Thursday, April 30, 2009

Setting the Record Straight

There have been lots of rumors going around lately regarding the swine flu. Who has it, who doesn't have it, that it's a giant hoax put forth by the makers of Tamiflu, and (my favorite) that school is closed until May 11th! Now some rumors are true (like that last favorite of mine) but more often than not, the rumors are nothing but sensationalized hearsay fabricated my scandal-mongers for the sake of having "something" to talk about. Heck, weathermen do it all the time, reporting that it's going to rain only so that they can report that it didn't rain like it was "rumored" to have supposed to--but that's another story altogether.

Looks like the forecasters were wrong again. Good thing I was drinking a Mai Tai

Teaching in a high school with throngs of loquacious, social adolescents who thrive on high drama, I hear my fair share of things whispered throughout the halls. This is mainly how I learn about John breaking up with Sally because he's "gay," and how Timmy almost died from smoking a whole garden full of Salvia. Most of the time, the rumors are innocent enough, even when they're about me, like the time everyone thought that I really hated precalculus students, which was so ungrounded that it was humorous: I didn't hate ALL of them.

But there are times when words can hurt as bad as sticks and stones, and there are times when even the most preposterous rumors are perpetuated for far too long that they cease to be amusing, kind of like when students asking more than once if they can have a "Free Day" in class. But long before there were hints, lies, and allegations being spread about every sneezing person on campus having swine flu, there was an informational invention about ME being chattered about all around my perimeter and even in the grocery stores on Sunday morning. While I guess I should be flattered to have my name come up in the same conversation as Jesus and "Uncle Ben," but being the butt of an ongoing, untrue allegation, even if it's not damaging to my reputation, is a bit frustrating, annoying, and disappointing.

Rumors DESTROY the flavor of rice

For several weeks now, I have been asked if I and a close colleague and friend of mine are leaving our teaching positions to accept a "better" job in a "better" school district. It sounds harmless at first, maybe even somewhat flattering, first to think that there IS a better job or better school out there, and second, that I have been recruited, courted, and seduced into teaching at that educational Eden. But after I've continually dismissed the rumor and reassured my students that I have no such plans or aspirations and the questions still come at me, I've got to wonder if there's some sort of covert plan to GET me to leave!

What makes this situation even more appalling is that my colleague and I DID, in fact, visit another campus to speak with the principal about the possibility of the marriage between their needs and our talents. The visit was mainly to case their school and bring back good ideas to make OUR school better. Although we didn't get any panacea for handling tardies, we did bring back some useful insights. This visit took place early LAST SCHOOL YEAR!!

We obviously returned to our teaching positions this year, and since then have attacked our curriculum with more fervor and dedication than ever before. With both of us being alumni of the great school we now teach at, we were NEVER serious about leaving, but now, a year later, long after we even forgot we visited that campus, someone let's the cat out of the bag. Well, that's one dead cat. Time to put it bag into the bag and bury it next to Schrodinger's fated feline.

In an age of instant information, where students text message each other continuously about every tiny detail of their existence, it's rather strange that this type of message took so long to grow into the weed it now is. If this rumor was a student, it would be a junior student who goes to the bathroom during 1st period precalculus only to return without washing his hands just in time for his senior final exams!! Talk about a tardy problem.

So officially for the record. I'm going to set the record straight:
  • I am NOT leaving New Braunfels High School (except occasionally on the weekends to see my family).
  • I am staying on board to continue to teach at my alma mater.
  • I'm a true-blue Mule Unicorn who bleeds red (sorry, I only WISH it were blue).
  • I am NOT a Jedi.
  • Not ALL those Facebook "friends" are my friends. Some are relatives.
  • That was NOT me coming out of that bar
  • YES, I HAVE thought about joining the alien circus.
  • No, I DON'T do math all the time at home (sometimes I throw in a little physics)
  • YES, those ARE my real Biceps
  • NO, I'm NOT addicted to knee surgeries
  • YES, I AM addicted to coffee
  • NO, I CANNOT divide by zero
  • YES, I have NO outstanding warrants for my arrest
  • And NO, I do NOT have the swine flu (yet)


Brenda said...

Your loyalty to the big blue is impressive. Your leaving/not leaving rumor could be the new swine flu (and the new Susan Boyle) if only kids were in school. I'm sure they're still text messaging and at even faster speeds now.

oh, and, please...not the rice.

LC said...

I wish you weren't so loyal, but I understand and NBHS should be thankful, grateful, appreciative that you and your buddy are staying put.

MY word verfication today is 'dematho'.

SK said...

Real biceps. I'll bet the rumor mill has been buzzing about that one. Funny.

bob s said...

It is always amazing to me how quickly some rumors start while others never seem to get off the ground. I wonder if it is related to the truthfullness of the rumor? In any event I admire your loyalty even though I don't think it is appreciated by those in charge. Hope your unexpected vacation is going well.

Hate pre-cal students??? Say it isn't so!