The Glorious Return

28 10 2009

I have English homework I really should be doing, but as I’ve hit my semiweekly massive failure in motivation, instead you shall get the Glorious Return of the Perpetual Dissent Abridged Sock Puppet Company, in a series of short sketches for your entertainment, amusement, or annoyance (wait, why are you even reading my blog then?)


Puppet 1: Public healthcare is socialism! If we allow it, then what’s to stop us sliding into anarchy, or worse, COMMUNISM?!?!

PD: Hey, have you heard of Scandinavia?

Puppet 1: Are they godless heathens?

PD: Happily, many are. They’re also pretty much socialist. They also have the highest standards of living and happiness on almost every major scale.

Puppet 2: But they have given up their freedom! Freedom is more important than quality of life, you foolish librul!

PD: Well, ok. But on most measures they’re also more free than we are!

Puppet 2: This is madness!

PD: This! Is! Reality! *kicks puppet down a hole the Spartans randomly have right there*



Puppet 1: Do your homework!

PD: But…I don’t need to, I know the stuff without the homew-


PD: Fine, fine, jeez. *does mediocre job on homework he doesn’t need*

Puppet 1: You have so much ability! Why is your work so poor?!

PD: …because I could skip it entirely and still get a 90 in this class?


PD: Calling an easy class easy is disrespectful?

Puppet 1: *tirade involving words like “proper deference,” “work ethic,” “courtesy,” “AP,” and “adequate services.”*

PD: Could you define “adequate” for me, please?

Puppet 1: Sufficient.

PD: So if you were payed just above a living wage, that’d be fine, right? After all, it’s “sufficient.”


PD: Yes, in this one you’re the one getting screwed -.- Oh look, the bell. Too bad I was the only one able to finish this essay, and still found time to argue with you. Have fun trying to find an excuse to fail me…


Puppet 1: Why do you not have straight A’s?

PD: Because I can barely stay awake during half my classes?

Puppet 2: So you disrespect your teachers?!

PD: No, they just have easy classes…

Puppet 1: This is high school, it Matters! You need to make sure you get into a good college so you’re less bored!

PD: Just like how much fun high school was going to be? And just like how middle school would definitely be so much harder than elementary school?

Puppet 2: You are Closing Doors!

PD: I’m also avoiding complete mental pillaging occurring on my brain by Genghis School and his Boredom Horde.

Puppets 1 and 2: BAD CHILD YOU WILL CARE!

PD: *sigh* will you stop yelling so I can finish the homework I was working on when you started? Thanks. Bye.



APs yet again!

27 08 2009

School’s starting around the country once again, and that means that all the AP pushing College Board minio…er, educators with an eye on college prep are back to pushing students into AP classes. The goal is, of course, to force students to Rise To Meet The Challenge and Unlock Their Hidden Potential. Excuse me for a moment while I go burn Micky Mouse in effigy.

All right, Micky Mouse is dead. Now, on to the question, why do so many educators suffer from Acute Disney Syndrome? Do teachers spend their summers strapped to a chair somewhere in a dark room watching Miracle?

The problem would be easily explained if we were talking only about elementary school teachers (the sort of teachers who want to teach elementary school kids are the same people as the ones who love the happy feel good underdog stories), but the one’s to whom I’m referring are neither in elementary schools nor teachers. They are a diverse group, ranging from education columnists to principals and department supervisors. They are in districts as different as the DC schools and upper middle class suburban districts.

Self interest (“My school is higher in Newsweek than theirs!”) really doesn’t adequately explain it, either. It appears to be a strange mix of self interest, delusion (they actually believe that the average kid just needs a challenge to turn into a wonderful scholar), and the truly bizarre educational culture in the United States (“I believe that evwywon is gifted!”) coming together in a sort of perfect storm of bad educational theory.


Here to illustrate the complexities of the situation, I give you the Perpetual Dissent Abridged Sock Puppet Company in their second performance.

Perpetual Dissent puppet: So what makes you think that pushing underachieving students into college level classes will make them perform better?

Administrator puppet #1: You’ve said it yourself! Putting gifted students in college classes helps them learn better!

PD: But most students aren’t gifted stude…

Puppet #1: EVERYONE is gifted! Everyone is unique and special and wonderful and amazing and important and significant!

PD: …do you even know what “gifted” means?

Puppet #1: It means that they deserve decent treatment!

PD: Yeah, um, no. Are you sure you got a degree in education?

Puppet #1: Yep,  that’s where I learned all this!

PD: Oh god why?

Administrator puppet #2: He’s dumb. But I’m smart, so here’s why everyone should do APs! See, if everyone does APs, then we get higher in Newsweek. And if we’re higher in Newsweek, then more people move here and pay taxes, and I get a pay raise. And if I get a pay raise, then I can go out to Vegas and…wait, what were we talking about?

PD: *blinks*

Administrator puppet #3: Admit it, Disney is true! Everyone just needs a push to unlock their hidden potential! Everyone’s just waiting to rise to meet The Challenge!

PD: Was the lobotomy painful?

*At this point the Puppet Theater was interrupted as Disney Commandos (Donald Duck knows how to use an M16, who would have guessed?) swung in through the windows and dragged puppet #3 from the room for violating their trademarks on “unlocking hidden potential” and “rise to meet the challenge.” We will mourn his loss. He was a good puppet.*