BEAKING NEWS: NYC GIFTED AND TALENTED APPLICATIONS ARE NOW AVAILABLE. KINDA.

Applications for G&T programs for the 07-08 school year are now available, for Tiny Girl and all of her precocious pals. The application, which can be completed online, can be found here. Sorta. As the site currently reads:

We regret to inform you that we are still experiencing some technical difficulties. We are currently upgrading the system so you may apply to both district/region G & T programs as well as citywide schools in one place. We expect that by close of business Friday, October 27, 2006 these issues will be resolved. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.          

If and when the site is up and running, remember that, as of this year, you only need to list those schools you actually want to attend. (Yes, visitors from outside NYC, you can correctly conclude that we were once required to list a number of schools we were not interested in attending.)

KIDS: JUST LIKE US

Fellow has a variety of "special" classes, one each day, at his new school - gym, art, computer lab, etc. - and they rarely give homework, but the other day he claimed that his music teacher had asked the first-graders to complete an original song lyric they had begun working on with partners during the previous week's class. So he pulled out this half-page of paper, with a couple of rhyming lines scrawled on it, and told us the morning of music day that he needed to finish it. Fine, we said, but don't make yourself late for school. Part of us didn't believe it was an actual homework assignment at all, part of us believed it was and was annoyed he'd put it off till the last minute.

And then we dropped him off at school, in the cafeteria, and there, at his class table, were at least a half-dozen other 5-and-6-year-olds, desperately scrawling away at their half-pages of lyrics. Our conclusion? Lousy study habits turn out to be  more nature than nurture.

IN A RELATED STORY, THE STATE SUPREME COURT HAS UPHELD THE SCHOOL'S NOOGIE POLICY

A Montana high-school principal has been reinstated after a six-day suspension for giving a student a wedgie:

. . . [Principal Eric Messerli] was suspended for two days without pay and four days with pay for grabbing a Park High senior's soccer jersey and pulling it over his head and giving the student a "wedgie" by pulling up on the waist band of his underwear. The incident happened on Oct. 5 at a junior varsity soccer game.

At a meeting of the district's school board, Messerli read a public apology, and the members followed the superintendent's recommendation that the principal be allowed to return to his job. In interviews after the meeting, however, board members confirmed that if the wedgie had been "atomic," they'd have been forced to fire Messerli and press charges.

AND NOW MORE OF  "WHEN PRINCIPALS ATTACK!"

Orangekitten2INDUS, Minn. -

A school principal has resigned and could face felony firearm charges after he shot and killed two orphaned kittens on school property last month. . . .

[Acting Sheriff John] Mastin said the shooting put no one in danger but said Pilloud used "poor discretion and poor timing," especially amid the growing fear of gun violence in schools.

THE REAL TRAGEDY IS THAT HE WAS SNACK DAD THAT DAY, AND SINCE HE WAS ARRESTED BEFORE HALFTIME, NO ONE GOT THEIR RITZ BITS AND PRETZELS

A Philadelphia father brought his .357 Magnum to his son's 5-and-6-year-old football league game, and, as if following a playbook drafted by Chekhov, he was indeed brandishing it by the second quarter. The Dad, irate over his son's lack of playing time, threatened his coach with the weapon, but never fired it.

ATTLEBORO, MASS.: NOW OPEN FOR BULLYING

An elementary school in the "Boston suburb" of Attleboro* has become the country's latest school to ban tag, touch football, and other unsupervised chase games during recess because, as principal Gaylene "Elphaba" Heppe said, recess is "a time when accidents can happen," not unlike, say, breakfast time or bath time.

One parent told the AP that:

. . . her son feels safer because of the rule. "I've witnessed enough near collisions," she said.

That's right, she said "near" collisions. Reached for comment, her son said, "Mom, just don't bother sending me to school with lunch money anymore. Thanks to your emasculating comments in the media, I'm sure I'll be forced to cough it up daily by morning meeting."

[* By the way, why do national media outlets call every single city in Massachusetts a "Boston suburb"? Attleboro is like three miles from Rhode Island. It's not a suburb. No one who lives in Boston would ever think of it as a suburb. It's further away from the city than Foxboro, for Pete's sake.]

BUT IF WE JUST WRITE A CHECK, THEN WHO WILL MAN THE CUPCAKE BOOTH AT FALL FEST THIS WEEKEND?*

Slate loves to shock us with their counterintuitive notions. They recently posted this manifesto urging all of us to immediately stop volunteering our time. If we really cared, we'd just work harder and write bigger checks:

This isn't some silly tautology. If these do-gooders really were motivated by the desire to do good, they would be doing something different. It would almost always be more effective to volunteer less, work overtime, and give more. A . . . banker can pay for a lot of soup-kitchen chefs and servers with a couple of hours' worth of his salary, but that wouldn't provide the same feel-good buzz as ladling out stew himself, would it?

[* Speaking of which, whose bleep do we have to bleep to find some large bleeping containers of chocolate and rainbow sprinkles in this town??]

HELP US OUT HERE: IS THIS "GROUNDS"?

We've been a weekly entrant in the New Yorker's Cartoon Caption Contest since it began. Despite the fact that we've never won, coming up with a new caption each week has become one of the few pleasures in our wearying, quotidian life. And yet Loving Mother has now snatched that joy away from us. She's taken a new job, and, OK, it's an exciting new job, and we're very proud of her, etc., but she's now put us in this category (emphasis added):

Any U.S. resident age eighteen or over can enter, except employees, agents, or representatives of Advance Publications, Inc., or any of its parents, subsidiaries, sister companies, or affiliates, or any member of their immediate family.

Fortunately, there's still the Anti-Caption Contest on big-time blog radosh.net, which we'd encourage other frustrated captionistas to enter. (We're even a past winner, though that's a somewhat dubious honor in a contest to write the worst possible caption each week. . .) But now that the missus has taken away our chance at national recognition, we'll begin occasional postings here of our would-be entry of the week, taken completely out of context. (Indulge us.) For example, this week:

"Acme Tightrope just called. They need to recall your pole."

October 27, 2006 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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