Remedial English Class

Thomas K. Arnold, in the Seaside Courier, April 26:

Superintendent Schmitt Leaving San Dieguito Union High School District


I would like to suggest that Arnold, and possibly Trustee Muir, might benefit from spending some time in an English class in one of the San Dieguito middle schools. Things they might learn there:

Muir said she was a bit taken aback by Schmitt’s sudden departure.

“I’m happy for anyone who meets their personal professional goals,” she said. “However, I’m very concerned with the financial challenge our superintendent has left the district with in paying for contractual obligations with no cost containment and it’s indirect impacts on class size, educational amenities, etc.”

(1) The correct usage of the contraction “it’s” as opposed to the possessive pronoun “its”.

(2) Using specific details to back up your arguments, instead of fear-mongering empty words like “no cost containment”, “indirect impacts”, “educational amenities”, and “etc.”

Schmitt’s annual base pay would have spiked to $248,347 on July 1. His executive assistant on that date will see her annual base salary top out at $99,673, while a maintenance supervisor will earn an annual salary of as much as $101,849.

(3) Choosing the right descriptive word for a particular sentence, including using online resources like to choose a word that accurately conveys your meaning.


(4) Editing and revising your work to remove details that do not have any relevance to your point, like the salary of maintenance workers in a story about the superintendent.

Some trustees claim the deal was sprung on them with just 24 hours to review, having been negotiated by Schmitt and his team and the San Dieguito Faculty Association…

(5) Using specific language (“Trustees Muir and Salazar”) rather than vague generalities (“Some trustees”).

(6) Checking facts rather than simply reporting claims. Were those trustees accurate in claiming the deal was “sprung” on them? Or are they, in fact, not telling the truth? (Actually, this topic might be covered in a “Reporting 101” class rather than a middle-school English class. Still…)


If Arnold (or Muir) would like to spend some time in one of those classes, I believe they could arrange that by contacting the Superintendent of SDUHSD. I recommend doing so before July 1.

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things


You may have heard the back-and-forth this weekend about Trump, Bush the Dumb, Bush the Dumber, and 9/11. Here’s a quick summary from Tom Sullivan at Digby’s blog; here’s an investigative report from ThinkProgress (“Was George W. Bush President on 9/11? An Investigation into the Controversy Tearing the GOP Apart.”)

But I want to highlight the single stupidest thing I have ever heard come out of a reporter’s mouth, and remember, I live in California. From Sullivan’s post:

But perhaps the most stunning “response” to Trump was the question that led to Trump’s remark in the first place. Bloomberg’s Stephanie Rhule (sic) said, “Help us understand who Donald Trump is as a man. I need to know that you will make us feel safe and you will make us feel proud.”

Are you a five-year-old? Are you voting for Daddy? A quick Google search indicates that Ruhle is a 39-year old woman with a professional career. I presume she has a home and family and some amount of financial security. So why in the hell is she demanding that a candidate for President of the United States “make us feel safe” and “make us feel proud”?

This is why we end up with the shitshow we currently have: people voting for stupid reasons. If you need someone to make you feel safe and proud, go see a goddamn therapist, and let the rest of us elect non-insane people who might actually work towards solving the problems in this country rather than just making us feel good.