"They all stink" is how PTSA co-president Marilyn Shoenfeld characterizes five new plans for high school district boundaries in the Downcounty Consortium, slated to begin in fall 2004.
An increase in graffiti at Blair and in the surrounding community since late last year has Principal Phillip Gainous worried, but not about gangs. His concern centers on the non-gang-involved students whose actions—from leaving lunch strewn on the floor to spray-painting bathroom walls—reflect a fundamental lack of respect for their school, he said.
I'm perfectly healthy, going to the doctor's for a routine check-up. The nurse looks at me:"Oh, I don't like the way you filled out those insurance forms. We better give you a shot.""For what disease?""It doesn't matter, I don't know; shut up and roll up your sleeves."
Upon announcing the county's latest SAT performance, MCPS cannot help but gloat. Montgomery's results are "the highest in Maryland," brags an Aug 27 press release. A "record-setting" participation rate is outshined only by "highest-ever" math scores.But the facts, minus MCPS' thick layer of sugarcoating, reveal an appalling problem.
I went into a restaurant the other day. There was a wait for a nonsmoking table. Naturally, I asked, "Do you have anything in smoking?" They did. And I'm thinking about the choice I've made. Which is this: "Forget the risk of my hastened demise, I'm kind of hungry. My slight hunger far outweighs my aversion to this fuming death camp, which I nevertheless could avoid by waiting five minutes, which I refuse to do."
Every year when I was young, my family would take the obligatory beach vacation. I remember the drive to the beach taking longer and longer as a result of my parents taking more and more stops to the bathroom. When we started, the drive took two hours. Six years later, same traffic, same car, same driver—five hours. I can explain this phenomenon with the simple rule: For every candle on the cake, that's one more bathroom break.
Superintendent Jerry Weast unveiled his budget for next year at Blair on Dec 12 amid fears that a budget shortfall could necessitate a reduction in funding for Blair's Magnet program among other substantial cutbacks.
Two members of the Montgomery County Board of Education (BOE) spent MCPS money for meals they did not document as Board-related, according to a former BOE Citizens Budget Review subcommittee chairman, who called on the seven-member Board to use expense forms as cited in the BOE Operations Handbook.
The key question I've long pondered is this: Are criminals careful to use proper manners during prison meals? You've already killed someone, violating society's biggest rule, so I assume you just abandon all the smaller ones. I don't know; that's why I've been pondering it. I'm sure I'm completely wrong. I'm sure they all sit down for supper:
Superintendent Jerry Weast unveiled his budget for next year at Blair on Dec 12 amid fears that a budget shortfall could necessitate a reduction in funding for Blair's Magnet program among other significant cutbacks.
Blair's administration distributed photographs of gang graffiti to teachers in early October and asked them to be "on the lookout” for similar symbols drawn on students' papers and belongings, according to Principal Phillip Gainous, who said gang activity in Blair remains prevalent after reemerging last year.
Dinnertime the other night, I'm eating, the phone rings. I arise in mid-spaghetti-slurp, disrupting my valuable family time, if "valuable family time" is defined as my parents steadily talking and me steadily turning up the volume to The Simpsons. I pick up, and who could it be on the other end but a telemarketer from the phone company. A telemarketer. Let me tell you what I think of telemarketers.I love them.
Blair will establish five career academies designed to provide "extra direction and focus” to all incoming classes beginning with current freshmen, according to Academy Coordinator Susan Ragan. But the plan, to phase in over the next two years with the Downcounty Consortium, comes amid concerns that academies will fail to relieve Blair's overcrowding.
At long last, I have procured my driver's license. This came as somewhat of a surprise to me given my adherence to the three-step method of parallel parking, in which I hit the car to my rear, smash the van to my front and speed off searching for another space.
When the CAP and Magnet programs began several years ago, we found reporters were interviewing a disproportionate number of CAP and Magnet students. Therefore, we placed a 25 percent quota of CAP and Magnet sources in most stories, proportional to Blair's population. Our policy keeps such students represented accurately. In this issue, for example, approximately 20 percent of sources are in CAP or Magnet; we have neither overused nor overlooked segments of Blair's diverse population.
Blair may eventually adopt an extended school day in which the school would remain open for about 14 hours and students could choose which hours they attend, according to Principal Phillip Gainous. Movement toward the extended day is "likely," said Gainous, to begin next year with a school day lengthened by one period and with regular instructional classes offered on Saturdays and during the summer.
The flags dotting Blazer backpacks typify most Americans' warranted response of united patriotism to the Sept 11 tragedies. But now, as bombs strike Afghanistan and as the possibility looms of attacking additional nations, overwhelming solidarity must not expand into a climate in which citizens, politicians and the media are afraid to question the government and argue against its policies. Service to this free country is best performed by open and unapologetic debate, not unbridled nationalism.