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confessions of a knee-jerk pacifist

By jere 22 Mar 2003

Markov, by the way, has done it again! “signed his ticket, Dumbass” is kind of how I feel. Been doing some long, heavy thinking about this war. I hate how we were snookered into it.. I hate how everyone went along, one sheep after the other, until only recently, nobody said, Hey, wait a minute! This might not be such a good idea! How do you install democracy in a country where all voices of opposition were executed or exiled themselves? After Hussein: what? somebody worse? This has been coming since before W got elected. But I don’t want to take up space and reading time with my reasons for being against the war they are legion but why I find in the last few days that maybe it isn’t such a criminal idea. Common anti-war arguments: 1) Resolve the issues through diplomatic/political and economic means: when confronted with (understandable) resistance from Iraq about weapons-inspections, the UN failed to assert the world community’s “right” (is it a right? Your opinion?) to protection from harm (witness the use of nerve gas against the Kurds which went unpunished); economic sanctions failed: Iraqi children, women and men starved and died of diseases while their government funneled what little money it had into munitions; 2) this is just about oil, and asserting S world hegemony; a glance at this article makes another argument, at least as far as the Prez is concerned, although I don’t deny that the big oil companies are probably licking their chops; 3)non-violent resistance breaks the cycle of violence begetting more violence: yes, eventually, possibly… although Gandhi himself admitted that it would take a very long time and very many dead people before peace prevailed; how many more gassed “Kurds” are we willing to accept? One is haunted by the thought of how many Jews might have been saved if Hitler had never been allowed to continue past 1938. Iraq was in violation of UN resolutions to disarm, certainly in 1998; it has shown utter disregard for human welfare; it has shown a willingness to sacrifice its own people to further its own perceived ends. One of many troubling thoughts, though: Iraq is not the only country to behave this way, and others proceed without a murmur.. that’s our own lop-sided moralism at play. I have a light burning in my window, but it’s a forelorn hope that the light of reason will truly prevail.

war on the government

By jere 09 Mar 2003

This is a bit of practice as well as a post. Excuse me… ahem. Did anyone else sign up with true majority to flood the White House and Senate office buildings with emails and faxes? I guess it shut down the systems for a couple days. tee hee. Also, a friend in Maine suggests making snow bombs out of all that snow they have there; he figures Iraqi kids have probably not seen much snow and they sure don’t need all that much up there.


By jere 28 Nov 2002

Well, it’s sort of over. The court decided it just had to hold the hearing yesterday — we waited 4 years and of course it happened on a day when nobody could be there, and Krys couldn’t even get to a phone on such short notice so she could participate in the teleconferencing. The judge did sort of apologize, but that bit still rankles. We got to read our impact statements, or make independent comments; the point being that the Creep hear what we had to say. His attorney says he’s sorry. Well,…

<p>The upshot: the Creep got 25 years -4 already served under the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board.  He weighs about 500 lbs and is diabetic.  Send him some Snickers, shall we?</p> 

holidays, etc.

By jere 18 Nov 2002

So who is doing what with whom over the upcoming holidays? Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice… and of course, New Year’s (hopefully you’re coming to see me and Raim….)


By jere 02 Nov 2002

Does anyone know why mail to gets bounced back into my mailbox?

Current stresses on teachers

By jere 21 Sep 2002

I know I saw this on the wall in the teachers’ room at Hodgdon High School, but when it appeared on the wall in the teachers’ room at Wellesley, I decided it deserved another round of appreciation…..

Let me see if Ive got this right.  You want me to go into that room with all those kids and fill their every waking moment with a love for learning.  Not only that, Im to instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity, behaviorally modify disruptive behavior, and observe them for signs of abuse, drugs and T-shirt messages (and check to see that shorts have a 4 inseam, blouses cover belly buttons, and no ones crack or underwear is showing).

I am to fight the war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for guns and raise their self-esteem.  Im to teach them patriotism, good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, how and where to register to vote, how to balance a checkbook and how to apply for a job, but I am never to ask if they are in this country illegally.

I am to check their heads occasionally for lice, maintain a safe environment, recognize signs of potential antisocial or suicidal behavior, offer advice, write letters of recommendation for student employment and scholarships (although I dont have to write more than 25), encourage respect for the cultural diversity of others, and oh, yeah, teach, always making sure that I give the girls in my class 50% of my attention.

Im required by my contract to be working, on my own time and at my own expense  well, OK, I might get 10% of the cost back from my school district, summers and evenings, towards additional certification, advance certification and a masters degree, to sponsor the cheerleaders or the sophomore class, and after school I am to attend committee and faculty meetings and participate in staff development training to maintain my current certification and employment states.  And I should try to attend the after-school and weekend games my students play in, to show that I am interested in them and their lives outside my classroom.

Im to collect data and maintain all records to support and document our buildings progress in the selected state-mandated program to assess and upgrade educational excellence in the public schools.

I am to be a paragon of virtue larger than life, such that my very presence will awe my students into being obedient and respectful of authority.  I am to pledge allegiance to supporting family values, a return to the basics and my current administration.

I am to incorporate technology into the learning, but monitor all web sites for appropri-ateness while providing a personal one-on-one relationship with each student.  I am to decide who might be potentially dangerous and/or liable to commit crimes in school, or who is possibly being abused  and I can be sent to jail for not mentioning these suspicions to those in authority.  

I am to make sure <span class="caps">ALL</span> students pass not only state and federally mandated testing but also all classes, whether or not they attend school on a regular basis or complete any of the work assigned.  I am to communicate frequently with each students parent by letter, phone, newsletter and grade card.  

Im to do all this with a piece of chalk, a computer, some books, a bulletin board, a 45-minute or less planning time, and a big smile, on a starting salary that qualifies my family for food stamps in many states.

Is that all?

And you want me to do all this and expect me to do it without praying? 

directions to jere's

By jere 27 Dec 2001

for those of you who don’t quite remember:

<p>***by train: from South Station in Boston, take the Franklin/Forge Park line (sometimes also they tack I-495 into the name).  Norfolk is the third from the last stop (yeah, yeah, trying to count from the end is harder than from the beginning, but there I can&#8217;t help you because I&#8217;ve always got my nose buried in a book and they don&#8217;t always stop at all the stations).</p>

<p>***by car: **from 495-South. Exit 17, left at the exit ramp light. Counting immediately from that light, go through the next 3 lights and turn left at the 4th (Beaver St.). Continue straight at all intersections, until you come to a bunch of Y-intersections and you <strong>have</strong> to make a turning decision &#8212; left.  Continue straight on this road, which brings you into Norfolk at a 4-way stop (Town Common, church, gas station). Keep going straight about the length of a football field, I am in the apartment at the far (east) end of the white house across the street from the police/fire station.</p>

<p>**from I-95-North: exit 7B (Route 140/Foxboro), Right at the exit ramp, this is 140. Stay on 140 through Foxboro center (there&#8217;s a wonderful rotary in store for you), until about three miles outside of town, turn right onto Route 115 (after you pass under a train trestle). Stay on Route 115 until you get to the 4-way stop at Norfolk center (Town Common, left; Church, right). Turn right, and I&#8217;m in the&#8230; across from police/fire station (see above).</p>

<p>**from 95-South: take Route 1 South exit (don&#8217;t remember the #).  Continue on Route 1 until you get just past the Stadium. TAke a right where, I believe, the sign says Route 115, or maybe Pine St., but at any rate &#8220;Norfolk&#8221; (you just passed the Endzone Motel, and the Lafayette House restaurant is one your right).  This is a little access road that leads you to Route 115. Take a right. Continue along as above (95-South).</p>

<p>Did I forget anything?  Well, planes, I guess: get from Logan Airport to South Station &#8212; shuttle bus to blue line, transfer to red line at Downtown Crossing, going toward Ashmont or Braintree; it&#8217;ll be the next stop.</p>

<p>If you&#8217;re on foot, or in a hot-air balloon, or on horseback, you&#8217;re looking for adventure and can figure it out from the above directions yourself.</p>


<p>I look forward to seeing you!!! Could you give me some idea of when you might be arriving, so I&#8217;ll have enough food?<cite>?  Any requests</cite></p>

<p>Love, mwaa-ha-ha</p> 


By jere 10 Dec 2001

I haven’t been here in a while because a) I couldn’t find a text box to post a comment and b) the setup at the moment has text overlying text and I couldn’t discern one article from another.

<p>Anyway, before anything gets screwed-up-er, I want to extend the invitation for the annual New Year bash&#8230;.  in Norfolk, MA again this year.  I hope to see you!!! : )  (Are smiley faces OK in computer-ese, anders? &#8212; I am ashamed to admit that I&#8217;m one of those TAs you hate, putting smiley faces on student papers &#8212; my excuse was that it was attempt to &#8220;lower the affective filter&#8221; &#8212; always important in foreign language classes! : ) )</p>