If you’re a registered voter living in the Albuquerque area (particularly if you’re in the APS district), tomorrow is an important day! A vote regarding educational bonds affecting APS, CNM and local charter schools is taking place. This could increase CNM’s capital mill levy $1 million (they haven’t gotten an increase since 1996) and APS and charter schools' capital mill levy to $575 million. Capital mill levy means the money would go towards construction, renovations, operating expenses, etc. And guess what! This won’t increase taxes!!! Whaaaaat!
So stop complaining about having to do shit and help out your local community and economy by voting! Look to see where the nearest voting center is here and if you have any more doubts, watch these videos. See y’all at the polls!
We've been talking a lot about the educational system here at the Alibi recently, which you can read more about in the latest issue that's available 'til Jan. 27 (get it while you can). I’m going to recount some of my best and worst educational experiences. My time in the public (and briefly private-ish) educational system was a wild ride, and within most of my memory, not a good one. Let’s see why!
When I was in second grade I was sexually harassed by a boy in my class. Over the school year he gathered other boys to chase me and harass me. When I would complain to teachers they would tell me something like, “Oh he just likes you!” or “Boys will be boys. Ignore him and he’ll stop.” My best friend was the only person who took me seriously. She would chase him and threaten him back, which would stop them for a while, but since she was in the grade above me, she couldn’t always be there. I started dissociating around this time.
In third grade I was placed in the same class as my harasser again, even though I had made many complaints about his behavior. I remember I cried all night the day before classes started because I was so afraid to be in the same space with him again. My mom fought most of the year trying to get the school administration to change their decision but they said all the other classes were full. Because I was in the same class as this kid again, I was nervous and distracted all the time. My teacher would yell at me a lot for a few reasons: I didn’t pay attention, I collected rocks from the playground (which I guess was stealing school property) and because I had a hard time doing math.
Nothing particularly notable happened until middle school (or maybe it did and I just can’t remember because of the dissociation junk). One of my best friends who had an aptitude for math was yelled at by our math teacher because he didn’t show his work. He explained that he didn’t show his work because he could do it all in his head and out teacher said he couldn’t and was probably cheating.
Our humanities teacher, on the other hand, was very funny and somewhat imperious (though, I suppose most adults are at that age). He encouraged me to write like there was no tomorrow. It was his last year teaching at our school, so at the end of the year I wrote him a poem about how I would miss him and how he really helped me and he cried. We both were proud.
My seventh grade science teacher was absolutely ridiculous. I asked her a question about some type of rock and she actually responded, “Because God made it that way, sweetie.”
My eighth grade history teacher was also very encouraging to me as a writer. For a paper about an event during the American Revolution, I wrote it how I thought a journalist during that time would write it, and after I read it to the class she asked me if I plagiarized it. She didn’t mean it to be insulting (though I was offended, cuz I write gr8) she was just incredibly surprised that a young teenager could write like that so convincingly.
At the beginning of high school I went to a charter school. During the first semester, while my humanities teacher was giving a lecture, I raised my hand because I had a question (like ya do), and then she stopped her lecture and yelled at me for interrupting her.
By the time tenth grade began, I started going to a public school. My anxiety and depression were the worst I had ever experienced in my life at that point (within memory). Thankfully all of my teachers were incredibly kind and eager to teach.
My class schedule was a bit unusual because I went to a school with a different curriculum the year before. I was kind of behind in science (I had taken the class that juniors took at that school, but I hadn’t taken what freshmen took) and ahead in history. So in my science class I was with a lot of kids who had failed it many times. The kid who sat behind me tried to feel me up one day and the teacher didn’t even write him up. Another kid would bother me constantly about dating him which made me extremely uncomfortable. The teacher was nice but he didn’t protect me, which I resent.
My history teacher was completely different. She was lively, intelligent and treated her students how they treated her. She taught me to be studious, respect myself and to stand up for myself. I felt safe in her classroom.
My English teacher was hilarious, kind and patient. I felt like I could be myself around him and I felt safe in his classroom, too. He taught me to be critical and seriously inquire about things and to be confident about my writing and my awkwardness.
By the time eleventh grade started, the school system (and therefore a lot of teachers) began to rely heavily on technology. I remember in one class in particular—my English class—if the computer didn’t work for some reason, we weren’t going to be taught that day. This forced technological shift was particularly difficult for me because I’ve always learned best by actually doing something, not reading about doing things or being told how to.
My first English class in college didn’t go well. My teacher talked to everyone like we were children and was noticeably nicer to the guys in class. Once she gave me a paper back telling me to make the exact corrections that she made and I would get an A. I did what she said and got a D on the paper.
My second English class was a completely different experience. My teacher was incredibly kind, exceptionally encouraging and inspirational. It was her last semester teaching, which is a shame because I wanted to take more or her classes.
I ended up giving up on college because—much like the forced technological shift I experienced my junior year—it was too much reading about doing things and not enough doing for me. Regardless of my bad experiences, I’m extremely grateful for the educational opportunities I’ve had because at the end of the day, I learned something.
There is something wrong with waiting for the Sun-Tran bus number eleven at seven in the morning thought Charlie Jones as he dragged upon a Camel straight and adjusted the band on his watch. A couple of pigeons wandered over and he threw them each ample quantities of the three-day-old Allsups burrito buried in his coat pocket.
Jones was wearing stuff from his father's closet. There was something about that woolen cowboy-style suit jacket and the bolo tie—a turquoise and coral affair that depicted the Zuni Sun God—that made Charlie itchy and paranoid.
—Someone else wore this stuff around Burque thirty years ago and now it's my turn, he mumbled to the small birds.
The Lomas bus followed a wide path made from concrete and dinosaur juice and ended up on the edge of the mountains, a place nearby to Charlie's destination. On board, Jones read through his notes for the day. Once in a while, he looked out the window. The bus drove through places that used to be open range, filled with sage and snakes and the ruins of cars that never made it to Califas.
—So Tony y la familia settled in Barelas, a passenger across the aisle gravely intoned.
Charlie got out of the bus after it crossed Juan Tabo and walked the rest of the way to the high school. The place was mostly painted purple. There were also about three hundred or so depictions of lions—some sculptural—
—The school mascot left its spoor everywhere, Jones whispered reverently.
As Charlie marched through the administrator’s area on the way to his classroom, he was mistaken for a student by the new community resource officer, a man who had just moved to Burque from New Jersey—looking for something he just knew was hidden somewhere in the sprawling western lands. His name was Dwight.
Jones produced his faculty ID. He gave the old man a solemn pat on the back, thanking him for his vigilance and incomparable public service. The two men wandered away from the other satisfied and confident about their ability to communicate with individuals from outside their respective subcultures.
It was still early; Charlie stopped by the teacher's lounge. He had a Sony Walkman in his bag. Jones was about to activate side two of the new Radiohead album when Bob Baca, the biology teacher appeared. Bob began chatting about invertebrates in a very excited tone and then with no small amount of verbal craft segued loquaciously and nearly seamlessly into a diatribe about the wonders of religion.
—A single dude like you ought to give church a try, said the biology teacher, inducing a sense of mock frenzy in Charlie’s fingers, which were unable to flip the cassette tape over at that precise moment due to an overwhelming sense of ennui in the rest of his body.
He reached his room, unlocked the door and activated the switch on the wall. Lights fluttered to life and computers booted. Students began to wander in. One of them asked Charlie if it was true that he was a communist and let his summer school students read Chairman Mao's little red book last year. Charlie waved off the question and made sure he stood with his hand over heart when they played the Star Spangled banner over the intercom that morning.
Jones gave a lesson about how technology was influencing rock music. One of his students, Zach, jumped out of his seat near the end of the talk, and began belting out "Destination Anywhere," by Bon Jovi while gesturing madly at the students in the back of the room. After a couple of verses, he retreated—funky, outrageous and parade-style through the classroom door, never seen again.
During the scheduled lunch break, Charlie sat behind his desk and played Oregon Trail on the Apple IIe. Afterward he spent the afternoon discussing a relatively new thing called the world wide web with a group of final-year students who he believed were probably going to end up designing nuclear weapons or implementing carnivorous global marketing strategies.
On the way out to the bus stop at the end of the day, he nearly tripped over Bob Baca. Jones was looking down, trying to find the rewind button on his music player. Just as he slid awkwardly past Baca, the tape inside the machine reset itself. A recording of Thom Yorke's voice began telling all about a dystopian world—filled with crash survivors and characters right out of Shakespeare—that was just around the corner.
—Fitter, happier, more productive, the voice on recording said with the informative precision of machines.
Charlie cranked up the volume, flashed Baca the peace sign and crossed the street. He walked to the bench where a bus was always waiting and listened.
We're all in this together (student loan debt), but at least we have our college degrees.
Finland kindergartners focus more on playing than testing.
Your chances at winning the jackpot just got cut in half, but maybe that's a good thing.
The nuances of staging a musical with deaf actors.
Raj the blind dog is finally adopted.
Going against the grain, one Dunkin Donuts refused to serve cop.
Textbook changes using the terms “immigrants” and “workers” back to “slaves,” after a Texan mom complained.
It's Monday, so here, have hamsters reenact the Friends theme song.
Prime Minister David Cameron allegedly porked a dead pig.
Are we there yet? Family takes six-month road trip to see Pope Francis in Philadelphia.
Missed the Emmys last night? We've got you covered with the 15 best moments of the 2015 Emmys.
100 years ago, Stonehenge was bought at an auction for a really good price.
This ten-year-old stand-up comedian is funnier than you'll ever be.
Senior year: 86-year-old woman has been going to college for 36 years.
Sumo wrestlers involved in crying baby contest. It's as weird as you think.
School to Prison Pipeline
He who controls the present, controls the past
The wrong side of history
How to be an EXPERT! (w/ Neil deGrasse Tyson)
Behind the Logo
Art, Taking OVER your town squares
Cyclone of Bullshit
Good morning, it’s Wednesday, February 25,
and KOB anchorman Tom Joles is having a time-out after a rumored physical altercation with one of his fellow reporters,
it turns out that even beatniks can be beautiful,
a GQ reporter visited a “Men’s Rights” conference and found out that those guys are kind of a bunch of assholes,
2 million cars in the US are outfitted with remote-shut-off technology that can, and has been, hacked,
aiming laser pointers at police helicopters remains a great way to get arrested, even if you say you're sorry,
students and parents continue to protest an upcoming standardized test,
and a local researcher says the uptick in chupacabra sightings is due in part to global warming.
Have a great day!