Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Human Race: Now Filter Free!

Last week was an interesting one as far as work was concerned. School was cancelled on Monday even though there was barely any snow or ice on the ground. Nobody knew what was going on, but whatever. And then Wednesday rolled around. Wednesday featured snow, ice, slippery roadways...and school. Buses were late, kids spent the entire day asking and complaining about the weather and in some cases they refused to work because they didn't want to be there.

I had the school district's Facebook page open on my computer in case there was an announcement about school getting out early or something. Lots of people are fans of the school district page--parents, students, teachers, etc. The comments from parents and students (mainly parents) were insane. These people were beyond mad! I certainly don't blame them for being upset, I had a tricky time getting to school that morning, too. Some of the comments seemed as though the people were out for blood. They wanted the superintendent's head on a platter or something. Finally, the person who runs the page had to point out that school district employees are human beings who can make mistakes. It was a mess. I determined that I want to avoid pissing off the parents of the students I teach.

It didn't matter. People wanted him to get fired. There was a televised announcement about the incident at lunchtime and from what I've heard, every story on the news that night was about our county not cancelling school. The non-snow day is not the real reason I'm writing this post. As I read through the hundreds of comments on the Facebook page, it became apparent that people have no qualms about voicing whatever is on their minds.

There used to be a mental filter in our brains that said, "Hey, I might feel this way but I need to be more diplomatic about voicing those feelings." Not any more. At the risk of sounding like some researcher observing the effects of technology on people, I think a huge issue is the internet. Anybody can read a story, blog, joke, etc. online and leave a comment about it. I have previously mentioned that reading comments on news stories and YouTube videos is always amusing for me because people have strong feelings about everything. The story could be about peas being some sort of super food and the comments would probably include things like: "F*** peas and everyone who eats them," "peas are a government conspiracy," "everyone is a moron except me!" I don't like peas, but at the same time I don't feel like wasting a significant portion of my life announcing that to the world. I've also noticed that there is almost always at least one comment in which the person accuses someone else on the comment board of being a Nazi. I don't know why--maybe these people have no idea of what the Nazis actually did. Sidenote, the other great thing about online comments is when the same people log in to see if anyone has commented on their particular comment and then they get in an argument on the comment board.

The internet allows us to unleash some hard core rage against people without having to look them in the eye. In plenty of cases, we don't even have to know the person to go all mental on them. It's a little disturbing if you ask me. Just something to think about...if you disagree, feel free to leave an intense comment.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Can You Handle It, Seaside Heights?

I'm proud to say that a decent portion of my snow day yesterday was spent catching up on this season of Jersey Shore. My students will be happy because they've been wanting to talk about the show for a few weeks but I hadn't had a chance to watch a single episode.

 For season 3, the gang has returned to Seaside Heights, New Jersey--my personal theory is that no city can handle the cast of the Jersey Shore for two consecutive seasons. They're in the same house and working at the same t-shirt shop. What's weird is that with the popularity of the show, a whole bunch of the t-shirts in the shop are Jersey Shore themed. So you could be buying your "I Heart Snooki" shirt from Snooki herself. I did watch Ronnie sell someone a shirt that said, "Don't Fall in Love at the Jersey Shore," which was supposed to be his motto in season one until the Succubus that is Sammi Sweetheart took him hostage.

I am disappointed to say that Amy Jo is being a big quitter and has elected not to watch season 3 with me. I'll admit, I was nervous that the return to Seaside Heights would not be as entertaining...but so far I have been proven wrong. Amy Jo was confused as to how they could already be on season 3 when the show just started last summer. I explained that with the way these people treat their livers, MTV doesn't have time to follow the traditional television series timeline of one season per year. Instead, they move the guidos and guidettes around to a different warm climate in every season of the year and just keep filming.

Allow me to catch you up on what's happened thus far:
  • The very first episode included a fist fight between Sammi and JWoww. I'm not joking, they'd been at the house for all of 6 hours and a fight broke out. That has to be some sort of record.
  • Sammi and Ronnie are still together, fighting all the time and isolating themselves from the group. Did I mention that they were the first to arrive to the house and decided to comandeer the upstairs bedroom with 3 beds? WTF? So now Situation has to share a room with the happy couple.
  • Sadly, Angelina couldn't return this time...wait, is sadly the word I want here? Oh no, I meant THANK GOD. Anyway, she's probably too busy with her rap career. That's right, I said rap career. She has a rap song called I'm Hot (I'm not OK with the title being a lie). If you haven't listened to it and/or read the lyrics, get on it. It will make you laugh and weep for humanity all at the same time.
  • So, to keep the guy:girl ratio even, we needed a new guidette. Enter Snooki's friend Deena. So far she doesn't bother me. A self-named "Holiday in a Glass" she's a lot like Snooki, but she lacks that certain je ne sais Snook or as Amy Jo puts it, "The Snook Factor". I like Snooki better. Possibly because her name is Snooki.
  • Snooki gets arrested for Public Intoxication on the beach.
  • JWoww and Tom break up. Then JWoww and Snooki have to drive to JWoww's house and save her dogs and discover that Tom has stolen some of her stuff.
  • Deena hooks up with a guy that looks EXACTLY like Ronnie. And Ronnie knows him. Maybe he's Ronnie's stunt double.
I'm looking forward to the rest of the season. Based on the preview clips I've seen the most exciting thing is yet to come: Sammi Sweetheart leaves (3 seasons overdue if you ask me).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Skullduggery

While my brother was studying for the GRE, he was learning all sorts of new vocabulary words. He mentioned that the first time he took the test the word "skullduggery" was on it. I'd never heard that word before, and neither had he. He looked it up when he got home.

I have a hard time understanding why the GRE people think that this word is important enough for potential grad school students to know. However, it's pretty obvious that the word is awesome. So I'm going to try and make it mainstream. I've already used it several times, which PS is really hard.

I don't really have anything else to say about skullduggery, I just think it's a weird word.