Friday, October 31, 2008

What a sad commentary for our education system...

Okay, I GET that it's "Football season" - and I'm all for Saturday games and NFL Sunday and Monday and Thursday. I like football - I can follow pretty well and have even gotten to the point where I can tell what the "call" is going to be on a flag. And yes, I'm a girl.

However, it is such a sad, sad day when Clarke County School District closes school on a Friday due to the Florida v. Georgia game. MSNBC carried the article, and I think it's about the dumbest decision I've ever seen. Yes, I believe community is important in schools and to take that into consideration. Hell, our entire town shut down for the homecoming parade when I was in high school (only ONE high school in that county by the way) and the parade went right through downtown. Our parade was at 2:00 - so we missed the last period. We planned it on a Friday afternoon and the community liked that idea - since most of the people who lived there graduated from the school as well. But, I think it's a little much when teachers call in sick for a football game, so the district cancels school. What kind of message is that sending? That football is more important than education? The game is in JACKSONVILLE - it's not THAT far of a drive that you couldn't do it Friday afternoon.

The basic message kids see is: "Wow. Football IS more important than going to school - the teachers don't even want to show up THE DAY BEFORE THE GAME."

As a friend of mine has said before, and I'm sure she would say it again if she read this - we (and she meant Florida at the time, but you could extend that north to the state of Georgia after reading this incident) will always be labeled "the dumb South" as long as decisions like this are made that adversely affect education.

Agree? I do - just one more example of how education is so low on the totem pole when it comes to sports in the South. Hey, here's a question - how the hell do you think all those players got into college? At SOME point, they actually had to go to school. Most will NOT play in the NFL - so what's really more important? I would love to see blogs/commentaries on this story for other countries such as New Zealand, China, Japan, India and England - they are laughing their asses off at us right now - because, once again, we put Education on the backburner in favor of our high profile sports. And the US wonders why we are so far behind others countries. No reason to wonder at all.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I just got back late last night from the NABT conference in Memphis. Wow. and then, Wow. On Thursday morning, we had a general session where one of the co-authors of the IPAC report on Climate Change (aka Global warming) spoke. Oh, and by the way, the IPAC committee shared the 2007 Nobel Prize with Al Gore for their work climate change/global warming. So, I got to hear a nobel laureate speak. Wow.
Then, it got better - as if that were possible. Friday night, the keynote speaker at the banquet was Jean-Michel Cousteau - son of Jacques Cousteau - the inventor of scuba and who could, quite honestly, possibly be called the "father of marine science" for as much as he did to bring the oceans to everyone in such an amazing way. Wow. again.
So, the nerd in me had an unforgettable week. It was just plain amazing. The conference was fantastic and really geared towards inquiry-based instruction and learning (very constructivist, which I've discovered I AM!), and some really great sessions and ideas that I'm bringing back. I, of course, got no work done whatsoever, and I know tomorrow will be hell, but I really don't care! It was fantastic.

Only one small drawback - taxi drivers in Memphis SUCK and try to rip you off. Just an FYI if you ever fly in there. Rent a car - it will probably be cheaper!