Friday, July 10, 2009

It's been a while but I'm back!

I'm really wishing that this whole Michael Jackson thing would just go away. I'm very sorry for his family and understand that they're feeling a terrible sense of loss at this time, but stopping the world for the death of an entertainer bothers me greatly. What's worse is the idea that the California taxpayers may be footing part of the bill for the funeral. I find this appalling. I think it's all simply evidence of this ridiculous cult of celebrity that has been growing uncontrollably in this country for several years. Is our democratic society so in need of the idea of royalty that we have to create our own in the form of celebrities? I thought we fought a war to get out from under the oppressive rule of a monarch. I can only shake my head in disbelief and wonder when people will start thinking again.

Speaking of thinking, summer school has begun and I'm back to wondering how some of these kids are going to make it after high school. My job is to get kids to pass the state test...a test which is for minimum basic skills, mind you...and it's like pulling teeth to get a lucid sentence out of some of them, never mind a coherent, unified essay. I wish they could understand the importance of clear communication. Unfortunately, some of them never will. I see that all the time, and it's so frustrating to have to deal with adults who never learned how to communicate. That's actually what got me back to teaching--I was tired of fixing problems caused by poor communication skills in business so I thought I'd go back and nip it in the bud before the little darlings got out into the working world. But so many of today's students come in with such a chip on their shoulders. They absolutely don't believe I can possibly know anything worth knowing, therefore they do whatever they can to try to subvert my lessons. It's sad, really, because I know where many of them are headed, and it isn't going to be pretty for them.

Hmmm...I should rename this blog and call it what it is today-a rant. There's lots to rant about lately, besides the MJ thing. I think what upset me the most about that (and yes, I've gone full circle) was that Farrah Fawcett died the same day and by that evening, the world was like, "Farrah who?" Having lost both my parents to cancer and then having my own cancer, I know how horrible her last days were, not only for her, but more importantly, for her family. It's a gruesome death and the family members had to have spent more time mourning her before her death than they did afterward. You're on a death watch when someone with a terminal illness nears the end. I'm reminded of a line from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar: "Between the acting of a dreadful thing and the first motion, All the interim is like a phantasma, or a hideous dream..." II.i ll 63-65. From her first diagnosis to her death I'm sure that family went through their own version of a hideous dream, and yet the demise of an overaged manchild who may very well have been a pedophile overshadowed all their grief and replaced it with a media circus that became nauseating. My heart goes out to Farrah's family.

Well, my rant has run its course. I will push to update this blog with more frequency, dear readers. Till then, I'm off.