A New Year: Back in the USSR

“Show me round your snow peaked
mountain way down south
Take me to you daddy’s farm
Let me hear your balalaikas ringing out
Come and keep your comrade warm
I’m back in the USSR
Hey, You don’t know how lucky you are, boy
Back in the USSR”

-Lennon/McCartney, Back in the USSR

It took me a week off to figure out what was the matter with this year and why I have been so miserable. But first, Melinda and Bill Gates were on, you know, the philanthropists. They have given a ton away to education, but first. . .let’s get some digs in. I love philanthropists, they make (made) so much money off of ripoff things like. . .well, Vista for one thing. One night I listened to Gates and Warren Buffett ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/26/warren-buffett-lobbying-f_n_551657.html?view=print ) giving their opinions on making America great, and this one is a riot. The robber barons legitimizing themselves, sort of like street whores in Chanel.

Most teachers are hard working slobs, who put in the 9-5+, and give in a lot of themselves. The ones who spend hours with parents at the end of a day, trying to get a kid on the right track. Those who carry stuff home with them, much to their family’s tolerance.  The one’s who always go home and check out their kids’ outgrown clothes, or toys, or books for students who have a lot less. Those doing early morning or after school programs for nothing. Those who put up with endless visits, from endless parents, who may be in a greater psychic quandry, more than their children.

And then I have to listen to Melinda Gates, well-meaning, talking about how teachers are allowing themselves to be videotaped and then doing the self-correcting thing on playback. I wish the Gates spent as much time trying to untangle the serious issue of corporate textbooks, the whole system of school adoptions of textbooks, the real life financial accounting for standardized testing and these costs to public schools in the name of education. There is an awful lot of technology in public schools, whose costs have not come cheap, and I notice whether Apple  or PC, it almost always leads back to that Microsoft pot of gold, at the end of every rainbow. What Bill Gates, tries to pull of the Daddy Warbuck$ thing, he might explain to the public individual licensing of school computers for operating systems. Honey, disconnect the phone! Better perhaps if public schools began to teach and use Linux as their primary operating system ( http://www.linux.org/ ) .

I wish they would try to help unravel the very real threat private politicians have had on the public education system since the Reagan hit Washington over 30 years ago. They might do a preface on the Gablers and Kanawha County, West Virginia. They might want to research Ocean Hill/Brownsville and the political football school boards have become. They might want to write a chapter to show the public the very real ties of market profits in textbook publishing to not for profit public education. They might want to write another on how privatization of school lunch programs might have ties to obesity ( http://ns.umich.edu/htdocs/releases/plainstory.php?id=6422 ).

In the meantime, I am back at school, the kids are terrific. They are talking so much, much over the excitement of one holiday to another! Why was I so miserable? Probably futureshock, and listening to the junk about teachers. No one ever says, “politicians should do better by watching videos of their performance,” or robber barons for that matter. I didn’t notice Buffett or Gates coming to my school to give out a free anything, like Universal and SeaWorld/Bush Gardens do. Nor have they ever showed up for free, like the Magic has!

I was in the U.S.S.R for real years ago, lemme hear your balalaikas ringing out.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/12/09/masters

Stayed tuned.

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