SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL

Monday, May 23, 2022

Lying Liars and the Lies They Lie About

 I want to make sure that whoever is reading this that this blog post is not about any current or former teacher. Nor a female. So it is not misogynistic. Just making sure. My name came up at the exec board tonight and I just want to get something off my chest. 

Liars suck. Pathological liars suck more. Liars who lie to build themselves up suck even more.Talking smack behind my back whilst creating a fantastical story line sucks even even more. An SBSB groupie once said, "Say anything you want to about me as long as it is true." Good words to live by.

I am done with the pathological liar. Why do they think they can get away with it? Lying about what they own, where they've been, how they feel, injuries or surgeries they didn't have. Even colleges or fraternities someone might have been a part of. All these lies are pretty verifiable and one tends to feel sorry for a person having to create this fabulist world. Texas

But not for someone just making up lies about you behind your back and being nothing more than a yentashel. Oops, is that a anti-Semitic remark or am I a self loathing Jew? I feel the PC police will soon be knocking on my door.

I got to tell this story of a pathological liar. It's funny as hell. 

About ten years ago I got together with a friend of mine who lived on the same street as me and moved to Arizona in 7th grade. We hadn't seen each other for almost 35 years. Anyway, one of the first things he says to me after 35 years is that he played shortstop for Texas A&M in the mid 80's. The same team that Chuck Knoblauch was on. So sad. So untrue. So pathetic. So verifiable.

Want to talk smack about me, say it to my face. Don't make up shit I said or did. Shit, I always find out. And don't talk smack about my friends either.


Saturday, May 21, 2022

What the Coalition Can Do Going Forward

The amazing UFT election season is over. Unity got 66 percent of the vote. Will there be a coup at the top of Unity? It remains to be seen. What should happen next?

A former groupie (Oh well. There are many more groupies out there) told me just before the election that if Unity were to win  the Coalition must not only stay together but must--and I am paraphrasing here--act as a shadow union and respond to each and every move by Unity as well be a de facto "shadow government."

So what can, as well as should, the Coalition do as the loyal opposition? 

The First DA in September

Resolution to make all Delegate Assembly meetings open to the rank and file through online and/or through the phone. It is time for the all dues paying members to see how Unity controls the DA and clamps down on issues that do not toe the party line. 

Second, a resolution to make all voting at the DA to make voting secret. The technology is there. It's been used to for those voting by phone. Time for the same for in person voting. Get a few kids from Stuyvesant to create an app or add to the UFT app and let all vote their conscience. Update 5/22 It has come to my attention that the DA now has secret voting. My apologies for being incorrect.

Executive Board

Same goes with the executive board. It's time that all members can see and hear what is going on there. Plus, for those that wish to speak before board and unable to schlep to 52 Broadway phone and/or video must be codiciled within the UFT constitution.

A Long Campaign

The campaign for 2025 begins today. The Coalition did a great job with only very little time as a coalition. Yes, 2025 is three years away but it will be here before we know it. 

Stay on the Offensive

Fuck pissing of Unity and the UFT. Do it to them before they do it to you. Make everything public that the coalition is doing and thinking. Put them back on their heels.

Raise Money

This will be hard but there needs to be money in the coffers. A source of funds. Find a celebrity sugar daddy. Why...?

Because We Are About to Get Screwed

On the next contract. Yep, we are. We need to get the word out there how crappy it will be. The work that the Coalition put into the election will be needed to share with the rank and file how crappy the new contract will be. Flyers and Happy Hours will be needed.

Medicare (Dis)Advantage

Shackles are now off of Mulgrew. See above.

Don't Give Up

Be persistent. Be a thorn in the buttocks of Unity/UFT. Think steps ahead. Make Unity/UFT be reactive to the Coalition. 

 Yard Signs!!! 

I know I sound like a broken record... But while I am on the point let's visit some things I have said in the past:

Speak to one teacher ask them to speak to ten teachers. Give them enough leaflets, information, websites, emails, to share with their colleagues. United for Change must think of itself as Amway or Mary Kay.

I've said it before, and I will say it again. I have a friend who is in direct mail. Let's see what he can do for UFC. 

But don't go inside. The UFT represents nurses at (I forget how many) city hospitals. Don't go in the operating room but rather linger outside and follow some of the above ideas. And go to other non education places that the UFT represents. 

Unless we try we will never know if any of the above will work. 



Monday, May 16, 2022

Thoughts on Retiring

 Retirement is creeping up on me. I'm 58, and I don't want to be like Willie Mays sticking around too long and falling down in the World Series. I'm getting to be an old fart. There are teachers in my school who weren't born yet when I started in 1995. 

My answer to  the question "when will you retire?" has been "not until my son at least graduates college." He graduates in a year. In four years, on time. Part of me wishes he would be on the 13 year plan like myself. 

I keep getting this thought in my mind of a high school math teacher of mine. Hans Frigo invested heavily in stocks to prepare for his retirement. He would never shut up about this. Six months after he retired he was walking his poodle and dropped dead. Good thing he retired. 

It's starting to hit me that soon all I have known for twenty six years will be gone. Not that I am going to miss it and not that I will not not work. Hell, I made it to having the age and the years. I remember when I came back from my suspension in 2015 and I just wanted to get to 2021. And I did, with room to spare. With my mouth I was concerned. So were others. But I did it. I got there.

I need at least a year to decompress from the DOE. My way of decompressing after my 3020a hearings was to hit iHop on Central Ave and just eat pancakes. My fantasy is to live in the Adirondacks and live off the land for a year. Sadly, that is impractical so choice #2 will have to suffice. Live in Corning NY for a year. Sell cars or work at Wal Mart as a greeter. 

But other than that I don't see me having any connection to anything or anyone with the DOE. That is except blogging and staying involved with Solidarity, United for Change or whatever incarnation of the two there is. I am ready for the 2025 election!

There are people I will never see nor speak to again and there are those I will continue the relationships with. Less stress is what I am looking for. It's amazing how my glucose level rises during the week. 

Which brings me to a Billy Joel song that almost everyone in 1982 had quoted in their high school year books. Which reminds me, I want to see Bill Joel again.

Say a word out of line and you find
That the friends you had are gone

Forever, forever
So many faces in and out of my life
Some will last, some will just be now and then

Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes
I'm afraid it's time for goodbye again


Thursday, May 12, 2022

SBSB Groupie Trixie the Teacher Has Been Thrown Under the Bus, Stabbed in the Back, or Just Had Smack Talked About Her Behind Her Back

 Trixie, the SBSB groupie has just shared some disturbing news that has befell her. We thank Trixie for feeling that she has a safe place here. She asked me to post this episode that happened to her recently and is hoping to hear from readers for advice.

For those that don't recall, Trixie is a teacher at the Speed Racer Elementary School and was expecting to teach widgets but in October for some reason or another it was decided for her to teach Nuclear Fission. Then a few weeks later she got schpritzed in the eye with hand sanitizer by a student. And then faced COVID death due to an entire grade being isolated without any news being shared with the rest of the school. However, what Trixie just shared was her greatest indignity of all. 

What could that be? Trixie and The Crack Team are still crunching the numbers but it somehow in someway runs the gamut of being thrown under the bus to being stabbed in the back to having smack talked about her. Worse, it was from someone that was at one point her closest friend in the DOE. Someone that didn't teach at her school and though they were no longer friends this just was not right. 

It's too bad because Trixie did not deserve it. In fact Trixie was shocked when she found out and at the same time hurt. But Trixie is a trooper. She's not even going to waste her time talking this this person. She just wanted me to share this and get it off her chest.


Sunday, May 8, 2022

It's Time I Get Something of My Chest About Myself (You Won't Be Surprised. I Think)

I've had this on my mind for some time. I have written this out in my mind time after time again. But I am going to say this straightforward. Like pulling a band aid off. But I am going to share this as a kind of stream of consciousnesses.

I am a 58 year old male and gosh darn I have Adult ADHD. I am sure there are some of you who know me well, and unwell, that this doesn't surprise you. I am not asking for sympathy. Nor am I asking for pity. I am asking for to understand. You don't have to agree or disagree. I am not making any excuses, but rather an explanation. 

It's very difficult for me to get organized and stay on task. Then again, if I am extremely "into" what I am doing it is very easy to stay or task and I'm a little bit more organized. I don't think I have ever fulfilled all I can as a teacher due to the ADHD. 

Along with the ADHD comes anxiety. It's like the chicken or the egg. Which came first? Does the ADHD bring on the anxiety or vice versa? It's very easy for me to get overwhelmed. 

I was on the thirteen year plan to graduate college. In fact I barely graduated high school. The last two and a half years of high school I really didn't give a crap. 

I can be quote impatient. I sometimes speak my mind at the wrong time. I tend to piss people off. My son says I remind him of Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm. 

And let's not forget the impulsivity!!!!! Oy vey! It always seems like a good idea at first.

Money and me don't get along. 

Driving and me weren't the best of friends. There was a time in my twenties in which getting pulled over was a natural occurrence. Though I have overcome that. 

I can have four hundred things going on in my head at once. It isn't pleasant. When I get anxious I tend to continuously swirl over something.

I get distracted easily. But as I said earlier, I can easily get hyper focused. 

Sitting in one place for too long is problematic

My mind is very creative. If I had to do it over I would do something creative. When I retire I want to do something creative. Or sell cars. I think I would have made a great salesman. Selling cars or something.

I see thing others don't see. I have zero linear thought.

I love golf and can focus. I love baseball but can't watch a game anymore. I get too bored. 

ADHD is not compatible with stupid authority.

ADHD is compatible with passion. Which sometimes can not be good. 

Why haven't I gone on meds for this? Nope. Don't want to.

I think my biggest issue with my ADHD can be following through. I need to wait for the last minute to get the focus to to do something. Sometimes I don't follow through because it is not high up on my list. It doesn't mean I think any less of the person I promised something to, but just the way my mind works. It is important. But Wrath of Khan had distracted me.

I am able to focus better when I am under a gun. However, if I am getting outside crap from someone that does not motivate me. I think that is the issue I have had with the DOE all these years. 

This is how it is for me. I am what I am. Every day I have to work hard to get through it. I know there are many who are reading this that will get it. And some who won't. Too bad. I don't care. 


 


Saturday, April 30, 2022

Unity Must Remove Mulgrew in a Coup

 It's coming down to crunch time. UFT election Ballots are due a week from Monday, May 9. The counting of those ballots I believe, will be the next day. Then we wait. Will UFC win? Will Unity win in a landslide or will it be close?

From Norm's blog of April 4...

But if the votes come out and Unity wins, but takes a big hit on the numbers – and that’s what I think will happen, will that send a clear message? Will Unity adjust some of its policies? Will they find a new leader?

But if Unity gets into mid-60s or less, which would be an overwhelming win in normal elections, in the UFT that opens up real danger signs for Unity. 

Norm and I had this same discussion back in January.  I had blogged that fear has encapsulated Unity and  last month that it appears that the smell wafting from Unity is one of fear.  

Will there be reform within the UFT if Unity does wind? Not with the recent percentage of votes it has had in recent elections. Winning with those numbers will just let those at the UFT to unclench their sphincters and continue on as they have in the past, even if they lose the high school executive board. 

But, what if Unity wins and the vote total is sixty percent or less? Or if the retirees (which about 15k voted for Unity in 2019) turns to United for Change, yet Unity still wins? Will there be reforms? 

Overall, there won't be any real reforms. At least not with the current leadership in charge. What will be needed will be a scapegoat. And that scapegoat should be and will be Mike Mulgrew. 

But Mulgrew will not fall on his sword as he should. That would be the grown up thing to do. The responsible thing to do. But it shan't happen. 

What should happen, and what does The Crack Team thinks will happen? A simple Coup d'état of the presidency of the UFT is all that is needed. Mind you, we here at SBSB are not advocating for any violence or revolution within Unity ranks. Rather, a peaceful coup in which several of those at Unity tell Mulgrew his time is up and it is time to move on to something else. 

Find an Elba for Mulgrew. Staten Island is already an island so that is a good start. But seriously. Give him a retirement party, the gold watch and what not and let him live off his DOE and UFT pensions. If they want, give him a gig at AFT headquarters in Washington or something. There are some really good people within the UFT and the get besmirched with guilt by association with his name. I wouldn't doubt they are thinking the same way. 

One way or the other Mulgrew must go. And if it is not by outright victory of United for Change then those within Unity have to do what is ethically and morally right.



Monday, April 18, 2022

The Obliviousness of Mike Mulgrew

UPDATE: I made BIG MISTAKE! I conflated the original quote from Mulgrew vas one incident. I misread and took when he said he was traveling to school nearby as him being in the Bronx. I was it was pointed out to me, I edited this blog post, I was incorrect, I take responsibility, and I apologize.

 Sometimes being a leader is not just being a leader of those who elected you, but being seen as a leader to those who haven't elected you or even to those who don't know you. That is the hard part. That takes time and effort. And sometimes it is needed. 

On April 8 Angellyh Yambo,  a 16 year old student at University Prep Charter High School in the Bronx, was shot and killed in the Bronx walking home. I can't imagine the devastation and the pain the family must be going through. 

I had not known until I read Arthur's blog with his DA board minutes of April 13 that the teachers at UP are represented by the UFT. As per Mulgrew during his opening soliloquy...

Last Friday was horrendous shooting of three students. UFT-represented charter run by group of teachers--We have a better procedure with NYPD to get people home. We've had people there all week... Thanks Jeff Povalitus  and safety team.

Jeff is a stand up guy. If Jeff is involved, you know something will turn out well. 

But one thing bothers me.

Mulgrew could have made an appearance. He is the UFT President and this not only affected it's members, but the community of University Prep. Again, never missing a chance to miss an opportunity. 

I have seen the UFT first hand when it comes to a student dying. This school year a 4th grade student in my school died from an asthma attack at home. The UFT was there in force. They did what was needed to be done. I can give credit where credit is due. 

But a student being gunned down on St Ann's Ave is different. This cries out for leadership to be seen and heard. Maybe Mulgrew to visit the school was too much of a schlep from Staten Island. In a way I can empathize with him. For me, going to Staten Island from White Plains is too much. Do I go through Jersey or Brooklyn? But make to Mulgrew.

He just doesn't get what being a leader entails. He just doesn't understand what optics mean. He doesn't get how to schmooze. He doesn't get that for whatever reason some look to him for leadership. And it appears he only will do the right thing if there is something in it for him or if there is some sycophant involved. 

What harm would it do for Mulgrew to appear in the Bronx and show that he is there for the entire University Prep community? 

If Mulgrew can't do the obvious things, what makes you think Mulgrew can do what's right when everything is all higgely piggedly.