Cause you can’t close the door when the walls cave in.


Just spent another art class debating abortion and by debating I mean listening to two passionate students completely ignore each other’s points as they pontificate from their bubbles. When did we become so angry? When did we stop listening? When did this polarization become so common? Oh right, trickle down Politics.


Take abortion, no matter what your political or religious position you have to believe that life is better than death. So no matter how much you believe in a women’s right to choose, you should be able to see the other side. I personally think that the miracle of life is exactly that and while I would never choose to end a life, I know that my views are not as important as the woman who has the life developing inside her. I am pro-life and pro-choice and that’s OK.


But not to some of my students who want me to pick a side to validate their views. What about the rights of the baby? When is it a baby? Aren’t there enough unwanted kids already? Enough people already? What if men carried the babies and women were in charge of abortion laws? What if the men had to raise the kids?


Talk with women who have had abortions, are they happy about it? No. Did they do it because it was the best option for them? Yes, hopefully. Does my opinion really matter? Not in the slightest.


And Alabama, well, that’s just Democracy at work. Same deal with our tantruming- man-baby leader, we have a system where the majority rules and although it can be tainted and manipulated, it’s overall a pretty good system.


The important thing is having an opinion, studying an issue, understanding both sides, and taking a stand. When my student confronted Jose Antonio Vargas during the writer’s festival I was happy to see that he was confident enough to express his opinion. I was nervous as hell that it was going to go south but it didn’t and they both went away a little smarter from the experience.


Bill Nye is ready to punch America in the face. Have you seen the video? Bill is breaking down walls, waking people up, tired of screaming into the darkness. Sound familiar? Know better, do better, it’s my new mantra.


This grading period is called “Finding Jo Jo”, all about the Who in Who-ville that finally lets out a “YOPP” so all the Whos are not boiled in beezle-nut oil.


If you’re a little slow on the uptake, Whoville is the earth, Jo Jo is Bill Nye (or AOC or Al Gore or Prince EA or me), the beezle-nut oil is environmental catastrophe and the “YOPP” is the magic sound that will wake people the f-up (Bill Nye’s words, not mine). Are people listening? My students are, cause, well, they have to.


Perspective is important, looking again at the whole story of “Horton Hears a Who” (Dr. Seuss is required reading in my class) I realize the most important scene is after the “YOPP” when the evil kangaroos and monkeys (the oil industry) finally get it. And there in lies the problem; Seuss’s happy ending in 1954 is nowhere near the environmental reality of 2019. We’ve already heard the “YOPP” yet we continue to march blindly toward the beezle-nut oil. Have you seen the new normal in Missouri? Grim.


In Biology we are in the middle of a unit called “Plastic is making your penis smaller” (BPA’s and Phthalates increase estrogen levels). We go clean Nathanson Creek and discover 7 plastic bottles along with our typical full bag of trash (mostly plastic). We have been cleaning the stretch of the creek behind SVHS for 19 years now and while the volume has been decreasing in the last few years, any trash is unacceptable. We have picked up around 8000 square feet of trash, enough to fill the classroom about three times. And yes, this calculation will be on the test.


Since I’m all about solutions, we brainstorm as we do every year. Plogging, Boyen Slat, the EPA, Green New Deal, I’m bored with all the usual suspects and the students sense my malaise (I am no Bill Nye).


“But won’t polluting the earth lead to fewer people?” a student explains, “And really soon we’ll all be underwater so then we won’t need to fight about abortion and all that other stuff. Problem solved.”


Jo Jo has left the building.  Back to your screens kids.












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