Day 137 Monday, February 15, 2010: Another Brick in the Wall Pt 2


This is Monday, February 15, 2010 and Day 137 of my time left at the Mont. In “Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 1” (hey,  I’m entitled—there were three  parts to “Another Brick in the Wall” and yes, to the non-Social Studies part of the Mont faculty, I played Part II during the department meeting as our soundtrack in December AFTER the infamous Cortines Speech—always thought Life ought to have a soundtrack…) we examined the idea of walls and fences throughout history, with discussion of a couple of famous walls and Fremont’s own “RIF-proof fence” which will miraculously save teachers and staff from receiving the nasty pink slips which a bunch of classified received in December (see the L.A. Times for Sunday, St. Valentine’s Day—could we call this the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 2010? Just an idea, eh?).


No barrier will keep out an idea—or the truth.


The word has been put out that “anybody stupid enough not to reapply will be sent to…” a particular middle school which won’t be named (along with “they want to keep 70% of us—they only want to get rid of the bad teachers”—the Fifty?); there’s a certain bit of humor in this (okay, I see it as humorous in a twisted sort of way), as so far there are approximately 120 out of something like 240 faculty who have signed The Pledge not to reapply, so loading 120 of us onto the symbolic train bound for the gulag (now you know why I fixate on gulags) the district will make of this middle school doesn’t quite work, especially when you consider that the school in question is reconfiguring from 6/7/8 to 7/8, requiring an even smaller staff…


The word is out that if we fail to reapply, we face the danger of being RIFfed (sorry, I never am quite sure how to spell that). A couple of problems with this, one of which I’ve discussed (district seniority). But here’s an important one: it looks real good that there will be NO RIFs for secondary teachers, according to Mat.


He writes: “Perhaps as many as two thousand elementary teachers are on the list, however, even with the shortened school year proposed but not yet negotiated or voted on.  Still what this means for Fremont is one key administration ploy is dead!”  I‘ll take the liberty of translating Mat-isms into O-isms: administration reads as D7 (Dr. George McKenna III) or LAUSD (or Superintendent Cortines, on the BOD of Scholastic Books—ooh, was that in the times recently?), although some have already heard it a bit more locally, eh?


“Mister Worf, villains who twirl their mustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well camouflaged.”—Captain Picard to Worf, Star Trek TNG (“The Drumhead”)


So when someone comes to you, pulls you aside and tells you to reapply for your own good, for the economy and the odds are against you, sit back and enjoy the ride.


"This is what's wrong with you, Fraser. You see a problem and you have to fix it. You can't even go to the men's room without stopping to tell some simple stupid charmingly witty Inuit story that inspires people to take on the world's social ills." –Ray Vecchio, Due South (“An Eye For an Eye”)


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    Chuck Olynyk is a Social Studies teacher who saw the effects of reconstitution upon John C. Fremont High in Los Angeles. These are reposting of his original blogs from the Save Fremont website.


    August 2010



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