Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Arne Duncan is my nemesis. He has ruined my valentines day for the sake of education. It goes like this. Where I work, if Chicago Public Schools (CPS) close for a snow day then we get a snow day too. I was really hoping for one yesterday but it didn’t happen. We did, however, get let out of work early and since I took the bus home to avoid walking 7 blocks in the insane snow doubled my commute time. But it was ok. I was still home earlier than usual. I settled in for a nice cozy snowy night with hopes that the downfall would continue and turn into a snowed in Valentines Day. No such luck.

This morning I awoke to plenty of snow. I turned on the radio and heard that the buses for CPS were down. I got really excited. If there were no buses there could be no school, right? Wrong. They encouraged children who couldn’t go to their regular schools because of lack of buses to simply go to their neighborhood schools. I am not even going to begin to tell you how wrong this seems. You can’t just show up at some new for school for a day and expect to learn something. Even with schools teaching for tests more than ever you can’t expect every school everywhere to be teaching the same thing on a given day. The teachers wouldn’t know who any kids were and the kids who were at their regular school would probably pick on the visiting kids just because kids are mean. Plus, it’s Valentines Day. You know if a kid shows up at a neighborhood school they won’t get any valentines in their bag. They will just be extra left out.

Yesterday I heard they kept schools open because there are so many single parent families or families with two working parents that kids would be safer in schools. That made a bit of sense to me. I suppose that logic holds true even more today with the just put your kids in any school so they won’t be home alone theory.

On the other hand, kids love snow days. Can’t you give a kid a break and give them a snow day every once in a while. I don’t think they close CPS for less than two feet of snow. I may be exaggerating but I really can’t remember a snow day at all since I have moved to Chicago and it has snowed plenty. I understand that they have to deal with a little criticism for closing schools that, on average, aren’t doing so well in the first place but I really think a snow day is a great part of being a kid in a place where the weather sucks. You have to get some benefit.

So here I am at work, sucking on a heart shaped lollipop wanting to be home on a snow day. There is something so romantic about being tucked up in a blizzard with someone you love. The house is stocked with all needed supplies and it would have been a great Valentines present for a couple who has absolutely no plans whatsoever. That is why, Arne Duncan that you are on my shit list.

Julie had a meme yesterday just asking people to talk about why they started blogging. Then Eve also wrote about it. I figured I would weigh in on the subject. If any of you read my first post, you would know I started because myspace was down and I was bored. Monica had been telling me to blog for some time and since I had nothing to distract me this blog was started. It used to be called I Have Nothing Interesting To Say ---Read Me. I kept blogging and realized that I really enjoyed it. I could come and say something interesting and relevant or talk about absolutely nothing at all. Something just felt right about it. I guess that’s why I kept going. Eventually, I changed the name of my blog to I Think This May Have Gotten Almost Interesting because it was better than I thought it would be and then settled on the current title Almost Interesting Musings on Life. I decided I was comfortable with the fact that people seemed to be reading and responding and they weren’t all people I had known forever so this had to be somewhat interesting even though I was certain when I started that I had nothing to contribute. I guess that means my blog helped me to accept that even though I’m not in school anymore and writing papers that fascinate me (even though maybe no one else) I could still put something relatively interesting together. Plus, I didn’t have to worry about Ogunyemi correcting my poor grammar and spelling. So that is why I blogged and why I kept blogging.

Burning, Fugazi- There was this kid in high school who I thought was hot and listened to Fugazi. He made me wonder who this Fugazi was and why he seemed so cool. I didn’t care enough listen to Fugazi until much later though.

Skips on the Record, At The Drive In
- This is one of those bands that I like a lot more before they start singing. I guess that makes me not so punk rock.

Alfie From The Bronx, Toy Dolls- Once I made a mix tape with songs that had various boroughs in the title for a co-worker who was moving to NY. I downloaded a bunch of songs and then picked ones that I liked. This song kind of reminds me of Denver The Last Dinosaur theme song. It's really good.


Mom said...

OK, now you have to explain how much you actually love Ogunyemi. You can't just go complaining about her correcting you.


Happy Valentine's Day! Sorry you didn't get a snow day.

thethinker said...

Aww... I've never gotten to experience a snow day but I imagine that one would be nice.

And that whole deal with going to the neighborhood school is ridiculous. They might have well just asked everyone to stay home.

Mood Indigo said...

I'm glad you've taken to this blogging thing, and I like that your blog title has evolved as your blog has evolved itself :)

Always on the Move said...

WHAT????? Are you Serious? They REALLY asked the kids to just walk to the closest schools from their house and attend classes there all day!? I've NEVER, NEVER, NEVER heard of that before! But at the school that I work with, on our COLD/SNOW days, (we never actually close down the school, but buses will not run some days), we do realize who we babysit, because they're the ones that come in EVERY single day, even when they're deathly ill! So maybe that's what those schools were opened for, so the teachers could get paid to "babysit" all those bratty students! *EVIL LAUGH* (b/c we do it all the time in Alberta). And that makes me angry that because of ALL that, you didn't get to stay home in bed and take it easy today, and especially since it's Valentines Day! NICE EH!
And I LOVE your blog....I'm so glad that I 'accidently' thought you were my friend Natalie and decided to read your blog! :oD

Johnny Yen said...

My first offical year as a teacher was the 1998-1999 school year (I'd taught as an uncertified sub for year-long stretches before that). I taught seventh grade social studies in a school in Austin, not far from where I'm teaching alternative high school this year. We had something like 2 feet of snow overnight, and we actually got a couple of snow days. In fact, we were told to not mark kids absent for a week. My class was less than half filled for that time. It was a joke, because all our kids were local. I drove five miles through the snow to get there.

Where my parents retired to, Tennessee, they shut the schools if there's a half inch of snow. They don't salt or plow the roads there. They just wait for the snow to melt.

Have you ever seen the movie Snow Day? I first saw it, believe it or not, on cable tv in my hotel room in Shanghai, China, when I was there in 2002. It's pretty forgettable except that Iggy Pop was great as a deranged ice-skating rink dj.

notfearingchange said...

HAHAHAHA! THAT IS RIDICULOUS with the kids and schools....hillarious actually.

i sat at work today - surfed for jobs - bitched b/c i had to do more upward coaching without the 30 000$ raise and then left job new job... lol.

notfearingchange said...

HAHAHAHA! THAT IS RIDICULOUS with the kids and schools....hillarious actually.

i sat at work today - surfed for jobs - bitched b/c i had to do more upward coaching without the 30 000$ raise and then left job new job... lol.

terry said...

wait, kids were just supposed to show up at random schools??

bizarre... though i also understand how a snow day might throw things for parents who don't also have the day off.

it's funny how many bloggers were hoping for a snow day today...

uncommonly u said...

sorry u dint get a snow day. we dont have snow days here... we have rain days!! :)
going to any random school?? poor kids!

Lizza said...

You have snow day, we have typhoon days. But I don't think kids here are required to go to other schools if they can't go to their own. That sounds a bit bizarre.

Glad you started blogging! Have another lolly. :-)

Natalie said...

Mom- Of course I LOVE Ogumyemi. Best professor EVER.

Thinker- Snow days are the best. Kids go out and make snowmen and sled and stuff. Or at least that is how I remember them.

Mood- Thanks, I'm glad I did too.

Always- I guess sending kids anywhere helps with the babysitting factor. It makes almost sense, kind of. I bet they just got to watch movies or something.

Johnny- I haven't seen Snow Day. I love alternative schools. I had the privelage of briefly teaching the YSDTP students at JFY (the only one with a GED program) until they shut it down for a month and then reopened with me in a different position. It was my favorite job. I want to get back to teaching but haven't got the ball rolling. Hopefully by the end of this year.

Not fearing- Sounds like it wasn;t the worst day at work. Sometimes I chant that to myself but other days I really like what I do??

Natalie said...

Terry- I know, it's the strangest thing. It really does make sense about parents though. I guess I should be less selfish but I really wanted a snow day.

Uncommonly u- Welcome. A rain day would be crazy. It must really have to come down to get one of those.

Lizza- Typhoon day sounds very very scary. I'm glad we don't get those. The lolli was really good at least.

Eve said...

CPS, sigh. Like the time we had an "attendance optional" day. I didn't realize it until I arrived at school. Damn.