Love Letters to a Community College Teacher

These are email note to  wife Lonnie. The spellings, phrasing, etc are as they came in. All the classes assignments, etc are posted on the college computer, so any student can look at any time to see exactly what will happen in class, and their current grade. In first class teacher tells the students that any email must be in proper English, spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.

January 18, 2013:

“I wanted to know if you could tell me what supplies I need for class.”

January 29, 2013:

“Ok, I will see you Tuesday during that time. I get out of class at 10:50 Tuesday so I will come then. All the homework I have to bring is the value scales, vocab, and the color fact worksheet. Anything else?”

January 28, 2013:

Hi, I wanted to know what are your office hours so I can come turn in my homework and get the paper to take to the Registration office to fix my final Aid before February 1. Please let me know asap.”

January 29, 2013:

“I won’t be able to make it to class today. I have the respiratory flu. I understand I’ll have to take a penalty for turning my assignment in next week instead of today and that’s fine. I’ll see you next Tuesday. Please reply to (email address) because my school email is still not working. Thank you for understanding.”

February 4, 2013:

Hey Madelon I’m writing to you because I wasn’t able to make your class today.  Unfortunately I got into  car accident this morning and my car had to get towed. I’m find but unfortunately i couldn’t make your class I will stop by your office hours on Monday to see what i can do to make up the work. Humbly,”

February 5, 2013:

“This is X or xxx, I won’t be in class today. I’m not feeling well, and I really can’t make it. I saws your e-mail, and I will probably come early every week, even if I don’t need any assistance. Thank you for sending me the e-mail I’ll go over the reading for next week, and shade my marshmallow drawing while I’m at it. Once again, I am very sorry I am not able to attend.”

February 5, 2013:

“Ms. Heywood, I was just e-mailing to let you know I am still currently enrolled and am trying to catch myself up. I have the 6×9 shaded drawing and thumbnails complete. I know they’re beyond late but if you don’t mind, feedback would be useful. I have the egg drawing somewhat complete but not sure if I have the right idea going. My computer isn’t allowing me to attach  my image, so if there is anything you could possibly e-mail to give me an overall example, that would greatly help. I plan on being in class next Tuesday and from there on out, a few unexpected events occurred but hopefully I’ll get caught up. I know I’ve missed a lot in these past two classes but any quick information, useful tips would be so helpful. Thank you. See you Tuesday. Sincerely,”

 

 

 

February 11, 2013:

Hi, sorry I won’t b making it to class I feel horrible! But did u want me to bring my painting to the secretary? Please let me know.”

February 11, 2013:

“I won’t be able to make it into today’s painting class. I came down with something and I am not feeling very well. I have my under painting (with references) finished, as well as the 3D shapes that we were supposed to show you last week. I was wondering if you wanted me to maybe send you photos of them via email or if I should just bring in the photos of my under painting and reference image and turn them in next week with my complete still life.

“Also, I was wondering if we’re keeping with the syllabus and critiquing next week just to make sure if I need to bring my painting supplies or not.

 “Thanks in advanced (sic), and sorry for not being able to make it in today.”

Feb. 11, 2013:

Hi, Mrs. Heywood its XXX I wanted to let you know that I won’t be coming to class today I had a very extremely crazy weekend. I didn’t get to my homework, I live with friends and they put me out this weekend and myself is still at their house. I will be going to get my things this weekend. So I will be prepared next week for class. For the homework today could you put some examples on Moodle and I need to try figure it out.

Feb. 11, 2013:

“Hi, sorry I won’t b making it to class I feel horrible! But did u want me to bring my painting to the secretary? Please let me know.”

Feb. 12, 2013:

“I left class today feeling a little overwhelmed and so I forgot to ask after class if we were supposed to hand in out (sic) Charcoal Sketches. I know we handed in the grade sheet that we did with our groups but am wondering if we were supposed to hand in our charcoal sketches as well?”

“I am having trouble with the theme of our 100 point assignment. I feel limited because of my level of drawing and the complexity of the items that I have. It seems like most people chose kitchen items and so I really want to do something different but at the same time I am feeling like those are the only items in my house that are at my level.”

February 18, 2013:

I’m sorry I was not able to attend class today due to car troubles. If you could let me know what we did in class I would really appreciate it.  Thank you.

February 19, 2013:

“Dear, Professor Heywood, I’m emailing you to let you know i have a doctors appointment scheduled today at 2:30 because i’ve gotten sick over the past 4 days. I will be going to class, but i have to leave early. I hope you understand!”

Feb. 25, 2013:

Dear Professor Heywood, I’m emailing you to let you know I have a doctors appointment scheduled today at 2:30 because i’ve gotten sick over the past 4 days. I will be going to class, but I have to leave early. I hope you understand!”

February 25, 2013:

Hi Lonnie, I am not going to be able to attend class today. My daughter ended up having to have surgery on her  (body part). She is still not able to get up and down (especially to the bathroom) without help due to the pain medication they have her on. The doctor has asked that we do not leave her unattended until Wednesday. I am working on my next two collages and was wondering if you have time could you send me any new information sheets from class today via email? Thanks for understanding!”

February 26, 2013:

I’m sorry i was unable to come to class on Monday, February 25th, i ended up in the hospital. I should be back next week, but until then if there is anything IMPORTANT that i need to know I would appreciate it if u would inform me, otherwise i will be there Monday early so i can ask questions. I also have the assignments that i was suppose to turn in that day that i will bring as well as next weeks class. –Thank you-”

February 26, 2013:

“Lonnie, I was on my way to class today and my car broke down. I will make up as much work as I can I know I missed last wk too, I was in NY. I am sorry for any inconvenience. I will be in class from now on, today was a very unexpected event. Again I apologize. Thank you.”

February 27, 2013:

Thank you and i have already printed them and read the syllabus, i was wondering if i came to class on Monday a little early to ask you some questions on the collage assignment if you would help me?

February 27, 2013:

“Hi Loni, I was wondering will you be at the building any time in the next couple fo days so u can look at my collage before break?”

March 11, 2013

I was emailing to question about my grade for the imagination drawing. I wasn’t present for the last class period but I had my drawing dropped off to your faculty mailbox. I was just wondering if you had gotten it, or I didn’t receive credit because I did I wrong? I’ll see you in class tomorrow, thank you.

March 15, 2013

Lonnie, for some reason, (name of town) has been out of power since…5:30 this afternoon. I’m using the last of my laptop battery to change my phone but I don’t think it’s going to last long enough. Tuesdays seem to be bad luck days for me so far:( I’m hoping you get this and I’m hoping to be in class tomorrow. I will do my best to be there.

March 17, 2013

Dear Ms. Heywood, I’m sorry but I won’t be in your class tomorrow because I have a medical appointment tomorrow afternoon. I attached the picture. This is how my painting is.

March 17, 2013

Lonnie, I finished my homework but i won’t be in class Monday i’ll be in vegas. I took a pic of it hope this works.

March 17, 2013

Lonnie, I will be unable to attend class Monday. I unforunatley (sic) have a pretty yucky stomach bug. I am attaching a photo update of my magazine project. I will continue on it and have it ready for next week. Thank you.

March 18, 2013

Lonnie – I jut wanted to email you and let you know that I will either be late or not able to come to class today. I was staying outside Kalamazoo and we are having some car trouble that may or may not be fixed by class time. If you could Please let me know what I need to do to be caught up by next class period, I would greatly appreciate it. I will send a picture of the gridded assignment  as soon as possible. Thank you.

March 19, 2013

Hello I was just letting you know that I was having car troubles this morning and that I was going to be late to class I need to talk to you at some point thought if you had time after class that would be great :)

March 19, 2013

I am not able to make it black and white and when I copied it to make it black and white to bring to class it turned out bad. Also, I did not include the jewelry at the bottom of the picture. Thanks.

March 24, 2013

Hello. This is (name) from your Tuesday art class, I was wondering if you put in the still life grades because my grade says I have a 0%??? If you could e-mail me back that would be greqt thank you!

March 24, 2013

Mrs. Heywood I jut wanted to let you know I had to drop the class. I am moving to (name of a state) in the next few weeks and it ha ended up being sooner than i thought. thank you so much for all I have learned. have a wonderful rest of the semester and summer.

March 26, 2013

Good morning Lonnie, I just wanted to explain why I won’t be in class today. Last night my grandpa got rushed to the hospital for his breathing. My family is all on our way there this morning. I’m not quite sure what time I’ll be back & if it would be worth the drive from (name of city) to Kalamazoo. Thank you, I will check the syllabus for the homework due next week & my grid portrait is already sitting in my car. Have a blessed day.

March 28, 2013

Maddie, sorry I missed class I over slept and woke up at like 3. but I’ll be in class on Monday what will I need

Loveletters to a Schoolmarm

Jambe Longue just finished teaching two community college classes. Students are required to check the college’s web site weekly. On that site are all the requirements for each course,  whatg is done in every class, for the entire semester, including supplies and the student’s current grade in that class.  But folks of the electronic generation don’t seem so tuned into electronics that are not entertaining or part of the social network.. Go figure.

January 18, 2013:

“I wanted to know if you could tell me what supplies I need for class.” 

January 29, 2013:

“Ok, I will see you Tuesday during that time. I get out of class at 10:50 Tuesday so I will come then. All the homework I have to bring is the value scales, vocab, and the color fact worksheet. Anything else?”

January 28, 2013:

Hi, I wanted to know what are your office hours so I can come turn in my homework and get the paper to take to the Registration office to fix my final Aid before February 1. Please let me know asap.”

January 29, 2013:

“I won’t be able to make it to class today. I have the respiratory flu. I understand I’ll have to take a penalty for turning my assignment in next week instead of today and that’s fine. I’ll see you next Tuesday. Please reply to (email address) because my school email is still not working. Thank you for understanding.”

February 4, 2013:

Hey Madelon I’m writing to you because I wasn’t able to make your class today.  Unfortunately I got into  car accident this morning and my car had to get towed. I’m find but unfortunately i couldn’t make your class I will stop by your office hours on Monday to see what i can do to make up the work. Humbly,”

February 5, 2013:

“This is X or xxx, I won’t be in class today. I’m not feeling well, and I really can’t make it. I saws your e-mail, and I will probably come early every week, even if I don’t need any assistance. Thank you for sending me the e-mail I’ll go over the reading for next week, and shade my marshmallow drawing while I’m at it. Once again, I am very sorry I am not able to attend.”

February 5, 2013:

“Ms. Heywood, I was just e-mailing to let you know I am still currently enrolled and am trying to catch myself up. I have the 6×9 shaded drawing and thumbnails complete. I know they’re beyond late but if you don’t mind, feedback would be useful. I have the egg drawing somewhat complete but not sure if I have the right idea going. My computer isn’t allowing me to attach  my image, so if there is anything you could possibly e-mail to give me an overall example, that would greatly help. I plan on being in class next Tuesday and from there on out, a few unexpected events occurred but hopefully I’ll get caught up. I know I’ve missed a lot in these past two classes but any quick information, useful tips would be so helpful. Thank you. See you Tuesday. Sincerely,”

February 11, 2013:

Hi, sorry I won’t b making it to class I feel horrible! But did u want me to bring my painting to the secretary? Please let me know.”

February 11, 2013:

“I won’t be able to make it into today’s painting class. I came down with something and I am not feeling very well. I have my under painting (with references) finished, as well as the 3D shapes that we were supposed to show you last week. I was wondering if you wanted me to maybe send you photos of them via email or if I should just bring in the photos of my under painting and reference image and turn them in next week with my complete still life. Also, I was wondering if we’re keeping with the syllabus and critiquing next week just to make sure if I need to bring my painting supplies or not. Thanks in advanced (sic), and sorry for not being able to make it in today.”

Feb. 11, 2013:

Hi, Mrs. Heywood its XXX I wanted to let you know that I won’t be coming to class today I had a very extremely crazy weekend. I didn’t get to my homework, I live with friends and they put me out this weekend and myself is still at their house. I will be going to get my things this weekend. So I will be prepared next week for class. For the homework today could you put some examples on Moodle and I need to try figure it out.

Feb. 11, 2013:

“Hi, sorry I won’t b making it to class I feel horrible! But did u want me to bring my painting to the secretary? Please let me know.”

Feb. 12, 2013:

“I left class today feeling a little overwhelmed and so I forgot to ask after class if we were supposed to hand in out (sic) Charcoal Sketches. I know we handed in the grade sheet that we did with our groups but am wondering if we were supposed to hand in our charcoal sketches as well? I am having trouble with the theme of our 100 point assignment. I feel limited because of my level of drawing and the complexity of the items that I have. It seems like most people chose kitchen items and so I really want to do something different but at the same time I am feeling like those are the only items in my house that are at my level.”

February 18, 2013:

I’m sorry I was not able to attend class today due to car troubles. If you could let me know what we did in class I would really appreciate it.  Thank you.

February 19, 2013:

“Dear, Professor Heywood, I’m emailing you to let you know i have a doctors appointment scheduled today at 2:30 because i’ve gotten sick over the past 4 days. I will be going to class, but i have to leave early. I hope you understand!”

Feb. 25, 2013:

Dear Professor Heywood, I’m emailing you to let you know I have a doctors appointment scheduled today at 2:30 because i’ve gotten sick over the past 4 days. I will be going to class, but I have to leave early. I hope you understand!”

February 25, 2013:

Hi Lonnie, I am not going to be able to attend class today. My daughter ended up having to have surgery on her Achilles tendon. She is still not able to get up and down (especially to the bathroom) without help due to the pain medication they have her on. The doctor has asked that we do not leave her unattended until Wednesday. I am working on my next two collages and was wondering if you have time could you send me any new information sheets from class today via email? Thanks for understanding!”

February 26, 2013:

I’m sorry i was unable to come to class on Monday, February 25th, i ended up in the hospital. I should be back next week, but until then if there is anything IMPORTANT that i need to know I would appreciate it if u would inform me, otherwise i will be there Monday early so i can ask questions. I also have the assignments that i was suppose to turn in that day that i will bring as well as next weeks class. –Thank you-”

February 26, 2013:

“Lonnie, I was on my way to class today and my car broke down. I will make up as much work as I can I know I missed last wk too, I was in NY. I am sorry for any inconvenience. I will be in class from now on, today was a very unexpected event. Again I apologize. Thank you.”

February 27, 2013:

Thank you and i have already printed them and read the syllabus, i was wondering if i came to class on Monday a little early to ask you some questions on the collage assignment if you would help me?

February 27, 2013:

“Hi Loni, I was wondering will you be at the building any time in the next couple fo days so u can look at my collage before break?”

March 11, 2013

I was emailing to question about my grade for the imagination drawing. I wasn’t present for the last class period but I had my drawing dropped off to your faculty mailbox. I was just wondering if you had gotten it, or I didn’t receive credit because I did I wrong? I’ll see you in class tomorrow, thank you.

March 15, 2013

Lonnie, for some reason, (name of town) has been out of power since…5:30 this afternoon. I’m using the last of my laptop battery to change my phone but I don’t think it’s going to last long enough. Tuesdays seem to be bad luck days for me so far:( I’m hoping you get this and I’m hoping to be in class tomorrow. I will do my best to be there.

March 17, 2013

Dear Ms. Heywood, I’m sorry but I won’t be in your class tomorrow because I have a medical appointment tomorrow afternoon. I attached the picture. This is how my painting is.

March 17, 2013

Lonnie, I finished my homework but i won’t be in class Monday i’ll be in vegas. I took a pic of it hope this works.

March 17, 2013

Lonnie, I will be unable to attend class Monday. I unforunatley (sic) have a pretty yucky stomach bug. I am attaching a photo update of my magazine project. I will continue on it and have it ready for next week. Thank you.

March 18, 2013

Lonnie – I jut wanted to email you and let you know that I will either be late or not able to come to class today. I was staying outside Kalamazoo and we are having some car trouble that may or may not be fixed by class time. If you could Please let me know what I need to do to be caught up by next class period, I would greatly appreciate it. I will send a picture of the gridded assignment  as soon as possible. Thank you.

March 19, 2013

Hello I was just letting you know that I was having car troubles this morning and that I was going to be late to class I need to talk to you at some point thought if you had time after class that would be great :)

March 19, 2013

I am not able to make it black and white and when I copied it to make it black and white to bring to class it turned out bad. Also, I did not include the jewelry at the bottom of the picture. Thanks.

March 24, 2013

Hello. This is (name) from your Tuesday art class, I was wondering if you put in the still life grades because my grade says I have a 0%??? If you could e-mail me back that would be greqt thank you!

March 24, 2013

Mrs. Heywood I jut wanted to let you know I had to drop the class. I am moving to (name of a state) in the next few weeks and it ha ended up being sooner than i thought. thank you so much for all I have learned. have a wonderful rest of the semester and summer.

March 26, 2013

Good morning Lonnie, I just wanted to explain why I won’t be in class today. Last night my grandpa got rushed to the hospital for his breathing. My family is all on our way there this morning. I’m not quite sure what time I’ll be back & if it would be worth the drive from (name of city) to Kalamazoo. Thank you, I will check the syllabus for the homework due next week & my grid portrait is already sitting in my car. Have a blessed day.

March 28, 2013

Maddie, sorry I missed class I over slept and woke up at like 3. but I’ll be in class on Monday what will I need?

Excerpts from College Entry Essays of 1980 High School Graduates

HS: Writing samples from Class of 1980.  And education is suddenly questionable? Could it be that by and large a large number of 17- and 18-yr-olds are not very competent at anything, and never have been? Just wondering out loud. Over.

“I believe that the people of Michigan have had it way to good and that it is time for us to put our priorities back into perspective and to live a little bit closer to the ground.”

“One of the changes I expect to see in my friends is more appreciation of the many luxuries we have at home which we approach departure from.”

“Among these four men lies our next President.”

“So upon reaching graduation I feel that I had success in not only the accedemic areas, but also in the non-accedemic areas. The feeling of accompolishmehnt was well-rought.”

“It has been far too long that we have been carrying this countries people on it’s back.

“I would like to stay in the state of Michigan because to me it has everything to offer in spite of riots, taxes, and other assorted odds and ends.”

“Virginity is rarely lost after marriage.”

“The topic of abortion touches many areas of misconceptions.”

“In the growth and maturity of my mind, and as I start to think more about my future, I believe living in Michigan will hinder or diminish my success.”

“Until such time tht Michigan has the unproper sphere of living and working conditions I shall deem it satisfactory for my needs.”

“Florida is the state which most associate with sin and women but not to relatives.” [Good, in-breeding ain’t for the faint-hearted.

“Guns or butter? It is a very serious question….I personally believe that the U.S. should use a 6:4 ratio in resolving this problem.”

Television can be used very effectively for teaching but hey, let’s all admit it who would watch a self development program if it was shown in the same time slot as Jonny Carson’s Tonight Show?”

“In the past it was thought that if a nuclear war ever got started, that the hole world would be blown up.”

“Maybe if mankind respected each others abilities rather than trying to compete with them we would be a happier group of people.” 

“However, if the youth of today are prone to sex and violence at great lengths of time social deviance could occur.”

“The answer to the ‘television craze’ of America is moderation, the two key words of the world.”

“There are good shows like the Waltons and Little House on the Prarie that most of us stick our noses up to, including myself, because they are too drab, not enough sex and violence.”

“TV is a good way of education, it’s just that shows are terrible.”

“Like as the violence increases on the programs it also increases in the real world, a long with out folkways, movies, and personal valuesl.”

“Up to this point my education has been a success in the area of curriculum that was required by my high school to take certain classes.”

“The sky during the day was so clear and blue that it made it easy to see all the thousands of stars at night.”

“When a child shoots his mother, kills his brother, or rapes his sister, that’s when it is time to make a change.”

“Taking your education and future seriously may better yourself for the rest of your life”

“Technology has accomplished everything from going into space to beating an egg while still inside its shell.”

“As America enters a new decade, visual changes become more apparent.”

“Understanding oneself and your world around them can only benefit.”

“We began watching television before we could speak or write a full sentence of English.”

“Many students from my school have never been to a large city and vice versa.”

“Education to me, goes beyond reading books and learning about the revolution of man.

“The people of today will change to become the people of tomorrow.”

“Time never stood still for a moment.”

“In a lot of television shows, everyone goes out with everyone else, and if things don’t work out for them they get divorced.”

“TV can succeed radio because you can see along with hear. And newspaper because you can take in more from watching, so I encourage it from all angles.”

“For the minor majority of the extremely wealthy, it is not a major problem as of yet.”

“That’s what influences me the most, when I take time out to sit down and listen to a candidates views instead of walking into the booth in November and pulling a lever that I know nothing about and electing him for President.”

Letter from The Outer Fringes of Extremoland

A teacher friend forwarded the following letter, which arrived in her email this week. The letter-writer is not the student’s legal guardian, in fact that person’s relationship to the student is unknown and far from clear. I keep wondering (perhaps wrongly) what political tract/tome all this mishmash of political/social rhetoric was lifted from. I certainly hear these same points and arguments up here from some people. Perhaps also of interest, an old friend, a lifelong Republican, told me yesterday he will not vote republican this fall, for the first time in his life – because in his words, the country can’t afford to have a clueless selfish fool” (Romney) in the White House. Uh, by the way the current student mentioned by the letter-writer? His parents didn’t show for conferences this week, and the student cannot find his text book because he can’t remember where he done put it. Yup, the teacher needs to fix all this, all right. The text follows, names and some specific details removed to protect identities. Here we go (and as a aside from a novelist, I couldn’t make up this stuff):

 “I understand that all teachers must come up with a lesson plan for school. Teachers needed them even back in the coal burning days when I went to school. But I do have a problem with the course content unless it truly represents the truth.

 “I am XX’s grandfather. My two children attended the same school, one did not make it past the 7th grade and other actually did make it through, but I strongly feel the lessons learned have not been of benefit to her. Having to use graphing calculators in lieu of actually doing math with your brain because the school dictated this has caused anger for many a year because she is still incompetent in math. This is just one example. Now for the grandson:

 “I have no problem if you teach the truth. Tell the children why the rain forests are being cut down and that one day of cocaine processing is a years salary to these people if they were to farm crops that really do not grow well in that soil. Tell them who and why the geographic borders were set after WWI to keep factions battling each other. This allowed England and the other Empires to reduce troops in the region and any natural resources could still be plundered. Tell them why Hitler, in part, started the National Socialist Party to get lands taken away from Germany (which is one of the first things he did at the onset of WWII, he took the lands back). Tell them why Russia was handed part of Europe on a platter after WWII. Show them Korea and Viet Nam and tell them why we were never meant to win the war. America was like a strutting peacock…brazen enough to challenge the other dominant peacocks but smart enough to not cross that line. Hey..we needed to decrease the population anyway. We Service Connected Disabled Veterans appreciate all that our country has done to us.

 “Before you start referring to Global warming, stop listening to Al Gore and verify facts with NASA and other Academics who have studied the Earth’s past and the effects of solar cycles.

 “Above all, DO NOT TEACH EURO-AMERICAN WHITE HISTORY. Yes the conquerors write history but that certainly should send flags that it is not the truth. America has supported China in many ways and I tis a one way street. You do realize that China is siphoning off fresh water from the Great Lakes and taking it to replenish their dried up aquifers cause by the Six Rivers dam. Being in the immediate area and with the current drought in the mid-west, this should be of great concern but we don’t hear of it. By the way, the Hersey’s factory up north is also utilizing its fair share of fresh water for bottling and both of these entities are doing it through loop holes in the law, and we are allowing it.

 “If you want to teach geography, keep it current. The Colorado River is drying up and what impact will that have on millions of people? Glacier National Park has no more glaciers. Where will the first war over this precious natural resource be? Will civil unrest and revolution become the norm as positioning to retain resources is positioning for power. It doesn’t matter if it is Global Warming of cyclical solar activity, but with the melting ice caps, why did America spend so much money to rebuild a city that is below sea level? Yes that would be New Orleans. Are we going to build a great barrier around the gulf to upper east coast? No, and parts of Florida are going underwater each year. What sense did rebuilding New Orleans make other than to line the pockets of the 1 % of the people.

 “If you teach this type of information I will not only be elated but will actually sleep good at night knowing we have kids armed with knowledge and CAN change the world. If not, than I am dubious whether XX should be in this course and/or school. I remember numerous 4th and 5th graded questions such as ”Grandpa, who discovered America?” My honest reply was “Who didn’t discover America!” but I added that for the sake of the schools he MUST answer Columbus. I’m tired of doing that.”

 Signed.

 Yup, everything is the failure of America’s teachers and schools. I love living in a country where people are free to express their opinions. And do.

 

 

Snowmageddon

My daughter took 8 hours to drive 40 miles through  the storm yesterday after her students were dismissed at 1300. It’s a drive she won’t soon forget.

When you gotta go, you gotta go.
Dig-out time.
Lakeshore Drive, which was so much in the news.

The Unreality of Teaching

My daughter grew up always wanting to be a teacher — like her late mom,  and she became one.  She did her internship (what used to be called student teaching) in Kalamazoo. The experience there was only marginally better than what I am about to share.  Michigan is on the verge of sinking as a state. She could not find a job here, and this year there will be massive teacher layoffs throughout the state. So my daughter looked at Chicago and thought she might make a difference and everyone kept saying the country is desperately in need of inner city teachers, so she was offered a position and decided to go.  She teaches high school  in Chicago, for the public school system. Until this fall she was full -ime for two years, but the school made some sort of administrative error and hired one teacher too many for this fall, so she got bumped on seniority.  Strangely (suspiciously?) she was told to not discuss why she was leaving — with anyone —  other staff or her students, or their parents. In Chicago seniority apparently is building-based, not system-wide.  With no forewarning, she got bounced after the school year began.  Sorry about that: can you stay to see homecoming through?  Now she is a substitute for the system. Before losing her full-time status and during her subbing tenure  as well,  she had some “interesting” experiences.  I have encouraged her to keep detailed notes and write a journal and later it might turn it into a book.  She says she hasn’t experienced anything others haven’t already written about. I hope this is not true. Why a book? Consider the following experiences:

* Last class of the day, kids coming into the room, and two boys suddenly come exploding past others, the first one with his hands up in retreat-and- defend mode, the second one  wielding  a chain with a lock on it wailing hell out of the first kid, blood flying everywhere. She immediately went to the door, pushed entering kids out, yelled down the hall  for other teachers to take them and went into the room and broke up the assault. Her principal’s reaction? “You shouldn’t have pushed those children out of the classroom.” This principal is no longer with CPS. Another time, I’ll relate why.

* Back in her internship days she broke up a fight and was told by an assistant principal she should always put on latex gloves before entering such a fray. Can you believe that?

* Walking to school one morning, a car drove slowly by and someone leaned out a window  and shot her with a paint ball, knocking her flat on her keester.  Hey, it wasn’t a real bullet, and it didn’t hit her in the head. The kids she was walking with, ducked behind her as the event unfolded. Not clear if she or one of the kids were the intended target.

* After two of her students were shot, one of them killed, the mother of the deceased boy asked my daughter to come to the funeral and to the house afterwards. Her principal’s reaction:  “We’ll dock your pay if you go.” In her two plus years at the high school, I think two kids were shot and killed. Maybe three.

* She was assistant softball coach for the past two years. At  the conclusion of an away softball game this fall, and with the bus running late, three punks appeared,  brandishing their  guns, and told her and the coach they weren’t on their home turf. The coach called 911. The punks split.

* As  the assistant coach for the softball team all last season, her name never got put on the contract or whatever paper it was supposed to be on, so when the pay came througha the end of the season  it went to someone else (not the coach, but someone who was supposed to do it and never once  showed up). When she asked about this she was told that her name wasn’t on the contract —  too bad, so sad. The person who got paid and never did the work  then offered her $100 cash and she told the person,  “No thank you. I don’t take bribes.”

* And then there’s today’s crowning  event:  She was subbing in a special ed classroom, and no one bothered to tell her that the class had a biter,  a girl having her period —  and while helping the child change her sanitary pad (she can’t do it alone and where is that in a job description?) — the kid suddenly bit my daughter on the breast, and  she began bleeding heavily, and needed  to go to the emergency room. There they looked at the blood and asked her if it was a gunshot and she said, “No but if that will get me in faster, you can pretend it is.” I’m proud she hasn’t lost her sense of humor and irony.  The emergency room doctor looked at the wound and said, “That looks awful!”  She  took 18 stitches. Nobody from the school, either the teachers she subbed for, or the administration, or the secretary who handles substitute sign- ins left a note to let her of this child’s  violent penchant. The school secretary, with whom she signed in — per s.o.p — told her after she was bitten and had to head to the E-room —  that she wasn’t going to get paid for a full-day because she was leaving, but my daughter called the agency that places subs and they said bullshit. File an accident report, and go. And accident report?  School administrators never showed at any time during this event. And no one has called to see if she’d all right. Can we say negligence? All my lawyer pals are licking their lips. As a novelist I could not make this shit up and get you to suspend your disbelief enough for the story to work. But this is real, not my imagination.

Ironically, she likes working with the kids and wants to continue. She teaches history.

There’s been lots more, but these are the high (low)lights.  Stay tuned to the continuing saga because there surely will be more. If she doesn’t write the book, I will and I’ll talk to a hell of a lot more teachers who have been through the same crap. You bet I’m pissed off. Wouldn’t you be?

Over.