Monday, September 17, 2018

the big news around here was the closure of sunspot observatory; people were evacuated for about a week, and nobody ever really knew why. they are still speculating about why. someone was threatening the staff. someone was picking up signals from white sands, down in the valley. or the feds just wanted to close it down (though it reopened). or, aliens.

sunspot is about ten or fifteen miles of mountain roads from here. we are the only small town anywhere near; though we are less than eight hundred, we are the big city in these mountain parts. it was all folks talked about for about a week. kids at my kids' school were evacuated, and didn't know why. later, they were able to return to their houses, and they still didn't know why they had been evacuated. maybe one of them had family who was involved? one family stood by the road, mad that the world had been told they were evacuate, but that they themselves couldn't protect their own stuff. people are a bit touchy up here in the mountains, about their personal property. that's an understatement.

i kind of dropped out of school this week. it rushed by as i was working three jobs at the time. they booted me out for non-payment, and the heck of it was, i had the money. i was willing to pay. i just let it get by me, and they booted me out. i called and e-mailed all the responsible people, and nobody jumped in to help me pay my fees. so it went by the wayside, and the heck of it is, it might cost me this whole teaching gig. not now; i'm licensed until july. but in july, if i'm not done with my education, the license goes. and, i'm not all worked up about it. i'm sixty four. if i retire, and drift gently into the sunset, that won't be the end of the world.

one class i'm teaching is entirely out of hand. they are out to break me, make enough noise so that no teaching happens. there are enough of them so that they are winning, at this point. i need to be a little more clever, i think. at the moment i'm outnumbered. in a class of about sixteen (actually more like twenty-two), only about six diligently want to hear the algebra that is being taught by movie. no one is hearing it. the others are too loud. i can yell and harp, and it only makes it worse. not sure what to do.

everyone's talking about sunspot. to some people, the fbi is the deep state, immediately suspicious. if the fbi was out here, it's evidence of an attack on trump. on the other hand, the government is trying to close down all the observatories. the government is anti-science, and this is part of a sustained attack on all things science. or, here's another story: there is big-time sunspot action. trump blames the hurricanes on the sunspots, and doesn't want anyone proving him wrong. or, it's the chinese. they have spies up there on the mountain. looking down at the whitesands.

and, the truth is, thirty five years into it, i'm kind of tired of teaching. tired of harping at people to have minimum respectful behavior. tired of teaching something they don't care about, which they don't. tired of fighting a losing battle.

district-wide, they are hurting in the math department. some of my juniors had a year off in geometry; they just didn't have a decent teacher for them, so they got in the habit of not thinking about math, and they're still in the habit. we can call them lazy, but, apparently the district let it happen. it's my job to not let it happen with another bunch.

i actually have four classes of juniors, and two of freshmen. the freshmen, ninth-graders, come immediately after lunch, and again in the last hour. it's the last hour class that is most totally out of control.

the thing is, they're throwing their lives away, and it's all because it's more fun, on the immediate term, to make a sub miserable, and make a lot of noise, than to face the fact that they are flunking algebra, which they don't care about. it's like, if they can blame it on the sub, they'll move up without having to do the work, which is hard anyway; it's a gamble, that if they can get the school to simply blame the sub, they'll get away with it. some are uneasy, knowing that if they fail to learn the stuff, they really are screwed. but most have given up caring, about the immediate grade, about actually learning it, about anything about getting behind this making-noise-during-class thing.

that's all the news from new mexico. a low school, in the nation's worst education system. and sometimes i feel like i'm not helping much.


Post a Comment

<< Home