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2021 / school / union / jd2718

December 31, 2021 pm31 11:09 pm
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The year began with COVID, and is ending with COVID. The pandemic dominated life the way no other event has dominated a year – certainly not for me. One off events have cast long shadows – but nothing has infiltrated every corner, every fiber as this virus from 2019.

My grandmother was one of eight children. The last sibling (great uncle or aunt) died the summer before the pandemic. But there were two spouses still living. COVID took one this past January. The funeral was live-streamed.

I was vaccinated in March. Moderna. Sore arm for the first shot. Really sore. Then real flu symptoms, 48 hours, for the second.

We ran through variants in 2021. Alpha was in the spring. Delta was later.

I was boosted in November. Sick for a day. But side effects are better than the main event. So far, no COVID for me. I will keep it that way, if I can.

But just after boosting, after it felt like things were easing up, we got hit by omicron. Lots of people got sick, and are getting sick. There is some hope that this will not cause people to get AS sick, but the jury is out.

Travel? No real trips in 2021. A couple visits to Massachusetts or Connecticut to visit family. Two rides way upstate. Celebrated my mom’s 80th in her backyard.

Hikes? I’ve been on a few. Local stuff. Harriman. Rockefeller. Pound Ridge. Van Cortland Park. But three separate foot issues limited my adventures.

Movies? I haven’t been in a theater since January 2020.

Did watch a lot of tv. Binged watched a few good shows. And quite a few others. Started reading books again. That’s good. Finishing “A Game of Birds and Wolves” just now.

And teaching.

In the spring all my teaching was online. It was exhausting and horrible. Zoom zoom zoom. I showed movie clips – I don’t do that in regular teaching. But I survived, and I tried to teach less, and some students learned a lot. And I never want to do that again.

In the summer I planned for the fall. I make the schedules, that takes a long time.

And now, in the fall and winter I am back in school. The classroom is great – best part of the day. The hallways, the crowds, the worst. Every day is stress-inducing.

A classroom bonus? I teach four once a week seminars. Logic for younger students, logic for older students, game theory, and set theory. Especially in set theory I have fun; I get to engage with kids who want math to be deeper than finding x.

I brought in a typewriter, and that was fun for some students. When I took it home (it’s mine) I purchased another one so they could keep playing. That’s a highlight.

And the union stuff.

That’s been infuriating. I never supported the caucus that runs the UFT, Unity. And in 2021 they did the normal bad stuff (lousy endorsement, not protecting teachers from abusive principals, etc)

But through this pandemic they have been worse than ever. Apparently they (or just Mulgrew? but I figure it’s a group of them) cut a deal to keep schools open, no matter what, and they spent all of 2021 (and a chunk of 2020) putting that pledge ahead of their obligation to represent the membership.

Through the first of 2021 (and all of 2020) they were embarrassing Andrew Cuomo fanboys. When he disagreed with de Blasio, they always took his side. When he made decisions that were bad for teachers, Mulgrew told us that they were good. They only stopped worshipping Randy Andy when he resigned in disgrace.

Also, they got caught working to privatize Medicare, and when caught, Mulgrew sounded to most retirees like he had just got caught.

And this year they did it all in front of an audience. With virtual DAs and Town Halls in the Spring, and with hybrid DAs now, many, many more UFTers – leaders in their schools, have seen Mulgrew’s behavior. And they have been disappointed, saddened, horrified, or some combination.

One thing I will be doing (this really belongs in tomorrow’s post) is working this coming spring with United for Change to unseat Unity.

Low Bar

When I think about some of my favorite years: 1969, 1972, 1983, 1992, 2014, hmm, there’s more. But 2021 is not on that list. In fact, 2021 might be at the top, of that other list.

So when I begin considering 2022, tomorrow, it’s a good bet that I’ll expect improvement. And indeed, 2021 has set an extremely low bar.

Happy New Year to all of you. I’m not waiting for the ball to drop. And good night. – jd (Jonathan)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. David Vota permalink
    December 31, 2021 pm31 11:17 pm 11:17 pm

    Happy New Year, JD. I always enjoy your posts.

  2. Maria Eugenia Sharafeddin permalink
    January 1, 2022 pm31 1:17 pm 1:17 pm

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

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