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I feel dirty

I just saw the end of my first grading period at my new school. As I was preparing to finalize my students’ grades, I was pulled aside by my department head and informed that there were a couple of things that I needed to be made aware of, if I wanted to avoid having “that conversation” with my administrators. 

The rules for student grades are:
1 No student who is an ESOL student (meaning that they do not speak English as their primary language) can receive less than a C in any class they are taking.
2 No more than 15% of your students can receive less than a C.
Doing so means that you will be called into the principal’s office, and will be told that you need to do more to improve your student’s performance. Even if your students don’t turn in any work, even if they are absent the entire grading period, if more than 15% of them have less than a C, it is YOUR fault as the teacher, and if it continues, you will lose your job.
The teacher across the hall from me refused to adjust the grades that her students earned. She was just told that her contract is not being renewed next year.
Me? Of my 132 students, 30 of them have been absent for at least 22 of the 45 days of the grading period. One student was absent for 29 of them, and at least 15 minutes tardy on 9 other days. Still, if I refuse, I will be fired and replaced with someone who will comply.
I adjusted, folded, spindled, and added points. 88% of my students got a C or higher. I’m hanging in there, but I feel like I have sold out. 
The education system is irretrievably broken. 
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Immigration discussion

I got in a social media discussion with someone who said that anyone who advocates breaking up families by deporting people is a monster. I pointed out that this was no more monstrous than breaking up a family for any other reason, such as jailing people for owning assault weapons or for DUI.

He tried claiming that illegal immigration is a victimless act, and therefore not a crime, and so all righteous people are charged with resisting any law which criminalizes free immigration. I pointed out that so was DUI and owning an unregistered machine gun.

He then tried claiming that all laws which have no specific, individual victim that you can point to are null and void. I told him to try not paying his taxes, and then see if the judge agreed.

He then moved on to saying that if he wanted to invite his friends from Mexico City to stay in his home, I was interfering with his property rights by denying that right, and therefore I did not respect property. That was when I asked him what the difference was between an individual’s property rights and a nation’s property rights. He then accused me of changing the subject, and began calling me a racist xenophobe because I hate Mexicans and Latinos.

I replied by saying that I did not mention race, and that HE was the racist for assuming that all illegal immigrants were Mexican or Latino.

That was when I got banned.

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Frat Party

In January of this year, we decided that we needed a getaway. we found an inexpensive cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas. Being Diamond level members in their customer loyalty, program , we booked and paid for a suite on the March 10th sailing. We got a great deal, because all cabins have to be paid for 90 days prior to sailing, and the ship wasn’t even half booked by that point.

Unknown to us, a Florida travel agency bought all of the remaining cabins, bundled them with unlimited alcohol packages, and then sold them to college kids as a spring break getaway. We were surrounded by booze guzzling, clothing optional Frat boys and their female counterparts. Vomit was everywhere: in the pools, the passageways, and the casino. Drunken passengers running up and down the hallways at 3 am, screaming at the top of their lungs.

Being a bit of a gambler, I was in the casino playing craps, and had to contend with college kids waving their hands in front of the game, and causing problems while I had several hundred dollars of bets on the table. When I asked them to stop waving their hands and their drinks over my chips, all I got were smart assed answers.

I saw a college girl with a VERY short dress and no visible underwear sitting on the lap of a piano playing crewmember, and right next to them was a crew member with his hand inside of the dress of another young woman.

In short, the trip was a booze fueled college party. I am too old for that crap, and it was NOT the relaxing vacation that I was looking for. Now, I will say that this was not our usual cruise with this cruise line, and we have never had issues like this before. A complaint to the cruise line customer relations onboard got us some sympathy and a 30% refund, but the manager told us to contact the cruise line’s main offices when we got home.

When we did that, the customer service people were very rude, and said some outrageous things:

– What do you expect when you travel during spring break?

– We can’t control what other passengers do 

– They paid for the cruise, just as you did 

– This is March, and you have to expect this sort of thing 

– Yes, we have a guest code of conduct, but there is little we can do to enforce it 

– We are sorry this upset you, but this is to be expected when college students are aboard. Maybe you should book cruises during other times of the year 


Maybe I should think about another cruise line.