Sorry the entries have been sparse around here lately. No particular reason; I’ve just been more focussed on day-to-day issues. Stay tuned.
So, Katie IMs me from home and mentions that our home (VoIP) telephone is not working. I respond: “So, is Internet access out also?” A second later I realize I asked her this via IM.
This otherwise so-so article about office cubicles contains this awesome quote:
Reviled by workers, demonized by designers, disowned by its very creator, [the cubicle] still claims the largest share of office furniture sales–$3 billion or so a year–and has outlived every “office of the future” meant to replace it. It is the Fidel Castro of office furniture.
According to this article, a high school art teacher is facing sanctions from his school district for “recommending that some of his advanced students consider taking figure drawing courses that included nude figure drawings.” The article lists some other circumstances that may have played a role in the district’s decision to pursue this course of action against the teacher.
This reminds me of an incident that happened when I was in high school. One of the women’s coaches, Coach Mac, was my health teacher. I thought she was an awesome teacher. About halfway through the year, she was charged with having used inappropriate language in class. Turns out, the charges were based on a lesson she taught my class. I don’t remember the point of the lesson, but it was some lesson in development that involved Little Johnny ‘learning the word Firetruck without the middle,’ meaning the word ‘Fuck’. She never actually said the F word in class.
But Coach Mac was brought before the school board for this alleged infraction. I attended the board meeting as a show of support for her. Soon afterwards, she left the district, and I frankly no longer recall whether she was fired or just gave up and left of her own accord. The result was the same for me: the loss of a teacher from whom I learned a lot.
Only later did I discover that Coach Mac’s supposed language in class was just a front for the real issue: she was a lesbian and a girls’ coach. But this issue was never uttered at the school board meeting. To this day, I have no idea if sexual impropriety was suspected or accused, or whether it just rubbed some parents the wrong way to think that a lesbian had access to the the girls’ dressing room. Either way, the whole process was a sham undertaken by a community that must have known enough that its bigotry was inappropriate to pick a cover issue for their witch hunt.
In reading this story, you have to take the time and place into consideration. This was a mostly rural school in the 1980s. Personally, I did not know any homosexuals (that I knew of), I thought the Village People were just a gimmicky group, and non-heterosexual lifestyles were not an issue that I’d even given much thought to. The only reason I know that the lesbian charges were real was that sometime after she left, Coach Mac dropped back by the school with her girlfriend. That visit must have been her parting ‘fuck you’ to the community, so to speak.
Reading the linked article, however, it looks like things haven’t changed a whole lot.
A small cool front moved through last night, bringing with it a thunderstorm and a little fresh, clear air. It made for glorious running weather this morning. I ran about eleven miles around Town Lake and up through west Austin (through Tarrytown to 35th, across MoPac and back down Shoal Creek).
At Auditorium Shores, I noticed on the side of the path a parked bike and an empty guitar case. A few yards later, Woode Wood was serenadiing the sunrise over Town Lake and downtown. I didn’t stop to listen to him, but just his presence there made my morning brighter.
I read yesterday that Bart D. Ehrman’s book Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why is selling briskly. In the book, Dr. Ehrman presents some reasons why we can’t just take the Bible at face value: a plethora of conflicting source documents, errors in translation, the politics of canonization, etc. Or, as the Washington Post article says, his book “casts doubt on any number of New Testament episodes that most Christians take as, well, gospel.”
I haven’t read the book yet, but it sounds like New Testament 101 type stuff to me. I’m really happy that Ehrman’s book is presenting these ideas to people who are not familiar with the complex processes which have resulted in the book we call the Bible. Maybe I should keep a copy or two on hand to give out.
I just finished listening to the public domain Librivox recording of Jules Verne’s A Journey to the Interior of the Earth. By modern sci-fi standards, this was a terrible novel, but considering that it was written in 1864, it was quite remarkable.