Thursday, March 17, 2005

Time On My Hands=Shameful, Shameful Things

I have a little extra time on my hands this week and was blog surfing. Visiting blogrolls about 5 times removed took me to the another blog. She wasn't doing anything too deep, wasn't trying to change the world, but she had some funny posts so I checked her archives.

There it was! A post that forced me into drive by zealotry! I became vigilante commenter! You know the argument. We have all those breaks and get out at three. You've heard it before.

I guess after you hear the same crap so many times and then just one time you see it in print with a link that says "Comment" you can only wait so long before you do. I didn't say everything I was thinking--drive by zealots don't change minds. She emailed me to more softly tell me how easy I have it and I emailed back thanking her for taking the time to email. No minds were changed, no point in arguing. I even told her I will keep reading, and I will.

So I guess I just need a second to tell you what I wanted to tell her (or if she is reading to tell her this now).

The blogger's post encouraged all those complaining teachers to "get a full time job" and "shut the fuck up". I have some figures that might shed some light on the "full time job" argument. Addtionally, you can be pretty sure that even if I quiet down, I won't "shut the fuck up".

Here are some figures I played with regarding the "part time job" argument.
  • I figured 36 weeks to the school year at 60 hours a week ( this counts my after school job and 10 weekly hours of prep work and grading. It's a conservative estimate). That's 2160 hours a year.
  • 12 of those 36 weekends (again, a most conservative estimate) are spent with kids on some sort of extracurricular party. Let's conservatively call those 8 hour days. That's 96 hours a year.
  • During the summer, I will spend about 4 of my 10 weeks in some sort of inservice or on a trip with kids. Let's call those 40 hour weeks and add 160 more hours to that total.
  • Adding all these numbers and dividing by 50 still gives me a 48.32 hour work week.

So here's something else. I enjoy most of those hours. I know that my choice to work those kinds of hours doesn't diminish a single hour worked by anyone else on earth (with the possible exception of pro atheletes and TV Spokesmodels). When I work another hour, I don't wish one away from a single mother working hard in a family business and when I take an hour off, I don't add one to anyone else. If I gave up my tenure and union, it wouldn't give these benefits to anyone else. I wish other jobs had contracts and unions. My choice of a job doesn't automatically infer disrespect for yours (again, with the exception of pro atheletes and TV Spokesmodels).

Even if I did "shut the fuck up", none of this would change.


Anonymous said...

Does that mean I am getting paid for all the reading I have done during Spring Break for our all-school book committee?

Anonymous said...

And the countless hours where I read every book in the library.

educat said...

Silly, silly librarians (is that plural? You know you can sign in under "other" or at least leave a name!). The offensive blogger simply wishes to be the measure of all work.

She doesn't get vacation? Neither should you.

Her job has no company Christmas party? You get nuttin'.

I am presently trying to negotiate the angry blogger a better retirement plan so we can all live better at life's end.

Actually, I'm not.

Nancy said...

You obviously got the last word because I noticed she had nothing to say. And it doesn't surprise me she had nothing to say...if I could judge her based on her blog, I would venture that there's not much going on in that vapid space she calls a brain.

educat said...

I am guessing, girlonthescape, that you read her later entry on how we came to this great understanding. It's interesting. I just decided not to argue with her. She wanted some sympathy. She probably wasn't ready for the career counseling I wanted to give her nor would she have been interested to know that I got this "cushy" job because I have a degree--and how underpaid are we compared to other college grads?

Nope, no point.

As for her content, she made me realize how spoiled I am by the content of the great blogs I read. She does have a different idea of content.

Enjoyed your blog also! Thanks for the comment!

aka_monty said...

In my own defense, I never once said that your job was 'cushy'. I just said that some teachers complain too much about their situations.

And it appears I seriously misjudged you. I give you compliments and the benefit of the doubt, thinking perhaps that you are, after all, an educator.
"The offensive blogger simply wishes to be the measure of all work"
Again, why are you attributing to me something which I never said, nor implied?
I am beginning to understand that many teachers are extremely touchy about their chosen career-path.

It's too bad you can't lighten up and stop taking yourselves so seriously.

I also understand that people tend to get defensive when criticized...even as I am doing now.
But now I don't even respect you. I'm sure that worries you. (In case you didn't get that, it was sarcastic)
I just think it's a shame when people refuse to consider another point of view, even if they think it sucks out loud.
Shallow minds, unite!

educat said...

First, I have emailed aka_monty to answer most of this.

Secondly, a public apology is owed. She never said teaching was "cushy" and in fact said just the opposite in our email exchange. I got reckless and made a poor choice of words based on who knows what. For that, I apologize.

Thirdly, this is in my email and it worth repeating. Blogs are ridiculous (I probably need to cite Kristen for this idea, so I do). They are written in a bubble in the heat of our lives. I hereby vow to read them through that lens and I would encourage anyone else to do the same.

My career as a drive by zealot has been short lived and if I ever do it again, I vow to do it responsibly.