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a sense of joy and then a panic
a sense of joy and then a panic
while everyone else was watching Lost... 
05.25.10
leather
I was watching the Law & Order series finale.  It was a pretty intense episode, about a blog that posts threats of shooting up a school.  I thought the twist was pretty neat-o for Law & Order, and I was certainly tense at the end.  The NYTimes has a good write-up of it, and I agree that the Department of Ed. and teachers' unions probably won't be pleased by how they were presented - on the other hand, I also thought the episode was a little too soft on teachers as the totally innocent victims of crazy, lying, psychopathic teenagers.  I mean, in the context of things like this.  I know some children can be cruel, but...

Jesus Christ, all I talk about is educational administration.  I'm sorry.

Anyway, I thought the NYTimes dude had some good points to make about L&O: The Original Series:
The acting on “Law & Order” in recent seasons has been at a level far above that on “Lost” and “24,” shows often singled out for their performances. More mystifying — or galling — has been reading the weepy comments about how much the complex characters of “Lost” will be missed. Elaborate back stories don’t make characters any less two-dimensional. The police and prosecutors of “Law & Order” may have spent most of their time in dingy offices and had no personal lives to speak of, but we’ll likely miss them more in the long run than the hothouse heroes of those other shows. That’s what happens when you focus on the writing and the acting for, say, 20 years.
That's of course subject to taste.  I also liked this commentator ACW's comment:
What made L&O work was that for the most part it was NOT about the characters. With the notable exception of Lenny Briscoe, with his past drinking problem and his bitter and eventually doomed daughter, L&O episodes mostly kept out of the personal lives of the characters and concentrated on the cases and the issues they raised.

This is as it should be; when you are at work, do you spend all your time, as it often seems in other shows, swapping witty banter and/or intimate bodily fluids with your co-workers? (That is, between fist-fights and shoot-outs.)...  Which is not to say the characters were stick figures. The actors fleshed out the characters by inhabiting them, and their performances told us more, subtly, about the characters than any expository dialogue could - which made them real, and which also explored the issues by portraying plausible reactions by intelligent people.
Best scene of the episode though was definitely Jack McCoy putting the beatdown on the teachers' union rep.  Not because it was the teachers' union rep so much as because Jack ends up screaming in righteous rage, and Jack has always been my favorite character.  Totally not ashamed to say that Jack/Sam Waterston's politics MAY have played a role in influencing mine, at least in high school.  The courtroom scenes that stick with me the most are from "Gunshow" and "Vaya Con Dios," neither of which appear on the internet.  But have this one:


It's like a combined Fuck Yeah! and Fuck You! moment.  Anyway, Jack is awesome
Comments 
05.26.10 (UTC)
Yeah, but even with the thing you linked to, it linked to another article:

"While accounts of teachers attacking students are relatively rare, school violence in general is on the rise. More than 150,000 teachers reported they were attacked by students in the 2007-2008 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics."

Students aren't all like you and me, and there are underlying problems here that teachers really shouldn't be dealing with.
05.26.10 (UTC)
I have no interest in the Law and Order episode (hate the police, so, you know), and I understand that teachers (nobody, really) are totally innocent. Maybe it's that I'm teaching here and seeing/hearing about things in Bulgaria, but I def. don't have the "Oh, students just want to learn, you must inspire them and show them how reading is really valuable" naive attitude.
05.26.10 (UTC)
You understand that teachers are totally innocent? Did you mean to put a not in there?

I agree that the whole "students just want to learn, you must inspire them" attitude is ridiculous. I don't know where you think that I said that. I also think that the "teachers love students and would do anything for them" mindset is ridiculous and untrue. There are some bad students and some bad teachers. Any generalization to be made about the education system is probably false.
05.26.10 (UTC)
Uh, yeah. I got confused when i added 'nobody' i think.

I don't think you said that, although I occasionally get that vibe from you (which could be in my head, I dunno). Anyway, I'm not really disagreeing with you.
05.26.10 (UTC)
Hmm... nah, I definitely don't think that. Admittedly I may come across kind of hard on teachers, but that may be because I'm compensating for being in a field where no one is hard on teachers, so all I ever hear is the other side. In any case that doesn't mean I think that students are just waiting for a Music of the Heart/Stand and Deliver/Dead Poets Society teacher to wake them up to their potential/the beauty of the world, I mean, I laugh at those movies.
05.26.10 (UTC)
I don't dispute that students attack teachers, and I'm sure it happens more often than the other way around since people only get uppity about teachers attacking students (for various reasons, some legitimate).

But the episode basically implied that every student turned every incident with a teacher around into an accusation that the teacher had attacked the student. I find it incredibly hard to believe that all the teachers in New York's rubber room are there for no reason (although the whole rubber room procedure is archaic). Even the teacher who eventually went on a killing spree was described as "a good teacher" who "snapped" (whereas when they thought it was a student planning the killing spree, it was all about the kid either being suicidal-depressive or psychotic). I found that explanation way too simplistic. I don't disagree with anything you're saying, but I'm really responding more to the episode.
05.26.10 (UTC)
Wait...I thought the episode was about students attacking teachers? Or these are bad students falsely accusing teachers of attacking them?

Yeah, and I'm trying not to respond to the episode.
05.26.10 (UTC)
It was about students attacking teachers, then saying it was the teachers that attacked them (despite CLEAR evidence to the contrary), and then the teachers being punished, and then one teacher saying "I can't take it anymore" and deciding to kill 600 students. I mean, yeah, kind of :/

I know. I think this causes issues.
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