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June 29, 2011 10:27 AM   Subscribe

[Bill] Kerlina said his two years [as principal of a D.C. Public School] left him with high blood pressure, extra pounds from a stress-induced diet of Armand’s and McDonald’s lunches, and a sense that life is too short. The bitter icing on the cake, as it were, was when certain financial promises made to him were rescinded. Principal K has left DCPS to open a gourmet cupcake shop. (website under construction)
posted by obscurator (49 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I blame the system for why I don't pack my own lunch.
posted by found missing at 10:32 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seriously, how many more cupcake shops can DC handle?
posted by Loto at 10:37 AM on June 29, 2011 [13 favorites]


The future of humanity depends on having committed, determined and effective gourmet cupcake shop owners.
posted by box at 10:38 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is there a way I can short the cupcake bubble?
posted by ghharr at 10:38 AM on June 29, 2011 [13 favorites]


Wish I was running a gourmet cupcake shop.

The stuff on the third page where Kerlina says that there aren't more white students at the school because rich parents send their kids to private school, there's a competitor school across the way and some parents are just racist - this seems to me to highlight the sheer stupidity of trying to conceptualize schools like businesses, with an endless round of "competition" for students.
posted by Frowner at 10:39 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, this mid-thirties person is delighted when a 39-year-old is described as "young" and "baby-faced". I know that's principal years, but still.
posted by Frowner at 10:40 AM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I left the NYC school system several years ago. I loved my job, my students loved me, my principal loved me, I got good results - but the NYC Dept of Education is so incredibly dysfunctional that it became not worth the effort to fight them.

Big school systems drum out more good people than most realize. Those who are willing to fight the system, to get tenure and a pension, are the ones who end up staying. Anyone daring to step outside the Bureaucratic box is squashed.

School systems are the worst thing ever. They are the play-ground of politicians and union bosses, and they reward those who can work the system - while being incapable of evaluating a teacher's real worth.

American education is going further into the toilet everyday.
posted by Flood at 10:48 AM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


high blood pressure, extra pounds

And then he goes and opens a cupcake shop? As if running a small business that depends on the disposable income of rich people who treat everyone like crap isn't going to make him eat his inventory even more than before...
posted by Old'n'Busted at 10:50 AM on June 29, 2011 [9 favorites]


Seriously, how many more cupcake shops can DC handle?

His cupcake shop is in Howard County. Kerlina may be taking advantage of the acute pastry shortage up in Columbia.
posted by Nomyte at 10:56 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is nothing justifiable about Armand's pizza.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:56 AM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've had it with this wage slave bullshit, serving the ungrateful spawn of ignorant materialist sheeple.

I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna follow my bliss, do my dream, chase the brass bobble-head doll, fuck this risk averse straight life!

Let's see, I know.

No wait, I'm gonna create an online community.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:58 AM on June 29, 2011


Until he found out there was another inferior cupcake shop already open on the same block.

And it had tenure. And seniority.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:59 AM on June 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


And every single cupcake you make must be tested. And contain exactly the same ingredients.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:01 AM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I bet there is something heavy he is hiding
posted by clavdivs at 11:01 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hah, that is a bit funny. The school district in Howard County is supposed to be one of the best in the state. My sister, a teacher in Howard County, has been on a salary freeze for years and is constantly telling me stories of the horrible parents she deals with. She's an excellent baker, maybe I'll point her towards the shop.

I wonder if, like most businesses in Columbia, it is going to end up hidden in the bottom of an office building with its signage facing away from the road. What a frighteningly horrible post-war planned city...
posted by Loto at 11:01 AM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


He said that he was promised more money besides his salary, and I honestly have to wonder what he thought he would make. Are there principal bonuses that he felt he should have qualified for despite objectively losing students and lower test scores, or is there some kind of slush fund that everyone knows about but no one talks about loud, or what?
posted by Etrigan at 11:02 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


a small business that depends on the disposable income of rich people who treat everyone like crap

I'm not sure what you are saying here, but it might be because I have frosting on my monocle. Where is that hideous little man who cleans this damn thing?
posted by found missing at 11:03 AM on June 29, 2011 [12 favorites]


it is called being democrat
posted by clavdivs at 11:03 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a tremendous amount of respect for good teachers, because you couldn't pay me enough to teach (well, you could...but we'd be talking, like, nine figures yearly). I love how a lot of people seem to think teaching is an easy gig for lazy slackers, but complain about how hard parenting is*. One or two or three kids under the same roof? The hardest thing you'll ever do! Thirty kids in the same room, many of whom actively resent being forced to be there? Piece of cake!

Incidentally, I thought the cupcake bubble had popped a long time ago. I mean, there was a Simpsons episode where Edna Krabappel opened a muffin store in 2009. Good luck, Mr. Kerlina.

* I am most emphatically not implying that parenting is not difficult.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:04 AM on June 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


Well he's not going to drop those extra pounds by going into the cupcake business.
posted by webhund at 11:05 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know the "catalog" pages are just placeholders, but I would absolutely pay $4 for a cupcake that tasted like a tall rock or captured the excitement of being around this Italian waters.
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:05 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I say, let him eat cupcakes.
posted by clavdivs at 11:09 AM on June 29, 2011


The cupcake bubble hasn't popped yet, although it may be close. It's entering into the delusion stage of an economic bubble. The reality show officially marked the onset of the 'greed' phase. Now that the show has had some sucess, everyday people are saying, "Wtf, I can cook a freaking cupcake, where's my reality show?" And they're not just thinking it, they're acting. What we're seeing with this guy is the equivelent of a self-employed plumber mortgaging his business van and taking out a home equity line to become a day trader after reading Dow 36,000. The market collapse is coming, it's a just a few more principals quitting thier jobs and blowing thier life savings off still.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:19 AM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Trenchant words from the D.C. schools chancellor:

“I guess that we all know everything ain’t for everybody,” Henderson said.
posted by brain_drain at 11:29 AM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Those who are willing to fight the system, to get tenure and a pension, are the ones who end up staying. Anyone daring to step outside the Bureaucratic box is squashed.

Could you clarify this? What do "fighting the system" and "step outside the Bureaucratic box" mean?
posted by a robot made out of meat at 12:03 PM on June 29, 2011


Reading the description, I was sure this was a sitcom premise.

I bet he hires a wacky, dope-smoking slacker, a pretty struggling single mom, and a distinguished older black gentleman who is an amazing baker but hides a terrible secret--he can't read!

Hijinks and heart-tugging ensue.
posted by emjaybee at 12:14 PM on June 29, 2011 [11 favorites]


Robot made of meat: with several relatives who are teachers, I can pretty much guess at this.

"Fighting the system" means you stick it out through all the crap you have to deal with every day, you do your damndest to make sure none of the shit sticks to you because boy howdy does it get thrown around, and you do what you can for the kids under your care each year. You volunteer for extracurricular activities even though there's no money or recognition in it for you, because it's good for the kids. You pay for supplies for your classroom out of your own pocket because there's no budget for it and the kids need it or could benefit from it. You beg, and borrow, and ask for teaching supplies as Christmas and birthday presents 'cause you can't afford it any other way. You soldier on through ineffectual management, poor decision-making, and endless new rules imposed on you from all sides, right down to stupid rules imposed by the janitor who doesn't want to wax the floors except once a year, because you're there for the kids, after all. The system is broken, and in order to be an effective teacher, you have to fight against it - or more to the point, you have to work around it.

If you can soldier on and fight through all the bullshit, and basically OUTLAST others in your system, you get tenure and a pension.

But heaven forfend that you should stand up and point out how fucking broken the system is. That's "stepping outside of the bureaucratic box". Complaining about the system, about working conditions, about dumb stupid rules that prevent you from doing your job aren't OK, because it either reflects badly on management at the school board, or it raises the spectre of budget cuts that no-one can seemingly do anything about. The principal and the superintendent don't want to hear about it, because they already know, and feel as caught by it as the teachers do.
posted by LN at 12:20 PM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


There is nothing justifiable about Armand's pizza.
posted by Navelgazer


Oh no you didn't. Armands is delicious you just don't understand deep dish AND YOU NEVER WILL *runs out of room hides under covers crying*
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:33 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I believe that cupcakes are the future.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:07 PM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I believe that cupcakes are the future.

I heard a couple of years ago that cupcakes were totally over and on their way out. Apparently the future is, instead, going to be macaroons.
posted by Copronymus at 1:13 PM on June 29, 2011


I believe that cupcakes are the future.

Show them all the beauty they possess inside ...
posted by NorthernLite at 1:16 PM on June 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


Loto: "Seriously, how many more cupcake shops can DC handle?"

Several.

And, seriously. Northwest are their own little worlds, and "bubbles" in many senses of the word. I know very little of these cupcakes that you speak of.
posted by schmod at 1:17 PM on June 29, 2011


*Northwest and Georgetown are their own little worlds.
posted by schmod at 1:18 PM on June 29, 2011


And, seriously. Northwest are their own little worlds, and "bubbles" in many senses of the word. I know very little of these cupcakes that you speak of.

Somebody opened a cupcake shop in East Lansing, and every time the kids and I drove past it we said, "We should try that place," and then just a few weeks later we decided to try it and when we got there, it had already closed.
posted by not that girl at 2:38 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


One or two or three kids under the same roof? The hardest thing you'll ever do! Thirty kids in the same room, many of whom actively resent being forced to be there? Piece of cake!

Among my homeschooling friends (I also homeschool), we often have the opposite conversation. It goes like this: "I only have two kids, but I've had to try three different math curricula this year! I haven't been able to use anything twice because the kids have such different interests and styles that what one loves, the other one is bored to tears by. How the hell does somebody in a room of 20 or 30 kids possibly do it?"
posted by not that girl at 2:40 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Armands is delicious
Seconded. (Hope you were serious)

I just saw the name and got hungry. Haven't been for a dozen years though. Might have changed.
posted by MtDewd at 2:48 PM on June 29, 2011


MtDewd: When you last went was the crust made of stale soggy graham crackers mixed with cardboard? Was the cheese pre-congealed under a heat-lamp and applied my a monkey with a trowel? Was the sauce Ragu mixed with a bag of sugar? Were those elements all created separately and then stacked on top of one another so as not to hold together unless with a toothpick?

If so, then no, it hasn't changed.

And perhaps I just literally don't understand deep dish. It's not my preference at all (I go for super-crispy thin crust, myself) so given my choice I go for Two Boots in NY or Alberto's if I'm in DC (which is where I now live.) But it's not like I hate deep dish or anything, meanwhile I well and truly hate Armand's, which is easily the worst pizza I've had in the States, and yet is so ubiquitous as to be unavoidable (seemingly the official pizza of cheaply catered events.)

But I guess some people love it. I just can't comprehend it.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:05 PM on June 29, 2011


Navelgazer, if Armand's is truly the worst pizza you've had in the US, I recommend you travel more. There is actually bad pizza out there. I've also never really understood the pizza snob thing, it's bread with cheese on it, it's always going to be fine.

Also, there is a like 75% chance I will get home to find my wife has ordered Armand's to eat while she watches torrented episodes of Franklin and Bash.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 3:25 PM on June 29, 2011


They are the play-ground of politicians and union bosses

My teacher's union's boss is a teacher...
posted by Huck500 at 3:36 PM on June 29, 2011


Bulgaoktonos, I've ravelled quite a bit. As I said, it's a personal preference thing and there's obviously something I don't get, because other people love Armand's and I can think of a single positive thing about it. Every aspect of the pizza is awful. To me.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:09 PM on June 29, 2011


The cupcake bubble hasn't popped yet, although it may be close.

My town runs about three to four years behind the rest of the US. (Trendwise. In other ways, we're decades behind.)

The first gourmet cupcakery just opened last month.

That sound you hear is the bubble bursting.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:58 PM on June 29, 2011


Little Rock's gourmet cupcakery opened in '08.
posted by box at 5:04 PM on June 29, 2011


Copronymus: "I heard a couple of years ago that cupcakes were totally over and on their way out. Apparently the future is, instead, going to be macaroons."

I know where the best macaroons in the world are made. The secret: huckleberries.
posted by notsnot at 6:08 PM on June 29, 2011


I for one shall be rooting for madeleines to take over the world next.

Anyway, back on topic: good teachers are driven out of education every day, most of them are getting laid off. I don't think I'm weeping too much for this guy complaining he wasn't paid enough, and I guess he'll learn one way or another in the soon-to-be-way-overdone cupcake business.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:09 PM on June 29, 2011


Well he's not going to drop those extra pounds by going into the cupcake business.

True, but that makes him a real roll model for his customers.
posted by jamjam at 7:32 PM on June 29, 2011


My town runs about three to four years behind the rest of the US. (Trendwise. In other ways, we're decades behind.)

The first gourmet cupcakery just opened last month.


Indeed, my town also just acquired a cupcake shop.

They are, of course, organic, egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, cruelty-free and taste-free.
posted by madajb at 9:24 PM on June 29, 2011


Mmmmm. Cupcake bubble.
posted by Mooseli at 3:25 AM on June 30, 2011


roll model

Of the jelly variety?
posted by obscurator at 6:44 AM on June 30, 2011


Armands will always be 1000% better than Sbarro's. I recognize that this means very little to a lot of people, but I've lived in both Chicago and NYC and other than an occaisional trip to 7th Hill Pizza, Amrmand's is my default pizza spot, if only because they are closest to me.

But we don't need more cupcake shops. Vietnamese noodle (Pho) shops?

There isn't aren't enough of them down here.
posted by vhsiv at 11:35 AM on July 5, 2011


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