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Lesson Plans

even if you have your own room, watch out! long post

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
San D Hasselman (kprs)
Sat, 13 Feb 1999 19:25:15 -0500

OK Gang,
Here's the latest horror story to add to our 'group gripe". Most of
you know I teach in a high school with my colleague Bernie. (Between the
two of us we teach 7 different art courses, sending 14-21 kids on to
accredited art departments). Our high school was 'deregionalized' and
picked up by the local district. The new superintendent and Board
decided that we should only get $3,000 a year (which is way less than
half what we used to get, BUT we did NOT complain, because we understood
the town's fiscal constraints, and that our preceding budgets were
essentially 'earned' by our record of placing kids in colleges. The
'regional" district rewarded you in that way,,,but reality bites, so we
decided to make do.) We became pack rats over the last year, and
started saving everything and anything, and scrounged where-ever we
could---. Well on Friday February 5, the head janitor (who by the way
must have pictures or tapes of SOMEBODY), decided that he didn't like
what one of our supply closets looked like, and threw everything out
(including students art work, my personal art books, college books, and
my notes that I had taken over the years, including Art in Americas,
American Artist, and Graphis, magazines that were cut from our budget,
but still allowed our students to read and do critical analysis/thought
work/papers on, and personal 'still life' collections.) Did I mention
that he did this WITHOUT consulting US? I was working on a yearbook
deadline, Bernie was working with in the upstairs art room, so neither
of us were within eyesight of this lunatic.

The good news is that I didn't get a stroke, although I AM sure I
was testing that vein's limit! Bernie and I immediately ran out to the
dumpster....and suffice it to say that everything, including reams of
paper, matt board, pallett knives, a new buffer, well, you all get the
picture was ruined, because they conveniently threw the plumbing trash
on top of it. My colleague went to his order forms and started writing
down everything he knew we were missing (canvas, stretchers, paint, you
know all the stuff you accumulate and hold on to), while I became the
pit bull. My students were walking around saying "be afraid, be VERY
afraid" because they know I am a silent mad person who sets balls in

So far I have gotten into the face of my superintendent, who by the
way prizes the fact that he is intimidating, but he doesn't scare me at
all, and I started slow, quiet, and used all of his jargon back into his
face. (I like this one he said "San D don't take it personally", to
which I replied, "you throw out my stuff, NOW THAT'S PERSONAL!) I
emailed everyone at school, so by 7:00 am the following day everyone had
a copy of the events. (Are you asking what happen to the head janitor
yet? NOTHING, of course---although all the teachers are treating him
like a piriah.) Did I mention that all the Board members' kids are on my
yearbook staff?

We have billed the Board and specifically the Superintendent of
schools for the lost art supplies $2,789.56, but we can not recover the
feeling of being violated. Nor can we recover our personal stuff, hats
collected over the years, old shoes, vases, you know the stuff I am
talking about----artists' treasures....motivators so that kids are bored
to tears when they go through the drawing exercises so crucial)

My question to the Superintendent was and still continues to be this
"Who left either of you arbiters of what is Art, or what are art

Board meeting on Tuesday evening...stay tuned for part two.

San D

  • Reply: Buerkle, Jennifer: "Re: even if you have your own room, watch out! long post"