Hi, kids–I’m deep into a juicy new book in my field all day today and finishing prep for my seminar tomorrow, but if you’re looking for diversions, I’ve got a few for you:
- What if Holden Caufield grew up and turned into Howard Zinn? Hilobrow gives us the hillarious results. This is the smartest and funniest thing I’ve read all week on the deaths of both historian Zinn and creepy recluse J.D.Salinger on Wednesday. Via Old is the New New.
- Dopey Educrat Arne Duncan says about New Orleans: “we had to destroy the village to save the village.” Now, all we need are 9,999 more hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes to take out the rest of school districts across the U.S.! Never mind the loss of life–what about the children? Hey, “progressives”: how many of you would be jumping up and down and screaming if Margaret Spellings said “I think the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans was Hurricane Katrina. That education system was a disaster, and it took Hurricane Katrina to wake up the community to say that ‘we have to do better,'” hmmm? (How long do you think it will be before we start reading the “after a promising fresh start, New Orleans schools have underperformed since being rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina” stories? Three years? Five?)
- Here’s an idea: how’sabout we find a U.S. Secretary of Education who has spent at least 10 years teaching in an elementary or high school classroom? After all, the Surgeon General has to be a licensed M.D., the Attorney General has traditionally been a lawyer, and the Secretary of State has to have a U.S. Passport. What’s with making a former Australian pro basketball player your Secretary of Education? I see a lot of educratic appointments on that resume, but no evidence of classroom experience. Why do we permit dilettantes to dabble in education? Could that be an indication that we don’t take it all that seriously?
- I know I’m late to this party, but I had some laffs this week over at Zuska’s place reading her posts and threads on “You May Be a Mansplainer If,” and her follow-up mockery, “Men Who Cannot Follow Clear Directions From a Woman.” While the mansplainers offering mansplanations for why Zuska is a “reverse sexist” and how women are just as irritating and obtuse as men were pretty funny, I have to say that I was appalled by the number of (presumably women) commenters who admitted that their male romantic/domestic partners were mansplainers. Girlfriends: what’s fun or sexy about that? Dump them, without mansplanation.
- Today is the last day of January. Hurray! The longest month of winter is nearly over. February is short, and then spring comes again in March!