January 5, Toward 2017 Volume 24 Issue The 14
Toward the Light
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TEACHER (author unknown)
Let me get this right . . . You want me to go into that room with all those kids and fill their every waking moment with love for learning.
Not only that, I'm supposed to instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity, behaviorally modify disruptive behavior, and observe them for signs of abuse and T-shirt messages. I am to fight the war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for guns and raise their self-esteem. I'm 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. I am to check their heads occasionally for lice; maintain a safe environment; recognize signs of potential antisocial behavior; offer advice; write letters of recommendation for student employment and scholarships; encourage respect for the cultural diversity of others and, oh yeah, always make sure that I give the girls in my class 50% of my attention.
I'm required by my contract to be working on my own time summer and evenings at my own expense toward advance certification and a master's degree and, after school, I am to attend committee and faculty meetings and participate in staff development training to maintain my employment status. 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 to my current administration. I am to incorporate technology into the too personal 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.
I am to make sure all students pass the state and federally mandated testing and all classes, whether or not they attend school on a regular basis or complete any of the work assigned. Plus I am expected to make sure that all of the students with handicaps are guaranteed a free and equal
education, regardless of their mental or physical handicap. I am to communicate frequently with each student's parent by letter, phone, newsletter and grade card. I'm to do all of this with just a piece of chalk, a computer, a few books, a bulletin board, a 45 minute, more-or-less, planning time and a big smile—all on a starting salary that qualifies my family for food stamps in many states. Is that all?
And you want me do all of this—but you also expect me NOT TO PRAY?
Birthdays this week: Robert Duvall (86), Diane Keaton (71), Margaret O'Brien (80), Charlie Rose (75), Walter Mondale (89), Nicholas Cage (52), Rand Paul (53), Kim Jong-Un (33), R. Kelly (50), Stephen Hawking (74), Yvette Mimieux (78), Joan Baez (76), Crystal Gale (66), Catherine Duchess of Cambridge (35), Pat Benatar (64), Rod Stewart (72), George Foreman (69) and Naomi Judd (71).
THE SHAD TALE OF THE STURGEON by James Thom (adapted)
There was once a brilliant sturgeon on the staff of the local community health fishility. He was, in fact, one of its flounders. He was a whale of a guy—a fin fellow who would never shrimp from his responsibilities. He was successful and happy, always whistling a cheerful tuna.
One day, for no porpoise at all, a crabby patient decided to drum up a story. He told the sturgeon that his treatments were full of abalone, and had actually made him eel. He even conched him with a malpractice suit!
Buoy!—wasn't the sturgeon in a real pickerel? Without taking time to mullet over, the board demanded his oyster. The case smelt to high heaven, so at the herring the judge, with the wisdom of Salmon, denied the plaintiff's clam. Such a fishy story just would not stand up when perched on the scales of justice.
When the board then tried to hire the good sturgeon back, they found that he had hit the bottlenose pretty hard and had wound up on squid roe.
Holly mackerel!—Wasn't that a fine kettle of you-know-what?
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Toward the Light is published and distributed without charge by the Editor: Richard L. Evans, 704 Country Club Court, Morehead City, NC 28557