and its affiliates (Alt.com, Friendfinder.com), as well as People2people.com, True.com and Mate1.com —  they’re too much of a pain to use, and each of them requires that you pay up front before they let you contact people — even if someone messages you first. That’s really aggravating, but that’s how they make their money. So I stick to using the services that don’t have that requirement. Easy enough. I’ll be posting my adult-type stuff here on Yahoo!, as I can set it up to ask if someone is 18 before the system lets them see the pages.

On a related note, I’ve always been a bit of a smart-ass, so I just signed up on Myspace as a comedian. This will give me a chance to let loose with rants and raves that I wouldn’t want to post here or on my KCUF Media site. This move on my part was inspired in part by British blogger Chris Mounsey, who posts under the pseudonym Devil’s Kitchen.

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Monday, 25 February 2008

Questions from OKCupid

Filed under: Administrivia, Blogging / Writing, Networking, Social Life — Tags: , — mikewb1971 @ 4:00 AM (04:00)

One of the ways that people can get to know you on OKCupid is by reading your answers to various questions. The big problem is that many of these questions require more of an answer than the multiple-choice answers that the system makes available. So I’m posting my answers here (the “Pulse” feature on Xanga doesn’t allow formatting HTML, and probably doesn’t allow as many characters as are needed). For the political stuff, I’ll cross-post them to the KCUF Media, and the purely sexual stuff I’ll post elsewhere. This will also allow me to group similar questions together, so that I can post the same answer for repeated questions.

Do you think children should be allowed to play with toy guns?

No — they should be taught to be proficient with the real things.


Thursday, 21 February 2008

Thanks, APS, For These Results

Filed under: Education, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 1:05 AM (01:05)

Today as I was driving home from work, I was switching through the radio dial — 94 Rock was doing their daily Five O’Clock Fourplay with Nirvana songs in honor of Kurt Cobain’s birthday today. I decided to engage in a bit of masochism and tuned into the Jim Villanucci show on 770 KKOB-AM. One of the topics that Jim was covering was the response by Albuquerque Public Schools “students” to the decision by APS administrators to take options for elective classes from students who score poorly on state-mandated standardized tests. I thought it was a bit of a joke, considering the content of the letter that Villanucci was reading on the air.

When I got home, I read the editorial page of today’s Albuquerque Journal. To say that I blew up over this is an understatement — at one point, I advocated placing loops of det-cord around the necks of every APS English teacher and administrator, as these kids apparently met the system’s standards concerning language performance. But after a while, I calmed down a bit. Still . . .

What follows are the “letters” that these kids wrote to the Journal, unedited by either the Journal staff or myself —

First Letter — THE ARTICLE was called “All work, no play.” Are teacher read this article on Monday and I and other kids in are class wasn’t very happy about it. We heard that we had to pass the ABS in eEighth grade or that we had to get a extra class and they toke out are elective. I didn’t like that they toke out are elective because I heard that there was really good electives in High School. It would be different with out electives because some people go to school just for their electives and if they take that out there will be more drop outs then before. I think that you Shouldn’t take out are electives.

Second Letter — I AM WRITING about your artical on “All Work, No Play” and i think that this is a good thing too do for these children because if the children fail the S.B.A test why would they get a elective when they dont deserve one! Getting an edication is far more importent then playigng sports or cooking!

I also think it is a good idea that if the children fail they have to take two corces of that class again so that they can learn it all over again so when the next S.B.A test is taken they will be able to pass!

So yes i thingk this is a good idea for the school and the children!

Third Letter — I DONT think you should take our electives away because we should have fun during school and having a elective is doing what the kid wants to do. You should take the electives away from bad kids that just go to school to get in trouble and dont care what they do. then you would take all of there fun activitys away and flush them down the toulet. What if you were a chalenged student and you got a 45 percent out of 100 percent on your s.b.a. test.

Fourth Letter — I THINK thats not fair to the kids that are chalened in those euents because what if they dont get a good score? What if you were that kid would you wont to have your eletive tooken away. I know I wont wont my eletive tooken away. wht about the sped kibs? Hae you thought about that!

Fifth Letter — THE “ALL WORK, NO PLAY” artical was a pice of crap. What is your problem? As a high school students we deserve to have your elictives we do not deserve to have them taken away from us. I dissagree with your oppion. If students dont have there electives we will have no reason to come to school. And if kids start not coming to school it will be your fault.

Sixth Letter — ABOUT THE “All Work, No Play” article, I disagree with the run artical on how if the students do poorly on the standard based test then they cant have an elective. I feel bad that you feeled on the test.

Seventh Letter — YOUR STORY on “All work, No play.” This idea of yours is not such a good plan. Its unfair because schools can be very hard on us kids we need a class to be not so hard on us. Classes are already hard enough as it is already I mean espesialy the homework.

If we have to do even more we are in trouble and so will our grades. Electives are a needed class in my opinion. Just imagin schools with no electives kids will just go crazy. All of this will effect so much like our families, grades, and well our lives. So im asking you please please dont go with that plan it just isn’t a very good idea.

Just think if you were a kid again what would you want? Comeing from a kid myself belive me this wont help us, if anything it will get us more confused haveing to do like two math clases if we dont get such a good grade on that part of the test.

So once again please consider not doing this because it is so not fair.

Eighth Letter — I AM WRITING to you on behalf of the whole student body. We are appalled by the words that were written in the article, “All Work, No Play” stating an act to give us no hope or opportunity to look forward with school and make us drop our electives.

I personally believe that those words were not only going to influence our students to practically care less and might lead to more high school drop outs.

Having this effect me in the up coming years will be awful. It not only is going to be a bad use of money, but is not awarding the students who performed at certain levels or above. See our electives depend on filling up open positions. Without the students being placed in these classes and only around 40 percent being allowed to have an elective most electives will be dropped. This will lead to less electives and truly be belittling the students who are at the appropriate levels.

I am not stating that something shouldn’t be done about the young adults that are not at the required standard, but how can you and anyone else think this will help the student body as a whole? I disagree with what was written and I hope this is noted and respected.

== == == == == == == == == == ==

Anyway, I’m still laughing at those attempts at writing by those students. I’m betting that each of them is rather proud of getting a letter printed in the paper — “Look, dey put mine in!” Anyone who’s the slightest bit literate would be ashamed of writing this sort of drivel.

Here’s a line from Ellen Bernstein, the head of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation —

“Education should be about acquiring life skills that include problem-solving, teamwork, creative thinking and developing an entrepreneurial spirit.”

Look at what a wonderful job that Albuquerque Public Schools have done in teaching kids these life skills. Every so often, APS gets audited by the state or federal agencies that provide piles and piles — dumptrucks full — of Federal Reserve Notes. And every time, APS comes up short where performance is concerned. Somehow, that doesn’t stop the state and federal agencies from sending those dumptrucks of FRNs, as APS receiving those piles of cash is supposed to be dependent on APS performing up to standards.

Remember that every time an APS bond issue comes to the ballot, APS asks for millions to construct new facilities, higher salaries for teachers, a huge increase for the Superintendent’s salary, more computers, and the list goes on, ad nauseum. Remember what kind of funding APS asks for when a candidate for the Legislature or Governor’s Mansion tells you that electing that particular critter to office will provide “more money for education.” What has the cash that you’ve already sent in via the PIT-1, 1040 and your property taxes gotten you?

MEANWHILE, the kids being homeschooled and going to private schools are far outstripping the kids in the public schools. The only chances in Hell for the disaster zone otherwise called APS to improve is if the school board sends the parents of kids in the system a bill for the FULL cost of that kid’s educational expenses for the year (an itemized bill would be nice) AND if APS ceases to tax people who don’t have any kids in their clutches. BUT that’s not likely to happen. Still, each and every one of the English teachers on the APS payroll needs to be given an immediate pink slip, as the kids who wrote those atrocious letters above were passed through the system uncorrected.

And WHY IN HELL should the APS Superintendent get the piles and piles of cash that they’ve been getting every year? When Peter Horoschak was the honcho, he got 90,000 FRN a year. Then the drunken and drug-addled Brad Allison took over, getting 130,000 FRN a year. When his contract was up, he demanded 150,000 FRN per year, when the School Board was only willing to part with 140K. Then Elizabeth Everitt took over, getting that 150K, and they’re talking about jacking up the Superintendent’s salary even more, so that APS can be “competitive” with other districts.

If you have your kids in the public schools, then you need to face the fact that you’ve been “tooken” for a ride.


NOTES

  1. Reposted –
    1. KCUF Media – Xanga

Copyright © 2008 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
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