Monday, October 10, 2016


Last night we attended the annual awards dinner for distinguished alumni of the local high school who were selected to join the ranks of the Hall of Fame. I heard from the President of the society that there were over 35,000 graduates of the school and less than 200 had been inducted into the Hall of Fame since it started in 1986. It was a cheerful evening and I enjoyed it, as usual.

I am a man of no small accomplishment but I sat at a table with seven other people, all of whom were introduced because, accomplishment/achievement. Not me. Had you asked me if I ever expected to routinely sit down at table with the high school principal or the superintendent of the school district I can assure you that the answer would be no. Nevertheless, such is my fate, year after year.

I was surprised to find that we are now on our second superintendent and third principal in just the five years  that I've been attending these affairs. I had not realized that there was such a jostle for upward mobility in the life of school administrators. I had thought it a fairly placid and event free life where one could look forward to swatting a few lazy students, feuding with the Board of Education and generally working from 8 to 5 in a quiet office. I didn't really think it was the life of Mr. Rooney in Ferris Bueller's Day Off but I could be mistaken.

Actually, I should have known better. In Southern California, education got to be a blood sport and nobody was happy unless they got to wheel out the old guillotine and lop off the head of a principal or the bloody minded retired navy admiral that had been hailed out of retirement to help turn a failing school district around. They never lasted. The teacher's unions are implacable and their behavior frequently puts one in mind of Rudyard Kipling's advice to soldiers:
When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
We made it home with time to catch some of the debate and didn't even try. Neither candidate is likely to sway the implacables of the other party and as for the idiots and morons who cannot tell the difference between an utterly corrupt incompetent boob and a loud-mouthed obnoxious troll who is at least, not a complete criminal, kleptocrat, liar and assassin, they're too stupid to mock much less to vote.
We watched an episode of Limitless and called it a night.


OldAFSarge said...

Your penultimate paragraph speaks volumes as to what's wrong with America.

As to the school stuff, "I had no ideer" it was that bloody minded. Great use of Kipling too.

Well said Cap'n.

HMS Defiant said...

It's a school like many others and any student gets out of it what they put into it. It's been fascinating to watch the impact of demographics.