Monday, February 16, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I hate surveys. I think the process of sending them to everyone and anticipating their answers are too much pressure! Plus I feel the government or some Illuminati type group is compiling the information so they can use the information to educate some agent that will will appear as a new Friend that will coincidentally have so much in common with me, get me to lower my defenses then boom! Frame me for a crime I didn't commit. I know this is all groundless... Right? heh - heh... in any case in a feeble attempt to allay my paranoia, I finally filled out one and present it here.
1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? No
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? I got weepy a couple of days ago because I was so happy. Tears of gratitude.
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? My cursive penmanship has much to be desired
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? I cannot roll with meat
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? one day.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Yes. I try to be what I want in a friend so it would stand to reason
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? I try to avoid it. It's mean
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS Tonsils yes, uvula no.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No way. there are so many better reasons to challenge death.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Spoon Sized Shredded Wheat (NO FROSTING!)
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? I kick em off.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Sometimes I smell strong
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? I desire vanilla
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? shoes. omg shoes.
15. RED OR PINK? Magenta
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? bad eyesight
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My Mother
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? No That's why I'm posting it
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Black pants with white racing stripes
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE ? steamed spinach, broccoli and string beans, with brown rice and tofu
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Morrissey
22. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Periwinkle
23. FAVORITE SMELLS? rain.
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Vinny Vella had a question.
25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Yes, theyre mah fwend.
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Is chess a sport?
27. HAIR COLOR? black with strands of silver
28. EYE COLOR? its dark brown when I look at it with a flashlight
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? not in a hot minute
30. FAVORITE FOOD? I think I would like a baked yam. I haven’t had one in a month or so.
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Who wouldn’t enjoy a happy ending?
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? the Wrestler
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Black Tri State Conspiracy shirt
34. SUMMER OR WINTER? winter
35. HUGS OR KISSES? Both
36. FAVORITE DESSERT? A honey crisp or cameo apple would be nice
37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Not necessary
38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Not necessary
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? The
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Mr T.
41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT? Hustle, episode 1 season 4
42. FAVORITE SOUND? rain
43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? BEATLES
44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? The jury is still out on that one.
46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
47. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK? Not necessary
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I ran into a concerned citizen who knew of my interest in the
HEARINGS ON MAYORAL SCHOOL CONTROL
February 12 at the Williamson Theater,
March 13 at the Lovinger Theater,
March 20 at Klitgord Auditorium,
ln order to speak, you must go to the web site http:/www.assembly.stateny.us/comm./Ed/20090l/form.html
Notice of Public Hearing Governance of
You download the form Public Hearing Reply Form, fill out the form, and fax to
Here is the speech as it was read. I hope it motivates you as it did me when I first heard it!
I would like to discuss mayoral control as it pertains to the teachers who are currently in the reassignment centers. Currently, 1.000 teachers throughout the city are being removed from their positions. Over 5,000 teacher over the past four years.
Mayor Bloomberg would have the public believe that by removing teachers, who are designated "ineffective" the students will benefit. The Mayor believes that the students reading and math scores will improve if the teachers are removed.
Let me give you the fiscal costs. Mayor Bloomberg has set up a unit at the Board of Education called "The Teachers Performance Unit. A euphuism for removing teachers. The cost of this unit, approximately one million dollars. After the principal sends a form to the unit targeting a teacher, the teacher is then sent to the reassignment center. The tenured teacher is paid their salary, a substitute teacher replaces the teacher; The
teachers are housed at various sites; Security guards are employed. Approximately 4 security guards per unit. The is cost over 200 million dollars.
The teachers careers are basically over. They are given a hearing. If found guilty they can either be terminated or given heavy fines. The fines range from 2,500 to 20,000. They are sent back to a school as ATR which is
basically a substitute teacher. Can you imagine if you did this to other municipal employees.
Let me share some of the charges the teachers are accused of:
- A teacher was holding a diet coke while waiting for students to come to class.
- The teacher sent a student to the nurse. The principal said the teacher did not follow the protocol of sending the student to the health aide first.
- A teacher was accused of holding a magazine while in the hall
- A teacher did not put the heading on the chalkboard.
The teachers of
Mayors pet project. I am asking that you consider not authorizing Mayoral control of the Board of Education. Mayor Bloomberg has abused the power; I think the original system of Independent Board Members with community board members to represent the parents is far more equitable. The children’s math and reading scores do not justify Mayor Bloomberg’s attack on teachers. According to Assemblyman Brenen’s report, there was only 9% increase in the reading and math scores since 2004.
Despite the fiscal crisis in the city, Mayor Bloomberg is still sending teachers to the reassignment center. If in fact there is a vote to reauthorize Mayor Bloomberg, I ask that there be some controls on his power. The teachers should not be under attack by the mayor. l ask you to consider that the teachers should not be made scapegoats for the educational system that still produces over fifty percent of students who are unable to graduate. The present system that is in place is the problem and not the teachers. Mayor Bloomberg is concerned with the business of politics. Instead of the business of producing a quality of education for our children.
Monday, February 9, 2009
In New York City a growing number of teachers are being removed from schools and being reassigned to detainment centers. Nicknamed "the rubber room" these delapidated, makeshift prisons are meant to house them while they await their impending trials. While still on the payroll the innocent, guilty and just plain insane are thrown together to fend for themselves for sometimes several years before they see a trial or even receive their charges.
Theres a documentary on the subject as well as countless news articles and a episode of this American Life on the subject. If you want the latest scoop on the goings on check out Betsy Combiers Rubber Room Reporter blog. Betsy one day returned home to find her site suddenly linked to a dead page and she had to rebuild her site from scratch article by article. A oversight or sabotage! You decide. There are lots of higher ups that want this story buried but there are some justice loving folks that won't let it die! More info to come! Betsy also does an informative website for public school parents called parentadvocates.org
So you might wonder what exactly do people do while they're in the Rubber Room? Some get office work, and menial tasks. Some do obvious stuff like play cards, chess or try to avoid getting stabbed or choked over sitting in someones seat. I personally took full advantage of my time and wrote a book about my experiences. I'm in the process of creating a screenplay version of it. No, seriously. I think Michael Winslow would be perfect to play me. I'm sure he would chubby up for the role...
RUBBER ROOM ROCK
Within These Walls Cirano Z shares his experiences in music form.
on the Rubber Room Song Jason Trachtenburg from the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow players co pens and pulls double duty on this ode to NYC Rubber Room Teachers trapped in the system. Catherine Dudley on Violin.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
A cold winter night is so dark. Lucky I was rolling through Central Park during the afternoon. it was so bright and everything was bright and white. the ponds were frozen over though I did see birds and squirrels and people photographing the birds on trees. I had to get a couple of shots meself. I tell you in the stillness, beauty and quiet you really feel the presence of God. No seriously. I cant front on this one. In any case It made me think of "Wintertime Aglow" a pretty little ditty that we used to practice in 7th grade Chorus until I wimped out of the big Christmas concert because they wanted us to wear neckerchiefs and prance around like reindeer. I was more into drawing anyhoo.