What Language Do You speak? or (Can You Spare A Square?)

** WARNING- This post is kinda’ long**

Let me begin by saying that because of budget cuts, the district will no longer be paying for hotels for teachers’ training. Nor will they be providing lunch. They provide a continental breakfast (fruit, coffee, juice, croissants, and muffins) to get you there. After that, you are on your own. I know that we’re adults and we shouldn’t expect to be fed breakfast and lunch, but we have gotten accustomed to the star treatment. Now, it’s taken away? That’s why most of the teachers in the training were so uncomfortable. We were in a cafeteria on the benches that are reserved for elementary school students. Factor in no air conditioning and crowding, then you have the making of a bunch of grouchy, irritable people.

As I was thinking about how to put exactly what I was feeling into words, two of my favorite shows came to mind: Star Trek: The Next Generation & Seinfeld, because the situations were so similar. While these two don’t seem to have a lot in common, bear with me. As usual, I will bring it around.

In one of my favorite sci-fi shows, Star Trek:TNG, we viewers are allowed to hear a conversation between the Captain and his adviser regarding his upcoming meeting with an alien race. The adviser tells him to insult the aliens first, before beginning any type of negotiations.

Basically the conversation between the two goes like this: “Are you sure that’s the right thing to do?” asks Captain Picard.

“Of course,” replies his adviser. “That’s their culture, and in order to garner any type of respect from them, you have to open with an insult.”

“Okay,” replies the captain, “as you wish”.

My situation also reminded of an episode of Seinfeld where Elaine is stuck in a restroom stall that has run out of tissue. She politely asks the woman next to her if she can spare some tissue.

“No,” comes the reply, “I sure can’t”.

“Not any? Can you just give me a couple squares? Can you spare a square?” asks Elaine.

“No. Sorry!”

Well, Elaine got her back, but good. A couple of days later, Continue reading

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