By December 6, 2014 Uncategorized 3 Comments

Buried somewhere deep in the genetic code of adolescent human males is an apparent aversion to flushing a toilet, especially when depositing…oh, let’s just say…”Lincoln logs,” particularly in public restrooms.

If you doubt this claim, you are welcome to stop by my middle school any day and we can walk into some random bathrooms to gather some quick empirical evidence. You will leave with all the data you need.

Why boys are more inclined to leave a brown trout floating in the porcelain pond is a mystery to many frustrated parents across the nation. Maybe boys are just overly proud of their intestinal sculptures or perhaps there is some evolutionary origin due to men living in caves for thousands of years. Maybe this tendency kept the bears and other predators at bay. I’m not sure, but there has to be some explanation.

Having shared many a bathroom with ostensibly mature men in the Marine Corps years ago, I can tell you this pattern seems to continue well into adulthood. I have walked into quite a few “heads” (Marine word for bathrooms) where toilets were serving as sanctuaries for Stanley steamers, Yulelogs, “exports from Uranus,” sphincter snakes, stinky scuba divers, and toilet orphans.

Some guys would even announce their creations by bragging and saying things like, “Hey, I left you a present” or “Watch out for the brown snake in there. He’s a big ‘un!”

Okay men, it is the 21st century. For the love of all things Holy, can we not just flush the toilet!?

By this point, you’re likely thinking to yourself, “I wonder where Rob is going with this train of thought?” That’s a fair question.

It all started the other day when a colleague asked me if I thought that our outgoing state superintendent had ONE MORE outrageous or controversial action to take in her last few weeks in office.

To be honest, the real words he used were: “Do you think Janet will leave one last turd in the toilet?” I recognize this is an unpleasant visual, but it makes the point.

If you have been a regular follower of this blog, you might recall that I have previously written on the topic of poop. In that post, I described many of the reformers’ past and current initiatives as [poop]. This list of excrement included such things as test-centered accountability measures, A-F, ACE, third grade retention, TLE, common core standards, for-profit charters, and lots of other smelly stuff.

This is why this somewhat unusual metaphor seems to work.  The reality is that Dr. Barresi has left a lot of unflushed manure in our educational chamber pots.  This [Poop] is now clogging the pipes and making it difficult for any positive movement to occur in Oklahoma’s schools.

Whether or not Dr. Barresi decides to drop another turd or two before she leaves, her successor Joy Hofmeister already has a lot of flushing, plunging and purging to do. She may need to stock up on Drano.

I am certain Joy will choose NOT to embrace this particular metaphor to describe the work ahead of her, yet she is undeniably aware there are a lot of things to clean up.

To her credit, Joy has been very active around the state in the weeks since her election. She seems intent on restoring relationships with Oklahoma educators and building trust that will be necessary to initiate her agenda. She has met with the Governor, groups of legislators, parents and community groups, the State School Board Association, State Department employees, members of the Oklahoma Education Association (OEA), and the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA).

On behalf of our students, I am sure we all hope that Joy can be an effective plumber, flush away some of the [poop] blocking the lines of communication, and get things moving again. Things have festered for long enough!

Finally, to my fellow members of the male gender:

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