Join 3,556 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


"Where's the 'T' at?" she asked.
May 3, 2007 6:54 AM   Subscribe

The caferteria had garbage an all tables. At my middle school in Staten Island, thought the dean, this cannot stand. So he sent home a letter.
posted by staggernation (109 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
frist!
posted by miss lynnster at 6:58 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Pardon, am I supposed to express moral outrage that this educator wrote a letter in anger and forgot to proof it? While it should not have happened to him, it could have happened to anyone.
posted by eatdonuts at 6:59 AM on May 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


There's problems in the public school system more insidious than not paying teachers enough? I am shpcked. shpcked I tell you.
posted by SinisterPurpose at 7:00 AM on May 3, 2007 [5 favorites]


There are problems.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:01 AM on May 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


What the hell is a 'Health Academy Dean'? Is that like someone's mom who comes in for an hour a day and makes the kids do jumping jacks and then gives them fruit cups?
posted by billysumday at 7:01 AM on May 3, 2007


am I supposed to express moral outrage

No, just chuckle.
posted by staggernation at 7:02 AM on May 3, 2007


"Dictated and not read." Just put that at the end of every letter, that covers your ass pretty well.
posted by grytpype at 7:03 AM on May 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


What the hell is a 'Health Academy Dean'?

It's a big trend to break a big school into 'small schools', which mean separate administrative structures within one building. So this school has 3 Academies, which apparently are theme-based, and he runs the Health Academy, which is probably all kids who think they'll grow up to be doctors.

The Principal, then, is the boss of all three academies and deans.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 7:08 AM on May 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


billysumday:

In bigger schools, particularly middle schools, administrators will often break down the class sizes into three or four smaller groups (think of the houses in Harry Potter) who have almost all classes together and whatnot. The "Health Academy" was apparently one of three such "academies" in this school, though I don't know what the other two would've been called.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:08 AM on May 3, 2007


im in ur caferteria, trowin ur foodz
posted by chillmost at 7:09 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, and the dean is the demi-principal in charge of that academy.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:09 AM on May 3, 2007


*cringe*
posted by Wonderwoman at 7:09 AM on May 3, 2007


This example is only unique in being posted on the internets. I get letters home from our local schools all the time that are just as bad as this in punctuation, grammar, spelling and vocabulary. And I'm not (always) talking about letters from "secretaries" babysitting the front office. Some of these are from teachers. People who are supposed to be teaching punctuation, grammar, spelling and vocabulary to children.

There's problems in the public school system more insidious than not paying teachers enough?

I think the argument could be made that failing to attract the best and brightest with a reasonable salary could contribute to low teacher quality. Also, being forced to hire marketeers who can think of new ways to gussy up a bake sale rather than work on curriculum could be a factor.
posted by DU at 7:13 AM on May 3, 2007


sigh
posted by taliaferro at 7:14 AM on May 3, 2007


think of the houses in Harry Potter

Although Health Academy broke all the school's rules with their recent food fight, their ability to overcome their dean's limited writing ability somehow makes that moot. 100 points to Health Academy!
posted by staggernation at 7:15 AM on May 3, 2007 [6 favorites]


That ain't nothin'; one o' my kidses teachers sez that "Library" is pronounced "liberry". No lie. Straight jacket, dog.
posted by Mister_A at 7:17 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


You know what? This letter isn't that bad. The guy had seven misspelled words. Seven. Big deal. His diction was fine, his grammar was fine. He gets his point across in a cogent and brief letter. So, what's the problem?

Sure, the letter could have been proofread, but he was likely in a hurry. And that's not a small point!

If he indeed wrote this letter in a hurry, the letter is better than fine. It's pretty good! How many people could write something this well in a single draft?

Not many.
posted by oddman at 7:17 AM on May 3, 2007


Eh, it's Staten Island. I'm frankly suprised he didn't write 'youse.'
posted by jonmc at 7:19 AM on May 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


Students coming out of the school yesterday were laughing at the spelling mistakes. Looking at the word "unexcecpable," one student said she knew it was wrong: "Where's the 'T' at?" she asked.

Busy replacing the "r" in our obviously.
posted by JaredSeth at 7:20 AM on May 3, 2007


That ain't nothin'; one o' my kidses presidents sez that "nuclear" is pronounced "nucular". No lie. Straight jacket, dog.
posted by louie at 7:22 AM on May 3, 2007


"the father of an eighth-grader and the president of the local Community Education Council, called for Levy's firing."

"We are for zero tolerance when kids make a mistake. What is good for the goose is good for the gander."

Yes, get pissed at the teacher, instead of the shitty behavior of the kids. Zero tolerance? When kids get expelled for simple spelling mistakes, THEN I'll stop yelling bullshit.
posted by dozo at 7:22 AM on May 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Axe yerself, could youse do more better?
posted by jonmc at 7:23 AM on May 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


I hereby sentence the dean to mockery from the Internet. *gavel*
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:23 AM on May 3, 2007 [7 favorites]


Thank God the Daily News is around to tell me about some furor I would have otherwise missed out on.
posted by piratebowling at 7:27 AM on May 3, 2007


What are "senior activates"?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 7:27 AM on May 3, 2007


azackly, dozo. And, while it may be unethical to do so, I would love to smack the pimply teenager who bleated, "Where's the 't' at?" as she mocked the clumsily written notice. It's "Where the 'T' be at?" dumbass.
posted by Mister_A at 7:28 AM on May 3, 2007


...what the Wonder Twins did their last year of school.
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:30 AM on May 3, 2007


Somewhere I (probably) still have emails from a university prof and published author that would turn your hair white. This is bad, but not THAT bad.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:31 AM on May 3, 2007


ACTIVITIES, DAWG.
posted by quonsar at 7:32 AM on May 3, 2007


I think he used the Canadian spelling of those words.
posted by NoMich at 7:33 AM on May 3, 2007


I know a guy from Staten Island that once axed this question: "Could you be a little more of a bigger dick?"
posted by Mister_A at 7:34 AM on May 3, 2007


My mom was an english teacher so I very literally got sent to my room for misspellings or saying things like "hand me those ones over there." This teacher would be SO TOTALLY GROUNDED.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:35 AM on May 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


So the Dean writes in Scottish, what's the big deal? I hear he had just finished reading "Trainspotting" and thought it would be cool to write like Irvine Welsh. Ken?
posted by MikeMc at 7:35 AM on May 3, 2007


What a maroon.
posted by felix betachat at 7:36 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


How much do you wanna bet that this same guy goes around moaning and crying that IM and texting are destroying our children's literacy?
posted by crackingdes at 7:40 AM on May 3, 2007


Ho.
Hum.
posted by signal at 7:43 AM on May 3, 2007


From the article: A dean at a Staten Island middle school was so fed up with the food fights at lunch that he hastily sent home a letter riddled with meaty errors that most of his students wouldn't make.

Trust me, most of his students probably would make those, or similar, errors.
posted by the_bone at 7:44 AM on May 3, 2007


i'm the deen of helth but i spel like the dook of url
posted by pyramid termite at 7:48 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


We'd all like to know where at the "t" is, and that's fine.

What's not fine is rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?
posted by designbot at 7:51 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


This letter wouldn't be acceptable coming from my insurance agent.
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:58 AM on May 3, 2007


So, the students are out of control and one of their deans doesn't proofread. I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
posted by bodega at 8:01 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Not that bad? It's the work of an illiterate . . .

Probably someone else who lied about his degrees to get the job.
posted by spitbull at 8:02 AM on May 3, 2007


This hole thing is totoly unexpectible.
posted by doctorschlock at 8:02 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Here's an interesting story, maybe. A few years ago I worked for an entertainment lawyer in LA, who dealt with a lot of directors, actors, writers and producers. Most of the clients who corresponded with the lawyers were quite eloquent, even in emails. They were dealing with their lawyers, after all, and would know that their correspondences would be filed and archived for a long time. The funny thing, though, was that a few producers - men with ungodly sums of money and influence - would occassionally send the lawyers emails from their blackberries or home computers and, without the supervision of a secretary or assistant to comb through them, the emails would be nearly indecipherable. Spelling errors, grammatical errors, punctuation errors - sometimes they were so difficult to read that we would pass the emails around the office with the hopes that someone could decipher what they were trying to say. I don't think that those producers were stupid or unable to write well - always on the phone they were quite articulate - but rather I think that it had something to do with, "I am so important and my time is so valuable, I do not have the time to write this letter in the first place, let alone proofread it afterwards." As though they placed their hands on the keyboard and began typing, all the while keeping their eyes trained an Bloomberg News or whatever, and just let their fingers craft some sort of poetic interpretation of whatever it was they were trying to say. They knew there would be no consequence to the belief that people may form that they were idiots or lazy - unlike us regular stooges who had bosses and accountability and all that nonsense - so why not rub everyone's face in it? It was a good way of showing everyone how big their dick was, and they said it like: "Herbn not comng tomorrow SO PISSD. What thehll goingon over there need a littl MORT EIME. CAL ME BAXK SUNE>"

So maybe this dean just didn't care that people might think he was idiot, and knew he could get away with it. Perhaps he was interested in subconsciously promoting his position of power to the parents of the children he administers daily. That, or the guy is an idiot who can't spell or form sentences and needs to be fired.
posted by billysumday at 8:08 AM on May 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Dictated and not read." Just put that at the end of every letter, that covers your ass pretty well.
posted by grytpype at 10:03 AM on May 3


If you sign it, you approve it. This letter is shit. What amazes me is that Clippy in Microsoft Word would have automatically set the letter up for him in a respectable format. ("I see you're trying to type a letter..."). He had to actively circumvent the safety net to produce this travesty.

And there is no excuse for the spelling mistakes in a formal letter.

I went to public school, and they taught us how to write and properly format both a personal letter and a business letter in fourth grade. The business letter was one of a choice of (a) applying for about a job opening, (b) submission of a manuscript for consideration, or (c) lodging a formal complaint. After writing it out longhand for grading on diction, grammar, etc., we were then required to type it on a Smith Corona typewriter that was so old it is probably worth thousands now as a rare antique. And all of this was when home computers were gaining widespread adoption.

Yes, I agree with other posters that the kids were acting like animals. My solution? Shut the school down, fire the employees, and deny the seniors a chance to graduate high school. Have a nice summer, dipshits.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:09 AM on May 3, 2007


This hole thing is totoly unexpectible.

I wundr if he gunna loose he job?
posted by MikeMc at 8:09 AM on May 3, 2007


That ain't nothin'; one o' my kidses teachers sez that "Library" is pronounced "liberry". No lie. Straight jacket, dog.

I work in a liberry and I've concluded it's simply a dialect pronunciation.

Also, you misspelled "dawg."
posted by scratch at 8:12 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Actually there are more than seven (the person using the highlighter missed some), and there are many missing punctuation marks. It's worse than you think.
posted by iguanapolitico at 8:14 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yea but she was tellin' the kids like, "OMG it's lie-berry! You doesn't sez the R!!11!" Rarther than jus sayin lie-berry.
posted by Mister_A at 8:14 AM on May 3, 2007


His diction was fine, his grammar was fine

What? No it wasn't! The highlights are just the most egregious errors; the punctuation (or lack thereof) is terrible and the wording is clumsy.

What especially kills me is that these aren't just typos; one's finger does not easily wander over to the "e" key when it intends to type the "io" in "misbehavior." Not to mention the telling lack of common sense involved in declining to proofread a letter one intends to be sent home to parents from a position of authority at a school. Wow.
posted by AV at 8:16 AM on May 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


Liberry rhymes wit Febwary.
posted by scratch at 8:17 AM on May 3, 2007


Am I the only one who thinks that the most unexcecpable thing about all of this is that all of the kids are being punished for the actions of a few?

Anyway, I'm willing to bet that this was dictated to someone else to type, presumably the person with the big dumb bubble handwriting who wrote "parent signature" at the bottom. The grammar and sentence structure is too good (not perfect, but not terrible) for someone who can't spell words that were in my second grade spelling book.
posted by Wroksie at 8:17 AM on May 3, 2007


Shaddap.
posted by jonmc at 8:18 AM on May 3, 2007


"When we read it, me and my friends were freaking out," she said.

Ummm... guess you can't blame her, though.
posted by Mapes at 8:19 AM on May 3, 2007


FOOD FIGHT!
*ducks
posted by caddis at 8:21 AM on May 3, 2007


Isn't this why they invented spell-as-you-type?
posted by smackfu at 8:38 AM on May 3, 2007


As a prouded graduwait and produk of teh Satan Island skool systim, I honsetly dont no waht the big deel is? I turned-ed out just fin. And if yous got a pwoblem wit dat I'll break ya faces u fukin' faggots...
posted by Skygazer at 8:42 AM on May 3, 2007


You think they just didn't PROOF it? My goodness, I don't think I could write something that erroriffic if I tried. How very disappointing that letter must be for parents who are actually paying to send their children to this school.
posted by luriete at 8:52 AM on May 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Hey, maybe the guy's dyslexic or has some learning disability that makes spelling and grammar much more difficult than it is for you and me. I have some friends, brilliant people, who write like crap. I would hope their disability wouldn't preclude their being hired to do a job they love. Sure, I'm a killjoy, but as long as he isn't teaching spelling, what is possibly a disability isn't interfering with his ability to do his job, which seems to be making sure that school continues without disruption.

It would be no surprise to me if a junior high school administrator didn't have time to proofread or find someone else to proofread. Maybe he forgot to spellcheck, or ran out of time, or was interrupted. It's a busy, involving job.

I obviously don't know that this guy's dyslexic, or if the spelling/grammar deck is stacked against him in some other way, but neither do these parents, who would probably demand rightful exemptions and special treatment if their kid was so challenged.

Punishing everyone for the actions of a few is probably what's got these people up in arms; it would be better if they attacked his message, not his spelling. Then again, junior high administrators seem to exist to teach kids that authority is often as rash and obnoxious as the behavior it seeks to correct.

When their parents get in on the rashness and obnoxiousness, they hit the trifecta. Learning in action.
posted by breezeway at 8:57 AM on May 3, 2007


I'm with luriete: forget about proofing. I couldn't do that badly on a first pass. "unexcecpable"? What the fucking fuck is that? That's not a misspelling derived from pronunciation, that's not a fat-finger typo. That, to use the technical term, is whack.

Even allowing for poor spelling, the lack of proofing also shows an astonishing disregard for how an educator (in fairness, as a dean, he may only be an administrator) is perceived by the students' parents. I put more effort into proofing my snarks on metafilter than this guy put into that letter.
posted by adamrice at 9:08 AM on May 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


If words like "excecpable" are the product of writing in a rage-inspired rush, I think he should go to anger management classes.

"Yuo kids see whut yuo mekk me DU?"
posted by katillathehun at 9:14 AM on May 3, 2007


I'm reminded of a boss I had who would send out memos exactly like this on a daily basis. He sent them to subordinates, he sent them to vendors, he sent them to corporate. He used Word and for some reason (he was computer illiterate as well) had managed to shut off the edit and spell-check functions. Finally his secretary had enough and snuck onto his computer and turned on Word's spell check and edit options. He became incensed and distracted at all the red and green lines that began to appear on his memos, but made the unfortunate discovery that if he typed in all capital letters it didn't edit. So from then on, in all his memos he was yelling at us.
posted by vito90 at 9:16 AM on May 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


I think the argument could be made that failing to attract the best and brightest with a reasonable salary could contribute to low teacher quality.

The AFT teacher salary survey for the 2004-05 school year found that the average teacher salary was $47,602.

It must pretty tough to find people willing to work for these wages and have three months vacation per year, and in return, teach our children.
posted by sluglicker at 9:31 AM on May 3, 2007


Hey, maybe the guy's dyslexic or has some learning disability that makes spelling and grammar much more difficult than it is for you and me.

Then he should use a spell-checker before he sends messages to hundreds of people, in the same way that he should use corrective lenses while driving if he's short-sighted.

It must pretty tough to find people willing to work for [an average of $47K].

That's not so much money for a responsible position -- it's also skewed by the older teachers who have reasonable contracts, and suburban schools.

If you started in an urban school district you'd be lucky to get $30K.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:43 AM on May 3, 2007


Secretary of Ed for our state came to the HS where I work. Our principal made up words during his presentation. Like 'veriscosity'. And he kept going. No one could stop him. Really pathetic.
posted by xjudson at 9:44 AM on May 3, 2007


oddman:You know what? This letter isn't that bad. The guy had seven misspelled words. Seven. Big deal. His diction was fine, his grammar was fine. He gets his point across in a cogent and brief letter. So, what's the problem?

The problem is with an attitude like that, why should the kids care whether they know how to properly spell and use punctuation marks, so long as they get their point across?

Wroksie: Am I the only one who thinks that the most unexcecpable thing about all of this is that all of the kids are being punished for the actions of a few?

No. I think that's flat out wrong and laziness on the part of the school. It would be too much trouble to discern who was guilty, so let's just punish everyone.
posted by Orb at 9:49 AM on May 3, 2007


I think the argument could be made that failing to attract the best and brightest with a reasonable salary could contribute to low teacher quality.

The AFT teacher salary survey for the 2004-05 school year found that the average teacher salary was $47,602.

It must pretty tough to find people willing to work for these wages and have three months vacation per year, and in return, teach our children.
posted by sluglicker at 10:31 AM on May 3 [+]
[!]


That average salary includes the salaries of instructors who have been there for decades. Utah starts teachers at $20,000. Also, if the job is so sweet and well-paid, why aren't people clamoring to be teachers?

I have a Ph.d., $50k in debt, and make $50k a year after eleven years of schooling. My choice, to be certain, but I'm not exactly raking it in.
posted by mecran01 at 10:04 AM on May 3, 2007


How many people could write something this well in a single draft?

Everyone here? Everyone I know? Aside from the highlighted obvious errors, there's correctly-spelled words that are used incorrectly, there's AWOL punctuation, random capitalization, and it stupidly includes the phrase "it makes no difference if your child was directly involved or not".

As an example of error-free writing, it sucks. As an example of writing which doesn't unnecesarily upset parents, it sucks.
posted by 23skidoo at 10:04 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I obviously don't know that this guy's dyslexic, or if the spelling/grammar deck is stacked against him in some other way, but neither do these parents, who would probably demand rightful exemptions and special treatment if their kid was so challenged.

So if kids are dyslexic, they don't have to spell correctly anymore?
posted by smackfu at 10:06 AM on May 3, 2007


sluglicker: It must pretty tough to find people willing to work for these wages and have three months vacation per year, and in return, teach our children.

See previous discussion on the overpayment of teachers. Yeah, they get three months of vacation. They also have to babysit sugar-addled monsters all day long. And they get to observe such fantastically rewarding outcomes from all their efforts!
posted by dilettanti at 10:10 AM on May 3, 2007


I know I shouldn't go here, but I must admit I'm curious how his first draft letters look.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:14 AM on May 3, 2007


"Health Academy"

Sounds to me like what we used to call Physical Education, aka "P.E." which means this was a Coach. They're calling coaches 'deans' now? That's rich. If I am correct in my accessment, frankly I'm surprised he was able to make sentences at all. Back when I was in school, the coaches were lumbering gorillas whose knuckles dragged on the ground.

...what happened to the spellchecker in MeFi? I'm not entirely sure if I spelled "accessment" correctly in the previous paragraph and I'm too lazy to go check.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:18 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


grain of sand:infinity::this letter:importance
posted by Falconetti at 10:25 AM on May 3, 2007


DU wrote:"This example is only unique in being posted on the internets. I get letters home from our local schools all the time that are just as bad as this in punctuation, grammar, spelling and vocabulary."

Man, sometimes I wish I wasn't gay. 'Cause then I might have kids, and if I did, they'd go to school. And if they went to school, I might get letters like this from the people in charge. And I would take a sick pleasure in proofreading and grading these memos in red pen and mailing them back, with a copy going to the school board.

I deny any virtue to the claims of not having enough time to proofread, or whatever excuse you want to make for this guy. Someone in a position of authority at an educational institution should be setting a positive example for the students. What kind of example is this memo supposed to be?

"Our Dean has a job and he can't write properly, so why should I bother to pay attention in class if the lessons aren't important?" That's what it would have said to me when I was in school.
posted by CrayDrygu at 10:26 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I would expect that if this was indeed a "first draft", the whole letter would be squashed into one paragraph and contain rambling, run-on sentances. The letter "looks" too nice to be a first draft.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 10:28 AM on May 3, 2007


Steve Guttenberg totally cracked me up in Health Academy 5.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:33 AM on May 3, 2007


Yea, also I like that guy who makes noises. Still, it was no Health Academy 2: Eclectirc Bogelou.
posted by Mister_A at 10:41 AM on May 3, 2007


My question: What the hell was this written with? It's highly likely that it was a version of Word. Typing the text into the default template of Word pretty much confirms it. The words wrap just like in the real copy.

In any case, you're also greeted with six auto-detected errors while writing it. What is the excuse for allowing these errors to remain?
posted by odinsdream at 11:06 AM on May 3, 2007


This is my attempt to make it a bit more readable:
To the parents or guardians of the Health Academy 8th grade:

Today, Monday, April 30, 2007, during our 6th period lunch, many of the 8th graders were throwing food. The 8th grade section of the cafeteria was left a mess, with garbage left on all the tables and on the floor of that section. This type of behavior is unacceptable at any grade, especially the 8th grade. After conferring with our principal, Mrs. DellaRocca, we are now excluding the entire Health Academy from all senior activities, including the prom and school trip. It makes no difference if your child was directly involved or not, this is an action which affects the entire Academy.

As we enter May, and the weather continues to get warmer, many students get the impression that their work here at school is done. However, they are expected to follow all school rules until the last day of school in June. I am asking for your cooperation in keeping our school a safe and clean learning environment.

Please review this letter with your child, sign the bottom, and have the letter returned to me. Failure to return this letter will automatically keep your child off the senior activities list. Each student that returns this letter will be reviewed on a case by case basis. If your child is removed from the senior activities list, or had no plans of attending any activity, and continues to throw food or misbehave, the school will have no choice but to suspend your child.

Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our school a safe and clean place to learn. If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me at the school.
Better? Keep in mind, I'm only a freshman in college, so what do I know.

I just want to know how the hell he got it past spellcheck. Maybe he was especially flustered when he wrote it, but come on... "unexcecpable?"
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:10 AM on May 3, 2007


Hey, kinda like the charges against Luke Wilson in Idiocracy!

For being a dick
For excaping from jail
For fucking up lots of shit

I love that movie.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 11:18 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


That average salary includes the salaries of instructors who have been there for decades. Utah starts teachers at $20,000.

I have a Ph.d., $50k in debt, and make $50k a year after eleven years of schooling. My choice, to be certain, but I'm not exactly raking it in.

For every teacher that's earning $20k, there's a teacher earning $72k. At $50k, you're above the national average, poor, poor baby.

Here's a good idea: Let's rely on greed and the American dream to lure people to teach our children. It's always worked before.
posted by sluglicker at 11:20 AM on May 3, 2007


Yea I'm with you sluglicker, these goddamn rich teachers are always taking the best tables at the The Palm, and they drive by in their Bentleys and splash mud on me as I beg for alms. I hates teachers!
posted by Mister_A at 11:32 AM on May 3, 2007


Metafilter: I put more effort into proofing my snarks.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 11:58 AM on May 3, 2007


these goddamn rich teachers are always taking the best tables at the The Palm, and they drive by in their Bentleys and splash mud on me as I beg for alms.

My neighbor is a retired teacher and his take was that while you won't get rich teaching, teachers aren't exactly poor. The pay is mediorce starting out but gets better with experience and additional education. Teachers can also take on extra duties for additional money and, of course, work another job during the summer. Also here in WI the teachers union is strong and the pension plan is pretty sweet (or so he tells me). So in a nutshell, if you get additional schooling and stick it out until retirement you can do fairly well in teaching.
posted by MikeMc at 12:04 PM on May 3, 2007


Right, as it should be MikeMc. I don't want idiots teaching my children, I want them in the VP's office shooting their friends in the face.
posted by Mister_A at 12:30 PM on May 3, 2007


It's amusing that in spite of how horrible that letter was supposed to be: he's illiterate; he should be fired; it's a sign of the end times; think of the children! We all got the message.

And yet, instead of debating what to do about the problem we're discussing the syntax of the message. I'm reminded of forests and trees for some odd reason.

Oh, and they are clearly not punishing everyone. It clearly states in the letter that every student can initiate an appeal. It seems rather smart to force the parents to acknowledge the problem and then require active participation on the part of the students, parents, and faculty in addressing the problem.
posted by oddman at 1:17 PM on May 3, 2007


What are "senior activates"?

Depends Undergarments® and Poligrip®
posted by ericb at 1:27 PM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


And yet, instead of debating what to do about the problem we're discussing the syntax of the message. I'm reminded of forests and trees for some odd reason.

Is it wrong that I think that poor spelling and grammar skills in education professionals is a much more serious problem than the occasional food fight? My priorities are in the right place, as far as I can tell.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:34 PM on May 3, 2007


Is it wrong that I think that poor spelling and grammar skills in education professionals is a much more serious problem than the occasional food fight? My priorities are in the right place, as far as I can tell.

Is it wrong that I think that poor spelling and grammar skills in education professionals is are a much more serious problem than the occasional food fight? My priorities are in the right place, as far as I can tell. ;-)
posted by ericb at 1:46 PM on May 3, 2007


In recent related news: Ireland's Text-mad Youth Losing Writing Abilities.
posted by ericb at 2:16 PM on May 3, 2007


Some errors in one letter lead you to think that there is some kind of systemic flaw in our educators? Your powers of induction far outstrip mine. It's my experience that something like this is likely to be an aberration and not the norm. Everyone here recalling that one professor or executive who couldn't write or spell beyond a second grade level seems to be conveniently forgetting the dozens of teachers and coworkers who could write well enough to be unremarkable.

Besides that, yes, obsessing over the syntax of a single letter instead of the problem enumerated in that letter is wrong. Let's not pretend we were having a conversation on illiteracy and it's threat to democracy.
posted by oddman at 2:26 PM on May 3, 2007


the problem enumerated in that letter

1) Food fight!
posted by staggernation at 2:46 PM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


in the same way that he should use corrective lenses while driving if he's short-sighted.

If only there were such a thing.

"Invade Iraq? Hold on, let me put on my corrective lenses."
posted by effwerd at 2:49 PM on May 3, 2007


Besides that, yes, obsessing over the syntax of a single letter instead of the problem enumerated in that letter is wrong.

It's wrong to talk about hold an educator to standard norms with regards to spelling, punctuation and how to use a computer.

Instead, I should care about whether some kids in a lunchroom threw food around and didn't clean it up.
posted by 23skidoo at 3:37 PM on May 3, 2007


Yeah, discussion of civility, punishment and whether or not the actions of the students and the administration were appropriate is probably a more constructive way to spend our time, than whether a single administrator should have spell-checked a single letter.
posted by oddman at 6:09 PM on May 3, 2007


'For every teacher that's earning $20k, there's a teacher earning $72k. At $50k, you're above the national average, poor, poor baby."

Your math teacher was obviously overpaid.
posted by klangklangston at 7:11 PM on May 3, 2007


Is it just me, or is pretty much every person in charge of everything a fucking idiot? Idiocracy isn't a documentary - yet - but it's definitely a coming attraction.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:39 AM on May 4, 2007


It's not you. Only idiots are dumb enough to want to be in charge.
posted by oddman at 1:47 AM on May 4, 2007


Yes! We trick the fools into being in charge of stuff, then poke fun and throw things at them once they're in charge of stuff. That way we don't have to be in charge of anything, and we have an infinite source of amusement.

It's what makes the world go around. Well, that and money... and gravity... and magic...
posted by ZachsMind at 6:48 AM on May 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


klangklangston, are you retarded? No, seriously. I'll be the first to admit that my math skills are no more than an 8th grade level, but 20,000 + 72,000 = 92,000 / 2 = 46,000. Isn't that how an average is arrived at? So if someone pulls out an extremely low figure of $20k, then one must allow for the extremely high figure of $72k. On average, you scamp! And btw, the $50k income the commenter said he made is above the national average for all people, not just teachers. I hardly feel sorry for someone in his predicament.

The reason why someone chooses to teach for their life's work should be based on their love of knowledge, and equally for their love of sharing that knowledge, not 'what's in it for me?'. Of course teachers need to be paid a salary that allows them to live reasonably well. I guess we disagree on just what that means, and on whether or not the carrot that is extended in the business world should be the same carrot we extend to professions such as teachers.
posted by sluglicker at 11:34 AM on May 4, 2007


And don't blame my math teacher. She did a great job. I was a lousy student.
posted by sluglicker at 11:40 AM on May 4, 2007


And btw, the $50k income the commenter said he made is above the national average for all people, not just teachers. I hardly feel sorry for someone in his predicament.

I wouldn't feel sorry for them in Pittsburgh, Des Moines or Tulsa. In NYC, San Francisco or Dallas? I wouldn't feel sorry but I'd understand their twitchiness. The national average isn't a very useful tool when talking about buying power in select metro areas.
posted by Dreama at 12:08 PM on May 4, 2007


klangklangston, are you retarded? No, seriously. I'll be the first to admit that my math skills are no more than an 8th grade level, but 20,000 + 72,000 = 92,000 / 2 = 46,000. Isn't that how an average is arrived at?

The average of 20,000 and 72,000 is indeed 46,000. That doesn't mean that if the average salary is $46,000 that for every person who makes $20,000 there is a matching person who makes $72,000. There could be alot more people making $20,000 than $72,000. You should follow my example and refrain from calling people retarded.
posted by 23skidoo at 12:40 PM on May 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sluglicker— What's the average of 1+1+1+2+10?
posted by klangklangston at 1:48 PM on May 4, 2007


ooh .. ooh .. I know .. pick me!
posted by ericb at 8:27 PM on May 4, 2007


You should...refrain from calling people retarded. You're right, I'm sorry and I won't do it again.

klangklangston: We could also go with 1+4+5+6+10 and the average is slightly more than 5, corresponding to the actual average of slightly more than $46k. This discussion on how one arrives at the figures is pointless. The commenter threw out a very low figure, I threw out a very high figure. Let's get rid of them both and stick to the average. I'm of the opinion that when people do things because they are passionate about them, they tend to do a better job. Apparently, you believe that money motivates and satisfies people to a greater degree.
posted by sluglicker at 10:17 PM on May 4, 2007


To think, my last post, about a man beaten and arrested for being an Arab, was deleted for being "outragefilter". What is this, then? Mockeryfilter? Spellingfilter?
posted by tehloki at 2:23 AM on May 5, 2007


"This discussion on how one arrives at the figures is pointless."

This is where your math teacher failed— a mean without mode or median is only useful for the most facile conclusions. Shown, explicitly, by your attempted extrapolations from the mean.

I mean, you'd agree that the average income of people in an elevator if that set included only you, your parents, and Warren Buffett wouldn't be the most useful thing in determining how much people actually made, right?
posted by klangklangston at 6:39 AM on May 5, 2007


klangklangston: We could also go with 1+4+5+6+10 and the average is slightly more than 5, corresponding to the actual average of slightly more than $46k.

Yes, but in math one counterexample is all it takes to prove that something isn't true. The mean average of all the salaries for a given profession can very different from the salary that most people for that profession make. If you'd like to make the case that most teachers make a certain amount of money, the mean is not going to be a very convincing statistic for people who know anything at all about math.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:02 AM on May 5, 2007


« Older The Wrong Trousers...  |  virtual labor... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments