May 7, 2008

Teaching Wizardry

Educating our youth population efficiently and effectively is a difficult proposition. I know many people who work hard to find ways to improve methods of education.

But not all the problems teachers face are with the approach, curriculum or methods. Some problems are societal. You don't have to look far to find students who cannot focus on their studies because their school is plagued with poverty, hunger, the drug trade, and prostitution. Middle school is difficult enough without these factors.

It's all the worse, then, that we have to deal with superstition as well.

Pat Sinclair, who oversees substitute teachers in the Pasco County School District, was on the phone. She told Piculas there had been a complaint about his performance at Rushe Middle School in Land O' Lakes.

He asked what she meant.

"She said, 'You've been accused of wizardry,' " Piculas said.

What was his crime? He made a toothpick disappear with some slight of hand and transparent tape. And then showed the kids how to do it.

Whatever other reasons that the school district said they fired him, this appears to have been a precipitating event. It shouldn't have even merited mention.

Think about all that mankind has learned and how it helps us make a little bit of sense out of the world around us. Think of our hopes for the future, which rest upon our friends and neighbors having some understanding of the world with all of its complexities. I am amazed we make any progress at all.

(Hat tip to Bob on EAForums.)

(P.S. If anyone doubts that teen prostitution is aproblem in schools:

The number of girls being sexually exploited through prostitution is rising rapidly in Boston, with 12 times as many cases of teen prostitution in the first nine months of 2005 as in all of 2003.


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Posted by James at May 7, 2008 1:58 PM
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Yeah, I read about this on a number of skeptic blogs over the last couple days.

We need a Floridectomy.

Posted by: Chuck S. at May 7, 2008 2:11 PM


He was fired for doing slight of hand? He showed the students how to recognize trickery and get fired.

Frak Florida.

Posted by: briwei at May 7, 2008 2:13 PM

Hey while your at it with Florida could you take Texas too? In fact, one of the fake stories on NPRs "wait wait don't tell me" last week was a group in Mexico who wanted Spanish America back since it was obtained in an illegal war. Sounds good to me where can I sign the petition?

Sorry Brian but that's what happens when you move to a disputed territory, don't worry we'll let you visit. Just watch out for the "minutemen" they're gonna be pissed).

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at May 7, 2008 2:39 PM

Well there's a lot of ports and stuff in Texas that our country needs... I say we declare it part of Guam. That neatly solves the problem of the Texas voting block.

Florida on the other hand? Saw that puppy off and put it on eBay.

Posted by: Chuck S. at May 7, 2008 6:36 PM

Hey! How about this for irony? Let's sell Florida to Cuba!

Posted by: briwei at May 8, 2008 11:35 AM

Interesting how nobody wonders how a family f@%#s up their kid sooooo bad that a "magic trick" traumatizes him...

Oh, and Guam votes. Obama won the primary by seven votes or something like that. All you would do was change the slogan to "Don't mess with Guam" and the NFL team to the "Houston Guamanians".

So I think we're stuck with the bastards.

Posted by: Bull at May 8, 2008 3:41 PM

So Pat Sinclair not oversees substitute teachers in the Pasco County School District, he's the Witchfinder General?

Does he know Madam Tracy and Newton Pulsifer, Witchfinder Private?

Posted by: Patti M. at May 9, 2008 12:01 PM

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