Posts Tagged ‘NCLB’

“You going under there?”

“No Sir!”, I managed as I felt a bit of vomit in my throat.

I was working with my daddy in his plumbing business.  I was twelve.  I’d been on many calls with him, but none like this one.  He got a call to come over and “fix a toilet.”  That was the only info we had to work with.  The house belonged to an older man in our little country town.  His son attended the same school (there was only one) and would later become basketball phenom and end up playing for big bucks in the NBA.

West's silhouette serves as the current NBA logo.

Anywho, we walked into the house and was lead through a big room with two refrigerators, one with a logging chain and padlock wrapped around it.  My daddy being the curious type asked about the appliance arrangement.  Our client informed us that the “secure” fridge was locked to keep the young-ens out of his beer.  Things get weirder.

The bathroom, the target for most of our service calls, was hiding behind a real wooden door.  Holl0w-core doors were futuristic and unavailable during the building of this old house.  He swung the door open without warning, with an air of pride in his DIY skills.  I struggled unsuccessfully to mask my shock, yet, was amazed at the gentleman’s crude resourcefulness.

English: Do it yourself

The problem glared at us immediately.  A porcelain thrown with it’s contents level to the rim.  The nature of this situation was nothing new for my daddy.  He’d become a master plumber after leaving the Navy in the late 50’s.  Other peoples shit had become his bread and butter.

English: A pat of butter, served on a leaf, wi...

“How long has it been stopped up?”

“Couple of months now,” he told Daddy.

Our client’s do-what-ya-had-do “fix” for his clogged toilet was quite simple.  Knock a hole in the floor in front of his reading room throne to eliminate the topped-off waste that refused it’s proper exit route.  It’s gotta go somewhere.  The jagged hole was just wide enough to comfortably hover and do your business.  True story.  I’m not creative enough to come up with this stuff.

Then I heard it.  It was undetectable to the untrained ear, but unmistakable to me.  I’d been trained by the best.  I knew a quick exit was at hand.  Somehow, Daddy managed to evacuate the dwelling and find a tree to grab.  Peeling bark from the poor plant, he was free to release the turmoil he’d just experienced.

The Tree Hugger Project, Installation in Wilko...

After gathering his professional wits, we made our way to the downhill side of the ship-lap sided structure.  He straddled the river of fecal matter trickling from the foundation and somehow managed to open the crawlspace door.  I heard that distinctive sound again.   This time coming from me.  We squatted and “admired” the glory hole of our client’s nifty DIY project.

The memory of these four words, “You going under there?”, haunt me to this day.  Needless to say, we lost a client on that hot summer day.  Hearing these words, “I can’t help you, sir,” was, perhaps, the proudest I’ve ever been of my daddy!

In a discussion with my middle schoolers yesterday, I asked if they knew who Steve Jobs was.  Some did, some didn’t.  I then asked, “How many college degrees do you think he earned?”  One student guessed 14.  They were shocked to learn he never completed college.  How could he have been so smart and successful without going to what all public school students are indoctrinated to believe is essential to successful adult life?  I explained that Jobs saw college as a waste of time and a drain on the pocketbook of his working class parents.  Then I really blew their closed minds.

“My daddy dropped out of high school in the 10th grade and became a successful business man.”  They asked for whom he worked.  Not in those exact words.  “For himself,” I answer.  They didn’t understand.  “So, what did he do?”  I told them he was a plumber.  Eeeuh was the sound a few made.  One girl couldn’t wrap her mind around how that job could lead to a prosperous life.  I asked if she had all sorts of fecal matter and sewage backed up in her bath tub, could she fix the problem?  “Nooooo!  I wouldn’t touch that stuff.”  Not many folks will.  That’s the secret of my daddy’s success.  Find a need and provide value.


Push the Button (The Chemical Brothers album)

I don’t fault students for their lofty “push-button-easy” attitudes. Endless streams of State propaganda pamphlets bombard young minds as the black helicopters hover over school buildings that share a striking resemblance to prisons.  By the time they reach me in middle school, the damage to mind and spirit is obvious.  Insert Pink Floyd lyrics here: “We don’t need no thoughts controlled.”  There are no “real” options for our future generation if you believe the State.  Go to college or fail!

The typical educrat argument I’ve encountered most often is that Steve Jobs was an outlier.  How about Richard Branson of Virgin fame.  He was a fluke.  Many of our Founding Fathers didn’t attend high school, much less university.  That was a different time.  Swayed by the State paradigm,  implies that we, in the institutional schools, believe that the students herded into our holding pens are basically stupid and need experts to guide “right” choices.  They’re our future for crying out loud.  Public “education” is their only hope.

Hum, why don’t we ask some of the herd what they think of forced schooling?  Their responses aren’t shocking if you’ve ever spent much time in these hallowed institutions.  Click here to watch “Love Letter To Albuquerque Public Schools”  (Hat tip to my thespian daughter for the link).

After ten years of spending $25 billion each year on failing government schools, you think those “Love Letters” from public school students would show a little more appreciation to the bureaucratic boondoggle called No Child Left Behind.  Have no fear, Race To The Top is the newest educrat solution.

I hear that old familiar rumbling sound in my gut again.  Gotta go!