Yesterday’s Sun Gazette Web postings included two items that “went viral,” as the cool kids would put it (“cool kids” if this was 2008, that is).
• First up, a letter to the editor from Jo-Anne Sears, sticking it to the Fairfax County School Board for its reign of error (unintentional and, frankly far worse, seemingly on occasional intentionally) over the pandemic period.
Interestingly, a number of my reliably Democratic friends saw the letter, and they agreed with it virtually in toto. Goes to show dissatisfaction with school-system leadership (and not just in Fairfax) is widespread.
• Second was a news article showing that Arlington Public Schools’ leadership had managed to do the impossible – unite the “get-their-asses-back-in-classes” parents who want schools opened up on the one hand and the Arlington Education Association on the other.
The topic? Arlington’s school leadership saying they’re going to have to downscale summer-school programs this year, because not enough teachers agreed to participate.
The get-back-to-class corps castigated the school system for not trying hard enough to recruit teachers, while the Arlington Education Association was PO’d, and rightfully so, that the school system attempted to throw teachers under the bus on this one.
After all, teachers are not contractually obligated to teach summer school; it’s optional. And if they don’t want to, after this difficult year, nobody should be calling them out for it.
A person nicer than myself would cut school leaders some slack; sometimes, they are in a no-win situation, and this may have been one of them. But everyone is so tired of all of this ridiculousness, the willingness of the public to be tolerant is looooooong gone. So count me out.
SOME SIGNS OF SANITY RETURNING: A couple of miscellaneous items suggesting there is hope for our future:
• The Roman Catholic Diocese of Arlington announced yesterday that the four high schools in the diocese would be holding in-person graduations on their respective football fields, with each student allowed to bring four people with him/her.
Seems eminently reasonable, and back in the day, yours truly graduated on the football field at ol’ Herndon High School. The speaker was Jim Vance!
• The Harris-Teeter supermarket within walking distance of Sun Gazette World Headquarters has resumed its salad bar, hot-food bar and (best of the best) Asian-food bar.
Now, this may have happened weeks ago; I do not get to “the Teeter” all that often. But yesterday, being there anyway, I loaded up on some fried rice and chicken.
(There is a sign on the Asian-food bar noting that 2,000 calories is the daily recommendation for most of us. Jeez, you could inhale 2,000 calories just walking past the Asian bar and smelling the aromas. Mmmmmmmmmm!)
• My favorite minor-league baseball team – in fact, the only minor-league baseball team I know – is the Bradenton Marauders, a low-division affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates down in Florida. And after having their season COVID’ed out in 2020, they are back. It looks like the only restriction on patrons seems to be a requirement to wear masks when not eating or drinking. Seems reasonable.
– Scott McCaffrey