Wednesday, March 20, 2013

From NPR News: How To Be The Good Guy With A Gun At School

First, resist the urge to just point it at students. You are a teacher. Aiming at students is a mistake. They’ll expect you to fire and be disappointed if you don’t. To have any authority, you'll have to take one out. Preferably without aiming. Choosing targets is too difficult. The obvious choice is that big pain in your ass of a kid. But he’s kind of funny. Shoot him and the classroom will be dull. That’s no good. What about the girl who won’t put down her phone? Tempting. But she tests well. If you take her out of the equation (so to speak) the whole school suffers. Really you shouldn’t aim. Just let loose. Fire a few times if that helps. Order must be maintained. Respect too. Fire away. In this manner, you can be a good guy with a gun at school. And if anyone argues the point, you know what to do.

(Okay, here's the obligatory note saying that this poem is ironic. It's mocking Wayne LaPierre's suggestions that teachers should be armed. Given all the pressures on teachers, the volatility of students, and the stupidity of Wayne's idea, I'm not a fan of guns in any classroom.)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

From NPR News: Some People Really Can Taste the Rainbow

In fact, most of us can. It’s sherbert flavored, of course. But not rainbow sherbert. It’s some kind of berry. We don’t know which one. Tasting it is easy. Finding it is tough. You find rainbows out there but can’t track them down. Some people—scientists and meteorologists mostly but plumbers and social workers too—claim that one can’t find the end of a rainbow. The point where it touches down. And they’re right. One can’t. But if you travel in pairs and threes and fours, most anything can be tracked down. I’ve been on expeditions to the dividing moment between day and night and the point at which fog ends. Finding the ends of rainbows is easy. And when we do, we eat up its berry goodness as though it will melt away. Because it does. Leaving just the hint of some berry on our tongues. We don’t know which one.