Sunday, December 21, 2008

National Women's Suffrage Day

It's not very well known, but today is National Women's Suffrage Day. Although it sounds bad, suffrage is actually a very good thing. Exactly ninety years ago on December 21, 1918 congress passed the 18th amendment allowing women the right to vote. Since December 21st is the shortest day of the year some congressmen who voted against the 18th amendment said that just like the day, the amendment would be short lived and would soon be repealed since women would just vote for who their husband voted for. The bill was passed largely due to the efforts of Winifred Banks whose landmark speech Our Daughters’ Daughters Will Adore Us is credited for rallying thousands of women to the cause. Winifred, along with over a thousand women, marched to the US Capitol building shouting “Votes for women” and “Cast off the shackles of yesterday.”

One of history’s greatest ironies is that Winifred banks ran for the US Senate in 1920, but lost to a man. She ran again in 1926 and lost to a woman. She never ran for a political office again.

Despite all the progress that our country has made in the last ninety years there is still a lot of gender inequality. I deal with it on a daily basis and I am suffering due to a lack of suffrage.

At work we have men’s and women’s staff bathrooms. The men’s room looks just like any other bathroom: toilet, sink, and a random table for setting things on. I assumed that the women’s bathroom looked the same until one day when one of my colleagues forgot her key and asked me to unlock the bathroom for her. Oh the shock that filled my mind when I beheld the wonders of the women’s bathroom! The following pictures should illustrate the lack of equality in places where men and women do their business. I think that Winifred Banks would want me to have a framed picture and tablecloth in my bathroom too.

The men's bathroom

The women's bathroom

Historical note: All historical information in this post is false and is the invention of the author. Any similarities to real historical events are complete flukes. Actually, most of the above information is based on events from Mary Poppins. The pictures were taken by the author at H. M. Jackson High School and represent true inequality.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mr. Schilaty say what? part 2

A girl in my sixth period class got wind of the write-down-funny-stuff-that-Mr. Schilaty-says thing and started her own list. I don't say things so that students will write them down - this is just how I talk.

"I'm not profiling."

"And they got really mad, so I'm not gonna do it."

"Whoa, you're like tigers."

Student: "Can I punch the next person who makes fun of me?"
Me: "Yes."

"It helps you be smarter."

"You made me look like a fool, now I get to make you look like one."

"I think you're big enough to handle it yourself"

"Whoa, whoa! Don't yell at me."

"If you were talking about Spanish you need to stop. If you were talking about anything else, you are wrong.

"I just owned you."

Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Family Search

We had a lesson at church today about the new Family Search website. It's really cool and I'm really excited to start using it. We were all challenged to log into the website today. I did and they have this neat feature where you can see your own family tree. Next to my name there was a button that said, "Add or find a wife." If I had known that it was that easy to find a wife I would have stopped going to dances tried Family Search a long time ago. Who should I add?

If you're interested in doing genealogy visit If you're interest in finding a husband visit

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mr. Schilaty say what?

Unbeknownst to me (at the time) a girl in one of my classes has been writing down funny things that I say in class. She showed me the list and I was so amused that I asked for a copy. Here are some of my favorites:

“I would say ‘encantada' if I were an enchanted woman… I am NOT an enchanted woman.”

“What were you just doing…? Were you PRAYING?”
“I said attractive… it’s less… offensive.”
Mmmmm… quien es ella??? … Sorry I didn’t mean to sound so creepy.”

“So I… AS A MAN… will never ever ever ever ever ever say ‘nosotras.’”

“Oh, that is an ugly ‘Y’!”
“Will everyone PLEEEEAASE be quiet? Brooke is asking a wonderful question about the homework!”
“How about you smile more so I feel better about it.”

“But…I don’t like people to go potty during learning time.”

Me: “Oooh! Is that your girrrrrlfriend??”…
Student: “That’s my SISTER”

“Socorro! NO BARKING!”

Me: “Oh sorry… my bad…”
Student: “IT IS YOUR BAD”

“I don’t want to have to do that … BUT I WILL”

“I don’t want to be the nicest teacher… I want to be the BEST teacher.”

Me: “What should you be doing in my class?”
Student: “…choosing the right…?”
Me: “I LIKE that one!”

Me: “Come on up!”
Student: “I feel sick! My stomach hurts!”
Me: “I don’t care, c’mon up!”

Me: “You can go to the bathroom when it’s passing time.”
Student: “But that’s a really long time!
Me: “…yes.”

Student: “I like your tie.”
Me: “Me too. It was free!”

Me: “Oh no, what have I done.”

”You guys are best friend? Aww, that’s so cuute!”

“When I was a child, I fell on some rocks at the zoo.”

“Actually, I can’t. That’s really illegal.”

Student: “How do you say Edmonds in Spanish?”
Me: “…Ed-monds...”

“You have a headphone and you must take that out!”
“I’m not going to a dance! I actually think that might be illegal!”

Student: “That’s racial discrimination!”
Me: “We are the same race.”
Student: “No we’re not!”
Me: “…Okay.”

“That’s *air quotes* plagiarism!”

“Let’s all discover the secret word!"

“Y’know what, Madison? …Stay at your level, but don’t drag others down with you.”

Student: “I’ll give you a piece of Hubba Bubba gum!”
Me: “No, but thanks for your Hubba Bubba offer.”

“I am not trippin'.”

“…My name’s not Ben.”

“I’m not a big sweater.”

“Just because they’re girls in my life doesn’t mean I date them or love them.”

“This is not a scary movie. It just has dead people in it.”

Me: “Devin is now known as ‘Boss Dos.’”
Student: "What does that mean?"

Me: “I dunno, probably something offensive.”

Me: “….Dominican Republic.”
Student: “How do you spell that?”

“I’m gonna get rich selling toilet seats and paint.”
“Just because you’re communist doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.”

Student: “Mr. Schilaty, do you hate Dana?”
Me: (turning to Dana) “Why would I hate you? You’re Mormon!”
Dana: “But I’m loud and obnoxious!”
Me: “Mormons tend to be like that.”

Student: “Can I sit by someone who doesn’t not like me?”
Me: “That would be hard in this class.”

Me: “Ohh noo, that’s wrong!
Student: “This is outrageous!"

Student: “If we write this down, can we use it on our test?”

Me: "Do any of you know how to go to school?!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cookie dough, etc.

My long lost friend Sean showed up this week. We were best friends when we were in elementary school, but the summer before 4th grade his family moved to a neighboring city. We kept up the friendship for a few years, but through no fault on anyone's part we slowly drifted apart and basically haven't spoken for the last 10 years. Now Sean is getting married and he wants to buy a house so he called up my dad and was sitting at my kitchen table when I got home from work on Friday. An unexpected surprise (like most surprises I suppose). We reminisced about the good old days and had a fun time catching up. Anyone who knows me knows that I prefer cake mix to cake, brownie mix to brownies and cookie dough to cookies. I counted and I have eaten cookie dough six times in the last two weeks. During our conversation Sean randomly said, "Do you know what I liked about coming over to your house? There was always cookie dough." I laughed pretty hard at that as I realized that some things never change. What's the moral of the story? If you want to be tall and skinny eat insane amounts of cookie dough.

Joan, the old lady I lived with in Mexico called me this morning. I had so much fun talking with her. Who would've thought that talking to a 71 year old woman on the phone for an hour could be such a blast? We talked about hip replacements, back surgeries, pain medication, the ills of society, and cats. The usual. While I was in Mexico I became pretty good friends with the girls that Joan and I worked with and I enjoyed petting Joan's cats. At the end of our conversation I said, "tell the cats I say hi," and Joan said, "okay and I'll tell the girls you said hi too." I replied with, "uhh.....sure." I later felt pretty stupid for thinking of the cats and forgetting about the people.

I'll try and make this next part as anonymous as possible. I'll use letters instead of names to facilitate this. Here's what's going on: my friend A used to date person B. Person B and friend A broke up and person B later dated C. Person B and C later broke up and person C started dating D. Their relationship did not last very long and now D has asked out friend A. This completes what I will call the "love square." It's pretty much like a love triangle, but a little more complicated. The good news about a love square is that unlike a love triangle everyone can end up happy in the end because there are an even number of people involved. However, it looks like A likes B, B might like A, D also likes A, but A doesn't like D, and C likes anyone who isn't involved in the square. Let me sum this up with an equation: A+B+C+D=? or ([A+B]-D)-C=happiness for every except D. Got it?

P.S. I haven't taken a math class since 2001.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

High Schoolers Say (and Do) the Dumbest Things

I am constantly amazed at some of the things that happen in my class. Some of them make me laugh, others make me cringe, and sometimes I just shake my head at the realization that some people are just dumb.

I have a Mexican in my class who speaks Spanish fluently. On the first day of class I asked him why he was taking Spanish if he already knew how to speak it. He said, "I just want an easy B." What ambition I thought. He currently has one of the lowest grades in the class.

A kid in one of my classes has pretty long hair and is the "tough kid" type. Last Friday he got a haircut and when he came into class he just look plain weird and I couldn't figure out why. I finally figured out that it was his eyebrows that looked weird. I asked, "Are your eyebrows drawn on?" and he replied with a resounding no. A well spoken girl next to me said, "Mr. Schilaty's right, they do look drawn on." He was a little annoyed at this point. The girl and I both leaned in for a closer look and we realized that his eyebrows hadn't been drawn on, but they had been shaped. Not the kind of thing I would have expected from a tough kid as they made him look a little feminine.

One of my other students had my brother as a basketball coach. He thinks that Jessen and I are pretty cool. Since he thinks I'm cool he also thinks that we're friends and that he can get away with anything in my class. Not true. He used to call my brother "Big Daddy Schilaty" and asked if he could call me "Pimp Daddy Schilaty." He was really surprised and perplexed when I said that he could not and that such a title was offense. Today in the middle of class he asked me how far I'd gone with a girl. I was floored. How could he be so inappropriate and disruptive at the same time? I quickly shut him and said that that was a ridiculously inappropriate question and we later had a little chat about propriety and respecting women.

On a happy note, I have a girl in my sixth period who sometimes hangs around for a few minutes after school to help me clean up. We've talked about religion quite a lot (it's okay after school) and she has some pretty weird ideas. Last week we had a discussion about how delicious curry is. The next day she told me that she thinks that all Mormons must love curry because she had run into two missionaries that day who had also mentioned that they love curry. She's a good student, but she often reads during class. Today I caught her reading the Book of Mormon. I said, "I'm glad that you're reading that, but you can't do it during class." Apparently the missionaries have started teaching her family. That makes me happy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mistakes of a first year teacher

Now that I have one week of teaching high school Spanish under my belt I'm beginning to realize just how unqualified I am for this position. I've made a lot of mistakes, but I'm learning. Today I prepared a homework assignment for my first year students. I just copied some pages out of the workbook that goes with the text book. I ran out of time to give it to my first class and had to hand it to them as they walked out the door. I planned a little better next period and handed it out before the bell rang. After I handed it out one of the students chimed in and said, "Mr. Schilaty, this already has all of the answers." I examined the worksheet and I had accidentally copied pages from the teacher addition of the workbook and had handed it out to 60 students. I felt like such a dummy.
I thought that one of the teachers I work with is a lesbian. On the first day of school I was talking to her in the lunch room and another teacher walked up to her and asked her about the girlfriend situation. She said, "I'm so glad the summer is over and I don't have to worry about that anymore." I was a little caught off guard but I thought to myself, I work at a public school, why shouldn't they hire a lesbian? She's very nice and we became good friends and I was kind of proud to have a lesbian as a friend. Today I heard her talking about some guy and when I asked who she was talking about she said, "my husband." I was really confused and finally realized that the other teacher wasn't asking about her girlfriend, but her son's girlfriend.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Operation Sweden

I've decided to start a blog. Joleen and Aubrey were the ones that gave me the idea. They told me that they would enjoy reading my blog so I promised to write one. At least I know that two people will read what I write. I plan to just write about the funny and inspiring things that happen to me and leave all of my philosophizing and whining to my journal.

I recently heard some friends planning a mysterious outing known as "Operation Boulder." They refused to tell me what it was about (even though I later found out) and I was jealous enough to plan my own operation - Operation Sweden. On Monday Megan and I braved 45 minutes on the freeway to go to Ikea to buy a chair that I've been coveting for years. Ikea is HUGE, but miraculously the first piece of furniture that we saw in the store was the exact chair that I wanted. Despite finding it so easily it took us nearly twenty minutes in the warehouse to figure out how to actually buy the thing. I now have it at home and it's great. Operation Sweden was a monumental success!

I took a girl on a date to Deception Pass (a very large bridge) on Saturday. As we were getting out of the car to walk across the bridge she asked, "Should I wear my hat?" and I told her that she should. I really had no opinion and just answered the question with the first answer that popped into my head. As we were crossing the bridge a very large truck zoomed by causing enough wind to blow my date's hat off. Together we watched it gently drift into the ocean. I didn't know how to appropriately console a girl who had just lost her hat. The first thing I managed to say was, "I can't believe that just happened." Actually, I CAN believe that that happened.