Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Back in my day

I guess this is one of those posts where I know I am getting old. I graduated high school in 1990 -- amazing enough to me as I remember the last day of school and graduation like it was yesterday. That was a distinct thought I had chaperoning the prom last week. I enjoy high school graduation, unlike most teachers, even though graduation is hot and long -- and coming up in two weeks. I think graduation is a great day in the students' lives and I enjoy their excitement.

I went to a middle class high school in New Jersey, a fairly wealthy state. The place where I grew up, a town called Sayreville, famous only for being Bon Jovi's boyhood home, did have, and as far as I know still has, a long history of not supporting the school system. In Asia they know Bon Jovi, but I gently nudge them toward Bruce Springsteen, much less known in Asia by the way.

In Sayreville, all the old people would vote against the school budget, as this was a Sayreville tradition, and their kids weren't in school and voting against school funding got them out of the house. In New Jersey voters must approve the school budget, and they all came from the Bruce Bateman School of Economics. Calling them out on it was the first public imbroglio I was involved in, and it started my general antipathy for the AARP. I was only seventeen at the time, which really irritated the blue haired voters. Little did I know that almost twenty years later I'd still be agitating for greater school funding against an equally intransigent force over here -- though obstinate for different reasons. It is a never ending fight Bonnie.

I actually ended up running for the school board as a high school senior and would have signed my own diploma if I had won. I got trounced largely because I was honest, attacking the old people for screwing the young kids, and that is why I decided to become a journalist, not a politician. Later I found out how silly a lot of journalism was and I was in the wilderness for a while.

This is from the Star Ledger archive 4-26-90, impossible to link directly to, and naturally called "School Budgets Fare Poorly in Middlesex County Vote."

"Sayreville had a somewhat unusual election this year, with two incumbents
knocked out of office and a teen-age candidate, who lost. Jeffrey Turbitt,
an 18-year-old senior at Sayreville War Memorial High School, did not pull
an upset but vowed he will return to the election ring in the future. 'In
four years I shall return,' Turbitt said. 'Definitely, I shall return.'
Turbitt said.

I wasn't MacArthur, I lied about returning as it "turns" out. None of this is my main point yet. In elementary school we would go on a class trip every year -- the Zoo, the Science Center in Philadelphia, a few Revolutionary War locales, NJ was key in that fight, the United Nations and one of the many New York museums. From seventh grade on, we didn't go anywhere. Zippo. Nothing.

Today, kids get to go all over the place -- even in a broke, won't fund education place like this. Now, a lot of the funding isn't public money, in fact probably most all of it is from fundraising. The funding comes from selling junk food that makes this place so diabetes stricken. This isn't unique to the CNMI. Fund raising via junk food was a staple then and now. Kids on island have gone to Cape Canaveral (Mt. Carmel I believe), Space Camp (SIS). Students here have gone to Guam and Korea on multiple occasions. The entire class from a Japanese high school visits here each year. The mock trial team makes it to various spots in the mainland. NHS has gone to Hawaii, Disneyworld and other locations. My son is going to the Wax Museum and World Resort tomorrow on a school trip. I don't begrudge them this at all, and I'm a firm supporter and believer in field trips. These kinds of activities rank high on Dale's Cone of Experience, a tool that ranks instructional methods. I'm just saying, back in my day we didn't get this kind of stuff.

God, I'm getting old already.

4 comments:

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Michael Moore ran and won a race as school board chairman while he was a Senior in high school. He ran because he hated his principal. The principal resigned after he won. That is one of the many reasons Michael Moore is my hero.

Jeffrey C. Turbitt said...

I love the fact that MM is the only liberal who gives as good as the Republicans. What the Dems did today on the war shows what wussies they are. The whole world is behind them doing something serious to put an end to this nightmare in Iraq, the only one against them is a lame duck, globally loathed S*** for brains with a 29 percent approval rating, and they bent over completely.

Jeffrey C. Turbitt said...

I used to be mad at the Nader voters for essentially electing Bush in 2000, but today's actions show they had a damn good point on the Dems.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

HI Jeff. sorry to post off topic again but the following will keep you in the loop (say "enough" if you get sick of it, please).

A couple of days ago, over on Angelo's blog I posted the following observation:



Bruce A. Bateman said...
I will add that so far, Dengre hasn't had the cajones to send me any of his comments, preferring I guess to play third party, behind-the-back word games.

I've got a dengre for him....right here. (:-))
Tuesday, May 22, 2007 8:47:00 PM



To which, to my surprise, he responded:

dengre said...
Wow

Bateman's brain cells are really fading. He really does not remember Wendy Doromal?

Amazing.

But then again, Doromal is a long-time a champion for the guest workers on the CNMI and as Bruce does not acknowledge the humanity of the majority population on the CNMI, it is not a surprise that he would attack or dismiss anybody who does.

Like all racists he is nice to the folks he sees as his equals. And like all racists he trades on that “niceness”. And because of that "niceness" he is enabled by folks who do not want to "rock the boat" even as they know the inequality and corruption on the CNMI must come to an end.

And Bruce, you wrote about Dhimal and his family in the Saipan Tribune. Did you have the "cajones" to go down to the Hospital and tell him his joke before you wrote it? Did you share your humor one on one with his Daughter? Did you take a moment to see how your way with words works one on one with members of the Nepalese guest worker community?

I betting you can’t look those folks in the eye. I am certain you can not see them as being your equal. Your cruelty hides your cowardice. How nice for you and the locals who think you brand of racism is “cute”.

If you want an email chat with me, then get in touch. Angelo has my email and it is over at Daily Kos.

And if you come to Washington, I’ll buy you a beer and ask you about your racist views face to face. And if I’m in Saipan I’ll be sure to drop in on aptly named Porky’s.

Cheers


Being the insensitive bastard that I am I sent him this response today:


Well Dungre, you can respond directly. It takes a fair prodding but you will come out from under your rock. Thanks.

You wouldn’t know a racist if he bit you on the ass. Like most bureaucratic apologists you confuse racism with, or just use the term to denigrate, anyone who disagrees with your government-as-nanny philosophy. There, I think, lies your real purpose. To try and impede the voice of one who opposes your federalist takeover agenda with every breath as the sickening evil thuggery it is. Why else would you care about my opinion regarding a local human torch?

Frankly, I find your racist accusation laughable, as do you probably. Is it racist to propose a job for this flammable fanatic? Is it racist to offer a real world solution that accommodates both parties? Is it racist to offer a golden Zippo instead of a parachute? (No, but it doesn’t rate very high on the liberal sensitivity scale either, so what).

As to facing the local Nepalese community (not anywhere near a “majority” here as you claim in your diatribe) you might note that I print an opinion column under my own name with a response capable email address attached. I’m in the phone book and I am most willing to listen. Thus far, other than you and the Wendy person above noted, there seem to be no complaints. If there are I’ll be sure to let you know.

So what about you? What the fuck is a Dungre? Where can you be found? While we’re at it, just what is your stake in things Saipanese? Is your favorite Senator not in on the dip? Why do you find it necessary to hide behind a nom de plume? Would we be surprised to learn your real identity? Would it make your CNMI bashing, rabidly pro big stick government, Staymanesque blogging a bit more transparent if we knew your real identity? I suspect that is the case.

Please do come by the aptly named Porky’s for a slice of bacon and a cold beer should you ever grace our isle with your august presence. However, as with all others of your ilk who so selflessly propose the use of other peoples stolen tax money to further your personal gratifications and agenda, you will be asked to pay in advance…so we can avoid being stiffed. Otherwise you will be welcomed and treated cordially; as long as you don’t set yourself on fire.

Regards,
Bruce


I hope there is no storage limit on these blogs as the above is pretty lengthy post.