Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Someone you don't want in your shop.


Recommended Posts

If you've seen the news today you may have seen this one. Search  "Gorilla Glue Hair" for the story.

Seems the gal ran out of hair spray and used spray, Gorilla Glue (super glue.) After a month of trying to shampoo it out she started seeking help. Yeah, she actually shampooed her hair 15 times in just one month. :o

I have trouble being very sympathetic but I have to wonder who taught this poor gal to cross the road.

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've recently been struggling with a case of bader-meinhoff syndrome myself.  I noticed that whenever I lead my observations with empathy, I overlook things that become obvious when I focus on objectivity first.  Ever since I started with objectivity first, empathy second, I've noticed that most social dysfunction hinges on people "giving the benefit of the doubt" to situations where only the actor's intent is in doubt, the outcome is obvious.

In this case, the empathetic response focuses on the embarrassing spectacle of someone making a humiliating mistake.  Broadcasting their mistake, and their subsequent struggles to rectify that mistake, only compounds the humiliation.

Flip it the other way, you've got a teacher, someone whose entire career is defined by imparting her knowledge to other people.

Using social media platform to demonstrate her knowledge to other people is a natural extension thereof.

Here in Colorado, less than half of public school students are proficient at reading at all grade levels.  Objectively speaking, illiteracy is the primary outcome.

The "benefit of the doubt" perspective would chime in with "there are some good teachers", again largely speaking to their intentions, their effort, etc.  

Let's agree with that premise and apply it to this teacher.  She clearly intended to share her knowledge with others, and selflessly exposed herself to demonstrate her knowledge.  It's fair to say that she's doing her best work here.  So what has she taught us?  Well, for starters, she has illustrated the dangers of illiteracy as clearly as she has exposed it's source. 

I believe the lesson here is that the public should be more objective about what public school teachers are actually doing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In a land where achievement isn't rewarded but intentions are there is very little feeling of accomplishment. Folks who don't know how to DO things need their 15 minutes of fame to compensate. With the ease of phone video and internet "publication" anybody can put themselves in the public eye for their 15 minutes. 

Unfortunately the edu system doesn't press life skills, it didn't when I was in high school and college was worse. I had a math class where we spent the entire class learning about math, learning to DO math wasn't part of the curriculum. We learned how they did multiplication in ancient Rome, how to use an abacus but only on paper, no actual practice and other touchy feely nonsense. It's called "The New Math." 

This isn't new, I think poor education is the only way people can get elected, it's not like they're judged by job performance or honesty. Logic is dead it seems.

Common sense doesn't refer to it's prevalence, in this use it refers to it not requiring special education or consideration, the next step up is Good sense. If it takes special training or education it's not Common. 

I wouldn't be surprised if Lazarus Long didn't say that more than once. He was a favorite "tool" RAH used to punch adolescents with common wisdom. 

Videotaping stupid stunts, crimes, etc. is a symptom of a culture that values being seen over being worthy. Appearance over substance. Needing attention is instinctive for pack animals like Humans, it's how you win a mate on it's basest level. So displaying yourself is instinct and if you have zero of worth to display. . . bad attention is better than no attention. If you've ever trained a dog you know they'll act up if you don't pay them enough attention. 

A mark of civilization is members controlling their instincts to cooperate with the society. This is a learned skill and is just not taught, at home, school or elsewhere.

Gorilla glue girl screwed up. Who doesn't? However she doesn't have enough life skills to solve problems and it took a month to figure out she needed help. Where does she go? Contact Gorilla glue and ask, a doctor maybe. . . Nope? She asks the random noise that is the blogosphere. Social media where everybody, the less knowledgeable the louder, social media. 

No life skills so she seeks sympathy, after all look how many "trials" have been settled by public opinion and cancel culture. 

She's using the ONLY tools she has. 

I agree Rockstar, humans in general SHOULD be more objective but due diligence is harder than blaming others lack of empathy or whatever. There is a good reason private and parochial schools turn out students that meet and usually exceed the grade standards. They DEMAND results of students and instructors. Fail a test get a big RED FAIL stamp. Fail a semester and repeat it. 

Public schools get funding by passing students, not educating them. If they fail a student they lose that funding so thy have been justifying a NO FAIL education system by claiming failure hurts self confidence and esteem.

In truth if a person wants confidence and esteem they MUST learn to do the task and do it well. PERIOD. 

In my world stupidity would never be rewarded, Gorilla glue girl would have to dig herself out of her own stupid hole.

Of course that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rockstar:  The other side of your statistic about reading is that over half of Colorado students are reading at or above grade level.  This is a classic glass half full, glass half empty situation.  The inescapable fact is that over 150 million people in this country are of below average intelligence (and the other half are above average).

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not quite, you  mean "median intelligence".   Example if you have 4 people with IQ's of 90, 91, 92 and 143, then the average IQ is 104 and 3/4 of the people are below average. Median intelligence is where there are as many people above it as below it. 

Tom Lehrer's song "New Math" poked fun at that fad in math pedagogy. 

Some things to consider is that teaching fads are built into the system---you generally can't get a PhD and higher pay telling folks that the way they are doing things works---you have to discover *new* methods!   Also the rule that the first law of bureaucracies is to protect the bureaucracy---not to improve things.  We have a massive embedded base in our educational system trying to protect their jobs not  do a better job at them.  Unfortunately for every great teacher I have had, there has been a bunch of mediocre ones and at least one terrible one.  (And this is in the same school systems.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, George N. M. said:

Rockstar:  The other side of your statistic about reading is that over half of Colorado students are reading at or above grade level.

Incorrect, I wrote that less than half are proficient.  The majority are not.

While I appreciate the positive spin on things, I think the standard distribution bell curve would apply to population intelligence as well.  That would suggest that 66% are within one standard deviation of average intelligence, with 16.5% being low outliers, and 16.5% being high outliers.  Taken in sum, 82.5% of the population is within one standard deviation of average or above.  Colorado barely cracks 40% on literacy proficiency any given year.  That suggests that there's less than a 50/50 chance that a student of average to above average intelligence will learn to read in the Colorado School system. 

Every Colorado parent should consider how fundamental literacy is to ALL LEARNING and then ask themselves how they feel about flipping a coin on their kids future.  

It's also worth pointing out that the low outliers aren't in general population, they're in special ed which isn't counting in these totals.

Please note that all of this data predates the last year of school shutdowns which have reduced the class time for everyone.  Even online schools are operating at less than 50%.  

We've tried Charter, Magnet, and Classical schools here, there was no escaping the structural opposition to effective teaching or learning, so we homeschool.  

It may sound cynical or unkind to say this, but I sincerely think it's possible that Colorado students will get smarter because they've had less exposure to our teachers. 






Link to comment
Share on other sites

This may take this thread in a very strange direction, but...

We are equally unimpressed with what has become of the education system, and started homeschooling years ago. For us, having a high performing child, seeing the gifted programs disappear, and my wife already at home with a background in education, it was the best choice for us. I can’t say it would be a good fit for others, but it has been very beneficial for our family. We now have one young adult double-majoring at one of the nation’s best private engineering schools and a elementary-age boy who is two years ahead. If home schooling is a fit for you, don’t be afraid to make the jump. PM me if you are interested and need resource information...


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Thomas:  Yes, you are statistically correct.  However, I was using the popular usage of average which most people (and a large sample) understand as half below, half above.

And, yes, most folk are fairly close to the average/median/mean.  However, we should realize that raw intelligence is not real world smarts.  We have all known folk who are intellectually intelligent but if it was raining soup they would go outside with a fork.  The absent minded professor is the usual trope.

Rockstar:  My apologies, I read your posting a bit too quickly.

As someone who has had a child go through the Colorado public school system in the '90s and oughts I will say that my impression is that teachers, schools and results are uneven.  Some are great, many mediocre, and some really bad.  Part of that is a funding question.  Do you attract the best and the brightest with what public school systems pay their teachers?  Voters do not accept that to have a great education system you have to pay for it with higher taxes.  They and the politicians seem to think that you will get better results and better prepared graduates by "cutting the fat."

And we won't even get into how parental input and home environment factor into the results for any particular student.

I agree with Thomas' observation about how "innovation" drives the educational system.  Everyone has to have something new.  Saying what we are doing now or what was done in the past is about as good as can be done never gets anyone ahead professionally.

Goods:  I agree that if the parents are capable and able to put in the effort home schooling can exceed the pubic schools academically.  Unfortunately, not all parents have that capability.  There are some very good home schooling programs out there and there are also some very poor ones.  In my experience some of the faith based ones are the worst for academics.  Their emphasis is on faith and not so much on secular academics.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand." 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

George, I have to agree with you there. As with everything, if you want good results, you have to put in the time and effort. Fortunately, there are a lot more resources available, many free of cost, than when we first started. (But, yes, definitely not a good fit for everyone!)

We do a secular curriculum, and I have always felt the same as you have observed. Yesterday, in a conversation with my wife, she pointed out that many of the evangelical home schooled children, while lacking some critical thinking and science education, had a very good history education. (I hope it serves them well.)  


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do not blame it all on just your education system, over here that stuff is available to everyone. And what did the government do with it? The ruined it by forcing everyone to take classes that are 100% useless. Learning Dutch, American English, German and French is a bit much isnt it, and it is all heavily focused on writing and grammar, not practical use. Then throw some classes about religion and civics around that and there is very little time left to learn how to change a ****** lightbulb, or how you should file taxes. So, imagine this, you spend 4 or 5 years on high school to learn the basics, then you go to college for 2 years to become a welder. Guess what they then force down your throat? The same Dutch, English and civics classes you already learned in high school, for 16 hours each week. The only thing we got during Dutch and English was how to write a letter of application. 

Imagine my horror when after I started going to evening school to become a mechanic I still had to learn those same classes all over again. 8 hours of school each weak, and 4 of those where spent on the same Dutch, English and Civics classes. 

How can I learn anything if they keep feeding me information that is useless? Especially if the rest of the stuff they teach me is outdated for at least 10 years.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually wish schools in the US paid a little more attention to learning at least one language other than English. Most people just memorized their conjugations for the test then forgot them. I really liked Spanish and participated in a foreign exchange program with Madrid, which is a really cool city in my opinion. Starting a foreign language in the 7th grade (around 12 years old) is not the best time if you actually retain the language. Most kids just dismissed the class as useless. My college didn't have a foreign language program at all so I haven't really spoken/used my Spanish in about 6 years so my vocabulary has diminished substantially. I can read it a lot better than I can speak it.

So I agree that there are a lot of superfluous classes in education, but I think being proficient in at least 2 languages is a good thing. Obviously at the very least your English classes weren't entirely a waste of time Demios! You seem to speak (or rather type) it better than many Americans!

That being said, I don't think those sorts of subjects should be part of a welders curriculum.


Fun fact, I broke my tibia the first week the exchange students came to the US in front of all of them. I tried to "walk it off" but didn't make it very far. I spent the rest of their time here in a full leg cast on crutches. That was fun and I gained somewhat of a reputation on account of the crutches and that I was laughing saying it hurt, but was no big deal. Came back the next day with the cast, having cracked by tibia 3/4 of the way through 2" below the knee.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I completely agree that seventh grade is not a great time to introduce a student to a second language. The brain is optimized to learn language until you reach about six years old. There's pretty good evidence that pre school would be the best time to introduce a child to a second language.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I grew up in S. California and had more Mexican friends than non. Languages weren't offered in middle school and come high school were only required for some majors but as an elective, counted towards graduation. Soooo, the Mexican kids took Spanish thinking it'd be an easy grade, the majority did poorly or failed. What in it's wisdom was offered at Spanish in Californian Spanish class? 15th. century, classical Spanish. What do you write with, La Penera or Las Plumas? Utterly useless as a second language. 

About the funding issue. I agree George you have to pay for quality but are you getting what you pay for? Alaska has the highest per capita cost per student costs in the US and some of the lowest grades. Our teachers don't make a living wage DURING the school year and our schools are way behind on maintenance, some so bad it's cheaper to tear them down and rebuild the. We have a couple schools that've been closed since the 2018 Nov. quake. Where does the money go? Admin and the union absorbs, last I looked, better than 70%.

Some years ago a village school enrollment dropped to 5 students which was below what state law requires for state school funding. The union and admin were all over trying to get a waiver approved to maintain funding. There were TV and Radio PSAs actually justifying the waiver or 11 administrators would have to be let go. They were all attached to ONE village school. The village council told the state they weren't interested in state funding and hired a teacher. They shopped for one that could teach all grade levels and paid him/er 4x union scale. Edu levels jumped dramatically and other villages started following suit.  The village clerk handles the admin duties for the school with help fro the teacher. 

The problem with the edu system lays with who runs the system and skims the funding.

Home schooling certainly isn't for everyone, a parent has to be able and willing to keep far enough ahead of their kids to do the job. I've known a number of home schooled kids and the ones schooled well are WAY above average in all respects. Unfortunately those who weren't are as unschooled as it gets. 

If parents are involved enough to home school well then they're involved enough to twist arms at school and improve the system for everyone. 

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was forced to learn French in grade school and hated it so when I could make a choice---middle school---I took Spanish and lucked into the best teacher I have ever had!  In Indianapolis IN, where I had known more science than my 6th grade teacher and was punished by my seventh grade Math teacher for pointing out the text book was wrong in places. When I ran out of Spanish classes I switched to German.  Funny thing, over my career I've worked on international  projects that involved  Spanish and German speakers and spent time in Chile, Mexico and Germany.  Being able to ask about old blacksmithing books at German fleamarkets to elderly folks selling books was a big payoff for skills learned decades ago!  (Of course when my wife asked me to translate technical spinning information  to a spinner at a crafts fair I found that my teacher had never taught "pulley ratio" "orifice size" etc...)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Frazer said:

So I agree that there are a lot of superfluous classes in education, but I think being proficient in at least 2 languages is a good thing. Obviously at the very least your English classes weren't entirely a waste of time Demios! You seem to speak (or rather type) it better than many Americans!


Thank you for the compliment, would you believe I have terrible dyslexia and I am just barely able to spell my name.B)

fun think is, I already thought myself English from my old DOS-games, all those had instructions in English, so I would just read trough them and use the dictionary when I found words I did not know, you have to get by somehow when you are 6 years old.

My problem with the languages we get in high school is that it is just words and grammar, what good is that when I get a flat tire in Germany of France? Teach me sentences and regular conversation! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Goods, your generosity speaks to your character, I really appreciate people like yourself who have helped us with homeschooling.


George, I respect your point of view, and freely accept that it's in line with the majority, which is why we homeschool.  

When you mention that it's a mix of good and bad, I think you're absolutely correct.  The majority are somewhere between incompetent and doing actual harm, the minority, are compensating to the best of their ability.  None of these teachers are getting fired for incompetency, which likely suggests that all attrition is due to good teachers recognizing that they're on the losing side.

The objective measures of the composite performance bears this out.

The mantra "there are some good teachers", is like asking how much dog poo you want in your chocolate sundae.  Spending more at the ice cream shop simply expands the business model.

Anywhere else in society, we'd shut that down as a public health violation.

For everyone talking about "innovation" as the problem, I encourage them to consider the source.  Higher education isn't interested in fixing this, as there's far more money in perpetuating a problem whose only solution is further investment in education.  

Nature gives you more of whatever you encourage.  

The incredible increase in home schooling suggests that public schools are encouraging parents to seek alternatives.  I suspect the "some good teachers" mantra will lose it's luster when parents realize that virtually anyone can do a better job, by not using public school curriculum, texts, and methods.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello all,

I have checked in on this topic on and off all day. To be honest it is very difficult for me to read. As a public school teacher (Technology Education or Shop class if you are old school) that starts his day around 5:30 in the morning with online education work, is at school at 6:30am preparing for the day, greets students at the school doors at 7:30, runs to his classroom at 8:03 to start teaching for a full day of both virtually and in-person instruction, it really bothers me to hear what you think of my profession and my coworker. I am never not a teacher, I think about my work at all times. The stress and heart break this job can cause is a heavy burden at times. To hear some of you run down the public education system and blame it on the teachers is offensive to me. 

No one wants the their team to win more than the coach! 

No one wants students to succeed more than their teachers!

Yet when the team or student falls short it is the coaches or teachers fault. 

Does home schooling work, yes sometimes, but in those cases you have parents that are active and interested in their children's lives and educations. It starts at home. Teachers have no power. We can lead the horse to the water we can turn ourselves into the water, but that does not make the students drink. 

I receive updates from my students on rare occasions thanking me for helping them find their path in life. Knowing I really reached one of them and had a positive impact on their lives is why I do this. Trust me when I tell you the money does not cut it. When you are bashing your head against a wall trying to reach a student who is capable but does not care it is crushing to your soul! 

I think most people that want to change education should go back to school, spend 5 years getting their masters degree in their chosen field then stand in front of a classroom of students and be the change they want to see. Oh but don't forget the reports that are due to the administration, the BOE meetings, maintenancing your room, did you run off those copies you needed for one of the six different classes you teach (that's not 6 of the same class that is 6 completely different preps + don't forget the virtual work that is different from the in-person work)? While you keep those balls in the air don't forget to return that parents phone call where you will be sworn at for their child not completing any work and receiving a failing grade in your class. It is to bad they didn't get back to you earlier in the semester when you let them know there was a problem. 

Until you have walked in my (our) shoes I ask you politely to put away your paint brushes. I work with good teachers, in a good school district, that I also attended as a student. 

I look to all of you who so clearly see the failing in the system to become the shining light of hope to save the system by joining us and showing us how to do it better. 

Steven Williams

K-12 Technology Education Teacher


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...