In Her Shell
John McCain Is Already Dead
If you're wondering why John McCain, with his face sagging off and his deep black eyes, looks like he is already dead, here's why: John McCain is already dead. Voldemort has taken the husk of his body and propped it up inside with his evil snake, Nagini.
The Hard Work Of Our Children
On the radio yesterday, an elementary school principal in Connecticut credited the subject line above, along with increased professional development for teachers, with getting his school off of the state's Failing list. Listening, I pictured dozens of small first- and second-graders bent over desks, scribbling away with their pencils, maybe a tongue or two stuck out the side of a mouth in concentration.
I couldn't help but fixate on that phrase: "the hard work of our children." It seems wrong, somehow. Maybe it's my cushy 20th century upbringing, but hard work doesn't seem like something children should be doing. I recognize, of course, that 'hard work' for them may not be hard work for me, and it's all relative. I know that children used to be put right to work on farms as soon as they could walk. But that work was useful work, and practical, and more often than not, designed for each little worker's abilities.
And I know about standardized tests. I know what they do to students and teachers when too much emphasis is placed on them. Their benefits are abstract, they matter most to politicians and faraway capitalists. Seven and eight year olds should be doing the hard work of reading and math and playing well with others, and maybe geography. Not multiple choice, timed reading or writing, or anything following the words "high stakes."
, which creates pretty 'word clouds' from any text you paste in, based on the frequency of the words' appearance. Here's one I created from my last blog post:
But you can do all sorts of fun ones from the Gettysburg Address, your resume or your favorite song. Wordies, prepare to spend some time there.
Dear Sarah Palin,
Yes, you have boobs. That doesn't mean that, because I have boobs, I will automatically vote for your creationist, wildly conservative, inexperienced self.
Dear "Liberal" Media,
Please stop feeding this fire by implying that, because I have boobs, I will be so short-sighted, shallow, and downright stupid as to switch my support from Barack Obama to John McCain just because Sarah Palin has boobs.
Dear American Women,
Please don't fall for that shit.
Dear McCain Supporters,
Don't get all excited and act like you're being progressive because of the boobs on McCain's ticket. You are the spiritual descendants of the folks who got behind women's suffrage because it was a distraction from civil rights for black people, and don't you forget it.
Dear John McCain and Barack Obama,
Way to make yourselves even more exactly the same.
I'm sorry that when you called me, from a Restricted number, at 4:00 in the morning, that I wouldn't tell you my last name. I may have been a bit short with you when I told you that you could not reach someone called "Diane" in my bedroom. Thank you for pulling me out of the nightmare I was having, which included a friend falling asleep dangerously with a joint in her hand and a disabled West Indian woman who kept trying to get out of her wheelchair. However, your blunt request for my name did inspire some disbelief, and I hope you understand my cranky response, "Who is THIS?" Your claim that "this number is in [your] phone" and your lack of satisfaction with my grudging release of my first name only did surprise me, the request for further identification coming as it did at 4:00 in the morning. When I brusquely told you so, you quietly said that you understood and hung up, leaving me to stare sleeplessly at the ceiling, wondering about your story, and also my dream.
In the summer I wear underwear.
In the fall, I also wear pants.
In the summer, my mid-day naps are long and luxurious.
In the fall, I nap on the couch in the faculty room, while everyone else is eating lunch.
In the summer I let my hair air-dry and ignore it.
In the fall I wrestle with it, gumming it up with pomade and blasting it with a hair dryer. (The difference is not noticeable.)
In the fall I wear a little bit of makeup, and real shoes.
What I talk about in summer: how we really should go miniature golfing.
What I talk about in fall: how we really should go pumpkin picking.
In August I berate myself for not spending more time outside.
In September I blame the school.
Happy Labor Day!