Don’t worry guys, we haven’t transported to District 13, and the lady pictured above is not President Coin from the Hunger Games. She is Deborah Gist. Starting this summer, she is Tulsa Public School’s new Superintendent. Gist is not licensed to teach in Oklahoma, but TPS board members DO NOT want anyone to worry about this.
From the Tulsa World:
Tulsa Public Schools will submit an application to the Oklahoma State Board of Education on Tuesday requesting an exemption from certification requirements for incoming Superintendent Deborah Gist.
The board voted 5-0 Monday evening to submit the application, which will request a one-year waiver — for the 2015-16 school year — from requirements contained in the Oklahoma Teacher Preparation Act. Board members Ruth Ann Fate and Shawna Keller were absent from the meeting.
The district signed a three-year contract valued at up to almost $1.2 million with Gist in April, and she will begin her role on July 1, after Superintendent Keith Ballard retires.
“I’m proud to move this item forward, and I have no doubt whatsoever that over the course of the next year our superintendent-elect will — as well as being imminently qualified — will be fully certified,” Ballard said at the meeting.
So wait…the lady they hired to run the second biggest school district in the state isn’t even qualified to teach? That would be like Queenie’s hiring a manager who doesn’t know how to cook eggs.
The article continues:
It’s not uncommon for me to pull a jacket or pair of jeans out of my closet that I haven’t worn in a while only to find a $5 bill in the pocket. That’s my threshold for losing money though. Anything more than $5 and I notice it. Maybe that makes me cheap, but I like to think it makes me fiscally responsible. Oh, and I also have a habit of quitting day jobs on a whim when I’m not 100% happy, so I’m totally always broke.
I’ve always wondered how easily money can be lost when it comes to a company that has a ton of money. Like Apple, Berkshire Hathaway and General Electric probably have millions just chilling in some metaphorical pockets in the back of the closet. But you know who for reals lost almost half a million dollars before even noticing? A parking lot in Downtown OKC.
According to KFOR.com:
Over the weekend, we received word through the Ogle Mole Network that a pair of Republican state Reps – Dan Kirby and James Leewright – got into a run-of-the-mill bar fight last week at The Barrel on N. Western. No arrests were made or charges filed.
The altercation “allegedly” occurred the night of Tuesday, May 7th, during a “Sine Die” party hosted by prominent lobbyist Gary Huddleston. It’s an annual boozefest where lawmakers, lobbyists and other politicos gather to celebrate the end of the legislative session, and how they’re screwing over everyday Oklahomans for the sake of the religious right, energy industry, and other corporate interests.
I spoke with one Ogle Mole who witnessed the fight. The Mole claims Rep. Leewright, a freshman state rep from the Tulsa area, was standing with a group of girls outside the restrooms, chumming it up like some big shot. At the same time, Rep. Dan Kirby walked out of the men’s room. Apparently something happened and / or words were said, and before you know it, a little squabble broke out.
Here’s how a Mole described it:
Let the children out to play. The streets are safe again, Oklahoma.
Earlier this week, Oklahoma City police busted John Kuester for growing 13 marijuana plants in his garage. According to KOCO, this is apparently a big deal because John is also the president of a local neighborhood association:
The president of the Voluntary Neighborhood Association of the Will Rogers Park area is in trouble for growing marijuana inside his house.
Oklahoma City police said an anonymous tip led officers to the house near Northwest 36th Street and North May Avenue, and when they questioned John Kuester about the illegal grow, he asked if they wanted to see it.
Well, that’s a dick move. Who ratted the guy out? It obviously wasn’t one of his friends, because they probably enjoyed all the free weed they could smoke. I bet it was one of his neighbors:
“Hey, you know that guy next door who has all the good weed?”
“Let’s call the cops and bust his ass!”
“Awesome! That’s a great idea! Marijuana is a dangerous drug and he should go to jail. Now hand me that bottle of whiskey…”
Here’s the rest of the story:
One of my friends from grad school is from Canada, and when she first came to Oklahoma, she had the uncontrollable urge to pull words out of people’s mouths because Oklahomans talk too slow. I can’t confirm or deny if we talk slower than people elsewhere, but I don’t think that’s the only speech quirk we possess.
A recent NPR article discussed lost regional colloquialisms. (Oklahoma’s was larruping. It’s not lost though, my mom still says it.) Another recent article from NewsOK.com asks if the “Okie dialect” is disappearing. (Considering Okies were very poor migrants who left Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl to find jobs, I’d say their dialect is dead, you know, because there are no Okies anymore. But I digress…) Anyway, from NewsOK.com:
The Oklahoma dialect, with its Southern influences and use of phrases like “y’all and “fixin’ to,” has long carried with it a stigma of being uneducated, poor — from the sticks. However, more people are beginning to consider the drawl as part of Okie heritage, something to be celebrated and preserved.
Okay. So, it’s probably pretty easy to see why speech quirks specific to Oklahomans are dying away. We kind of all just talk like the people we hear on TV, there are fewer rural people than ever, and for the most part, we talk by texting in weird abbreviations that aren’t a dialect so much as the digital Newspeak. Even if we want to preserve a different way of talking, it’s not like we would hear it every day.
Except in one case.
And that, my friends, is the new Oklahoma dialect. It consists of one phrase, and it’s a phrase that I would like to eradicate from the English language, even if it’s a very “Oklahoma” way to talk. What’s that phrase?
I hate that phrase so very much, but if you ever order tea at a restaurant, the server will ask if you want sweet or unsweet tea, when they should ask if you want tea or sweet tea. For those of you who can’t see why this is an assault on my ears, I’ll explain.
The prefix “un” can indicate “not” or the “opposite of”, which you would think would be okay in this situation. But it’s not. Here’s why. Sweet tea, is, in effect, sweetened tea. It is tea that has undergone a process to change its flavor. Therefore when you say “unsweet” tea, you are saying “unsweetened” tea. This is the second definition of the “un” prefix–“to reverse or undo the result of a specified action.” And if you make plain old ice tea by first making sweet tea, and then somehow filtering out the sugar to its pre-diabetic coma-inducing state, BOY HAVE I GOT A LIFE-CHANGING SECRET ABOUT MAKING TEA TO SHARE WITH YOU.
So, why is this a uniquely Oklahoma issue? Well, because we all seem to have grown up with sun tea made in jars on the porch that was later mixed with sugar until it formed a kind of simple syrup poured over ice. Sweet tea is first and foremost on our minds, first and foremost a part of our collective unconscious. And that is why we can’t fathom a tea that did not come to being as a sickly-sweet mess, only to be purified into something that is not sweet tea.
As for “unsweet tea” being the new Oklahoma dialect, I’m sure it’s here to stay. But I won’t let it exist without a fight.
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