Wednesday, December 19, 2012

From school to fast food, observing everyday thieves and cheaters

This has been a day for watching or dealing with cheating. Aside from the unpleasantry of failing students caught cheating, I just watched a college kid come into a Taco Cabana and sneakily stuff a bag with tons of plastic ware type stuff from the condiments bar. It wouldn't have been so bad if he hadn't been so blatantly (& badly, obviously) trying to mask and hide his activity - slyly filling up a cup w/pico and then grabbing stuff and shoving it in his bag, then doing it again ... and again. After watching the sad spectacle for a minute I got up to ask him if he really was so broke that he had to steal this cheap fast-food crap-ware, but he left as I got up to chat. Hell, I'd lend him a $5 just to end the embarrassing spectacle. I really should have gotten up more quickly. It would be interesting if he showed up in one of my classes. I would absolutely find a way to bring this back around to his attention. Cool thing about teaching 600 students a year is that a *whole lot of them* cross your path before its all said and done. Ah, college kids... Glad I was never one.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tragedy upon tragedy: Seeking relief through fighting with each other

So many children murdered. What an awful, awful reality. ... And then to complicate it, so much of the immediate conversation has already turned into a debate about gun control versus gun access. This at first caused me a little emotional whiplash ... but then I almost got sucked in. Social and news media are inviting me (all of us really) into the arena of argumentation. ... There are those among us who will look at the tragedy and say we need gun access for self-protection. There are others who will say we need gun control. And the debate will be heated. As a collective, we will seek catharsis and relief from the horror of the murder of children by deeply and passionately engaging this debate, sure that we are right, and at some point possibly even questioning the sanity or intelligence of those with an opposing view. ... But you know what? I am pretty much sick of this sort of reaction. That is, I am sick of us (the collective "us," me included) dealing with our confusion and angst by taking the "side" that feels right in our gut, defending and promoting it all costs, and then, eventually, demonizing those who have now been constructed as the "other side." We did it during the election, and we do it in all manner of policy debates. ... Tonight, rather than go that predictable route, I think that I am just going to focus on hugging my kids a little tighter. I'll see where it goes from there.