Monthly Archives: April 2015

Cheaters Race to the Top!

Have you ever cheated on a test? Come on. You can tell me.
Are you one of the people that cheated on your drivers license test? Some of my closest friends cheated on this simple test.

My husband asks, “Does anyone ever fail the drivers test –cuz it seems– like anyone can get a license.”

I say we are a culture who is perfectly cool with cheating and getting away with it is how you get ahead. Right. One doesn’t have to look very hard to find examples of rampant cheating, lying, breaking the rules and never having to face justice! Unless of course you’re named Martha Stewart. She’s a convicted felon.

This past week in Atlanta, Georgia 11 educators — mostly African Americans that worked in impoverished communities–are now facing up to twenty years in prison for A. cheating on standardized tests, B. racketeering C. all of the above. They are taking the fall for a broken system a.k.a. No Child Left Behind that encouraged cheating especially at poor schools.

Two facts about No Child Left Behind:
1.  The end goal was that every child would be proficient in reading and math by 2014. Yeah, that didn’t happen and
2.  No Child Left Behind really meant no child left untested.

FACT: States on average spend 1.7 billion dollars a year on standardized testing. 1.7 billion dollars a year what a scam!

University of Georgia law professor Ron Carlson said, “It has to send a message to educators and broadly across the nation. Playing with students test scores is very, very dangerous business.”

Yeah but starting an illegal war, torturing and bragging about it is A+ okay. Or if you’re Wall Street no worries. See banks are too big to “nail” right?

We get it. We get it. There is a two tier legal system. One for regular folk and one for the billionaires that continue to increase their fortunes on the backs of the working class and the working poor.

Good thing these 11 educators will soon be sent to the big house! I’m glad they threw the book at them…educators. Now I’ll be able to sleep a lot better knowing that JP MORGAN CEO Jamie Dimon is still a free man!

He Vas My Boyfriend

Around September I decided that I wanted to take voice lessons again.  I like to sing.  I use to do musicals and I really have had a great time doing them.  But it had been almost ten years since the last musical which was so memorable.  I was Lucy VanPelt in an unappoved adaptation of A Charlie Brown Christmas  in beautiful Hollywood, California.  My husband said he fell in love with me all over again when he saw me in that role.

Like I was saying a few months ago I started thinking, “Wouldn’t it be fun to do another show but I don’t even have an audition song or anything.”  I finally remembered I had worked with a man named “Alan Chapman” who you can hear on USC’s classical station every day and he’s rather popular that my mom has a mad crush on him.  Alan is not only a popular radio personality but is an accomplished musician so I contacted him to see if he could recommend a vocal coach.

“Hey Stef, actually my wife Karen Benjamin is a vocal coach.”

And once I got my head on straight I made an appointment and started singing again.  In less than three months I auditioned for a local city college musical entitled Young Frankenstein by Mel Brooks.  I auditioned and was cast as the role of Frau Blucher (FX horse whinny).  I immediately was impressed by the cast and became quite fond of many of the company members and not so fond of some them.  (Seriously if one more theatre geek was going to attempt to give me a massage I was going to scream.) I’m not weird cuz  I don’t want cast members massaging me okay.

Anyways fast forward to I had a wonderful artistic adventure.  I was nervous I wasn’t going to be able to memorize my lines…and for the most part I did.  And of course every night required I do a solo.  Yikes.  I was panicked each night I just might forget a word or an entire phrase but alas the singing goddess smiled down upon me and I enjoyed quite a run.

It was indeed a special event in my life.