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Chaos In Theory Volume 10…

April 16, 2012

April 16th:  90 fucking degrees at 9:00 at night.  It’s good to know all the money I saved on heating oil this winter is going directly to the electric company.  You know the drill, let’s get started…

–  Attention expectant parents (But mostly mothers):  You know those 3-D ultrasound pictures they can give you now of your unborn kid?  Yannow, like this one:

Yeah, the ones you all think are just so adorable and can’t wait to share with every unsuspecting shmuck you run into?  OK, I’m gonna say this slowly so as not to be misunderstood:


Got it?  Need me to repeat it?  Good. Your fetus looks awful in them.  Every time.  I mean Christ, it looks like  fucking Kuato from “Total Recall” (“Quaaaiiiidddd!”).   So if you are running around slamming these pictures in peoples’ faces and they tell you how adorable they are, they are lying to you.  All the time.  Mine were no exception.  When my wife was pregnant with the twins we got one  for “Twin A” and were so horrified by what we saw that we immediately burned the picture in the doctors garbage can while chanting a few religious mantras.  We then went home and Googled “Babies with pig noses” to see what we were going to need to do to correct the issue once she was born.  I thought life was going to imitate a goddamn Twilight Zone episode.  So do us a favor, keep the picture of your little “Predator Vs. Alien” extra to yourself…

–  Apparently corporations don’t exactly target the Type I Diabetic black guy market, demographically speaking.  You want proof?  Go find me a can of Welch’s Diet Grape Soda.  Yeah, it doesn’t exist.  There is a diet version of every soda in the world.  I mean, even Dr. Browns makes a diet celery soda.  So the hyperglycemic Jews are all set.  But no diet grape.  Must be another example of the tyrannical white man oppressing our black brothers.  Fight the power!

–  Sometimes stereotypes become stereotypes for a reason.   Video game freaks for instance.  Now, I am a casual gamer, meaning I’ll buy one or two Playstation 3 games a year maybe.  Whenever I am in Game Stop though, I see why the gaming generation gets such a bad rap.  I have never been in that store once where I wasn’t the only person there with:

  1. Clear skin.
  2. Pubic hair.
  3. The ability to claim honestly that I have been in the same room as a set of bare breasts.
  4. A better than 5% chance of free sex sometime in the next calendar year (Although not much more than 5%).
  5. Absolutely no desire to watch a second of “The Big Bang Theory”.

I mean Jesus fellas, how about getting outside every once in a while?

–  (This one is NOT gonna go over to well at home.)  Why are teachers so defensive and whiny?  I mean, why do they always feel the need to tell everyone how hard they work?

I respect teachers.  I think they provide an invaluable service and are charged with an extraordinarily important duty.    However, they get more time off than any other full-time profession (And there isn’t even a close second).  They get paid a solid living wage and have better benefits than just about anyone in the private sector.  So why do I constantly have to hear them bitch about how under appreciated they are?  Let’s break it down a little bit:

Teachers get the entire summer off, roughly ten weeks, every year.  They get a week off anytime there is a whiff of a major holiday (I.E Christmas/Hanukkah, Easter).  Some even get another week of “Winter break” (Are you fucking kidding me?).  That’s about thirteen weeks of vacation annually.  They also get three-day weekends constantly, and days off for things like Election Day, Veterans Day, and Presidents Day.   The average school day is about 7.5 hours long.  In that 7.5 hours, they get lunch and at least one “Prep” period every day.  So that’s roughly 37.5 hours a week.  Even if you want to say that you spend an additional 5 hours a week of your own time working (Grading, IEP’s,) that puts you at 40 hours a week, when you subtract lunches.  And let’s be really honest for a second.  That 5 hours of “extra” work is a very generous estimate.  I have dated teachers, and I am married to one (Not for long after she reads this), and not one of you is spending that much time every week working outside of school hours.  Not one.  Any teacher that claims to be working ten hours a week at home is flat out lying to you.

Bottom line?  Teachers work very hard.  For forty hours a week.  35 weeks a year.  Plus after a few years, they get tenure.  Which means that short of using a phone book to discipline little Johnny, or getting caught with those awkward pictures of the girls volleyball practice, a tenured teacher is almost impossible to shit-can.  Now compare these hours and benefits with the average idiot working in a factory, or better yet,  an American soldier on active duty who spends 90 hours a week pulling cell phone bombs out of the asses of dead camels, while his family waits at home collecting welfare and food stamps.  Yeah, tell him how unappreciated you feel at work every day.  Stop fucking whining.  You have it pretty good…

Now everyone hurry up and read the last part as quickly as possible.  I have to delete it before my wife makes up and reads it tomorrow morning.  After that teacher rant,  I’m gonna be as sexually deprived as a fat kid with a Game Stop frequent buyer card…

  1. LuLu permalink

    I almost spit my Coke Zero on the screen reading this. I needed the laughs today. Thank you!

  2. I am going to school to be a teacher and believe it or not, I agree with you. The benefits are phenomenal, the hours are great and you forgot to mention the huge number of sick days that are allowed. I love working with kids and we do work hard, but we are well compensated.

    It is the voice of the unions that are getting all the press. Not all teachers are clamoring for more. Hold tight to your conviction on this one. I catch flak all the time for saying this.

    • If you haven’t already, check out the documentary “Cartel”. It’s all about the New Jersey public school system, which is representative of the nations education system as a whole. Very interesting…

  3. Caro permalink

    I taught in private schools, so I saw shitty teachers (rightly) get fired and part of my compensation was that there were a lot fewer behavioral issues to deal with. Teachers get defensive because all the talk about how important education is, is just that– talk. We do not value education in this country.

    You talk about teachers “providing a service” as if we were waitstaff at some restaurant instead of professionals. And there’s always some goddamn caveat whenever anyone says “Teachers work hard”. We then get to hear about how good some schmuck who knows nothing about it thinks we have it. Then we get to deal with the lovely parents, some of whom have been the subject of your previous posts. You know, the helicopter parents with the special, special snowflakes. I left the profession because of all the bullshit that had exactly nothing to do with educating the kids in my classroom.

    Anyway, I never had the “benefit” of being allowed to unionize and I don’t have a high opinion of the teachers’ unions anyway. They just seem to throw red herrings around to get people to focus on hot button issues instead of on meaningful reform. I definitely think bad teachers should be fired if they can’t demonstrate measurable improvement. Some of the teachers I taught with were just coasting until retirement, but the vast majority of my colleagues, like better than 90%, were dedicated professionals who really cared about the students and their progress and development. I think that’s an amazing percentage for any profession. I mean, you have to be really hard-fucking-up for a job if dealing with other people’s kids all day is just a paycheck to you. I don’t think as many of those people exist as the media would have us believe.

    Your wife is a saint.

    • Well, like it or not, teachers provide a service. They are not in manufacturing, or production. They are members of the service industry. Like cops and fireman, they are community servants. Now you clearly feel, and you are probably right, that the service you provide, or provided in your case, is more important than the services performed by others, like waiters. (Nice job on the condescension by the way. And Im sure the food service industry would love to hear that they are not “professionals”.) But that is exactly why teachers make more money than waiters, work far, far, FAR less hours, and enjoy much better benefits packages. My point was not that teaching is easy. It is simply that you are well compensated for your time and efforts.
      And let’s say that you are right and 90% of the profession are engaged, productive employees. I think that number may be high, but I have no scientific data to argue it. But if 90% are such fantastic employees, why then, when someone brings up ending teacher tenure, do you all scream and cry like you are having appendages amputated? Don’t hide behind your unions. If you are all so dedicated and qualified, why do you need tenure? Why not be susceptible to the same accountabilities that the rest of the worlds employees are held to?
      And you are right. It is time to stop talking about education and start acting. Let’s start by shortening the summer vacation to 6 weeks like they do in Japan, a country that consistently kicks our ass in education. Oh also, their average school day starts at about 8:30 and runs till almost 6pm every night. Those seem like two perfect ways to get serious about improving education. Though I imagine the NEA and the UFT would kill those ideas immediately, along with the political career of anyone who had the balls to propose it. So I guess we aren’t THAT interested in making changes.
      I also work in a service industry. You have annoying parents, I have annoying customers. You have bearucracy to contend with? I have pesky government regulations to contend with. All jobs have obstacles. All jobs. Some of us just don’t have to go in when it snows too much…

      • Caro permalink

        Your post is another rant, rather than a response to my comment.

        How do you feel about the teachers you had when you were growing up? I think when your kids are school-aged, you’ll find that the vast majority of teachers are dedicated professionals who will bend over backwards for your kids.

      • The irony of course being in that my response to you addressed every single one of your points, while your last response has absolutely nothing to do with, well, anything that’s been said. So how can my comment be deemed anything other than a direct response to you? One of the worlds great mysteries I guess…

      • And when did say that teachers in general weren’t dedicated professionals”? You keep trying to make this like I am saying all teachers suck. Not my point at all. I have said multiple times that i acknowledge that teaching is hard. I just want teachers to acknowledge that they are treated reasonably well for doing it. Especially in comparison to the dedicated professionals in other fields…

  4. My MIL was a teacher before she retired. She liked to continually remind all of us about her long 6 hours that she spent on her feet (which is why she had bunions) and how she thought being a teacher was the hardest job of them all. This was pretty hard to take as a RN, while working 12 hour day/night rotations, every second weekend and most holidays unless I could trade with someone for my left kidney. All the while hearing about her 2 week holidays over Christmas to Mexico and plans to spend her 2 months off during the summer at the lake house. Unless you have 30 years of seniority in nursing you will never get granted summer vacation time.
    I agree that teachers work hard (well, some of them anyway) but don’t start putting yourself above others or assuming your job is the most demanding in the world. Because believe you me, I waited tables for too long, and I’d rather do a 12 hour nursing shift on New Years eve night with blisters on my feet than work that hard ever again.

  5. Devan permalink

    I know and love many teachers, and I have little kids that have teachers. I agree with everything you’ve said. I appreciate the heck out of them but feel like for the time/etc, they are appropriatly compensated. I wish the PARENTS of children would do better, I think most things that people complain about teachers could/should be directed at the parents of the kids. The teachers are not there to take the place of parenting. But I know your stance on that too. Great writing!

    • I have no problem with the perks teachers get. I think they deserve every day off and every cent they make. And I agree that parents are hard-ons and I wouldnt want to have to deal with them at all. My only point is that it’s a good job and they are treated pretty well, especially if you compare them to alot of the shitty jobs that are out there. People would kill for their schedule, salary and benefits and they don’t always seem to appreciate it…

  6. Holly Wibbens permalink

    I have to agree with you about some of the things you said about teachers. I am a teacher and I sometimes wonder why the screaming is so loud by the unions about teacher pay. I teach PE at a middle school and I think I get paid fairly well for my job duties. I get to work at 7:30 and can leave at 3. I don’t have homework to grade at night. I get the summer off with my kids and the winter break and spring break are a nice job perk.
    However, I look at some of my students and wonder why their parents don’t care about these kids. Their children are out of control, or have no hope or are addicted to drugs or don’t get breakfast in the morning, or live in houses that are crumbling around them. I am required to teach my subject area, but I am also expected to be a counselor because they have no adults in their lives who care about them. I work in a middle class district, and can’t imagine what goes on in an inner city school where these problems are more of an issue. I have bought clothes for students, helped them get glasses and bought food and school supplies for them because they don’t have an adult in their lives who can take care of this for them. I am sure you and your wife know this happens in schools. In a perfect world this wouldn’t happen.
    Here is where I think teachers are under-appreciated. Governments keep adding responsibilities without support. Budgets are always being cut and my district is cutting teachers every year to make the budget work. We lost three days of pay due to state budget cuts and pay more every year for health insurance. I cannot afford to insure my husband because it costs too much now. I know my district union is just fighting to not lose benefits and fellow teachers so class size doesn’t increase. Some PE teachers at the high school have 50+ students in their classes. That is a safety issue, but because of funding issues, that is the reality.
    On top of class size increases, we are expected to get all students to pass tests at a high level that increases every year. Those students I mentioned above that are merely surviving? They don’t give a shit about the tests. They have bigger problems in their lives. I don’t want my yearly evaluation based on their scores in math, science, reading and writing. I do my best to teach them but if they don’t have a safe place to sleep, how am I supposed to make sure they can run a mile or how do my fellow teachers get them to read at grade level? I do my best and most of my students improve throughout the semester, but there are some who refuse to work.
    I don’t want a pissed off parent be able to get me fired because I made their child do a push up fitness test. I want a process that can push the ineffective teachers out the door, but lets make a system that doesn’t just use test scores or parent feedback. I want my peers evaluating me. They understand the students we are dealing with and the parents who hover, or the parents that don’t care.
    We have some great students in my school who do well. But my school is a failing school because our Native American population missed the math benchmark by 2% and our special education students missed the reading benchmark by 10%. That is messed up.
    Anyway, just had to add my thoughts to your teacher segment. I think I have a great job and love having time off with my kids. I just wish all parents felt the same.

    • I agree with every single thing you just said. I have to keep reminding people that I never said teaching was easy or that the perks of the job were undeserved. You all earn your time off and the pay you receive. Never a question. My wife teaches Special Ed first and second grade in the South Bronx, which if you are unfamiliar with the area, is an absolute shithole. And parents everywhere are failing their children in the education process as much as the system is. So dont think I dont respect what you do or the conditions with which you have to do it. It does sound like you are similar to my wife, in that you are appreciative of the perks the job affords.
      ANd I hear you about benefit cuts, and rollbacks and rising Health care, the only thing that I can say to teachers who scream about that is that you are not alone. That is happening everywhere, in every job sector, both civil and private. Teachers like to whine about that like it is only happening to them, but it isn’t. Si again, my attitude is not that teachers should be happy about it, but join the club, we are all experienceing the same hardships.

      • holly wibbens permalink

        Agreed! Now, lets go change the world!

  7. Hey Mon! permalink

    10000% agreed on the 3D ultrasounds. They are sick, sick, sick! I am thankful that they were only beginning when my kids were born and you could only get them in my area at some rip-off boutique “photo memory” place.

    I also totally understood your teacher rant and agree with you there, too. You weren’t at all saying teachers aren’t important, etc., but just that they need to understand the real world where almost everyone is struggling to afford health insurance and can’t afford to insure their spouse; where most people are lucky to get a week of unpaid vacation time, let alone weeks of paid vacation.

    Yes, some children are difficult to teach. Guess what, most of my clients are difficult to represent. That’s life. Almost everyone works hard at their jobs. Even those waiters the teacher above looked down on. Guess what, I’ll bet some of your students’ parents are waiters and that is one hard job!

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