I’m in a bit of a mood today. It’s rainy and cold. Mr. Chili is away. I’ve been wicked busy and am running on far too little sleep. Thus, I’m using today’s TTT to vent about things that have been pissing me off lately. Sorry. I’ll try to be more like myself tomorrow.
1. Kids who don’t do the reading. Twice yesterday, I went in to teach classes where the majority of those in attendance failed to read the material assigned for the day and, as a consequence, I ended up doing far more work than I intended. My evening comp. kids were supposed to read A Call to Unity and Letter from a Birmingham Jail and my lit kids were supposed to finish Shelley’s Frankenstein. I know better than to build entire lesson plans around a reading assignment, but I did it anyway, and the fact that only a small percentage of either class actually did the reading meant that I had to carry far more of the workload than I planned. Fucking kids – you’re in college! If it’s on the syllabus, READ IT.
2. People who only scrape off a little peep hole out of the frost on their windshields. Seriously? You clearly have no appreciation for how dangerous your vehicle is, and carving out a six by eight-inch rectangle at your eye level is not going to offer you sufficient visual range. You know that kids are on the roads waiting for buses, right? You know that people are crossing the street, right? You know that folks are out walking their dogs, right? I hope you KNOW that, because you certainly can’t SEE that…
3. Political advertisements. I went to the mail box last night, hopeful to see a delivery from Amazon. What I got instead, though, was a cable and phone bill and nine – count ’em – NINE pieces of political advertising (interestingly, all but one of them were from republican organizations). I’m sure that my reaction to this would have been moderated if my Amazon box had been in the pile too, but alas.
4. In-office sniping. Someone was more or less forced to leave a position at one of my jobs, and there’s been a whole lot of back-and-forth on mass emails about the situation. I’m staying out of it (in fact, I haven’t even read the last three or so emails – I opened them to see if there was anything important (calls for meetings or requests for help), but I didn’t read them. RIGHT into the trash they go. That place is worse than a frickin’ high school.
5. Speaking of jobs, I’m annoyed as hell at the president of TCC. Every year, all the employees of the holding company that owns the school are forced to take a bullshit training course in “ethics.” It’s an online thing; you log in and watch really TERRIBLE role-playing scenarios where a secretary or an instructor is asked to do something unethical by either a superior or a student, then you’re given a series of multiple-choice questions about what they should do. It’s juvenile, it’s condescending, and it’s a waste of fucking time. My annoyance with the pres. of TCC comes from the fact that I have not been able to log on to do this bullishit “training” (every time I try, my password gets rejected – when I submit to have my password reset, the new password gets rejected) and he’s so upset about that that he mentioned to Joe that he wants me fired for noncompliance. SERIOUSLY? I haven’t even MET this guy. What. Ever.
6. I think I’m coming down with something. Everyone in the neighborhood has laryngitis, and a good portion of my students are sick. I’ve been religious about taking my vitamins and I’ve been addicted to Odwalla Strawberry C, but I’ve got a sore spot on my throat that is of concern to me. My hope is that I’ll have the wherewithal to fight it off before it becomes more than a sore spot; I don’t have the time to be sick right now.
7. Fucking Pledge Week. Look, I understand the concept of Public Radio. I even support it, for crying out loud – what kind of lefty-liberal would I be if I didn’t? – but I cannot STAND pledge week. For one thing, it goes on for FAR longer than a week; it’s more like Pledge Ten Days. What’s up with THAT? One of the reasons I listen to Public Radio in the first place is so that I don’t have to listen to D.J.s nattering on about stuff that I don’t care about. Pledge Week is a nightmare – they invite each other into the studio and talk endlessly about the same damned thing – for TEN DAYS. I’d be MUCH more amenable to hearing a call for memberships or renewals once an hour with the sponsorship spots than I am to having to listen to another news correspondant tell me about how, for just ten dollars a month, I can support my favorite programming. I’m lucky, though, in that I’m centrally located to two other states’ public radio signals. They don’t come in great, but I’d rather listen to static-y All Things Considered than saccrine pledge drives.
8. And another thing about NPR (you KNOW I’m on a tear when I’m ripping NPR); could they please STOP putting stupid people on the air in interview spots? The other day, I was listening to Morning Edition and was yelling at my radio during Jim Zarroli’s report, “Earnings Reports Weigh Down Stock Market.” In this report, Jim interviewed some guy named Mike Holland, who proceeded to tell us that “the headlines have been so scarifying, you simply have people looking at their bank statements…they become less inclined to make whatever that expenditure is.”
Scarify is a verb that means to make incisions in the skin (such as for vaccination), to break up or loosen (as in agriculture), or to criticize mercilessly. I understood Mr. Holland to use the word to mean “frighten.”
Seriously? Has Bush done so much damage to our language that people think that this is okay? GAH!
9. My daughters just don’t get it. Bean completely blew off her homework last night. Granted, our schedules are a little confused right now and, because of my classes, the girls had two different sitters last night, but she KNOWS that she has responsibilites and she knows what they are. My daughters are totally bucking the study that says it takes 28 days to form a habit; we ask them to do the same fucking things every fucking day, but they can’t seem to manage it on their own. “You’ve been brushing your own teeth every day for FIVE YEARS now; WHY do we still have to remind you?!” I expressed calm disapproval when I discovered the undone worksheet, but I’m hoping that her teacher really dings her for it; Beanie knows better.
10. Racism. Seriously. Please do not tell me that we’ve “moved beyond” the conversation of race in this country. We’re so not there yet.