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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Jaguar followed us on the way home


XP, that is. Seventy five grand or so. Right out of Hudson into shabby little Boston. We admired and speculated. Perhaps he’s going to ---. Maybe he’s on vacation. But we turned onto our street and it kept on going. Just passing through.

This morning we registered Laura for seventh grade. She stood in the biometrics line and I turned in paperwork.  “How did you get roped into this?” the registrar asked me. I smiled, we shuffled the papers and I signed right under my 2013 signature that I was turning the kid in for another year. “Oh, you own them!” she smiled. “Well, have a good year.”

At the high school all this registration business seems to happen off stage. I filled out all the same paper work for Emily (name of student, medical issues, internet policy, bla, bla, bla) and gave her the packet to deal with on day one. Including the change in biometrics.

I rejoined Laura in the biometrics line, almost behind my skippy young band mother and her Liam, the other seventh grade trumpet player. We exchanged notes for the killer week upcoming—practice tomorrow, high school band show Saturday, concert on the Green on Sunday, and (from the ridiculous to the sublime), performing at the new teacher orientation at 7:45 Monday. A.M., that is. Leave here at seven A.M. I don’t have an alarm clock for six o’clock! No nap between, I must bring everyone home. My young band mother teaches in another school district.

In spite of being fingerprinted, the biometric system did not work for any of my three students over the last two years. Like most everyone else, the “read” failed, they keyed their student number and took their lunch tray to the tables. My self that despises stupidity will not even comment.

When we reached the scanning station Laura put down her writing hand fingers on the pad. “Ooo, lovely; don’t rob a bank,” said the lunch lady. I’m going to guess there are one thousand students in this school. There were exactly two blue refusal envelopes on the table, half way through day one of two registration days.

I've tried to help these children reason for themselves, and this biometric business has been a topic. From Hamilton on down, they simply do not have the same view of privacy as I do. Being fingerprinted for lunch and all eternity is of little concern. I suppose Google already has measured their eyeballs; what’s my problem.

In case you have not been in a middle school of late, registering a child, here’s what it looks like. Without the noise (I would be mad before lunch!).


The biometrics line. It could be any line.


Just joining the picture line. Laura in a blue shirt.
Please do not miss the pink tutu over grey gym shorts. And her doll.
Little sisters!


What boys do.
The ball in the disembodied hands at left is about to be tossed to the fellow on top.
(Please don't let it be for the red shirted kid.)

32 comments:

  1. I have three grandboys after raising a daughter and a peaceful son.
    Your last picture and caption says it all.

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  2. Fingerprinting in the schools....it's not here yet but maybe soon.

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  3. And having accepted being fingerprinted what else will they accept in later life....

    In transit through a U.S. airport after a gap of many years I was astounded by the way in which people accepted being yelled at and being treated rudely by the security staff.

    I refused to pass through their scanner screen, had a member of staff tell me to do as I was told - not asked politely if I would accept in order to move the lines on more quickly - and then threatened with being taken off for a strip search.
    I was not impressed....but people were putting up with behaviour that they would never accept from a waiter in a restaurant or someone serving in a shop.

    So this year it is a direct flight to Europe.

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  4. Hari OM
    thank you for saving us from the sound. The pictures alone have me cringing. Wishing you more power for the ensuing year... YAM xx

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  5. I'm pretty sure I've sat on those bleachers. But it was the high school back then.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, formerly the high school. I now have an instruction to take them, for band pictures, "to the old elementary school. The one they tore down."

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  6. I didn't know about the biometrics thing being done in school. When The Hurricane prepared to go to England to attend school, we had to go to some special passport office or something in St. Louis (we lived in Illinois then) and they measured (?) her eyeballs. Is that what's done with the eyeballs? I'm confused by this stuff. Long ago we had a neighbor whose parents had a Jag. They would come to visit in it. It was lovely. I have no idea what it cost. In the same neighborhood, a guy who had a Lamborghini bought one of the townhouses so he would stop by with the Lamborghini from time to time, which thrilled Favorite Young Man, who was about ten. Supposedly Mr. Lamborghini bought the townhouse for temporary use by out-of-town guests, but the realtor told me it was really for playing games with his secretary and that he had a hot tub put in on the first floor. la di da

    Love,
    Janie

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    Replies
    1. They don't measure the eyeballs, they scan the retinas, it's an excellent identification method apparently, since no one's retinas are like anyone elses. They are as individual as fingerprints.

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    2. Thank you for the information, River.

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  7. Seems a bit excessive--identifying people by their fingerprints. They say that's the wave of the future. My mom has no fingerprints, so I'm not sure how she'll get by if that becomes the only way to pay for things!

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  8. By the time my youngest granddaughter get's to middle school I'm sure NSA will already have a file on her, so it'll be redundant.

    If one lives in a community with several older Jag's a Jaguar mechanic is a lucrative profession. I had one, I think it could drive it's self to the shop.

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  9. Biometrics in the schools? Sheesh. And you are right about youngsters today having a different idea of what privacy means. It's a whole 'nother world.

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  10. Oh you and I both despise stupidity and inefficiency!

    Thank you by the way for volunteering to knit some wool socks. I'll be in touch about specifics and sending you the needed information once I see mom again.

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  11. Biometrics in schools? Oh dear. My privacy loving dinosaur self is shuddering.
    And thank you for NOT giving us the sound. I am shuddering at that thought too.

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  12. I don't know why but I don't like lining up.
    Merle..........

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  13. I remember registering son for his last year of high school; otherwise everything was just done at school and parents didn't need to come along. It was a new school for us in a different state. When I asked what I needed to bring for registration, the secretary said "just yourself, your son and a checkbook." She was right. A check for this, a check for that. He didn't participate in any extracurriculars but I overheard at that table someone's final bill (band, sports, whatnot) was over $900. That was 8 years ago.

    I wouldn't like the biometrics. Seems a bit extreme for school.

    betty

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  14. Fingerprinting? We took DNA samples of each other for A level biology...where did they go?
    Jane x

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  15. The last time i was told I needed a thumb print was from Les Gold of Hardcore Pawn. I went to see him as part of my bucket list. He made an insulting comment about my fingerprints on file. I politely and firmly informed him that I had been fingerprinted several times. once for federal government work and once for concealed carry permit. He turned into the nice guy that I knew he was and we became friends. This is the day and age of nothing is private. The last time I looked up my property on Google earth, it showed your car in my driveway..That's a hoot.

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  16. Fingerprinting for the school lunch program! Now I've heard it all! -- barbara

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  17. no wonder so many folks home school, next it will be dna

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  18. I'm glad the kidling graduated secondary school before biometrics became a thing here. Sheesh.

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  19. Strange to see kids in a school without uniforms. Out here about 99% of schoolkids wear uniform, even the primary schools.
    I don't understand why are they fingerprinted at all.

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  20. Interesting information about your schools over there Joanne - I taught in an English school for over twenty years and all this sounds so foreign to me.

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  21. I cannot imagine being fingerprinted for school...

    Pearl

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  22. Dear Joanne,
    back from the island Sylt I find your post here: being fingerprinted is a bit tough! When son was in a French school (exchange with Bordeaux), they had little chip-cards - he said: "They say it protects us from intruders - but it is like an electronic tag."
    As to Jags: they are my favourite, favourite cars --- you may have read why I haven't bought that Daimler Double-Six-Dreamcar (if not: it is to big for a big city like Berlin... though some drive them of course, and the Maseratis prowl along the Ku-damm...)

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  23. I read your previous posts about your sweet vacation, and I am so glad you went. It's always nice to take a break from it all.
    Good luck to your granddaughters! I wish them well.

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  24. The last (and only) fingerprint I have ever given was a few days ago. Ming Ming and Jonny have a huge sheet of paper with a tree drawn on it, all the wedding guests were asked to leave a fingerprint on it, no names required. That was a fun thing and it looks spectacular, but requiring fingerprints or DNA for schooling horrifies me.

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  25. Gracious, I exclaim about the biometrics. Not here in Duluth, MN (give us a couple years, of course, to catch up)!

    I have a middle schooler, and we don't have to show up and register him, 'tho we do have an Open House during which he'll be handed his schedule for the year. As far as high school goes, my daughter will attend "Jumpstart" by herself; apparently having parents go along is unheard of, and the kids are meant to handle it all themselves.

    All of this is to say: I'd adore having you as a neighbor, should you decide Northern MN fits your sensibilities better. I make hella good scones and would share them with you regularly.

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  26. Luckily Joe's enrollment for college two years ago was quiet - parents' evenings are awful noise fests x

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  27. Biometrics in middle school? Terrifying.

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  28. We didn't have biometrics to contends with. I just dropped my daughter off for her middle school orientation camp that runs for three days and I felt like I was feeding her to the wolves!! :(

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