Archive Page 2

St. Bart’s High: Wasting Paper and Money, Part II

Notetakers, Part 2

In his documentary ‘The Cartel’, Bob Bowdon said that “overhead” is the “kind of spending that seldom faces any scrutiny locally when the money is coming from the state”.  The following is based on the philosophy espoused in ‘The Cartel’ and on characters from ‘St Bart’s High, Or How I Had a Love for the Classes Beat into Me’, a novel by DS Palmer.

“All right,” Spurlock coaxed with both hands raised to his forehead’s level, “Let’s all try and settle.  Settle down, please…  BRITTANY!” he yelped as a girl stood from her chair and raised a closed fist at the boy behind her, “Sit…down…please…”

As the rest of the class realized someone had made the instructor genuinely angry they gradually settled into their seats.  Brittany sheepishly followed suit, though her shoulders twitched the irritation she felt toward her neighbor for landing her in the scolding spotlight.

“Thank you,” Spurlock said as he clasped his hands near his waist, “We have a lot to do in the next couple of days because, remember, you have your first exam on Friday,” the class groaned in disapproval, “I know, I know, lousy schools trying to see if you’ve learned!  What are we here for anyway?” the teacher tried to joke.

Click here for DS Palmer’s novel “Madness in March”. 

“So does that mean you’re gonna give us a study guide today?”

“A study guide?” Spurlock asked with an arched eyebrow, “What do you mean?”

“Uh, you know, something to study…,” the reply came with looks to each side in search of laughter.  The delivery was not disappointed.

“Yeah, you mean study guides in addition to the notes that I have so generously been printing out for you guys?”

“What? These!?” a different student in the back hollered, “These don’t even have nothin’!  They don’t have no notes!  There’s like, 10 words in each picture!  It’s the same stuff you’re always puttin’ on the screen!”

“I…I know,” Spurlock said through genuine surprise, “They’re exactly what I told you they would be.  I said when I first started giving them to you that they would not be sufficient notes by themselves and that you would still need to write down anything that you think would best define the concept that we were discussing.  Remember that?” Spurlock asked in more of a hypothetical tone, “’Cuz I know I said it.  Everyday…that we’ve…ever…taken…notes…”

His class was not amused.  They all looked up at him as if they were being cheated and that their teacher had not fulfilled his end of their learning contract.  A couple in each corner started shaking their heads and whispering to one another.  Still others angrily swiped their printed notes off to a side of their desk.  The less challenging students merely looked down at their handouts as if they could wish information onto the pages.

“Well,” a third defiant student began, “I can’t get nothin’ from these notes.  I can’t study from them!  Nobody could!”

Click here for DS Palmer’s novel “Madness in March”. 

“OK, this is a conversation we should have had last week when I started printing them out,” Spurlock countered, “Better yet, this is a conversation we should have had a month and a half ago when I started lecturing.  The expectations have been laid out to you repeatedly.  If you don’t understand, it’s your responsibility to get the proper instructions.”

“Nuh-uh,” the first outraged young man countered, “I thought it’s the teachers’ jobs to make sure all their students know how to do everything!”

The class murmured its approval.

“All right, fine, but what if this was a job,” Mr. Spurlock suggested, “And what if I was your boss and I told you to do something and you didn’t let me know that you didn’t get it.  And then that thing was done incorrectly.  And let’s say this happened, oh, I don’t know, everyday.  What’s going to happen?  Are you going to keep that job?  Or should I go hire somebody who can either listen or clarify?”

Click here for DS Palmer’s novel “Madness in March”. 

“Oh!  So now you’re sayin’ that none of can get no job!  Huh?”

“No, I’m saying that it sounds like none of you are going to do well on the test.”

A series of cries about how that would be patently unfair rose out of a third of the class.  Another third warned Spurlock about how bad it would make him look if his entire class failed the test.  The final third pled with him to just please provide a study guide and then they would do fine.

“Tell you what,” Spurlock offered after they had quieted themselves, “If you don’t feel that your notes are adequate, come by tomorrow during homeroom and I will answer any question you may have short of, ‘This is the answer to number one…’”

Any question?” a young lady asked.

Any…question,” Spurlock confirmed.  The class nodded its head in agreement that such an arrangement was fair if nothing else.

The following day Spurlock had no additions to his homeroom.

To be continued…

Author’s note: As previously described, the concept of printing out instructional crutches is not only fiscally wasteful, it’s furthermore conditioning a generation of students that even the most simple responsibilities, such as writing down important information and asking clarifying questions, to expect such basics to be provided to them.  And while that is being provided in the name of ‘learning’, other ‘skills’ go by the wayside.  Skills like, you know, writing information down that stares them in the face…

Tell me I’m wrong!  Chime in below!


Contact DS Palmer at

Click here for DS Palmer’s novel “Madness in March”.


St. Bart’s High: Wasting Paper and Money, Part 1

Notetakers, Part 1

In his documentary ‘The Cartel’, Bob Bowdon said that “overhead” is the “kind of spending that seldom faces any scrutiny locally when the money is coming from the state”.  The following is based on the philosophy espoused in ‘The Cartel’ and on characters from ‘St Bart’s High, Or How I Had a Love for the Classes Beat into Me’, a novel by DS Palmer.

“Eh!  Come on, man, you’re going to fast!” a student interrupted to bark at Charlie Spurlock as he poured his soul into a lecture about Pearl Harbor.

“Yeah, man!  How do you expect us to learn nothin’ when we can’t write nothin’ down ‘cuz you’re all talkin’ so fast!” another jumped in.

“Um,” Spurlock muttered while rubbing his forehead, “Guys, this is, like, the most basic skill anyone is going to ask of you in school.  The skill to, you know, write what someone else is saying.  Good grief, nobody’s even asking you to learn, just copy my words.”

“Yeah, well, all those other teachers give us handouts!” came a call from the back with unnecessary gusto, “Why don’t you do none of that!”

“Look, I don’t think I need to justify basic classroom decisions to anyone under the age of…I don’t know…17…”

“I’m 19,” the same pseudo-outraged young man glowered.

“Good for you,” Spurlock continued with as much surprise as smirk written across his reddening face, “Regardless, before we discuss the volume of paper that needs to be sacrificed to try and minimize all of your…contributions, perhaps we should first see what note-taking is like after you all put your phones away.  Hmmmm, in the back…,” he said while staring down his most vocal antagonist.

Click here for DS Palmer’s novel “St. Bart’s High: Clash of the Classes”. 

The following morning Spurlock’s intercom buzzed as he was sitting down at his desk.  “Mr. Spurlock?” it asked.


Hi, Principal Dotter would like to speak with you before your class starts.”

“All right, I’m on my way,” he said while pushing away from his desk.  His walk through St. Bart’s High School halls was quieter than usual as many of the students had not yet arrived and the instructors were locked in their rooms bracing for the coming day.  Phones rang intermittently through the office as he turned the corner and found Dotter’s open door waiting for him as the principal shuffled papers at his desk.

“You wanted to see me?” Spurlock asked from the doorway.

“Yes, I’m sorry, yes.  Please sit down,” Dotter said while motioning to the lone chair in the office that did not have binders stacked atop it.

“Well,” the principal began, “We just got a complaint.  One of your students said that you refused to provide him with handouts en lieu of notes?”

“What?” Spurlock asked in full surprise.

“Yeah, I guess you told him that you wouldn’t make copies of the PowerPoint slides and told him to put away his phone and take notes.  You understand that…”

Click here for DS Palmer’s novel “St. Bart’s High: Clash of the Classes”. 

“That’s entirely accurate,” Spurlock interrupted, “Some of the students wondered yesterday why I don’t make copies and claimed that many other teachers do it, but I told the whole class that it shouldn’t be hard to write down what I’m saying and that maybe if they spent less time on their phones then taking the notes would be easier.”

“They shouldn’t be on their phones,” Dotter said while looking at Spurlock over his glasses, “And why aren’t you making them copies?”

“Because it’s a waste.  Because I have five classes with at least 27 kids in them.  If I’m making copies for every discussion every day, plus the other copies for the documents and things that we talk about, we’re talking about hundreds of copies a week.  Thousands a month!  For just my class!  Shouldn’t the students cut that cost by being, you know…students?”

“Well, in a perfect world, yes.  But times have changed, Charlie, and you can’t just expect the students to be able to write as fast as you talk.  And the guy that you singled out about the phone, he’s resource.  You can’t deny him notes.  Now the Special Ed department is piping hot, and his mother has called them and me.  You have to give them notes.”

Click here for DS Palmer’s novel “St. Bart’s High: Clash of the Classes”. 

“All right,” Spurlock laughed, “If you’re telling me to do it, I’ll do it…”

“That’s what I’m doing,” Dotter smiled.

“OK, but how many teachers are we not going to hire back this year?”

“What do you mean?” Dotter asked.

“I mean last spring we all heard that nobody’s going to lose their jobs because of attrition and that we shouldn’t have to worry about the budget if we want to come back.  Meanwhile there’s more kids than seats in the English classes and most of the Math Department is rumored to have sold their prep hours and there are all sorts of Penthouse-worthy stories coming back from every sports trip since the boys and girls teams started using the same bus.  And despite all of that, you’re telling me to increase my copy budget by about, what, $7.50 or $10 a week?”

“Well, it’s not all quite that simple, and yes, that’s what I’m asking of you.  Now, I have a parent coming in here, so, if you’ll please…”
The next day Spurlock dutifully handed out the PowerPoint slides and introduced his activity with a lecture.  And as he spoke, he recognized a veritable sea of tranquility before him, so still were his students’ pens and pencils.

To be continued…

Author’s note: The above is just one example of the gross waste that schools suggest as methods to make the learning process more simple.  They funny thing is, what could be more simple than traditional note-taking?  And what could be more cost-effective than students bringing a traditional notebook to do it?

Chime in! What other schoolhouse wastes make you crazy?


Contact DS Palmer at

Click here for DS Palmer’s novel “St. Bart’s HighL Clash of the Classes”.

When the Paycheck’s Late…

The hardest thing about working for someone, for anyone, isn’t the orders or being forced to put up with the seemingly endless whims that bosses can constantly toss out at any of their employees.  It isn’t being forced to be at any one place at any one time, and all the while knowing full well that if you don’t show up that you’re livelihood is kaput.  It isn’t the mind-numbing monotony and the daily experiment seemingly being undertaken by an invisible force intent upon proving the actuality of some sort of mental carpel tunnel.

All of that is hard, but it’s not the hardest.  Working for someone is at its most difficult, nigh impossible even, when the single reason that all of us show up for work every day, at our designated time and embrace the various petty horrors…doesn’t show up.  Work becomes most unbearable when the bills arrive, but the money doesn’t.

Click here for DS Palmer’s novel “St. Bart’s High: Clash of the Classes”.

We’ve all been there.  Hungrily walking toward the mailbox, bills on the counter back at the house, check register hidden away tightly with the hopes that God Himself might never catch a glimpse of our monetary shame, and the heart-pounding hope that some of those concerns are soon to be allayed when the promised exchange of money for labor is delivered.  And again the next day…it’s not.  And then…it’s not…  And then…W…T…F…!…

Amidst this abbreviated and vulgar state he walked to the mailbox.  “One day late could be the mail,” he growled to himself, “Two days could be some kind of mistake.  Three days and something’s gotta be wrong.  But four days is…is…,” the diatribe slowed as he pushed the key into the lock.  His heart raced as his mouth dried and his hands each felt icy.

With a quick flick of the wrist he unlocked and flung the door open.  Mail was inside.  His heart beat faster as he reached in and pulled a mighty wad of deliverables outside into the sunlight.  Envelopes too thick to be paychecks were hardly noticed as the one momentary salvation was searched after.

“Come on!” he whispered in front of the open receptacle as despondence grew.  The pile was growing short and he was fast approaching the grocery store ads and further desperation.  “It’s not here…again!” he laughed as his mind raced toward the email that he would have to send while vainly trying to maintain his composure.

Click here for DS Palmer’s novel “St. Bart’s High: Clash of the Classes”.

Just as he started wondering if ‘scumbag’ is one word or two, his index finger struck a corner that was as narrow as it was sharp.  His thumb raced to it and pushed it above the rest of the mail.  A small grin began to curl at either side of his mouth as he shut the mailbox and shoved the other material under his arm and began the short walk home while tearing open his sustenance.  The numbers looked up reassuringly, and he returned the gaze with gratitude.  He walked inside and found his six-year-old son nearly at the door after walking downstairs.

“What’s for dinner, daddy?” he asked with an apprehensive air.

“Ah, I don’t know,” he said while plotting a surprise, “Maybe a Happy Meal…”

“A Happy MEAL!” his kid shouted in delight as he looked up at his smiling and nodding father.


Contact DS Palmer at

Click here for DS Palmer’s novel “St. Bart’s High: Clash of the Classes”.

I Used to Work in a Prison…I mean School

I used to work in a prison.

In this prison an inmate was ridiculed, pushed around and psychologically tormented by his peers.  He feared that rape was on his horizon.

His background was different than others.  He was even poorer than most and therefore ignorant of some of the outside’s finer things.  He was also a little stupid and therefore easily made the butt of amusements throughout the population.

These jokes and pranks were gradually becoming more physical and suggestive in nature.  One time in the Chow Hall he saw some inmates whispering until one of them ‘accidentally’ dropped their fork near him under the table.

“Hey!” they called to him, “Get that for me!”

He hoped that a good deed would grant kinder graces and bent under the table to retrieve.  But he was stupid, remember, and he failed to observe another inmate coming in the opposite direction.  As he stooped to pick up the fork he felt a firm shove across his back that wedged him between the table and his chair.  He was stuck and his posterior was jutted upward into the air.  Their plan successful, those who he hoped to make his friends raced to apply spankings and other evocative humiliations.

Click her to begin reading DS Palmer’s novel ‘St. Bart’s High: Clash of the Classes’ for $0.99

To end the disgrace he pursued a gang.  The gang was initially indifferent.  But he was desperate, and began offering nearly any possession to find safety within their numbers.  Gradually the gang grew to appreciate the windfall of cigarettes and other jail-time valuables that their newest potential recruit was providing for them.

So they let him.  He joined their gang and began to enjoy a life lived without fear of the masses.  He never flaunted his new sense of security, probably because he was too stupid to realize he could have.  But everyone who had used him as an outlet for their frustrations with their different inadequacies knew of their loss, and they resented him all the more.

One night, shortly after he had seemed to find security, the same gang that had seemingly made him safe took it all away.  Before the cells were locked down for the night they invited themselves into his quarters.  After making brief small-talk they rose up and beat him into pile of bloodied mess.  It was quick work, and after he was subdued they took turns beating him and trashing his cell.  They destroyed everything he owned.  When the violence was complete they urinated on him and the rubble that his life had become.

No one stopped anything.  The rest of the population swore he got what he deserved for trying to be something he was not.  He was no gang-banger.  He was stupid, and he should have accepted his lot by absorbing their ridicule with good humor.  So they listened to the crime with satisfaction.

His wounds required weeks to heal.  The warden allowed an even longer duration in the hospital with the hopes that extended segregation from his hell might help him recover mentally.  It did not, but at least he was never raped.

This might provide one and all with enough inspiration to never commit a crime and therefore always steer clear of such circumstances.  Except, I never used to work in a prison.  I used to work in a school.

I worked at a school where everyday kids lived in fear of ridicule, torment and being mind-raped.  And so they join into masses with the hope that they will find some safety from the other jackal-packs.  Often it works.  But with the student…I mean inmate…I mean student…described above, it only worked for a moment before something even worse befell him.

And everyday similar kids…I mean inmates…I mean kids…are forced into that situation without any hope of good behavior preventing their torment.

I used to work in a school.

Click her to begin reading DS Palmer’s novel ‘St. Bart’s High: Clash of the Classes’ for $0.99

Contact DS Palmer at

Hello world!

Welcome to! This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

Happy blogging!

Blog Stats

  • 43 hits


Spreading Freedom Through Fiction

Spreading Freedom Through Fiction


Groundbreaking Investigative Journalism

Mises Institute

Spreading Freedom Through Fiction Original

Spreading Freedom Through Fiction

The Economic Collapse

Spreading Freedom Through Fiction

Spreading Freedom Through Fiction