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Rantage:

(nothing about anyone on my f-list, just things that are really starting to tick me off...)

I went to a small Alternative school from third grade on that allowed all 13 grades in one school. The idea was originally to have kids learning not only from the teachers, but each other and the community at large. The older kids, especially. It had already been going for about 4 years as a high-school when it finally went K-12, and it was placed in a tiny elementary that didn't have enough space for all of us. We were across the street from a High School with a bad reputation, and there were times when they would have to lock the doors to keep "dangerous kids" out.

After our second year there, the program went through a revamp, and we were moved to an older school further down in the same area of the district, but with an actual play area, and further away from the high schools in the area. It still wasn't quite big enough for us, but bigger. But this was when the downhill slide began. Suddenly the Seattle school district began to question our community plan. They wanted us to be more like "normal" schools, and so many of the programs that made my school unique were cut out.

We stayed in that building for five years, but then the plans for a hyperspace bypass broadened freeway had them insist we move so they could knock down the school. The building was saved eventually, and has since (and very recently, after many battles on their part) become an African American Museum. The first in the area.

Still, we moved again. Far from the original area the school had started in. People complained that the program wouldn't be diverse enough because it wouldn't reach the South end and Central area students. To a Middle School building that had been deserted for some years. Across from another High School. This time, though we had enough space for our whole school. A track. A gym. Just tons of space.

But again, the program changed. We weren't holding up our end. We weren't different enough. Why did they need to fund us at all? There were other Alternative programs in the city, after all. (Never mind that most of them were being questioned as well.) Still, we managed to hang on. Refurbished the school. And flourished.

When I graduated in 1987, there were 16 people in my graduating class. Last I heard, the numbers were close to 30. But apparently, that's not good enough. Never mind that the school is always the first on the cutting block because it "doesn't live up to potential." So apparently, sending all these kids to a new school where they're going to be the odd ones out will work better for them?

I can't tell you how angry this makes me. We were never a great school, but we were sort of the nerd to every other high school's jock. We were the weirdos. The ones who likely would have dropped out. The ones whose parents were "hippies" or strange. It wasn't perfect. But then, what is? But then, it's always easier to drop something you never really liked than to try and let it have it's head and maybe, finally, grow into its potential?

RIP Summit K-12. You will be missed.

Ice. Snow. Rain. And now wind. I don't know how people can seriously suggest that global climate change isn't happening. We haven't had three consecutive days of snow in Seattle proper in my lifetime. Granted, I don't really remember the first few years, but the recorded weather tells us that much, at least.

So when the city shut down for the week leading up to Christmas, surely it could have been a surprise to no one? So why are people blaming the city for the small details? Yes, the streets were icy, and snowier than usual when we have snow. We had more snow than we'd had in 40 years! No, that doesn't mean we need to use salt. No, that doesn't mean we need to invest in machines that will likely not be needed more than once in the next 20 to 40 years. And will be completely defunct or broken down by the time we have this sort of snowfall again. Seattle City simply doesn't get enough snow of this kind to make that sort of purchase worth it. And yes, what we have is usually plenty. It just so happens that in this case, it wasn't. Because it was extreme. And extreme things don't happen often enough to plan for them. And no, it's not equatable to an earthquake, which you can take preventative measures for.

However, that said, I'm in no way defending our Mayor. He's an idiot and a dupe. And if this gets him out of office, all the better. But that doesn't mean he's at fault for the icy side-streets, either. Granted, I'm sure things could have been handled better, but you really can't blame a catastophe of weather on him. No matter what the idiot deserves.

/rant
Tags: ,

Comments

Jan. 6th, 2009 10:11 pm (UTC)
They say the mayor just does all the environment stuff cuz he's competing with cities like San Francisco for the most environmentally friendly city in the country. Effects on the people be damned. Like that bag tax? That's total bs...all that money made will probably go to line his pockets. It's definitely time to vote him out of office, but so far there's no good contender to go up against him, on either side. I've seriously considered voting Republican against him if it comes down to it...The snow thing is just one more strike against him, but I don't like the way people blamed the city for everything that went wrong. What about us taking personal responsibility for stuff? I save a few vacation days each year just for snow days. That way when this stuff happens, I can skip work and not have to deal with it.

And as for the school stuff, it's all politics too, isn't it? It's not really about educating children to the best of their abilities, right? It's about fighting to get the money to your school, and who cares about the children...

Dude...the woman who played Seska is on NCIS tonight...it's totally trippy...BTW, I used that icon because of the snow...even though it's not Christmas anymore...
Jan. 7th, 2009 07:49 pm (UTC)
I'm not going to be an apologist for Nichols, but I don't think that's why he does it. I think that was his thing all along. I just think he's too milqutoast to do any good at it. As for the bag charge? That's what they do in Europe. Why are we so much better than them that we don't need to do it?

It is about politics. :P

Andrew should be bringing home some new sims stuff today, but I'll wait until you go home to load them.
Jan. 7th, 2009 06:33 am (UTC)
Sorry about your school, hon *hugs* It's so sad that no-one cares to support those projects that are a bit different and dares try things in new ways - possibly with great benefit to everyone as new lessons are learned about education.
Jan. 7th, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC)
The problem is, it was an idea in a time where they didn't have much of the hippy movement left, even here in Seattle... And it really was a very hippy idea at the beginning.
Jan. 7th, 2009 09:07 am (UTC)
Summit has become a school that not even a good portion of the high school teachers want to be at. Sadly I think the K-12 thing had to go, at the very least. And the Parent Group had suggested that, I think.

I'm so sick of the district, in general. Possibly the worst of all the government entities as far as business management. I have to move both my kids which requires going to about 6 doctors to retrieve shot records again, etc etc. I'm about to just exempt them from ALL shots, at least on the records, to avoid the hassle. And then go deal with district employees (who hate their jobs worse than the employees at McDonald's and aren't afraid to take it out on you) so I can get to pick from about TWO middle schools in the entire North End for Raven. Even though what I pick is ultimately irrelevant because they still just stick kids where they fit in these cases, so why don't they just tell me "Your school is closing, we're sending her here and taking care of the swap on the paper side of things."?? No. I have to do their paperwork FOR them.

I could ask if she wants to stay at the building she's in, for the new K-8 (I have no idea why they didn't just accept Summit's proposal to become a K-8 and blend schools!!!!) but they're making us re-register to do that even. Which is absurd.

Ok. So maybe I had a rant too that I didn't know about. ha.

As far as the city: the news reports are saying that sand is worse than salt for the environment. I think this mayor was just being cheap and calling it "environmentally friendly." I love to watch the ass covering from all the DOT stuff. I couldn't even get down the street in front of our nearest ER. And forget Northgate Way near my house. So I'd like to know what "main arterials" these dumb asses were keeping so wonderfully clear, as they seem to be taking credit for.

Really, I didn't lose hourly pay or anything for the down time. So, I can't really complain. Brett got to work from home even, so we weren't touched financially like some families. A lot of hourly paid people couldn't afford Christmas because it was their last paychecks that were going to pay for it, which they didn't get much of since they were snowed in. Salt would have made it possible for them to get to work. So, I feel really fortunate that I just got to enjoy the snow.

As far as climate change: I love the new trend of real summers and actual snow in the winter. I'm about to go spray aresole up into the air just to make more climate change. Hey, there may be some bad to all of it but I'm enjoying what I can.

Jan. 7th, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)
Meh. I've just come to the conclusion that we need to fire the idiots in office downtown and start from scratch. :P That'll save a bunch of money. Cause we can pay the new ones less. :P Isn't that the way companies work?

It would be so much easier if I liked the Mayor, cause then I could defend him properly, but all I can say instead is that I don't think anyone would have managed much better with the equipment available. And that there were good reasons for not having snowplows and not using salt. And getting mad at the city for your poor car getting dinged up (yes, I heard someone on the radio actually blaming the mayor for the fact that people kept driving down his street and hitting his car...) isn't realistic. No more realistic than expecting the busses all to be running perfectly during snow.

But I also think things can be handled better. Without resorting to salt or buying equipment that will be defunct by the time we really need to use it again.

LOL That last made me laugh just when I needed it most, so thank you. :D
Jan. 7th, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
I heard what I thought would be a great idea for handling the snow better. Somebody said in the midwest what they do is equip the garbage trucks with removable plow parts so that they can all be deployed, along with regular snow plows, and plow up more parts of the city. And they said it helps keep the garbage people working, and they can probably collect garbage at the same time. It seems like a win-win situation to me. A sort of compromise to the people who think we need to spend all our money on more snow plows, I bet just those parts are less expensive than the whole vehicle...
Jan. 7th, 2009 01:02 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry about the school. There seems to be a fast-food nature about them these days - you could go into a school anywhere and they'd all be identical. Why people think this is a thing to desire, I'm not sure.
Jan. 7th, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC)
Because when things are always the same, you know what to expect, and it's easier to judge whether it's doing it right or wrong. Never mind that that sort of thinking always ends up pandering to the lowest common denominator... :P
Jan. 8th, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC)
*snuggles you*
I'm sorry about your school, that stinks.

How are you and yours doing with all the runoff from that snow melting? This has been a wickedly odd winter here. I know it has to do with climate change. We've had all your rainfall and you got all our snow.
Jan. 8th, 2009 07:40 pm (UTC)
*snuggles back* Thanks, hon.

We're out of the areas severely affected, though my boss couldn't get to work. He lives in Tacoma, which is currently totally cut off from Seattle. Unless he wanted to go to Portland first. :P
Jan. 8th, 2009 07:43 pm (UTC)
*G* I hear it is almost as wet in Portland as parts of Seattle. Glad you are safe.
Jan. 13th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC)

completely off-topic

hi, i just joined IJ, and i pretty much just did it to follow your fanfiction. i'm 25 (born in 83), i just don't feel like letting everyone on the site know that.
I followed you over here from FF.net. i just finished reading Finding Harry, and was wondering if you ever did more with it?
Jan. 13th, 2009 07:43 pm (UTC)

Re: completely off-topic

I'm flattered.

I never did get beyond what I wrote of the prologue for the second year. Had plenty of ideas, but too many distractions.

To be honest, there are just too many roadblocks for that fic, and I seem to have trouble writing Gen.

I am glad you enjoyed the first, though. :)