Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Chalk. And Other Politics.

So I've been hearing some good things about this new film, Chalk, opening up this weekend. It's an independent -- the kind I generally go for -- and it's getting great reviews by those in the know.

Follows the lives of first-year teachers in public education. It's a film, but done in a documentary style, ala the fabulous Best In Show. Did you know that half of all first-year teachers in public education quit teaching within three years? Somehow, the idealism of the the job gets tainted by the reality of teaching for test scores, administration, and children with unique behaviors (a term I learned from one of my former students who teaches children with unique -- aka unruly -- behaviors).

Chalk, apparently, aims to show the highs and lows of public education from a teacher's perspective. And a plus... if you go with an educator, you get two-for-one admission during opening weekend! At least that's the rumor I heard. Check it out.

Politics. So funny how you can pick up on people's agendas. I was recently in a meeting, and someone's name kept coming up -- people criticizing their work, complaining about their alleged money management problems, disorganization, etc... This is a person of color they were criticizing, so of course internally I'm not feeling the direction of the conversation. But wanting to keep the conversation from turning on me I kept quiet. How do you handle the delicate nature of politics within your places of interest?

Finally. Politics. Please check on your voter registration status, make sure you're on your city/county rolls, and that you haven't been moved. Google: check voter registration status, and then find your state or city.

Yeah, I know the U.S. Presidential election is over a year away. But I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a scholar in African American Studies and one from Political Science, who both maintain that the recent U.S. Department of Justice scandal (Alberto Gonzales firing federal judges) is about our Republican buddies trying to find replacement judges who will support their statewide efforts to throw likely Democratic voters off the rolls -- i.e. black, Latino, women, and people who have been incarcerated. Because as we've seen in 2000 and 2004, if you know you can't win... you gotta cheat.

Anyway, hope it's a good Thursday for you. L.A. is on fire, less than 10 miles from my house, but all is good still. Just staying out the ash-filled air.

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