Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So long, fare well: a good, old-fashioned roast

The outgoing Tami Hasling and John Gudvangen participated in their final Colorado Springs School District #11 meeting of the Board of Educators tonight, and to celebrate, I thought I’d give them a good old fashioned roast.


I said before that Tami makes being blonde look like a lot of fun; but she also gives a lot of credence to all those blonde jokes. Perhaps in the circles of shallow water in which she happens to swim, hers is considered a serious intellect; but I’ve never heard her utter anything even a little bit deep in the entire time I’ve been following the Board.

If her Facebook page is any indicator, this is a happy time for us both: Tami has barely been able to wait for her stint on the Board to come to an end - and I’ve always resented her tendency to try and silence the only real thinker on the Board, Charlie Bobbitt.

Watching her pass notes to Jan Tanner on t.v., I can only imagine that in school she was always one of those popular jock/teacher’s pets – airy and unconcerned, and viciously cruel to the outsider.

They say the brain is a muscle – though I must admit, I don’t know myself if it’s true – but if it is, hers has shin splints. She reminds me so much of George W. Bush, or a Chatty Cathy Bodybuildin’ Cheerleader doll…wearing her “Trust Me, I’m Smart” glasses and chattering a handful of pre-recorded statements: “Kids are great! School is fun! Policy governance!” I just have to wonder, who was pulling her string this whole time.


Considerably more astute, but just as deep is John Gudvangen. I tried to look up the meaning of his surname, but had trouble finding one; I speak Dutch fluently, though, and will attempt a translation: Good Catching. Perhaps he did play ball, but I doubt it; he doesn’t really strike me as a jock – popular, or otherwise - but rather as a brainiac nerd.

A little too smart for his own good, and a little too good for his own smarts. Indeed, he can be counted on to make proud mention of his long-past claim to fame as valedictorian of his graduating class at Harrison – and for that, I applaud him. But really, John, how hard is it to float to the top of a school with such a high percentage of low-income and minority students?

Judging from his own writings and statements, he is an absolute educational elitist. “Oh, poverty, hrrrm hrrm and rumble…poor people are so simple that they’ll accept the substandard as good enough; by all means, warehouse all of the poor kids in a decaying century-old building – they’ll end up thanking us for it.”

Prone to self-important pontificating well after the audience has lost interest – as was evidenced in his l-e-n-g-t-h-y speech at Palmer to North Middle School’s eighth graders: be honest, John, couldn’t you hear the audience snoring?

Auf wiedersehn, Herr Gudvangen – hopefully, your future will be bright, and full of opportunities to pause weightily before laying all of your deep thoughts on us. But take this spider’s advice - leave the accordion at home.

Thanks so much to you both for voting to close schools – I’ll always remember you for it. Awww, just kidding, you two - I’m sure that so many of your “decisions” were dictated by the Puppetmaster.

But, truly:  thank you for your service.  It couldn’t have been easy, but think of it this way: at least you were part of the “In” crowd for a while – something some of us will never really know…and you’ll no longer need worry about poor, simple black spiders spinning your yarns.

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