Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Popeye Limit

I realized this morning that I have reached my 'Popeye Limit' with politics and financial insanities. 'I've stoods all I can stands, and I cantz stands no more!" The effect is manifested by my skimming past the news and evaluations, zooming through commentary, and proceeding straight to da pretty pictures. Any minute now I'm going to get myself a pet rabbit and name him George.

It's not from lack of interest or a desire to shove my head in the sand. It's got more to do with sheer physical and emotional exhaustion, and a deep understanding that my opinions on the matter are but a fart in a hurricane. An unwelcome note too, in most circles.

These past few weeks, and the couple coming up, are the end of my school year. Between finishing up material we still wish to teach, dealing with discipline problems, teaching evening classes, and taking my own college courses..... my ability to spread my attention across untold genres has shrunk, to a narrow field encompassing solely my work duties.

I sure hope the President and all the other folks debating what they will do with every penny I make the rest of my life can survive without my thoughts and opinions for a little while.

This school year... in retrospect.... has been a hell of a run. On the con side (and some of the students will likely take that word in concrete form fairly soon) we have had drug use in school, fist fights in class, weapons in class, students escorted from school in shackles, students falling apart under pressure, threats of law suits, theft in class, vandalism, and other assorted mopery and entertainments.

On the positive side.... a solid unconditional 'wow' is in order. I've got students who are quite literally gifted, with genius level IQ's. This year will end with more solid A's than I've ever had before. Yes, we lost 20% of the class as students caved under the work load, but we also had eight straight A students all year, nearly three times as many as normal. In this group that graduates in two weeks, there are at least a dozen that I'd happily hire myself, had I still a business. There are another dozen that I'd give a good reference to without hesitating. There are two students who did remarkable turnarounds midyear, going from failing to A's in the last marking period. At least 65% will graduate with State Safety Inspection licenses, and of those who took my Emission Inspection class 80% will have the license. I have one student accepted at an aeronautics institute, and another half dozen headed to degree programs elsewhere.

There are six students I would allow to work on my vehicle, and that has never happened before... ever.

But, for me, this weekend... it's time to rest and recover. Today I will pay bills (ERRRK), clean house, and do some stone work as the thunderstorms pass overhead. Tomorrow, a solid shooty Sunday, with sporting clays in the AM and a high power match in the PM. There's nothing like 100 rounds of shoulder walloping, retina detaching, recoil to put the day into a joyful perspective.


Old NFO said...

Agreed! And yeah, bills suck!

Earl said...

Good work on the students, they never do it alone.