Friday, June 09, 2006

Appreciative Parent

My "parent secret pal" came into class today to identify herself and bring me an end-of-the-year gift, a bucket of Starburst capped with 4 American flags and a few tropical umbrellas, among other things.

To that teacher who tried to taunt me earlier this week by saying I don't love my country: screw you.

Such gifts are more than generous. They involve not just the expense of the gifts, but also the caring that goes into picking out something specifically for me. I am humbled at such benefaction.

Here's a quote from the card. This is a genuine quote, I'm not making it up. "Thanks for being such a great teacher, and being a conservative in a sea of libs!"

To those commenters who sometimes try to use my students to attack me by saying they feel sorry for my students: screw you.

What was it David Bowie said in Changes?

But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're going through

And plenty of these children appreciate it--or their parents would never even know about it.


40 said...

I would feel very strange about a parent or student for that matter commenting on my personal politics and being so excited about it being on display.

This post really made me think. I take great pride in the fact that my students can't really tell whether I am liberal or conservative. I don't share my personal blog with them and I don't want to influence them in any way other than to sharpern their own sword. Thinking is what they should be doing. Filling their minds with one side or the other is pretty destructive. Especially when neither side is a very good one to be on most of the time.

Darren said...

They can't think about what they don't know. And since it doesn't affect the math instruction, I consider it part of my shtick.

Anonymous said...

1. It brings joy to my soul to see a right-winger quoting the openly gay/bisexual/try-sexual David Bowie. Indeed, the context of Bowie's 1969 lyric suggests an admonishment of right-wingers who "spit on" children who tried to change their world by protesting the War in (on) Vietnam (a war the US entered via a lie; good thing we learned from our mistakes.)

2. I'm happy for your parent gift; but I wonder why you're suprised to be appreciated as a right-winger in a 80+% white school floating in a sea of million-dollar homes in California's Central Valley...a school where right-winger Dan Lungren made one of his last gubernatorial campaign speeches before being trounced by Gray Davis. Where the school newspaper's student poll gave presidential victories to Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, all George Bushes, Bob Dole, and whomever the next republican candidate might be. In the town from which Rush Limbaugh launched into national stardom. Save your dumbstruck humility for when you teach somewhere with at least a hint of blue.

I know you like to assume the role of the disabused con surrounded by armies of libs. But you teach in a rich, white neighborhood in an area of California as red as Texas. In the words of Don Henley, "Get over it."

40 said...

Wow, I can't disagree with you more. What does it do to the students that you have that do not see your side. And most of your students won't. Some will be liberal... some will think it's just stupid altogether.

You say that they can't think about what they don't know... that's true to a point. In my class I feel as if they can think about both sides. Then they make up their own minds... and that really makes them stronger.

Independent thought should never be squashed. But, then again, you are a math teacher. So independence isn't something you want. It's your way or the highway.

Darren said...

40, you make so many assumptions in your last post that the old comment about knowing what happens when you assume doesn't apply--because you're not making an ass out of *me*.

Kids that don't see my side? So what? I guess students should only hear things they agree with. It's not like I grade on whether or not you agree with me.

And the comment about independent thought? You have no idea what you're talking about. *I'll* assume here that you just wouldn't like *my* side of the political spectrum and it bothers the snot out of you to know that some of my students are getting to hear it. *YOU* want them only to hear leftie(DQTP) things when they hear anything political from a teacher.

Wow, now I that I see how much fun assuming can be, I understand why you resort to it so much.

Darren said...

Anonymous, the fact that you're suprised that I would quote a gay musician says far more about you than it does about me.

And cry me a river for still appreciating it when parents offer me gifts. Sheesh. I swear before God and man, if I said the sky was blue you'd argue it.

BTW, anonymous, again I ask, just how anonymous *are* you? Did anyone thank you yesterday for *your* political leanings? I didn't think so. Now crawl back under your rock.

40 said...

To be totally honest, I assume you are an ass. But, I didn't write that, did I?

Darren said...

Probably couldn't spell it ;)

Katherine B. said...

Interesting posts...I'm glad someone bought you Starbucks, Miller. You deserve it since you aren't getting to go to the Bahamas.
And to the two people posting above: you assume that in our math class discussions Miller is the only one doing any speaking. Fortunately there are always plenty of loud mouth liberals in his classes who have no problem rebutting whatever he says, thus giving everyone both sides of the spectrum.

Darren said...

And despite the lack of the honorific "Mister", Katherine is a top notch student--with a liberal streak as flaming as her red hair!

What she didn't mention above, however, is that in addition to our current events discussions, we also covered math in class. A lot of it. Every single state standard for the course.

Anonymous said...

1. David Bowie is married and has a child. He may have gone through an experimental stage, but he is now solidly heterosexual, and dare I say Christian.
2. The school where Mr. Miller teaches ( I am a student there) is overwhelmingly liberal. I am a conservative kid lost in a maze of liberals. Anyone who assumes otherwise is clueless. I am a minority.
3. Mr. Miller presents ideas to kids that they have never heard or thought about before. He is teaching us how to think in more ways than one.

Darren said...

Wow, thanks for that anonymous show of support.

40 said...

No questioning his dedicated efforts here. I was just trying to show a different side of things. In my classroom I see things a little differently. But, believe me... I have had conservative and liberal teachers/professors. I have tried to learn something from each. Of course, I learned what I did not believe from some of them as well. :)

Keep up the good work Mr. Miller at your very liberal school. I didn't realize you were swimming against such a strong tide. You don't know this, but I teach at a VERY conservative school in a VERY conservative state. My showing both sides is not only an act of conscious bipartisanship, but if I failed to mention core conservative principles, I might be run out of town on a rail.