ODDS & ENDS UPON RETURNING HOME

March 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

After sleeping about 34 hours in an attempt to recover some sort of equanimity (why is the jetlag always so bad coming back from Australia? Victoria tells me it’s the same when going to Paris- something to do with West to East?), I ventured out in my car and turned on NPR, where I heard a story about teachers and testing. It seems that across the US, the solution to the education crisis is always to evaluate teachers by their students’ test scores.

This is patently nonsense.

Until teachers are paid a wage appropriate to their enormous importance in the development of our next generation, we cannot hope to improve their efficacy. While we’re at it, let’s also give them schools that do not resemble prisons, equipment that was built sometime after Jimmy Carter was in office and a humane amount of kids in each class to deal with.

Of course, in order for all that to happen we’d need to do two things: divert tax revenues away from useless defense spending and also tax the rich in a way that might actually suggest that we live in a civilized, fair society. By the way, doing these two things would also give us a chance to solve healthcare, create a green infrastructure and give every single person in this country the chance for a decent, fulfilling life.

Food for thought. If anyone’s still thinking.

The baseball season is beginning and for some reason it’s striking me in a different way this time round. As I ponder how many hours could be spent sitting in front of the idiot box watching oversized men with undersized personal development throw a ball to more of the same waiting with a strangely shaped, lacquered piece of wood I must question the value of it all. Maybe if we stopped watching they’d stop getting paid those heinous amounts of dollars.

Now a small list of the things I could be by now if I’d replaced all the time I’ve spent watching sport with other potentially more fruitful activities:

Pianist.
Novellist.
Classical guitarist.
Person who can recite the entire Shakespeare canon by heart.
Letter writer extraordinaire.
Multi-faceted intellectual dynamo.
All of the above and, therefore, a friendless virgin.

Okay, the last was only possibly true but you get the point.

I attended a party on saturday night and at one point went up to the roof of the apartment building where it was held. It was there that I realized that Los Angeles reminded me of the classic aging starlet that it has chewed up and spat out: it looks best in the dark.

This essay today sounds a little maudlin, doesn’t it? Any good news to report, I hear you ask?

I started reading the new Dan Brown book. Oh no, wait a second. I don’t like it.

Stay tuned for brighter news in the next episode.

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