Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Extreme Pumpkins,Extreme Fun!!

For great, non-politically correct, amusing and laughable fun you should go to this pumpkin carving web site. It is great fun and sometimes gross. Everything needed to compliment your Halloween fun. I was lucky, when son was small, just to get out a carving knife and get a smile carved!! I am not this talented.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Bored With Chardonnay?

I did not intend to be a wine blog, nor do I intend to be "winey", as I might at times come across :-) , but it just happened that as I continued to read the news at MSNBC they had an article about Pinto Grigio becoming the "new" chardonnay. I had become quite bored with chardonnay and that is one reason why I have shifted to the reds. Also since the weather has gotten cooler. This article is a good one for those of you who like the white wines, but have never branched out. I have enjoyed a good Pinot Grigio throughout the summer as they are especially good on very hot days as they are much lighter than chardonnays. But just like the rules of red meat and pasta the new rule of thumb is try what you want when you want. There are really no rules, make it personal and make it your own.

Estancia is also a decent wine. That is the label that they are talking about in the MSNBC article. I have had that label many times and many menus will carry that variety due to the nice cost.


Shaun of the Dead, Alice White & Jon Stewart

Well, spent the weekend watching one of my favorite scary movies. I am not usually a fan of the fright, but Shaun of the Dead is great English humore that just happens to also be gory and funny. Since the weather was also quite frightful here, a nice mix of thunder, lightening, sunshine and hail with very damaging winds, I decided to drink a nice Cab/Merlot blend by Alice White. A nice Australian red blend that was on sale at my local market. Along with that I had ordered a pizza, some mildly hot wings and some nice gooey cheesey bread. A fine, cold Saturday night feast.

I originally had all of this typed up and ready to read on Sunday, but after I hit publish sometning weird happened and it was all lost and I was too pissed off to begin again. The moment was lost and I was too mad to try and type it all over again. So I can not testify to the flow or interest level today.

It seems that the Daily Show has been in re-runs all this past week. I was a tad annoyed, since I do TiVo it, but then found out it was because they were here in Ohio, the seriously important state for election people, filming down in Columbus. The filming that I seriously had wanted tickets to, but were sold out right away!! USA Today had a great article that made me even more envious that I was not able to attend. They are calling it the "Midwest Midterm Midtacular". Seems that LeBron James is to be the first guest. None of the politicians wanted to be a part. I wonder why?

Now today it is Monday and I have to study for my next big 7 chapter test. I am not working today, so I have plenty of time to study and drink coffee. Then after the test we are beginning to learn and work on airways. There is much going on in the news and I have not had much time to read anything and hope to be back in sync in a few days.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Shaun of the Dead & a Nice Red Wine

Spent the evening watching one of my Fav scary movies, because it is also hilarious English humor, and having a nice Australian Cab/Merlot blend by Alice White. Accompanying that nice wine were some semi-hot wings and nice gooey cheesey bread. Crazy movie, crazy menu and well, the weather was right along with the food & wine. It was crazy cold here and the wind was OUT OF CONTROL!! We alternated between thunder and lightening with turbulent hail pellets. It was insane for October. So, all in all a very good night for wine and comfort food and a good dose of scary English fun!! That movie makes me scream and laugh both.

Did talk to SO on the phone from Oman this weekend as well. Now that he has called twice I am sure that I am monitored. Oh and if the calls were not enough, he had the guy from the office, in Oman, send me a few e-mail photos from SO's camera. There you go, receiving e-mail from "THEM" now makes it okay to monitor all my traffic etc. So, I am probably getting you all on "THE LIST".

They are treating him like a king and I told him that that would not happen back home so get over that on the flight back!! He has a driver and they take him out for food and don't let him spend any money. Finally one of the more high up guys, at the job site, asked something like,".... don't we all love our George W. Bush over there?" SO said something like, "Are you kidding? Most people think he is an @#$@#$# and hate this &*^% war!" SO was surprised to find that they were under the impression that most people here are supporting this. Interesting. I was at least happy that he got to put out a little word that that is not the case. He also has watched some TV in his hotel, and even though it is not in English, he has seen more REAL coverage of the war than he has EVER seen on TV back here.

Before he leaves they have promised to take him out for a camel ride.

Finally got some REALLY GOOD sleep last night. Could that have anything to do with the vino? Hmmmm? With the time change it was a nice late sleep. The sun is shining here in Ohio and it looks to be a beautiful fall day. I have a huge test to study for and coffee to drink. I also will get to the Peace Vigil tonight.

All in all nice & rested and a good way to begin another week. Looking forward to a little R&R during that week of Christmas break.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tired, Tired and More Tired!!

Did I mention that I am very tired? Does the accompanying photo give a clue? I had made a deal with myself this morning, as I was dropping the child off at school I pledged, to myself, that I was coming right home and going BACK TO BED!!!!!! I walked in the door, went right upstairs, got into bed and pulled the covers over my head and ...... could not shut off my brain!! Do you think that I could get back to sleep? Not a chance. I was up there for an hour tossing and flailing around. Thinking about everything I want to get done today. Things for the weekend. You name it I was thinking about it. So the phone finally rang and I answered it and came downstairs, made some oatmeal and now I am poised at the keyboard with 3 newspapers that I have been saving to comment upon and much other misc that has been building up in my brain as I have not been able to blog since last weekend.

So, prepare yourself folks I think we are in for a vast post today. Liken it, if you will, to a blog with ADHD and no meds!!

Let's begin with someything a little more personal. The nice thing about havinga teen that is technologically savvy is that they can burn cd's for you in no time at all. I just carry a small pad of paper in the car and when I hear songs that I like I write them down and eventually give the list to the child and have him burn me out a new cd. I have to carry the pad because the station that I listen to is an alternative station and they do not always talk inbetween music and blab and tell you what you are hearing AND they also do not have a constant rotation, so you are almost always hearing new stuff.

It has been some time since I last had him burn me anything new, but for those of you that like to listen to new stuff, I thought that I would jot down a few of my new "heavy rotation" favs and see what you think, if you ever have a cjance to listen to a few of them. Here they are:

1. Hate Me/ Blue October
2. Snakes on a Plane/ Cobra Satrship
3. Lips of an Angel/ Hinder
4. Dark Blue/ Jack's Mannequin
5. Dani California/ Red Hot Chili Peppers
6. Liar/ Taking Back Sunday
7. I Hate Everything About You/ Three Days Grace

Now for an update on that Texas art teacher that took the kids to an art museum. You know the one where some goofy parents were upset that their 5th graders saw some nudity. I find it sad, but she and her school district have reached an agreement and she is out of her job. They are paying her the remainder of her salary, which they should, and she is agreeing not to say anything else about the principal or the school and they agree to put a letter of reccomendation in her file. The article ended with the principal saying that she did not feel that " time was used wisely" on this field trip. Well, let me tell you, as a teacher that has taken kids of middle school and high school on field trips, that it is VERY difficult to manage every second of the trip to ensure that every moment is a "teaching moment". I don't care how many adults are along there is no way to ensure that everyone is up to the task and making it a quality learning event. It is just how field trips are. I am sad that she had to lose her job. I am happy that I am not part of her school district. I took my students to the Cleveland Science Museum when Body Worlds was there. For those of you that may not have heard about Body Worlds, look it up, it was one VERY COOL exhibit. Although they were cadavers who had donated their bodies, after death, and it made for a great science learning trip. Since they were nude I proably would have lost my Texas teaching job. Things like that can not be learned in the classroom just looking at text books or films.

Then we must touch on Iraq in an article from New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. He talked to economists and public finance specialists. Looks like for every second we continue to stay in Iraq we taxpayers will end up spending and additional $6,300. I think I'll just send my check now.

His point, and I think it's a good one, that we are spending huge sums of money over there that could be better spent helping out the American health care system, developing alternative forms of energy and making a serious effort to reduce global poverty. Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel prize winning economist at Columbia and Linda Bilmes, a public-finance specialist at Harvard have worked together on a new study that for the Milken Institue Review. It states that the total costs of the war, including the budgetary, social and macroeconomic costs are likely to exceed $2 trillion.

The article then went on to put that number into prospective. It is 4 times the additional cost needed to provide health insurance for all uninsured Americans for the next decade. It is 1,600 times Bush's financing for his hydrogen energy project.

If you are one of those people that like to tinker on web sites there is another study that puts the dollar amount a bit lower, at $1 trillion. They are economists at the conservativeAmerican Enterprise Institute and they have set up a web site where you can play with figures on your own. It is www.aei-brookings.org/iraqcosts

Of course many of the costs of this war are hidden and haven't been spent yet. More than 3,000 American vets have suffered severe head injuries and the gov't will have to pay for them for decades. The sad cost of that could range from $600,000 to $5 million per person.

Sad, sad figures in a continually sad situation indeed.

With the number of uninsured Americans reaching a record 46.6 million last year, up by 7 million from the year 2000 it was great to read that there are a few hospitals that are taking a proactive stance to help those who are in most need!! It seems that a few hospitals have finally realized that if they work to help people before their illnesses get so out of hand that they are not constantly using the emergency rooms as a last resort.

People without insurance, and who have dieases like asthma, diabetes and have no health care are often left to use over the counter meds until their illness gets out of control and then the only option is to go to the emergency room which they cannot afford and does not get paid.

In some Denver, Texas and New York some of the hospitals are using funding to get aptients into programs that will help to control their medical conditions so that they might be less likely to be frequent clients. They are opening clinics to help meet the needs of the growing number of uninsured. Care is being donated by the hospitals. One hospital saved $475,000 in one year by educating 631 asthma patients and giving them caseworkers to help manage their care. Good for them. Going through the experience, as one of the uninsured , I know how scary it can be when you don't have meds or a doctor and people get sick. Sometimes we will spend the $39 and go the local quick clinic, but they don't deal with long term health issues like asthma, so I am left to "self treat" and use over the counter meds that only cost me $10 as opposed to a prescibed inhaler that would be about $100.00. Well in about 90 days the coffee mega giant will rpovide health care for me and mine, so gotta love'em for that.

Well, aside from those issues things have just gotten crazy. We are finally moving into the active part of my EMT class. We have the book part and take our quizzes and tests and then we move into the larger room and practice trauma assessments and triage. We are now getting into airways and all the real stuff that will need to be done to save a life and get them to the hospital. I am very tired when I get home.

It is interesting though to see how the class has naturally divided itsself. There are 14 of us, one dropped out, and we are 7 and 7 on the sides of the room. The side that I am on seems to be the more serious side. we always have our homework completed and take it seriously. The other side of the room are the "jock types' that mostly want to be firemen and do not often do their homework and swear outloud. This one guy has a problem constantly dropping the "F" bomb. Have some class dude!! He is a 29 year old adult, but acts like he is in a high school locker room. He is already a fireman, and I respect that, but he is very immature and does not care too much for the fact that his dept. is making him take this class. When we have to practice he goofs off and screws around. Very annoying for those of us that are seriously trying to grasp the info.

With more Marines getting killed today it scares me for my friends son. He will just be 21 on Wednesday and is right in the heart of it all.

The sun is ouy here today and it looks beautiful outside my windows as I type this. Even though I am tired I can not help but appreciate the beauty right outside. I think a sweatshirt would be great today, a stop for my inexpensive java and a trip to several stores will be on the "to-do" list. Just as an FYI to all of you on my blog list. Now that SO is in Oman I imagine, since he had a one way ticket, not knowing when he is leaving, that all my computer stuff will be monitored, my web sites and phone calls, so say hello to Big Brother!! I told them, on the phone the other night, when SO called to announce his arrival at the hotel, that I hope they enjoyed my boring conversation!! I hope they find all of your blogs intelligent and maybe they can learn something from some of you!! I don't know....maybe like, what the real pulse of the people might be!! Unlikely at best.

Hope this post finds you all well and rested, although I know Mixter is burning her candle at both ends like me as well. Hey, anybody got more candles out there??

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Pinker Tones

A surreal political musical fun fest!!! For your Saturday enjoyment!!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Congratualtions1! Boy or Girl?

At 7:46 this morning I was watching as I became just one of 300,000,000. How much longer can I be unique?

Lists, Lists and More Lists

Just when you thought that there just couldn't be another list!! USA Today has an article about a new book, 101 Most Influential People.

The people they speak of in the book, written by Alan Lazar, Dan Karlan, Jeremy Salter, are people that exist only in imagination. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was # 44, Batman was # 60. G.I. Joe was #48 and Barbie was # 43. You get the idea. I can't tell you who was number one. It might be a surprise and I can't say that I would make the same choice. You must chesck it out for yourself and let me know. Myself, I would have to choose Bugs Bunny. He was WAY ahead of his time and the rest of the cartoon world. he was dressing in drag long before it was common place and see an funny. He could sing and dance. He had it all.

Who makes your number one?


USA Today & Gallup recently took a poll that showed that 42% of the people polled feel that the Bush administration has fooled around with the prices, "deliberately manipulated", of gas. Something to do with the upcoming elections. Hmmmm, do we think that could be possible? Are the Republicans feeling some heat and fallout? I mean, come on, when was the last really good news that this administration had? Gas prices coming down is something that they know people like, want and will make them feel like someone cares.

Larry Sabato, a political scientist, from the University of Virginia said," You don't think that gas prices matter? Just ask Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter & Ronald Reagan. They'll all tell you that their victories or defeats depended in part on the cost of gas at the pump."

We could go on and on and talk about the prices of the barrels etc., but no matter what argument is presented you can't deny that these are oil people, with oil connections and men like this can and do make things happen and change in the world when they want it to happen.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Welcome Wagon

Warm, warm welcome to newest addition, Kung Fu Monkey. I found this interesting little blog at Wil Wheatons blog. It was one that he highly reccomended and I also found it to be humorous and other things as well. The writer has many links that I have not had the time to check out yet, but believe that I will enjoy it some Saturday afternoon when I am stuck inside.

His personal profile was amusing on its own; he began as a stnd-up comic, then got a physics degree, and ended up becoming a writer for TV and finally movies and comics.
A blog that I think has infinite possobilities!! Dive in.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

New Book

Lou Bobbs was on the Daily Show, a few nights ago, and was talking about his new book. I think it will be my next book to read. Maybe during Christmas break. It was not too big and I found it at Barnes and Noble for under $20.

Winterizing & Smoking Loon

It's that time of year when I start drinking the "warmer" wines such as Merlot & Cabernet. This cold weekend was no exception as I got a bottle of Smoking Loon Merlot and helped do a few winterizing jobs. One that included putting caulk around windows or some such activity. Makes for a nice still life, wouldn't you say? Although it was probably good that I wasn't physically manning the caulking gun since I was having some of the grape!!

It has been and will continue to be an active weekend as we also are preparing for SO's departing for Oman on Wednesday. So he is trying to get all the little odds and ends tied up that usually get put off. One of those jobs was changing the various fluorescent lightbulbs that we have around the house.

Years ago, when his family moved their tavern from one location to another, SO got the idea to take several of the large light fixtures and bring them home to hang in various locations. He installed 3 in the basement so we have great lighting down there and one above the basement stairs and the last fixture he put on the kitchen ceiling and built an attractive wood thing around it etc.

Well, the kitchen needed new bulbs and naturally the VERY hard to reach fixture over the basement stairs. This made me very nervous as SO tried to stand on one step and reach across with his other leg and balance, somewhat precariously, on the edge of a shelf that one can reach as you descend the stairs. A reach of several feet. I was most certainly opposed to this type of activity, but he proceeded as I held the back of his shirt in case his shoe slipped off the edge of the shelf. Although I had visions of his shirt coming off and him still flying down the steps. Made me very uncomfortable indeed.

Well, it was still a very difficult reach and the first bulb went in, somewhat, by the way did I mention that these bulbs are about 4 feet long and not easy to manuver with one hand? So, it was decided that he would go out and get a ladder from the neighbor. This guy has one of those metal ladders that bends in 6 gazillion directions.

SO brought it in and as I sipped some more of the Smoking Loon we both looked at this ladder and tried to figure out what pieces parts to push and pull to make it go the way he wanted to make it stand on the steps and reach the fixture. I suggested looking at the pictures on the side, but I guess that is not what you guys do. You just like to mess with these contraptions and eventually get it right.

Ah, success!! The ladder is on two different steps, and I presume locked into position, and we are ready to try again. Although I am still not too confident that this will still not slide or slip off of a step I sit at the top step and grasp the ladder to keep it from falling. It was a long way down and I am not quite ready to have to adminiater CPR!! I unwillingly let go and get the bulbs and hand them up. Finally...... let there be light!!! Bulb changing success!!!!

Ladder returned, again as we try to close it up without pinching any fingers in the process, I again return to the lovely merlot. Several projects completed and a sense of accomplishment. Now Sunday has arrived and another list is looming. Smoke detector batteries, flashlights in working order and furnace filters. The nice thing about Tivo is that SO won't have to miss any football. He can watch it later. I will be having the rest of that Smoking Loon.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Questions & Ponderings

Today we are going to explore several topics. This is due to the fact that I couldn't get on yesterday to post and I read another blog today that also inspired me.

Yesterday USA Today had an interesting poll in the Life section. They were taking a poll that asked the question, "Who do you think was the most influential person of all time?" The choices they had were very odd. I expected to see names like Jesus Christ, Ghandi etc. They had Santa Claus at the top of the list. Now, today I can not get back to that page to list some of the other crazy choices, but I leave it up to you. What requirements would one have to have to make the list of influential people of all time? Do you make it a personal list, like my 6th grade teacher, or do you think worldly like Ghandi? Do we think technologically and say, Bill Gates? What criteria do we use? Whatever it might be I can not see Santa Claus on that list.

I have not given it much thought yet. I am not sure if I would pick someone that has been influential in my life or someone that has influenced the world. On the one had Jesus Christ has been a major world influence, aside from all the changes that may have been made to original texts etc., but I am not sure that he would be the ultimate choice or answer for me or everyone across the board. Every part of the world would have different motivational leaders that they would also choose.

Would your choice be a fictional character like Atticus Finch? Would it be someone like Morrie from Tuesdays with Morrie? That man said many thoughtful and insightfull things that I considered to of great worth. Johnathon Livingston Seagull was a life changing book for many.

Would it be an inventor? Thomas Edison maybe. Eli Whitney.

I am not sure who my choice would be or if I could even limit it to one. Can there be only one "most influential person"? Where would your list begin?

Then, this morning, as I was reading Rachels Blog I found some more food for thought. She first talked about having writers block and the feeling that every post needs to be profound and have something to say. I know what she means. There are days that I feel like my writing is meaningless and just fluff, kinda like today, and that if I am not waxing political it is just a waste. But she has helped me to realize that even this serves a purpose. Whether it be for myself or someone else's need that day, it does serve some purpose. It just can't be high brow every day. Some days it just needs to be theraputic for the writer. Look at Mixter and Esteban. Even they had recent writings that were of a personal and humorous nature. Every day does not have to be the kind of day where you must feel that you made an impact in some major way. While reading Rachels blog I got more out of it than she probably thought anyone would. Her thoughts about "what you see is what you get" and "hiding out" were especially thought provoking for me.

At a time when my life is changing in such quick and profound ways I find myself wishing that I could try harder to be the "real" me and not the person that I want the world to see. I think today I am going to try and come out of hiding.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Grades & Coffee

Took my anatomy test yesterday and got a 96%. I am so happy with myself!!! I really did study until I actually had a little song to go along with the bones. Then we also took our first module test, over the 7 chapters, and got a 93%. Now I can take a brief breather until the next test. We are now beginning vital signs & Health Care Provider CPR. I am going to buy my hot pink stethoscope and blood pressure cuff on Friday.

Lots of working at the coffee mega giant these next three days as I learn to be a barista and make the coffee. I don't know if any of you ever watch CNBC, but Howard Schultz the CEO, the main man, of the coffee mega giant was a guest and did a really great interview. The part where he spoke about why he offers major health benefits to part - time employees was very interesting.

In 1960 when he was a young kid his dad was hurt in a work accident and since there was no workmens comp and they had no health insurance the family went through some very hard times. They were just basic middle class living in an apartment in Brooklyn neighborhood. He said that he knows how important it is for people to have insurance and not have those worries about what they might have to do if they are ill or hurt or a family becomes ill.

It's why I am there.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Dummies, Druggies & Petty Criminals Welcome

It seems that you don't have to graduate from high school to join the military. You can also be a drug user or petty crook. Don't believe it? Then check out this article at CBS NEWS. Heaven forbid you should be........... GAY!!! You can be of diminished mental capacity, but gay is just pushing the limits. Since 1994 the cost of removing, replacing and retraining has cost nearly 200 million. How can this be seen as worthwhile?

A few nights ago the Daily Show had a segment where they interviewed a young man, who happened to be gay and had been discharged, he had been an Arabic translator, but they decided that his sexuality would interfere with his ability to do his job. Hmmmm interesting. The point that they made was this; how did/or do his private thoughts etc. keep him from translating? This kinda fella obviously was not just some dope who they taught to read Arabic. He had to have some smarts and abilities. Then after all his training and years of service they find out he is gay and just give him the boot. ( No pun intended!)
I mean, how many guys are interested or able to be translators? Arabic does not seem like a second language that one just "picks up". I think it must be difficult. There goes money down the drain.

I can not say that I ever agreed with the " Don't ask, don't tell" rule. I always thought that there should have been something else. This is the time for that change.

When we begin to excuse, or give waivers, for everything else it seems as if they are lowering the standards and this is where you get the kind of people who might or may be unstable that have committed some of the more heinous crimes against the civilians over there in Iraq. You know the ones I mean. The ones that have slipped through the psych evaluations etc.

We all know that the recruiters prey upon the poorer parts of society as they know that the selling points about paying for your education and all the benefits are going to grab the attention of those families that might have no other way to pay for a higher education. Many see it as their only way to possibly go to college. Hell, if I wanted to go to college now I would probably see it as an entertaining idea.

I have no objections to those who willing wish to enter the U.S. military. A very good friend has a 21 year old son in Iraq right now. I totally support him. It's the war I object to. You know, "It's the war stupid". So if there are people, who happen to be gay, that wish to enter military service then I applaud their desire to serve and do not see why they should be any different than anyone else the recruiters are after.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Two Kinds of People

I was watching Pulp Fiction tonight and a very interesting conversation transpired, between the Uma Thurman character and John Travolta, that I decided to use for my short Sunday post since I will be working and studying all day. I also think I might be coming down with a cold since all the folks here at my home are in various stages of recovery.

She was just meeting the Vincent Vega character and he was going to take her to dinner. As a conversation starter and a way to get to know someone she said that she had devised this question. "There are two kinds of people in the world. Beatles people and Elvis people. Beatle people can like Elvis and Elvis people can like the Beatles, but nobody likes them both equally. Somewhere you have to make a choice."

I'm a Beatles. What is your choice?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Bumper Sticker

Saw this little gem yesterday. "If Bush is the answer, what was the question?' Anyone have any ideas on this one? I'm speechless........

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Happy Cup

Picked up this little gem, at the coffee mega giant ,yesterday after work. A nice discount is also one of the great perks of working there. Hey, I said perks..... coffee, perks....get it? Anyway, it just made me laugh out loud and I thought that I would like to see it with my morning coffee every day, or nearly every day. There are a few in the series and I may even get all of them. Look for future updates. I think I am going to call him Mike after Mike in Monsters Inc.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Snow on Foley

I wasn't even going to get into this today. I have anatomy to study, although it seems Sen. Foley had similar thoughts, and work at 2:00. I was just going to get busy, but thought I would watch last nights episode of the Daily Show and that brought me to throwing my hat in the ring.

Watching the CNN snippet, from Tony Snows comments, it seems that he, or those that he speaks for want to really trivialize this entire scenario. He actually called them,"naughty e-mails." He said that there have been worse episodes in Washington than a few naughty e-mails. When my dog soils the rug, that is naughty. When you send sexually framed e-mail that is a bit above naughty. Especially when you are a grown-up and they are a child. Would anyone tolerate their 16 year old daughter receiving those e-mails? Would Mr. Snow like to have his teen get e-mail that"naughty"?

That really, really pisses me off.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Venus, David & Co.

There is so much going on in the world that is more important, but these types of issues still make me boiling made as well. I had heard this on the radio and then,Friday at work, read about it in the New York Times. It is simply at outrage. What is a good teacher to do anymore??

By all accounts Sydney McGee, of Frisco Texas, was an excellent art teacher with a stellar record. She had 28 years experience. Now she finds herself suspended after a routine fieldtrip to the Dallas Musum of Art with her 5th grade art class.

It seems one of the students saw some nude art. What!! Nude art you say, why that is just unheard of and unacceptable. Don't they put coverings or parental warnings on that type of thing? Keep it in a separate room from the general public or wandering eye of a child. Well, obviously it is right out in the open because one of the children glimpsed something nude and went home and told their parents who called the school and objected to this type of thing and now Ms. McGee finds herself in this jam.

The field trip had all the proper pre-approval forms and permission. Principal and parental forms etc. Four other teachers and 12 accompanying parents. Not enough supervision eh? Thank goodness she is fighting this suspension!! Some parents are even calling for her to be fired!! What year is this? I used to worry about showing movies, taklking about constitutional rights and guns, death penalty etc., but never did we ever think twice about taking our kids to the art or the history museums. Remember represenations of cavemen wore little to no clothing.

The school district is claiming that the trip was,"poorly planned". Did they think that they could phone ahead and have certain items off limits? They had a docent leading the tour for crying out loud!! The Dallas news stations were even showing the art, on the evening news, with the body parts in question blacked out with those little boxes that they use for Spring Break news and topless girls at Mardi Gras. Unbelieveable. Is this what living in the Bible Belt has come to?

The principals statement was; "....students were exposed to nude statues and other nude art representations." The museum states that over the past decade more than half a million students have toured the museums 26,000 works without a single complaint. It's not like they have the Maplethorp exhibit or something that should cause an uproar. It is just basic classic pieces. Haven't any of these people ever had Art History in college? Haven't they read about a thing called The Renaissance?

Now her school board is actually trying to add other items to the reason for suspension, such as "she wore flip-flops to school." I can't even begin to tell you how many days I wore them to school when the weather allowed!! Her lawyers have obtained copies of all her evaluations and they all are exemplary. It was only after this trip that anything out of the ordinary was said about her job performance.

Retracing the route that was taken by the students there were busts and sculptures by Rodin and Aristide Maillol. We need to cover these?

When you are in the 5th grade it is funny and silly to see nudity, no big deal, but it seems that the parents are the ones with the hang-ups and making the big deal here. It is sad for their child. Sad that this teacher may loose her job over this field trip. Sad that they are going to raise a child that will be oblivious to all the great art of the centuries. Sad that they will probably raise a child with opinions just like theirs.