Sunday, January 31, 2021

The Eating Is Good Today

I've downloaded a recipe for banana bread--I'll make that in a few minutes.

For dinner, the bacon and the ground bison are thawed.  I'll be making blue cheese bacon bison burgers.

I don't spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing food, but when I do....

Saturday, January 30, 2021

I Wonder Why They Don't Want Testing

Without testing, we won't know which students need which additional help after not having been in school a year.

Without testing, even the best students won't know how far behind they are.

We're supposed to account for "learning loss", but how can we identify "learning loss" without testing?

A Call to Waive 2021 Assessments

CTA, educators say standardized tests would be detrimental to students, of little use to schools

I'm sure lefties don't want such testing in part because it will show the result of their disastrous shutdown/lockdown policies, especially on those they claim to want to help the most.

Such testing should be done as soon as schools are fully reopened.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Where Is California Math Education Heading?

Nowhere good:

Several districts in California have already implemented ethnic studies courses on their own, independent of the ESMC (Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum). Some are controversial and some are not. Although the ESMC was originally intended for high school students, an entire chapter deals with K-12 integration. Because of the public outcry following the unveiling of the proposal, Newsom vetoed a bill that would have required an ethnic studies class for graduation from high school. (The bill has been reintroduced.) Meanwhile, the city of Seattle has already created a proposed framework for implementing ethnic studies throughout its K-12 curriculum. Math teachers will ask the following questions: “identify how math has been and continues to be used to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color,” “analyze the ways in which ancient mathematical knowledge has been appropriated by Western culture,” “how important is it to be right?” and “Who gets to say if an answer is right?” It appears educational leaders are all for this. The president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Robert Q. Berry III, told Education Week: “What they’re doing follows the line of work we hope we can move forward as we think about the history of math and who contributes to that, and also about deepening students’ connection with identity and agency.”

This, despite the fact that students in the United States already perform poorly in math. In the most recent survey conducted by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which tests 15-year-olds in dozens of developed and developing countries, the U.S. placed an unimpressive 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science. Among higher performing countries, the 35 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. ranked 30th in math and 19th in science.

As it is with politics, so it is with education:  if they can't give you good education, they'll give you "woke" education.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Congress? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Congress.



Shot: Biden Has Signed a Record 21 Executive Orders In Less Than a Week.

—MRCTV, today.

Chaser: “You can’t [legislate] by executive order unless you’re a dictator. We’re a democracy. We need consensus.”

—Joe Biden, October, 2020.

Just another thing he said in October which has already reached its sell-by date.

Remember when even just a few executive orders were considered a sign of tyranny by the left?

Radical New Economic Theory?

No, it's not a "radical new economic theory".  It's just another way for wealthy governments to assuage some unexplainable guilt that some in the developed world have for living a good life.  It ranks up there with "carbon taxes" and "carbon offsets"--and who's surprised that the theory hinges on "climate breakdown"?

One evening in December, after a long day working from home, Jennifer Drouin, 30, headed out to buy groceries in central Amsterdam. Once inside, she noticed new price tags. The label by the zucchini said they cost a little more than normal: 6¢ extra per kilo for their carbon footprint, 5¢ for the toll the farming takes on the land, and 4¢ to fairly pay workers. “There are all these extra costs to our daily life that normally no one would pay for, or even be aware of,” she says.

The so-called true-price initiative, operating in the store since late 2020, is one of dozens of schemes that Amsterdammers have introduced in recent months as they reassess the impact of the existing economic system. By some accounts, that system, capitalism, has its origins just a mile from the grocery store. In 1602, in a house on a narrow alley, a merchant began selling shares in the nascent Dutch East India Company. In doing so, he paved the way for the creation of the first stock exchange—and the capitalist global economy that has transformed life on earth. “Now I think we’re one of the first cities in a while to start questioning this system,” Drouin says. “Is it actually making us healthy and happy? What do we want? Is it really just economic growth?”

In April 2020, during the first wave of COVID-19, Amsterdam’s city government announced it would recover from the crisis, and avoid future ones, by embracing the theory of “doughnut economics.” Laid out by British economist Kate Raworth in a 2017 book, the theory argues that 20th century economic thinking is not equipped to deal with the 21st century reality of a planet teetering on the edge of climate breakdown. Instead of equating a growing GDP with a successful society, our goal should be to fit all of human life into what Raworth calls the “sweet spot” between the “social foundation,” where everyone has what they need to live a good life, and the “environmental ceiling.” By and large, people in rich countries are living above the environmental ceiling. Those in poorer countries often fall below the social foundation. The space in between: that’s the doughnut.

Only capitalist economies can afford this; only rich countries can afford to care for the environment.  Poor countries and people won't want to pay more and in many cases can't pay more, especially for food.

Perhaps young Ciara should have paid more attention in economics class--or take one if she's never had one.  You can theorize all day, but Adam Smith got it pretty much right back in the 18th Century.

I'm a conservationist, not an environmentalist.  I don't believe we should waste what he have, we should be good stewards of the environment.  I'm also a realist. We'll grow ourselves out of a problem long before we'll tax ourselves out of one.  And let's not kid ourselves; far from being a "radical new economic theory", this is just another tired example of taxing prosperity to pay for leftist extremism.  It's a regressive tax, the only purpose of which is to demonstrate virtue, and which won't pay for or provide what's been promised.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Deputy Secretary of Education

The only reason the Left opposed DeVos was because her support for school choice--hardly a crazy issue, with well over half of Americans supporting it.  Do well over half of Americans support this person?

In Joe Biden’s inaugural speech last week, he stressed “unity.” In fact, he used the term eight times. So you might think that, in the education realm, he might extend olive branches to the disparate factions. Well, he did no such thing. Less than 36 hours after President Biden had been sworn into office, the aforementioned union leaders were being honored by Jill Biden at the White House, where she reminded the union leaders that she’d promised that if her husband was elected, the teachers unions “will always have a seat at the table.” It’s worth noting that with National School Choice Week right around the corner at the time, nary a choice proponent was invited to the White House.


At the same time as the Bidens were regaling teacher union leaders, the president announced his choice for Deputy Secretary of Education. It was none other than San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten, who recently promoted the concept that schools “spirit murder” black children and that white teachers should undergo “antiracist therapy.” Marten also has aligned herself with the California Teachers Association in trying to halt the growth of charter schools. The San Diego branch of the NAACP issued a statement which referred to Marten as an “ineffective leader when it comes to the academic advancement of African American children in San Diego public schools.”

An idiot like that begs the question, what racist ideas will the Secretary have?

Monday, January 25, 2021

What Isn't Racist In The Eyes of Crazy Leftists?

Why should we believe science! if science! is raaaaaaacist?

University of Rhode Island and Director of Graduate Studies Erik Loomis recently claimed “science, statistics and technology” are racist.

“Science, statistics, and technology are all inherently racist because they are developed by racists who live in a racist society, whether they identify as racists or not,” Loomis tweeted in reference to a New York Times article.

We don't refute people like this.  We mock them.  And we pity the students in their classes.

The Oldest "Old Grad"

West Point doesn't have "graduates", we have "old grads".  It's not too much of an exaggeration to say that the phrase "the Corps has" (gone to Hell in a handbasket, is the unspoken coda) is uttered by every graduating lieutenant within a year of graduation!

Here's a story of the oldest old grad:

He is the oldest living graduate of West Point, where for centuries the Army has trained its elite candidates.

There are 54,132 graduates of the academy still among us.

Ray, at 104, is their elder statesman.

I found him in assisted living in Virginia — that’s now home...

She Was For It Before She Was Against It

Many in the American Left, including Pelosi, were all in favor of last summer's destructive riots, too:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has gone on record praising the storming of the Capitol as an "impressive show of democracy in action" -- the 2011 invasion of the Madison, Wis., state capitol, that is.

Pelosi's previous comment's resurfaced following the disturbing assault on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month at the hands of a right wing-mob who stormed the halls of Congress hoping to prevent the certification of the U.S. presidential election...

Ten years earlier, unionists stormed the Wisconsin State Capitol in an attempt to block a vote on collective bargaining reform. Thousands of demonstrators managed to enter the building by violently breaking down doors and shattering windows -- but the attack garnered much praise from Pelosi and other prominent Democrats at the time. 

The occupiers were praised publically by Pelosi for their "impressive show of democracy in action." The House Speaker took to Twitter to express her "solidarity" with the activists as they attacked the Capitol, and sent senators into hiding until police managed to remove them from the building. 

The woman is despicable in her hypocrisy.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

This Man is Pathetic.

And a lot of people voted for him.  Maybe they believed him--but if they did, they're no smarter than he is.



My 16th Blogiversary

On this date in 2005 I published my very first blog post.  Here I am, 16 years later, and I'm still at it.

I haven't written a blogiversary post every year, but I have for most, and here they are.  Several link to my very first blog post, and a few reference what I still consider to be the best one of my well-over-12,000 blog posts so far.

And I have no plans to stop, not yet.

Friday, January 22, 2021

That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means.

Dropping Chaucer:

The University of Leicester will stop teaching the great English medieval poet and author Geoffrey Chaucer in favour of modules on race and sexuality, according to new proposals.

Management told the English department that courses on canonical works would be dropped in favour of modules that "students expect" as part of plans now under consultation.

Foundational texts such as The Canterbury Tales and the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf would no longer be taught, under proposals to scrap medieval literature. Instead, the English faculty will be refocused to drop centuries of the literary canon and deliver a "decolonised" curriculum devoted to diversity.

Chaucer was from England.  The University of Leicester is in England.  As the English can't colonize England--that's not what "colonize" means--how is eliminating an English writer from an English university "decolonizing"?  You'd think professors of English would understand that words have meaning--but you'd apparently be wrong.

A Better Type of Professional Development?

"Professional Development" in the education field is a misnomer.  Maybe it's a lie.  Nobody gets "developed".  Ask any teacher you know if they've gotten any value at all in any PD they've attended in the last couple of years; if you stumble upon one that says "yes", ask if they think the cost to the district was worth the value the teacher got out of the PD.

Honest teachers will tell you that most teachers dread PD.  It's a waste of time.  It's poorly done, it's often not at all practical, it's just a box someone can check saying they've done something to make the teachers "better".  I myself would rather have no PD at all than have to sit through any of the PD's I've sat through in the last several years.

If this is news to you, then you probably don't speak to many teachers.  My guess is the only people who like PD are those who present the PD's!

Enter micro-credentials:

New America analyzed the national landscape of educator micro-credentials (MCs) to determine how to best harness their potential to more successfully attract, develop, and retain great teachers. We find MCs to be a promising alternative to more traditional (and largely ineffective), compliance-focused teacher professional development, as well as an effective vehicle for defining and determining eligibility for some teacher roles. Whether MCs will fulfill their promise will depend largely on the ability of education leaders to set an appropriately and consistently rigorous bar for quality in MC offerings, as well as to ensure sufficient and appropriate implementation processes and supports outside of the MC offerings themselves. To aid in these efforts, we summarize early best practices for ensuring quality MC offerings as well as lessons learned about the necessary conditions for teachers to succeed with MCs. As an added resource, New America has built a companion State Policy Guide with recommendations for policymakers looking to integrate MCs into their educator professional development, license renewal, and advancement systems.

If it's better than the current system, I'd be willing to give it a try.

Reading beyond the abstract, we find this:

For the purpose of consistency and clarity, we define educator MCs as follows: A verification of a discrete skill or competency that a teacher has demonstrated through the submission of evidence assessed via a validated rubric. Educator MCs are similar to other credentials, like degrees or diplomas, in that they provide public recognition and a way to signal knowledge and/or skills held, but they differ in their focus on demonstrated application of one specific “micro” competency in practice.

The MC offerings available from the entities interviewed for this project largely meet this definition of MC, and hereafter, all references to MCs assume this definition. However, the number of entities providing offerings labeled “micro-credentials” is growing rapidly, and many are not aligned with the definition of MC used here.

So is this the latest great idea, with many companies jumping on board in hopes of making a quick buck?  You can count on it.  That doesn't mean the idea itself is bad, just that organizations have to be careful to choose high-quality programs.  If choosing textbooks is any indication, though, school districts will find a way to blow huge sums of money on flashy but crappy programs.

These goals, at least, sound great:

While MCs are primarily focused on the assessment of competency, high-quality MCs have significant potential to improve the quality of PD, and hence, the quality of instruction, by:

  • Making it more relevant by identifying and targeting personalized areas for growth
  • Providing resources that draw upon the best available research and evidence of impact for a given competency
  • Promoting greater engagement and satisfaction with professional learning by increasing teacher agency
  • Promoting learning by doing
  • Providing feedback on practice and opportunities to learn from mistakes
  • Modeling best practices in teaching by following an inquiry-based learning and feedback process

MCs also offer significant potential in allowing teachers to showcase their skills and advance professionally regardless of experience level or degrees held. MCs can help attract and retain highly talented teachers by formally assessing and recognizing previously unrecognized skills and providing opportunities for increased responsibilities related to those skills, along with compensation in line with those responsibilities.

The very next sentence, though, provides the sad coda: 

However, it is too soon to say with certainty whether MCs will fulfill this potential. 

Left in the hands of school district bureaucrats, I think the answer is pretty clear.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Who's Helping The Commies?

This was written in February 2017, the first full month of the Trump presidency:

If Trump were the Manchurian candidate that people keep wanting to believe that he is, here are some of the things he’d be doing:

  • Limiting fracking as much as he possibly could
  • Blocking oil and gas pipelines
  • Opening negotiations for major nuclear arms reductions
  • Cutting U.S. military spending
  • Trying to tamp down tensions with Russia’s ally Iran
That Trump is planning to do precisely the opposite of these things may or may not be good policy for the United States, but anybody who thinks this is a Russia appeasement policy has been drinking way too much joy juice.
These aren't a bad standard by which to judge the current president, who has already failed #1, 2, and 5.  There's still time for him to get it right, though, but given his supporters, I doubt he'll do so.

Update, 1/23/21:  Today I read that he's now failed #3.

They Just Don't See The Irony

From the major Sacramento newspaper:

An incident involving the Confederate flag resulted in disciplinary action at a Rocklin area high school.

A Whitney High School student had the flag displayed on their vehicle, Whitney High School Principal Justin Cutts told families Wednesday. He said any clothing or vehicles depicting the controversial flag on campus is a violation of the Rocklin Unified School District’s freedom of speech and expression board policy.

Controversial?  I know some of you readers weren't born yet in 1992, but I had voted in a couple presidential elections by then, and I recall when a couple of Southern boys had pins and signs like this.  Those Democrats must have been true racists, no?  Couldn't have had anything to do with being from the South or just being a generic rebel, could it?

OK, the last sentence quoted above does make the school principal sound kinda stupid--and rightly so.  But I'll admit, there's "clarification" in the article:

“At Whitney High School, we strive to develop learning communities respectful of each and every member of this campus and to many, the Confederate flag undermines the values of inclusiveness and equity,” Cutts said. “We respect the rights of individuals to express their views however, those views and expressions may directly conflict with our legal obligation to ensure a non-discriminatory and non-harassing environment for our students and staff.”

I'll bet they wouldn't ban a "Free Tibet" sign/shirt/flag.  Or, more likely, "Free Palestine", either.  

No one thought the Clinton-Gore team was racist for using that flag, and no black Americans spoke out in protest over it.  In fact, President Clinton was proclaimed our "first black president".

So what's the explanation?  Politics.  That's all this is. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021


A friend of mine from school is going to participate this summer in a 10-day cross-country scooter rally.  That's right, hundreds of people are going to meet on the east coast and, over the next 10 days, ride their scooters (Vespa-type, not Razor-type) a prescribed route that ends in Eureka, California.  I still have my Honda Elite 250, but I just don't see that much riding on a scooter!

I'm a lifetime member of Passport America, a discount camping organization, and an email yesterday from them drew my attention to one of their upcoming rallies.  A convoy of campers, trailers, and motor homes, starting in Idaho and winding through Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, and Alaska, over the course of 51 days, sounds like great fun to me!

It would take pretty much my entire 2022 summer vacation (June 13 – August 2, 2022), and I don't know that I want my entire summer to be spent on just 1 lengthy trip in the rig, but I can't bring myself to just forget about it.  It sounds like so much fun!

I wish I could go on some of the shorter rallies, but they take place during school--Alaska is the only one I could participate in.  There are companies that organize caravans to Baja, which also sounds great to me, but those are egregiously priced.  I kinda-sorta organized the Joshua Tree trip over Spring Break with a couple people from school and their families in 2019 but haven't duplicated that feat since then.

It's odd that I'm even thinking about a 2022 summer trip when I don't yet have anything planned for Ski Week, Spring Break, or Summer '21--but that's what I get for reading that darned email!

Took the trailer to Clear Lake (about 3 hrs from here) for a couple days this past long weekend, that was nice.  I'm thinking maybe Death Valley for Ski Week.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Helicopter Parenting

Here is a list of some of 2020's Helicopter Parenting Award nominees.  Which one do you think should win the award?

Honestly, I grew up thinking my generation would do better at raising kids.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Grande Fratello

I love Venice.  When I think back to my 2012 visit to Italy and Greece, I spent twice as much time in Rome as I did in Venice--but my first thoughts are always of Venice.  It's a city like no other in the world.

I've read, but cannot right now find substantiation for the claim, that before WW2, Venice had upwards of 150,000 inhabitants.  Today it has just over 50,000 inhabitants--and the city hasn't gotten any smaller.  My point is that Venice can handle plenty of people, but it's popular to complain that the city has too many tourists.  Sadly, that complaint leads to this:

They're watching you, wherever you walk. They know exactly where you pause, when you slow down and speed up, and they count you in and out of the city.

What's more, they're tracking your phone, so they can tell exactly how many people from your country or region are in which area, at which time. 
And they're doing it in a bid to change tourism for the better. 
"I'm from the government, and I'm here to help." 

Before Covid-19 struck, tourists were arriving in often unmanageable numbers, choking the main streets and filling up the waterbuses. Authorities had tried various measures, from introducing separate residents' lines at major vaporetto (waterbus) stops to bringing in turnstiles that would filter locals from tourists on busy days. A planned "entrance tax," due to debut in 2020, has been postponed to January 2022, due to the pandemic.
But as well as controlling footfall, the authorities wanted to track tourism itself -- not just by registering overnight guests but, in a city where the vast majority of visitors are daytrippers, by counting exactly who is in the city -- and where they go.
Enter the Venice Control Room. 
One wonders if the screens are two-way.  Paging Mr. Orwell, paging Mr. Orwell, please dial extension 1984 on the white courtesy telephone. 

Italians are logged by the region they live in. Of the foreigners, the system breaks down where they come from (data is based on where their mobile phone is registered, so most likely their country of origin), and displays them as bars on a map on the city -- a graphic representation of overcrowding in real time, with colors going from white to red as the numbers get higher...
The system took three years to build, at a cost of €3m ($3.5m). And although some might baulk (sic) at the privacy implications (although no personal data is recorded, you and your provenance is essentially being logged as you move around the city), the authorities are very proud.
If they don't want people to go there, why not just say, "Don't come to Venice!"  It would be a lot cheaper and a lot more honest.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Cocoa Tea

I was looking for something in a high cupboard today when I came across what appeared to be two very large cigars.  I pulled them out--they weren't cigars, they were cocoa tea.

Back in 2014 I was with my son on a cruise that stopped in St. Lucia.  One of the big "tourist sells" there is cocoa tea, and I found 1 1/2 of these stogies!

Guess what I'll be having for my after dinner drink this evening....

The picture at the top of this page shows one of the "cigars" pre- and post-grating, and the site itself gives a recipe for making cocoa tea.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

I Don't Think So, Tim.

If you recognize the line in the title, you watched excellent television in the 1990s!

Regular readers will know that I took a Calculus for Bio/Medicine course at a community college last semester, in part to refresh my knowledge of calculus.  I've signed up for the 2nd semester course and just read the instructor's syllabus.

No mention of Zoom meetings (or video recordings thereof)--is the instructor even teaching?  GROUP QUIZZES.  Discussion groups--for a math class.  Homework (busywork for someone like me) counts for 20% of the overall grade.  A specific time for tests (that kinda conflicts with my work schedule).

I'm thinking of dropping this dumpster fire immediately.  This is absurd.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Family Time When You're "Quarantined" At Home

This family is awesome!

Lots of Rolling Stones and Tom Petty in there, and even Fleetwood Mac's Go Your Own Way!

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Grading Consistency

Yesterday I received an email from another math teacher, asking me to grade a student's test.  It was the last test of last semester, and the student questioned that teacher's grade--so the teacher wanted a "second opinion".  He sent me the student's test as well as the worked out solution key, but no guidance whatsoever on how much partial credit to give on problems.  All I knew was the total point value for each problem.  

So I got to work, grading the test according to my own standards.  Had I been the person grading the test for real, that test would have received a 49%.

I sent the test back to the teacher who had originally sent it to me.  He was satisfied, as by his grading the student had received a 48%.

As far as I'm concerned, that's some pretty consistent grading.

Friday, January 08, 2021

Getting High Sniffing the Gaslighting Fumes

 From Wikipedia:

The Common Application (informally known as the Common App) is an undergraduate college admission application that applicants may use to apply to any of more than 800 member colleges and universities in 49 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in Canada, China, Japan, and many European countries.[1] Member colleges and universities that accept the Common App are made up of over 100 public universities, 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and over 250 institutions that do not require an application fee. It is managed by the staff of a not-for-profit membership association (The Common Application, Inc.) and governed by a 13-member volunteer Board of Directors drawn from the ranks of college admission deans and secondary school college counselors. Its mission is to promote access, equity, and integrity in the college admission process, which includes subjective factors gleaned from essays and recommendations alongside more objective criteria such as class rank. 

Common App has the advantage of having to write one letter or recommendation for a student, and having all member colleges and universities have access to it. 

Sounds pretty reasonable, right?  

Well, take a look at this bizarre email I received from Common App today (I did the boldface):

Dear Friend,

On January 6, we were yet again reminded of the critical importance of an educated and just society as we bore witness to a deeply disturbing attack on democracy by violent white supremacist insurrectionists. The stark differences between how peaceful Black and brown protesters were treated this summer relative to Wednesday’s coup again call attention to the centuries-old open wound of racism in this country -- and highlight the work we still have to do to create a more just and equitable society

Wednesday's unsettling attack, while a harsh reminder of how far we have to go, also reaffirmed Common App’s commitment to revolutionizing the college admission process to ensure that all students -- no matter their race, class, identification or creed -- can access a higher education experience that prioritizes belonging, justice, and equity. 

We reached out to students to remind them that an educated, just, and more equitable society has never been more critical, and a college education is still the best investment they can make. We desperately need their bright minds and diverse experiences to help us all achieve a better world. 

I am confident that as we enter 2021, we are in a strong position to build on the momentum we gained in 2020 and continue to break down barriers for students. I look forward to continuing this work side by side with you. 



Jenny Rickard
President & CEO

I guess Jenny thinks if she lies enough, all of us will forget our own memories of last summer and remember what she wants us to think.  

Jenny, people like you are the problem.  Don't call me "friend".  And lay off the fumes, they're damaging your brain.

Thursday, January 07, 2021

Hybrid Schooling

If we ever let kids come back to school, our district has adopted a hybrid model that combines the worst of in-person schooling and Zoom schooling.

Students are divided into 3 cohorts:  A, B, and C.  Cohorts A and B will get some in-person schooling, C will stay at home and receive only Zoom schooling.

Here's how it would work:

Monday morning:  Cohort A comes to school and has Periods 1, 2, and 3 for 50 min each.

Monday afternoon:  I reteach Periods 1-3 to Cohorts B and C via Zoom.

Tuesday morning:  Cohort A returns to school for Periods 4, 5, and 6 for 50 min each.

Tuesday afternoon:  I reteach Periods 4-6 to Cohorts B and C via Zoom.

Wednesday:  no school at all.  The school undergoes a "deep cleaning".

Thursday morning:  Cohort B comes to school and has Periods 1, 2, and 3 for 50 min each.

Thursday afternoon:  I reteach Periods 4-6 to Cohorts A and C via Zoom.

Friday:  Just like Tuesday, only with Cohort B at school and A/C via Zoom.

I currently get 2 90-min class periods per week with students.  Under this hybrid system, I get 2 50-min periods per week, and the students have a 2nd 50-min period (when I'm teaching but they're not in my class) to work on assignments.  For example, Monday morning, when I'm teaching Cohort A, Cohorts B and C should be working on whatever work I've assigned.

The bottom line is that I have even less time to teach.  I know it's popular to talk about how hard Zoom learning is, and I get that, but in theory I've already accounted for that by cutting down how much I teach and cutting down the number and length of assignments and assessments.  Now I'm supposed to cut it down even more.  I'll have about 1/3 the time of "regular" school to teach, which means I can only teach about 1/3 as much--how does that work in a math class, when the next class requires the knowledge gained from previous classes?

Here's what my classes would have looked like today:

1st period:  3 students in person in the morning, 24 at home in the afternoon via Zoom.

2nd period:  7 students in person in the morning, 27 at home in the afternoon via Zoom.

3rd period:  9 students in person in the morning, 16 at home in the afternoon via Zoom.

To be honest, I'd rather continue with Zoom schooling (for all its faults) than go to hybrid school.  Of course, I'd rather return to real school--but this is the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Kalifornia), and there's no way we're cutting back on any 'rona restrictions any time soon.  Government knows best, don'tcha know.

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Riot at the Capitol

To be honest, I have some sympathy for rioters at the Capitol.  Remember how the entirely peaceful protests of the Tea Party were intentionally misportrayed and maligned by the news media and the left (but I repeat myself), while 2020's destructive riots were described as "mostly peaceful"?  The half of the country with my political beliefs is constantly attacked, but we've taken it.  Well, especially after this past summer's condoned riots and November's stolen election (yes, I believe that), I might be forgiven for being tired of playing by Marquess of Queensbury rules and for supporting showing the other side what it looks like when you're on the receiving end of "social discontent".

I can absolutely agree with the following:

With 40% of the country thinking the election was stolen, this was to be expected — especially after the unified voice of the media saying for years that if you feel disenfranchised it’s okay to riot. Our ruling class, and particularly our media, have been playing with fire for years and I hope that this will be enough to shock them into more sensible behavior.

If we're going to water the Tree of Liberty, better to do it now than later.  Problems like this only get worse with time.

Update, 1/7/21:  See what Slow Joe Biden had to say at

He’s right. 

First, he wouldn’t have called them “thugs”.  Second, they’d have had complete media and Democrat complicity.  Third, celebrities would bail them out of jail.

So he’s right, things would have been different if BLM people had stormed the Capitol. How do I know this?  Because I watched it happen all summer.

House Dems Unanimously Block Resolution Condemning Violence and Rioting

Update #2, 1/7/21:  

  Update #3, 1/8/21:  Nancy Pelosi encourages "uprisings":

And maybe people have forgotten this from 4 years ago:

Monday, January 04, 2021

Back To Work Today

My student teacher is ready to start teaching classes that he alone planned and prepared for, with me doing nothing but checking that his planning sound and his preparation adequate.

Overall I got a few new students, so I'm back over my contractual limit overall and have one class that's 2 students over the allowed maximum--but my contract allows the school 20 days to get everything leveled.  Until then, I just deal with it.

Students show up (on Zoom) tomorrow, I'm kinda looking forward to getting back to teaching!

Sunday, January 03, 2021

This Is Why Hypocrisy Is Such A Bad Thing

From Instapundit:

WELL, YES, THAT’S HOW THINGS WORK: People started breaking Covid rules when they saw those with privilege ignore them.

People won’t believe it’s a crisis when those who are telling them it’s a crisis aren’t acting as if it’s a crisis.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf also comes to mind.


First they want everyone to live in fear and wear face diapers, then they refuse to get the vaccine they've touted because orangemanbad:

U.S. health care workers are first in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine — but an alarming number across the country are refusing to do so. 

Earlier this week, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine disclosed that about 60 percent of the nursing home workers in his state have so far chosen not to get vaccinated. 

More than half of New York City’s EMS workers have shown skepticism, The Post reported last month.

And now California and Texas are experiencing a high rate of health care worker refusals, according to reports...

And in the Lone Star State, a doctor at Houston Memorial Medical Center told NPR earlier this month that half the nurses in the facility would not get the vaccine, citing political reasons...

Survey respondents leaning against taking the vaccine said, among other reasons, that they were concerned how politics influenced the development of the vaccine, the newspaper reported....

Wait, I thought lefties didn't believe that politics ever intruded on science!, that scientists were apolitical and focused only on science!

Saturday, January 02, 2021

Some People Are Not To Be Taken Seriously

This is what it looks like when you service an ideology instead of logic, consistency, or some sense of objectivity:

Anti-Racist Education

The American in me chafes at compulsion, chafes at unequal treatment (especially unequal treatment before the law), chafes at injustice. However, even if you believe those sins are embedded on our schools, so-called anti-racist education doesn't correct them, it perpetuates them:

This summer, the tragic legacy of American racism came to the fore. This has created propitious, historic opportunities to confront real societal challenges. Yet “anti-racism,” for all its high-minded claims and surface appeal, proves to be, on close examination, a farrago of reductive dogmatism, coercion, and anti-intellectual zealotry that’s remarkably unconcerned with either improving schooling or ameliorating prejudice.

There’s a tragic bait-and-switch at work. Americans who care passionately about equality and justice have been dragooned into advancing an incoherent, illiberal agenda. Aspiring anti-racists are mounting a misguided assault on the very mores and habits of mind that undergird liberty, equality, and healthy communities.

Reasonable readers may regard such assertions with skepticism. How can “anti-racist” education be anything but healthy? After all, it’s self-evident that we want students to reject racism. The simple answer is that the doctrine of “anti-racism” doesn’t offer what’s promised on the tin.

The label “anti-racism” is wildly deceiving — a crude bit of rhetorical flim-flammery, akin to when Jim Crow Southerners rechristened the American Civil War as the “War of Northern Aggression.” No, a more fitting sobriquet for the movement that marches under the banner of “anti-racist education” is “anti-educational authoritarianism.” This is a strong statement, but one we believe we can support.

Read the whole thing. 

Friday, January 01, 2021

10,000 Steps

I don't know if a smart watch will add any value to my life, but I bought myself an inexpensive one a few days ago.  I'm still trying to figure out how to use it.

I've heard that the latest health craze (after 'rona vaccinations) is to get in 10,000 steps a day.  Among a few other things, this watch tracks my steps, so I went on a walk yesterday morning and listened to an audiobook in the process.  Barely over 5000 steps.  So after the Liberty Bowl I went out again, and by the time I got home I had 10,900 steps.  

It took me about 4 miles, 1 hour, to get that many in.  I don't know how practical it is to expect myself to do that every day, but it's not a bad goal.

So far today:  1,086 steps.  I've been doing laundry and putting away Christmas decorations.