“Arbolist… look up the word. I don’t know; maybe I made it up. Anyway, it’s an arbo-tree-ist, somebody who knows about trees.” — George Bush, as quoted in USA Today, August 21, 2001.

This is a fairly typical quote from our current president, and fitting for the man who is proud of the No Child Left Behind Act, or, as it is known in educational circles, the Test Till There’s No Time to Teach Act.

Yesterday was an inservice day, rather than a day off, for most of our teachers, and we saw a lot of them, but many were feeling rather bitter. Many had spent the day being reminded of the main focus of teaching nowadays: practicing for the test.  “Why listen to us? We’re just teachers,” as one put it. Many said things like “It’s ridiculous” and “It’s so stupid,” and I knew just what they meant. The Poster Queen was out sick, so it was too busy for much unpacking. It was more a matter of helping to find materials that would allow some elements of actual teaching to slip into the classroom without getting the teacher into too much trouble. It bothers me, too, that all these children are having to watch their teachers fudge, jump through hoops, and do things they know are wrong (and often tell the kids so, too). What message does that give the kids about honor? It reminds me to appreciate my job.

One unusual person who came to the store yesterday was Son-in-Law’s grandmother, returning a book I had loaned her. It was The Yarn Girls Guide, which I had taken to her rather apologetically when I couldn’t find my Vogue Knitting Hats and Caps book. She had already made three hats from it, and bought herself a copy, so forget what I might have said about that book being only for the young, new knitter. Fortunately, I had the VK book with me, having found it and planned to drop it by her house. So we made our book trade and she told me how much she loved my daughter and I told her how much I loved her grandson and a good time was had by all. Or at least by the two of us.

And, speaking of grandmothers, Ozarque (who is an authority on the subject) is having a lively discussion on the subject of grandparents here: http://www.livejournal.com/users/ozarque/