Friday, December 18, 2015

Little Things

The little things you don't know can really bite you in the butt, as they say.

In keep with the current Star Wars craze, I thought I'd share with you the story of my personal experience in seeing the original movie when it first came out. I didn't see the same movie you did. Well, I did, but my misunderstanding of one key fact changed everything for me.

The alien creature who worked alongside Han Solo? I heard the name as "Julie". Yes, that's right. So I assumed that Julie was not just Solo's coworker on the Millennium Falcon, but also his love interest or common-law wife, or whatever.

I'll let that sink in for a moment.

Everything from that moment in the film onwards is changed by that one assumption. I read jealousy into "Julie's" looks, sounds, and actions. I read unfaithfulness and callous disregard into Han Solo's romantic flirtations with Princess Leia. How could he? What an outrageous love triangle. It really bugged me.

Strangely enough, once the film was over, I couldn't find anyone who wanted to discuss this aspect of the film with me. Actually, it was difficult just to get them to stop laughing.

Here are a few little things I thought you should know that might give you a more accurate view of the December 1st hearing of the Howard County Delegation on upcoming legislation. Speaking on behalf of the Board's position: Nayab Siddiqui, husband of Board Member Janet Siddiqui. I think it might have been helpful if he had identified himself as such, and actually I'm not sure it was ethical for him to offer testimony under those circumstances.

Also, giving testimony in support of the Board, two extremely close personal friends of Board member Ellen Giles. They also did not identify themselves as such. Apparently this was an evening where the desire for quantity outweighed any good sense about propriety. (See also: trotting out students to do one's dirty work.)

This reminds me of the old saying called out at baseball games, "You can't tell the players without a scorecard." After years of being willing to give school system leadership the benefit of the doubt, it's clear that the community is now actively keeping score. As Doug Miller states in his piece in this week's Columbia Flier,

But whether Foose stays or goes, the most important step toward transparency and accountability in both the superintendent’s office and on the board has already been taken: Taxpayers have come together to demand it.

Those little things add up to big things. And sometimes they come back to bite you.


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