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I was recently reminded of issues revolving around my reluctant withdrawal from teaching, painful issues. Why are those issues painful? The Covid lockdown lunacy deprived Mrs. Manor and I, and our students, of our final semester together. Locked out of school, we never saw our students again, not the least of which because we retired—that was planned long before Covid—and moved away from our home in Texas.

Our presidential meat puppet, who months ago declared the Covid pandemic over, just renewed the pandemic state of emergency, with its sweeping, totalitarian powers, for another score of months. No doubt, his handlers will keep renewing it as long as possible—two years or more. We long ago learned masking was useless, even harmful, and school closures were unmistakably useless at disease prevention, and horribly destructive to our children to boot. We also learned the Covid vaccines are not vaccines; they don’t provide immunity from the virus, nor do they prevent transmission.

On top of all of these revelations, some K-12 schools, and some colleges across the country are still demanding masking and inoculation. Schools are virtue signaling their desire, given the slightest excuse, to return to “social distancing,” lockdowns, “remote/distance learning” and other utterly ineffective and terribly damaging policies of the Covid crazy years.  Obviously, many of those responsible for schooling, as opposed to educating, our children have learned nothing at all.

So, as a reminder gentle readers, I present this article from December of 2021, where I reflected on these issues. It would seem the lessons therein cannot be revisited often enough.  Back to December, 2021:

In free states, school has been back in session since the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.   No masks, no social distancing, no unreasoning fear.  Since the beginning of the plague that was going to extinguish mankind—the Wuhan Virus—we’ve learned a great deal.  The virus has a 99%+ survival rate.  Those that die are either elderly, or have active co-morbidities.  We have no idea of the actual death rate from Covid, because death figures have been contaminated with people who died from something else—cancer, car accidents, gunshots, etc.—but tested positive for Covid during their treatment or autopsy.  We know the young have very little risk from Covid, and they generally don’t transmit it.  We know the vaccines really aren’t vaccines; the vaccinated catch and transmit the virus.

We also know mask wearing and social isolation is very, very bad for kids, very bad including elevated rates of suicide and stunted social and intellectual development.  We also know masks are almost entirely ineffective in preventing viral transmission, which makes sense as cloth or paper cannot stop the movement of such tiny particles.

And so two weeks to change the curve have morphed into two years and forever, if Health Nazis get their way.  This despite knowing Covid is, like the common cold and the flu–-similar viruses–-always going to be with us.

We can excuse school authorities for overdoing it during the 2019-2020 school year.  We didn’t know these things.  We knew very little about the virus, and as we now know, the CDC/NIH and federal and state health officials were lying to us about just about everything.

[NOTE: A year hence, that kind of forgiveness is no longer on the table, as I noted in Covid Amnesty: The Least Of Our Concerns.

We now know the Pandemic Panic is almost entirely about control and conditioning, conditioning the public to unquestionably obey the federal government, and to accept, or at least not actively resist, election fraud.  There is, however, no longer any excuse for closing schools, which is not stopping corrupt politicians and educrats from continuing to try:

President Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services was told to take negotiations involving teachers unions into account when rolling out guidance for reopening schools this past February, newly published emails show.

The emails, obtained by Fox News, shed additional light on the cozy relationship between the White House and teachers unions, which many parents have blamed for forcing schools to be closed longer than necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In one email from Feb. 8, four days before the guidance was revealed, HHS official Michael Baker told his colleagues that he had just gotten off a ‘call with the White House and Department of Education regarding the school reopening guidance’ and added that ‘[w]e have some homework assignments.’

Among those ‘assignments,’ Baker wrote, was to ‘think about this in the broader context of teacher contract negotiations.’

Yes gentle readers, the teacher’s unions, among the most corrupt organizations in existence, are a perfect fit for the utterly corrupt Harris/Biden/Whoever Administration, Joe Biden, Temporary President.  Take the link to read the whole thing, which makes clear school closures are absolutely not about protecting the health and welfare of children and school staff.  They’re about the welfare and political power of the unions and federal and [blue] state governments.

The Omicron variant of Covid has been a Godsend for pandemic [fraudsters] as the country has, for months, and in red states far longer, been over Covid.  Tens, even hundreds of millions of Americans aren’t wearing masks, aren’t social distancing, and absolutely aren’t listening to health “authorities” who have proved themselves to be anything but authoritative—and honest.  Omicron, which as of this writing hasn’t caused a single death in America, appears to be part of the normal progression of viral mutation.  It’s contagious, but far less severe than the original virus.  And again, kids aren’t in any real danger from either strain.

One quick anecdote: Mrs. Manor recently had a long overdue knee replacement, which required an overnight in the hospital.  Masks were required—sort of.  A young nurse intimated we didn’t have to wear masks in patient rooms, just the hallways, to which I replied: “Ah!  That’s why I’m not a medical professional.  I didn’t know viruses only propagate in hallways.”  She laughed and admitted it was nothing but theater, which has been obvious to rational Americans for a very long time.

The point of this article, however, is to explain what school shutdowns and “distance learning,” or its various euphemisms, means for kids and parents.  It’s not what educrats claim.

I dealt with it for a single semester and was fortunate my planned retirement fell at the end of it.  I would not have survived any more of that kind of insanity and fraud.  In my medium sized Texas high school, which was not unionized, Texas being a right to work state, chaos reigned.

My school had quite a few cheap Chromebook laptops, which were handed out to any of the kids who wanted them so they could—bwahahaaaaaa—do their schoolwork via the Internet.  Such devices were of no use to kids who did not have the Internet at home, or who did not have a wireless setup, but as we quickly learned, it was all about the appearance of teaching and learning, not the reality of very little learning and less teaching.  Sure, most kids had smart phones, and Internet access through them, but try typing an essay on a smartphone sometime.

Here’s a major dose of reality: learning over the Internet works only with adults motivated to do the work, and who are capable of learning that way.  It works for college because they’re paying for it, and are there to get a degree. Honest college teachers would admit they’re not truly teaching that way.  With high school kids and the lower grades, that motivation is, to put it mildly, lacking.

We had a computer program we had to use to post our lessons, and which allowed us to grade them—online—and notify the kids of their grades.  It sort of worked.  Sometimes kid’s work was saved and I could access it, sometimes not.  Sometimes I could reply to them, sometimes not.  Sometimes things just disappeared into the electronic ether. I posted every lesson there and on my lesson plan website.  I also updated my gradebook daily, which didn’t matter.

Unfortunately, that kind of “teaching” introduced enormous lag times.  I could only post about an assignment per week, a single grade, when I was used to logging five or more per week. Post the assignment, then wait for the kids to find it.  There was no sense posting due dates, because one couldn’t be sure when the kids would find the assignment, or if there was some glitch with the program, their Internet connection, their hardware or software, or general ghosts in the machine.  Due dates were forever, sort-of completed assignments trickled in, or mostly didn’t, and my frustration mounted, because I knew I was committing academic fraud, and there wasn’t a damned thing I could do about it.

Our district administrators quickly realized we really couldn’t grade kids, but we would keep up the appearance of making and grading assignments.  We all knew very few kids were going to do the assignments, and it wouldn’t be fair to fail them, because we knew this method of “instruction” was woefully inadequate.  In effect, we knew we were cheating the kids out of a competent opportunity to learn, and we weren’t going to cheat them out of a passing grade.  So no matter how little they did, or didn’t do, all our kids were going to pass.  We started out with the idea the kids would get the grade they had at the end of the first semester, and eventually just passed everybody.

Depending on the class, from 10-30% of my kids actually did assignments.  Throughout the semester, I would occasionally get e-mails from parents and kids asking where the assignments were and how to do them.  This despite the district constantly explaining things online and in the media.  I sent constant, individual e-mails to every one of my students and parents explaining things and encouraging them to respond.  About 20% didn’t have e-mail addresses and the district wasn’t about to spring for stamps for them. Most didn’t respond.  I tried phone calls, but had to drop that.  Imagine playing phone tag with more than 100 people, many who didn’t want to play.

I was very much handicapped by the format I was forced to use.  Particularly in English, a great deal of reading and writing is required if one is doing it right.  Most kids aren’t readers, so we had to do our reading almost entirely in class, or it didn’t get done.  Online lessons guaranteed kids wouldn’t read, and even for the few that did, I was limited in length and difficulty level in what I could post.  There was no way for me to stop and explain unfamiliar words, concepts, relevant history, and the ins and outs of human nature.  And if one didn’t read, and have all that explanation and discussion, there was no way to do the assignments, even though I was forced to keep the questions and writings on a very low level.

Imagine what that did to my mythology classes.  Only a semester long, my second semester mythology class passed, but learned very little.  We didn’t have enough texts to send them home, so I had to post readings—much shorter ones—and hope they’d read them.  Most didn’t.

Our school didn’t have many useless, lazy teachers, but imagine a school that does.  Online learning is perfect for them.  All they have to do is pretend to teach.  They don’t have to deal with any annoying kids or parents, there’s virtually no work and even less supervision, and the kids quickly catch on and play along: they do nothing.  It’s a politicized, unionized, lazy and incompetent teacher’s dream.

But what of parents?  Can’t they make their kids do their schoolwork?  Keep in mind in most two-parent households, both parents work.  Even if the kids are old enough to be trusted home alone, it’s difficult at best for them to ride herd on the kids.  It’s also difficult, particularly if parents aren’t computer literate, for them to keep track of what their kids are or aren’t doing.  And of course, if they don’t have the Internet in their home, it’s impossible.  Savvy parents also quickly catch onto the “teaching” scam, and while they’re worried about their kid’s education, what can they do?  They’re stuck with the appearance of teaching and learning rather than its reality too.

The reality, gentle readers, is distance learning is virtually no learning for most kids.  Some kids are self-motivated and intellectually curious.  They’re going to learn regardless of what teachers do, but even they learn best and most in the classroom with capable, inspiring and hard working teachers who make it clear they actually give a damn about them.  That’s hard to do—impossible really—online.

The damage is far greater than most understand.  Kids aren’t hard drives.  A year of school doesn’t merely download 500 MB onto their drives for later retrieval.  The data can’t just be downloaded at some time in the future.  Learning is about not only retaining information, but building abilities, making neural connections that allow for additional neural connections that make a progressively complete and functional human being.  It’s every sight, sound and smell, every social interaction, every new idea, newly learned and practiced skill, building bigger, better brains.  If all of that isn’t there, if the learning opportunities of a year are skipped, the loss can’t be calculated, and will never be regained.

A few things to keep in mind, gentle readers, if your school district is closing down and promising your kids will be very well served indeed with “distance learning.”

November, 2022: A few things to keep in mind, indeed, gentle readers, when totalitarianism again comes knocking, trying to save us for our own good.