Monday, August 21, 2006

First Day Back

I never teach on the first day of school. It's pointless; chaos reigns supreme, and my being there would only add to said chaos. I did go around and post my schedule at a lot of places, in an effort to nudge myself ever-so-gently back into the process, and by the end of the week, I'll have a normal-length day (and hopefully, a close-to-normal-length bank receipt to go with it).

There's always something about the first day of school. So much promise in the new year. It's a tabula rasa, and there's always the chance that, no matter what happened in the past, a student, or a student group, or even an entire club can remake itself in a new image. Everyone's football team is undefeated; everyone's band has a shot at a sweepstakes; not a single student has gone to detention yet (though the cynic in me wonders how long that record stands unbroken at various schools); even the Least Important Stuff That Gets Talked About the Most (i.e. standardized test scores) starts out the year unblemished. Even as I get caught up in the "return to the grind" elements of things (all the driving between schools, wearing long pants in 104-degree weather, thirteen-hour teaching days), I can stop for a moment to reflect in the freshness of it all.

Creative jurisprudence of the week: Speaking of the kids who get detentions on the first day of school, I bet more than a few of them also tend to get a lot of traffic tickets. If so, they'd better hope their cases aren't heard by Julia Jent, a judge in Indiana, who sentences teenage repeat violators to ride the bus--sometimes for up to an entire semester.

This lady should be riding the bus too: A driver in Phoenix has received 70 speeding tickets in the last five months.

1 comment:

Gary P. said...

If you think red light cameras are a blight on the face of the Earth, just wait until speed cameras get here.

I'm hardly one to cite international precedent in US law, but it's quite telling that the same courts that uphold red light cameras throw out speed tickets by the thousands for things like clocking drivers at speeds of 690 mph. Check thenewspaper.com for many similar stories.