On Fri, 27 Dec 2002 10:53:02 GMT, T-Mac <firstname.lastname@example.org> pondered:
: If teachers and child care workers put as much study and dedication
: into their profession as a pro football player puts into his
: profession perhaps they would be better paid.
The Girl in the Cal Hat looks up. "Ow. That statement reeks."
She gets up from her table and wanders over to Thom. She looks him up and
down. "Don't get me wrong here. I like sports. Part of the reason I
wear this Cal hat is because I'm a die hard Golden Bear fan. Every season
I've been in Berkeley, I've bought season tickets, and I live and die
(mostly die) on the sports scores. And yeah, I know college is
techinically the amateur game to the pro sports. But the San Francisco
Giants are just as much my beloved team (even though I can't afford
season tickets, as much as I would love them. Salary inflation makes
everything at the ballpark more expensive), and I celebrated the fact we
made the Series. But I still think the salaries are...well, out of line.
And it's going to destroy the game I love."
She looks back on the statement in the air. "Thom, did you know my mom
was a teacher until she got sick? Well, no, you couldn't have, but that's
the facts as they lie. In fact, the crap she took at her last job may
have led to the stress that let the leukemia get her (and thank God she's
in remission, although she's nowhere near well again).
"Yeah, my mom went back to school and got her bachelor's in mathematics
with two school age kids. Later in her career she had to commute to the
local California State University, in a town an hour and a half away. All
this to be...a teacher.
"She did her time being a substitute, for years. She did that job well
and admirably. Even though she was simply a sub, she spent hours after
school hours were over helping the kids with math and writing long
detailed notes to the teacher about what had transpired so the teacher
could deal with the kids as she saw fit."
"Eventually, she finally made a credential program. Her first attempt at
student teaching didn't go all that well (her master teacher didn't want
her), but she was reassigned again to a second school, which happened to
have been the high school I graduated from and that my sister was
currently going to. I had both the math teachers my mother worked under,
and you're not going to tell me that they weren't dedicated to their jobs.
I saw the long hours my teachers put in on my behalf, and appreciated the
fact that I could come to them with my problems, whether they be math or
"Thom, I'd not be in college if my teachers hadn't cared. I mean, I'm
smart, but at times I'm lazy too. A few of my teachers didn't let me get
away with those sorts of stunts. But...back to my mom.
"She got a job teaching at another high school. They loved her. They
loved how she would spend hours after class tutoring the students, they
loved the fact that the students were finally learning math (this class
had eight subs in the course of eight weeks, and had gotten far behind).
My mom got that class turned around. But she would spend hours after
school working, sometimes being there until six or seven at night, after
having gotten to school by seven in the morning. That's an eleven to
twelve hour day. And even after that twelve hour day, she'd bring
homework home to correct it, and be working until midnight or one.
"At least at this point, her eldest (me) was off at college, and her
youngest was in high school, but there were still the occasional disasters
the two of us got ourselves in that she had to help with.
"After that was over (she was let go mid-year, because the math classes
weren't scheduled for the next trimester), she had to have surgery. That
would be the first of three times, but in between times one and two, she
was teaching summer school math at the same place, despite being in pain.
"She spent the next year substituting and got a long term substitute job
for a teacher that was pregnant, at the aforementioned high school I
graduated from. This lead to the principal there offering her what she
considered her dream job, which was teaching there. (Did I mention that
both my parents went to high school there?) Again, she put in hours upon
hours of work. Not only this, but she had been assigned to work with the
problem kids, the kids the system had given up on. She got them to learn
"For her troubles, the principal forced her to resign. You see, he didn't
want a math teacher. He wanted a men's basketball coach. After all this
pressure, it's no wonder she got sick with two weeks left in the semester.
"Don't tell me teachers don't put in as much work as a pro linebacker,
because they do.
"Granted, I think sometimes the market is fscked up, and I'm not all 'viva
la capitalism'. There's excesses in the system, and this is one of them.
But that's a political statement, and it's obvious I hold different values
"But still, Thom, I found the statement, if it were not to fan the flames
(and I want to believe that you wouldn't do that, although sometimes I've
wondered watching your discourse), then it was extremely poorly thought
out, or is made from ignorance. If it's one of the latter, well, I hope
this post has helped you see that maybe it's not that simple."
She looks around the bar wearily. "I don't contribute much to the Place,
I'm afraid, but I had to say something there." She looks at Mike and
walks over to the bar, laying a dollar down. "Mike, this dollar is for a
BOYC for Thom if he wants it."
The Girl in the Cal Hat then returns to her usual table, just watching
what goes on in the Place.
Kat Templeton <email@example.com> # http://www.retstak.org/
student, sysadmin, historian, Bear fan, # "If I have weaknessesses,
gamer, writer, jihaddi, neophyte coder. # don't let them blind me now."
live from the nuclear free zone, go bears!# Paul Simon, "The Coast"