Tuesday, September 08, 2009

All's calm at school after Obama Speech Day

This evening I attended the open house at my daughter Annie's high school, Cheyenne Central. The wily administrators schedule the event as a replica school day. Seven minutes sitting at my kid's desk in World History. Listening to the teacher describe the school year in detail. I take notes, of course, the inveterate scribe. The bells rings and me and my bum knees have five minutes to weave through hordes of neighbors to get to the other side of the building for P.E. Nice gym, or should I say "athletic center." One big b-ball/v-ball center court with practice courts lengthwise at each end. Big bleachers for the fans. Wooden floors that give a little when you run so you don't end up with shin splints after every game.

My high school gym had one court, wood over concrete which made the floor as hard as, well, concrete. There was a stage along one side and cramped bleachers on the other. The end walls were about three feet from the out-of-bounds line, which was one reason we never got through a season without a player smashing into the wall and breaking a crucial bone. Still, our court was better than the one across the county. It was an aging World War II Quonset Hut with support poles that were on the court. The poles were covered with mats, just in case. And it was a technical foul to use a pole for a pick. But many of us tried anyway.

It's not just the facility when it comes to schools. My daughter has several small classes staffed with two teachers. In physical science, there's two teachers and ten kids. Pretty darn good, I say. Sure, I pay my taxes and all that blah blah blah. But you can't pay enough for the dedication I've seen from the teachers and counselors and administrators at Central High School.

Now about that Obama speech today. At the open house, I expected to see phalanxes of bug-eyed students wandering the halls chanting: "Repeat after me -- I'm a socialist community organizer who wants to kill Grandma." But I only saw a few, those whose minds have already melted down from watching too much FOX News.

Annie said she didn't have a chance to see the speech because her algebra classroom doesn't have a TV. I can understand why. Leninist/Stalinist/Hitlerist Obama messages might leak out of the tube and creep into the minds of the students who should be concentrating on equations. Annie said that a couple of the kids had made snide remarks about Obama but there didn't seem to be any major protest or massive walkout or let's-all-yell-at-the-TV-screen event. The school district had made viewing voluntary, saying that teachers could show it during class time or show it later. Students could opt out, spending their time in some worthwhile pursuit, such as study hall or sneaking a smoke out in the parking lot.

I did notice that two of the eight teachers I visited had quotes from Pres. Obama written on their white boards. That's something, I guess, although probably enough to get some Glenn-Beck-watching Know Nothings wildly indignant. But they get wildly indignant about every little thing. Too bad they didn't pay attention in civics class back in the day.

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