NOT Rocket Science

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Trust me, you can relax because, as the title indicates, I am NOT about to discuss the trajectory of a spaceship.  Nor will I be writing an epistle on the various applications of Einstein’s equations.

Did I just sense a collective sigh of relief?

However, I am going to share three experiences that I believe perfectly illustrate some glaring deficiencies in the knowledge base of some of our young people.

Now, before I start, let me clarify that this post is not meant to place all blame on teachers and in the interest of self -disclosure, let me admit that each of my paternal aunts were educators.

Back to my point.

I honestly think that weaknesses in our children’s educational backgrounds are due to several negative social, political and economic factors that have converged to formulate a clusterf*ck of sorts.

Uhh, enough with the pontification! Read these experiences so you’ll understand what I mean:

Experience 1

Several months ago, my friend, who taught Advanced Spanish at a local high school, was testing her students on the subject of ‘Time.’  During the test, she moved the hands on a clock to indicate various times of day. She then asked the students to write, in Spanish, the time that was displayed. Seventeen of the twenty students failed the test.

But not for the reason that you are thinking.

The fact of the matter is that seventeen students failed the test because they had no idea how to tell time on a non-digital clock. The Principal made my friend re-administer the test using images from a digital clock.  Needless to say, the pass rate greatly improved.

Unfortunately, the Principal NEVER even acknowledged the fact that the students could only tell time on a digital clock.

Now my question to you is twofold:  What time is it and does anybody really know what time it is?

You’ll have to forgive me for throwing in two musical references but it’s what I do 🙂

Experience 2

I went to Arby’s on yesterday to grab some dinner for me and my daughter.  The total cost of our food was $11.31.  I did not want to use my debit or credit cards so I handed the cashier five ones and a five dollar bill.  After that, I handed her four quarters.  Finally, I handed her an additional quarter, one nickel and a penny.  Y’all that’s $11.31 all day long!

Clearly, I was trying to get rid of some change.

Anyway, after the cashier disappeared from the drive-thru window, I heard what sounded like a whole lot of change being feverishly moved around.  Honestly, it sounded like a rat had gotten into the cash drawer.

Before long, and to my surprise, the young cashier returned to the window and handed me several coins-along with a receipt.  I immediately said, “Oh you don’t owe me any money, I gave you the exact amount, the total was $11.31 –correct?”

She said, “No m’am it was $11.40.”  She then handed me my food.

Well, I smiled politely and drove off–still feeling a bit confused.  I mean if the total due was $11.40 then she certainly didn’t owe me any change, in fact, I owed her.

Ok, now I’m befuddled as hell!  So when I got home, I checked the receipt.  Guess what? the total was, indeed, $11.31 but the amount tendered was entered as  $11.40 so the change shown was $0.09.

Our dear cashier thought that a quarter, a nickel and a penny was $0.40.

Y’all it ain’t no cash register or computer in the world that could have helped this poor baby.  Honestly, I felt so sorry for her.

Experience 3

In the words of my wise cousin Ron, there is no need to split a hair that doesn’t need to be split.

Now watch me split this one anyway 😉

OK, so recently I went to the deli at Publix  to get 3 pounds of smoked turkey.  The young man working the counter was quite nice; we had a lovely little chat while he sliced my turkey.  Just as he was finishing up, he said, “Ma’am, this is gon’ be too much meat to put in one bag so Imma need to split it up.”

I said, “OK, that’ll be perfect.”

The young man then proceeded to divide the meat into 3 portions; placing each portion into 3 separate bags.  He then went on to say, “Ok here go your first half, here go your second half and here go your third half.”

Y’all, somehow that just didn’t sound right to me.  LOL!

Alright, I realize that many of you probably laughed at a couple of these ‘experiences.’  But, seriously, if you are a parent, grandparent or if you have a direct vested interest in a child’s education, you might want to pay closer attention to what is going on at the schoolhouse.

Remember, the students of today will be the doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, police officers, paramedics, engineers, air traffic control/pilots, truck drivers and politicians of tomorrow.

Don’t you want them to be well prepared?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Jams ’75

 

My Jams '75

 

 

Ain’t she sweet?

See her walking down the street

Now I ask you very confidentially

Ain’t she sweet?

Mrs. Scott is my teacher and she has a ukulele.  Every day she sings “Ain’t She Sweet” when it’s time for us to leave school and go home.  I love Mrs. Scott! She is very pretty and she has the longest hair you ever saw!  Most times she keeps it in a bun but sometimes she takes it down so we can see how long it is.

Besides being pretty, she is very nice!  She always lets us do all kinds of fun things! One time she let us make applesauce and homemade whipped cream.  It tasted so good!

Oh yeah, today was a little bit different.  When Mrs. Scott sang “Ain’t She Sweet,” her voice wasn’t the same.  We could barely hear her.   Guess what?  When me and my friends were leaving our classroom, Mrs. Scott started crying.  It was the last day of school and we never saw her again…

What’s up sisters and brothers?  Can you believe that it’s already 1975?  I just be damned!  Where does the time go?

By the way dear ones please believe that Mrs. Scott did her job and she did it well!  Go ‘head on Mrs. Scott, you did the damn thang!  You are at the top of the heap when it comes to elementary school teachers!  Don’t cry; let the little birdies fly!

Thanks to her, that’s exactly what we did!

And so…

Now, y’all already know that I run on a platform of honesty and transparency.  So BAYbee when I tell you 1975 was a challenge for me, I mean it!  I almost had to rename this post “My Jammy Jam Jams ‘75” after having filtered the list down to my absolute favorites.

Imagine if I had included my favorite rock jams? Whaaaa?  I simply cannot fathom such!

Y’all, in 1975, the Gods and Goddesses of Soul offered way too many goodies to choose from! Tearfully, I had to leave so many off.

So folks don’t kill me if you don’t see your jam (ahem, cough, cough… Write me in the comments section)!

And away we go:

My Jams ‘75

Lovin’ You by Minnie Riperton

Can you say “whistle register?”  Yes baby, when this Queen Diva hits the high note it registers as high as you or I could whistle!

I see you young’uns— Mariah and them—but baby, when it comes to Ms. Minnie, all of ’em need to bow down!

That’s The Way I Like It by KC and The Sunshine Band

Yass!  KC had everybody claiming he was half black and everything else.  Y’all just let it go, the brother is white!  Ever heard of “blue-eye”soul?

All I gotta say is that brothers and sisters come in all colors and this brother had soul on lock.  Did you hear them blasting horns in this jam?  I simply cannot…and that’s a good thing!

You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate

Yessuh, the UK is in the house! This brother killed it!  The hair on the back of my neck stands up when I hear Errol Brown’s voice dancing around and on top of them damn violins!

Tack was running around the house singing, “I believe in Malcos!”

Baby… the man said, “I believe in miracles!”

European countries have always shown much love to the blues and soul genres.  We sendin’ it right back my loves!

Right Back Where We Started From Maxine Nightingale

What the hell did I just tell you about the UK?  Yass honey, Ms. Queen Diva Nightingale was bringing it!

Flat out, this was just a fun ass song!  Please somebody listen to this jam and teach our kids how to play real instruments!

England was rocking this one in 1975; we didn’t catch on until 1976.  I decided to stay true to the ‘actuals and factuals!’

“OOOOOhhhh and it’s alright…”

Get Down Tonight by KC and The Sunshine Band

The white black boy does it again childrens!

“Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight!”

Peep the brass!

I Love Music by The O’Jays

I JUST CANNOT!!!!!!!

‘The Sound of Philly BABY!’  Gamble and Huff y’all!

Just wait!  From this point onward, “My Jams” will be ate up with ‘The Sound of Philadelphia!’

Brass! Strings! Percussion! OOOWEEEE!!!!

Speaking of percussion, the freaking percussion at the beginning of this jam!  What?

And the harmonies!  To say anything else about the composition of this song is stating the obvious!

This is a ‘fair’ song.  I’ll tell you what a fair song is in October!  Just stick with me!

“Get it on, get it on funky funky music!”

Rockin’ Chair by Gwen McCrae

I don’t think you ready!  Did you hear that Queen Diva on this track?  Naw, y’all ain’t ready!

Sounds like her then hubby, singer George McCrae, was a lucky man! This sista answered him back after he called for her to “rock your baby.”

George, consider yourself ROCKED!

 L-O-V-E by Al Green

I just can’t say anything else that hasn’t been said about Mr. Green as a singer.

What I will say is that this is a spiritual kind of jam!  Can’t you tell he’s talking about something bigger than romantic love?

“It’s all in the heavens…can’t you see?”

Go watch Al perform this jam on an old ‘Soul Train’ episode.   Now I warn you–you might cry; but in a good way!  The brotha is clearly testifyin.’

By the way, he’s rockin’ a perm and a brown and white plaid jacket!  Yasss!!!

 

Slippery When Wet by The Commodores

 Ah yes!  My Alabama homeboys brought the natural funk with this one!  Yessuh!  You’ll definitely see these brothers again on future ‘My Jams.’

Bertha Butt Boogie by The Jimmy Castor Bunch

“I said no questions!”

Ain’t gonna lie!  They used to call my mama and her sistas the “Butt Sistas” because they all had junk in the trunk! In the South, that’s not a bad thing!

What kid didn’t like this song?  I loved it back then…but I gotta leave it in 1975!

 

Dreaming a Dream by Crown Heights Affair

Disco is coming baby and it’s coming strong!  This is a jam that you can chill to!

I put this one on when I want to go back in time and zone out!  You really owe it to yourself to listen to it! If you love ‘70’s disco rhythms then it’s got everything you need!

Valentine Love by Norman Connors featuring Queen Diva Jean Carne and Funk master Michael Henderson

You haven’t lived if you don’t know this jam.  They played it every Valentine’s Day.  I simply cannot!

Much too much smoothness in one place!

By the way, Jean Carne sounds as good TODAY as she did then!  Go check her out! Brush up on them old school Divas.  Can you say:  “Don’t let it go to your head?”

K-Jee by MFSB

I told y’all back in the early ‘70’s that I would talk about this joker again!  Well the time is nigh!

Do you remember the Latino couple that technically spanked John Travolta’s character (Tony) in the “Saturday Night Fever” dance contest?  Guess what?  They were dancing to this jam!

Hell even Tony knew that they were better than he was!

I might not be a ‘70’s dance champ but I still gets busy with this Philly jam!

Rolling Down A Mountainside by The Main Ingredient

Just go listen to this one!  That’s ALL I have to say about that!

Sun Goddess by Ramsey Lewis-Earth Wind and Fire

There are no words!

Let Me Make Love To You by The O’Jays

“I won’t stop ‘til you ask me to…beg me to!”  WHAT?????

I simply cannot!

Summer Madness by Kool and the Gang

It looks like this is one of those jams that was released one year and then did some kinda magic return thingy in another year.  Either way, I am including it in 1975.

To me, you must listen to ‘Summer Madness’ while riding in your car on a sultry summer night! Try it this year and tell me what you think 🙂

Uh oh!  The clock is about to strike 12:00 midnight!  Ms. Sexy Lady G has got to get up outta here!  By the way, you do realize that I, Ms. Sexy Lady G, am the one who dictates these posts to Gwin.  She is nothing more than a, whatchamacallit?  Typist!  Oh yeah that’s the word!

😉

Bye, bye 1975!

Respectfully and tearfully dedicated to the Late Great Prince Rogers Nelson 😥

RIP my love!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Doggy as The Teacher

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I have loved dogs for as long as I can remember.  In fact, one of my earliest memories was of my dad asking me to name our newest pooch.  I was only 3 years old and my vocabulary was considerably small so I blurted out the first thing that came to mind and that was “Sheppy!”  You might be wondering where I got that name.  My best guess is that it was a childish corruption of the word ‘Shepherd.’  Clearly, I must have overheard my parents mention that our new dog was a German Shepherd.  ‘Sheppy’ was the closest approximation to ‘Shepherd’ that I could muster.

Believe it or not, Sheppy was one of my first and greatest teachers.  Unfortunately, I can’t say that I was always the best student.  But that never seemed to matter to Sheppy; he simply kept repeating the lessons. Now you might be wondering how a dog could act as an instructor.  Well let me answer that!  Sheppy used a teaching technique called ‘modeling.’  In essence, Sheppy modeled the traits that I, and most of you, will spend a lifetime trying to acquire.  Let’s get specific!  Sheppy modeled unconditional love, acceptance, loyalty, affection and fierce protectiveness.  Frankly, I don’t have enough space to write about all of the traits that Sheppy modeled; dog owners will know what I mean.  Regardless, Sheppy was determined to lead by example.  Alas, after years of repeatedly attempting to teach me these important traits, my dear Master Sheppy Flowers ultimately shuffled off this mortal coil.  For those of you who dislike Shakespearean references, Sheppy died.  Needless to say, I was sad for quite a while.

But, as you might have guessed, Sheppy wasn’t the last dog in my life.  In fact, he was the first of at least fifteen.  And, as a result, I learned that every dog is essentially a teacher who is trying to convey the traits that I mentioned above.  With that said, I would eventually take lessons from other “teachers” like Champ, Lil Gal, Princess and Frisky.  One of my more memorable teachers was Bones.  My dad brought Bones, who was very ill, to our home with the intention of caring for him until he died.  In essence, dad was providing doggy hospice.  Dad and I loved, fed and nurtured Bones until he peacefully passed away.  From this experience, I learned that all sentient beings deserve to be cared for and loved; even unto death. Although it was tough letting Bones go, I took solace in knowing that his last weeks were filled with affection, love and comfort.  Aha! I had begun to catch on! Lesson learned.

At any rate, I am happy to announce that my current teacher is Angel.  She is the Pomeranian pictured above.  I can assure you that age has taught me to pay closer attention to the lessons this time around 🙂

What have your pets taught you?

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In memory of my dogs (I included their breeds for those interested in knowing):

Champ–German Shepherd

Sheppy–German Shepherd

Bones, Princess and Demon–Doberman Pinschers

Lil’ Gal and Frisky–Beagles

Prince–Cocker Spaniel

RA–Rottweiler

And all the other dogs that Daddy cared for over the years.