Tuesday, October 24, 2017


At the Delegate Assembly last Wednesday, a UFT employee asked me how many people fit into our school auditorium. First question that came to me was why, so I asked, "Why?" I mean, it seemed like a logical question. But the person was very mysterious and wouldn't tell me. I asked my principal, who told me it was about 975. That's a lot of people.

I emailed the person who asked me. I said if there was gonna be a party, I wanted to be invited. I figured that had to be a heck of a party. The person was very accommodating and said, "Of course." I was pretty happy about that. It seemed like there was a momentous occasion in my future somewhere. I'd save the date, if only I had any idea what the date was gonna be. But hey, I'm flexible.

The next day I got wind that there was talk of some big meet and greet with Michael Mulgrew and Carmen Fariña possibly happening in my school. It seemed a huge coincidence that there should be talk of that right when people from the union were measuring our auditorium. Do we have the biggest auditorium in the borough? Well it's hard to say. We have the most students in the borough, but our auditorium was constructed for a school half our size. It's entirely possible some school with fewer students has the largest auditorium.

For all I know, Flushing High School could have a bigger auditorium. After all, they're located downtown, where all the businesses are. But do Fariña and Mulgrew want to visit over there? I mean, it's not the best week for that, what with all the teachers being required to reapply for their jobs and all. I have to think that would be a particularly awkward meet and greet. If I were Mulgrew and Fariña, I wouldn't want to go there.

Of course I'm neither Mulgrew nor Fariña. Maybe they think they'll get a ticker tape parade over there. Who knows? Me, I'd opt for a school like mine. But if I were UFT setting up something in a chapter leader's school, I'd notify the chapter leader rather than being coy about it. That's protocol. Theoretically, the chapter leader is UFT in the school. Of course, in practice, the chapter leader may have failed to sign the loyalty oath, so may therefore not merit that courtesy. Plus, the ones who did sign the loyalty oath are required to go along with whatever, whether or not it meets the interests of the school.

This wouldn't be the first time that happened to me, actually. I'm not really sure why. While I've had issues with both Mulgrew and the chancellor in the past, it's not like I've built a crocodile infested moat around the school to prevent their entrance or something. In fact, not even Bloomberg did that. He just renamed buildings, shut them into five small schools, and dumped all the teachers into the ATR. Even if I'd built the moat I'd probably lower the door for them. (For Bloomberg I probably wouldn't. You just don't know where the man's been.)

I don't really understand the need to be so cute about everything. It shows a fundamental mistrust. Personally, I don't mistrust people until or unless they give me a reason for it. Of course, withholding basic information you're obliged to share in an attempt to conceal your intentions is a pretty strong reason. Sometimes people who aren't forthright with others tend to expect that others aren't forthright with them either. For better or worse, I'm forthright with almost everyone.

Little things like that are not how I'd go about building trust in the time of Janus. Of course little things happen all the time. When I add them up I'm not altogether encouraged monopolistic dogs can learn new tricks. That's too bad, because the time is genuinely now.
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