I've been decidedly out of sorts recently, and no, it's not about the headache - I've recovered from that, although I am dreading the bills. Whatever. It's only money.
Partly I'm feeling a generalized existential dread, and partly I'm just annoyed with so many people around me. But my friend Julie (a crafty American who lives in Denmark) posted something on Facebook the other day which seemed like a perfect call to action.
So, in lieu of actual voodoo dolls and actual pins, I'm going to air my grievances, even though it's not the 23rd of December yet.
1) One of the people running for supervisor in my town posted a "oh how wonderful you are" comment on Facebook, that included "Kudos to you and the minions of special people who helped you." I restrained from public comment, but I did send her a private message:
you maybe didn't want to call [the] book fest helpers "minions" - it has a rather negative connotation:
plural noun: minions
1. a follower or underling of a powerful person, esp. a servile or unimportant one.
synonyms: henchman, flunky, hanger-on, follower, servant, hireling, vassal, stooge, toady, sycophant
She had the courtesy to thank me for the correction. But does no one know what a minion is, because Despicable Me sowed confusion?
2) Tutoring comes up as an issue in our school system all the time. Sometimes it seems like every single kid in town has a tutor, just because their parents are Strivy McStriverpantsers. I totally understand that there are times when a kid needs to be tutored. But I got in the middle of a Facebook discussion (on a private local page) about tutoring / bad teacher / not enough tutors - where a teacher seems to be so bad that every kid in the class has a tutor. And I gently suggested to one of the school board members, who frequents that group, that she relay the conversation to the superintendent and the rest of the school board. Her response?
It is not a best practice for board members to report a conversations that happen on FB. It becomes here say. If there are issues with a teacher, the best course is to discuss it with a counselor at that particular school. If that does not provide an answer than please make an appointment to speak to the principals.
Multiple errors in her few sentences, but "here say"? That sent me over the edge. I made sure to work "hearsay" into the email I sent off to the superintendent, to which I had a thoroughly unsatisfactory response.
3) The almost ten year old has been learning about landforms in social studies - like archipelago and delta and isthmus and peninsula. And part of the work has been to describe the way in which a particular landform affects the people. But she keeps using "effect" when she should be using "affect". And maybe vice versa. And then I found that another of the teachers on the team (her math teacher, who teaches social studies to a different group) had used "effect" incorrectly in her posted homework:
"Social Studies: Finish first 3 landforms: archipelago, delta, plateau (name, picture, definition, and how it effects the people who live near that landform)"
I queried my Facebook friends, and they were about equally divided as to whether or not I should call the teacher on it. I decided against it, partly because technically the teacher who made the mistake isn't my kid's teacher for that subject. But the kid keeps making the same mistake, and got all defensive and said "my teacher didn't say anything" when I tried to talk it through with her. Now, maybe I'm just being a stickler, but this is annoying the hell out of me, so I did send the actual teacher an email today, putting all the onus on the kid and wondering whether fifth grade was just too young to finesse something as delicate as affect vs. effect.
What's annoying you? Air your grievances. It lets you let them go.