August Letters: Elections and schools reopening, what could go wrong?
Letters to Jim: August, 2020
Summer is unfolding, the virus is still with us, and our president appears to be on the ropes as we head closer to the November election. It’s also a new month and I have selected some fan mail to share with you. Please be safe and read this with your mask on; pants are optional.
We are now less than 100 days from the election and the polls are not looking good for the president. Should I begin making plans to attend Biden’s inauguration next January or will Trump pull off a victory in November?
A Biden 2020 Supporter
I would not be making any plans just yet. First, the polls were wrong in 2016 and may well end up missing something. For instance, they do not consider the voter suppression that will go on, the kind that kept Democrats from being able to vote in Georgia’s primary this past spring. It also does not consider the use of federal troops to create violence and mayhem in heavily Democratic districts.
Polls also do not consider Trump the person so they forget he may not even accept the election results. Then again, that is assuming he goes through with the election and does not try to call it off.
Finally, even if Biden wins and Trump accepts the results, why would you want to fly to DC and stay in a hotel in the dead of winter while a pandemic plays out?
As a retired teacher, do you feel schools should open or remain closed for the coming school year?
Thanks. A Concerned Parent
Dear Concerned Parent,
It all comes down to how you view our public schools. If you see them as a place where children learn the necessary skills to grow up and become successful adults, you have every reason to be concerned. Kids can’t be socially distanced. Even if you think this virus is not a threat to them, too many school staff are at high risk. Plus, most teachers have already used up all their sick days and had plans for using this year’s for extra three day weekends.
Another factor most parents are not aware of is one of the most important tests teachers rely on to determine a child’s intelligence is observing which ones are mouth breathers. How do teachers identify these kids if their faces are covered with a mask?
Now, if you are one of those parents who see our schools as glorified daycare centers then you are in favor of them reopening. You can go back to dropping your kid off at school at the crack of dawn, letting them dine on a nutritious breakfast of fake scrambled eggs, orange juice, and an apple, before Junior leaves campus and heads to the 7/11 down the street with his pals. If a deranged killer has not shot up his school in the morning, he will be fed a lunch containing a vegan burrito, air baked fries, another apple, and a tiny carton of milk, all of which will be thrown at students as they pass by.
His afternoons will be spent supervised by a college student who bribes him with candy just to get him to look as if he is doing his homework. Moms and dads can then pick up their wonder kid on their way home from work and swing by their favorite fast food joint before calling it a day.
All I know is I am retired and am glad I am not having to deal with this fiasco.
What are your thoughts now that pro sports have begun? Do you still think it is a mistake and it is just a matter of time before seasons are cancelled or will these leagues be able to salvage their seasons?
Thanks. A Sports Fan
Dear Sports Fan,
I am still skeptical about professional leagues being able to offer fans a semblance of an actual season filled with quality play that is not interrupted by this virus. Baseball is already seeing an outbreak with some teams. If teams think they can pull off traveling to and from cities experiencing outbreaks without players and coaches getting sick, then they already suffer from brain damage from the virus.
However, what I do like is we will be given some great new excuses as to why a player tested positive or why he must be quarantined for leaving a league’s bubble. I’d much rather read about a player claiming he ended up in a strip club to pick up food to go while returning from a funeral than why he tested positive for a banned substance.
Every team in every sport will be hit by this virus if they try to play out a season in which games are played in empty stadiums. But hey, more power to them if they can pull it off. Just don’t count on me following any league for the time being.
Is it a good idea for the GOP to add the funds for a new FBI building as part of a new relief package? It seems a bit excessive to me.
Thanks. A Concerned Taxpayer
There is no doubt it is an excessive request and a classic example of Pork. It seems a better idea would be for the FBI to take over one of Trump’s failed properties instead of building a new facility. All a new FBI building will do is see the contract awarded to a Trump crony and then fall apart when the first gust of wind hits it, like what happened recently to his wall.
I am beginning college soon and am worried about whether my papers I write will be read by my professors. I have heard stories where they can’t be bothered to read them, and they just hand them to TA’s to grade. As an educator and a writer, have you any tips that will ensure what I write is read by my professors?
Thanks. A College Freshman
Yes, I have a solution to this problem. I saw it play out when I was a college student in the early 80’s and I see nothing about our culture that has changed that would prevent your papers from being read by your professors. The answer is pornography.
You see, when I was a college student, my roommate Walter had a huge interest in pornography. However, unlike most males who enjoyed Playboy or Penthouse“for the articles,” Walter was fascinated by the industry as a whole and saw it as a gold mine. In 1980, he predicted the massive growth of pornography in our culture.
As a result, Walter always made sure to write about porn in every paper. The title of his papers made mention of it, which automatically grabbed the professor’s attention. By writing about the topic, whether it was for an econ, science, history, or math class, Walter assured himself his paper would be read by his professor and his work would be remembered.
You can play it safe and write about all the other topics that every student thinks they have a fresh perspective on, or you can be bold and write about pornography every chance you get and know your paper will stand out among all the others in a stack no professor has interest in reading.
Until next month, stay safe, sane, and healthy. Celebrate the cancelation of the GOP convention, wear body armor when exercising your first amendment rights to peacefully assemble and lather up with hydroxychloroquine when out in the sun.
Jim is a life long resident of California and retired school teacher with 30 years in public education. Jim earned his BA in History from CSU Chico in 1981 and his MA in Education from Azusa Pacific University in 1994. He is also the author of Teaching The Teacher: Lessons Learned From Teaching. Jim considers himself an equal opportunity pain in the ass to any political party, group, or individual who looks to profit off of hypocrisy. When he is not pointing out the conflicting words and actions of our leaders, the NFL commissioner, or humans in general, he can be found riding his bike for hours on end while pondering his next article. Jim recently moved to Camarillo, CA after being convinced to join the witness protection program.