Unfriendmehere's Blog

Keep thy brother well
February 1, 2010, 6:54 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The dark side speaks a veritable plethora
of offerings that will work

Only an idiot would try to slight God
and offer something else
How vain
How insincere

how often do the offerings lack
the proper spirit
the proper humility

But then there’s the Pinewood Derby that will be missed
and they will not accept the sacrifice
No matter how sincere the offer.


Finding my way
December 8, 2009, 7:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m having a hard time finding my way with this blog.  How important is it for people to see what I write and do I have anything valuable to say?  There are certainly folks who are smarter and/or whose decisions carry more weight than mine. Where I teach, those with Masters or Phd’s or just better educations than I received abound.  Heck, the average parent in the community where I teach has a better education than I do.  I’m not uneducated; maybe just suffering from that “imposter syndrome” that one of my colleagues and I talk about from time to time.  The longer I teach, the more I realize that a good education helps, but it’s not the cure-all for basic stupidity.  I’ll provide an example….

Sunday talk
December 7, 2009, 5:11 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

A typical Sunday evening at home awaiting the onslaught of the next work week; read, write, make dinner, do the laundry, dishes, bills.  That’s America to me.  Having just finished teaching Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby in one class and now beginning Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, I’m constantly rethinking the American Dream and realizing daily how I’m living it–no, not at the elite level, but rather really middle class to the core.  It’s challenging teaching these books to my students sometimes in ways that most of America’s teachers may not really understand because I teach in an affluent community that sometimes forgets the collective shoulders that they stand on. I think it’s imperative that the students understand the plight of the displaced farmers or the oppression, albeit self-induced, of Daisy Buchanan.  Anyway, that’s “high-button talk” to quote Dave Chappell.

Really, I’m just glad that there are only two weeks until Christmas vacation.  Can I finish all of the college letters of recommendations, grade all of the essays, re-read the books I’m teaching, coordinate the next three field trips on the docket, and negotiate for the teachers in a way that keeps them mostly employed and satisfied in this lousy economy?

Of course, I can.  I’ve been doing it for 19 years.

Hello world!
December 6, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Good afternoon.  Despite the title of this blog, no unfriending is required.  It took everything I had to not put quotation marks around the term, but since I heard recently that the word unfriend was chosen as the word of the year by those that be, I feel obligated to treat it as any other work.  It only makes sense.  I just spoke with my brother who wanted to know the trick to unfriending certain Facebook visitors he’s collected because he hadn’t set up his privacy screens yet.  Clearly, his rural life has him lulled into believing that Internet traffic would not cause any problems; much like his habit of never locking his front door because he lives so far off the cliched beaten path.  Anyway, (forgive me now so that I don’t have to keep asking for forgiveness when using the transition anyway when I want to change topics), I liked the idea of pairing this word unfriend with the Lady Macbeth line, “Unsex me here,” because I think that in the past when women asked to be considered for their humanness, like Lady Macbeth does, it was almost certainly  a call to be unfriended by far too many people.  Maybe it still is.  I find all of this ironic because I’ve never once felt less than, or unequal to any of my male counterparts in education, my career for the past 19 years.  At least not until now.  I’m not naive.  I know about inequities and sexism and slave trades and discrimination and Seneca Falls and Sojourner Truth.  Eternal optimism, however, has been my guiding light for eons, so I rarely contemplated the gender issue because of my outlook and my sexually privileged, white, middle class background.  So, what has brought this all about now?  Oh, it’s really a local issue about school politics.  You see, I’m a high school teacher, a frumpy middle-aged woman who teaches English.  I’m married to a Marine Corp Veteran from the Vietnam era who suffers from diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder and who is also a raging sexist.  Don’t worry, I remind him that he is sexist on a regular basis, and because I can and do speak about it, I can live with him that way.  What’s really gotten me, however, is the tone of the politics at school.  In the last two years, I’ve sensed that too many of the strong women with whom I work have stopped talking. They’ve stopped contributing to the dialog of change.  Right now, I think it’s because the administration is focused on building athletics.  There’s a lot more to say, so I’ll get back to you soon.