Isn’t that what happens. I recently commented on N…

Isn’t that what happens. I recently commented on New Lines from a Floating Life that I have very few problems with Blogspot. In an effort to once again shift blame from me (clicking the Back button by accident) to something else (Blogspot not auto-saving drafts) I have once again made my world blame-free!

And it was quite a good post too. I have about half of what I wrote, but some things in there could have cut against a lot of people’s grain. Perhaps this was a sign. So, instead, I’ll post something else I was working on. It’s something I call “The Blame Game”. Here follows:

I blame this person for any state of agitation I experience due to telemarketers:

Gandhi – If he hadn’t demanded full independence from the British Empire, the country wouldn’t have dropped (further) economically than that which the British we exploiting them to. If their economy hadn’t become so so de-valued (in a sense) then labour wouldn’t have become so cheap. If labour hadn’t become so cheap, foreign investment and employment wouldn’t have hit an all-time high. If none of that had happened, those damn trans-national corporations wouldn’t be hiring those damn telemarketers who damn well piss me off every day.

If you’re looking for anyone to blame for my existence, blame:

The French – Two words: Maginot Line. What happens when there is a brick wall in your way? Well, the Germans sure do have the answer: walk around it! Now if the French had held out and fought (yes, fought, shock and awe!), then the Germans wouldn’t have had a chance to fly the swastika from the Eiffel Tower. If occupied France (better known as Vichy “We’re Still French, Honestly” France) hadn’t happened, the Battle of Britain wouldn’t have happened. If the Germans hadn’t bombed my grandmother’s house, she wouldn’t have moved to where my grandfather lived. If she hadn’t moved there, they would have never met. If they didn’t meet, no mother. No mother = no me. Easy.

I blame this person for my total lack of faith in mathematics, and my lack of knowledge in said subject:

Ms. Daniels – In being unable to give me an adequate reason as to why a number divided by zero has no answer made me shun the subject and turn to my preferred subjects of English and History. I still can’t understand to this day. Now, I don’t profess to be knowledgeable in maths, as stated, I lost all hope with it and dropped it faster than you could say “what maths?”, and, as a result, have lost much of what I once knew. But, to my basic skills, I would conceive that any number divided by zero should equal either infinity or zero. Wikipedia, every studying person’ best friend, states the following:

“[Division] is often considered as a description of dividing a set of objects into equal parts … example, if you have 10 blocks, and you make subsets of 5 blocks, then you have created 2 equal sets. This would be a demonstration that 10/5 = 2. The divisor is the number of blocks in each set. The result of division answers the question, “If I have equal sets of 5, how many of those sets will combine to make a set of 10?”

We can apply this to show the problems of dividing by zero. It is not meaningful for us to ask, “If I have equal sets of 0, how many of those sets will combine to give me a set of 10?”, because adding many sets of zero will never amount to 10. Therefore, as far as elementary arithmetic is concerned, division by zero cannot be defined.”

I held, and still hold (though, probably, if not certainly, wrongly), that because “zero will never amount to 10”, then zero, which is representative of no quantity, could be added together for eternity and never amount to any number other than zero. Thus, either infinity rules or no no quantity could ever add up to ten, and thus zero amount of zero could add to ten. As a result of the lacking explanation (the lacking explanation being “Because it is”) I dropped maths from my life at the start of Year 12 and haven’t needed parabolas, hyperbolas and quadratic equations since. But if I ever need it, I’ll blame Ms. Daniels for not knowing it.

I blame this guy for any academic ‘failures’ I may experience:

Mr. Munsies – This incompetent hack of a teacher, wait, no, human being, failed in his duty to facilitate the education of his students (not only myself surprisingly, I seem to be talking about other people here for some odd reason) and help them perform at their full potential. Such was Year 12, the final year, the year that counts, in a subject that contributes marks towards my final U.A.I., a subject that could have very well decided whether I got into the course I wanted to or not, in this year, in this subject.

I’ll set the scene: we, a group, had to build a robot, program it with instructions to perform certain tasks and let it run wild, do its thing and get a mark for it. Well well well, up comes Open Night, and, as per, the Year 12 work is on display, including these robots. However, none of our group members were asked if we wanted to take part, none of our group members were asked if we wanted to donate our robot, our major assignment, to the cause, nothing at all was communicated to our group members what-so-ever. The next morning (note I am not a morning person, or for that fact a day, an afternoon or night person either) I stroll into class and, Mr. Munsies, with grin and the look that got me going, along with my normal teacher (note Mr. Munsies was the head teacher, not the class teacher) had the pleasure and displeasure, respectably, laughed and chuckled his way through informing us that he had crashed out robot off the presentation table and sent it to lego oblivion.

Allow me, my loyal readers, to set the situation further. I hate Mr. Munsies. Everyone has that one person where you don’t wish death upon them (you shouldn’t wish death upon anyone really), but there’s that certain person that you just think “Well, I couldn’t really care less”. A total feeling of indifference I held towards him. And I will forever more. He and I had many clash of the titans. In fact, all those encounters warrant posts of their own, so I with refrain from bringing any up here. But suffice to say: he and I never got along.

As soon as Mr. Munsies told me of my now deceased robot, I had had enough. For the past term he had been on our class’s case, and mine, because, as stated, he and I didn’t get along, about missing lego pieces, about slacking in class, about doing no work, about anything he could get his fat brain around. I exploded, and I truly remember the outline of our argument, in which I dominated. I’m not afraid to say that I am a proficient arguer. Not the world’s greatest, but I am quite good. Combine that with the teenager-esque attitude I held at the time (that being I am always right, though, funnily enough, I still hold that view), my ability to speak so much faster than most of the people you know, and the RIGHTFUL position that he is ruining my chances at university and a further education, the argument was as follows (grammar true to speech)(Note 1):

Thomas: Yeah real funny. It’s only one of our major assignments. (I said with sarcasm dripping from each word).
Mr. Munsies: What (He asked with the tone of authority)?
Thomas: This is our second last assignment, and, in an effort to recover lost marks, lost marks that you steal from the students of this subject in failing us in our exams and assignments over trivial points that you think are important. Obviously you don’t care about the students in this class, but your class is oh-so important. How many of their robots did you break? Who cares about Mr. Albonese’s class (Munsies had tried to interject a few times but I just talked over him). Fail them, wreck our assignments. What do we matter? This subject actually counts towards my U.A.I. sir, and I know you don’t care about my future, or, really, anyones, but far out, at least give us a chance (The class, at the start of our conversation had been about 5 or so, but by now it had swelled to around 15).
Mr. Munsies: I don’t like the way you’re talking to me.
Thomas: I don’t like the fact you broke our robot. And then I come in and I’m laughed at, not told, laughed at that my robot is broken. And you don’t care. It will take a day out of our schedule to rebuild it to the specifics it had before you guys got your hands on it. Who asked us if you can use it?
Mr Munsies: It’s school property …
Thomas: Well, if it’s school property, have you rebuilt it?
Mr. Munsies: Well … no … I didn’t have time last night …
Thomas: Why not? It’s your property, you broke it, you used it. I built it once already, I don’t have time to do it again.
Mr. Munsies: It’s might only take one lesson …
Thomas: Then you shouldn’t have a problem giving our group a day extension for the due date.
Mr. Munsies: No, that wouldn’t be fair …
Thomas: Then are you going to go round and crush everyone else’s robot?
Mr. Munsies: If you don’t calm down, I’ll send you out.
Thomas: Sir, can’t you see that you’ve put us at a disadvantage. I expect a day extension on our due date or for you *I pointed at him* to rebuild the damn thing. (He tried to interject with a “I don’t know how” but …) Fine, I’ll sit with you as you put it together, but I’m using another second of my precious time on rebuilding the damn thing.
Mr. Munsies: … Get out.

At some point I had thrown down my bag. That’s the Thomas method to winning arguments, to looking imposing, to looking important, to coming off as a bad ass: throwing something. When I got accused of plagiarising an (no prize for those who can guess what subject or who the accuser were) assignment, I threw it from one corner of the room to another. When I won handball, I threw the ball away, screaming in victory. When I got thrown out of the hall for talking I threw the bunch of pamphlets that were being handed out on the ground. Sure, I looked like a twat and an idiot, but when you see some, well, solidly built teenager, already with an established reputation among the students and staff of being mentally unbalanced (and with due reason), you’re going to think twice before going head to head with this whack-job. Anyway, I ripped my bag from the floor and stormed out in a huff, mumbling (because I had learned that REALLY got to Munsies) under my breath.

As I brushed past the late arrivals for the class, who looked with (some, though not much (Note 2)) astonishment, a murmur went up in the class. I could hear some whispers, though, being outside the room, it made it difficult (though I believe one of my readers, who can corroborate the entire story, could better inform myself and others as to what was said specifically). Never-the-less I heard sounds of “woah”, “holy crap” and “Thomas is king!”. The late arrivals asked what happened, and, quite simply, I said “I put Munsies back in his place”. Perhaps I didn’t, but I like to think that as the only person in the entire grade to stand up to a teacher, more, a head teacher and, of all people, Mr. Munsies, I had got the reputation that I wasn’t the golden child I was made out to be by my academic achievements. This wasn’t the first teacher I had argued with (see teacher who I blame for my lack of interest and faith in maths for a specific), and they knew it wasn’t going to be the last. They all looked questioningly to one another and continued inside, where I suspect they were informed of the total story. This was because I know everyone started talking about it when Mr. Munsies exited the room to ‘deal’ with me.

Mr. Munsies: What’s your problem.
Thomas: You broke our robot.
Mr. Munsies: It was an accident. Don’t you ever make them.
Thomas: Ok, one: I admit, in front of people, when I make an accident. This is the first time you said the word. Two: the way you are treating this, as if it were some trivial detail and a joke, the way you were laughing when you told me about you breaking our robot, is a joke in itself. Three: you broke our robot, and you haven’t even shown any sort of remorse or care …
Mr. Munsies: I would have said something but you didn’t let me in class.
Thomas: Was that between laughing about our potential to fail the assignment and throwing me out?
Mr. Munsies: Lets calm down, ok? I’m sorry ok. I didn’t mean for your robot to break, the programming …
Thomas: That’s right, you broke our robot after you took it, without asking, because it’s OUR assignment, not your equipment, or the school’s, it’s OUR assignment. And now you want to blame the programming? If you had asked anyone from our group before taking the damn thing you would have known that the programming wasn’t finished. You just had to ask one of us … (We can both tell I’m pretty ticked off and sick and tired with the bastard)
Mr. Munsies: Ok I’m sorry. (Pause … pause … pause) Do you have something you want to say?
Thomas: Yeah, can I go in now? I’ve got to rebuild a robot.
Mr. Munsies: … Get out of here (With a glare that could have killed some weaker person).

Ok, this blame-game has gone on for quite a while. Anyway, I blame Mr. Munsies for all my academic failings, my lack of want to study, my disinterest in learning things that may stretch my mind, my non-existent care for the learning of technology beyond OpenOffice and SpellCheck, and so forth. Mr. Munsies: I blame you for my academic problems and turning me off my own education.

When I think of more problems that I have, I’ll be sure to update you all with who I plan on, or currently am, blaming for them. And trust me, I have a lot of problems, and there’s a lot of people out there to blame something one.

Thomas.

Note 1: You won’t get an argument out of me, I’m one of the worst students to grace the halls of the education system. I feel it’s quite an honour actually.
Note 2: The lack of astonishment stems from the fact that, from the beginning of Year 11 I.P.T. and the point where I had been thrown out in the ‘Robot Encounter’, it was far from my first ‘educational experience’ outside of the classroom. As a rough (and, honestly, conservative counting) I had been thrown out at east 40 times (which deserves a post on its own as well).

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2 thoughts on “Isn’t that what happens. I recently commented on N…

  1. I can relate with your story about Mr. Munsies Clayton. I myself had many encounters with similar people during my high school years. I think I frustrated a lot of my teachers, especially in years seven and eight, they all expected me to apply myself to doing the meaningless tasks they assigned…wasn’t much point, I tened to absorb most of what they were teaching without ever doing the work.

    But getting back to experiences similar to your “robot incident”, I distinctly remember a day in year 11, in an IT class, being run by a relief teacher who knew just enough about computers to see whether or not an IT class was using the programs the regular teacher said they should be using (Stellar Saberton from memory). She was a nice enough teacher, and I usually got along with her (I was generally quite placid…the shock factor when I got angry was always helpful).

    On this particular day the class was supposed to be getting on with a Visual Basic (shudder) programming assignment…naturally enough, nobody did any work.

    I should backtrack a bit, at this stage I was working for the college as a “trainee” network administrator, a role which helped relieve IT teaching staff of some IT admin workload, whilst fast-tracking my qualifications. Some staff didn’t like the idea of a student being a staff member…unfortunately Stellar was one of them (so was Maureen, but we won’t go there today).

    Anyway, Stellar was walking around the room, she could plainly see that nobody was using Visual Basic, most people were surfing the web or doing things which didn’t even remotely resemble work. I was programming in a non-Visual Basic IDE, effectively making me the person closest to doing any work, two people a few computers away were taking turns at drawing multi-coloured circles in Photoshop.

    Stellar looked at the circle creators, smiled and walked away, she then came over to me…my screen looked remotely similar to the pictures the regular teacher had printed out for her (unlike the screen of the circle creators), and it was me she started telling off for not doing my work.

    I started off by informing her that this was a programming class, I was programming…the people who she didn’t yell at were not programming. Stellar didn’t like this, and she started making up some nonsense about circles being an important part of the class…a yelling match ensued, she had no intention of telling off the people weren’t even close to doing their work, it was me who was going to be in lots and lots of trouble.

    My decision was obvious, I made it clear to her that she was being unreasonable, unfair, and not performing her duties as set out by the regular teacher. I informed her that I was leaving the classroom as it was quite clearly going to be impossible to work with her, and I logged out of my computer, picked up my bag, and walked out.

    On the way out Stellar informed me that she was going to write a report and hand it to the principal, she muttered something about how I would likely be fired, she was going to mark me absent for the lesson and that I had better not slam the door on my way out.

    I stopped leaving the classroom momentarily to inform her that I had a number of witnesses who could back me up in my assertions, the worst thing that could happen to me from this incident was a verbal warning as I had the support and trust of the entire IT department of the time, this is a college and I was free to come and go as I pleased, and that one absence was not going to hinder my attendance record enough to cause any damage, and that I would slam the door anyway, which I did.

    I was somewhat sidetracked for the rest of the day, I hadn’t been put in that position by a teacher, not had I treated one with such contempt before (there were similar previous incidents, but nothing of a magnitude where I was seriously questioning the teacher’s ability to teach), and I don’t think I got any work done for the rest of the day.

    I was aksed for an explanation the next day…funnily enough, Stellar, who had been a regular relief teacher at the college, was not seen there again for nearly half a year, and nothing happened to me.

    I have a question for you Clayton, what ended up happening with your robot?

    Samuel

  2. Thank-you for your lengthy and entertaining comment Samuel.

    What happened to the robot? Well, this is probably the only good part of the tale. Mentioned in the ‘tale’ we are commenting on is a one Mr. Albonese. he was our regular teacher. And the great man that he is, he stayed after presentation night, was the last person to leave, watch the video (because we had to record each stage of the ‘robot assignment’) that we had and attempted to rebuild the robot in its entirety.

    It wasn’t what we originally had, and we did waste an entire lesson putting it back to specifics, but what pleased me beyond belief was that Mr. Albonese was that sort of teacher; the one that actually cares about students and their outcomes.

    Other than that, the ‘robot saga’ ended, though we (myself and Mr. Munsies) would end up in further verbal-clashes over more important, and frivilious, matters before the year was out.

    I must say Samuel, your story was very interesting. It seems you had quite the interesting college education, what, between learning and working at the same institute. But isn’t it typical how there are the Stellars, the Mr. Munsies out there that single out students and will pick pick pick away at them for, in all reality, no good reason. And it’s these people that not only ruin the ‘experience’ for the students, but they ruin a whole lot more, in extreme cases, their education.

    As I see it, pure power-plays in both our scenarios. In your tale, someone who had little power and wanted more than you, and in mine, someone who had more and wanted to throw it around. Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting.

    The most unfortunate part is that they will never learn, because we are but the students, and what would we know, right?

    Thank-you, again, for the comment, and I shall be leaving you a comment on your blog once this goes up.

    Clayton Northcutt.

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