A Teachers Viewpoint

Location: Texas, United States

I am a teacher with 33 years experience in public education. The purpose of this web log is to critically examine the present state of education in our great country and, particularly, in Texas.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Can we just have common sense

Floridatoday.com is reporting that a 13 year old middle school student has been suspended for "assault" with a rubber band. I cannot know the specifics of this situation. If this media outlet can be trusted, here are the basics of the "assault". The student found the rubber band. He slipped it on his wrist. His science teacher demanded the rubber band. The boy tossed the rubber band on the desk. As a result he was charged with a Level 4 offense. This is the highest level offense in the school discipline code. This places the incident with the rubber band at the same level as arson, assault and battery, bomb threats, and explosives. The thing that apparently places this event in this category is that the school code of conduct does not discriminate between a rubber band and a stick of dynamite.

The boy received a 10 day suspension for this heinous act. Additionally, he may be expelled period. Just brilliant.

There are a couple of things that need to be considered here. First, the boy may have thrown the rubber band. He may even have snapped it. The report says tossed. What he did may have been overtly rude, maybe not.

The boy would have been well advised to place the rubber band on the desk rather than toss it. Perhaps, he needs to be given instruction in polite behavior and respect for needed authority. I don't doubt that what he did may have been perceived as acting out. I wonder if, when he decided to toss the rubber band, he decided to put the teachers eye out. I doubt it. I would imagine that he behaved like a 13 year old boy. He may have been irritated by the teachers demand. But, this begs the question of intent. Did he intend to attack the teacher with the rubber band. Again, I doubt it. Did he perhaps act with a little bit too much "one facial hair" bravado? Perhaps. About the time boys get a bit of facial peach fuzz some of them tend to think they are a cross between Tarzan and the California Governator - Awwnold. They simply start acting like things are bigger than they are. Silly - yes. Criminal - No. Now of course, he may have decided to kill the teacher with the rubber band by tossing it on the desk. Let's grow a brain.

The teacher may have asked a bit rudely. I am not proud to say that I have, just because the day mortally reeked, driven a kid or two to distraction in my thirty years of teaching. Some days should just be put out of their misery. I have yelled at kids. I am guilty of saying "shut-up" to a kid from time to time. God forbid in the old days I even paddled some for being a "cheeky" little kid. I wanted to tape one to the wall with duct tape and actually said I ought to duct tape you to the wall. Then, of course, the kid wanted me to do it and begged me to do it the rest of the year. He still teases me, 5 years later, because I didn't have the nerve to do it even after his mother told me to go ahead and she would come take a picture. (I still secretly wish I had taped him to the wall after it became the joke of the year). Especially seeing as how I let them duct tape me to the wall. It actually works. I taught science and physics to Pre AP students O.K.

I have seen teachers yell at kids to give up rubber bands. And, I have seen kids angered by the tone. I find the tone in many schools today to be a bit uncivil on the part of the teachers. So, I ask this simple question.

Is there anyway we can somehow not react to a rubber band like it is a hand grenade. And can the parents please help their kid with the idea of respectful behavior.

And, for heavens sake can some of the loonier school districts out there figure out how to think??????? Please, is there a way you can not make us all look like a pack of drooling idiots.

Lets all just get a clue. The poor kid didn't throw a hand grenade. He tossed a rubber band. Unless you actually are a drooling idiot you should be able to tell the difference. And if you profession is working with kids one would assume that you are cool, collected and capable of grace under pressure. And that if you see a rubber band tossed you will not freek out, mess your pantaloons, and start babbling in new languages. Once again, for those who missed my point IT WAS A FREAKIN RUBBER BAND. FOR THIS WE ARE GOING TO DERAIL A KIDS WHOLE EDUCATION.

What can you possibly do if a kid actually does produce a weapon at school. I guess you are sharpening the blade on the school guillotine. Most likely you set it up at lunch so all the kids can eat while the rubber band thowers' heads fall in the basket.

Schools are often pits of leadership challenged adults who have few to no skills at leading children.

The just freakin brilliant decision to expell this kid for 10 days and pssibly just put him out of school will effectively end his education. What will happen is that he will be placed in a backwater program where he will get the benefit of worksheet after worksheet with little to no instruction.

Plain stupidity doesn't really bother me. It is aggressive stupidity that gets me going. This is an example of agressive stupidity in its purest most malignant form.

Go ahead with this crap schools, you will single handedly bring the ultimate failure of public education. Only a freakin genius could think that a level 4 charge is the appropriate response to tossing a rubber band. I hold these educators in absolute, undiluted contempt. You need to go dig fence post holes before you do real damage in your current career. Please go perpetrate your complete inablility to put two thoughts together in a profession that deserves you - like snark diddling.

Save our children from ourselves.

You can read the article here.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Thoughts on another visit

Here are another gaggle of geese. At least so it sounds. There is noise hereabouts. Vibrant chatter bounces off the plaster walls. Teams of middle school kids explore a major topic. This is major work.

The internet technology class, 18 early teens are unaware that I am in the room. They are absorbed in their trail. They follow electron pathways in search of answers to big questions. One possibility is "start with sand on a beach to explain how it might pass through the complete rock cycle. Be sure to explain how certain processes such as, but not limited to, compaction, contact metamorphism, and subduction can change the form of the sand." To answer such a question is to absorb whole conceptualizations of natural law. Or consider this; "Offer reasons that would justify a group of people to develop a city at the outlet of a great river into the ocean even if there may be natural dangers such as extreme weather, disease carrying insects and flooding."

These kids were so many bulldogs pulling at a tattered rope. And, why not? They worried a puzzle for its solution. No muliple choice absurdity here. Just, dare we say it, fun. Out of their efforts newspapers, brochures, presentations and a myriad more types of products were forming. The tapping of keys spoke to the energy of small fingers bringing thoughts out from the blood, proteins and myelin of their brains. This is learning. Connections formed deep within the wondrous liquid stuff of their minds.

Like students at Harvard Med they worked the cases. And by working the cases they did, miracle of miracles, learn the details. These are the ones who will pass the states puny yardstick as one who hops across a crack that might have broken their mothers back.

Out of their grappling they will write, reason, compute, plan and create. Much like we who are not in the artificially contrived construction we call school must do every day of our lives.

I watch a bit more. I am thankful when a group asks me to sit with them. I lose myself in their work - learning. Thirty-one years teaching, two degrees and most of a doctorate and I came to learn with 13 year olds. Sometimes the miracle happens.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Thoughts on a visit to a school

Depth – that’s what’s missing. The teacher passes out two separate sheets of paper. There is a story on each sheet. Literature reduced to a paragraph. Hemingway reduced to an afterthought. There are about 150 words in each. Depth – where is it?
You are supposed to read each of the small stories. Then the kids write another paragraph describing the similarities between them. Less than 100 words. Time to completion was less than 10 minutes out of 50 for most of them.

That was all they had to do. That was all. After they were finished they, started talking quietly. Comparing hair, styles, counting the birthday money pinned to the front of the shirt, talking about the last fight they saw. It was just 50 minutes out of their lives. Then multiplied by 6 periods. Then multiply the time by 180 days. So, they may have actually been thinking 10 minutes on average. 50 minutes a week. 200 minutes a month. 2400 minutes a school year. That would be 40 hours. 5 days of 8 hour days. Nothing.

The kids are not motivated. There is nothing to be motivated about in this setting. There is no wonder why kids see no relevance in school. There is no discussion, no thinking, no extension, no controversy and nothing to get excited about.

Somewhere there are kids reading real literature. They are having discussions, no, arguments about what the words say. They are chewing at the meaning. The teacher is challenging them to think, provoking them to question. Not here.

A small group of kids looks at a low rider magazine. Brightly colored red, blue, pastels, primary colors in bold stylish shapes hold their attention. I don’t blame them. At least what they are looking at has some color. Eye candy. Who can blame them. Why would they not want to read the magazine compared to the bloodless, correct little story. Why would they not want to read about something exciting?

No one grapples with this stuff. There are no questions. No curiosity. The kids have no reason to be interested. They should be developing projects. These kids should be grappling with the big ideas of literature. These kids should be finding the grand generalizations that drive literature. Striking language designed to make sparks is wanted. Brilliance is lost in so much trivia.

I despise being bored, forced to do meaningless things that have no point. How can I ask the kids to like what bores me. School, as we now do it, has become a pale, almost transparent thing. Weak like tea that has been diluted too much. No flavor. No caffeine. This is one-eighth coffee and seven-eighths skimmed milk or the juice off spoiled cottage cheese. They want to spit. I want to spit.

These kids are not learning because there is nothing here worth learning. They are not stupid. They sense that their time is being wasted. These are good kids with real brains. What is being lost here? Tragedy. Appalling tragedy.

I ask them to pass me the Truckin’ magazine.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Join the legislative proficiency movement

State legislatures have remarkable power. They control the amount of taxes that are taken out of your paycheck. Legislatures are responsible for the laws that govern regulation of your behavior. The penalties you will incur should you violate those regulations are determined by these bodies. Legislative acts determine what speeds you can drive and how the industry that supplies your car insurance is regulated. Members of legislative bodies determine how your children are going to be educated. Indeed, in Texas the state legislature determined which students will be able to graduate from high school through the requirement that students pass a standardized test. They also added to the strength of an entire industry – the testing industry.

These and many, many other critically important duties are performed by members of the various state legislatures. They also have some influence on whether or not you will live or die. Regulation of substances in air, water, automobile speeds, transportation safety and other things that have an impact on your life are controlled by legislatures. These responsibilities are heavy. Because of the importance of their job, the people who occupy the seats of the various state legislatures must be competent. How are we to be sure that your particular representative is intellectually functional or too seriously impaired to safely serve under the weight of so many heavy responsibilities.

We must be assured that every representative responsible for making laws that will govern every aspect of your behavior be able to read with great skill. Since we presume that all of them are high school graduates, each one of them should read at the 12th grade level. Every one of them must be able to comprehend what they read. How can we give the responsibility of governance to a person who does not comprehend what he or she reads. If you are willing to place your life in the hands of someone who can’t prove that they have high levels of reading comprehension, then will you please email me a note so that I will know to avoid you on the freeways – that are regulated by marginal readers in our state legislature. How can we allow our representatives to hold their jobs without proving their ability to comprehend the written word. Further, their actions have an impact on the general public. So, I am proposing that each member of our present legislature and all future representatives be required to pass a reading skill test before they can be seated. Since their actions impact uthe public good, these scores should be ranked. The rankings should be made public. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

The Education Wonks have a great post today which exposes the fact that the Texas Education Agency has not even decided yet what the passing standard is for the current TAKS. Here

The Unrepentant Individual tells us why flights to Europe are about to get much more expensive. here

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

You have to wonder

Lately, I have been doing a lot of thinking about what is important to know. We send kids to school to learn supposedly. But, what? What is it that is going to be important to know at 20, 30 or 50? What kind of knowledge is it important to have to get a job. I thought of all the years we spend teaching kids what we think of as a set of skills that are supposed to help them function in the world. In my musings, I decided to go look at the released Texas TAKS tests. Because I taught science I decided to look at science. I came across the following question.

A block of maple wood with a volume of 405 centimeters and a density of 0.67 g/cm(3) is sawed in half. The density of the two smaller blocks is now -

A. one-fourth the original density
B. one-half the original density
C. two times the original density
D. the same as the original density.

This question is found on the 8th grade Texas science TAKS test. Given that the kid taking the test had missed enough questions save one to fail the test, this question could be the one that makes the difference. This question could be the one that triggers all sorts of academic consequences of the kid. Further, if enough kids had failed to pass the test, this question could be the one that lowers a schools rating thereby impacting everyone in the school.

The academic in me is screaming to get out. The academic wants to say everyone should know the concept of density inside and out. Everyone should know that if you cut a substance in half the native density does not change. But, I have to ask myself and my readers the following question.

How many of us find the concept of density vital to our well being. How many of us get by just fine throughout our entire lives without knowing that cutting a block of wood in half does not change the native density of the wood. How many stock brokers, lawyers, cooks, writers or even cardiovascular surgeons speak of density everyday of their lives.

And how important is it that if this question is marked incorrectly a kids academic career needs to be interrupted. In the Houston Independent School Distict the new superintendent announced that three low performing HISD high schools will have outside groups take over the management of the schools. One of the principals who would be basically fired from his position has been in the job less than a year. Further, this years standardized tests have not been taken yet. Could something like that question have triggered that rather radical step.

I also feel moved to ask the heretical question of; so what? So what if my kid misses that question? What does that mean for my child' future. Does it condemn a kid to the intellectual rubbish heap of history? Should he lose his summer by having to go to summer school to take a lot of nonrelated work in the other subjects that he would be required to take?

I am willing to go out on a limb here and say that if the average citizen forgot everything they ever knew about density, the world will not stop turning. If a kid misses that question is there any reason to have a stroke over it? Is there any real reason to drop a schools accountability rating. I would like to know if there are any schools whose accountability rating has been dropped because one more kid missed one more question. I am sure of it. In all the cases where schools have dropped in accountability rating, there certainly must have been a question that was a tipping point.

Just wondering this morning.

Looking around the blogs:

Let's all give support to the Carnival of Education Week #3. Entries for this weeks Carnival should go to owlshome (at) Earthink.net.

Education watch has is dealing with the real problem of bias against conservative student groups.

Over at the Unrepentant Individual be sure and read this article about bloggers and their blogging lynch mob.

Professor Plum gives a wonderful analysis of the present crisis in edland.

At Blackboard Jungle there is an excellent quotation about properly placed cynicism about schools. And to our fearless writer of the jungle - have a great break.

Video taping of teachers is the excellent topic for Chris Correa today.

At Number 2 Pencil we find a post about a school addressing the minority achievement gap.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Radio tracking kids

Brittan Elementary School located near Yuba City has decided to take what may or may not be a bold step into the 21st century. Students at Brittan Elementary school must now wear radio ID transmitters. The article can be found here.

Congratulations - a school now tracks kids in the same way Walmart tracks say -underwear shipments- with radio tags. This is a K-8 school district that has 600 students in total. Of course, I would have to ask for exact numbers but if you divide 600 students by 8 you get 75 students per grade level. My class load last year was about 150 students. Some of my colleagues had loads of 160+. Now mind you, that refers to one teachers class load in a school of nearly 1000. I had no trouble keeping track of kids either by scanning the class visually or using a seating chart to check roll. The process of checking roll for most teachers is near instant using a chart or just knowing your students.

So, this situation begs a question. What can a school that may have 75 kids per grade level want with a radio tracking system. Do there teachers have that much trouble taking roll? Has roll call for that mass of kids been taking too much class time - say 10 to 15 seconds?

According to an article in the Mercury News school principal Earnie Graham said "we're trying to stay away from the tracking word. It's just another tool to verify student attendance."

Principal Graham also said "it's just another tool to verify student attendance. And I believe it keeps kids safe." The principal goes on to say that an intruder was located because of the absence of a badge.

Hold on a minute. Is he trying to say that the only way to tell if someone doesn't belong on campus is a badge. Yep, a badge helps. A simple badge that is would help. How in the world is an intruder going to be identified by NOT having a radio tracking badge on. If the intruder was identified referencing a badge it was simply the absence of a badge, not the fact that he wasn't beeping in the main office.

The article goes on to say that students are required to wear the badges from the time they leave home for school. Hmmm, does this mean that the tracking capabilities carry away from the school building?

No, this is a practice that should be ended immediately. I can tell you from years of experience in schools that attendance is not the only thing this system can be used to track. Let's just go on to the next step and require that id tags be surgically implanted.

The last institution I would trust to use this kind of a data collecting technology would be a public school.

This also stinks for other reasons. The company that supplied the transmitters - for free - is InCom. This company is owned by Michael Dobson and Doug Ahlers. Michael Dobson is the network administrator for the district. Ahlers teachers graphics and animation at another school. Can anyone say "scratch my back and I'll scratch yours?".

I hope and pray that the parents in this district go absolutely hog wild on this issue.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Looking around in the ed news

Now here's an idea. In a story found in the Dallas morning news Plano Independent School District seems to be having some success with AP Spanish. The idea is to encourage Hispanic students to enroll in AP Spanish as a way to get them into the AP frame of mind. The students find that they are able to do difficult work. Because of their success they may move on to difficult work in other areas. This looks like a good way to help Hispanic kids who are struggling. So often, these kids get shuffled into the less absorbing classes with the Mr. or Ms. TweedleDee at many schools. Check it out at this link.

Well, the Texas legislature is in session so that means that there is going to be a cat fight over merit pay for teachers along with the usual fight over school financing. The governor remarked "Excellence should not be rewarded the same as mediocrity, otherwise mediocrity becomes it's own incentive" in his State of the State message. This remarkable proposal would, of course, be tied to the scores on the state test lovingly referred to as the TAKS. An assumption that needs to be considered in developing merit pay plans is the idea of a level playing field. Considering schools that I am familiar with this presents a bit of a problem. It's kind of like comparing groups of runners who are made to run on a course that is absolutely flat and a course with a 20% grade. I taught students who were in Pre-AP science. These kids typically finished the TAKS test by 9:30 in the morning when it started at 8:00. But, my teaching buddy down the hall taught everyone who walked through the door. Given that my kids were scoring in the 97th to 98th percentiles versus hers that scored all over the spectrum, one must ask how the difference in raw material going to be handled? My kids may have been scoring that high because of me (chance that pigs will fly tomorrow) or because they came to me with brains full of information (chance that if you jump off your house you will fall). My buddy down the hall often had kids make major gains in their percentile rank while they still lagged in the overall comparison. It is easier to go from 60% to 70% than it is to go from 98% to 99%. She was more than likely doing extraordinary things with her kids. I hope I was also, but who knows? Hmmm. You can see the article here.

This particular kid might be the next CEO of Microsoft...unless he wears an orange jumpsuit. In the old days he would have stolen the answer key off the teachers desk and if he got caught he would have gotten popped. Well times they are a-changing. Now, you use a keystroke recorder and go the your local school districts kiddie prison. Student could be jailed on cheating allegation...

The Education Wonks tell an interesting tale of censorship here

We find support for my view that the Smithsonian Institution is biased at Edwatch. Check it out here

Chris Correa has an excellent post that outlines how researchers look at teacher thinking.

The Blackboard Jungle tells a horrifying story about why teachers most likely need combat pay, not merit pay. This teacher to me is a true hero


If a teacher reads this

Morning thoughts

Remember as you start your day that you may be the single greatest influence in a child's life today. The way you respond to the first greeting of the day may save a life - literally. I know that some of the finest moments in my career happened when I listened to a child, just the child, not the mind I am supposed to fill with knowledge, but the little innocent spirit that just wanted to be loved. Your legacy is in the warmth of your smile, the sincerity in your greeting, the words of advice you should not be afraid to give. Pray that God will guide you to respond to children in your room in the way that God would respond to them. You are there in that classroom to help nurture a life. Yes, you are there to teach, but if you don't have a sincere, parental, and Godly relationship with your kids, you will teach next to nothing. There is nothing wrong with a kid feeling like he or she is walking into another loving home when they enter your classroom. There is nothing wrong with thinking that you have been given the greatest commission since time began. Because you have been given a great commission - to help shape the lives of children, to help them to believe in themselves, to help them love knowledge. I will offer a special prayer for you this morning. God bless you teachers, every one.


Sunday, February 06, 2005

some reading assignments

Over at the Ed Wonks there is a great letter from a teacher.

Professor Plum gives us larnin about Rod Paige's resignation and real instruction.

Check out another view point relative to this post at education week.

should be enough reading for tonight...

On dropping AP

Over at Education Week Bruce G. Hammond writes about schools who are dropping AP.
When I saw this headline I knew I would quickly need to get a new valium salt-lick because I could feel the screws that keep the top of my head on backing out.

Mr. Hammond tells us: Bold text will be my comments

"The case against AP consists mainly of what good teachers know in their bones about education: that students learn best when they can immerse themselves in hands-on work, and that the best learning involves genuine discovery rather than the mere ferreting out of information already hidden away in the teacher’s brain.

What good teachers know in their bones? First of all, I recall a number of teachers at my former building who were thought good by the former principal. They were good in that they could smell their way to the teachers lounge when it contained donuts. I recall one teacher who let a kid fail, thereby barring him from his extracurricular activities, because she had not graded his papers. She gave him three zeros for work that was laying, rotting in the stack of ungraded work by her desk. The reason as I see it that AP is finding a less welcoming environment is that there are now far and few among the treestumps who sit behind the SOME of the teachers desk who are capable of teaching what the AP courses require. Thank God for the saints who sit behind other desks. AP coursework does require a bit more of a knowledge base in the teacher. AP courses do require an actual "sage on the stage" rather than a "guide on the side". Otherwise, the average cafeteria lady could take time out from adding water to the instant macaroni and cheese kidchow to be a "guide on the side" of any AP physics class.

Modern research tells us that the human mind does not absorb knowledge so much as construct knowledge.

Construct knowledge from what? What the mind does do is use taught concepts to realize rules. Rules then lead to generalizations. But, first must come teaching. When a child is extremely young, the child has no knowledge base from which to construct rules. So, the concepts like the hard "c" are given to the child so that rules can be produced. This is the germ of the conflict between phonics based instruction which gives a child a set of rules with which to tame the beast that we call written language and the appalling notion of making the poor child learn every word in the language separately and independently -- called whole language. Every school in the country should simply drive the heathen hoards who assaulted children with whole language back to the wilderness from which they came. Be gone foul and pox ridden word walls. So what does this have to do with AP? AP courses provide the concepts upon which the more advanced regions of the disciplines are built. They allow students to internalize the concepts that will lead to the rules and the generalizations needed to --- oh, say --- learn enough biochem to make a new drug that will keep my astoundingly fit body going into its' 100s.

"Students who initiate and control their learning process retain far more than those who are passive receivers".

Anyone who can write that statement understands nothing about excellent teaching. The person who can believe that AP students are passive receivers is still an intellectual virgin with a simple mind that has not yet seriously engaged a brilliant teacher dealing with a difficult subject. They might also be seriously injured or killed if a single serious thought passed through there brains. The ding-dong who writes that must think that you can disturb the depths of the oceans by piddling in the surf. Hands-on learning indeed. Yes, I taught my middle school pre-AP students using many hands on activities. But, unlike tweedle-dee at the school across the street, I found that I had to actually take time to seriously explain some of the mysteries of the atom, instead of having them do yet another "PointlessPoint" presentation showing atoms fading in and out while the neutrons, protons and electrons dance across the screen like so many deranged elven Fred Astaires singing in the rain.

"Modern research tells us that the human mind does not absorb knowledge so much as construct knowledge. Students who initiate and control their learning process retain far more than those who are passive receivers"

Unfortunately much of the modern research in education is so much frog piffle. I know of a Grand Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Sabotage who is doing her Doctoral work by giving third graders a survey to find out their opinion about something or the other regarding what they like to read. Frog slobber - all of it.

Again, this genius may have actually walked into an AP class in full debate or question phase and didnt recognize it as a class because he couldn't understand the elevated discussion or, perhaps, thought they were sacrificing a goat. If I walked into a room where a group of people were speaking to each other in Klingon I would have a lot of trouble understanding (and not peeing in my pants from fear). That actually happened to me at a Star Trek convention - don't ask. I walked into a room of Klingons speaking to each other. I thought I had walked into the the red-neck butt scratchin, fartin and yelling football calls at each other padded room where everyone was running on about a half pint of Jack. it is possible that our dutiful scribe simply didn't understand advanced calculus or perhaps biochemistry.

Then we find this remarkable statement "None of this is compatible with Advanced Placement, where the central emphasis is on teacher-driven coverage of large amounts of subject matter handed down from the College Board."

No, dear writer, it doesnt come from the College Board; no, it comes from God - yep - the big guy. AND GOD SAID, LET THERE BE LIGHT. Thus sprake zaratustra but it was really physics he was talking about. AND THERE WAS LIGHT AND IT WAS GOOD.
I think the real punishment for goofing up our original grace in the garden of eden was physics, calculus and all the other stuff... See before eve took some bad fruit and suddenly the black boards fell off her eyes and she realized that she had to actually learn physics and chemisry. Adam then fell into the trap by eating said bad fruit. He too was condemned to have to learn calculus by hands-on-activities only. We fell from intellectal grace as well. We were condemned to be in the room with Ms. Handason where we folded paper in the shapes of small books with doors that opened onto a single word forever. Then God had mercy and divided the chaos into several different areas called AP PHYSICS, AP CHEMISTRY, AP ENGLISH AND SO ON TO MAKE SENSE OUT OF IT ALL. God gave us teachers who actually knew the subject well enough to each it with the view to helping his or her students grow smarter, wiser, and more skilled. Heaven save us from those who would make it simple.

OK Ill cut my part a bit short tonight by simply saying that I hope that my cardiac surgeon last week did not have to reconstruct of his medical skills in a pair-share format. I'm a bit worried because something down around my prostate seems to be pumping - oops checking that again are we, doctor. You do know I had a triple bypass
right? I even wrote a YES up and down my sternmum and a big cross out no on my .... well we won't go there.

Here is the original blood-sucking article here.

I just discovered Professor Plum - who is one of the greek small case gods by the way. Sorry, prof, you don't get the stage with the big guy. Please check out his sayings about instruction at his site about instruction Where was this man when I was in ed school being brainwashed.

I will now be following the adventures of Professor Plum as he is now elevated to at least the status of a greek god. What a man....