professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Breathing deeply

There is so much of late that seems to be punching my buttons. I need to reign in some of the responses, I know. But how much do you let go? Today, I let some tea party folks go unchallenged. I accompanied by BH to get his new hearing aids checked out. He was released until next year since they are working well (and I can testify to that, so nice to talk without shouting). The owner of the company (who owns a chain of these places) remarked that he loved the looming new year. I expected he was anticipating a party or some such. Nope. It meant we were one year closer to saying goodbye to President Obama. That then made another group in the waiting room (and let me say that there was no one in the waiting room under 50 as this is a business that caters to folks like me whose hearing is not what it used to be when we were young) to ask how the Affordable Care Act was impacting the business of hearing aids. The owner responded that it would be devastating to him. Huh? What the what? Before my head exploded, my BH and I tore out the door. That is probably why I am still alive because it took all my self control not to challenge the vitriol (Note: I commented that I thought Medicare paid for hearing aids. BH had some coverage under MY insurance, something that has not changed due to the ACA).

And the biggest lie that has been dogging me is the Education Nation advertising. How can you have an Education Nation without teachers? How can you have a panel of experts that include singers, actors, CEOs, governors and mayors, CEOs and college presidents and not have classroom teachers? How can you have a serious discussion without inviting what Arne Duncan calls "armchair pundits"? Apparently, Secretary Duncan does not like folks who are critical of CCSS and the millions (if not billions) being spent on more tests. And so, we are dismissed as pundits, not educators who have a voice, a stance, a point to be made. Not just any kind of pundit mind you, ARMCHAIR pundits. I guess that the fact he is mixing a sports metaphor here should be no surprise. I know the reference, and I find it insulting.

You know what helps in these situations? Being able to write about it and talk about it. Letting the anger pass. Writing my way into calm. Writing my way toward understanding. I know the situation in the waiting room occurs over and over again. I know there are folks who fear the ACA because they have not read about it, gone to the site, examined the charts. And I know those in power will continue to try to minimize those who point to the flaws, the errors, the pitfalls.

So, I take a deep breath and continue writing, continue reading, continue talking about the truth. I do so without anger (well, most of the time). And I do so because I speak for the kids in classrooms across this country. I might watch Melissa Harris-Perry talk to the kids as part of the Education Nation. But I will not watch the "teacher" portion since NBC has cut teachers off from the main discussion; teachers are an afterthought; they are being told in no uncertain terms that they are not key players. So, deep breath, Teri. Focus on the important elements here. Focus on the truth.
Tags: anger, arne duncan, ccss, education nation
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