Posts Tagged ‘school’

Jeremy_Effie Vedder_Pearl Jam

“Jeremy spoke in class today.” ~ Pearl Jam, “Jeremy”

Explicit subject matter. Discretion is advised.

I heard Pearl Jam’s hit song “Jeremy” for the first time today in probably over a decade.

The next thing I knew, it was stuck in my head and I was looking to watch the music video on YouTube.

But there are different versions of the music video, including an “uncensored” version based on the content and lyrics of the song.

So then where did Pearl Jam come up with the idea of making such a controversial music video?

Come to find out that it is based on the story about a 16-year-old boy named Jeremy Wade Delle from Richardson, Texas just outside of Dallas.

Delle had literally shot himself by putting a gun into his mouth during his English class in high school. Eddie Vedder read about this story in the newspaper and instantly wrote a song about it.

Delle actually showed up late for his English class and his teacher told him to go to the head office to get a pass to be able to enter into the classroom. Instead he left, got a .357 Magnum, came back into the classroom. He then put the gun into his mouth and pulled the trigger. Most likely ventilating the back of his head before any of the students or the teacher could react.

This is also included in the uncensored version of the music video by Pearl Jam. But its not widely circulated. At least not in the United States of America. There’s a different censored version of the boy killing himself that was instead played on MTV. (Back when MTV was actually MTV.)  heretoreadthecomments

I was going through the comments of the music video, the uncensored version, and I saw some interesting comments that really took me by surprise.

First of all, someone had noticed the “Nazi salute” by a class full of students.

Well, not really. Kinda but no.

The “salute” in which you are seeing was in fact used by Nazi Germany in the 1940’s. However to many people’s surprise, this salute was also used in the United States of America when giving the Pledge of Allegiance.

Americans had been using the salute as far back as more than 100 years ago, back in the late 19th Century.


School Children pledging allegiance to the American flag, May 1942

The initial civilian salute was replaced with a hand-on-heart gesture, followed by the extension of the arm as described by Francis Bellamy. Inventor of the salute in America. The same of which he authored The Pledge of Allegiance.

In the 1920’s, Italian fascists adopted the Roman salute to symbolize their claim to have revitalized Italy on the model of ancient Rome. This was quickly copied by the German Nazis, creating the Nazi salute. The similarity to the Bellamy salute led to confusion, especially during World War II. From 1939 until the attack on Pearl Harbor, detractors of Americans who argued against intervention in World War II produced propaganda using the salute to lessen those Americans’ reputations.

Among the anti-interventionist Americans was aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh. Supporters of Lindbergh’s views would claim that Lindbergh did not support Adolf Hitler, and that pictures of him appearing to do the Nazi salute were actually pictures of him using the Bellamy salute. In his Pulitzer prize winning biography “Lindbergh” author A. Scott Berg explains that interventionist propagandists would photograph Lindbergh and other isolationists using this salute from an angle that left out the American flag, so it would be indistinguishable from the Hitler salute to observers.

In order to prevent further confusion or controversy, United States Congress instituted the hand-over-the-heart gesture as the salute to be rendered by civilians during the Pledge of Allegiance in the United States, instead of the Bellamy salute. This was done when Congress amended the Flag Code on December 22, 1942. Bellamy_salute_1

There was initially some resistance to dropping the Bellamy salute, for example from the Daughters of the American Revolution, but this opposition died down quickly following Nazi Germany’s declaration of war against the United States on December 11, 1941.

During the period when it was used with the Pledge of Allegiance, it was sometimes known as the “flag salute”. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, Italian fascists and Nazis adopted a salute which had the same form, resulting in controversy over the use of the Bellamy salute in the United States. It was officially replaced by the hand-over-heart salute when Congress amended the Flag Code on December 22, 1942. Now instead we use the hand-over-heart salute to avoid any collision with history.

So in essence, it is but it is NOT the “Nazi Salute” as this person had remarked in the comment section of YouTube.


Pearl Jam was actually pretty smart to have put that in their video. To paraphrase  LISAFAYECHARDONNAY, Pearl Jam just “put American history and culture up your ass” with that scene.

Still the story is true about a teenaged boy killing himself in front of class mates at his high school. jeremy

And what got me going was the fact that people were actually LOOKING for the uncensored version. I just happened to have selected the correct YouTube video where it shows the boy putting the gun into his mouth and then suddenly clenching his eyes shut.

There’s nothing really blood or disgusting about it. But it was offensive enough just to see the actor in the music video put the gun into his own mouth.

I had read several comments about how the United States of America was lame for censoring it. That there wasn’t anything really offensive about it in general, and that the people who censored the video are nothing but scared pussies.

And I thought “There ARE OTHER versions of this music video, not just this one.”

Based on the amount of typos and the very poor English skills, I was left to believe that the people complaining about the United States of America and its censorship laws, that they were NOT from the USA. jeremy2456

But I still wrote the following comment:

I am guessing that you have never personally been an eyewitness to someone in the process of attempting to commit suicide. I am also going to guess that you have never seen someone who was attempting it, be successful at it too. 

We may see violence of this nature all the time on television and films and we KNOW its fake. We also know that here it is fake as well. But the story that the song is telling us is about a boy who committed suicide in Texas, and that was NOT fake.

Having to see someone take their own life is not glamorous at all. Watching someone suddenly make the decision that they no longer wish to live on this Earth and then do something about it to end it is not a cake walk. And again, I am guessing that you and I have had totally different experiences on this subject as I contend that you have not seen it and I have. 

IT IS VERY offensive to watch someone do something like that, whether or not they go through with it or they get stopped somehow. In this case, nobody had time to react. And the whole classroom had to watch him take his own life. How many of them now are still in therapy do you think?? How many of them do you think are totally messed up in the head because they were forced to be a witness to such horror??

My gut feeling is that you’ve not even seen a cat get hit by a vehicle with your own eyes, much less a teenager come into a classroom and shoot himself in the head.  So before you go running around and bashing the United States of America and their “stupid laws” on censorship… think about those who have to deal with these kinds of things. Think of those people with PTSD because they have had experiences similar to this and how it was unfair for them to witness it because it was forced upon them. Come back to me when you’ve seen some really messed up shit in your life, then I will tell you all about the messed up shit that ‘I’ have seen…

I probably did not need to go into it with that person. I could have left it all alone, but it struck something within me and I responded and reacted in kind. And I did only moments later find that MY comment was flagged and deleted. Oh well.

So now you have your little dark secret history of America and the Bellamy salute, and then of course your background story about a famous song from the 1990’s by the band Pearl Jam.

Okay. Now you’ve done it society. You’ve REALLY done it!!

What kind of butt head in charge believes that a three year old child, who is deaf, is going to be a VIOLENT threat by using a name sign?

It is not like he’s tossing up gang signs that his parents taught him at an early age. He is not going around to other children, promising to bust a cap in their ass. He is simply attempting to communicate in the hearing world because he is deaf.

The child uses something called “Signed Exact English”. Or “SEE”.

SEE is an artificial system that was devised in 1972 that has been proven to function as the first language of children with hearing loss. It is based on the more well known system of ASL, or “American Sign Language”.

Based on the studies that I had years ago in Sign Language, everyone has their own “name sign”. It distinguishes an individual. For example: In a classroom setting, there may be more than one student with a common first name, such as “Michael” or “Jennifer”. Each individual name sign helps tell one from the other.

But because of the “Zero Tolerance” policy that this school system has in place, it is essentially taking away this child’s identity. This is complete garbage!

It really is sad to read about this story. It just feels like a shot to the nuts for me. And to those who have lifelong ADA issues. I have my hearing. And at one point, I had been studying to be a Sign Language interpreter. And so there is a part of me that is crushed to read that this innocent three year old child who is at a disadvantage in the world is being shut down and pushed back. All because of his own name sign might look like a friggin’ weapon?!?!?!?!???


This child is there to learn and interact in a world that is very scary. He’s not there to be pushed aside, just because some pompous legislation.

I am all for safety in schools and for the safety of our children. But this “Zero Tolerance” stuff is seriously abused, outdated, and quite honestly… ridiculous.

I hope, I REALLY HOPE that the school system changes its tune. Because how much further back can you push those who are supposed to be protected by the ADA? Especially those who cannot defend themselves.


I have a fun story to tell. Some probably already got a glimpse of this on Facebook. 

I noticed a few days ago that several copies were printed off of my blog post of “The Donut Dollies”. I knew who had done it, but at the time I didn’t say a word. But this morning I noticed that the stack of copies of my printed off blog post were fewer and fewer. So I am guessing that people were taking them to read.

Then the person who was responsible for printing it off and sharing it with the rest of the people here walked in and so I finally asked her about it.

Of course she admitted to doing it and then she explained that she had e-mailed the URL of the blog post to her family and close friends and their families.

She reported that one of her best friends had printed it off and shared the story with their children. And she also sent it to her son, and her son printed it off and shared it with his child as well.

I thought that of course the story of The Donut Dollies was a very interesting one. And apparently they did too.

The children that were told this story actually took the blog with them to school. And they discussed it in their class.

For that, I was amazed and a little flattered.

I know that sometimes my blog as whole gets passed around. That is evident to the amount of total views. Yet I do not really know who else is reading it and I do not know to what extent my blog posts gets shared and passed around. I do however, think that its cool!

And I also know that people are reading, even though they do not come out into the public and tell me “Hey, I liked your post” or whatever. They sit in silence and they read.

I never know which blog post is going to make either a wave or a big splash. But I think that as a writer/blogger when it does happen, it’s something that I become very proud of.

A lot of people seem to enjoy the personal experiences of life that when I look back, is just so funny or silly. Some call me a comedian, but I’m still not on stage or on television talking about my experiences and stories. I’m not sure that’s something I would do. Still people seem to enjoy it.

This post though, seems to have really spread like wildfire, going viral.. statewide.

It will be interesting to see what happens from here. And for those silent readers… thank you. And thank you to all who visit and read my blog.




So I’m going to turn down the flames a notch for this particular post.

I find this totally hilarious and sad. Sad because it actually happened.

For the past two years or so, I have been working closely together with a group who is offering services to women who are in need of help. Women who either are single mothers or are struggling to find employment or whatever the case may be.

When this was first offered to me, I declined it. But eventually I would agree to a volunteer position. What I once thought was going to be me helping a few instructors of a local GED instruction class, ended up with being me considered as the “math guru”.

I was assisting others in a class of about ten women or so. These women were looking to advance their education so that either they could go to college or get a job. And that was a wonderful thing. And then one day, during a math session the students were struggling with fractions. Not the easiest thing, I know. But I spoke up and then showed the class a shortcut of how to deal with fraction multiplication and division.

That apparently set me off on a journey that I would soon never forget. Any time the class was going to do math, I took charge. I didn’t mind it too much. I was there for a reason to help these women get their education. And so the job just kind of stuck with me. I was being announced and introduced as the “math guru” or instructor and people were impressed. I even had one woman come up to me asking for help outside of class. Unfortunately for her, that was not something that was tolerated.

Anyways, I did this religiously for over a year, either every day or maybe six days out of the week. It depended on the need. It would be days or nights. I generally tried to contain my instruction during the day and kept it inside of the classroom.

But eventually, I would get burned out. After all, I was a volunteer. I was not receiving any monetary payment for my teaching math. Although I cannot say that I didn’t receive anything at all. I was able to make some contacts in the community and I was also taken care of when I was out of food and was hungry a few times here and there. But there was no weekly check involved. No pay stubs or anything like that to worry about.

Summer came, and I was under a lot of stress because I had been doing this day after day after day after day. Sometimes with doing the job seven days a week, I would beg for a little break.

I would receive that opportunity when another instructor said that he was taking the summer off. And since he was my source of transportation, I too would decide to take off for the summer. It was a great thing for me.

After the summer hiatus, I actually was choosing not to go teach as much. I was willing to teach, but not as much as I had been because of the stress levels. Teachers can get very frustrated with their students when they have been teaching them for so long and it doesn’t seem like the students are making any progress. And that’s how I was feeling. It was the same students day after day. Asking them to solve a math problem that was more complex than 1+1= ? was an absolute situation to the point where I wanted to pull out hair.

So I backed off a bit through the fall and winter. But I still was willing to help. After all this organization was more than willing to help me whenever I truly needed it in life. Therefore I wasn’t completely at the end of my rope where I was just going to tell them to shove it where the sun don’t shine.

So gradually, I came to an agreement that I would help out, but only on a tutorial basis. I would deal with maybe one or two of these students, with the supervision of another instructor at my own place, which was more local. It was actually driving me crazy because I was having to rely on someone else so much just to get to the classroom. IF these students were serious enough to want to get their GED, they would have agreed to it.

The idea was more or less approved of, yet students didn’t really take advantage. So by the end of this winter, I wasn’t doing much of any teaching at all.

Now it is summer, and the program to help these women in need continues on. But I get told “your services are no longer needed”. Yep, they were letting me go. Firing me, if you will.

All I could was laugh through the rest of the conversation. Fire me? From what?? It was I who had made the decision to fill my days in trying to help these women out. But it was and always will be a 50/50 situation. I can instruct until I am blue in the face, but the students have to want to learn. (It is my personal opinion that a lot of these women who have been coming to class, don’t want to learn. They’ve been over the same materials over and over again, and they still ‘fail’. I do not believe that it is because they are stupid, I honestly think that some of them can actually pass the GED test. It is just that they have nothing better to do at home and they want to get out of the house. So they sit in my classroom for a few hours and then go home.)

It cannot be said that I am lacking in my teaching ability because I can see when a student has improved whenever under my instructions. But when it comes test time, they sink like a rock, and I think that they are doing it on purpose.

But I get told that I am no longer needed. Like it was a professional setting and they were having to fire me for whatever reason. They wanted to be looked upon because other people were in the room.

Seriously though, CAN you fire someone who is a volunteer? There’s a difference between trying to fire someone and telling someone “You no longer need to come to teach.”

Certainly, this cannot be a disciplinary action. I’ve not disrupted the flow of the program on any level. I think they wanted to hear themselves talk.

So yes, I really thought that it was unnecessary and incredibly stupid. But that’s the way they wanted it and that’s the way it is.

Pretty lame if you asked me. So I have the full time of this summer to either find some place else to work (whether its being paid or volunteering). Clearly the optimal choice would be to find a paying job.

But firing a volunteer, unless they have broken a rule or is not working together with the organization as a whole is just pretty stupid.