Saturday, June 5, 2010

Schroedinger's cat



One of the great examples that Neil Bennet, our phenomenal Statistics professor keeps sharing with us is his supposed 'Neil's black box' in which is contained the totality of a given population, from which a simple random sample (SRS) of sufficient size can be selected. I asked him last week, if that was not somehow representative of Schroedinger's cat, being that the population of Lilliputians may or may not exist at any one given time, though the supposition that they do is the driving force behind the grandiose theorizing that we were undergoing as a result of this class. He got a chuckle out of it and really, that's all I was after...

The process of certification for NYS teachers is a similarly exhausting experiment in logic. One must send funds, frequently the evaluators of the applications are temps who simply check over files for correct entries, and you can never get anyone on the phone. There is an online system in place, though the atrocities committed in logging on, logging back on after a certain amount of time, being able to find the correct information inside the online system, are voluminous. My experience was thankfully somewhat streamlined, though this last piece has been quite the stomach turner. I had submitted the length and breadth of my experience to the New York State Education Department nearly a year ago, more than sufficient time for them to review my qualifications, the fact that I'd been tenured in NYC, my 12 years of full time work, my Master's degree + 30 hrs, my continued professional development in AP Language and Literature, QTEL, SMARTboard, pick a thing for Foreign Languages, I've done it.

Today, fully 4 days before my initial certification was set to expire, and now that there are statewide layoffs of roughly 8,000 teachers expected for this year (6,500 of which are expected from the city alone, while at the same time Bloomberg Eduaction, Inc. has managed to find money to open more charter schools, fund the induction of new teachers, as well as the Teaching Fellows program, and the city's involvement with the Teach for America initiative, but I digress) the Professional Certification arrived in the mail. I think I'll frame it and put it next to the cherished photo of my friend and I at the Yankee Museum during our trip to the new Yankee Stadium during its inaugural season, or perhaps file it under 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams.' I wonder if they'll count studying for a Master's in Public Administration as appropriate professional development to maintain my certificate...?

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