2005-04-21 - 5:00 p.m.
I'm remembering about my walk this morning -- I saw a tulip tree! Here is a link, although honestly, if I didn't already know what a tulip tree was, I don't think those pictures would help much. The most distinctive thing about it is the flower, and specifically the color of the flower, which is a greeny-yellow with orange at the bottom. We had tulip trees in Connecticut -- they're quite nice, although sort of subtle. Not like dogwood or forsythia, which you notice right away. You sort of notice tulip trees by surprise. You might look up and say -- "Huh. What's that?"
Anyway -- it was that same sort of surprise to see one around here. They have a nice bark, too. Hmmm.
And in other news -- my book group met the other night. Much grumbling about high school. I see now that some people don't know what they're talking about -- two women actually like the spanish teacher Nora has, and thought he was good! Partly, I think, he is worse this year because he is teaching one class more than he ought to be. But partly, I think it's that they just have no idea. And one of these women also said that she thought that there were certain teachers who were of the opinion that there were certain kids who were never going to do any homework, therefore it was important not to assign any homework (like, papers) because either there was no point or it wouldn't be fair or some ridiculous and stupid reason. That is not acceptable! Papers should be assigned, and if kids don't write them, well, their grades should reflect that! You're not doing them any favors by not requiring anything from them --
I told Nora all this this morning, and I said I thought it sounded like her social studies teacher, but I said that her English teacher didn't seem to subscribe to that philosophy -- she actually makes kids write papers. Nora said that was true, and the fact that she assigned them meant that kids actually did them. If they don't, Nora said, she asks where they are, and the kids say, "Oh, yeah, Can I get that to you?" And then, for the most part, they do.
It all is so annoying -- the school board requires this ridiculous social studies class which is universally held to be worthless. I think the school board could also do a lot more to require that kids be challenged -- or at least could provide that option for kids whose parents want that for them. I mean, it's utterly swell that they have some spiffy new health facility, but I would think they could possibly have history in 9th grade, too.
Then, of course, there are other things that are perfectly good (math, latin, English -- at least this year).
Of course, the school is huge, and they're under all kinds of ridiculous pressure, and are forced to be making up for all kinds of general social ills -- and for the most part I think they do a good job. But there are certainly parts that could be improved upon.
design by simplify.