i have always found these t-shirt designing web-sites to be oddly interesting, in a "you need to get a hold of your life" kind of way. i mean, what type of person sits at home creating all manner of designs for everything from t-shirts to board shorts to hats to underwear-- yes, i said underwear-- and uploads them to web-sites so that a complete stranger in peoria, illinois can walk around town with a shirt like this gem...
i mean, honestly. i'm sure someone thought they were being pretty witty when they put this bad boy up for sale. i think if i saw some guy walking down 21st avenue with this shirt on, i would walk up to him, pants him and then mock him mercilessly. actually, that could be my new thing for that week. but i digress. i do find it amusing that people invest so much time into these little art projects, so i decided to spend some time of my own one sunday afternoon and design my own carly smithson t-shirt.
unfortunately, i don't have a picture of the shirt just yet. it is taking exceptionally long to arrive. i had hoped to have it in my hot little hands before my trip to california (three short days!) because i wanted to wear it to the concert on wednesday night. but, alas, the postal service has foiled my grand plans again. but, in the meantime, this is one of the back up designs. it will give you an idea of how i found that i might just fit-- exactly like a long lost puzzle piece-- with all the other crazies...
now, i use the word "taught" loosely here. what i mean is i got up early, made myself look presentable, made a cup of coffee and rode with my sister to the high school i graduated from eleven years ago (ohmigod. ohmigod. ohmigod.), that my sister graduated from six years ago and that our baby sister would be graduating from later that night in order to administer a final to a class of FCAT flunk-ys who were in intensive math strictly to pass the high school graduation requirement.
now, working in education policy at the state level-- a 30,000 foot view, if you will-- often clouds my perception of what is really going on in our classrooms. and then i found myself in a classroom administering a test to juniors and seniors that i could have passed as an eighth-grader (and, trust me, i am no math whiz.) and grading homework assignments strictly for completion and still giving out 50s. i worry for our country. i worry that education has not only lost its bite but also its bit. it isn't hard anymore. and no one seems to want to work for it.
after the hellions finished with their test and the "bell" rang (not that we could hear it out in the faculty parking lot in one of the 20 portables), we headed on in to the main office and then to the math department hideaway. i heard teacher after teacher complain of students not caring anymore, of teachers unable to care anymore, of being forced to pass students even if they were beyond failing simply because they had been in the country less than 5 years (the wonderful bush administration-- either jeb or george, take your pick-- at work), of forced retirements (due to budget woes) and of general disdain for what high school had become.
and this was at my high school. the place that prepared me for great things. the school that had produced 6 national merit scholars in its first 6 years. that had a valedictorian with an almost 5.0 GPA (that's all AP courses and dual college credits for you laymen). that sent students to the university of michigan and harvard and emory and vanderbilt. that created doctors and lawyers and, yes, even education policy research associates.
and now all we are producing is useless graduates who need remedial classes their first year of college. who don't know what it means to study. who don't know what it means to work hard, fail, get up the next day and do it again until you earn your success. high school use to mean something. now, it seems, all high school means is that you managed to outwit, outplay, or simply outlast the system. so much for the screamin' eagles...
this year marked the 100th anniversary of converse making shoes, most famously-- the all star.
in 1918 a high school basketball star named chuck taylor started wearing the fledgling companies canvas sneaker. three years later, converse hired taylor and he became an ace salesman. the iconic "chuck taylor" converse all-stars have a style that has remained virtually unchanged since the first sneaker was produced in 1912. i first remember chucks in the 1978 nostalgia soaked movie grease. bit o' trivia for you: the jock who took sandy out on a date after danny had been such a jerk was none other than lorenzo lamas. yes, that lorenzo lamas.
these shoes have been worn by the ultra cool (james dean apparently loved his chucks) and those trying to be cool (hilary duff? really?) but never by me. so i got a pair. and wouldn't you know it, they gave me a blister. and even though it seems like every pair of shoes i own is brown, i still got these.
ps: just some eye candy for the ladies (and 10% of you men), a little gyllenhaal converse love...