Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The story behind "wucky tiger"

After we were married, we moved to Columbus so I could go to graduate school at OSU for the first round. I found a barber shop that I liked on High St. somewhere between Worthington and Clintonville. It was old school and inexpensive; you had your choice of one haircut, the barber used a straight razor to clean up your neck, and you didn't have to talk if you didn't want to...just the way I like my barber shops.

I tend to go a few months between haircuts, so I wasn't exactly a regular. Erin used to comment about the hair tonic that the barber was strong and reminded her of the Lucky Tiger tonic that her brothers' barber used on them when they were kids. Erin's brother Paul disliked the smell calling it "wucky tiger." I didn't care for it either and usually took a shower when I got home from the barber shop.

On one trip to the barber shop to bust down my puff and scruff, my barber asked me where I was from, who I was married to, and where she was from. I told him that Erin grew up on a dairy farm outside of Old Washington, east of Cambridge. He said not the dairy farm on Range Rd. run by Henry Wells. Turns out my barber, Pete, was the same barber that used to cut the hair of Erin's brothers. And I was indeed coming home smelling like "wucky tiger."

Just thought I'd share the "wucky tiger" inside joke; let me know if I am remembering the story correctly.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Just call me "wucky tiger"

The Drilla

Barber Shop

Yesterday at the barber shop, a father was explaining his rationale for pulling his son out of one school system and shopping around for a better system. His son will be a sophomore, scored a 28 on the ACT his freshman year, plays a solid outside linebacker on JV, and wants to become an engineer. His father lost confidence in the school system his son previously attended; he cited a drop in the property values in the district, an increase in minority enrollment, levy failures, and a subsequent decline in test scores and district rating.

The father is looking for a district that can serve as a better platform for gaining admission into competitive universities: a district where his son's class rank will have more weight, a district where the mean ACT score is higher (to improve on that 28), a district where his son might see some varsity playing time, a district that spends more per pupil, a district that passes its levies...which in effect, although unsaid, meant a district in central Ohio with a higher rating and less minorities.

The father is playing the game: a game defined by a historically unconstitutional school funding system, a game he has the social and financial capital to play, a game that is won and lost along lines of class and race, a game the father didn't create, yet a game he will play to win.

It's also a game that historically and in the present only has losers; we all lose by not providing equal opportunities and resources to all of our students, regardless of class and race. But it's also a game that elected and appointed officials have no incentive to change for the constituents that make up their power and campaign finance bases have no problems playing and winning the game.

In the May/June 2008 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education, eight contributors wrote letters to our next president. In Gloria Ladson-Billings' letter, she reframes the national conversation around the racial achievement gap to one of educational debt, shifting the focus from the students and teachers who aren't winning the game (irrespective of social and financial capital) to all of us, as members of a democratic society, who are complicit in sustaining the game and complacent with who the winners and losers are.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Henry's buggin'

Henry, Henry, why ya buggin'?

Henry brings us bugs, big bugs, small bugs, dead bugs, live bugs...he's into bugs.

Here's a pic of a fruit fly he brought me perfectly intact, yet dead. How he finds them, picks them up, and delivers them is a mystery.

That's 12 point TNR. Our camera can't even get that close.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Henry's Solo

Henry's daily solo for Arthur; it's usually good for 20 minutes of being able to get some housework done.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Thanks Grandma

Henry thanking Grandma Wells for letting him pick raspberries.

Memorial Decals

Lately I've become interested in bumper stickers and car decals during my commute to and from Columbus. As we all have observed, the back of a vehicle can be an interesting piece of real estate for all kinds of political messages, vacation locales, advertisements, sports teams, and well...identity work. In the past few years, I've noticed more personalization of messages on the backs of vehicles. Of particular interest to me are the "In Loving Memory" rear window decals. The decals typically include the name of the deceased and their birth and death dates. I've also noticed that the dates most often span only 1 or 2 decades, indicating that the death may have been untimely. Sometimes the silhouette in the center of the decal is of a child. I find it very interesting that this space on the back of vehicles is used as a memorial to lost loved ones and friends.

I find them interesting because this space, which is often used to mark a relationship with a political ideology (e.g., "Nobody died when Clinton lied"), an affiliation with a place of recreation (e.g., "OBX"), the use of a product (pick an advertisement), and/or support of a sports team (e.g., "I bleed scarlet and gray"), is being used to mark a relationship with an individual, an individual who has passed away.

The first memorial decals that I can remember seeing were military related (e.g., POW/MIA). Then the first decal that memorialized an individual that I noticed was for Dale Sr. (i.e., #3 with wings). Then it seemed to me that this space on the back of vehicles that was appropriated for memorials took a personal turn and the "In Loving Memory" decals started to appear. I'm not suggesting that there is a connection between these types of memorial decals; only that this is what I have observed in central Ohio.

Yesterday, a truck passed me with two of these rear window, memorial decals (both for children) and a bumper sticker centered at the top of the window that read, "My Sons Were Murdered." I let them in my lane.