Friday, December 30, 2005

In Which The Blogger Is Rude

Tonight I took my daughter to a birthday party. It was a swell party, an hour and an half at the skating rink followed by pizza and cake at the birthday boy's house. A good time was had by all.

Well, almost all.

After the kids were done with their ice cream the grownups sat around the table, picking at leftover pizza and layer cake. The man to my left, an uncle (by marriage) of the b-boy, was a teacher in one of the city's nicer public schools. He complained about some things, most notably his class size (32, and no teacher's aide). I asked him what was going on in one of the wealthier (by a lot) suburban districts. "I saw a sign in the back of someones 'car," I said, "that said "another Edina teacher without a contract."

"That's right," he nodded glumly, "they dont' have one."

"The trouble was ," I went on, "it was in the back window of a brand new Volvo station wagon. What kind of PR is that?"

He turned on me. "What are you saying? That teachers should drive jalopies?"

"Ha ha," I went on in the spirirt of bonhomie that up until that moment I thought was prevailing, "they should have borrowed my car. It would've garnered more sympathy."

"Oh, I see. So teachers shouldn't drive nice cars." He stood up. "What you just said exemplifies everything that's wrong wth America!'

"Everything?" I asked. "Like, really, everything?" Jeez, I thought, this country's in better shape than I thought!

At this point another relative of the b-boy got into the act. "Think, Susan. You're handing your child over to the public schools for six hours a day. Dont' you want them to be taught by the best? Who are well paid?'

"God, no! I'd never dream of handing my child over to the government for six hours a day."

The silence was palpable.

Until it was broken by the aunt.

"You," she jabbed her finger at me, "are rude! Very, very rude!"

"I'm rude? "

"You just slammed a teacher!"

"I made a joke about Volvos!"

"You are rude! You expressed an opinion! One that people at this table didn't agree with!"

"Wait a second. I'm rude, because I expressed an opinion? That's really what you're saying?"

"That's right!"

I burst out laughing. "Oh God. I love the Left!"

The aunt stormed out of the party. Leaving, incidentally, her husband and two kids behind.

You can't make this stuff up.


Jonathan Lee Morris said...

Someone I was on guard duty with told me I was rude because I (tactfully) corrected his grammar. He had told me that most of the work he did "pacifically detained" to his job.

Donna Bethell said...

Great example of four of the Left's essential characteristics:

1. They are impervious to logic.

2. They have no sense of humor about themselves or anything else.

3. Their faith in government is absolute.

4. Any disagreement with them is a personal offense, and unforgivable, too.

I started to give two characteristics,but they just keep coming. Happy New Year, Sue!

WhoIsJohnGalt said...

The problem with the "your kids are with teachers six hours per day...shouldn't they be paid well?" is that there is no end to that argument. No matter how much you suggest they be paid, someone can always say, "What, X plus $10,000 is too much to pay someone as important as your child's teacher?".

That argument can also be used for any public servant, any profession whose work is valued.

Perhaps if I didn't end up correcting my eight-year old's homework (not his mistakes-the idiot teacher who wrote the homework sheet), I'd be more sympathetic toward the underpaid teacher cause.

Jordan M. Poss said...

Good points on the Left's four essential characteristics, btw. I worked at my local newspaper for a summer during college and my editor was a fine example of this kind of no-fun... ever... kind of liberal. Number 4 definitely rings true.

Christopher McLaughlin said...

It's possible, Jonathan, that your friend is primarily a buoy repairman in Hawaii. Or a Quaker.

winer said...

6 hours a day should just about do it. 5 hours would not account for the free and reduced lunches. Just when I get upset with my private Catholic school about some petty thing, I read something like this and get down on my whinning knees and thank God for the choice (I have to pay extra for the choice)but at least I have a choice. Charter schools for all!

big mike said...

Dont' you want them to be taught by the best? Who are well paid?'

this is where i would have exploded. absolutely i would want my kids taught by the best and i would expect the best to be well paid. perhaps the contractless teachers should look in the mirror. where i come from you have to actually show positive results before you are rewarded. all i hear about is the shite state of affairs public schools are in. i can't finish the thought, i'm too aggravated. sorry. great blog. give them hell.

The Apologist said...

I don't know about everywhere else, but in Minnesota here the teachers' unions are like a 20's crime family. If they fire a poorly-performing teacher, they'll wake up the next day with their prize horse's head in their bedroom.

The teachers have no choice; either they're in the union or they'll literally never get hired. And good luck being openly conservative in the union.

Adoro Te Devote said...

I'm guessing you won't read this as this one is an older post, but here goes anyway...

I remember the Education majors in college...and I began to shake in my shoes.

I read posts like yours...and I think a good comeback you could have made regarding "the best" is to point out the results the homschoolers have.

The more I learn about the state of teachers in this state...the more I am inclined to want to homeschool my own if I ever have any.

Quite honestly, if parents wanted the best...they would do the work themselves. Forget contracts and raises. Focus on the kids for once.

Is that too much to ask?