“Art” Imitating Life?
(Please note that I use the term “art” fairly loosely here… but still it was way too creepy a connection tonight, way too creepy. Seriously, I thought about not posting this, but then it was like my DVR was speaking to me…or maybe Mr. Mimi just travels too much.)
Tonight, as I lay on my couch lamenting the papers that filled my bag (and begged to be graded) as well as the endless pile of laundry that taunted me from the upstairs hallway, I made the very adult decision to ignore it all and catch up on my DVR. I don’t know when “catch up on DVRed shows” became a legitimate To Do in my world, but tonight, it seemed pressing. Or easier. Whatever.
(Before I continue, dear readers, I must say that I feel closer to you than ever…for I have just revealed to you my deep, dark secret love for bad television. Pause with me and bask in our closeness.)
Recently, I started DVRing a show called “Sit Down and Shut Up”. It’s a cartoon about teachers. One of those adult cartoons…like Family Guy (I heart you Stewie!). I could say that I am interested in this show for professional and/or academic reasons (you know, popular image of teachers in the media and all that) but really? People magazine said it was funny and I consider People to be a valid source of news.
(We grow closer still..yes, I also heart People magazine.)
Ok. So on the episode that I DVRed the faux- cartoon school gets observed by the superintendent’s entourage to determine if they are indeed an Exceptional School. Throughout the episode, staff members were pictured furiously removing any books that are not approved by the Powers That Be, desperately trying to scrape together an inspirational speech, and basically putting on one hell of a dog and pony show. (With teachers playing the parts of both dogs and ponies of course.) They even showed the principal telling one less than stellar teacher to “just stay away and not talk to anyone.”
Hmmmm….verrry interesting. Very interesting indeed.
My school also got reviewed recently by the Powers That Be to see if we are Up To Par not too long ago. In preparation for this All Important Visit, buzzwords and bullshit were flying everywhere. Everywhere.
Each day precedeing the visit we received frantic emails declaring that we must “Show evidence of differentiation! The reviewers are coming!”, “Have data readily available and on display! The reviewers are coming!” , “Update our bulletin boards! The reviewers are coming!”. Custodial staff busily set about waxing the floors and (miracle of miracles) actually sweeping UNDER the desks. Plants were watered, urine soaked bathrooms were bleached…
I half expected The Visionary to be seen streaking down the hallway on horseback shouting, “The reviewers are coming, the reviewers are coming!” as he simultaneously set off the fire alarm to draw attention to this very serious three ring circus. Excuse me, I meant, situation…situation, not circus.
Because why would we want an honest appraisal of our work? Why would we want to show people what we are actually doing?
And tonight, as I sat and watched this cartoon that was intended to be hilarious in it’s absurdity, I felt sad.