October 2004

Monthly Archive

Welcome to Nebraska… Here’s Your Sign…..

Posted by on 27 Oct 2004 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

One of my students called me today from jail to say that she could not be in class because well, she was in jail.  Being the scientist that I am, I asked what for.  She told me that she owed the government $66.50.  You heard it here first folks, $66.50!


When she moved here from Florida she got pulled over for not having proper tags and registration.  She had the reciept from purchasing the tags and registration, but the actual tags and registration were coming by mail to her house.  A ticket was issued anyway.

One month later….

The other night she got pulled over for making an illegal U-turn on Dodge (you can’t make U-turns on Dodge between 10pm and 6am).  Another ticket was issued.

She went to court today to take care of these and was arrested because she had a warrant out for her arrest over the tags and registration!  (I guess that is a felony….yeah that makes sense to me)

She had a warrant out on her for a month and the government did not bother to tell her!  They knew where she lived obviously because they were sending the tags and registration to her house.  When she got pulled over for the U-turn incident no mention was made of the warrant.  They arrested her and threw her in jail when she appeared in court.  Well, needless to say she was um… how do you say beyond livid?  The judge (after accusing her of lying about not knowing about the warrant) finally told her that she could a) spend three days in jail or b) spend one day in jail and pay the $66.50 that she owed.  She chose option b of course.  It probably cost at least twice that in court costs and processing fees for her arrest.  There is a serial rapist still on the loose in Omaha and they arrest her over $66.50.  Our tax dollars at work.

Welcome to Nebraska….Here’s Your Sign….

“It’s always been this way…”

Posted by on 19 Oct 2004 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

I have been teaching the same class for four semesters now.  The curriculum never changes because “that’s the way it has always been.”  Some of the lab materials are actually dated 1975 and refer to audio cassette tapes!  (Roll eyes here)  So, I really think by now I know what I’m doing.  Every semester we have a weekly meeting about the next unit in this class.  It accomplishes nothing and last semester I was the only one (out of eight ) who showed up for this meeting most of the time so…   O.K. fast forward to this semester.  At the beginning of the semester I gave the coordinator a list of two dates in which I would miss the meetings because I had a lab field trip.  These absences were approved by her.  Last week I get a seven paragraph letter about missing these meetings, not talking with the instructor, not fulfilling my TA responsibilities, being unprepared to teach the sections in question, about the expectations of TAing this class, letting the students down because I was not prepared, and a paragraph about how all of this was unacceptable behavior from a veteran TA.  Sigh.  I miss two meetings WITH permission I might add, and suddenly the world is coming to an end. 

O.K.  more on the being prepared part. 

The schedule of this class is FUBARed.  Some units are split up into two weeks.  Part one, one week and part two, one week.  Well, I teach lab on Wed afternoons and Sat mornings.  Part two of this lovely set-up always (for four semesters now) always falls after the lecture exam for that unit.  When they get to the lab during week one, part one, there is this huge sign telling them that they have to have part two done before they take their lecture exam for that unit.  Their lecture exams are on Tues or Wed mornings.  Does anyone else see the problem here?  Part two, week two is scheduled after their lecture exams!!

O.K.  So  I do both parts of the unit before their lecture exam because if I was in their shoes I would be ticked off at this schedule.  I am the kind of teacher that tries not to do to my students what ticks me off when my teachers do it to me.  I have gotten in BIG trouble for doing this because I am not following curriculum.  Oh HELLO!  Did you not read your own signs?  The students appreciate my foresight.  The bueracracy doesn’t.  “It’s always been this way, we can’t change it now.”  (Definitely roll eyes here)  The other TAs do not do both weeks before the exam.  I know because trust me, I hear about it.  Is following the schedule being prepared?  Is following the schedule not letting your students down?  Is following the schedule following curriculum?   Well if following the schedule is all of those things, I think I will continue to be unprepared, let my students down and not follow curriculum.  The students at least appreciate it.

Here’s your sign….

Posted by on 06 Oct 2004 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

The title of this blog comes courtesy of the comedian Bill Engval.  His routine or gimmick is to hand a sign to every person that asks a stupid question.  For example, my favorite one is:

A guy was in the mall parking lot with a coat hanger in the window of his car.

  Stupid question = “Did you lock your keys in the car?” 

”Nope, just washed it and I’m hangin’ it out to dry.”

Here’s your sign…


Now all of us are guilty of this from time to time.  However, some people take it to extremes.  The people watching Mt. St. Helens erupt don’t just need signs, they need billboards.  People how dumb can you be?  This is a volcano that was said to be dormant.  Dormant, meaning no activity.  In 1980, it blew 3/4 of its top off, killed 57 people, spewed ash that was detected as far away as China, and devastated the ecosystem.  An ecosystem that is just now beginning to recover. 

My husband said the scientists say that this eruption will be far less extreme.  Meaning what?  It will only blow half its top off?  Only kill 47 people? What do they mean by less extreme?  These scientists have admitted that they do not know where the magma is inside the volcano.  They have admitted that they do not know when the eruption will occur or what type of eruption it will be.  They even have said that mother nature can be unpredictable.  I would not be anywhere near that volcano right now.  The lookout point is reporting record tourist numbers.  People are driving hundreds of miles to see this volcano.  What are they thinking?   When the gas that is coming out of the volcano is hot enough to melt steel, count me out.  I will stay in Nebraska thank you very much.  Here’s your sign…