General thoughts on life and everything it entails... I am a high school teacher and law student with a relentless love for travel. I spend my time trying to balance responsibility with family and friends.
The German rainbow of beer
I don't love beer. I know, crazy. However, Germany has some very interesting beers. Tonight I have devised a personal taste test of some of the most colorful beers I found at the store...
Pink, red, green, purple...
And this one, which I think might be pinecone. Who knows. It's Germany.
I will drink each one and review them separately, just for the heck of it....
Today, my local newspaper published an article blaming teachers for the shortcomings of our schools. Not teachers' skills, or dedication, or knowledge in their subject areas, but their paychecks. Basically, the TL;DR version of the article, and to be very honest, there's no actual reason to read the article because the "journalist" (and I use the term very loosely) just made up a lot of crap, is that the school district is having massive financial problems (true) which is a direct result of teachers fighting for pay raises.
Let me just start with some basic facts, because this is not going to be pretty.
I started teaching in 2007. My base salary was just under $30,000.00 per year in a large urban area. I made so little money that as a single person, I qualified for county housing assistance for two years.
Let that sink in for a moment.
I was a full time teacher. The county subsidized my housing. More amazingly, the county had a special housing su…
A few days ago, I got in my first ever Twitter scuffle (I won't call it an all-out Twitter war, because let's be honest, I'm not that important) with a local journalist. He wrote about the contract dispute between the teachers and the local school district, blaming teachers and labor unions for the school district's budgetary problems. I disagreed. A lot. I also felt the facts he used in his article were misleading, and in some places outright incorrect. So I responded to him directly and wrote a fairly lengthy blog post airing my opinion.
OMG! Kermit is using the wrong your/you're!
If you haven't read the first part of this post, it's fairly lengthy. In short, I talk about how teachers are educated professionals that deserve to be treated with respect and deserve to be paid a reasonable salary. Eventually, teachers leave the profession for lack of money.
I shared it on social media and got quite a bit of feedback - much more than usual. I was very…
I am writing to you today with a heavy heart and a conflicted mind. As you know, last weekend, we were rocked by an unimaginable tragedy that has affected all of our two million citizens. Most people don't realize there are two million of us.
Here's a map for context:
(Source: NASA image, circa 2010)
To orient you, the red areas are parks and golf courses; the grey areas are buildings; the brown is undeveloped desert. In total, the metro area covers about 600 square miles. It is massive. However, most people don't think of much beyond the casinos and the Las Vegas Strip - which, for reference is that darker grey swath that cuts kind of diagonally through the lower center, with the airport slightly to its east.
For the past week, all of us have been trying to grapple with the idea of someone - for whatever reason - opening fire on a crowd of innocent people, as if it was the opening scene of the latest Hollywood action film pitting a hero against some m…