Sunday, February 8, 2009

Another's Shoes

My great-aunt, a school principal, was fuming about city contract negotiations with firefighters. "All they do is sit around playing cards, waiting for something to happen!", she said. "Put them to work during the rest of the day!". I tried to explain firefighting as a profession, with much more going on during the day than she imagined, but one couldn't deny that the city was paying for men to work out, and quite often, to sleep. I hit home, however, when I suggested that taxpayers would be better served if teachers (and administrators) were put to "real" work when school is out, perhaps gaining a better perspective on what goes on in the less theoretical world. I'm fully aware of the extra work and training required of teachers having been around them all my life, but she needed perspective. "Well", she conceded, "I guess, I'll keep training their offspring if they keep answering 911."

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