Archive for March, 2009
Surviving Earth Hour
I have teenagers, so, even though we’re pretty low energy users (I live in an apartment) we participated in Earth Hour by turning everything off and playing Skip Bo by candlelight.
The usual things happened when the power goes off – the kids talked about stuff. During this year’s “let’s live like it’s the olden days” episode, the main topic of conversation was what I would call a “line-crossing” teacher. But what I would call line-crossing, my kids would call hilarious – in that “he’s such an asshole” way that teenagers find so endlessly amusing even while their parents’ hair is rising from their necks.
These days, parenting is supposed to involve a kind of hyper-vigilance that requires such “assholes” be drummed out of the teaching profession (and make no mistake – you hear the word “inappropriate” a lot – too much – but this guy actually personifies it) and yet – enh. It sounded like he was just so generally “inappropriate” (with no real teaching going on, either) that it wasn’t any one kid being affected by him – it was whole classes of kids – and I stood down. Because it’s one thing to think of your precious little ones having a hard time by a teacher, it’s quite another to picture a classroom full of teenagers being regularly subjected to the antics of a bonafide asshole. There’s something almost, dare I say, reassuring about it. Something along the lines of, “thank gawd – they ARE learning something about what it’s like out here in the work world”.
But I live downtown where my kids join me every weekend and not out in the suburbs where they live with their dad and go to school. And even when I was a homemaker, and a classroom volunteer, I stayed away from any actual involvement with the school. I read to the grade ones – even after my kids were out of grade one – because it was fun. And that was pretty much the extent of my involvement with my kids’ educations. By the time they’d reached high school, I couldn’t have told you the names of any of their teachers – except for the assholes – and to tell you the truth, I was quite happy with that arrangement. It’s probably genetic. My mother WAS a teacher and she didn’t go to a single Parent/Teacher interview. Not one. She always took our side in any kind of dispute, but only to offer up such reassurances as, “he’s an asshole – hope you don’t get him next year” or “he’s a drunk, don’t let him breathe on you” or “she’s a nut with bad judgment – her husband’s an idiot”.
I don’t even offer up that because I have no idea who these people are. Sure, I hear stuff in my bookclub, which is based in my old life out in the suburbs, but it’s like hearing about events that don’t concern me – even though their kids and my kids are often in the same classes. And I’ve heard this teacher discussed – and it’s not good. But there’s not much for it beyond firing the fellow, either. Also, and only I think this is relevant, not one of my high school teachers would have passed the sniff test with my bookclub – not one. Not the one who necked with a student coming home from a field trip (and later became a bigwig in the Teacher’s Federation), not the one who threw a chair at a student for falling asleep in his class, not the one who only ever spoke French and gestured a lot, including making boobs with his hands to describe another teacher. I could go on but I thought I’d only mention my favourite teachers.
Anyway, my second child is graduating soon and I’ll only have one more high school educational experience to not be involved in. But you know what the parenting experts say – kids thrive on consistency.
Hm, maybe I’ll shake that one up, too, and bring a transistor radio to the Skip Bo table next Earth Hour.
Here’s Ezra Levant’s blog in which he chronicles the success of his book: Shakedown.
I notice in one entry he acknowledges supporters of free speech of all political stripes (although, he refers to them as “his” supporters). Which is odd coming from such a narrow-minded and pompous twatface. But yeah – I’m a lefty Feminist and I support free speech in all its various manifestations. In fact, I go one better than Ezra Levant, and even support free speech from people I disagree with – a lot – which he doesn’t, actually.
So fuck you, Ezra Levant.