Written by Bob Woelk Tuesday, 10 February 2009 13:58
I don’t have any ideas for a column this month. I do, however, have lots of ideas for columns I don’t want to write.
I’m not in the mood to discuss the state financial crisis. If I were, I would write that it is bush league politics at its finest to promise schools money for the year and then say, “Oops; we can’t cover what we said we would provide per pupil. Tough luck.”
At this point, where can education budgets be trimmed? A number of ideas have surfaced, including extending the length of each day and then going to a four-day school week. We already have one of the longest school days in the state here in Hillsboro.
Another idea is to stop school May 1. We could do that, but would sports continue until the state baseball and softball tournaments and state track meet at the end of May?
I could also point out that any effort by state legislators to save taxpayers money by holding back education funds will result in higher property taxes, so nothing will be saved, other than senators’ and representatives’ ability to say they were not the ones who directly raised taxes to bridge the budget gap.
I could spend my column space this month lamenting the number of drivers I see using cell phones while operating motor vehicles and how one elderly gentleman switched lanes right in front of my car, then turned off D Street without signaling while yacking on a phone the other day.
But, the people who do this sort of thing wouldn’t see themselves in my words anyway. Besides, I noticed a highway patrolman driving with his knees and dialing or texting on his cell the other day. Fine example.
I’d like to call for a total ban on phone use of any kind while driving, but, again, if the quadruple likelihood of having an accident while multitasking doesn’t faze people, why would a law make a difference?
I could wonder publicly why fellow teacher Dustin Dalke and I are having a hard time finding takers for our planned trip to England, Ireland and Wales in the summer of 2010. But, that would be a shameless plug for the trip, wouldn’t it?
I would mention, if I were to write about it, that the bearish economy may be responsible for a lack of interest or that students may just have a lack of interest in general.
I would also point out that people could contact Dustin or me for more details if interested. I might add that the price has actually gone down since the dollar is stronger these days. I could also reveal that the trip is open to adults and students from the area, not just Hillsboro. But, I have decided not to mention it at all.
I’ve written columns about the subject of parents yelling at referees before, so I don’t need to waste space on it again this month. But, from where I sit at the scorers’ table during basketball games, I continue to wonder whether some spectators enjoy the game of basketball at all, given the fact that they seem to be in attendance only to dispute each and every officials’ call against their teams.
As a former coach, I could tell the hoop harpies that they only succeed in making the players nervous and upset and don’t accomplish the goal of persuading referees to make more calls in their favor.
I’m tempted to lambast the government for delaying the mandated switch from analog to digital television signals until summer as another example of how wishy-washy officials have become.
I would point out that postponing the inevitable will simply confuse people even more. For heaven’s sake, we have been hearing about the Feb. 17, 2009, changeover for at least a year now. Those who don’t understand by this point, never will. How does putting it off for another five months or so change things?
The government should do a better job of explaining why the switch is necessary in the first place. What are the advantages of the new signal? I would be all for throwing the switch at the announced time and forgetting about it. But, I don’t think there is enough information there to warrant an entire column on the subject, so I guess I’ll just drop it.
Bottom line, I just don’t have anything to write about this month. I already have an idea for March, but it won’t work in February. I would suggest you don’t read my writing this month and wait for next time.
Unless it’s too late.