Thursday, April 05, 2007
posted by Q6 at 2:52 PM
I was recently reminded of a bit of carnival schtick I haven't seen in a while: a man stands behind a rack of eight or ten thin vertical poles, each about six feet in the air, and spins plates atop each one. As they slow, he must either speed them up or replace them after they have fallen to the floor and shattered. No one complains about the shards on the ground; it's a comedy routine, and the broken plates add to the mayhem. The whole thing that makes it funny is that one person is trying to do way too much all at once.

It's not funny, however, when it's the metaphor for my school. The powers-that-seem-to-be have asked me to schedule yet another last-minute assembly for students that, while interesting and relevant to be sure, we don't really have time for. We're going to be piled up with testing for three weeks straight, then getting ready for finals at the end. There aren't many free days, and we're already to the point where the span between special programs is sometimes a day or two (or, in one case, two hours). WE ARE TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH, and I fear it will take a very ugly toll on the students and staff. My opinion is hardly even solicited anymore, for everyone knows my answer will be that we are spreading ourselves too thin.

Years and years ago, I would root for the guy with the sticks. These days, I find myself far too concerned with the plates, and I don't like feeling that way.