Thursday, January 15, 2004

Subjects Like This Drive Me Nuts...

Cynical-C posted this entry about 13 year old Carl Rimmer who installed a DOS based messaging program on a school computer and then sent a message out saying "hey", and got a 3 day suspension from school.

This kind of thing drives Chris over at Cynical-C insane.
It does me too, but I think for different reasons.

Dave Lieber states:
"Remember, we pay the salaries of the teachers and staff. We buy the computers. We pay for the buildings in which they are used. As long as public school is public, the Beverly Sweeneys of the world need to know that it is our right and duty to look over their shoulders and question what they do."

I would like to remind Mr. Lieber that the taxpayers also pay for the maintenance of said computers as well as the salaries of the teachers who supervise the protocol of the users of those computers. It is up to the Beverly Sweeneys of the world to make sure that our taxpayers money is not wasted (money that could instead be used to purchase newer, better equipment for already cash strapped school districts) removing viruses and inappropriate material from school computers that was installed without permission by the litte Carl Rimmers of the world.

He writes:
"The first problem here is that Sweeney, a computer teacher, apparently doesn't understand the term hacking. Hacking is not using a built-in command to send a message. Hacking is defined in two general ways: 1) use of a computer to break into someone else's computer system, and 2) the sophisticated techniques used by an adept computer programmer."

Mr. Lieber is missing the point. The issue is not "hacking". The real issue is respect for equipment that is shared by a large number of people. I'm no "adept computer programmer" but I do think that a 13 year old shouldn't be screwing with the DOS of a schools' system of computers. Why should little Carl be allowed to install a program that can potentially fuck up other programs, again costing taxpayers money in repair and maintenance costs...and let me tell you, if you call someone into a school to do any sort of work, they are charging you 3 times the going rate. Everyone loves to feed at the public trough.

Public property is not personal property and shouldn't be used as though it is. What if all of Carls classmates did the same and brought all kinds of shit from home and installed it on the schools much would that cost taxpayers in repair and maintenance?
What about porn?
What if some little kid brings that in and uploads it?
Who's paying the legal costs of the suit that would be filed by the parent whose child viewed it because someone elses child uploaded it without the knowledge of the Beverley Sweeneys of the world?
The taxpayers of course, and probably Ms. Sweeney personally as well.
Liability is a fucking HUGE issue in schools, and why should they put themselves, and the taxpayers Mr. Lieber is so high on his horse about, in a position to take it?

The Toronto District School Board has a 4 page contract that children and parents have to sign before a child uses any computer equipment. Let me tell you, Carl would have been turfed here in a New York minute, and a possible suit filed (on behalf of the taxpayers) against his parents if the equipment was damaged.

But, I think what bothers me most about this is the popular pastime of bashing authority figures in the eyes of children.
We complain that children have no respect for authority.
That they have no limits, that they are arrogant and mouthy.

Well, no fucking wonder!

From commercials depicting parents as morons and children as the intelligent decision makers to articles bashing teachers for maintaining some sort of order in their classrooms...all these chip away at children's ability to learn respect for others, and the property of others.

The fact that little Carl Rimmer felt free to install software on a computer that did not belong to him, without informing anyone, tells me that he doesn't understand what is appropriate and inappropriate.

What bothers me, is this attitude of entitlement that media often seems to enforce.
"Carl was learning. What's your problem?"
My problem is that Carl was treating public property as though it were his personal property.
It's about respect for things that do not belong to you.

It's something that we are rapidly losing, and advocates for loosey goosey teaching methods like Mr. Lieber just make an eductors job harder than it needs to be.
I don't know if he thinks that teaching todays child is a walk in the park...but I'm here to tell him that it isn't.

Between the media and parents interference, demanding that their children have no discipline from teachers, less homework, easier tests, and no keeping children back a grade if they fail, it's almost impossible to do your job.

We can complain that children are coming out of school without the education that they used to get, and they are right. It's because of this attitude of "let them do whatever the hell they want"...because they're "learning at their own pace".

Yes, but you are asking for them to learn with little or no guidance.
It's not possible.

What they aren't being allowed to learn by people with Mr. Lieber's attitude is a basic life skill:
Respect and consideration for others and that everything they touch is not theirs to do with what they please.

Even if they are 'learning'

Monday, January 12, 2004

You're a Rich Girl....

I was reading a post at Shasta McNasty's about a dream she had that featured the blued eyed soul stars Hall and Oates.

You know:
"You're a rich girl and it's gone too far, but you know it doesn't matter anyway...."
"If you feel like leavin', you know you can go...but why don't you stay until too-morr-ow...."
"You know your kiss is on my..." oh well, you get my drift...

When I was a teenager, I was totally in love with John Oates.
She wouldn't allow me to stick posters up on the wall because it would ruin the paint, but if I were allowed to...I would have...

Let me get to the point,
Shasta reminded me of a memory.

My friend Sonja who visits this site, and really should have a blog, but doesn't...might remember this as my witness.

Many years ago, Sonja and I were at the now defunkt

Bamboo Club.
We were living it up watching a reggae band that my friend Roscoe was playing in, I think it might have been The Bonconganistas or The 20th Century Rebels...Roscoe played trombone in so many bands, who could keep track?

We were both quite drunk, when I looked over by the stage and said:

"Hey! That looks like John Oates!"

and Sonja said,
"Hey! You should go over there and talk to him!"

Which is a suggestion that makes a lot of sense when you're I went over.

Did I think about what I would say?

Did I consider that I was drunk and whatever I said to John Oates would sound like I was drunk?

So I swagger up to him with my fifth(or whatever) glass of wine in my hand, and say:

"Are you John Oates?"

and he goes,


and I go,

"Oh my God, when I was sixteen I would have died for you!"

and he goes,

"So what are you now? Semi paralyzed?"

So, anyway...we didn't get married.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Bad Parenting Bitch #728

This is most certainly not the first time I have bitched about kids with no limits, who have been trained by their parents to think that they are the worlds pupak.
I hate those parents and if I could, I would send them all to parenting boot camp.

So, I'm at the Asian Market this afternoon, and across from the Asian Market is a Chinese Bakery. Occasionally, I stop there to get some buns or sweets for my stepson.

I don't know if you know this or not, but no one can make sponge cake like the Chinese (just so you know).

So anyway, I'm in the bakery and I've got my tray and tongs and I'm ready to choose my goods.
There is a family in the bakery with two children.
A boy and a girl who are alternating between running around wildly and opening the various containers and feeling up the buns.
The little boy has a bun he's chewing on, that his parents clearly have not paid for yet because they were still choosing what they wanted on their trays.
The little girl was sticking her snotty little hands into every container she could reach and her parents were doing fuck all to stop her.
At one point the woman working behind the counter came out and told her to stop.

She responded by wailing and throwing herself on the floor.
Mom and Dad don't do anything.
She starts to kick the table that is holding more baked goods and then grabs one of the cakes wrapped in plastic and torpedoes it at the lady behind the counter.

Well ladies and gentlemen, this is where Children's Aid would have had to come and get me if she were my child.
The father apologizes sheepishly to the lady behind the counter and mom says to add the cake to the bill.

I look at the woman behind the counter and she looks at me and I know that we are thinking the same thing.

So, I've got my tray full of buns on the counter and doesn't satan's spawn throw his soggy, saliva soaked piece of bun on my fucking tray!

"Aye!" says I, as I give him a little shove in the shoulder, and I point to the half eaten, soggy, saliva infested blob of dough touching my buns.

"Oh," says mom, "He probably thinks that it's our tray"
"Oh" says I, "It's a disgusting thing to do even if it IS your tray. I don't know if you've noticed or not....BUT YOU'RE OUT IN PUBLIC!"

Then I turned and left.
Did I want those buns after that?
No way.

We go through graduated licensing to get a drivers license, but any idiot can have a kid.

Overheard at Herbies:
A guy and a woman discussing the merits of canned soup.
"Yeah, I don't like that brand, the chicken is processed".

Chickie, if it's canned, it's processed, I'm thinking.

Then Chickie says: "Yeah, once I made my own soup"
Guy: "You made your own soup?"
Like she said "I made my own house"....