Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More PEP POO: The Big Hug

 I'm processing the wonderful videos of the Real Reformers in action last night but this 2 minutes segment of Joel Klein actually sort of praising Ed Notes and giving me a hug was easy to get up on you tube. Reminds me of my principal who when told by the district they were hiring me away said, "My car was stolen today but this makes up for it." A few months later she was hugging me when I came to the school. And then there was that hug from Randi at her last Exec Bd. meeting.

Gee, affection seems to grow the less proximity I have to people. I ought to take a long vacation away from my wife, who considers me the most annoying man on earth. I haven't asked her exactly how many men she is comparing me to.

Before you see the video of a parting hug between Joel and I at last night's PEP, your homework is to read these 2 posts:

Separated at Birth: Joel and Norm - I Miss Him Already


Assessing Joel Klein: What Influenced Him in the Late 60's? What If He Had Remained a Teacher?


Klein finally admitted we were twins, saying each of us felt the other was the evil twin, funny coming from a guy who hangs out so much with Evil Moskowitz.

This never would have been on the record if Julie hadn't ran over to the camera - gee, thanks. I've written two pieces on Joel Klein which are companions to this video. I wanted to hug Joel as a way to say thank you for the way he has helped galvanize opposition to the ed deformers by an amazing group of Real Reformers. Would I have met Julie and Alev and the rest of the CAPEers? Or Leonie and Lisa and Mona and Khem and Bonnie -  some of the leading ladies in the parent wing? Or the wonderful young teachers getting involved with GEM if not for Klein's policies of closing schools, favoring charters, forcing co-locations, multiple reorganizations, etc. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU JOEL KLEIN. May your successor continue your work of helping us organize Real Reformers.

Of course the reaction of my friends - as you can hear - was not totally positive. James Eterno sent over hand lotion. People shunned me - saying they won't come near me until I showered. They're all just haters. (But the depth of hatred towards Joel Klein is awesome - and let me say right here, I am not a hater. I love everybody.)

Some complained that I had let Klein use me to make himself look good. Since when has Klein ever cared about looking good? Well, maybe this was for the press to show what a good guy he is. But really, as my wife who has no connection to anything education-wise said- why should he care about trying to look good? He's gone. In fact, he gave Ed Notes, which has absolutely hammered him, some cache by calling it "powerful and  pointed." It reminded me of the early editions of the print version around 1997. Soon after Randi took over the union, she opened up a Delegate Assembly by holding up Ed Notes and saying, "I love reading Ed Notes." Of course, all the Unity clones now felt it OK to read it and during meetings if you looked down from the stage, you would see half the people holding up Ed Notes and reading it.

Lot's of people speculate whether Joel Klein believes his own bullshit. Some say he knows it's all a con. I take the other view and think he is a True Believer who is passionate about what he has done. I've been in his presence too often not to see the flashes of anger and passion. I do not think it is an act.
I'll say more on this issue another time.

Oh, and what were those words that Joel whispered in my ear? I'll take that to my grave. Or at least until the next post.


Anonymous said...

Very touching moment. :)

Gary Babad said...

Sounds like straight out of the old Firesign Theater. To paraphrase: "I'd like to thank Joel Klein, without whom all of this would not have been necessary."

David Ballela said...

you used to be my hero

Anonymous said...

Norm-- I was wondering if anybody at the PEP Meeting had PUREL. You may need to dessinfect yourself from that creepy hug.

Michael Fiorillo said...


The Lord God said...

You two should get a room!

Anonymous said...

It truly looked like Klein wanted to hold on to the hug for a little while longer. Hmmm that made me wonder a little about him. He enjoyed the hug too much.

Thank goodness you were able to push him away.

Do you think Klein will hire you to be Cathie Black's PR person?

Mike said...

Next week: Norm touches Leo Casey with a barge pole.

Anonymous said...

Ugh @ the hug. I understand how you felt pressured to agree to it Norm but you could have saved face by saying that you then wanted to hug Patrick Sullivan, one of the few people on the PEP that actually DESERVED a hug.

Will we now see a new version of the Murdoch/Klein bedfellow photo with Norm's face photoshopped in place of Murdoch's?

Anonymous said...

I posted a comment yesterday and received a message that it had to be approved. How long does it normally take?