Archive for the ‘Entertainment & Media’ Category

September 12th, 2011

Cell Phone Etiquette


The other day I was walking out of a restaurant with my mom and two young daughters when we ran into a good friend and her little dog. The girls were all over the dog and my mom was all about my friend, so I figured it was OK to answer a text from my husband. Was that kind of rude? Yes. Was I cheetah-fast in my text response? Absolutely. Did it matter? No. I got busted. I heard my friend say something about how I was SO busy answering a text–but I was very fast and it wasn’t my fault! I can’t ignore my husband. He needs me! Plus, it was very important.

Or was it?

I could have waited to get back to him. I should have waited. We were visiting with a friend and I was being rude. My husband wasn’t drowning in quicksand or being chased by bad guys, but I know how I operate and once I open a text message if I don’t respond with immediacy, there is a good chance I will completely forget about it all together.

For this reason, my phone is usually with me. That way there is no incoming-build-up. Recently, my very sweet 2-year-old daughter (completely unprompted) brought me my phone. While I felt a flicker of sadness that my little girl must have thought it was weird to see mommy without her phone, I was also very thankful that she brought it to me. I heard some chirping  from the other room and I was curious to see if I got a text from Eminem. I didn’t. But, when you hear the beep, the gong or whatever song you downloaded to let you know that a message has come in, you’re curious too.

I know my boundaries though. I no longer text or email while driving (now I just hope for a red light so I can fire something off). I don’t text or email during concerts (that‘s a lie). I never use my phone when I’m at the movies (only during the previews) and I certainly shut it down if I’m at a funeral (I’m not heartless). I also don’t text during face-to-face conversations with others unless it’s mutually agreed upon that we’re both going to do it—and even then I’ll say something apologetic before going all thumbs on my phone like “Ugh, hang on, I’m so sorry. It’s Eminem. Again. I have to respond. Seriously, he can’t do anything without me.”

Not everyone is as awesomely considerate as I am though. I was at a birthday party some months ago and I ran into someone I truly adore. We were having what I thought was a fairly engaging catch-up session, but then I saw him check his phone while talking to me. HE CHECKED HIS PHONE  WHILE TALKING TO ME. Admittedly, he held up his side of the conversation, but I don’t care—he flat out scrolled through his messages, more than once, while he was talking to me. I’m sorry. Am I not entertaining enough for you? Well, just so you know—I was going to take my top off, but now I’m not.

To the people who leave voice mail messages that are anywhere near the vicinity of this: “Hi! I have to tell you something. Call me back.” STOP IT. I can read. I saw that you called. I’ll call you back. My friend, “Nags” does this. He has been doing it since 1997 and everyone in our group has yelled at him about it ad nauseum, but he doesn’t care.

Me: Stop leaving stupid messages on my voice mail.

Nags:  They’re not stupid.

Me: Yes, they are. Telling me to call you back is not a good enough message. I talk to you 100 times a day. Of course I’m going to call you back. Either leave me a message with good info and juice, or know that I saw you called.  ”Hi, call me back!” is  pointless and stupid.

Nags: Too bad.

Me: No. Calling my voice mail takes time and effort. I have to physically call my voice mail, enter my password, listen to the lady warn me about old messages that are going to be deleted if I don’t  do something about them, and then—when I finally get to yours, it’s not even good. Stop it!

Nags: I’ll never stop.

The flip side of the voice mail message is this: The message is too long and mostly filled with crap and filler. I have a tendency to leave those kinds of messages. I crack under the pressure of leaving a good message and instead I ramble on and on about nothing. But of course  it’s different when I do it. If you do it to me, I’m going to 3-3-7 you. [Side note: If you hit 3-3-7 during a painful voice mail message, it takes you to the end of the message allowing you to delete it and end your suffering].

I’m OK with long messages as long as they are entertaining and they don’t require a callback, but usually the caller wants a callback and then, inevitably, when I call the person back, she repeats the entire message I already listened to on my voice mail. If you’re just going to repeat the whole story, WHAT THE HELL DID YOU LEAVE A MESSAGE FOR?  Text me to call you back, or just know that I saw that you called. I’ll call you and you’ll tell me your story—trust me, I want to hear it, I love information—but if you’re the type who is going to repeat the whole story as soon as we talk, I’m going to 3-3-7 you. I’m going to 3-3-7 you all day long, sister.

We’re all busy. It’s hard to find time to talk on the phone, so it’s nice that we have several alternative ways to communicate. I love them all and I use them all.

Although, after my friends read this, I have a feeling I won’t be using many of them today.

July 19th, 2011

The Thing About Playdates…


The term “playdate” has always been of interest to me. There aren’t many like it in the English language. It is the only term I can think of that is filled with formality, necessity and stupidity all at the same time.

On the formal side, a playdate is like an arranged appointment for playtime. Actually, I’m sorry, it’s not like an arranged appointment for playtime, it is an arranged appointment for playtime. I can understand why playtimes need to be arranged: We are busy. A scheduled playdate helps to keep things organized.

It just seems so formal to me. Formal and forced. Like I’m going to receive a confirmation call the day before the event. Like the kids should be wearing little tuxedos, or at least one of those little t-shirts with the pre-printed tuxedos on them.

Of course, I know the actual playdate isn’t formal. It’s just the term that breathes formality to me. We didn’t have a term for playtime when I was a kid. We had this:

Kid: Mom, I’m going across the street to play with Caren and then we‘re going to meet up with everyone else and play baseball, and then some kid is going to try and make-out with me and I‘m going to let him, and then we’re all going to ride bikes to the corner drug store so we can steal some candy. I‘ll be home later, before it gets dark. OK? Bye!

Mom: Bye! Try not to get hit by a car!

Sadly, those days are over. At least for me they are. We’re fortunate during the summer months because we live at an overnight camp for kids where my husband is one of the directors. While we are at camp, my kids are in a very safe, self-contained, utopia-style environment where they can walk anywhere and we don’t have to concern ourselves for one minute about their wellbeing. I may have worried once, for a moment, about the possibility of my two-year-old walking into the water by herself, but I have come to realize that my girls don’t get more than 10 feet without being bombarded by no less than 15 campers yelling: “Hi! What’s my name? You’re so cute! What’s my name? Do you remember my name?”

But during the off-season, we live in a neighborhood where the houses are kind of far apart and the closest kid is a bit of a walk. When I was growing up, my mom would let me jump on my bike and ride to pretty much anyone’s house, but things are different now. I don’t know if the amount of questionable men lurking around neighborhoods in hoopty green station wagons has actually increased over the years, or if we are just more susceptible to media warnings and scary stories via the internet and the news. Either way, isolated playdates seem to have become the standard no matter where you live.

I consider my neighborhood to be exceptionally safe, but I don’t know if I’ll be so quick to let my kids run the hood, unattended, looking for people to play with. They’ll probably be restricted to the house across the street and the one next door.

Unfortunately, they will be screwed because the lady who lives next door will be none too thrilled if my kids show up looking to play with her kids since a) she doesn’t have any kids and b) it seems she is still not over the time when my stubby-tail Golden Retriever, Floyd Coden, once got into her yard and ate all of her cat‘s food—like it was some huge inconvenience or something. Trust me, Mrs. Roper, it turned out to be a much bigger inconvenience for me at 4:00 in the morning. And the house across the street probably isn’t the most ideal spot for my kids to play either since I’m fairly certain that the lady who currently inhabits that house is dead.

At this point, I’m lucky. My kids are happy to play with my friends’ kids because they have no say and they don‘t know any better, but one day that will change. One day they are going to request a playdate and I’m going to have to arrange it. That is not unreasonable. I had friends outside of my neighborhood when I was a kid. I wasn’t a total loser. Sometimes I wanted to play at their houses, so either my mom or I would make a plan, and then she’d drop me off and drive away.

We didn’t refer to those times as playdates. I don’t think we had a name for them. We just did them. My mom would drop and then she would go. The next time, my mom would do my friend’s mom a solid and that mom could have her chance at the Drop-N-Go.

It was a good system but someone, somewhere must have disagreed because that person decided that we, as busy parents, were no longer able to do the Drop-N-Go. That person (not me, definitely not me) decided that the parent who was dropping the kid off would not get to go, but instead, STAY.

And that is the part I think is stupid.

It’s a Playdate. Not a Staydate.

My kid is the one who wants a playdate, not me. I’m good. I’m all set. Don’t be hurt. It’s not you. I like you and you‘re really nice, but I don’t have time to see the friends I do have. I need to have you over? No. I don’t think so. Oh, your kid won’t stay if you’re not there? Well, I guess that means no playdate at the Coden house. It’s my house that you’re concerned about? So, come in! Take a look around, go through my stuff, count the smoke detectors, whatever you want—but the play date is for my kid, not me. Once-over my house and then beat it. I got it covered on my end. If  little Brooklyn is still wailing after 15 minutes, I’ll call you and you can come back and pick her ass up.

If she stays, I’ll feed her something decent for lunch. I promise not to let her go crazy on the Oreos and I’ll keep her fingers out of the outlets, but you gotta go. I have $hit to do. The reason I asked to have your kid over in the first place is because I need someone to play with my kid so I can actually get some stuff done. I promise my kid is much nicer than I am, and believe me, your kid will have such a blast at my house, you can skip your trip to Disney. Don’t you have an errand you need to run, a manicure you want to get, or a friend you want to spend some time with?

As you can see, I’m really not such great company anyway.


July 10th, 2011

You’re Not Alone (VI)


I’m not saying these are all about me. I’m just saying if you feel the same way, you’re not alone.

You’re not alone if…

…you love saying “Bless Your Heart” to people. Just make sure to say it when you are being really condescending to someone who isn’t as smart as you.

…you are convinced that Justin Bieber’s haircut is just a “bowl cut” with the bangs brushed to one side.

…you don’t wash your jeans every time you wear them, or even every other time.

…you never would have shaved today except that you have a gynecologist appt.

…you are totally excited about “Crackle” nail polish and you’re not 20 years old. If you don’t know what “Crackle” nail polish is, don’t worry, by the time you find out, it will probably be out of style anyway.

…you got bummed out that someone called you “Ma’am” because you still feel way too young be called “Ma’am”—or because you’re a guy.

…the calculator you bought at the Dollar Store doesn’t work and you’re kind of pissed about it because actually it wasn’t 1.00, it was 1.49 and you honestly contemplated spending that much at a Dollar Store  but you really needed a new calculator so you caved and bought it, but it doesn’t work and you didn’t keep the receipt because who keeps their Dollar Store receipts? Are you really going to get in your car and return something that was 1.00 or even 1.49? No, you‘re not. So, you’re stuck with a calculator that doesn’t work, well it works a little— it does everything but divide— but who the hell wants a crippled calculator that doesn’t divide? Now you’re starting to wonder if the Dollar Store people knew it didn’t work when they sold it, but sold it anyway knowing that there is no way that A) you’re going to keep your receipt and B) you’re going to make the trip back to return it. But no, no way, they are not like that. You know this because when you got to the store, you had to go to the bathroom really bad and although the bathroom in a Dollar Store isn’t high on your “Bathrooms I Am Dying To Use” list, you really had to go, and on your way to the bathroom you saw a bunch of hand-made artwork on the wall that was made by the Dollar Store owners’ kids. Well, if the owners do stuff like that, they  must be really nice people, right? Right. For sure there is no way that they knew the calculator was bad when they sold it, but at this point you are over the calculator and have moved on to thinking that you might need medication because if you weren’t sure before, you’re 100% sure now that you are completely and utterly out of your freakin’ mind.

July 7th, 2011

Lady Gaga: The Camper


I have heard people say that Lady Gaga is this generation’s Madonna.

Is she?

Regarding the music, Lady Gaga seems to shine when she’s singing and also when she’s sitting at the piano. Madonna’s vocal range is fairly limited and I don’t think she can play an instrument.

But where fashion is concerned—sit your ass down, Gaga. Madonna got you beat.

Madonna has always been an icon of style. When she first burst onto the scene in the early 80‘s, her timing was perfect. We were ripe. Madonna brought with her an unfamiliar sound and an effortless look that mixed just the right amount of edge and femininity.

Madge helped shape an entire generation of girls, myself included. I spent many mornings searching for my black pencil skirt so I could throw it on over a pair of  lace leggings. From there I would carefully layer a mesh top over one or two tanks and then I’d accessorize with pearl and beaded necklaces until the back of my neck itched. Of course, I added one of my many Borderline video hair bows and although I skipped the black bra (because really, who was I kidding) I rarely left my room without lining my arms with approximately one zillion black rubber bracelets— and if I felt that I didn’t have enough on, I relied on my resources and used the black rubber bands one might find in a vacuum cleaner. I was a little bummed that I couldn’t rock the Cross earrings, but the whole “being Jewish” thing kind of got in the way.

Lady Gaga also came on the scene at a time when music needed an adrenaline shot. Her raw talent and vocals were a welcome alternative to the tired, predictable beats that seem to penetrate almost every song currently getting air play.

Her look, however, has me a little confused. It seems that almost every time I see her, I find myself asking the same question:


What the hell is that all about?

True, Madonna has had moments of controversial fashion choices, but for the most part her style has always remained admirable and accessible. Of course, it is not Lady Gaga’s job, anymore than it was Madonna’s job, to dress in a way that influences her fans and followers. We don’t even know for sure if Lady Gaga  wants to be compared to Madonna—though I have to imagine early on in her career it didn’t hurt, and it maybe even helped.

The thing is, Lady Gaga is now an established artist with her feet planted firmly in the Billboardcharts and her music downloaded into IPODS everywhere, which leads me to my next question:

Why is she still trying so hard? …or is she for real?
While the trendsetting Madonna was “Desperately Seeking Susan,“ Lady Gaga just seems desperate.

I read somewhere that Gaga claims she was considered a “freak” in high school. That had to hurt. In my experience, I have found that people who aren’t comfortable with who they are generally don’t embrace it with uniqueness, but instead they hide it with some sort of outrageousness—and that is what I think she is doing. I think she is hiding behind her various looks and playing it off as “avant garde.” I think she is intentionally pointing to her ensembles so we don’t see her.

You know what else I think? I think camp would have been a good place for Lady Gaga. If Gaga had gone to overnight camp (probably any camp, but preferably ours) she would have risen to exactly where she is with self awareness outlining her persona instead of ridiculousness.

We have all kinds at Camp: Freaks, geeks, clowners, downers, talkers, gawkers, hotties and notties—and many of the kids are at a stage where they aren’t exactly comfortable with who they are. One of the truly special things about Camp (and there are many) is that it helps kids find comfort in their own skin.  They find that comfort because the people that surround them make them feel comfortable. Their respective personalities are not only accepted, but in many cases, celebrated. They’re all loved and they all have a place here.

Campers live in close quarters and though some of their cabin mates may not be people they would have chosen to be friends with, let alone share space with—TOO BAD—they  learn to live with them and appreciate them for all they have to offer. In turn, kids are accepted without prejudice and most every one of them leave here a little more confident and a little more self assured than they were when they first got off the bus.

Assuming that I’m right about Lady Gaga being uncomfortable in her own skin (and I might not be—but for the sake of this piece, let’s assume that I’m right), I honestly believe if she had gone to overnight camp, she would have grown up to love herself for exactly who she is instead of continually shifting our focus to her facade. She would just BE. She would just be herself.

Whoever that is.

June 27th, 2011

10 Things No One Gives A Crap About On Facebook


This is a re-release of an old post but it kind of goes with one I’m working on now, so you have to read this one first (or again)…

Here we go:

10 Things No One Gives A Crap About On Facebook

1. Let’s pretend that you‘re scrolling through your Facebook News Feed and you come to my status. It says: I’m at the movies! Would you care? No, you would not. No one does.

How about this one: I’m at the movies with Eminem! You might care a little bit, but now I’m just bragging (and lying).

2. If your Nana dies, please refrain from posting it as your Facebook status. Your real friends will already know about Nana and the people who don‘t know, don’t care. (Sorry, someone had to say it). Get the “F” off Facebook and go do what you should be doing: Crying over your sweet, dead Nana. Keep reading this post »

May 20th, 2011

Was Your TV Show Canceled?


Were any of your TV shows canceled?
I’ll go first.

Brothers and Sisters: It was time. I don’t think I saw one episode from this past season. I’m not sure why. Oh, wait. I remember now. It sucked. That show was done awhile ago. What was up with the Sarah sister hooking up with the guy from…? I don’t even know where he was from. All I know is that they had no chemistry and the whole relationship was stupid. Even if you loved that show, you have to admit that relationship was all kinds of wrong and the show stunk worse than a dressing room at Loehmann’s. Rob Lowe was such a smartie to jump ship when he did. It’s like they didn’t know what to do with him. They made him really mean, and then nice again, and then he died. Good for him. Death was the right choice. He’s rocking it out over at Parks and Recreation. Every time he says “litrally,” it “litrally” makes me giggle.

The Defenders: I’m not going to lie. I liked it. I did. It was a CBS show. Does that make me a senior citizen? Should I get one of those bathing suit cover ups with the bikini printed on it? Maybe I run out and buy some coral lipstick and matching coral nail polish on the way to my early bird dinner? I know that‘s what you‘re thinking. I don’t care. I liked that show, and I’m sad to see it go.

Detroit 1-8-7: This is a tricky one for me. I watched it. I still can’t figure out if I watched it because I’m a Detroiter or if I watched it because it was good. I didn’t rush home for it but if I was folding clothes and it was on my Tivo, I was happy to see it there. I was sad when the hot cop died towards the end, but then I heard from a very reliable source that he wanted out of the show because he didn’t love living in Detroit. Screw you, hot cop. You don’t like The D? We’re over. You’re not THAT hot.

Friday Night Lights: “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can‘t Lose.” We have Direct TV so the final season has already played out. I was heartbroken when it ended. I loved that show so much that I actually contemplated scheduling shiva calls at my house when it was over. Unfortunately, I don’t know too many other people who watched it so basically everyone would have been coming here to eat 7 layer cake and little brownies. Damn freeloaders. You don’t understand my pain. Long live Coach Taylor and Tim Riggins. Texas Forever.

Law & Order: Los Angeles. How many Law & Orders are there? How many do you need? Give it a rest. Get a room with CSI. Jeez.

Mr. Sunshine: I kind of liked this show! The humor was a little forced at times but there were some really funny lines. I heard that Chandler, or whatever his name was on the show, is going to rehab so it got canceled. I remember when he was on Friends and he went to rehab for a pill addiction. He looked horrible during that time. He didn’t look horrible on Mr. Sunshine. He can’t need rehab too badly. I refuse to accept this cancellation.

Off The Map: I tried to watch it because the QB from Friday Night Lights was on it but it was so bad that even he couldn’t save it. Off the Map was just plain crap.

Running Wilde: I wanted to love this show because Will Arnett is so great. Unfortunately the show wasn’t. TV needs to find a place for Will Arnett. He’s really funny. Nothing makes me happier than when he and Alec Baldwin have a scene together on 30 Rock. TV needs Will Arnett. Can’t FOX just bring back  Arrested Development?

May 19th, 2011

Ode To Prednisone


A Little Poem…

I have lower back pain, and although I try to deal
It makes for a rough day and I miss shoes with a heel.

For my back discomfort I blame my dad
It’s a problem he always had.

If it’s in the genes, then I have no fear
for my kid from China–she’s probably in the clear.

You know what? That’s so not fair
She already has great hair.

She’s totally getting a free pass
Instead of driving me crazy, she should be kissing my ass.

Back pain hurts–it really, really sucks
Especially because my little one still needs to be picked up.

The doc put me on prednisone, aren’t I lucky?
I’ll never poop again and my face is getting puffy.

I also have to do physical therapy thrice a week
Who’s got time for that? Not me.

I was hoping for a guy therapist, someone who’s hot
But I met her yesterday, and she’s not.

Look at that, time for another pill
I’m starting to look like Ryan O’Neal.

I saw a commercial for a drug I wanted to try
But one of the side effects mentioned was “thoughts of suicide.”

Suicide? No, I don’t think so
Shaq has a better chance of shooting a free throw.

Yes, that line is from an Eminem song–I’m his biggest fan
Sometimes my husband calls me “Stan.”

I think that I am no longer making sense
Time to put this stupid poem to rest.

My back hurts so it’s a good time to be over
Getting older sure is a blowzer.

May 17th, 2011

Are We Closing The Book On Bookstores?


The movie You’ve Got Mail (1998) was primarily about love blooming over the internet even though the lead characters were business rivals in real life. It also explored the demise of the independent book store at a time when “mega” bookstores were first starting to take over. It’s a solid example of art imitating life. Borders and Barnes & Noble bookstores were popping up all over the place, king kong’ing many of the small, local bookstores that stood in their way.

I remember getting angry as Meg Ryan’s character walked through the “Fox Books” super bookstore. It was a big store and, to me, uninviting. Sure, it boasted nice discounts, fancy coffee drinks and more variety, but it lacked the charm and warmth of “The Shop Around The Corner.“ I pointed at that “Fox Books“ and thought to myself: You big bully bookstores! You just wait. You’ll get yours one day!

Well, I think that day is here.

I was in a Borders bookstore the other day and it felt like the place was on life support. I got what I came for and I was out of there. Though one of the employees assured me that they weren’t yet on the list of stores to close, I felt like death was at the door and I had no intention of being there for the flatline.

Did I originally wish so many years ago that the large bookstore chains would all go out of business? Yes, but that was only because, as far as I was concerned, it was their fault that the local ones were going under. If we lose all of the big book stores (because at least in my area that’s really all that’s left) where will we be?

There was a Barnes & Noble not far from my house that I didn’t hate. I actually spent a lot of time there. I would have preferred a smaller, more quaint bookstore, but probably because of that Barnes & Noble, there weren’t any around. Being left with no other choice, I enjoyed my fair share of vanilla lattes and made friends with the employee who had a bar through his nose and a ton of tattoos I didn‘t understand.

After that one closed, I defaulted to a Borders that was a little farther away. As of just recently, it’s also gonzo and that bummed me out because it had a totally cool stage in the children’s section where my girls jumped around like maniacs and made best friends with kids they‘d never see again. It wasn’t bad there. My girls were happy and I could watch over them with one eye while browsing through books and toys with the other.

And the store I was just in– no, I don’t love that one, but it’s now the closest one to my house and I’m starting to get desperate. Unfortunately, if it were a person, it would have a broken hip, a breathing tube and a poop bag. The days are numbered over there. I’m sure of it.

Why is this happening? (That is actually a rhetorical question because I think I actually know the answer–and not only that, but I think I‘m partly to blame). I think the mortality of the mega stores has something to do with websites such as and wireless reading devices such as the Kindle or the Nook.

It’s so easy and convenient to order a book (used or new) from, or websites such as that one. I’m guilty. So guilty. But I still buy from bookstores too. Don’t take those away from me! I haven’t caved completely. I haven’t gotten a Kindle or a Nook. I’m still buying actual books. Doesn’t that count for something?

Are we closing in on the end of bookstores? I think we might be and that makes me very sad. I guess I could go rent You’ve Got Mail at Blockbuster to make myself feel better…oh wait…those are gone too.

May 13th, 2011



Yesterday when I was doing the morning drive drop-off, I got to hear a little Drew and Mike in the Morning in between snippets of a song coming from Sweet Pea, my 4 year old, in the back seat. Sweet Pea was singing something about how her daddy likes to eat bagels in the bathroom (he doesn’t) and Drew and Mike were reviewing audio of a kid from a Milford, MI high school. The kid was talking about how his days are filled with relentless bullying. (The Justin Bieber t-shirt he insists on wearing probably isn’t doing him any favors.)

When I got home, I grabbed the mail from day before and although I was short on time, I somehow found myself flipping through the latest issue of People, Style Watch magazine. I landed on Tim Gunn’s Who Got It Right? segment. It was then that I realized that bullying doesn’t necessarily only happen face to face and it doesn’t necessarily end when we become adults. It seems to me that there is a “Bully Spectrum” and it ranges from “Horrible” to “Acceptable.”

In the magazine, Tim Gunn complimented Keri Hilson’s outfit (whoever the hell she is) while shredding Vanessa Hudgens’s. He said that Hudgens’s printed dress and jacket were “fighting with each other.” Admittedly, he was right–and even I sighed while looking at Hudgens’s outfit— but I’m not putting it in print for thousands of people to see. I was thinking it to myself and then yes, I may have mentioned something to my younger daughter, Lovey, about how Hudgens might want to invest in a full length mirror, but that doesn’t really count because Lovey is 23 months old and she doesn’t even know what freakin’ day it is.

I felt bad for Hudgens. I’m sure she thought she looked really cute before Tim Gunn gunned her down. I imagine her feelings were hurt when she opened the magazine to see herself next to Hilson with a comment about how Hilson’s outfit worked and hers didn’t.

Just because Gunn’s hurtful (albeit truthful) comments are placed within the pages of a magazine, does that mean that it‘s not actually bullying? Or is it a form of bullying, just a more “acceptable“ form?

What if he had done it like this instead? What if he had put up a picture of two people wearing tiaras and let the reader decide who got it right while leaving his own comments out?


Is that a better idea? I truly don’t know. I just know that bullying is everywhere and if we can’t figure out where it starts, I don’t know how we’re going to make it stop.

April 27th, 2011

Teach Them Well


Thanks to everyone who participated in the DS&D Blog Contest. Below is the winning topic I chose to write about:

How about pre-school kids getting kicked out because they are screaming, due to anxiety? What a horrible injustice it is to them. How they then feel that they can scream and get out of everything! How poorly some teachers handle things because they are not educated…

When Whitney Houston said “I believe the children are our future,“ she was right. Granted, she also said “crack is whack“ while she was a raging crackhead so she might not be the most credible person to refer to, but since crack really is whack, I guess she’ll do.

Children are our future.  That is why I keep a lot of candy in my house. I want kids to like me. I’m going to need them one day. I may be the authority figure in their eyes now, but that won’t last. It won’t be long before they’re running the show and I’m so old that my doctor is using a forklift for my facelift and my birth certificate says “expired.”

Have you ever been driving along, minding your own business, when all of the sudden some old lady pulls out in front of you only to drive really, really slow? What do you do? What else can you do but shake your head with annoyance, bust a vein in your forehead, hold your hands up in the air, and yell “Can you pick it up, grandma?” Next time you do that, keep this in mind: You will be that “grandma” before you know it and some guy is going to do the same thing when you’re going really slow. It won’t happen to me because I probably gave him candy when he was a kid, but it might happen to you.

Our country depends on the kids who will one day be driving behind us and if those kids don’t have good teachers now, we’re in big, big trouble.

I don’t know of anyone who thinks teachers are compensated fairly. Children may be our future but teachers are my heroes. The pay they receive doesn’t accurately reflect the importance of their job and I don’t care if they do have their summers off, they still work harder than most everyone who makes more than them. School may end at 3:00 or so, but that‘s not the end of their day. Many teachers are doing extra-curricular activities while others are working on lesson plans or correcting the work handed in that day.

For good teachers, teaching can be a thankless job. Sure, they get an apple every now and then but come on, that apple can’t make up for all the crap they take on a daily basis–even if it‘s one of those big, yellow Golden Delicious apples, and those are really good.

But, not all teachers are good teachers. Some are bad. Like blowzerama bad and considering that they’re working with kids who are going to have a lot of say about what happens to us one day, that is not good. Notwithstanding the fact that teachers don’t make jack, they’re overworked and they’re underappreciated, they did, still and all, sign up for the job. I don’t care what kind of job you have, have some freakin’ self respect and do it to the best of your ability or get out. I feel strongest about that statement if that job is teaching because that is pretty much the most important job there is. That’s where it all starts.

It all starts with the teachers.

I’m not saying teachers can’t bitch about their jobs, I totally would, and as far as I’m concerned, the better the teacher, the more room they’re allowed for bitching. But if you’re not a good teacher, hit the bricks. You didn’t get into the profession for the cash or the notoriety so what were you expecting? There are lots of people who are waiting for your job and not only would they be thrilled to get it, they’d probably rock it out.

Now, I don’t know the whole story about the little kid who was kicked out of pre-school for crying but I’m picturing two sides of the story:

The Side of the Parent:
You just kicked my kid out for crying and clearly he has anxiety about something. Plus, he’s in pre-school. That is what little kids do. They cry and whine and scream. How about drawing on something you learned in school instead of kicking him out? Now I have to figure out what to do with my kid while I’m working, and not only that, but thanks to you and your blatant laziness in teaching, he now thinks he can get away with all kinds of crap just because he is crying and screaming. What is my kid being taught from all of this? Nothing good. Thanks a lot, bad teacher. I’m never giving you a Golden Delicious apple.

The Side of the Teacher:
I’m sorry that I had to unload your kid, but I have lots of other kids in my class and your kid is making my job very difficult. I’m a teacher, not a glorified babysitter. How can I effectively teach the kids who aren’t crying and screaming while your kid is having a anxiety attack at the glue and popsicle stick table?

Am I close? And if I am, who’s right?