why you should never be a teacher

Me, teaching. Hi.

I just read this post entitled “10 Tough Things About Being a Teacher“. It’s an accurate set of genuinely tough things, no doubt. It also has a glib, “hang-in-there-kitty” final conclusion that precisely describes the line of thinking that drove me out of teaching for good.

This last year, I worked as a public high school teacher teaching various classes in computer science, and I lasted for a whopping half a year. I started fully motivated, and ended up incredibly depressed. The money was dismal, and the conditions demoralizing and obscene. The technology was outdated and poorly maintained. I couldn’t take it. I fled mid-year to a job in the private sector where the workload is less, and the pay far better. I miss the kids, but I couldn’t justify living a personally miserable life for the tangential benefit of a couple hundred students.

I suspect these conditions will continue until teachers stop publicly extolling how virtuous and soulful it is to work under these shameful conditions and how this proves that “it’s not about the money”; as if there’s something wrong with taking a job for money just because children are involved. No one ever says they haul trash for the inherent love of trash, so why are teachers expected to teach for the love of teaching? More importantly, why do teachers repeat this fallacy in robotic unison?

The teachers’ unions that promote these mediocrities need to be burned to the fucking ground. They have traded every benefit a teacher could possibly hope for in exchange for the elusive promise of tenure, thus assuring their members a long, painful slog of a career with an enthusiasm trajectory inherently trending downward. In our current public school system, there is no reason any reasonably intelligent person would want to be a teacher, and until conditions improve, it is a career path to be shunned and avoided.


how to mail letters for free

Who needs the “Forever” stamp when you’ve got this handy tip:

  1. Write the name of the person you want the letter to go to in the return address, where you’d normally put your address.
  2. Write your address front and center, where you’d normally put the recipient’s address.
  3. Casually “forget” the stamp.
  4. Your letter will be “returned” to the recipient and you, my friend, will have 42 additional cents in your pocket. Go nuts!


NOTE: as pointed out (so obnoxiously) in the comments, this is only likely to work if you live in the same state as the recipient.

ALSO NOTE: this is probably illegal.

the fainting goat

fainting goat

Back when I was in college, there was a “certain kind” of video all the guys in my apartment used to watch. I think you probably know the kind of video I’m talking about: fainting goat videos. This specifically is the QuickTime movie that used to send us all into helpless paroxysms of glee. OK, it still does.

However, in my search for the original fainting goat movie, I have come across this video, which examines the fainting goat phenomenon quite comprehensively and I suspect will be known to future generations as the ‘Citizen Kane’ of fainting goat movies.

Enjoy — and keep in mind, while no goats were harmed in the making of these films, mind your umbrellas all the same.


i was asking for it, really.


A couple of days after my post about using disposable credit card numbers to avoid fraud, I got a call from Citi Bank saying that my debit card number had been compromised. The call was out of the blue which was weird, but she didn’t ask for any identifying information. She just started listing off charges I had made on my account, asking if they were legit. They all were, and she said they would be deactivating my card anyway and would send me a new one. She wouldn’t tell me why they thought it was at risk, stating that the security department had reason to believe it was the case. She transferred me over to the debit department to get a replacement card sent out, but my cell phone dropped the call while I was on hold. She called me back and told me it would be a long wait before someone would pick up. She offered me a phone number to call instead, and I took it.

I called them, and while I was on hold, I looked over citi.com in search of a listing of that number. I couldn’t find one. When the guy finally answered, he asked for my card number or account number. I pointed out that I really had no idea who he was, and how could he prove he worked for Citi Bank. He agreed, and pointed me to the customer service number listed on the website. I called them back, and everything was legit. How do I know it was legit? The person who answered was in India. Proof positive, buddy. Anyway, they are sending me a card, leaving me without any access to cash or any idea how this got started in the first place.

remove cattle from stage

Like a dirigible.

A few years ago, L-Dopans Jon, Jeff and I went to see the world premiere of the Ballet Mechanique in Lowell Mass. It was a particularly Modern piece of music, interesting and intellectual, and honestly no worse than anything composed by the archvillain of music composers, Karlheinz Stockhausen.

I suspect that these scores aren’t much better in implementation, but they sure are fun to look at.

(Thanks to the eversoawesome Music Thing)