from a public HS teacher (Gov't, Religion, Soc. Issues), who is eclectic (Dem-leaning) politically and Quaker (& open) on everything else. Hope you enjoy what you find here.

Thursday, February 05, 2004


To start with, even though I did not attend a MEETUP for Dean last night, my inbox is full of frustration and anger from active Dean supporters. These were the most active, and often most professional, supporters, many of whom are professionals. Some feel their advice is still being ignored by Burlington. Other express frustration over the waste they still see in the campaign. And more and more I am seeing anger towards traditional "pillars" of the Democratic party, including the main party leadership, especially the DLC, and now openly towards the Clintons. Here in Virginia, with just a little support from Burlington a lot of voters could have been locked in for Dean. Instead only Clark has been running ads, and now both Clark and Edwards are making major pushes. I will be surprised, perhaps shocked, if Dean finishes better than 4th here next Tuesday, especially after he gets blown out in Michigan.

On a slightly different topic: tonight is our first Mock Trail competition. My students are still not ready. Let's see how they handle what is likely to happen to them. Of course, our opponent may be no better preapred than are we, so we may survive.

And now, I have to refocus on my primary goal: teaching [mainly 9th graders]. Each year I am again surprised at how little of what I consider basics about academics they have learned. Each year I must again walk them through how to do a bilbiography, something those in PG schools were supposed to learn in 8th grade. And some of the brightest kids still do not seem to grasp that you cannot simply print something down from the internet and claim it as your own work. Still, when we see successful presidential campaigns of people who claim as their own campaign slogans and phrases from stump speeches material that was originally offered by one of their opponents, how can I blame my students? All I can do is call them to a higher standard. That may frustrate them, because they will not fully understand why, but I can not in good conscience demand any less of them.

And now to school.
FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME OFFLINE at kber@earthlink.net Comments, suggestions and even rude remarks are welcomed! Preface any messages with "teacherken" so I know they are not spam.
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