Perspectives: 20/365

Mark Watts (Grace’s Husband, Former Athlete)

My wife tells me everything
About the school,
How slack they are,
How bad the kids are.
All I know is what I know,
They don’t have a clue
About running a business or
Coaching teams.

I played sports in high school,
I could have played in college,
There just wasn’t enough money.
My dad played in college,
He knows all sports,
Just ask him, he’ll tell you
And he says these coaches at THS
Have no clue.

Just like my wife says,
Just like I say.

Something needs to be done.

Perspectives: 19/365

Robert Woods (A Local Dude)

The ladies meet and they talk,
But before I’m accused of being
Hashtag worthy,
Let me say that men
Are every bit as bad as women
When it comes to gab.

Y-chromosomes gather,
Their egos showing like crests
On Viking shields
Or peacocks’ breasts.
The tone may be different,
But the gossip is just the same.

Perhaps, it is office politics,
Maybe it’s more about the visual,
The curves, that hashtag stuff,
I mentioned before.
Schools are not immune to the ragging,
Coaches and teachers often targets for “man” ridicule.

Perspectives: 18/365

Coffee shop middle-aged beauties
Can offer up extraordinary ugliness
When the lines of advocacy
Get crossed with the pettiness
Of thinking only from a mama bear perspective.

Their truths are not always accepted blindly
By their own, but the attack dog way,
So accepted in its populist revival,
Makes politicians look sickly and steals with the same pallor
From the message of mothers wanting what’s best for their kids.

Yet, the spark of entitlement sparks hay fires
Choking all of the oxygen needed for rational thought and
Leaving the decision makers disadvantaged
Due to the onslaught of ego and the whip
Of sharpened tongues.

There was not enough clean air in Taylorville
To mask the stink of what would come
From a coffee shop conversation about the local schools.
One could only hope to steal a breath
In between the smell of the steaming mushroom houses.

Perspectives: 17/365

Angela Dean (Stay at Home Mother)

My friends like to complain,
No, they really like to complain.
I get their frustrations,
They have so much responsibility,
But is it really that bad?
They are married,
Have kids,
Live in a decent town
With plenty of shopping,
Cool restaurants, and
The schools are safe.
Sure the sports aren’t good,
Maybe it’s more complex than they
Can admit, but
The arts are strong and the education solid.
I love my friends,
I just wish they were more positive.

Perspectives: 16/365

Emily Dawson (Working Mother)

My job is not my life
School is not my kids’ life either
It’s something they do,
Something necessary,
But in the end,
What do any of us remember about high school,
College for that matter,
We do all that time in school,
And go to work.

I’ve never written a paper for work,
I’ve never had lunch detention
For laughing at my friend’s joke,
I’ve never had a boss threaten me
With bad grades or an awful future
If I don’t get my homework done.

My high school was awesome.
We loved being there mostly because of our friends,
Our sports were awesome,
We won everything,
Football, basketball, soccer, track, baseball,
It didn’t matter because we rocked.

I feel for my kids
Because their school is not like that.
They never win, so
The aggravation of all that other stuff,
Homework, grades, testing
Has no outlet, no release,
School is just work because of that.

Perspectives: 15/365

Amy Thomson (Yoga Studio Owner)

Only organic,
No nitrates or nitrites,
More meditation,
Simple supplements,
No contact sports,
Back seat for kids,
Sugar is a drug,
Yoga is a lifestyle,
Exercise must fit with yoga
The world is a dangerous place

Stay away from me if you disagree,
Some think that I’m angry in my passion,
I know that my way is most healthy
And everything else
Is killing you.

Schools are stress factories.
They breed germs,
The testing makes no sense,
The homework is wearing the kids out,
The lunches are inedible.
The sports are dangerous.

The arts are it.
PE could be better.

Perspectives: 14/365

Grace Watts (School Aide)

They have it so well,
The teachers.
They get to work and have benefits,
But they don’t do nearly as much as I do.

I cover Study Hall,
Try that everyday, hundreds of kids screaming,
Sitting where they are not supposed to, and
Leaving trash everywhere.

The teachers live a life of luxury,
Vacations, contracts, and a pension.
I see what goes on here
And if the public knew, heads would roll.

I tell my husband all the time
That he should have been a teacher
Instead of a construction worker.
He’s too dumb to understand. He takes care of us, though.

I would have been a teacher
If it wasn’t for marrying him.
I stayed home to raise the kids,
Then took this on to help pay some bills.

They’re in high school now,
Not in Taylorville, across the way in the United School District.
It’s better there, the teachers are good,
I guess, I don’t really know since I’m not there.

Here, though, it’s like I tell my husband,
These teachers have no control.
And the kids,
I can’t believe they’re allowed in school.