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Entry date: 11-29-2023 – Dumpaluffagus – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,


What if the Sesame Street character “Snuffleupagus” had been called “Dumpaluffagus” and was only able to be seen by Oscar the Grouch?


These are the thoughts that go through my brain sometimes. I don’t know why, but I’m glad I am wired this way. The idea made me chuckle. I’m sure he would have looked similar to Snuffy, being from a dump and all, but he also could have been a steaming pile of shit. Oscar would love that, too.


What a great thing Sesame Street was and is. I feel very fortunate to have grown up with it and have lovely memories of watching the show as a young fella. Personally, I loved Snuffleupagus. When he made an appearance, I thought it was the coolest thing. Now I feel a bit guilty about conjuring up his shitty cousin, but I’ll get past it.


I loved Ernie and Bert, too, and Grover. Hell, they were all cool. I remember going back and watching when Mr. Hooper died even though I was twelve or thirteen. It was a big deal. Those people and puppets were my friends. They were all our friends, really, just like Mr. Rogers.


Is there children’s programming these days that is as beneficial as Sesame Street? I wonder. There is a lot of adult programming disguised as kid’s shows, that’s for sure. Not that I am opposed to a hilarious cartoon. Ren & Stimpy still makes me laugh to this day, as does aspects of The Simpsons and Family Guy.


I’m sure the Children’s Television Workshop will cook up something else pretty great at some point if they are allowed to continue educating and informing children. I’m sure there is a lot of nice people, though, and by “nice” I really mean “assholes” who think there is something wrong with helping children to believe in themselves and learn some foundational skills to help them get ready for elementary school.


Fuck those people. Kids who can think for themselves, understand empathy, and have a little self-control will save this world. If we don’t start helping kids learn to use their brains, we are all in a load of trouble. We’re not getting any smarter as a culture if we don’t continue to embrace knowledge and experience and diversity.


*****


Soap box is done for the day.


*****


What a lovely evening we had last night. We went to Dad and Lori’s and celebrated Dad’s big day. Rhondi made a nice dinner, and I made a cake (though it was a bit dry for me…I will have to redeem myself for Christmas). We enjoyed some family time, and my brother was pretty darn pleasant, too. I like being around him when he wants to engage like that, and I hope he and I can start building some sort of stronger relationship.


*****


Today is a short day and I’m glad of that. There is a lot to accomplish during the rest of the week and I’m not sure how I will get it all done, but having a little extra time to do some prep this afternoon will help. Haven’t seen the Cocaine Baby yet this week. I’m starting to wonder what is going on with him. Perhaps he has been moved to one of the out of state family members.


Yesterday was weird, too, having my star student officially gone. The class is a little lost without her. She really was the barometer for a lot of them and now they are wondering who they need to measure themselves against. This year, so far, has been an interesting learning experience when it comes to how one personality can shift an entire classroom.


Before I started the blog, I had a student at the beginning of 2021 who set the tone for my classroom that year in a bad way. She was just a little shit and wanted to, like the Joker, burn down the world. One day she was trying to escape from the classroom and when I blocked the door, she started kicking the door and me. I feel like I have mentioned this before, but as I look back, I can see how her leaving the school gave the rest of my kids a chance to relax a bit more and just be themselves.


She’s a fourth grader now, somewhere. Hopefully far, far away, but also hopefully not so mad at the world anymore.


I also found out that my student whose father recently died has not been told yet. Mom is waiting until after the holidays to tell him and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I feel like it puts myself and the school councilor in a tough position for the next month. We know what he is going to be facing yet we can’t let on or telegraph anything by being too nice, etc.


Uggh.


I just want to help the little dude. The best thing I can do, I guess, is just keep being consistent and caring and be his teacher. I cannot save him from the hurt he has coming, but I can be there for him when he finds out. I can help him understand that there are people out there who do care, even if they are really just a temporary part of your life.


We all need somebody sometimes.


See you tomorrow.



My brother showed me this last night so I snapped a pic. Had to be around 2000/2001. Gramma's birthday.

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