Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Social Studies teacher needs a lesson in the Constitution

North Rowan High School (North Carolina) Social Studies teacher Tanya Dixon-Neely was caught red-handed (via sound clip recorded on a student's cell phone) not knowing much about the subject she teaches. In a discussion about politics (and presumably things the candidates have done in their past), one of the students brings up the fact that President Obama openly admitted in his autobiography that he bullied a girl in school.

Dixon-Neely replies, "Stop, no, because there is no comparison. Romney is running for President, Obama is the president."

When the student tries to reason with her she insists that a candidate for President does not deserve the same respect as the President.  She says, "Listen, let me tell you something, you will not disrespect the President of the United States in this classroom."

When the student replies he will say whatever he wants, she replies, "Not about him you won't" and then she goes on to tell the class that it is a criminal offense to slander the President. She reminds them people were arrested for saying bad things about former President Bush and she asks, "Do you realize you are not supposed to slander the President?"

And we wonder why kids have a warped view of how the world works?

The teacher is clearly an Obama supporter and that's fine but when teaching a class about politics, she has a responsibility to be fair and balanced. She has the responsibility of teaching her students all sides of the issues and not just her own. If she is intent on bringing her political opinion into the classroom, then she has to allow everyone else to do the same.

I am neither a Democrat nor Republican but what do you suppose would have happened if the tables were turned and the teacher were a die-hard Conservative Republican defending a Republican President?  Just a thought.

Dixon-Neely is a social studies teacher teaching students that expressing their first amendment right is illegal and can get them arrested. The student in question, regardless of his motives (he could have been baiting her but she shouldn't have taken the bait), made a point--President Obama said in his book that he bullied a girl in school. That is not up for debate, it is a fact. I'm not here to pass judgment on the President, I'm here to question Dixon-Neely's effectiveness as a teacher. If she got this one wrong, what else has she gotten wrong? What else have her students mislearned?

One more thing...this brings up the question surrounding Obama's admission. He said he bullied a girl in school but the teacher downplays it by saying that we have no right to question the President. So really, what we have to ask ourselves here is...

...does truth really matter? I'm beginning to wonder.

Friday, May 18, 2012

[H]ouse, M.D. Episode 21 "Holding On"

I'm late in my post because I wasn't going to write one. I mean, you saw it, it was emotional, it was well-played and frankly being this close to the end was too emotional to write about but..I'll say a few words.

The Good:
  • Hugh and Robert knocked it out of the park. 
  • House and Wilson in the restaurant talking and laughing about good times.
  • House telling Wilson "I need you" yeah okay House your best friend is DYING! Hello? Time to focus on HIS needs right now!
  • Wilson in the car yelling at House and telling him he's making him go through this alone. Terrific!!!
  • House playing the piano = win! Been waiting for a piano moment for nearly two seasons!
  • The scene where Wilson goes to House's apartment to tell him he would do the chemo and then House says "no" and he accepts that it isn't what Wilson really wants to do. OH WOW! JUST WOW! God that was an emotional moment.
  • Park hitting House on the back of the head with the cane was a win in my book.
  • House screaming in the hallway to Taub about being in pain every single day. It's a shame the writers have forgotten House has a real pain problem, would have been nice to see more of his battle with pain, and not just taking pills either. His pain is part of who he is, it deserved to be addressed more in these last few years!
  • While I am not happy about what is sending House back to jail because I think it's yet another plot device that makes no sense, I will say that sending House to Mercer County Jail for six months to finish out his sentence knowing that Wilson has only five months to live is really -- wow! Think about all the shit House has ever done, this prank is the one that he wishes he's never pulled. He finally decides to abide by Wilson's wishes not to undergo chemo, they begin planning their adventures for the next five months and some stupid prank lands him in jail. Talk about actions having consequences. Thing is, I'm just annoyed by how they are doing this....again, the whole tickets thing just didn't work.


  • Seriously, who's flying the plane? Is Lucas Douglas the technical advisor on this show? Even my cat knew you can't get fingerprints off of wet hockey tickets. In fact, a few of us talked to real police officers and we couldn't find a single one who said it was possible. I'm of course not surprised by this lack of attention to detail considering these are the same writers who tried to sell us the idea that Dominika was able to get a Green Card and US Citizenship all in one.
  • Foreman telling Wilson "Enduring pain to do some good for someone you care about. Isn't that what life is?" Huh? Let me get this straight: Wilson is dying of cancer in five months but he is supposed to undergo painful and brutal chemotherapy so his best friend won't be alone? This is not the Foreman of earlier seasons. What happened to the tough "in your face" Foreman? The one who didn't want to be like House? The one who, in an effort to save a boy's life, strapped down his brother and without anesthesia, stuck a biopsy needle into the kid's leg, not once, but twice, to get bone marrow? Where's the Foreman with a set of balls? Oh wait the married ex-girlfriend must have taken them with her.
  • The idea that those hockey tickets would cause commercial grade hospital plumbing to back up to the point where it floods...seriously? This is a hospital...all kinds of shit goes down those pipes. 
  • House hiring actors to play Wilson's former patients. Seriously? It was touching but predictable. Like House would actually do the work required to track down Wilson's real living patients.
  • Sorry but I did not find Olivia Wilde's return poignant to the story. The "prodigal daughter's return" fell flat.  I know why she was brought back, obviously the voice of reason for both Wilson and House because of her experience with terminal illness. But was she necessary? I don't think so.
  • House faces going back to jail for six months for shoving wet tickets down the toilets but not for trying to choke a patient? I'll have to remember that next time I'm in the hospital, I'll try it and let you know.

The finale is coming up next week and we can only wonder what we'll get. Shore talks about the finale being "true to character". The House I have known all these years is a fighter, he's a truth seeker. Even when the truth SUCKS, he understands it's still the truth. I am not sure anymore what Shore's vision of "true to character" is.  I am quite sure Hugh will be amazing in this finale but frankly it isn't him I've been concerned about, it's been what Shore will throw at us. So until Monday, May 21st.