Things You Should Know Before Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have found yourself in a situation, in which hiring a defense lawyer is an absolute necessity, do not worry because if you stay calm during this, you can deal with it a lot better. Now the thing here is that before hiring a criminal defense lawyer, or any lawyer for that matters, there are a few things that you should always do.

These things range from something as basic as not withholding information to not trying to bargain. After all, a criminal defense attorney will serve as the person who will win the case for you. Keeping that in mind, there are a few things that you should know before hiring a criminal defense lawyer, and in this article, we are looking at them.

Do Not Try to Bargain

Bargaining is a common practice that people partake in more often than you might believe. While it is not harmful in any way, it is also something that you should do when hiring a lawyer. In many cases, the fate of the case will largely depend on the lawyer, and if you manage to hire someone for really cheap, you might never know how they are going to be handling the case.

Keep Your Options Open

Another important thing is that you must keep your options open. Why? Because you might find a better lawyer if you are just slightly more careful about the entire situation. You do not need to hurry in any case whatsoever. The more patient and open you are about which lawyer to hire, the better the end result is going to be. So, keeping that in mind, always know that whenever you are going for an attorney regardless of the discipline.

Are Hoverboards Difficult to Use?

One reason why a lot of people have decided against jumping on the hoverboard bandwagon is because of the fact that they feel like learning how to use a hoverboard is going to be unnecessarily difficult which means that you will not be able to enjoy using one since you are not going to know how to ride on it in the first place. The conception of hoverboards being difficult to ride comes from the fact that you will not be able to figure things out intuitively. After all, riding bikes is very different because there are wheels and handlebars involved.

That being said, just because of the fact that hoverboards are different in design from things like bikes does not mean that they are always going to be tough to learn how to use. Indeed, some hoverboards can actually be useful because they are nothing like bikes. Lots of people learn how to ride bikes but some people end up falling through the cracks which means that they can use this lack of knowledge to get onto a hoverboard and just figure things out.

If you want a straight answer, using this kind of technology is no more difficult than using any other kind of technology that you might have wanted to incorporate into your daily routine. All you need to do is close your eyes and think about what you are doing. Concentrate so that your body gets accustomed to the board. You also need to ensure that you are using the right kind of board all in all. This will be difficult to do, but going to is probably going to help you out since it will narrow down your list of options to one option that is widely considered to be the best.

Why Ear Infections Are Serious Business

Sometimes our pets are going to get sick, and how seriously we take the illness that has occurred depends in large part on the kind of lifestyle that the dog is living. Some things are going to be more serious than others however, and it is with these things that you will have to truly pay attention to what is going on and find a way to fix the issue before it ends up becoming a lot more serious than it would have been otherwise.

Ear infections for your dog are always going to be serious business because of the fact that they have a tendency to make things much worse before they end up getting better. If your dog has an ear infection that it is dealing with, there is a chance that your pet could end up losing its hearing. This means that you will no longer be able to take care of it like before. Dogs rely on their hearing for a lot of different things, with the most important of these things being tracking. A lot of the tricks that you might make your dog do rely on their hearing as well, so taking care of it is definitely going to be a big priority for you all in all.

If you contact jindo rescue, they will tell you that you need to take care of ear infections in your dog as soon as they are detected. If your dog looks uncomfortable and appears like it’s trying to scratch its ear at all times, there is a chance that the underlying cause could be an infection in its ear so you should try and take your pet to the vet the next chance you end up getting.

The Most Important Aspect of Improving Mental Health

We often think that obesity is the single biggest epidemic of our times, but if you think about it the true epidemic has nothing to do with how fat people are getting. Much on the contrary, it has to do with the manner in which people are experiencing their normal thoughts and feelings. This is because of the fact that mental health is declining in recent years, and this is leading to a lot of people suffering from anxiety, depression and all kinds of things that make it difficult for them to live a good life at the end of the day.

You should try your best to take your mental health concerns seriously. People frequently talk about how they are going to make it so that they can improve their mental health by eating better food, exercising more often, meditating or doing any of the large number of things that people suggest that you do when they have no real idea how mental health works in the first place. Nothing you will read on the internet is going to help your mental health except for the single biggest factor that is going to impact it and allow you to grow to a point where it will no longer be that much of an issue for you all in all.

This single way to improve your mental health is going to involve you looking into a psychologist Perth. Any good psychologist will be able to look into your mental state and diagnose you with whatever mental illness you are currently suffering from. Once you have this information, you are definitely going to have a clearer idea of how you are supposed to be moving forward from this point.

How to Prepare an Airbnb

These days pretty much everyone is turning every single thing they own into some kind of money making entity. For example, a lot of people are starting to offer their homes to people as airbnbs which basically means that people will be able to go to some kind of website and find the place that they like and go there, paying a nightly rate just like they would at any regular hotel only this time they will be able to enjoy the comforts of an actual home instead of having to deal with the clinical sterility of a hotel which can often get to you and make you feel a little unsettled all in all.

If you click here, you will learn about how you can maximize your home and turn it into a high value airbnb. For starters, you are going to have to work on insulating your home as much as possible. This is important for a lot of reasons, but mainly the reason that you should work on trying to insulate your home is because of the fact that it will allow you to save money later on.

If your home is either too hot or too cold, it’s unlikely that the people living there would feel comfortable enough to just let it go. They will want to turn the heating or the air conditioning up until it hits the maximum level that it is allowed to go to, and this will make your bills skyrocket. If you pay for high quality insulation this won’t be as much of a problem anymore because of the fact that the internal temperatures will be regulated so you can charge the same old rates and still make a huge profit.

Why Stock Prices Falling Isn’t Bad

Whenever the prices of stocks start to fall to a certain level, people always end up panicking and assuming that everything is going to end up going downhill from here on out. While it is true that the prices falling is a definite sign that the stock market might not be as stable as we initially thought it was, the savvy trader always knows that whenever you have a stock market that is crashing before your eyes, the time is ripe to make a fortune.

This may sound counterproductive, but if you think about it it’s actually quite true. The fact of the matter is that if you have a stock market where the prices are currently falling, you can always use this to your advantage and buy stocks at the lowest price possible. Once you have bought enough stocks you would be able to take your stocks and sit on them for a while. Sooner or later the stock market is going to rise in value once again, and if you have waited out the bad times the stocks you ended up buying for dirt cheap prices will skyrocket in value until a point comes where you will so much money that you might not even know what you are supposed to be doing with all of it.

This is how smart investors play their cards. They don’t panic whenever things start to get out of hand, instead they try to work on being patient and seeing how everything is going to pan out before they end up making some kind of rash decision that would make them lose a lot of money and not gain anything from how the market was behaving. You should check out ihub to learn more.

What to Do Before Leasing Office Space in Goteborg And Malmo

Too many people end up making snap decisions regarding things as important as office space without trying to better understand the quality of the office space that they have now decided that they are going to be paying for. The reason that people make decisions like this is because of the fact that they don’t really know how to figure out whether or not an office space is truly good for them, and they deal with this by just jumping on the first office space that they end up seeing at any given point in time.

The one thing that you should do before you decide that leasing an office space is the right thing for you to do is that you should try and focus on calling an inspector to check the office space out. Before you have signed a contract, any problems that you find in the office can be addressed by the owner of the space, and there is much to be said about figuring out how you will manage the contract negotiations.

Another group of people that you should show the office to before you decide to get it are the people that you are going to be sharing this office with, namely the people that you work with or those that work for you. These are the individuals who will be spending their days inside the new office that you are leasing, and you would obviously want them to be more or less satisfied with the purchase that you have made all in all. Lots of people find problems that you might not have seen, so this is an added benefit that you are going to experience. Visit to learn more.

Don’t Take Plumbing Matters in Your Own Hands

Problems related to the water system are often considered unimportant. They are ignored even after they are recognized.  This is the main reason why sometimes, plumbing can get very costly. This only happens when people don’t acknowledge problems at the right time and only do something about them when the fault starts to show or affects other things as well. Since one problem brings faults in other parts as well, the plumber has to fix not one but many things, it gets costly.

This is not a very desirable situation. But it’s not like you can’t do anything about it. The best way to get ahead of such a situation would be to already have a plumbing contractor. Tucson plumbing has a lot of plumbing professionals that are long term contractors. These long term contractors would take care of your water system in the best way possible. They will pay regular visits to your to perform inspections. These inspections would be able to let you know about the problems beforehand. Instead of fixing many things, the plumber will be able to fix that one thing without it causing damage to other parts.

Water Leakages

Water leakages are the example of one such problem. Most people don’t pay attention to their water systems. If a water leakage occurs, the owner probably won’t find out about it until it has a caused a huge damage. This is also why it gets very costly.


This is another big problem. Clogging occurs when a lot of solids and debris has accumulated in drainage pipes. This causes water to drain slowly. You shouldn’t resort to temporary solutions such as pouring chemicals down the drain and instead contact a plumber to get your problem fixed immediately.

What to Do After Rhinoplasty Surgery

A lot of people assume that once a surgery has been completed, they can just resume living their normal lives and not have a care in the world. If you are reading this, you probably already have an inkling about the fact that this is not quite true, at least not in the sense that most people might think it is. When you have just gotten a surgery, your body needs some time to recover and properly heal from what has just happened to it. Even though surgeries are often necessary and they lead to good results all in all, a lot of the time the surgeries that you might have gone through have a tendency to be a lot more dangerous if care is not taken afterwards since the trauma that a body has undergone needs time to go away before the full benefits of the procedure can be enjoyed.

When it comes to the best rhinoplasty in Paradise Valley, you should realize that your sinuses are going to be very sensitive for quite some time. This is going to make it so that you will be left with no option but to avoid spicy foods. Any food that will make your nose watery is going to be dangerous since it could lead to a buildup of moisture in your system and could also potentially give you a much less satisfactory healing process overall. If your sinuses get irritated and start to burn, this could potentially lead to an infection as well. If there is any confusion that you would like to get cleared up as quickly as possible, consider asking your doctor what the best course of action for you may be. They will tell you what you can and can’t eat.

An Easy Trick For Making ACs Better at Cooling

An air conditioning unit has the power to change your home completely. The general sense of agitation that you may have while you are at home tends to disappear when ACs are being brought into the mix, but just buying a high powered air conditioner is not going to be enough. More steps might need to be taken in order to make them more capable of dealing with the surrounding environment. Luckily for you, the tips and tricks that you can apply in order to make your air conditioners better at their jobs are not as complicated as you might initially think given your lack of proper expertise in the matter.

One simple trick that you can use in order to make your ACs a little bit better at cooling is to draw your curtains. A lot of the heat that might raise the temperature of your desired room comes from sunlight. Even if hot air is not creeping in, sunlight has the potential to raise temperatures to more or less unbearable levels, and will play a role in how effective your air conditioning unit truly is.

Heating is also affected by this change. By opening up your curtains you will let some much needed sunlight in, and as a result of this fact your room will warm up gradually with the help of the right kind of heating unit. If, after this trick has been applied, your heater is still not having the desired effect, you could always look into getting ducted gas heating service Adelaide done. Dust and debris can be cleared from the ventilation shafts, and hot air would have an easier time passing through thus leading to heat emanating much more readily from these areas.

How to Save Some Money

Pretty much everyone out there is eager to find ways to cut costs here and there. One way that you can cut costs is by learning to accomplish simple maintenance tasks on your own instead of hiring someone to do them every single time. A plumber Frankston can charge a lot of money, and if you keep telling him to come over time and time again the costs will pile up and pretty soon you will have spent a mountain of money on something that you could have just handled on your own.

For example, if your shower head is dripping the first thought that goes through your head might be that you would want to call a plumber to fix the leak. This is not exactly necessary though, because these kinds of dripping faucets can be fixed with ease, especially if the offending area is your showerhead. One reason why your showerhead might be leaking could be because it is not fastened tightly enough. You can use thread tape to make it a bit tighter. Keeping tightening the fastening until the dripping stops completely and you are good to go, and you didn’t have to spend a fortune on a plumber either.

This is not to say that you should never call a plumber. Some problems are too great for someone without proper knowledge to handle. You could always try to save some money by finding a plumber that does not overcharge you for anything and instead tries to give you fair rates that indicate the sort of work that’s being done rather than trying to puff up the pricing scheme by using jargon that they know you won’t understand. Nothing is more useful than a plumber that you can trust.

What is Toxic Behavior?

You hear the word toxic being thrown around a lot these days, and if you are confused it is pretty understandable because of the fact that this word is not easy to understand especially since there are so many complexities to it and there is a lot of context that you are going to have to grasp as well if you truly want it to impact your life in the right way. Toxic behavior is basically any kind of behavior that comes from a negative place. Irrational anger, a sense of entitlement over others, attempting to manipulate what people do and say, all of these are toxic behaviors that are going to end up harming the people around you.

It is important to understand what toxic behavior is because until and unless you work on understanding it there is pretty much no chance that you are going to be able to stop participating in it any time soon. You will end up losing loved ones, friends and family, so taking steps to avoid toxic behavior is imperative. According to Heather Matthews, a self help guru that has been making waves recently after talking about self help in a truly holistic manner without putting the blame on anyone for no good reason, if you want to get rid of toxic behavior you need to first truly want it with every fiber of your being.

You need to want to be a good person. Once you have this desire fully established within you, you are going to have to think about how your behavior impacts others. Do people often feel anxious around you? Do you make people feel scared of how you might react to things? Notice these things and then try to avoid doing the things that make people worry.

Mistakes You Should Avoid When Trying to Stay Healthy

If you are trying to stay as healthy as you possibly can, then the good news is that it is not that hard to achieve. The part that is hard for many is that they end up either just moving away from the track, or never being consistent enough. As with everything else, there are mistakes that you can end up making when you are trying to stay healthy as possible.

Now I would suggest that you read the patriot power greens drink reviews and try them out after that because as far as my knowledge serves me, they are really good and benefit you in many ways than just one. As for now, we are just focusing on the mistakes that you should avoid when trying to stay healthy. This is, of course, very important, so the more we look at this, the better.

Not Following a Proper Diet

The first and most important thing that you need to know is that you must follow a proper diet. Do not just think that you can eat anything and everything without any consequences. So, make sure that you have a proper diet and you follow that.

Changing Your Diet Time And Again

Another really common mistake that a lot of people make is changing their diet time and again. This can be a huge issue in the long run. Let your body adjust to a single diet in order to make sure that the diet is effective enough. Otherwise, you are just pushing yourself in the trouble, and that is never the right thing to do because it can be an issue, and something that I would never suggest you do it in the first place.

How to Declutter Your Classroom

For anyone who is in charge of a classroom, it is safe to say that you are fully aware of how cluttered everything can become. This is not something that happens often, and many people do face that issue on a regular basis. As a teacher, it is your responsibility to make everything look presentable and easily accessible.

However, as far as decluttering is concerned, the one thing that you must always know is that the more organized you are, the better impression it will leave on the parents, the students, and the rest of the staff as well.

So, the question remains the same. Just how can you declutter your classroom? Well, the process is rather simple to understand. We are going to look at some important factors that will help you declutter the classroom.

Make The Seating Flexible

The one thing that you should always do is make the seating flexible. The benefit of that? This way, you will not have to worry about having more chairs and fewer students. Only keep the chairs that you need and remove the ones that you do not need. Change the seating patterns too, if possible.

Use The Walls to Your Advantage

The walls in your classroom can be used to your advantage if you are careful about it. You can either decorate them properly, or you can leave them to be the mess that they are. It is all up to you but the more careful you are, the better you can arrange everything. The bulletin board is there to help you as well so, do use that as much as possible.

Clean The Cabinets

Another really important suggest that I would make is that you should really start cleaning your cabinets. I know they are part of the classroom but their presence alone cannot make a classroom clutter or otherwise, but if you are looking to get the best of the experience. Do start cleaning and organizing the cabinets as well.

Get Input

It is okay if you are territorial about your classroom, most teachers are. How do you deal with it? Well, you can always ask for input. Whether you are asking your colleagues or the students. It is just better to know what others think is best. You do not have to act on it but having someone else’s opinion can really help make things more organized for you, and a lot less cluttered.

Get Rid of The Unwanted Stuff

Another tip are that if you do come across some stuff that is not needed in the class or is not used at all. Simply get rid of it. The reason why I am saying this is rather simple; you would be surprised just how much waste you can get rid of by making sure that you are removing all the unwanted things from the classroom.

Once you are done, it will make a world of difference.

How to Manage Your Classroom Effectively

A classroom full of students who are always too rowdy can be a messy affair, and most of the teachers want to manage that to the best of their interest. Classroom management is something that should never be overlooked, and the best part is that if you do follow some of the techniques, you can get by really easily.

Most teachers are aware of just how to manage a classroom without creating any discrepancies, or a mood that just takes the fun out of the classroom. However, the thing that you must know here is that managing a classroom can be a daunting process, so the more you know about the techniques, the better.

Below, you will find the key ways of managing your classroom effectively.

Start With The Positivity

The first day at school for many teachers can be an overwhelming experience. The right thing to do here is to make sure that the better part of the first year is spent making relationships. Making sure that all the students feel a sense of belonging, and they know that teachers are going to be there for them.

Teachers can spend time holding one-to-one meetings with their students, similarly, they can create activities that are solely led by the students. Teachers can start with welcoming every student and greeting them into the class, and use overall positive communication techniques to give them a generally better experience.

Maintaining Relationships

Having a positive relationship with students is a lot more important than some might say. While the more traditional teachers might advise you otherwise, do keep in mind that if you are good with your students, they will be a lot better in the classroom.

There are many ways of maintaining healthy relationships.  Make sure that you are noting both positive and negative interactions with the students, you should also make sure that you regularly check in with your students and see if they are doing okay. Last but not least, you should always acknowledge good behavior.

Phasing Out The Negativities

There are going to be some negative aspects between you and the students. However, the right thing to do in this scenario would be to make sure that all of them are phased out before things become worse. Teachers can easily and effectively use different methodologies to ensure nothing goes sideways.

Starting fresh, as well as taking responsibility can go a long way. If the need arises, you can even show empathy, and start focusing on the solutions rather than going for the problems. Last but not least, a good teacher should be fully aware of how to separate the deed from the doer as it goes a long way, and teaches the same to the students.

These are some things that can result in effective classroom management. We do not say that it will work for everyone but if you are being responsible enough, as well as careful with these things, they can make a lot of difference.

How to Teach Realistic Optimism

The thing about optimism is that many people mistake it for just positive thinking. However, it does not just end there. Optimism, in more ways than one, is a way of fighting the helplessness that gets created as we move forward in life.

Students who go through this phase of helplessness often find themselves refusing any sort of activities or solutions that could be helpful in more ways than just one. This sort of helplessness is called learned helplessness and getting out of it is often more difficult than it may seem.

This is where the realistic optimism comes into play, and since we are looking at teachers, we believe that realistic optimism should be something that every teacher focuses on. If you are wondering how to teach this sort of optimism, let’s keep looking.

Start With Positive Reframing

Start by telling your students about positive reframing, and allowing the students to look at the scenarios they are in from different perspective. For instance, if a student is feeling let down by the fact that he did not score well in an exam, tell the student to think about how they have just got a better chance at making the future exam even better.

Encourage Selective Focusing

Believe it or not, selecting focusing is something that happens to be a lot more important than some might think. Teach your students the methods to focus mainly on their thoughts as well as the events that lead to proper solutions.

Try Preventing Unproductive Self-Talk

Unproductive self-talk takes place usually when a student comes at the worst possible situation when something negative happens. For instance, if a student has gotten a bad grade or a bad test score, he or she will convince themselves that they cannot do better in that given subject at all.

As a teacher who is trying to teach realistic optimism, this is something that you must avoid.

Use Humor

I can name many teachers who are against the use of any sort of humor. However, if you are trying to make a difference, the best thing here would be to use a little humor. Clear out the negative air from the class so the students can feel a lot more comfortable with their teachers, and finally understand that even if they do not perform better, it is fine.

Following these steps is not that difficult, really. Any teacher can read and apply these with ease. However, you really need to be consistent if you are looking forward to making a difference. The more consistent you are, the better it is.

Another important thing that you must keep in mind is that it is better to be open and patient. There will be some students who might not open up to the ideas of you teaching them differently, and that is fine as well. You just have to deal with them with a bit more patience.

For the love of god, please stop saying these five things

“Islamophobic/Homophobic/Transphobic, etc.”

A phobia is a very serious condition; it’s an extreme and irrational fear of a thing or a situation. If you actually had homophobia, you’d scream and run as if your hair were on fire every time you heard a lisp. If you were actually Islamophobic, the mere thought of Ramadan would make you vomit and you’d dive under your car rather than catch a glimpse of a hijab, even if you were faked out by an old babushka with a head scarf. People with phobias contemplate (and sometimes commit) suicide as an alternative to whatever their irrational fear is. I’ve never heard of anyone who hanged themselves because there were gays somewhere outside. It’s wildly inaccurate to use the word “phobia” in this way.

I’m not playing semantics. Some people are disgusted by Muslims, homosexuals, and/or trans people.  Some worry about security, some are scared about encroachment on their own culture, some are bigoted and ignorant, some have legitimate concerns about how to move forward as a society in a way that affords everyone dignity. Some people say things for shock value, and some people are earnest, but awkward and offensive in their questions or comments. The problem with using “phobic” – besides being over-the-top incorrect – is that by using that word you’ve made a decision to not attempt to understand where the other person is coming from, and to instead paint them with the “mentally ill” (or stupid/evil) brush. You’re not attempting to understand the problem as it is, you’re certainly not trying to fix the problem, and instead are using an unintelligent shorthand to position yourself as morally superior. Using the word “phobia” in this way is as helpful as it is accurate.

 “You have to give respect to get respect.”

No you don’t. You most likely need to give courtesy to get courtesy, and you ought to be polite (at least to most people, most of the time) – and I think that’s what people mean when they say, “If you don’t respect me, I don’t respect you.” Or when teachers or police demand “respect” what they really mean is, “Do as I say when I say it because of the power bestowed upon me by the crown.”

Respect means, “A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.” So what you’re saying is, “You have to admire me, so then I can admire you; but if you don’t admire me, I won’t admire you.” Or, another way to say it: “Tell me I’m pretty and I’ll tell you you’re pretty, but if you don’t tell me I’m pretty then I won’t tell you you’re pretty.”  Please, please stop saying dumb shit like this. Admire people who deserve your admiration, carve yourself into the type of person whom others will admire, and just be polite to everyone else.


“Literally” means “actually.” It does not mean “figuratively” – in fact, it’s the opposite of figurative. Please stop saying literally when you mean figuratively. It’s annoying and I literally won’t respect you.


There was one Watergate scandal, and it was 45-some-odd years ago.

“School shootings are on the rise.”

This is a completely innumerate thing to say.

the statistical likelihood of any given public school student being killed by a gun, in school, on any given day since 1999 was roughly 1 in 614,000,000. And since the 1990s, shootings at schools have been getting less common.

It’s impossible to claim a trend with fidelity with such small numbers. For example:

  • in the 2008-2009 school year, 17 students out of ~56 million enrolled k-12 in the United States were murdered at school (with guns or otherwise)
  • 2009 – 2010, 19 out of ~56 million students were murdered
  • 2010 – 2011, 11 out of ~56 million students were murdered

So would you say that there was an increase in at-school-murders from 2009 to 2010, and a sharp drop in 2011? Or would you say that the difference between two billionths of a percentage point is negligible?

I’ll be fair and recognize that even one school shooting is too many, and the fact that they happen at all should give us pause. I think we should talk about school shootings, and I also think it’s reasonable to link the existence of school shootings to the dramatic rise of suicide among almost every demographic, including children, in America (something that actually does have statistical significance). We have a huge problem with nihilism, narcissism, hopelessness, and disconnection – ten percent of Americans are on (in my opinion, extremely dangerous) anti-depressant medication. We have a happiness and satisfaction problem that is linked to the over-medication, rise in suicide, and which I’m sure we could link back to school shootings.

The challenge is that a school shooting is emotional – it’s children being slaughtered in the same type of place where you likely send your kids everyday. A 1 in  614 million chance might still seem too risky when you’re talking about your own kids. Fair enough – I’m a huge advocate of homeschooling, anyway. However, my concern with saying innumerate things based on emotion is that we’re skirting the real issues: things like suicide, depression, and over-medication, all issues that are many, many times more likely to effect you and your child.

To whom it may concern at NYSED and the Board of Regents

TO: New York State Education Department

CC: Board of Regents

To whom it may concern,

There is no need to stand on ceremony – below you will find a short list of grievances:

  1. Two days ago (June 13th, 2017) I proctored an exam for English as a New Language (ENL) students until 8:30 at night. They had been taking exams since 8:30 in the morning. I didn’t take common core math, but I still know that’s 12 hours of coloring in bubbles and completing other people’s idea of an authentic assessment. I say again: ENL students were taking paper-and-pen standardized tests for 12 hours straight, in a language other than their own, with graduation on the line (I’ve had, in the past, proctored from 8:30am until past midnight). If the students fail, they will be sentenced to another year of school. For perspective: if a parent were to homeschool their adult son or daughter, and forced them to sit and do an activity of the parent’s choosing for 12 to 16 hours, then made a decision whether or not that child could leave the house and go to college based on the outcome of this arbitrary assessment, then you would take the CPS call seriously. Consider this grievance my CPS call on you.
  2. Requiring students to take these tests fits the definition of bullying, that is, the use of superior power or influence to force someone to do something they don’t want to do. In the case of the latest Common Core English Regents, specifically Part 2 (the argument essay), students were prompted to agree or disagree with this statement: Should school recess be structured play? Students then had four texts to read and were instructed to use three out of four of these texts to support their position for or against structured play during recess. Three out of four of these texts were biased towards structured recess, and the text that supported unstructured recess was the shortest of the four. Students were bullied into taking this test, and pushed towards putting into writing that they’d prefer their only free time in the day to be commandeered by adults. Students are told what to do with their minds and their bodies all day long, with the exception of recess. Students have no opportunity to make decisions for themselves, not even to use the bathroom, without the leave of a teacher, and now they are being threatened with not graduating if they don’t write down, and cite with evidence, that they want even less control over their own destiny. This is the equivalent of an oversized bully pushing a smaller kid’s face in the dirt and threatening not to stop until they write, in blue or black ink and with proper citations, why this is for their own good.

I have a suggestion for the argument essay on next year’s English Regents: Is it ever ethical to break the rules? The infringement on individual sovereignty can only go so far and last for so long before the people eventually fight back, and I have the sense that this time is soon.

I also feel that it would take very little for students to win against you – one or two sets of five students or more will withdraw from school, form groups, put themselves through their own courses of study, and be accepted to any college a traditional High School graduate would be accepted, probably in less time and definitely with a better set of experiences. Once the community starts to see that this is possible, more students will withdraw, and your system will become unsustainable.   

Please know that I write this with love in my heart.


Brian Huskie

National Board Certified Teacher, AYA/English Language Arts