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A Letter From The Superintendent

23 Dec

This was published in Funny Times, December 2013  (www.funnytimes.com)

Dear Parents:

All of us in the District are eager and excited to begin what promises to be our most successful year to date.

First, we are proud to announce that the entire District is now dedicated to serving only Gifted and Special Needs students. This change comes after a review of last year’s student records revealed that there were no “Regular-Ed” students left.

The District’s Food Service Department has unveiled our new Culinarily Correct Cafeteria. We are now able to accommodate students with food allergies and sensitivities, as well as our athletes, and our obese and anorexic students. The cafeterias no longer serve any foods containing wheat, eggs, nuts, dairy, meat, or soy products. We now offer organic versions of Slim Fast, Ensure and Muscle Milk.

Thanks to the PTA’s tremendous efforts, all playground equipment has finally been removed. The playgrounds are now equipped with Wi-Fi, cable and virtual playground goggles that will allow students to visualize that they are playing in a safe, supportive, and healthy environment.

Our Parent Peep-Hole Portal is up and running and can be accessed from the District’s website, www.veritasdistrictschools.com. You can review your student’s attendance record, assignments, grades, contact teachers and/or watch live school action on the 72 newly installed security cameras in and around our school. If you have cable, you can watch us on Channel 112!

We are also pleased to announce that despite all the budget cuts, we have added three new staff positions at each school. An on-site Pharmacist will handle the ever increasing pharmaceutical needs of our students with ADD/ADHD, diabetes, anxiety, bipolar, depression and any other disorders. A new Grief Counselor and a Good Guy with a Gun will also set up offices where the art and music rooms used to be.

Please be sure to check the updated calendar, available on our website, as we have added 32 new teacher in-service days (no school for students on these days) to continue training our teachers on compliance with the 422 new federal and state guidelines for curriculum, administering tests and, of course, the latest teacher and student evaluation criteria.

We are striving for excellence, and we are optimistic that we can bring you this excellence within our new budget (28 percent of last year’s budget, 32 percent of the previous year’s).  Additionally, we are confident that we can do this effectively, even while welcoming the 1,300 new students that are joining us from a neighboring District’s school that was closed last year due to non-adherence to their District’s dress code.

We are relentless in our effort to improve your child’s educational experience and we will continue to try to find out just why our schools keep “failing” despite the massive amounts of time and money we are applying at the local, state and national levels.

We are rigorously evaluating our teachers, teaching techniques and student performance. In addition to those evaluations, we are conducting union effectiveness evaluations, procurement audits, administrative evaluations, interior and exterior security audits, emergency planning audits, parking lot safety studies, length of grass near buildings audits, and how the sun shines on our schools evaluations.

The only input to your child’s education that has not been thoroughly scrutinized to date is … you, the parent.

Although it sounds silly, there is some evidence that suggests that you and your expectations of your child could be the most influential factor in their educational experience. Toward that end, we have enclosed a District-wide Parent Evaluation Survey that we’d like to you fill out and send back to us.

If you don’t return the survey, don’t worry; we know how taxing all this seemingly unnecessary paperwork can be. Happily, Mr. McCarthy, our Engineering and Technology teacher, has offered to have his senior class fill in the blanks on any non-returned surveys as part of their research project in his class: Hacking, Tracking, and Tapping – Information Gathering in the Modern World.

Again, we welcome you and hope you and all our students are as excited as we are to have a successful year.

Yours in Learning,

Dr. Will Botch, Ph.D.

Proudly serving as Superintendent

Anita B. Veritas School District

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America’s Got Candidates

2 Nov

I wrote this after the 2012 election. Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda!

What if instead of debates, we just had a series of reality shows.  After all, that’s something Americans can tune in to.  We could call it America’s Got Candidates, and through a series of episodes we really could get a look at the Candidates and see just what they’d be like in action…or uh, at least see more of what they’re like after make-up and while the cameras are rolling.

We could start out with Dinning with the Candidates and take an intimate look at the entertaining function of the Presidency.  Each contestant, uh, I mean, Candidate, would host a mock state dinner so we can see just how he and the first lady (or she and the first man) will present our country.   What would they serve, what would they wear, how do they look dancing.  It would be fabulous.  Then Americans could text in their votes for the winner.

Next up: The Most Deadliest Candidate, where we delve into more serious matters.  Each candidate would handle a simulated major terrorist attack or act of war.  Moderators could evaluate how each implements the power and resources of our country in a crisis.  Forensic and political experts could debate the affects and effectiveness of each Candidates approach and strategy.  Again, at the end, we Americans could vote, via text, for whom we want to be the Commander and Chief Executive based on seeing the choices in action.

After that, the issue of budget and finances; and in an Apprentice like hour called the Tax Man, Candidates would compete for a tax deal that would pass through a mock congress.  Since Abe Lincoln or FDR isn’t available to moderate, I would suggest Chris Christie or even Bill Clinton – he has the hair and is probably available.  Heck, Donald Trump himself might just sponsor and host that show.

Next: Beltway Wives, an up close and personal look at potential First Ladies.  After that: Runaway Budget, a 60 minute segment where each has to figure out how in 4 years you can eradicate 40 years of reckless financial management.  Then the nail biter:  Survivor Candidate, where each would have to simulate recovery from a natural disaster.

Lastly, we could wrap in all up in an election season finale.  On the final episode of America’s Got Candidates, we could dig into the past and present of each Candidate in an “It’s Your Life “ format, bringing on guests both for and against each Candidate for interviews about their personal experience with the Candidate.  It would be a kind of a behind the scenes look at the lives, the birth certificates, etc., of each Candidate.

It would be refreshing if we could just openly succumb to our need to be entertained and admit we want a Candidate that looks good in a bathing suit, can play an instrument, sing and dance and in general just make us feel good.

It might even solve the whole Electoral College issue – and voter registration problems too.  We could simple vote at the end of each show and at the season finale, all the votes would be tallied and we could be sure to put the most suave man in office.

Yes, I think I’m on to something here, and I bet someone in Hollywood is already working on it for the 2016 season already.

Sorry, I’ve just got to vandalize this bench

8 Dec
Hats off to the Denver Water Department for the very effective “Use Only What You Need” public relations campaign.

It is pure genius.

That’s why it makes me so sad to have to vandalize it.

I’m not prone to vandalism; as a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ve ever committed an act of vandalism. Of course I’ve fantasized an act or two. I envision myself heaving my coffee pot through the window of the Mr. Coffee​ headquarters (a la the Discount Tire ad), because it drips on the counter every time I pour a cup. And I have a recurring dream of breaking into government computers and putting all of Congress on Medicare and Social Security instead of their bountiful salaries and fabulous benefits, the ones that inure them from any hope of ever helping their constituents.

But now I find myself plotting and planning an actual crime. I’m obsessed with a humongous orange bench that appeared recently on the corner of 1st and University in Cherry Creek and reads, “This is what you use,” next to a little orange bench that reads, “This is what you need.”

I knew immediately when I saw the benches what I needed to do. And it is not my moral compass, nor my fear of getting caught that has kept me, thus far, from my delinquency; both those I would sacrifice, I am so compelled. I’ve even rationalized that my kids might think mommy doing a little jail time is cool — like a tattoo — or it might give them some bragging rights in their world of suburban opulence and entitlement.

No, what has kept me from my crime spree is the fact that I cannot decide which act of vandalism to do. I am truly torn.

Should I write on the big bench, “This is how much money you make,” and on the little bench, “This is how much money you need,” with a little follow-on that says, “Do something good with it”?

Or, “This is how rich you are,” on the big bench, and, “This is how rich you think you are,” on the little bench, with the follow-on “Ninety percent of the top 10 percent don’t think they’re rich enough and therefore have no obligation to society”?

Hmmm, that one’s probably too long.

Or, “This is how much you owe in taxes,” on the big bench and, “This is how much you pay in taxes,” on the little one with, “Using loopholes is the same as stealing,” as the follow-on?

Or perhaps I should dedicate my anarchy to one of the most egregious frivolities to surface in our society, a cause near and dear to my almost-50 ego, a prevalent travesty in Cherry Creek. I could put, on the big bench, “This is how much money, time and effort you spend on your appearance,” and on the small bench, “This is what you should.” Below that it would read, “There’s been enough money spent on plastic surgery and breast enlargements in Cherry Creek to have eradicated malaria from our planet!”

So I have my black mask and my black outfit already set out. I just need to decide which pair of boots to wear and which slogan to use.

 

Read more: Sorry, I’ve just got to vandalize this bench – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_18905973#ixzz1fxTHCyI2
Read The Denver Post’s Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse

Milton Bradley Unveils New Game Called ‘Strife’

19 Jul

Said to be more realistic version of their ‘Life’ game

Milton Bradley Company, maker of the game “Life,” is unveiling a new version of the game called “Strife.”

The new game requires players to spin the wheel to determine an initial educational path: Spin 1-7 and you take the high school path, 8-9 and you go to college, and those lucky few who spin a 10 skip to the Dynastic Wealth or Fame path.

On the high school path, players must avoid landing on the four spaces marked “Pregnancy,” “Addiction,” “Poverty,” or “Wrong Place-Wrong Time”; if they do, they must drop out of high school and chose from careers as welfare recipients, cleaning lady or man, dishwasher, or hobo. In these cases, players collect no salary, since it all goes toward living expenses.

If they’re lucky enough to avoid those spaces, high school educated players choose from career cards for jobs waiting tables, in retail or telemarketing, or as bank tellers and loan officers; salary cards range from $7 to $15 an hour. There are two lucky bonus cards on the high school path: Professional Athlete and Celebrity, where players proceed directly to the Party and Play areas.

The college path now goes two ways: Spin to see if you graduate with no debt and pick from the Upper Middle Class career cards that include CEO, CFO, Lawyer, Banker, Broker or Politician, and pay ranges from $300,000-500,000 per year.

Or, take the Disappearing Middle Class path and graduate with $45,000 of debt and choose from career cards that Include Teacher, Small Business Owner, Nurse, and Sales Person. The pay in this case ranges from $30,000-75,000 per year. Players who go the middle class path must draw from the majority of the tax burden cards and pay the amount shown each time they roll a 5.

Players on the Dynastic Wealth or Fame path proceed directly to the Party and Play area. Career cards include Reality TV Star, Famous Family Screw up or Politician. There is no salary because the makers said they “couldn’t fit that much money in the box.”

There are 20 Bummer squares that include events such as CEO Bankrupts Company, Over-Mortgaged House and Lose It to Foreclosure, and Get Fired for Poorly Worded Tweet. A player that lands on a Bummer square has to give back everything and start over again.

There are 20 Accident and Illness squares that require a player to spin the wheel to see what amount the insurance company will pay, if at all. All players must purchase several insurance policies but only the one with the golden egg on the card actually pays.

When a player’s debt becomes twice their holdings in cash and assets, the player is out and all remaining players give up 10% of everything they own to the banks and credit card companies.

This continues until everyone in the game is bankrupt. No one actually wins, but everyone accumulates a lot of stuff.

###

Kate Morrison likes to make up stories, especially ones that could be true, on some level. That’s why she writes fake news articles for the Humor Times! More: Website, Twitter, Facebook (if available).

Humor Times

World’s Funniest News Magazine
Appeared 5/23/2011

How To Be A Burden On Your Children

17 May

How To Be A Burden On Your Children

I’ve decided I’m going to be a burden on my children.  It’s a nice succinct retirement plan, there’s no paperwork  and it keeps me motivated to be the best parent I can be.

I realize I’m counting on at least one of my boys not being in jail or rehab, being gainfully employed and/or having a girlfriend or wife that is. 

I am small and probably won’t eat much.  I understand that living under their roof I’ll have to follow their rules.  Why, I’ll be no trouble at all. 

Just a few little quirks… Continue reading

I Hate Taxes

11 May

Appeared in April 2011 Funny Times

It’s tax season again and I feel angry and ripped off.  I hate to pay my taxes.   I only have three kids in public schools and although I have 5 library books right now, I could have gotten them on Amazon.  I did set my kitchen on fire once but technically I had the fire out before the fire department arrived.   And despite my relief that 911 sent help years ago when my then 4 year old “ran away,” in hindsight I’m not so sure I really wanted him back.  Continue reading

Dish Rags Not Included

9 May

Dish Rags Not Included appeared in the October 2010  issue of Funny Times (Clevaland Heights, OH).

 

I recently purchased a new coffee maker.  It brews, it warms, it can tell time, it can auto-magically have the coffee waiting for me in the morning when I wake, but alas, it cannot pour coffee without spilling it. 

 I pour slowly, it drips on the counter.  I pour quickly, it drips on the counter.  Left handed, right handed, high up, low down, it drips.  Hello?  It’s a coffee maker.  If it was a Mr. Ricer or a Mr. Yogurt I could understand; but it’s a coffee maker.  It’s supposed to brew, warm and decant coffee.  I wonder if it were a Mrs. Coffee would it still spill? Continue reading

The Coupon Carbon Footprint

9 May

 

Has anyone noticed we have gone completely coupon crazy?  What started as a simple marketing technique is now out of control. 

I’m sure somehow the mass quantity and variety of coupons available is a sign of the impending downfall of capitalism.  Coupons are the insidious seed of discontent in our society; they feed our debilitating need to get more for less; slowly devaluating all we have and do in a discounted frenzy… In the very least, they are a messy, time consuming pain in the neck. Continue reading

Conscious Neglect

6 May

I have been lucky enough to raise my children in middle class comfort and have taken advantage of the many opportunities afforded me to expose and educate them.  Now 12 years into this endeavor, I realize I’ve made a giant mistake.    And with all the recent attention on “Helicopter Parenting,” I have decided it is time for action.  Therefore, in the interest of my children, I am hereby going to neglect them. 

Furthermore, I feel it is my duty to package up this concept and take it to my fellow parental compatriots.  Oh the stories I could tell of what is like on the front line in the war for greatness and recognition, ease and perfection for my children.    Continue reading