Today's film class was pretty decent. I really enjoyed watching part of "Bringing up Baby" and the first example of good WRITING that we've seen in the class. "Bride of Frankenstein" was a decent movie even if it was COMPLETELY campy and I couldn't keep myself from whispering MST3K style commentary as it played. I wish I had a good friend in that class so I could crack bad jokes with him in the back of the room. I am definitely moving beyond what I will happily label crushgate just because sticking 'gate' at the end of every minor negative incident in my life irritates the bejesus out of Aaron. On a bizzare note I overheard some guys in class talking about a girl (I THINK it was 'her' but they just gestured in a direction so I don't know) who was a stuck up homeschooler from Pittsburgh AND dating a benchwarmer on the New Jersey Nets. Of course I don't know about the veracity of any of this information and I'm not sure if it was she who was being refered to but if it IS true...well it's one of the weirder things that I've encountered in the last few years and that's saying something.
My GED class went poorly today. The students were almost all late and the energy level was UNBELIEVABLY low, they blamed the weather for both. We struggled through a decent amount of material and I got some teaching in but not as much as I would have liked. Also 4 students complained about another instructor, Language Arts, to me and I passed it on to people at the office hoping that maybe I could talk to her or at least someone would. Naturally that was a mistake and they proceeded to leap to the teacher's defense and discount the students' opinions and feelings as irrelevant because the program is free. They also might talk to the students and thus make me seem like I tattled on them when I was actually trying to help. The office people don't get that even if you are a free organization your job is to teach and if someone's screwing that up then they should be spoken with. I also saw another teacher's lesson and part of it said that Social Studies declares that as humans on this planet we must make sure nobody else goes hungry or sick or sad or offended or has a hair out of place.
I didn't know former Soviet Bloc propagandists now do volunteer work at Columbia.
This segues into one of the problems I have with TFA. There's a certain level of indoctrination with the victimist mentality that you're supposed to spout to be accepted into the organization. I don't do well with ideology of any sort and I don't know what I'm planning to say in my essays on that stuff. I definitely don't disagree that many of the scholastic problems of minorities are caused by underfunding and social ills, but likewise I place a good portion of the blame on communities that refuse to prize academics and teachers who, quite frankly, suck. There are reasons behind those problems too but it's just defeatist and false to say that we need socialism before the average black kid can multiply fractions. I have strong views on issues like in-school discipline (teachers need more power and fewer lawsuits) and expulsion of chronic troublemakers. I don't know if I can suppress them sufficiently to fit the TFA mood.
On a related note, Columbia University is in the throes of a minor crisis because a magazine printed, WITH disclaimer, a stupid little cartoon that is offensive to black people. It's a really lame cartoon that's not funny at all and isn't worth 5 minutes of thought let alone days of protest and a bunch of morons wearing "I am being silenced" signs. Signs that make no sense since FREEDOM OF SPEECH DICTATES THAT WE ALLOW OFFENSIVE AND STUPID SPEECH INTO THE MARKETPLACE.
This crybaby shit seriously gets on my nerves. I got emails from both the president and dean of the school about how horrible it is that this dumb little cartoon was printed. I am going to write them back at some point because it's PATHETIC. Seriously, I've seen tons of material accusing the university of being murderous (from animal rights wackos) and horribly racist (from ghetto loving morons who fear gentrification) but heavens to betsy if a black person has to see something offensive. Lawd he might need the vapours! This kind of limp-wristed disingenious and lily-livered response just makes me side with the dumb racists who made the pathetic cartoon because at least they had the decency not to waste my valuable time with it.
Freedom of speech means having to deal with shit being thrown about from time to time. GET GET GET GET GET OVER IT.
As for me, I STILL have 12 pages to write by 6 PM tomorrow and some reading to do before hand. I wish I wasn't such a procrastinator AND I wish I had some sort of motivation to get it done. Just going to have to force my nose to the grindstone, not an appealing prospect because my class left me drained and with a headache.