Written in the Kitchen Sink

New Yorker.
Thirty-one.
English Teacher.
LDR Conquerer.

Tatiana Maslany and Jordan Garvis for EW Portraits

Tatiana Maslany and Jordan Garvis for EW Portraits

(Source: zrinkacvitesic, via rawr-foodlover)

"But you’re a teacher, you have summers off! You get paid a full year’s salary for 10 months of work!"

(Source: mayawiig, via sociolab)

Daniel Radcliffe | San Diego Comic-Con 2014

(Source: isaidnopeeking, via cormoranstrike)

Stop Chris Pratt before it’s too late 2k14

(Source: calvinjcandie, via hisnamewasbeanni)

Winds of Change

There’s nothing like popping into work to grab some books for summer school and then getting bombarded in the parking lot with news from coworkers, some of which pertains directly to you. 

With my keys in my hand and a pile of books in my arms, I found out that (among other things) my teaching assignments are being rearranged next year. I have more 8th grade classes and I no longer have my own 7th grade classes. I only have 7th graders for an extra help period where I reinforce what they’re doing in class. I no longer teach life skills either. Life as I have known it for three years is officially over and I am starting over again, in a way.

Part of me is sort of bummed because I like having the reins for initial lessons and I’m worried that I’m going to carry the grunt work on my shoulder while someone else gets to do the “fun stuff.” I’ll miss the life skills class. I got into a groove last year and now it’s back to the drawing board. Most teachers deal with this yearly, so I shouldn’t complain. 

On the other hand, it’s something new. It might mean less stress. I’m teaching one less period a day. I feel like my lessons in summer school might translate really, really well to a resource room-type class. If my classroom remains as just my classroom without other classes, I can get rid of desks and give my kids more space. It could be a really positive change.

Whatever happens, whether I like it or not, I’ll have the option to switch for the following year due to a retirement. We’ll see how it goes.

heyitslars:

tank-grrl:

hello-missmayhem:

cptprocrastination:

doomhamster:

belcanta:

nikkidubs:

attentiondeficitaptitude:

belcanta:

Guaranteed basic income to every citizen, whether or not they are employed to ensure their survival and that they live in a dignified, humane way, preventing poverty, illness, homelessness, reducing crime, encouraging higher education and learning vocations as well as helping society become more prosperous as a whole. 

Wow. Forget raising the minimum wage. This is much much better idea.
The minimum wage could actually drop if we had basic income.
But Americans would never go for it. Miserably slogging through 12 hour days and having businesses open 24/7 is too engrained in our culture.

"BUT WHERE WILL THE GOVERNMENT GET THE MONEY?" screamed Joe Schmoe, slamming a meaty fist onto the table and getting mouth-froth all over the front of his greying tank top. "You libt*rds all think money grows on TREES!! HAHA!""But where will people get the incentive to work?!" Mindy Bindy cried, flapping her hands in front of her face. She’d had a fear of the unemployed lollygagging about ever since she was a child and her mother told her to be afraid of the unemployed lollygagging about. "You think people should get paid for nothing? I work hard for my money!”
"But who will serve me?" grumbled Marty McMoneybags. "Who will make me feel important? Who will do my laundry and cook my food and stand in front of me wearing a plastic smile while I take out all my stress—because I do have a lot of stress, you know, being this rich is stressful—on them?” He paused and straightened out the piles of hundred dollar bills on the desk in front of him, then raised his two watery, outraged eyes up to the Heavens. “Lord, if there are no poor people, how will I know that I’m rich??”

I laughed. This is perfect! Well said!

The thing is, while I’m sure you could scrape up a few people who’d be willing to just float by on a guaranteed minimum income? For most people the choice to work would be a no-brainer. “Hmmm. I can get by on 33k a year, or I can take that part time job and make 48k… enough to move to a better apartment, maybe take the family on vacation. Sold.” Hell, most people would want to work simply because it gives one a sense of dignity and something to do with one’s time. (Speaking as someone who’s been unemployed, on extended sick leave, etc. in her time, the boredom and sense of isolation that comes with not having a job is almost as bad as the humiliation of having to depend on other people for one’s survival.)
And with this system, part-time jobs and “non-skilled” jobs would be much more readily available because nobody would need to work two or three jobs just to stay afloat!
Which would ALSO mean that employers and customers couldn’t shamelessly exploit employees the way they can today, because if losing a job weren’t necessarily a financial disaster, more people would be willing to walk out on jobs where they weren’t being treated with dignity.
And if this also applies to students (and it should) then student loans would become much less of a problem, and fewer people would flunk out of school because of having to juggle studies and work.
Far fewer people would be forced to stay with abusive partners, parents or roommates because they couldn’t afford to move out.
And the thing is, all those people who suddenly had money? They’d be spending it. They’d be getting all the stuff they can’t afford now - new clothes, books, toys, locally-produced food, car repairs - and with each purchase money would flow BACK to the government, because VAT, also income tax.
The unemployed and/or disabled wouldn’t need special support any more - which would also mean the government could fire however many admins who are currently engaged in humiliating - *cough* making sure those people aren’t getting money they don’t deserve. Same for medical benefits and pensions. And I’m no legal scholar, but I somehow imagine less financial desperation would lead to less petty crime, and hence less need for police and security everywhere?
TL;DR Doomie thinks this is a good idea, laughs at those who protest.

reblogging for more top commentary

They tried something like this out in Canada as a sort of social experiment, called Mincome. What they found was that, on the whole, people continued to work about as much as they did before. Only new mothers and teenagers worked substantially less hours. 
But wait, there’s more. Because parents were spending just a little more time at home and involved with their families, test scores increased. Because teens didn’t have to work to support their families, drop-out rates decreased. Crime rates, hospital visits, psychiatric hospitalizations and domestic abuse rates all dropped, as well. More adults pursued higher education. Those who continued to work reported more job flexibility and more opportunity to choose employment they preferred.
Basically, now you can go prove to your asshole family members that society won’t collapse without poor people for you to feel better than.

The picture is awesome, but read the commentary, that’s what I’m reblogging for.


But guys, socialism is scary.

heyitslars:

tank-grrl:

hello-missmayhem:

cptprocrastination:

doomhamster:

belcanta:

nikkidubs:

attentiondeficitaptitude:

belcanta:

Guaranteed basic income to every citizen, whether or not they are employed to ensure their survival and that they live in a dignified, humane way, preventing poverty, illness, homelessness, reducing crime, encouraging higher education and learning vocations as well as helping society become more prosperous as a whole. 

Wow. Forget raising the minimum wage. This is much much better idea.

The minimum wage could actually drop if we had basic income.

But Americans would never go for it. Miserably slogging through 12 hour days and having businesses open 24/7 is too engrained in our culture.

"BUT WHERE WILL THE GOVERNMENT GET THE MONEY?" screamed Joe Schmoe, slamming a meaty fist onto the table and getting mouth-froth all over the front of his greying tank top. "You libt*rds all think money grows on TREES!! HAHA!"

"But where will people get the incentive to work?!" Mindy Bindy cried, flapping her hands in front of her face. She’d had a fear of the unemployed lollygagging about ever since she was a child and her mother told her to be afraid of the unemployed lollygagging about. "You think people should get paid for nothing? I work hard for my money!”

"But who will serve me?" grumbled Marty McMoneybags. "Who will make me feel important? Who will do my laundry and cook my food and stand in front of me wearing a plastic smile while I take out all my stress—because I do have a lot of stress, you know, being this rich is stressful—on them?” He paused and straightened out the piles of hundred dollar bills on the desk in front of him, then raised his two watery, outraged eyes up to the Heavens. “Lord, if there are no poor people, how will I know that I’m rich??”

I laughed. This is perfect! Well said!

The thing is, while I’m sure you could scrape up a few people who’d be willing to just float by on a guaranteed minimum income? For most people the choice to work would be a no-brainer. “Hmmm. I can get by on 33k a year, or I can take that part time job and make 48k… enough to move to a better apartment, maybe take the family on vacation. Sold.” Hell, most people would want to work simply because it gives one a sense of dignity and something to do with one’s time. (Speaking as someone who’s been unemployed, on extended sick leave, etc. in her time, the boredom and sense of isolation that comes with not having a job is almost as bad as the humiliation of having to depend on other people for one’s survival.)

And with this system, part-time jobs and “non-skilled” jobs would be much more readily available because nobody would need to work two or three jobs just to stay afloat!

Which would ALSO mean that employers and customers couldn’t shamelessly exploit employees the way they can today, because if losing a job weren’t necessarily a financial disaster, more people would be willing to walk out on jobs where they weren’t being treated with dignity.

And if this also applies to students (and it should) then student loans would become much less of a problem, and fewer people would flunk out of school because of having to juggle studies and work.

Far fewer people would be forced to stay with abusive partners, parents or roommates because they couldn’t afford to move out.

And the thing is, all those people who suddenly had money? They’d be spending it. They’d be getting all the stuff they can’t afford now - new clothes, books, toys, locally-produced food, car repairs - and with each purchase money would flow BACK to the government, because VAT, also income tax.

The unemployed and/or disabled wouldn’t need special support any more - which would also mean the government could fire however many admins who are currently engaged in humiliating - *cough* making sure those people aren’t getting money they don’t deserve. Same for medical benefits and pensions. And I’m no legal scholar, but I somehow imagine less financial desperation would lead to less petty crime, and hence less need for police and security everywhere?

TL;DR Doomie thinks this is a good idea, laughs at those who protest.

reblogging for more top commentary

They tried something like this out in Canada as a sort of social experiment, called Mincome. What they found was that, on the whole, people continued to work about as much as they did before. Only new mothers and teenagers worked substantially less hours. 

But wait, there’s more. Because parents were spending just a little more time at home and involved with their families, test scores increased. Because teens didn’t have to work to support their families, drop-out rates decreased. Crime rates, hospital visits, psychiatric hospitalizations and domestic abuse rates all dropped, as well. More adults pursued higher education. Those who continued to work reported more job flexibility and more opportunity to choose employment they preferred.

Basically, now you can go prove to your asshole family members that society won’t collapse without poor people for you to feel better than.

The picture is awesome, but read the commentary, that’s what I’m reblogging for.

But guys, socialism is scary.

(via makemeawillowcabin)

Student #1: What rappers do you like?
Me: I don't listen to rap.
Student #1: So you like country music.
Me: Oh no. I'll listen to rap before country, but I don't really like either of them.
Student #2: (genuinely confused) Then what kind of music do you listen to?

Making Hay While the Sun Shines

Every time I mention to someone that I am teaching summer school, there seems to be the same sentiment in their response: pity. Summer school is supposed to be miserable and hot and pretty much the worst place to spend the weeks that are supposed to be full of freedom and relaxation.

But the truth is, I have found more freedom and relaxation in summer school than I have felt in a really long time. Instead of wearing me out, it is making me remember why I went into teaching in the first place.

There are no state tests on the imminent horizon for my kids. I can choose the curriculum. We can read whatever I want to read. We can take as much time on something as is needed. It’s a beautiful blank slate. An effective blank slate.

I chose to start summer school with grammar. Our department agreed that we didn’t hit it hard enough, not with the modules and test prep we had to fit into the year. Grammar certainly isn’t my favorite thing to teach, but materials are readily available and there’s a natural sequence to it. Honestly, it’s something that I don’t have to think about too much, so it seemed like a perfect choice. 

I’ve spent an hour and a half per day on every part of speech. Nouns. Verbs. Adjectives. Etc. I’m teaching grammar the way I was taught grammar. I’m going in depth and explaining why pronouns are necessary to our language, the differences between adverbs and adjectives, how words can either be prepositions or adverbs, the craziness of linking verbs, the list goes on. In other words, I’m taking my goddamned time and not just throwing out definitions and worksheets, which is the only thing I have ever had time for in regular school. There’s nothing fancy, just tons of explanation and practice. 

And whaddaya know, I am seeing major results. Are the kids grammar masters? No, that’s only reserved for a select few anyway. Am I reaching every single kid? No, a few of them are absolutely hating it. But if I can get most of the class to label every type of word in a sentence, that is huge. I’ve never achieved that before. I’m usually happy when they capitalize proper nouns, much less distinguish an adverb from an adjective and then explain why. 

Today, a student stayed after class specifically to thank me for being a good teacher. He told me he never understood “any of this stuff” until now. I don’t begrudge his former teachers because I know full well how hard they work and how much they care. I blame the system for not giving them the time or resources to make English approachable and interesting. We don’t have the time to explain concepts any more and then use them in practical ways. It’s always a race to the finish, and we always lose anyway. 

I wish I could go to the Powers That Be in the education world (specifically New York, grrr) and tell them to start trusting their teachers. Without a test or ridiculous standards, we can do so much. There is nothing wrong with going back to the basics and giving us the time we need to make sure these kids have the skills they need. If I could have the five weeks we spend on test prep, plus the weeks we spend on testing itself, they will walk out of my classroom in June with so much more than those tests have ever provided. 

I’ve already decided that my year will start out with a modified version of what I am doing right now, modules and testing be temporarily damned. Who knows if this surge of success will continue, but I am willing to try.

Beats a summer of Netflix any day.

creepyold-kit-hands:

coelasquid:

throughthewildblue:

You cannot buy electronics with food stamps. You cannot buy cigarettes with food stamps. You cannot buy pet food with food stamps. You cannot withdraw money with an EBT card (food stamps).

Do you know what else you can’t buy with food stamps? Shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, tinfoil, plastic sandwich bags, toothpaste, cleaning products, tampons, pads, over the counter medications (such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, etc.), and anything else you can think of that you cannot physically ingest for nutritional purposes.

Do you know what you can buy with food stamps? Food.

Do you know what it’s like to scrounge for change to buy non-edible necessities, use a credit card and EBT card (food stamps) during the same transaction, and then have the person in line behind you judge you for buying the ingredients to make a birthday cake?

People who disseminate false information about food stamps have never had to use food stamps.

Okay, but let’s talk for a second about how that one lady called turkey “big chicken”

You can’t even buy all food with food stamps. You just… you flat-out can’t buy “food that will be eaten in the store/any food sold for on-premises consumption” or any “hot foods” with food stamps—meaning you can’t buy anything hot, you can’t buy anything that gets blended together, you can’t buy anything “pre-prepared,” in most cases you can’t use your EBT card at restaurants. You literally CANNOT purchase a milkshake with food stamps, because it’s considered “sold for on-premises consumption” (which was ridiculous at the place I worked, because the customer had to mix their own milkshake themself with a little machine we provided them, and several people got upset—rightfully so, I think—that it wasn’t covered under food stamps, because they often only found out at the register after already mixing it, often as a treat for their kids). You literally can’t walk into a gas station, grab one of those hot dogs off their grills/out of the little heated food area, and buy it with food stamps, because it’s hot.

And when I say “can’t,” I don’t mean “if the cashier notices you trying and cares enough to stop you, they’ll refuse to do it for you.” I mean “it is actually impossible to do this.” I’m not even sure these people who disseminate false information about food stamps have paid any attention at all when buying things at the store, because what happens is: We scan in the customer’s items, into our computer. The computer has specific codes for the items and rules for what it will let you pay for things with. We scan the customer’s EBT card, and it tells us exactly how much of that price total can be paid for via EBT, and it will not include anything that isn’t food, and it will not include anything considered “pre-prepared” food. It does this automatically AND THERE IS NO OVERRIDE FOR IT. If our machines say that you can’t use the EBT card to pay for something, there is literally nothing we can do to change that, even if we WANTED to.

So no. You can’t buy iPads or cigarettes with food stamps. You can’t withdraw money from casinos or anywhere else with food stamps. You can’t buy dog food with food stamps; sometimes you can’t even buy people food with food stamps. I’m not even sure if you can buy “the big chicken legs” at Disney with food stamps; remember, you can’t buy “any food sold for on-premises consumption” OR any hot foods, and that’s both.

Literally the only thing these fearmongers listed that you can actually purchase with food stamps even if you are in goddamn cahoots with the evil liberal cashier or store manager is soda, and the judgement against people buying that with food stamps is classist fuckwittery at its finest.

So, as always, Fox News is actually flat-out lying, and hateful conservatives both don’t know what they’re talking about and don’t give a fuck about people going through shit that they will never have to go through themselves, and that they in fact don’t have even the tiniest clue about (not even via five seconds’ research; a list of things that can’t be purchased with food stamps is on the Food and Nutrition Services website) but still think they should spout off about to their TV audience anyway.

(Source: sandandglass, via emcclain234)