Thursday, March 25, 2010

March Madness, Crazy Fans and the University of Kentucky.

I love basketball...especially UK basketball.  It is the one sport that Daddy always watched and so we watched as well.  Then I was a middle school cheerleader and hence basketball is one of the few sports that I actually understand.

In the past few years, I've experienced basketball burnout.  Coaching a dance team means attending a lot of basketball games but I'm always monitoring the girls and can't really enjoy the game much.  Then I went to an ABA game here in town.  I forgot how much I love just watching a basketball game without being "coach".   Couple that with UK's breathtaking resurgence--thank you, Coach Cal---and I am highly enjoying March Madness.

However, when it comes to the University of Kentucky, folks must remember something--UK fans are crazy.  We accept this about ourselves.

We believe that we should win every game and if we don't, we want the situation addressed immediately and a help wanted sign posted on the side of  Rupp Arena.

If a rival team beats us, we hate them.

If they beat us in a title game, in controversial fashion or in a way that will make us relive it every single year during the tournament--UAB 2004; Duke 1992.--then we really hate them for-ev-er.

Like elephants, Wildcats do not forget.

Granted, it is not like we could anyway.  The sports guys like to remind us...often.  This year when fellow number 1 Kansas was defeated, the commentators repeatedly brought up that UK/UAB debacle from 04.  We do not speak of it and would like it if they would stop speaking of it as well.

Every year, every blessed year, in the video montages during the Final Four, we are forced to relive UK/Duke 92---that blasted last second shot by the player that shall not be named.

Grrr, stop showing that.  Surely someone else has a highlight reel moment to overshadow that and erase that moment from the annuals of basketball history.

There is a reason for our fanatical devotion to our team; they've earned.  UK is the winningest team in NCAA history.   We were the first team to hit 2000 wins.

The team has had ups and downs since the first title but the loyal (albeit crazy) fans remain.   From the glory days of Adolf Rupp to Joe B Hall--Eddie Sutton (we don't talk about that either)--Rick Pitnio (have not completely forgiven him for leaving yet)--Tubby Smith (Grrr)--Gillispie--(nope, don't want to talk about that either) and now to Coach Cal and even to the coaches that will follow; Big Blue Nation will always be there--expecting the best and demanding excellence.  

Crazy UK Fans--March Madness accurately describes us.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Don't let the bedbugs bite.

I'm off to bed early tonight.  I'm actually a girl who needs eight hours a night  but that hasn't happened since high school. Way back in high school, I went to bed at 9 o'clock.  Not because my parents made me but because if I did not, then I could not get up in the morning for school.  In college, that stopped.  My classes started later and often dance team practice lasted until 10 pm.  Therefore I wasn't in bed until at least midnight or later--I would have to take a shower, finish homework and generally wind down.
A similar pattern has continued into my teaching career, with one exception, I have to be at work before 8 a.m.  Slightly problematic but I usually am not in bed this early.  Usually It's closer to midnight before I'm in bed. 
However, in the morning, I get to start hall duty; actually,it's stairwell duty but just as annoying.  I will get to stand by a set of stairs from 7:45-8:19 and say, "Where are you going?  No.  Go to the cafeteria or gym."    Sounds fun, huh? 
Did I mention that I am not a morning person?  I don't like to talk to people in the morning; the gals on my hall typically just wave at me in the morning.  This may actually be hazardous to the  health local teenagers. 
In the interest of my sanity, my health and the children's safety, I'm going to try to go the bed at a more responsible hour.  Here's hoping it works.
Could be worse. The roommate has had parking lot duty for the past two months.  At least I'll get to be inside the building.
Night all.

This Healthcare fight? I just don't get it.

I just have trouble understanding this epic battle over health care and I really don't understand the people who declare they're moving to Canada because it passes.  For one thing--really?  You are really going to pick up your family, your entire life and relocate because the health care reform bill passed the House?  And you're going to Canada?  A country that has had universal health care since 1960 something?  What?  You can't wait for ours?

My sarcasm aside, I do recognize that some people have legitimate concerns but yelling racial slurs at a congressman is not going to address those concerns.  It just makes you--the person who did this--look like an ignorant bigot.  And why would anyone want to listen the concerns of someone like that?  The same goes for the individuals who made derogatory comments about the sexual orientation of another congressman--under no circumstances is that acceptable.  Did they think that this behavior would make them change their votes?  I don't get it.

For some reason, I just do not think that this is what the founding fathers had in mind when they envisioned their successors exercising their right to assemble and their right to free speech.  Evidently no one told these folks that you catch more flies with honey and that when you must resort to insults to make your point, the point must not be very strong.  And seriously, people, yelling it louder does not make you right.  It just makes me change the channel or tune you out.

I also fail to see how disseminating hate benefits anyone.  That's all that some politicians and media personalities seem to be doing--fueling dangerous fires.   Ironically, many do this while professing to be good Christians.  A line from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird sums this up beautifully.  "Hypocrites, born hypocrites."  I hate to see these individuals set our society back decades for personal gain. 

Now, I do have some concerns about how the end product will turnout but I really have trouble seeing how it is going to be worse than what we have and one group I trust even less than the politicians is the insurance companies.  Some of the nonsense that they have been allowed to do as standard business practices...inexcusable.  Based on what I have read, there's a reason they've been screaming so loud.  They're not going to be able to continue those inhumane practices.

That being said, if my students will have the medication they need, even though their parents cannot afford to buy it out of pocket, then I'll be happy.  I have one student who has been climbing the walls for weeks because his mother--a hairdresser--has been unable to afford his ADD medication.  I have another whose parents have to choose which medicine to buy each pay period--her ADD meds or her asthma controller.  Both her parents work but do not have health insurance, can't afford to purchase their own but make too much money for a medical card--instead they try to juggle the meds and hope that the prescriptions last as long as possible.These are not decisions that parents should have to make. 

I just don't see how it is going to be worse than the hodge-podge abyss of private coverage and medicare/medicaid that we already have.

I just don't get it.

I just don't think that this is going to end the world as we know it.  After all, the majority of the industrialized countries of the world have had it for many years without descending into total anarchy. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Our district has just decided to fund this big technology initiative--there is definitely some irony in this. Starting with the fact that our principal is one of the most technophobic people that I have ever met. Add to that the fact that there are people in our building who cannot master email and couple it with the slowest server known to man; I think we may be in some trouble.

In theory, it sounds really good because we need to prepare the students to be able to function in a tech savvy world but I have been in education long enough to be suspicious. Many times the educational bureaucrats come up with grandiose plans that do not work. Plus I've watched what has happened with our renovation. Some of the stuff that has been added to the building during the construction--that we're supposed to be thrilled about---are not that wonderful...or functional.

One thing that they are all excited about is providing all the teachers with laptops. They seem think that I should be jumping for joy because they're going to get me a laptop. I have a laptop; I'm typing on it now. Actually in this house, between the roommate and me, we have five computers: a laptop and desktop each and an additional decrepit old laptop. I don't need a school provided one.

A desktop at school is just fine. After all at school, I need the computer hooked to the projector, vcr/dvd, document camera and airliner. It is not necessary that it be portable. I'd be happy if the desktop would just not sound like a jet engine and if the speakers didn't buzz and it would be really nice if the tech guy would come figure out what is going on with my printer.

I'd be happy if the technology we have now would just work properly and I'd much prefer they provide the students with additional access to computers than to give me one. I have one class that I cannot get into a computer lab to do anything because they have scheduled classes in the computer labs, even though we have classroom computer labs that could have been used for that purpose.

This summer we're supposed to start professional development that is related to this new plan. Hopefully it will go better than I think.