Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 4.39.21 PMTeacher appreciation day is coming up soon and all I have to say is to anyone that has ever stepped foot in a classroom thank you for your service to our country. I can’t imagine a harder job because besides the usual daily, daunting, challenges I think it would be almost impossible to ever turn off your teacher brain. I expect it must be like a dermatologist at a Waterpark trying to not tell three out of five people in line for the “Roarin Rapids” slide  that they might want to get that mole on their back biopsied.

Everywhere they go teachers must always be thinking of how things could be improved with just a little bit of their educator input. For example, last month when I was at the Kansas caucus at my local high school it was a crowd control nightmare. All I wanted to do was shout if any teachers were in the building because they could have gotten that situation under control in about ten seconds flat. I’m sure all it would have taken was four seasoned teachers to flank each side of the auditorium and with authoritative voices herd people to their proper seats, shush the crowd into a respectable silence and run a very efficient raise your hand to vote caucus. We would have been out of there in less than fifteen minutes and exited the building in a calm and courteous manner according to our row assignments.

In fact, I think each presidential candidate needs a “Teacher in Chief” on their campaign staff to monitor behavior, oversee homework assignments, guide personal expectations and grade the candidates overall demeanor. The teacher could even hand out a weekly progress report to help each contender strive for his or her personal best. Think about how much this would greatly assist everyone running for President to raise their standards and in turn help the election focus more on the issues.

Going in alphabetical order, because it’s education we’re talking about, I’ll begin with the democrats. Let’s face it Hillary Clinton was probably the teacher’s pet. She’s every Type A student that drove us crazy in high school. But, a good teacher in chief would assist Hillary with learning to become more proficient in her computation skills including data management, email servers and using the save and delete commands more judiciously. Hillary would also be encouraged to let other people finish their sentences and to make some new friends.

I can see Bernie Sanders progress report stating that he needs to work on his inside voice including not shouting and modulating his vocal tone while talking with others. In terms of homework Bernie needs to spend more time in the library doing in-depth research so he can provide hard evidence with a bibliography and footnotes on how he’s going to fund all the “projects” he’s promising.

Two out of three republican candidates probably would be headed towards a “time out” corner. Ted Cruz’s teacher in chief would work with him to resist engaging in verbal skirmishes and focus on his own goals while working cooperatively in a group setting. He also needs to be diligent about doing his homework that’s concentrated on improving fact retention.

John Kasich while not getting engaging in any kind of playground throw down would still need to heed the wisdom of his teacher in chief who most likely would suggest that he broaden his reading list to include more than the “I think I can, I think I can” wisdom of The Little Engine that Could and that he needs to not be afraid to engage with the other boys at “recess.”

Donald Trump’s teacher in chief would mandate that he partake in some sort of remedial social interaction curriculum that focuses on bullying and learning to play well with others. He would also have in-depth homework to help him with his memory and staying on task. An emphasis would be placed on learning his colors because orange is not a skin tone.

If learning never ends then it’s got to be a great idea to attach a teacher to each candidate. Even better if their progress reports are made public. How great would it be to see that Donald Trump, did indeed, pass his bully test or that Bernie had been in the library? That’s democracy and education in action.

And bonus, if the candidates are kept busy doing homework and working on being the best they can be it’s less time we have to be bombarded by them and maybe, just maybe, this presidential election might take a turn for the better.



Ugh- Politics

Can we all join hands right now and say a prayer for  all the Hawkeyes out there? And by this I mean the residents ofpolitical-cocktail-party-napkin Iowa who are of legal voting age. These poor put-upon people have to endure a plague of politicians that is so intense it’s Old Testament in nature.

I heart the Constitution and the voting process, but if I lived in Iowa I’d be afraid to visit a local coffee shop or cafe for the next year and a half. In fact, it’s probably next to impossible to leave your house without being molested by campaigners or campaign literature.

And may Lady Liberty have mercy on your soul if you’re a farmer or own a tractor because the TV news crews will want a good old boy soundbite from you. It won’t matter if you just moved to Iowa from New York City. As long as your fanny is perched in the seat of a John Deere something or other, you’re news gold.

I think this is a case of being careful what you wish for. Sure, it sounds good to be the state with its caucus being the first major electoral event for nominating the president. But in reality it has to get old being stuck behind the (insert candidate of your choice name here) van, bus, or shudder, motorcade.

It’s not that I don’t have passion for the voting process. Years ago I was certain my campaign for Richfield High School Student Council vice president would scar me for life and severely hinder my ability to participate in anything political in nature, but I’ve managed to work through the pain and bitterness (not that it didn’t take decades).

I do, though, what to go on record as saying no one should lose an election solely due to an opponent’s throwing a “get out the vote” beer bust. Hello, I had amazing signs lining the school hallways and my campaign speech was stellar and didn’t end in “Dudes, let’s get drunk!” (Too bad my opponent can’t say that.)

In fact, I consider myself politically polyamorous. There are things I like about almost every party’s persuasion. I credit my parents for this. My dad is very much a Republican and my mother, well, she was what you might call a train wreck in terms of her voting record. One of her claims to fame was being the single vote in the Texas county we lived in for John Anderson in the 1980 presidential campaign.

I remember watching the televised returns with my parents and there on the screen pops up John Anderson — 1. She was beaming with pride. For a solid week the whole family referred to her as Mrs. Anderson. We did it to tick her off, but I think she loved it.

I’ve even got some caucus experience under my belt. This maybe why I so keenly feel for Iowans. Back when I lived in Nevada, I participated in the state’s presidential caucus. Of course, because it’s Nevada the caucus took place in a ballroom of a casino.

Nothing says serious debates and thoughtful deliberation like being adjacent to blackjack tables and nickel slots. It also didn’t help that multiple bars were open 24/7. By 10 a.m. folks were tipsy, by lunchtime they were hammered and by 3 p.m. it would be hours (if not days) before a lot of them could pass a field sobriety test.

Not to cast aspersions BUT the most inebriated caucus participants seemed to be for one candidate. I, being for the other candidate, was growing tired of the drunken fratboy-like antics of this opposing group. We were here to make history people — sober up! As the day went on I, finally, had reached the breaking point and felt it was my civic duty to do something about this flock of fools.

So, I got up, strutted over and told them to drink some coffee and be good Americans. I really went red, white and blue all over their asses. Guess what I got in return? Boos. Yes, I was booed! And not gently booed. Oh no, it was boisterous booing with an overlay of heckling.

People, I was thrilled! If you don’t have “getting booed for doing the right thing” on your bucket list, put it on there immediately. It’s beyond stimulating. As the boos grew louder I stood even taller and did what I believe our founding fathers would have not just approved of, but rewarded me with a proud tip of their tricorn. I poured a drink on the loudest booer’s head. And then I quickly walked/ran to the nearest ladies room and hid in a stall for a good 30 minutes.

God Bless America.


*Attention Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂