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Evil Kindles

My son finishes work early.  He has a para that takes him out to the library when he’s done, so as to not disturb the class.  He spends a lot of time there.

He has a Kindle, so he has plenty to read at all times. The school itself (Washington Middle School in Dubuque) has kindles to loan out to students, too.  

His para, for whatever reason, thinks that Kindles are a disgrace.  She first banned him from reading whatever he wanted on it, even though he reads adult science books, and Greek classics.  He could only read what was assigned in school.

Then she decided that was unacceptable.  On Friday, she ripped it out of his hands, went to the shelves, found the book he was reading, and threw it down in front of him.  For whatever reason, she would not allow him to read it on the Kindle.

It is bad enough they wouldn’t put him in gifted classes because he has a learning disability (dysgraphia, cannot write legibly), but now to discourage reading advanced books, and only read school books on paper? What is wrong with this place?

We’re taking him out of school after this year, and using the virtual public school until we move out of Dubuque. When you have staff acting against the child’s best interests, you need to pull your child out.  This is just the latest in a string of incidents with this woman, and it’s the last straw.

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They had a threat called in yesterday. It wasn’t a student. We got a self congratulatory phone call from them, yesterday. It wasn’t a credible threat, apparently.

But the real credible threat, the bullying we’ve been talking about for months, is still being ignored. The school won’t do anything, and neither will the police. Their answer is to call an IEP meeting. The children are acting like their parents, to be honest. You hear from them the same scorn and attitude as you see in parents around here. It’s been awful, and I cannot wait until the year is over. We pulled our son out so he could go to the Iowa Virtual Public school. After that, we are moving so we don’t have to subject our youngest to that horribly run school. I cannot wait.

So, it started with the Dubuque Community School Board looking for a consultant to help them figure out what to do about computers in the district.

They hire Dell to be the consultants. Not like Dell is in Dubuque or anything, just some tax dollars going out of state to tell us what to do.

Of course, Dell said to buy Dell computers. Which we did. In abudance.

Support was needed for all those computers. Despite IBM relocating here because we supposedly have a great education system with people majoring in all sorts of computer-related stuff, hiring local people to do that support was out of the question.  So we hired Dell to do our tech support for our new Dell computers that the Dell consultant told us to buy.

What next? Oh? The Dubuque Community School Board sent officials down to Texas to visit with Dell? Really? Imagine that.  

What’s next? A penny tax for a few years, to go directly to Dell? Might as well…

Send me a quarter

I want to see if I can make this link go viral. I want to know how many people will get it, and how many people will actually send ONE SHINY QUARTER.  That’s all. Not even to say, oh I will spend it on this, that, or the other thing. Just wondering if anyone will actually DO it.

 

So here it is!

Pass it on!

 

So, here in Dubuque, IA, they think Italian means Olive Garden and pizza and red sauce and lasagne.  I thought I’d share for some readers the simple thing I made for dinner tonight. I even ‘cheated’, and used some processed food, although you can do the dough part on your own, if so inclined.

I took sausage meat, Italian sausage meat, not in the casings. Just the fillings. You can take it out of the casing, buy it like that at some stores, or leave it in but make small circles of the sausage when raw.  I sauteed it in a bit of olive oil and garlic, and then added some peppers and onions. I cooked everything until the veggies were wilted.

Then I took some pizza dough from the refrigerator section of the supermarket.  In Brooklyn, some people just go to the local pizza place and buy some pizza dough. Some bakeries might sell dough. There’s frozen dough. Or, if you are a better woman than I am, you can make your own. Whatever works.

I then made some nice sized rectangles, (when you read this through you will be able to judge how big you want them) and put some of the sausage and pepper in the middle. I rolled it/wrapped it up, tossed some olive oil on it, sprinkled some sesame seeds on top, and stuck them in the 400 degree oven, because that’s what it said on the tube of dough.  When it’s brown, I’ll take them out.  They’re a bit bigger than a hot pocket, but more of an egg roll shape. 

So it’s not some sort of fancy authentic I-got-the-recipe-from-my-Nonna thing, it’s just something I enjoyed getting from the pizzaria by the McDonald Avenue L in Brooklyn.  But it’s not pork chops, or cheesy potatoes, or meatloaf, or whatever regular stuff people eat around here. It’s a little taste of home, nothing more.

Butterflies

Every day we should “mind the light”, hoping in each day it increases, helping it increase, towards the goal of a perfect day. Some people achieve that sooner than others. Some in only a few, short years, with a light so bright it burns for a whole community.

The Honeymoon is Over

I no longer think that Dubuque is a good place to raise a family. In fact, if you have a child with a disability, you may be better off elsewhere.  It’s not bad, and better than what we would have had in New York City, but I’ve been looking around and there seem to be better places.  Madison, WI is one place we’re looking at, and if it wasn’t for Walker, it would be close to perfect.

But the bloom is off the rose, and Dubuque, which once seemed a very grounded and open place, has turned to the usual bad habits of many cities.  The politicians are inaccessible, the police are unethical, and the laws are now going from protecting citizens to generating money off of them. Schools get cut, but special pet projects do not.  Small businesses suffer at the hands of larger ones. They found a way to get rid of undesirable “people from Chicago” (code word for black) legally.  Discrimination is almost as rampant as apathy and ignorance.  There are few people with strong convictions here, and it shows.

I want to fight for a community that fights with me, for me, alongside me. I’ll be the best thing that ever happened!  

We still have to ride it out more than a year, since we do want our daughter to graduate from the local high school. It would be foolish to pull her out now.  But if we can figure out how to make it work, we need to go to a good city, one that is family friendly.