Thursday, March 5, 2015

Dog my cats! #sol15

Victorian market scene. Cart free. What a pleasure!
I am on a crusade.

Yesterday, on my way home from work, I had to park between two abandoned shopping carts. It was the only space available. The market was packed--winter storm trundling down on us and whatnot.

Dog my cats every time I pull into the parking lot: shopping carts. 

Is it just my neighborhood, but when did we get so lazy that we can't roll an empty shopping cart back to the storefront? It's on wheels, people. It's empty!

Somewhere within the last decade, food markets pitched in the towel on consumers. Realizing it was too much for us to roll the empty cart back to store for other customers to use, they hired employees to roll long trains of clattering carts back to the front door. All they ask of us is to roll the cart--did I mention it is on wheels?--into designated spaces.

If stores did not do this, we would bitch that we would have to walk back out into the lot--Ugh! can you imagine--to gather up a cart for ourselves. Driving in a food market parking lot is becoming a new hell. It can be a mine field of carts. 

Like beached whales, empty carts lay abandoned--wedged half-up on curbs, straddling lines between spaces, shoved onto mulched dividers--all over the lot. The employees have to gather our carts now too--we can't even roll an empty cart to a designated space. Often, when this lot is especially crowded, cars have to precision-park--steering while trying to avoid the obstacles. And I can imagine some markets have already been plagues by customers wagging their fingers about an abandoned cart scratching the paint on their car.

I am waiting for the sign to be erected: SuperMegaFood is not responsible for abandoned carts damaging any cars. Your shopping experience only ends when you return the cart to a proper location. And I wouldn't blame the store that started that movement.

Maybe we should have to check-in kiosk--our keys for a cart? They can pay a high school kid to watch hold our keys. The cart-for-keys movement would kick ass.

We'd all walk a little more before eating all of that food we just bought.

The abandoned, empty shopping cart--what an ultimate symbol of American laziness. We just load our cars with food--and leave the cart for someone else to roll back to the front doors. 

I'd like to us employ the ASPCA marketing strategy to kickstart this crusade. Maybe a commercial of sad, empty carts littering a lot. Sad music. A gentle voiceover--perhaps a woman we all venerate like Meryl Streep--could say, "Please. Roll your empty carts to the front door or to the designated space. It only takes thirty seconds and you could make all the difference in the world. And be sure to give someone the stink-eye if you catch them not joining in our crusade."

from A Victorian Slang Dictionary (1909)

Dog my cats (Amer.). An example of concealed swearing--God damn my eyes.

Dog my cats if she didn't make a nest of it and make three weeks on  the cuttings! --Newspap. cutting

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Champagne Weather #sol15

While we have not been pounded with the champagne weather like our colleagues in the far North East, three weather days in one week of teaching offers a little-respected must-have in our profession: flexibility and adaptability.

I just received our call for a two-hour delay today. In addition to today, we missed Monday and will most likely be snowed-out tomorrow.

A teacher's development of flexibility and adaptability can't be taught to college graduates as much as it can be learned in the thick of things. Maybe a colleague or mentor can remind us about flexibility and adaptability--but if a teacher doesn't learn it on his/her own then, well, then, good luck with that. You're fighting the wrong fight.

Be a cork in the water.

Part of my adjustment this week includes making sure my students have enough time with me to continue with the drafts and revisions and enough time with me to prepare for a quiz.

With me.

If that means I have to keep pushing due dates and scheduled assessments deeper into March, so be it. Because for as disruptive interruptions can be for a teacher, remember how interruptions impact our students. Even an unexpected announcement over the all-call can knock a lesson--or a student--off the rails for several minutes.

So, as I take time for an extra cup of coffee, I am working right now from home. Working on sorting out the best way I can work with students given the circumstances. Teaching is not a "plug-it-in / mail-it-in" profession. Our daily decisions are too powerful and too life-altering for it to be any other way.

While, the weather inserts itself into our daily considerations, make the best of it. Don't leave it to the thirteen-year-old to figure out alone. And take a breath. And maybe help a colleague nearby who might be looking a little frazzled.

Be a cork in the water...we all know a cork in the champagne eventually pops.

from A Dictionary of Victorian Slang (1909)
champagne weather: (Soc. 1860 on) bad weather--said satirically.