It has been quite the spell. In a nutshell, I’ve been busy trying to handle the chimera that is online-only schooling while trying to stay upbeat and positive, even as the world seems to be descending into madness.
They gave me Public Speaking again this year, and, as we are beginning our persuasive speeches, I reasoned I would illustrate to my young charges how to deliver an argumentative, persuasive speech. The text is contained below and you can watch the video on my YouTube channel here: BBEG: Delivering an Argument
If I still have a job after this, well, jolly good. If not, well, jolly good.
My name is Bruno Bruelhart, Lovington High School, License #365291, and you have damned this year to the cesspits of educational demise by refusing to allow our students to learn.
Whenever a government official attempts to evoke change in the name of “public safety” you can rest assured that an ulterior motive is at play. History has shown us that much. And you, the First Consul of Santa Fe, with your craven lackeys of the PED, have tightened your grip around the throat of every student within our beloved state and my home of Lea County. In the name of public safety, you have damned this year, abandoned our children, wasted your teachers, and now rule by decree – a tyrant. You have throttled the life from our educational system in the name of safety, all while remaining aloof to our plight. You can have your beauticians and jewelers open, but we’ll be damned if we can lecture to small groups of masked, socially distanced students.
My kids threaten suicide. Depression and anger grip their minds. The spark of brilliance within the eyes of young scholars has been snuffed out, replaced by the smoldering embers of dejection. Hope has fled and the resignation of a miserable, school-free existence has crept into their psyches. Their hearts beat not for joy, but for the Hope that one day you will relent and allow us to return to school; your imperial decrees slow this beat, and soon, you will stop it completely. You’ve damned their existence to the confines of an online perdition because you are afraid. And now your fear has, like a cancer, infected my charges and my calling. Are you blind to the damage you have caused – and continue to do so – by keeping our youth from the structured environments of the safest of places?
Your poisoned tongue has crafted this state of fear, cast like a shadow throughout the minds of our youth and their parents. Whereas adults are set in their ways with their minds made up, this attack upon the youth is inexcusable. Where logic and reason would see us through this so-called pandemic, you continue to blow Pan’s horn, all in the name of public safety. Your rhetoric – accusing Nature of being ‘evil’ and ‘nefarious’ – serves no other purpose than to keep the New Mexican masses afraid and ignorant. There is nothing evil about Nature or biology: it is how we, as reasonable humans, react to Her that decides Good and Evil. And you, with your desire to stamp out this virus by engaging in fearmongering and red herrings, only puts us further down the path of ignorance.
If social distancing, masks, and washing one’s hands are effective as you claim, then why, Imperator, are we forbidden from utilizing them in our classrooms? Why continue to punish us by forcing us to remain hamstrung by your decrees? Clearly what you’ve envisioned and dictated hasn’t worked. Doing the same thing and expecting different results is madness; can you not see all this from your so-called experts and data? You expect us to learn outside the classroom, via this miserable online-only experience, without guidance, resources, or reassurance. And then possess the gall to chastise us for making the best of a bad situation thrust upon us from an out-of-touch and obtuse monarch.
Distance learning is a slow death sentence wherein kids do not learn and teachers no longer teach. You have turned my calling into a mockery; nothing more than an electronic babysitter of kids who have become disillusioned and distraught. Whilst you live in your mountain redoubt, free from the concerns of your constituents and passing imperial decrees without so much as a glance our way, we are the ones suffering from your heavy hand. When was the last time you Zoomed with a class, to see their crestfallen faces emblazoned upon a pixelated screen, watching that spark of erudition slowly – over the course of weeks – burn out into nothingness? Indeed, when was the last time you entered a classroom and genuinely – genuinely! – cared for the plight of New Mexico’s youth?
You expect our rural community – which funds your extravagance – to be able to adequately adapt to your restrictions without protest. How am I to teach my kids entirely online when so many of my students hail from broken homes that lack devices or reliable Internet? How are my colleagues to teach entirely online with little warning or respite, when every time you lambast us you offer no solutions, only criticisms? How am I to build relationships with my students – my goombas – when you’ve forbidden them to learn in a traditional setting?
What is true for Santa Fe – gilded by Lea County’s taxes – is not true for us: your privilege exists because we are under your yoke. Allow us – not Santa Fe and her Thirty Tyrants – to take care of our own. By reintroducing structure to our students, by allowing them to return to school, we can control the virus: you cannot claim to control the spread of this so-called pandemic by keeping our students from the one, sole structured environment within their lives. Within the classroom, we have a chance. We can salvage your folly and turn it toward our benefit.
Without the classroom, we will continue to drown, your gnarled talons about our necks.
Allow us, your eminence, to open our schools. We’ll wear your masks. We’ll practice your social distancing. We’ll wash our hands with your sterile sanitizer. It is a far superior option, girded with rules and safety measures, than what you’ve currently damned us to: a precipice from which our students cannot escape.
My name is Bruno Bruelhart, Lovington High School, License #365291, and you have damned us all.