Sunday, September 6, 2009

One Stop Shopping

The blog and its posse / mishpucha / peeps attended a Labor-Day-Weekend-BBQ on Saturday. The event was nice enough to provide material for all three aspects of the Blog.

Issue # 1 - The Fan

So we're at the BBQ for maybe 10 minutes, when I make my way with beer #1 to the deck where several of the other dads are hanging out. One is wearing a college football throw-back jersey - Archie Griffin from Ohio State. It's after 4 pm, and his team played a noon game versus Navy. Ohio State won the game despite some tense moments near the end. I say to the man "Ohio State had a tough time today," to which he responds incredulously "Well there goes that taped game ..." He looks at me, gets up and walks inside the house.

Are you kidding? He might as well wear a sign board that says "Hey world, don't talk to me about a football game that is already over. I want you to be a mind-reader and NOT talk to me about the football team / game whose jersey I happen to be wearing in public on the opening weekend of the college football season." By the way, that would be a really big sign board.

I did not and do not feel guilty in the slightest. Besides, if the game was that important, go to a sports bar, or follow it on your phone. Yutz.

Issue #2 - The food

Pretty good BBQ spread ... highlights included someone's homemade salsa. I did not get a taste, as many of the people sitting at the table monopolized the bowl and polished it off. I also had my first taste of "Shock Top" beer, an Anheiser-Busch product that tastes like a Blue Moon. Not too shabby.

I also had my first exposure to "spiked watermelon." The only alcoholic fruit I had sampled in the past came in a pitcher of sangria. I didn't stray from the beer to sample the wacky watermelon, but I thought it was worth a mention. Shrimp kabobs were tasty, as was the BBQ pork, hot off of the grill. Also delicious, but not homemade, was the nugget tray from Chick-Fil-A. Never disappoints.

Issue # 3 - Obama Drama

Since Friday afternoon, everyone who we have seen has said "You're teachers - what's your school doing about the Obama speech?"

This has become quite the fiasco. Most people I see and talk to (both educators and others) think that it's OK for a President to address kids about the importance of school. I tend to agree. Then again, while I am a cynic on many topics, I am not one on this. I don't believe that the speech is a veiled attempt at "social engineering" or "brainwashing" or even "campaigning."

The economy is a wreck. Our education system ranks below several other nations. What is so bad about a pep talk from the President? Politics and race will always be hot button topics - the two are combined here, and folks are yelling. If Taylor Swift wanted to do this, or Peyton Manning, do you think there would be this much drama?

That being said, I think some people are speaking out (which is their right) because their party and ideas are not the same as the President. Some people just like to debate and argue. The White House did say that the speech text would be released on Monday for schools to preview ... but schools are closed, so that preview is not going to occur. So much for that idea.

As for what Frederick County is doing, each teacher has the option to show or not show the speech. Some parents have called and written to have their child excluded from any speech-related activities.

For me, it's much ado about nothing.