• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    Earlynerd on Mercy and Comfort
    Catscatscats on Mercy and Comfort
    Bernard Jenkins on This is the thanks Michigan…
    jmac on Some politicians need to lose…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on This is the thanks Michigan…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on This is the thanks Michigan…
    William on This is the thanks Michigan…
    William on This is the thanks Michigan…
    William on Mercy and Comfort
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on This is the thanks Michigan…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on This is the thanks Michigan…
    jmac on This is the thanks Michigan…
    bellecat on Some politicians need to lose…
    riverdaughter on Some politicians need to lose…
    William on Some politicians need to lose…
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    March 2020
    S M T W T F S
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    293031  
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Open Thread & March 28th US Covid Numbers Update
      As usual, use this for topics unrelated to recent posts. Since the blog has been all Covid, all the time this last week, this is a good place to discuss other issues. The results of the work I do, like this article, are free, but food isn’t, so if you value my work, please DONATE […]
  • Top Posts

The most boring book you read in high school

Brook is reading The Sun Also Rises.  Her teacher is much more merciful to her than mine was to me.  Of all the possible Hemingway books she could have assigned, she chose The Old Man and the Sea.  It took me 25 years before I would read anything else by Hemingway.  It was the very first piece of “literature” we read in 9th grade and right from the start, I had grave misgivings about my ability to endure four years of high school.

Every. Word. Was. Pure. Tedium.

The story was lame, the characters unimpressive.  I started to root for the marlin about halfway through hoping that the fish would drag Santiago out of his boat and drown him, mercifully ending both of our struggles.

Some critics have said that Hemingway wrote The Old Man and the Sea as a response to another book that critics panned but revenge is not a good excuse for writing this practical joke. It’s full of obvious metaphors that  leap off the page to deliver a dope slap to your head. I couldn’t believe he won a Pulitzer for it except that the book has that mystique of being an allegory about something profound, like an ordinary object mounted on a canvas and declared art.  It’s like blaming the victim if you don’t appreciate it, therefore, it must be a masterpiece.

It’s only saving grace is that it is short.

What was your most boring assigned reading in high school?

(Loved The Scarlett Letter.  The words are lush)

Random Drug Test

The school just called.  It was the nurse.  I’m thinking, “great, she knocked her front teeth out in gym” or “She is throwing up, can I come pick her up?”.  No, the nurse was happy to assure me that Brooke had participated in the random drug test and there were no drugs in her system.

No duh.  *I* could have told them that.  The kid is as clean as a whistle.  How do I know?  She spends all of her free time teaching herself Chinese.  I have the notebooks to prove it.   She just won a prestigious award in German.  She never emerges from her basement lair unless she is lured up with food.  I can’t even get her to hang out with her friends.  WHEN was she going to be doing drugs??

Is there any reason to test her?  No.  It’s just to keep kids on their toes, like some panopticon thing.  Make them feel guilty without even trying.  And what’s this crap about “participated”?  It’s more like coerced.  If she doesn’t hand over the pee, she can’t participate in any after school programs.

Why can’t we suspect a kid of being bad before we jump all over their case about it?

This is where the next round of authoritarian followers will come from.

Back to the nurse, she just wanted to call to tell me that the kid isn’t on drugs, isn’t that delightful?  She always wants parents to know even when there is a good result, just to let them know that we are keeping an eye on everything they do and say and breath.  Yes, it’s a conspiracy between parents and teachers to keep these teenagers as toddlers as long as we possibly can.  They must remain under our watchful eye even when all evidence points to them being really terrific human beings.

I told the nurse that the drug test wasn’t necessary and I am not concerned.  In fact, I think they should have called me BEFORE they pulled her out randomly for a drug test and asked me if she needed it.  Otherwise, I just see it as a violation of trust and her civil rights.  Of course, the board of ed could always argue she’s a minor and therefore doesn’t have any civil rights.  But it does make us suspicious of each other.  Parents learn to immediately suspect the worst of their children and children learn that nothing is off limits to scrutiny even when there is no reason to suspect anything.

Oh, and the school is in lockdown mode because of some rumor of something happening in another school district somewhere else.  For gawdssakes, this is the most boring suburb on the face of the planet.  Nothing happens here.  You can’t even crowd surf the hallways in the last week of school without being barred from graduation.  So, no one can leave the school grounds during lockdown.  Like they were breaking down the doors to get out on a normal day.  Doesn’t “lockdown” sound like a prison term? It’s overkill.

Home schooling is looking pretty damn good right about now.