Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I'll preface this by saying I'm not perfect. I've let my share of typos and grammatical errors slide here on this blog and at work.

Here's the latest gem from a take-home from school:


And the story problem on Chunky's homework yesterday:

Cal and Todd have 10 frogs. They want to to race them at the county fair. Call has 6 frogs to race. How many frogs does Todd have?

This was a story problem straight from a textbook. Yikes. Apparently they don't have carreer spellcheckers working at the textbook publishing company.

My crankiness isn't helped by Dr. Mad Scientist being stuck in limbo while he waits for the Power That Is at his university to place him into a classroom so he can complete his fieldwork this semester.

He's in this urban education program where they're out to change the world with these kids.

But guess what? If you don't have the support staff to help you create and maintain the liaisons between the schools and the teaching students, that world isn't going to change.

The Power That Is and others in the program claim the experience of having to wait to be placed is "good practice to get you used to the bureaucracy that comes with teaching."

Hm. Really?

Would it really kill you to take that 5 million dollar grant from the Insurance Company sponsoring this urban education program and hire at least a piddly administrative worker to act as the liaison to the schools you place teachers in?

Yes, I realize it's cheaper to rely on the schools to have a person to do that, but you yourselves are teaching these teachers-to-be that these schools are strapped for resources. Why would you expect them to be the ones to take on a majority of the responsiblity of placing the teachers-to-be in the classroom?

Right now the school they want to place Dr. Mad Scientist in had their liaison retire. Apparently POOF! all the knowledge of her job and what she did went with her when she retired.

Now, if you had a liaison at the school, at least 50% of the knowledge in placing teaching students in the classrooms would still exist. Not to mention that's one more job created in this shithole of an economy that's allegedly on the rebound.

As it stands, both the administrators at the school in question and the Power That Is at the university are sitting around with their thumbs up their asses trying to figure out between the two of them how to remove said thumbs.

Who knows how long that is going to take.

I didn't want to be a secretary growing up as a child. I certainly had bigger, loftier and more expensively educated goals than that.

And I'm certainly not as important as say a ditch digger, but there is a reason that support staff is called support staff. Without them, you've got a puddle of misspelled "bureaucracy."

Ok, rant over.

If you've made it this far enjoy a couple of pictures of my little baker in training.



I love that he's wearing his Stud Puffin shirt in this picture. My little Mooch Muffin Stud Puffin!

Labels: , , ,


Anonymous Marie Grace said...

He's gett'in big!

I totally remember the "I'd rather play with pans than toys" phase the kids went through when they were little. Cute but noisy :-)

8:23 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Secretary/transcriptionist with a degree in English here. I feel your pain with the typos. Sheesh!

As for the teacher-in-training placement, I hope the school didn't decide not to replace the liaison when she retired. In this economy, some jobs are just going away when people retire. At least, that's what happened here.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

He is getting so big! I hope DMS gets it all worked out!!

Typos drive me NUTS!!

9:20 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Good experience to deal with the bureaucracy (hope I spelled that right!) that comes with teaching - funny!

I understand about the lofty goals, believe me. I spent 10 years working on a bachelor's degree, and am working as a glorified secretary - sigh... But I won't complain. It's far better than being a $10 an hour government temp was!

You can spend a fortune on expensive toys and gadgets, and kids will still end up going for the cardboard box, or the pots and pans, or laundry basket. It's some kind of unwritten rule of childhood.

I hope Dr M.S. gets his placement soon.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Rebel said...

I do hope you're editing these flyers with red pen and sending them back to the schools. It's called 'spell-check' people. Click the button and watch the magic happen!

RE: the power that is... admin staff are notoriously underappreciated. It's never until they leave that people actually start noticing all the work that has to be done to keep the office running smoothly.

"What? The copier *doesn't* fill itself with paper?" "You actually have to *pay* bills?" "We report to outside agencies???"

1:23 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

I hope Dr. Mad Scientist gets some good news soon. And your little one is, as usual, adorable.

6:19 AM  
Blogger Diddy said...

I work as a legal assistant. We have a policy to be very nice to all other legal secretaries we deal with as well as all court clerks and judicial assistants. These are the people who can do stuff for you. These people keep everything going. You never want to piss off the people who answer the phones. We have a local newspaper with zero editors. The worst spelling and usage errors I've ever seen.

7:36 AM  
Blogger Cindy in Happy Valley said...

My question is,if you were the school, and noticed the glaring error (and SOMEONE HAD TO), would you send it home at all?

I mean seriously. What ARE they thinking?

Why don't you send it back corrected in RED ink!

7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH! I want to be Healthly!!! Can I? Can I?

As for waiting for DrMS to get a school...hang in there. Sometimes the wheels grind slowy. (I know it should be slowly...I was making a haha!)

I use to have a cupboard that I let you kids play in it had all the paper bags from shopping in it. Yes, back then they didn't have plastic. Your nephew hopped into a box of newspapers and said "Look I am in a newspaper hottub!"
Love, Mom

8:08 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

That is one of my biggest pet peeves. Our school district is a very good one, but every year my high schooler comes home with a class catalog for registration with some godawful errors--errors of the spellcheck variety! Don't even need an eagle-eyed proofreader! Gahhhh...

8:16 AM  
Blogger knottygnome said...

well i'd rather raise a healthly child than a sicky one.

i can't comment on the bureaucracy. i'll just start ranting incoherently. there are reasons i want to live on a farm away from everyone else.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Coco, not as in Chanel :) said...

I cannot believe the NJ school system or publishing companies. There appears to be an abnormal amount of jack ups in your neck of the woods.

And I hope that your husband gets assigned to a school soon!

8:54 AM  
Blogger Tactless Wonder said...

Must have been the same person who made the last flyer...

I'm guessing DR MS's probable school is a Title VII school, and it's the T-7 coordinator that's retired...If so, they are required, per their grant, to have someone in that position.

However, back in my day? I bare all for you here...I did my training at Stanford U. They had a placement coordinator there as they were working with um, NON T-7/needy schools who had NO ONE except maybe the department head or the VP who might talk to you, maybe.

I was in the same limbo and the solution, should I not be placed immediately, was that I'd have to teach for free come the end of the program before getting my credential...Right.

So, DR MS? Go to the school directly and find out who else has any connection whatsoever with placing student teachers...even the principal (VP might be better) and get connected to one of the teachers who would be super happy to have a student teacher, ingratiate yourself and get those hours in...the paperwork can come in later. It's what I did, seeing as teaching for free wasn't going to cut it as my loan repayment schedule would have kept me from, oh I dunno, eating.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Linnea said...

Timely post, and I agree with you completely. I'd add, too, that even if you do have support staff in place, without proper training they're as good as - well, something that probably isn't very useful. And, the Mad Scientist learning to get used to the inefficiencies of the system is not only a band-aid over the wound, it's a sorry excuse to avoid fixing things. Like telling a soldier that he should stop complaining about a 12-hour shift he has to work with a skeleton crew because "things could be worse" for him.

Nerve. Hit. Sorry.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Crafty Christina said...

Hoo needz speeling enyway? ;)~

The whole Dr. MS in limbo thing would be driving me crazy too. Hopefully they place him before too long.

Such a cute Moochie!

6:47 PM  
Blogger DPUTiger said...

You should send Chunky's homework back corrected. the questions, that is. Not his answers!

That sucks about Dr. Mad Scientist. Hope things get figured out soon!

11:11 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I'm constantly appalled at the errors that come home in class newsletter kinds of stuff from my kids' schools. Well, mostly stuff the reading (!) teacher sent home last year when my younger guy was in second grade. And these were not occasional lapses in attentiveness (which I readily forgive in some situations) but consistent, um, interesting choices in spelling and punctuation. And she was supposed to be teaching my kid this stuff!

My older son's middle school math books often had typos, too. I don't recall ever getting a text book with a typo, but it seems pretty routine these days. I don't know if they rush to get stuff in print and skimp on technical editing, or what, but it can really complicate things.

I'm sending a good thought for Dr. MS to get a speedy placement. And a suitable one, too. The world needs more good science teachers!

10:41 AM  
Anonymous sarah said...

Teachers who have to deal with excessive red tape can't get down to the task of teaching.
Maybe Moochie will be a famous baker one day :-)

11:51 AM  
Blogger weezalana said...

The ongoing spelling errors in pieces produced by this school is starting to get comical! But I'm a little alarmed that this piece in particular, on how to raise a healthy child, features the image of one who look like she smeared her hands in blood... (Or maybe I should just stop watching crappy creature horror movies on SyFy. :P)

1:46 PM  
Blogger SiressYorkie said...

Our school newsletter has a lot of grammar errors as well, but I chalk it up to being produced by a non-English speaker, as people in that school come from all over the world.

The errors are amusing, however. I just keep my snickering to myself.

I bet Mooch was thinking, Hm. These pans usually have something yummy in them. They don't now. Perhaps if I continue to stare beseechingly something will appear...must not break eye contact...

12:13 AM  
Blogger Kathy Kathy Kathy said...

I work in a public school. I am so stretched at my job and I keep getting more tasks added. It can be overwhelming. We have to do more and more and more all the time, including studying ourselves. I liked it better when universities did that. So far all we've seen of the stimulus funds is more money for professional development of new "positions" that pays for the meetings, the people who run the department, and the substitute to cover your classroom, but it doesn't pay you in time or money to take on the role, except you have to do it and make other people do things that they don't have time to do either. THe latest is that I am now the Instructional Technology Leader! I've been asking for a secretary for years, also new window shades. Bless you for understanding that the school shouldn't be in charge of placing the Mad Scientist and his colleagues, at least at that level. I totally appreciate what a good secretary does. Having been a mediocre to crappy secretary, I know what I'm talking about. We are lucky to have the wonderful secretaries in our office. I will now take some deep cleansing breaths. I hope Mr. Dr. gets an excellent placement and has a wonderful experience.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

Hey, are those silicone baking sheets? Do you like them? Are they weird?

11:51 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home