Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The move has been completed. I am now officially a Joplin resident. The distance I live from South Middle School has decreased from seventeen miles to two and a half miles.
I am thankful that everything was moved and I was settled in before school starts. I don't want to have any distractions once the school year begins.
I found out today that my class sizes are going to be reasonable with 27 the largest I will have for one class and most of the others having less than 20 students.
Teachers officially report 7:30 a.m. Thursday at the Joplin High School auditorium. We are all supposed to be wearing the new blue South Middle School t-shirts. Unfortunately, all of the large and extra large shirts were already gone by the time I went through the box today so I will be wearing one of the old gray South shirts. (Who says I can't write a spellbinding blog?)
It appears that I will have six of the seven eighth grade communication arts classes, while Angela Mense will add one eighth grade class to go with her seventh grade classes.
The biggest change for Joplin middle school communication arts classes will be the move from two-hour blocks to 50-minute classes. Last year, we had the students for two consecutive periods and were supposed to divide the time nearly equally between reading and writing (mixing in such old favorites as grammar, vocabulary, and spelling). This year, the students will have separate reading classes. Some teachers will do writing/communication arts, while the others will teach reading. I will miss the block classes. They gave me a chance to get to know my students better and to accomplish more things. On the other hand, with the new system I will have the opportunity to work with more students.
Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the resignation of Richard Nixon as president of the United States.
Those who didn't live through this era would find it hard to believe that at one point before Nixon resigned, people wondered if he was seriouly considering declaring martial law so he could remain in power.
During the summer of 1973, I was spellbound by the Senate Watergate hearings, featuring the folksy, homespun humor of Senator Sam Ervin and the famous question by Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee. "What did the president know and when did he know it?"
The most electrifying moment of the hearings came when a little known White House aide named Alexander Butterfield testified that President Nixon had all of his conversations taped. After that revelation, it was only a matter of time before Nixon had to resign.
The Diamond R-4 School District's lawsuit against Edison Schools has been moved from Newton County Circuit Court to the Western District U. S. Court for the state of Missouri.
The head of Newton Learning, the division of Edison Schools that runs summer schools has responded to the allegations made by Diamond Superintendent Mark Mayo in the lawsuit, which was filed last month.
In the suit, Mayo claims that the district does not owe Edison nearly $90,000 that the company claims it should receive for its operation of the Diamond summer school in 2002. I will have more information on this, both on this site and on www.wildcatcentral.com when the Internet service to my new apartment is installed.
The Diamond School District is being sued by Earlene Sharon as a result of injuries received by her daughter in the Marlin Pinnell Gymnasium. That suit was filed in Newton County Circuit Court.
The controversy over the resignation of former Lamar High School football coach Tim Casper continues to swirl in the postings on www.lamarmo.com Those posting on that site claim that Casper was fired because of an illicit relationship with a student.
The sad things about the postings is that many of them blame the girl. Now let me understand the logic...a 35-year-old man in a position of authority is alleged to have misused that authority and taken advantage of his position and the girl is at fault?
I don't care how she behaves in school. I don't care if she wrote passionate love letters, threw herself at him, and sang, "Come to me, my melancholy baby." If he did what he is accused of doing (and his sudden resignation just before school starts would indicate a serious problem), he is the one at fault. This is not a question of how much blame should be assessed to each participant. He is the adult. He is the one who had the responsibility. He is the one who should have slammed on the brakes before this thing went out of control.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great reading Randy. We sure miss you in Lamar. As far as the "girl is to blame" comments about the Casper situation let me say that the majority of us at LamarChat.com DO NOT agree with this logic. You are exactly right when saying the man is the one in control....as it should be. Keep up the good work Randy.