- Tonight is the annual FFA banquet. I've attended many of these annual events since 2 of my 3 children participated in FFA from middle school through high school. I've took the banquet duty the last two years as Mrs. FC had other obligations. Tonight, I am the one who does not have to go, and she has the duty. Nothing against FFA, it's a great organization, but their ceremonies are scripted down to the number of breaths the speakers take ... or so it seems. The ceremonial script is robotic and exactly the same each year. The end result is that after the first FFA ceremony you attend, they are all the same, so much so, that you find yourself numbly mumbling each kids script as they step up to speak. If I could change one thing about this great organization, it would be that rote recitation.
- My classroom aquaculture tank is ready for fish finally, but the budget is shot, so I am heading out to the creeks and ditches after school today to bring back something, ... anything, to place in the tank for this last month of school. This is my excuse for not attending the FFA banquet tonight.
- The swine flu is consuming much of Mrs. FC's time these days. It's funny, but you can almost track the flu's progress in Florida by the way her work day has lengthened over the past few weeks. Last night she was still dealing with swine flu related reporting at 10:30 pm when I called to check on her. She's the one responsible for our county's public health nurses, so the flu is her primary focus now. I find her unpaid overtime especially irritating as just this week the state announced she and her nurses would have their pay reduced by 2% as a budget cutting effort.
- This has not been a good photography week ... notice the lack of a photo today? In truth, I'm not sure I had any fun this week, although I did get a smile today...it happened like this ...um ... this is convoluted so hang on ...
In Marine Science class, I started an ethics discussion with the question, " Is it ever okay to break the law?"
"If the law is unjust", they replied.
"Who decides? If I think bank laws are unjust is it okay for me to rob a bank?"
"No. It can't be for just an individual need and you can't use violence."
"Give me an example."
"Like the civil rights movement."
Now I could wax poetic about the laws that were in effect when I was a child, the laws that would not allow you to swim in a pool, drink from a fountain, or sit at the Woolworth's lunch counter in St. Augustine, if you had too much melanin in your skin.
Very brave people broke the law then to draw attention to unjust laws and changed a nation.
What does this have to do with marine science?
I was about to show them the opening episode of Animal Planet's "Whale Wars", in which the crew of the Sea Shepherd pushes the legal envelope in their attempts to interrupt Japanese whaling efforts in the Antarctic.
I wanted them to question both the anti-whaling activists tactics as well as the question of taking whales at all in this day and age. I was hoping to stir them up one way or the other.
Tomorrow, we will watch one more episode that shows more aggressive tactics by the activists and then afterward, we will have our ethical discussion.
I am so looking forward to it.
So where was the smile today?
Prior to our video, I described the history of whaling, the effects of the early Greenpeace activists, and the mid-80's whaling moratorium. This was to set the stage before viewing the show, as the days of "Save The Whales" is ancient history to them ... that was way back in the '70's dude.
Along the way, I tried to stress the centuries old Japanese tradition of using whale meat so my own suppressed (for the moment) bias against modern whaling was not tainting the discussion.
Somewhere in all of that I had tossed in a related personal story set in my high school days.
One of my very bright, very perky female students waited until I was done and then announced, "Mr. FC, when I think of you as a high school student, I see you as dorky in a cool way."
It struck me so funny, I had to stop and go write it down.
How did she know?