It really hurts

04/29/2012 Leave a comment

It really hurts me right now. To be unemployed. To see others succeeding and thriving, while I just languish in my current position.

It hurts to see people call me lazy and selfish, when they don’t know me. To say I’m greedy because I have desires in my life that I want to be fulfilled.

It really hurts when people think they can label me and try to “figure me out” with just a small sample of interactions or word of mouth.

It hurts to be hurt, by the ones whose backs you’ve had and who you have desperately followed, in order to get that reference, that connection, to play the sick game of networking.

It pisses me off that it’s about who I know to get the teaching job I want, no, I need. This is no hobby horse for me. It consumes my being. To claw my way back into the classroom.

It hurts because I think I’ve done all the right things and put in the time. But, I know that there are bigger factors at play. What experienced has shown me, is that nothing is promised.

It hurts to be a teacher right now. It hurts to be a teacher in Wisconsin. It will hurt our future generations more, but right now it really hurts me.

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Democracy In Action

03/10/2012 Leave a comment

I will be in Madison today to Reclaim Wisconsin! I will probably post something about the experience this week.

I probably won’t get around to posting a Round Up on the Recall Walker news til later Sunday or Monday morning.

I hope to see all of you at Madison. Protest loud and with integrity! Recall Walker!

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The Future in Scott Walker’s Wisconsin

03/06/2012 Leave a comment

It’s that time of year when new jobs are being posted. I have been subbing for about a year and a half and I’m excited for some opportunities to really teach a class. I have started to get some calls about interviews and it really has brightened my days.

I do hope to teach next year. The problem is that I’m not as excited as I once was. Basically, what happens with the Scott Walker Recall will have a major impact on my future. Let me explain.

I care about collective bargaining. A lot. And it’s a lot more than how much we are going to pitch in for our health care coverages. (Which are important, but I understand that as a society we just do not value education as we should. I know I’m not going to get rich teaching; I’d just like to live comfortably.)

The aspects of collective bargaining that are important to me deal with working conditions, curriculum, academic freedom, class size, etc. Things that people who support Walker should read up on because they believe it is only about the insurance costs.

I believe Walker’s actions are just a stepping stone towards the privatization of education. This is something that I disagree with and will fight. More on this in a future post.

If Walker loses, I hope that are rights to collectively bargain will be restored. It is important that we trust teachers and treat them with respect. When you demonize and demoralize teachers you will not attract good ones to teach. This is Scott Walker’s Wisconsin.

If Walker doesn’t get recalled, I sadly will probably look to teach out of state. It is sad because I went to public school, from first-graduate school, in Wisconsin. I love Wisconsin, but it’s not an environment in which I feel I am respected because of my profession. I want to teach in the Wisconsin that I grew up in, and I hope that I will be able to.

This is why this recall matters. Walker’s Wisconsin is one in which teachers are the bad guys. This is not the Wisconsin I grew up in. Recall Walker!

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Democrat v. Republicans: Sad Truths

03/05/2012 Leave a comment

When people ask me what my politics are it is hard for them to understand me. I’m not a Democrat as most people would think.

I usually tell them this, “I completely disagree with all Republicans, but Democrats are much better.”

This picture reminded me why I dislike Republican ideology. The sad thing is that I don’t believe the Democrats are much different.

Examples

  • Government transparency has been horrible under Obama
  • Whistleblowers have been under attack by Obama
  • Obama’s extensive use of drones to expand the war on terror

The saddest thing for me is that basically what Obama has done is extended George W. Bush’s foreign policies. This isn’t what I signed up for.

Republicans beliefs have been pretty repulsive, but Democrats are much farther behind.

On a Wisconsin side note, I’d like to see Obama really stand up for worker’s rights and come to Wisconsin and campaign.

He won’t do it. His education policies have been anti-teacher union. Race to the Top is an embarrassing neo-liberal bill that hurts our public education.

What are we to do? My solution is to focus on the local levels. This is where real progressive are. We need to win these battles.

Obama is most likely going to win the next election and continue to run the country as a moderate pragmatist. Which is sad we could use a progressive in the White House.

 

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Recall Round Up

03/04/2012 Leave a comment

Walker would sacrifice nature for jobs

Undecideds will decide recall election

“The 5% or so who are undecided will get a lot of attention in the upcoming recall because of the pivotal role they play. They are generally less interested and informed than the rest of the electorate. But they are also less swayed by simple cues such as partisanship and ideology.

“They are actually more likely to vote based on how the incumbent is performing, particularly on the economy. Memorable ads can also be effective. But you can expect many of the ads to focus on the economy and state budget, so the two factors are not independent.”

Kleefisch won’t challenge signatures

Walker gives out $100,000 in tax credits to businesses imagine how many children and old people he could have helped with that

Recall Elections in June

Walker gives more job to loyalists who donate money to Republicans

On the face of it, these appointments appear to be Scott Walker’s gestures of thanks to Republican loyalists. With all of the court cases, redistricting challenges and ethics complaints piling up against other GOP faithful within the court system, Walker and his sycophants will need all the help they can get.

Job gains under Scott Walker:

Walker’s millions not buying favorable ratings

Republican Scott Walker and his allies are vastly outspending the other side on TV, yet the latest polling suggests it’s having minimal impact on public perceptions of the governor.

Scott Walker is ALEC’s little buddy

Scott Walker is a Bain-like CEO

During his keynote address at this year’s right-wing Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker likened himself to a new CEO who is hired to turn around a failing company.

Next time he uses his business analogy, Walker would be more accurate to compare himself to the head of Bain Capital, the investment firm co-founded by GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, which amassed profits for itself by running companies into the ground.

Board seeks more time to review signatures; Walker raises more money from people out of state

Walker gets help from out of state people, not Wisconsinites

Interestingly, the way Walker has chosen to respond to this concern is by … wait for it … taking in probably limitless amounts of money from out of state, including Missouri, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Tennessee, Minnesota, California, Oregon, Florida, and, oh, yeah, Washington, D.C.

In fact, Walker has raised just over $12 million over the last year. In just the first part of this year, he raised $4.6 million — 61 percent of which came from out of state with more than 50 percent came from those giving more than $250,000 each. And most of his top donors are from out of state, including Bob Perry of Texas, who contributed $500,000; Sarah Atkins, Davis Humphreys and Stanley Herzog, all of Missouri, gave $250,000 each; David and Charles Koch, of New York and Kansas, respectively, have spent more than $700,000 on Walker. “We’re helping him,” David Koch said earlier this month. “We’ve gotten pretty good at this over the years. We’ve spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We’re going to spend more.”

Foster Freiss, major Walker supporter and major women hater

“You know, back in my days, they’d use Bayer aspirin for contraceptives,” he said. “The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.

Walker might have to resign before the recall

Walker Protester Art Show revived

Walker trying to shed his anti-union label

There’s a strategy here. Emphasize Walker’s supposed leadership qualities – hopeful, decisive, courageous. Soften the appearance of animus toward organized labor in general. Cleave virtuous private sector workers, including union members, away from supposedly overpaid public sector workers and big-spending “union bosses.” And, as usual, Koch and Walker are on the same page – despite the former’s moment of honesty.

Walker imports voter suppression thugs 

Rep. Mark Pocan looking back on the shame Walker unleashed on Wisconsin

Why Walker isn’t challenging Recall signatures

Meet Kathleen Falk

Walker in trouble against many of the possible Democratic opponents he may face

Walker would lose to top Democrats

Walker says his actions haven’t hurt Wisconsin, but Recall will

Walker won’t challenge recall signatures because too many people dislike him

Walker braces for recall and then lies that his reforms have “worked”

Scott Walker is dragging down conservative candidates

Scott Walker leads Wisconsin’s race to the bottom

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Who are those out-of-state interests?

02/29/2012 Leave a comment

Scott Walker keeps whining about out-of-state money and interests that are interfering with Wisconsin politics.

He’s right. Sadly, there are many non-Wisconsinites who are rearing their heads into Wisconsin.

What Walker isn’t telling you is that the majority of these out of state interests and money are coming from people who support him.

  • He has the Koch Brothers, whose Koch Industries PAC has spent a lot of money in Wisconsin and continues on spending a lot more. “We’re helping him, as we should,” Koch said of Walker. “We’ve gotten pretty good at this over the years. We’ve spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We’re going to spend more.” (By the way you should be boycotting any of the Koch Brothers products)
  • The ALEC Foundation is writing and promoting corporate-friendly legislation. Wisconsin State Representative Mark Pocan is doing good work trying to exploit this shady organizations dealings.
Wisconsin’s new governor, Scott Walker, has decided to follow in Thompson’s footsteps, pushing half dozen ALEC-inspired bills in his first weeks and months in office, yet remaining silent about the roots of these public policy “innovations.”

Between Jan. 13 and Jan. 17 alone, Walker brought in $1 million from four out-of-state donors, including $250,000 from billionaire Texas home builder Bob Perry. The governor now has received $500,000 from Perry, one of the main funders of the controversial “Swift Boat” ads that targeted 2004 presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry.

Walker also received $250,000 from David Humphreys of Tamko Building Products in Joplin, Mo., another $250,000 from Sarah Atkins of Tamko, and $250,000 from Stanley Herzog of Herzog Contracting, also of Missouri.

  • The Heartland Institute is going to be spending big to help support Walker and his Republicans allies in recall elections.

Leaked documents show that the Chicago-based Heartland Institute is planning to spend $612,000 supporting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and four GOP Senators in their probable recall elections.

Look at the ads you see on TV. They aren’t Recall Walker ads. They are supporting Walker. He’s got the big money in his corner. What Walker doesn’t have is the people in his corner. He can’t buy buy this election. He did wrong by Wisconsin, and he will be recalled for it. Recall Walker!

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Frustrations of Unemployment

02/29/2012 1 comment

I started this blog basically because I was unemployed. Although, this isn’t the whole truth. I am employed as a substitute teacher, but when you go to school for 6 and a half years it is deflating to be doing this. Experience in the classroom is nice, but I want to teach.

I’m honestly chomping a the bit for an opportunity to teach. But sometimes, I get so frustrated with how things are going.

Subbing is a wholly soul sucking job. I used to sub at elementary schools, which was a lot of fun because I actually got to teach even though I’m certified 6-12 and in social studies. Those little kids were inspiring and fun and excited to learn.

Now, I exclusively work at a high school. There are still some amazing days, but for the most part teachers leave just worksheets or movies for the kids.

I thrive on intellectual stimulation. I got that in my classroom as a student teacher. I don’t get that anymore.

I remember my students at my student teacher placement asked me one day, “Mr. Ennui, why do you smile so much?” I told them why. I was smiling so much because this is what I want to do with my life and I was having a lot of fun. This is all I know how to do. I loved everyday in the classroom and I smiled everyday in the classroom.

Now, it’s just frustrating. Subbing does not allow this same interaction.

This disappointment in my current career status is further compounded by Scott Walker’s actions. I feel like the profession I love so much, and worked so hard to get good at is being attack and ruined before I can even get my hands dirty. (In my frustration I sometimes joke to my friends: maybe I should have went to law school instead, that way when people shit on my profession, I could actually get paid a lot.)

It all weighs down on me.

It’s hard. Damn hard.

But, I know that I won’t give up. Teaching is my life. I’m going to fight for it.

It hit me hard when I was reading an obituary on Vaclav Havel. This especially knocked me over:

All his life, Havel lived by the belief that if you wanted something to happen, you had to do something to make it happen, and damn the consequences, including arrest and prison, and possibly even death. Speaking about the early days of the post-Stalin thaw, he once said: “The more we did, the more we were able to do, and the more we were able to do, the more we did.”

Havel’s belief is now my belief. I want something to happen and I’m going to do something to make this happen. I want to teach and be the best teacher I can be. I also want my profession to be respected and to restore the rights that Scott Walker took away.

I’m going to work my ass off to achieve both of these goals. And start that magical cycle:

“The more we did, the more we were able to do, and the more we were able to do, the more we did.”

Be great teachers, work hard for our students, and of course, Recall Walker!

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