This evening is a rare time when I am feeling down. I should be feeling up because I finished everything at work and do not have to deal with it until August 6. But what did I finish? Fitting everything into a format controlled by a computer program. Am I the only one that sees the way we are being herded into a tightly controlled, regimented cadre, compliant and doing only the bidding of those who pay us, dropping all pretense of professionalism. Some years back I was astounded when a discussion on flteach about teachers’ responsibilities to their communities divided into two camps: one advocating academic freedom and professionalism, the other insisting that teachers much do whatever their paymasters tell them. That included teaching anything anyway their governing board told them to. I see absolutely nothing to that argument and do not consider those holding that view to be my colleagues.
True, today I was able to read a lot in several languages. I found a kind of supported or sheltered reading along with authentic reading in those languages I can read with some ease: I have some of the old ALM books at advanced levels and other similar books. I can read them fast b/c they are at an i+1 level for me, while Proust and El Tiempo Entre Costuras and Kostamarov are somewhere above that. The time to read is wonderful. I’m also reading Winner Take All Politics. But then I think about the jobs numbers today and the sudden doomsday talk from pundits and all I can think of is how my wife is planning our trip to Costa Rica which will turn into a permanent stay if a Republican wins the presidency. I prefer to watch the destruction of my country from afar. When the Republicans suspend our social security and retirement accounts, I’ll teach English for coconut meat. Where are all those people who kept saying Obama is a shoe-in? Now they will be wondering if they will be fired for wearing skirts too short or being homosexual. Young people without a patrimony as big as Romney’s boys have can look forward to being soldiers in interminable wars. We learned nothing from W.
Diane Ravitch was on the Ed Show tonight and said, as a historian of education, that public education has NEVER in the history of this country been under such attack, and she was undersec’y of ed under George the First. Given Obama’s penchant for charter schools and other conservative side shows as well as his drone strikes, you’d think conservatives would love him. Summer is always a down time for the economy and there won’t be time before the election for an up-tick worth any votes. Our citizens will vote in a man devoted to one thing only: profits, and he will be put in by the money of people who care about only one thing: profits. Corporations will see dollars abroad and will loot the American people the way Bain Capital looted companies and it will be too late. For the first time I hope Anne Coulter is right: the GOP will nominate Romney and they’ll lose.
So what can I do in my little part of the world? I can teach. I may have to spend valuable time entering nonsense on the computer that no one will ever read beyond checking that I’m putting it in, all in the vain hope of increasing test scores, but with only 2 preps and 3 classes to teach and the light at the end of the tunnel, I can do it. Just close my door and teach. I’ll have all students who know me and like the way I teach. I will continue to give As b/c I will give them i+1 reading and quiz them on it and put those grades in the grade book (electronic, of course), and defy anyone to question the grades. With luck, my colleague teaching the first year students will have a good time of it and I can look forward to her taking over and I’ll never have to worry about anyone trying to squeeze me into a conservative box.