One Down, Thirty-Five To Go

I. I Am No Longer Tied To The Mast

It’s not an official holiday, but in the bizarro unreal world known as “school”, today will have an air of distinctive celebration.

The reason: we’ve officially coexisted, students and teachers and administrators and janitors and all, for five days in a row! Five whole days! For the first time this school year!!!

We survived! We actually don’t have to do this again tomorrow! Huzzah!

The significant social, or anti-social, event known as “The Weekend” will today be celebrated happily and with no malice. Only later in the year, when everyone is sick of everyone else to a pathological extent, will we stoop to derisive bitterness. It will be at least the end of October before we escape on a Friday afternoon as if breaking the water’s surface and gasping the fresh air of reality as we hit the doors leading from the bizarro world to our homes, city, reality.

Combined with the fact it’s a “Pay Day” for teachers, my colleagues will almost literally be clicking their heels as they walk down the hall, all looking like Dick Van Dyke in “Bye, Bye Birdie” or something. You know, disturbingly perky.

Only for the irritating “meta” types among us will today be anything but fun. We “meta” folks will make observations like “Wow, it’s only been a week and you’d think everyone was being released from 10 years in Sing-Sing” and “What are we doing here that makes everyone, EVERYONE, hate being here so much?”

But because our true thoughts are such a downer, we “meta” folks will keep our brains shut and stick to inane questions like “So, what are you doing this weekend?”

So, what is everybody doing this weekend?

II. On The One Hand, On The Other Hand, Whew We’re Finished

If the first days of class seem a little longer than usual for Albuquerque high school students, it’s not just because they miss summer.
–“Schools Settle Into Block Schedule”. Albuquerque Journal. 8.28.09

And speaking of the inane, I can’t let the latest hard-hitting piece of ABQJournal journalism go by without a short comment. Now I’m not expecting the Journal to turn into Education Week, Foreign Affairs and Rousseau’s On Education all rolled into one, but reading the 456 words in the story quoted from above reminded me of a level of “analysis” and “depth” I see most often from 6th graders making pyramids out of sugar cubes and map coloring the 50 states.

I know it’s tough putting depth into 456 words, and the story linked above (registration/money required!) does have the obligatory quotes from three separate people (one in favor, one against, one in the middle), but the overall tone of the piece is pretty darn vapid. It’s like a press release but without the emotion. I can imagine the average previously uninformed reader remarking to themselves…”hey, APS high schools have longer classes now”. The end.

Maybe the factoid without any real facts is what knowledge is all about. Maybe we’re all just gearing up for some life-long game of “Trivial Pursuit”. I don’t know…and why should I care? It’s the weekend. Lighten up! Have I shown you my Dick Van Dyke in “Bye, Bye Birdie” impersonation?

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One thought on “One Down, Thirty-Five To Go

  1. The real story, missed by the Journal, of course, is that high-school classes are now SHORTER. When you go from a 6-period day to a 7-period day, the only possible outcome is to decrease the total time in class. And given that teachers need to give a mid-class break durning the block class, the amount of time is decreased even more. Less is more! Maybe they should make that the new APS motto.

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