Less than a mile into my much needed run, I came upon a sheriff’s deputy blocking the street. POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS TAPE was strung across two and a half lanes, redirecting cars into a subdivision that was meant merely for a u-turn as the main drag on the other side of it was apparently blocked off as well. Was this the same police activity that jammed up my normally five minute commute from the ferry landing to home not an hour before that I assumed was just a bad car accident? Short answer: Yes. The deputy saw me coming, and walked over to chat with me as I had a WTF expression on my face. He told me I could not run past the yellow house, so I would have to turn around. Irritated and getting tangled in the dogs I turned back, only to be stopped again by a neighbor giving me the scoop. There had been a bank robbery!!! Right here in Mayberry!! We talked for a few more seconds, then she yielded her Prius so I could pass and get back on my run.
(For those with less patience than I have (which I do not think is humanly possible), here is what I found out later. It was not a bank robbery, but a dude with a gun who had a grievance with Bank of America. He entered the bank, showed the gun, said he was not there to hurt anyone, handed out bottled waters from his backpack to the staff and customers and then let them all go. He then hung signs on the door about how banks like Bank of America caused the financial crisis, and that this was his protest. And yes, it was reported that he had a history of mental illness and was possibly not on his meds, but, please note, STILL had a gun. They talked him out of there by 10PM but not before three local police departments, the county sheriffs, CHP, and the FBI replete with sharpshooters had been deployed to the scene. Just happy that everyone was fine and hopeful that this man is also offered proper mental health care while he is surely serving time for breaking I don’t know how many laws. Move your money people, I did and community banking is where it’s at!)
Annnnyyyyyyyyyyway… back on the path I was struggling a bit after a headcold-induced three-day layoff and the interruption by the banking protest. Lots of thoughts were jangling around in my head mostly current events related. The earthquake in Japan: horrifying. Where the hell has President Obama been hiding lately? Why didn’t the mainsteam media have one second of coverage of the 100,000+ people protest on Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin? Oh right, they are all owned by corporate conglomerates.
And honestly, really, WHY THE HELL ARE WE BEATING UP ON TEACHERS?!?!?!! I noticed this thought coincided with a quickening of my pace, as if my foot strikes were counter-punches to all the hits teachers are taking on the chin from the media. 60 Minutes has now jumped into the fray and broadcast a Katie Couric report this past Sunday about a charter school in NY that pays its teachers $125K/year. The idea is to attract the best, most effective, highly skilled teachers, and then pay them what they are worth. Of course they are still working upwards of 80 hours per week, have no support staff and are expected to show consistent, quantifiable increases in student achievement or they get fired. (Two of them lost their jobs at the end of that school year.) The reporting was totally lopsided, once again saying that due to those scary powerful teacher unions, bad teachers are intractable and are ruining or have ruined the US public school system. Bullshit. BACK OFF THE TEACHERS everyone. And if your kid is not doing well in school, GO TALK TO THE TEACHER AND THE SCHOOL. And keep on doing it until you get the problem resolved. Not that hard. Stop hitting the easy target with meaningless arguments like teachers work six hours a day (yeah, six PAID hours a day), or, teachers get THREE MONTHS OFF every summer and THREE WEEKS OFF at Christmas which is all once again, bullshit. I can barely dignify this crap with a real response, hence all the EMPHASIS.
I was a public high school teacher for four years. It was, without a doubt, the hardest job I have ever EVER had, and I loved it, but I simply could not make ends meet so I left the field. Plain and simple. And I was just getting really good.
What did make me smile in the middle of this run-rant (well before the aptly titled* Wolfgang Gartner song closed out my mileage) was some old Van Halen, dare I say, honoring teachers. For all my brilliant and dedicated colleagues at ECR and the teachers who busted their asses teaching me for 17 straight years and the teachers in my family, I am hot for you.