Friday, January 29, 2010

Laughter in the Ninth Circle

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," deep in the heart of Suck City without a GPS! I'm your driver, Anne Johnson. What's your destination? Never heard of it.

Wednesday was the kind of day when my sense of humor got stretched until it snapped. But luckily it snapped on the right person -- Mr. Bigwand.

I had a long day of teaching and then had to go straight to night school. Where I sat through a 90 minute lecture on Bloom's Taxonomy, which is the first thing teachers learn on the first day of orientation before the first day of school. There's nothing quite like being exhausted and yet having to act interested in learning something you already know.

But the best was yet to come.

This term we are all expected to teach a 15-minute lesson, complete with lesson plan.  You know what's hard? Try teaching something in 15 minutes. Bigwand sure as hell can't do it.

So, after enduring 90 minutes of training I've already had, I prepared to listen to had four presenters scheduled to give 15 minute lessons. That's an hour right there, before even adding the post-lesson critique.

The first dude gave a PowerPoint presentation about the peripheral nervous system. Fairly simple science, a few vocabulary words. More than 15 minutes. Two days later I can't tell you anything about it.

We critiqued that puppy, with no one being impolite enough to say that it was boring as dirt. Then the next presenter stood to give her 15-minute lesson.

Her lesson required that we arrange all the chairs in a small Catholic school classroom into a circle. This alone took five minutes.

The lady put on Celtic music, littered the floor with paperbacks with titles like "Christ of the Celts," lit a nauseating Yankee Candle, and placed it on the floor in the center of the room. Then she turned out the lights and asked us to meditate on the nature of humanity.

This meditation was a short respite. The lady announced that she was going to explain the tenets of Celtic Christianity to us. First, we needed to share with a partner what we thought made human beings special.

I turned to the fellow student to the right of me, a nice Hispanic lady who teaches fourth grade. I said, "Can I take a pass on this? I don't like the direction this lesson is headed already."

The Hispanic teacher said, "I'm a born again Christian, so I'm not sure I'm going to like this either." Then the fumes of the candle made her sick, and she had to run from the room.

Our presenter gave a less-than-brief introduction to Celtic Christianity, light on details and heavy on how great it is. Then she said, "I became a Celtic Christian when my daughter was born. I couldn't believe that an innocent baby could have original sin. I had to get out of a religion that loaded me with Catholic guilt."

Readers, more than half the teachers in this night school class are working at parochial schools. To put it succinctly, they are practicing Roman Catholics. And they were pretty blunt in their criticism of the Celtic Christianity lesson. I don't blame them. It wasn't a lesson, it was a polemic ... offered to an audience guaranteed to be hostile to its message. Heck, I didn't even have to mention the bored gods! I let the rest of the people gripe for me!

When all was said and done, the lady's presentation and subsequent critique from the audience took FORTY MINUTES.

Bigwand adjourned the class, declaring that the other two presenters -- who were all ready to do their lessons -- would have to wait a week.

As we shuffled toward the door in exhaustion (and in some cases high dudgeon), I was near Bigwand. He said, "My goodness! This time just flies by, doesn't it?"

Could not help myself. I looked him in the eye and asked, "What did you DO all day?"

Defensively he responded, "I supervised student teachers."

I just turned and fled.

Yesterday I wrote Bigwand an email and apologized. I can offend him anonymously on here, but it's not good form to alienate your night school professor.

What could that presenter have been thinking to insult the Catholic Church and present a Jesus who bears no resemblance to the one in the Bible ... to a room full of Catholic teachers?

A lesson on foster kitten care is looking better and better all the time.


Anonymous said...

The speaker's Jesus also bears no resemblance to the one in actual Celtic Christianity. Rodger Cunningham

Anonymous said...

Hey, I *like* Yankee Candles. Well some of them.


I feel your pain.

Rick Loftus, M.D. said...

Looking at the tenets of Celtic Christianity, seems like it treats LGBT folks the same as many Christian churches do: Like subhumans. Poor Jesus, they really make Him look bad sometimes....

Green Monk said...

This post was great. As a teacher myself I just cringe when I hear Blooms Taxonomy...I mean it is a great, but yes we have had it drilled into us from day one.

THE Michael said...

And WHY did ANYbody have to sit thru religious prostelization as part of a PUBLIC school function? Why did Bigwands not shut this down before it even started? Seems to me her presentation was not even LEGAL!

harmonyfb said...

Holy hell. ::buys you a nice, stiff drink::

Anonymous said...

gay as bro