October 8th, 2003


Outsider's Viewpoint

Last night, our foreign language planning session was quite a bit more lively than usual. Yes, we went over new ideas to try in our classes, like we generally do. Yes, we set up the requirements for our film festival as usual. And, yes, we enjoyed each other's company, and caught up on what was going on with absent colleagues.

So what was different? Two new teachers. Now, that happens every year, with the only variety being in the number of newbies. Both of these were men, first in several years, and both were sent by the SPANISH GOVERNMENT as part of a 15 year old project. Iowa is blessed with ten of these people (not all men), who were among the three hundred or so who were the recipients of positions from among over 3,000 applicants. When they go back, they have NO GUARANTEE of a job waiting, but one expressed the feeling that with this experience on his resume, that should not be a problem.

Cost of living vs. wages around the US and in Spain were quite an eye opener. Most agreed that although Iowa teachers were paid substantially less, they could end up better off when quality of life issues were factored in. All groups in the US could SAVE MONEY in their sojourn here to aid their future in Spain.

So, what we got were the brightest and best. Iowa was the first choice among states to be placed in.

They spent part of the night being INCREDULOUS about the California fiasco. It reminded me of the reaction to the news on Voice of America when President Kennedy was shot. The focus is so different. That radio broadcast kept expressing in INCREDULOUS Spanish the remarkable news that there WAS NOT A REVOLUTION.

I can remember as a young adult reading a "far out" science fiction story in which a (gasp, shudder) movie star was elected president. Now, it is becoming ho-hum. Should an actor have political aspirations, their ability to learn lines and present them believably, coupled with their name recognition, makes them VERY ELECTABLE. Now, as to their competence... Well, if they have no other talents up their sleeves, there's always another recall initiative possible.

Homecoming Week

The student council gets together and decides what we will dress like each day.

Monday was "Come as you are", Pajama day. When my sister picked out a nightie for me, she let her little granddaughter choose. My only condition was "no lace" so I got a thigh length, pink Poo Bear shirt, with decals front and back.

I fully intended to wear it (with a pair of slacks underneath), but washed it too late Sunday. By Monday, the bottom was still damp. So, plan B was a Scottish clan plaid night shirt, knee length, with a front and back flap and empress waist line. (Same slacks underneath.) It felt odd having a bra under it, but looked just slightly strange.

I forgot I was out of milk and bread, so I ended up still be-night gowned, hitting Hy-Vee and Wal Mart. The staff members I met had all changed into normal garb, so I questioned their school spirit. As I came out of Wally World with my two jugs of the cheapest milk in town, a car full of highly made up, stylishly-dressed young girls gawked. One leaned out the open window, so I flapped my front panel at her and talked to them.

"Come as you are/Pajama Day."

"Are you a teacher?"

We had a pretty upbeat five minute gab fest, then I flipped my flap and left. If I'd had time to post then, I'd have been able to give a blow by blow. You'd have gotten a bunch of jokes about Homecoming from both groups.

As One Friend Put It:

In other news, CNN just told me that a rather awesome action star is....Governor of California?

The Onion and Mad Magazine have both declared failure and quit publication, saying that "the lines between satire and current events are officially destroyed."