Subs getting planning periods?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by 2ndTimeAround, Nov 18, 2014.

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  1. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Nov 20, 2014

    Precisely.

    But this only true because some teacher automatically consider subs to be inherently inferior in every aspect when it comes to the classroom. So, no matter WHAT the substitute does, it is going to be wrong.

    I've worked in a number of classrooms in a wide variety of schools. I've taught in every setting from Early College to Alternative Schools and I've taught almost every subject available.

    In ALL of this experience, I've only encountered 3 classes/subjects where I felt "out of my element". One was High School Art. I have no artistic ability myself, so I certainly do NOT know how to teach it. This was one of the only times I ever told the students "You will just have to remember your lessons and examples the regular teacher has given you and draw from that.

    The second class where I really felt out of my element was high school shop. Fortunately, the teacher had left a test for the classes to take and LOCKED the shop room. After everyone completed the test, they were allowed to choose a PG movie to watch.

    Final example was an AP Calculus class. While I understood the concepts well enough to follow the material and explain it to the students, I did NOT know it well enough (at that time) to answer any detailed questions they had.

    The point being that, even though I was just a lowly sub (in the opinion of several here), I actually DID know the limits of my ability and what I could correctly teach and guide the students in doing.

    As for teaching, I have ALWAYS walked around the classroom after giving the assignments for the day and offered help to students as needed, in addition to presenting the lesson and explaining the material being covered.

    So it does strike a somewhat sour note with me when I continue seeing the consistently condescending attitudes from some members here.

    God-complex, you ask??? Well some here sure as heck ACT that way, so yeah, I would say that's a pretty good description (for some; certainly not for all).
     
  2. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Nov 20, 2014

    This sums it up well. There are so many different situations throughout the nation (heck, and even within some districts, I bet), that I think it's hard to say much else that would fit across the board.
     
  3. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Nov 20, 2014

    I'm sorry the plans you were left were subpar. My plans are extremely detailed. Each prep usually has at least a full half page, even if they're "just" taking a test.

    I do not give a worksheet for my movies. I mostly only use them with my AP class. I would probably not leave a movie for my regular English 10 classes.

    We rarely know who our subs are going to be. Sometimes my principal fills in. If I wasn't up to writing fully detailed plans, I would ask my fully detailed emergency plans be used. I would never leave a sub in a lurch, and neither would my department. I have three English teachers I could text who would pull together article of the week assignments in the morning if I needed it. Sometimes our classes are assigned to study hall if we can't find a sub.

    I also leave my phone number and email. I've had a sub text with a question before, and I very much appreciated that. Obviously, if my plans were unclear, the sub would need to use his or her discretion.

    I'm always very appreciative of my subs. Most times I have the same one or two subs. I leave them plenty of information about procedures, reliable students, where the candy is, demerits, etc... But my kids are good. If I give my AP kids a work day when I have a sub, they'll do their work. They read, work on an ongoing essay assignment, continue their rhetorical devices review, etc... My IEP class, I usually just have my sped teacher take over.

    I guess my difference, Cerek, is I have never left a lesson that needs to be taught except once. I give independent reading days or quizzes and tests on most days I'm absent. Sometimes a pre-test. A movie only if it's the one unit and days it falls in. In your examples where there was actually a lesson taught, I would expect more initiative would come into play. However, I don't expect my subs to automatically understand the theme of First They Killed My Father or how Maya changes throughout I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, so I save those types of lessons for when I'm back.
     
  4. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Nov 20, 2014

    Yes, I know. I've had my own classrooms at both middle school and high school level. So I am fully aware of all the extra responsibilities that go along with having your own classroom.

    And I've never had every minute of every planning period of every day filled completely from bell to bell. Some days, I DID work all the way through planning and still had more to do. Other times, I was caught up enough so that I WAS able to actually take a small break before my next class.

    Nothing wrong with that. I've covered other classes PLENTY of times as a substitute and never complained about it at all. I even covered extra classes when working as a long-term sub and had to actually make my own lesson plans, grade papers, etc for all the classes.

    I agree with the OP that it's a bad decision on the part of ANY sub to complain about being asked to do extra duty, since this does happen to regular teachers too. If I were the principal and had subs in the building, they would certainly be the first ones I would call if another class needed to be covered during their planning period.

    However, as others pointed out, the problem lies in the fact that some schools (and obviously some teachers) take this too far and consider the subs to be nothing more than hired servants to be used for every task or class possible during a given day.
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Nov 20, 2014

    You are absolutely right! Should we discuss the lowest skilled teachers we know and how much damage they do to a child's education?
     
  6. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Nov 20, 2014

    Did another teacher need their class covered today?

    If so, were you asked to cover it? (obviously, the answer to this is "No").

    Was their a sub in the building that was asked to cover this hypothetical class, but refused??

    If not, then your question is really irrelevant and is just being used as an excuse to condemn subs for having the audacity to expect the same daily schedule as the teacher they were called to cover for.
     
  7. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Nov 20, 2014

    I have covered classes as needed for other teachers. I've also had teachers cover my class for me. For example, I covered for the art teacher while she prepared for the drama preview. In exchange, she covered my class while I prepped for another assembly. The librarian has watched my class before when I needed to leave 15 minutes early. I've also watched the basketball teacher's class when he had to leave early with the team.

    I do so without complaint. I bring my grading or book with me. I'm happy to be of help.

    If a sub were asked to do the same, I would hope they would be kind about it. We split subs sometimes. One teacher is out am and one pm. One sub will cover both. On those days, the sub may not have a prep period. To my knowledge, none have ever complained.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nov 20, 2014

    Who here has a condescending attitude about subs? What I'm seeing is not a condescending attitude about subs but a different opinion about the roles and responsibilities of a substitute.

    What I expect my subs to do is what is in their job description, so I don't see how that's condescending. If the job description itself is somehow offensive, that's a different issue.

    It seems that some people believe that there exists a different job description for subs, and I think that's where the confusion and misinterpretation regarding "condescending attitudes" is happening.

    Is it condescending to believe that a sales clerk in the juniors department at Macy's should fold clothes? That's part of their job description. If you believe that clothes-folding is a lowly task that is beneath you, then perhaps the juniors department at Macy's isn't for you. By the same token, if you believe that following the teacher's lesson plans or covering a class during the teacher's scheduled planning period is a lowly task that is beneath you, then perhaps substituting isn't for you.
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nov 20, 2014

    I'm not sure if this has been brought up earlier, but I will say that there is often a big difference between a regular teacher's daily schedule and a sub's daily schedule. In many places the regular teacher's daily schedule, including an allotted planning period, is contractually protected. Subs don't typically have such protections. People can argue about the fairness of that fact, but it is the current state of affairs. I don't believe that schools that respect that contractual protection are being bad, unethical, or treating their subs like servants.
     
  10. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Nov 20, 2014

    I don't recall ever having a planning period as a sub, because I'd be dragged from place to place to cover teachers, lunch duty, recess duty, "office organization duty," or any odd job deemed necessary. I am not a complainer, and I've never "needed" a prep period (except to look at lesson plans -- if you're wondering why a sub didn't do it right, ask yourself if they truly had enough time to digest the material), but I have felt like a slave at times. Especially when people treat you like a nameless transient entity ("the sub") to be wary of, which I'd argue is the norm.

    The only other reason I'd like a prep period... is for a bathroom break. And maybe for emotional regrouping after a difficult class.

    As a classroom teacher, I'm extremely grateful for the subs who do their job -- to follow my lesson plans and keep students under control -- but I'm also very disturbed by the ones who don't. Especially because needing a sub is a *requirement* as a teacher -- you inevitably have to deal with another person taking over your *job.* It sucks. I am disgruntled about it in general, and it's made much worse when the time and effort you put into writing sub plans and prepping materials is thrown to the wind. Or when workplace you left neat and tidy is a mess upon returning to school, complete with an open can of tuna and cockroaches.

    Really, I don't think we should be at odds with each other. It comes down to the system requiring us to replace ourselves with people who barely know what happens in our classrooms. With people we often haven't even met. It's a recipe for disaster, but for the sake of public education, this is the way it must be.
     
  11. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Nov 20, 2014

    There's a lot of sensitivity on this issue! I am all for my subs having any break that I do within my day. My 90 min planning is at the beginning of the school day. I'd be thrilled if my sub just took that time to read through my notes and mentally prepare for the day. I never leave work to do during planning, because that's not their responsibility and I rarely work during my planning, so why should they have to? :p

    That being said, I'm also firmly in the "don't try to go beyond my lesson plan" camp and I resent the implication that this must mean I don't respect subs. It has nothing to do with that; it has to do with MY plans. Regardless of whether it's a brand new sub, a sub with 30 years experience, the teacher next-door or my department chair herself, I want only what I said to be done. If my lesson falls short and that means they're sitting there chatting for 30 minutes, oh well, that's my fault. Someone's well-intentioned "initiative' might completely screw up my plans for next class and beyond. That doesn't mean I don't respect the person filling in for me; it means I'm looking for THEIR respect to follow whatever plans I left.
     
  12. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    Nov 20, 2014

    "Nameless transient entity" is a great description. Seems like a good screen name.

    I had to laugh at your sentence about coming back to a mess. My room is utilized for the afterschool program and I can always tell when they switch around the supervisors because the room is a disaster when I come in the next morning.
     
  13. El sol

    El sol Rookie

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    Nov 20, 2014

    The topic itself, or the intended one, had potential, but it seems most just focused on personal experiences to make a decision rather than establishing some type of common ground. The perception of attitudes also seemed more because of a personal background or interpretation.

    The fact is planning periods, free or not for subs, depends on the given state, district, school, regular teacher and obviously the sub. Whether the sub is certificated or not, isn't itself an issue here.

    What can be said, I think, is that there's many different factors from both subs and regular teachers that affect whether the planning period should be "free" at all. There's cases where regular subs don't leave anything planned, requiring the sub to plan on the spot. Of course that sub will be lucky if the planning period is the first of the day. There's always going to be subs who will not bother planning in this situation. They'll just pop whatever film is available for all periods. Then you have thorough lesson plans, which subs decide to modify without a good reason. So there's carelessness on both sides which affects people's thinking.

    Again, it is mostly case by case scenarios. But I think we should all agree that there's good and bad from both sides and debating whether the planning period should be free for subs or not will not go far because of the so many different scenarios you can get daily all over the country.

    In my case in particular, because it seems everyone is better talking on a personal basis, I had one teacher who loved to have me sub for her one semester. Her planning period was the first. But whenever I reached the office I knew one of the secretaries was going to ask me to cover another class. It always happened. I went to the classroom I was supposed to cover for the whole day, look at the small note left telling me to write a lesson for that day or X number of days(because the teacher had complete trust in my content knowledge), then I would go to whatever classroom I had to cover for the first period. During that period, I was covering the class and planning for the other classes, which was two preps. So, in this particular case, my planning period was not free but I was doing the planning for free.

    While some may argue that my personal experience served as a growing one and I had the opportunity to deliver my lessons and whatever else you might want to add, it was completely unprofessional of the regular teacher to not leave plans. Regular teachers have planning periods, which obviously are intended for planning. That planning, believe it or not, includes lesson planning for absences, both expected and unexpected.

    If the regular teacher is intentionally or carelessly leaving a hectic day for the sub, that regular teacher is not doing a proper job and is a shame to the profession. The same for the sub, if he/she leaves signs/indication of a hectic day covered when everything was provided, then that's not a proper job and also a shame to that profession.

    But going back to planning period, we can all agree that for regular teachers not all days are for planning in those periods, and the same should go for subs. I've seen many regular teachers and subs take naps in the same sofa. It's a busy sofa. My two cents is that a planning period should also include resting, for both regular teachers and subs.
     
  14. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Nov 21, 2014

    The condescending tone about others (both subs and teachers) has been a constant theme on this site since I joined several years ago. I've seen it time and time again.

    Many of the comments in this thread do qualify and go beyond a difference of opinion about roles and responsibilities. And, obviously, I am not the only one who sees this.

    If you don't see it already, there is nothing I can say that will help you see it.
     
  15. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Nov 21, 2014

    You really didn't answer Caesar's question. You just gave another vague generalization. Exactly what have people said that says they think subs inferior as people because you seem to be taking this very personally. In some districts there are subs that do not have the knowledge and the training to teach lessons. Our district knows that. Our district is ok with that. Seems you are not. In our district it is seen as a bonus if a sub could teach a lesson because they know the hiring practices. They can't expect someone who is not trained as a teacher or well on their way to be trained as a teacher to be able to perform as a teacher.

    Maybe the reason you can't say is because it has more to do with your own insecurities based on your experiences than what is really being said. You may be inferring much more than people are saying.

    I can't change the fact that subs are not credentialed teachers in almost all cases in my district. I also can't change that many subs can't write lesson plans and do not know the content areas they sub for well enough to teach a lesson. That is the reality in my district. They are almost all hard working. They have a tough job because we all know student behavior changes with most subs.

    We actually have subs walking around during planning periods looking for things to do. Many want to make copies, fill in for classes, and give the extra helping hands rather than do nothing for the planning period.

    If you find the fact that I make a distinction between subs and credentialed teachers as a slight, I apologize, but in my district there is a very distinct distinction. That doesn't mean they aren't appreciated and respected. What it does mean is unless you actively seek a known quantity to cover your class, there is a very good chance that the person subbing in the class that day will not be able to teach a usual lesson. I'm sorry that fact offends you. I can't pretend that all subs are capable of teaching a grammar lesson, a history lesson, a science lesson, or a math lesson just because you were capable of doing so and some are capable of doing so.
     
  16. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Nov 21, 2014

    At the moment, I don't have the time to go back and quote all the comments that imply (directly or indirectly) the condescending attitude some members here have towards subs or other teachers or just anyone who doesn't agree with them.

    As I said, I'm not the only one who sees this, as others agreed with it and have seen it as well. And, also as I said, this has been a consistent theme for some since I joined the forum many years ago. It isn't confined to this thread alone. This thread is just the most recent example of it.

    It has nothing to do with any supposed insecurities you may think I have (although that comment serves as an example of the type of smarmy insult some members like to use when they disagree with a particular poster).

    I could take the time, later this evening, to list specific examples, but I know from experience it will be useless. Those who are unable, or unwilling, to see the condescending tone will continue to NOT see it that way. Nothing I say or post will change their perception of it. They will either deny they really feel that way or defend the reasoning behind the comments...or they will make a comment suggesting I must have problems in my own life that make me view it that way. :rolleyes:
     
  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nov 21, 2014

    I have the utmost respect for most of the subs I have seen in our building. All of our subs are qualified teachers, many of whom are subbing to get their foot in the door to a permanent position. When I expect someone covering my class to follow my plans, it has nothing to do with not respecting them or feeling that they are inferior. It is, simply, that I know what I need covered in my absence, and how I want it to be covered.

    As I always tell my students--respect is a two-way street. I respect the ability of my subs to take over my class in my absence and I expect them to respect the decisions I make in my room.
     
  18. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Nov 21, 2014

    I made my comment about insecurities to make a point. I don't know what you have in your heart. All I know for sure is that you have decided you know what others think.

    Think about this.

    From your comments I could have read insecurities from looking at your previous posting history and current posting on this thread and inferred by your tone that you are insecure. Of course, you will deny it. I can say to you exactly what you are saying to other posters. You are unable or unwilling to see the insecurities you show in your arguments and tone and will continue to not see it this way. You will deny you really feel that way or defend that you don't mean that by those comments or you will make some comment that other posters must have problems. :rolleyes:

    See, it kind of works both ways. Notice that I too can mimic the same words you used against others. You determined they feel a particular way. Unless they agree with you, you set up an argument that allows nothing else by claiming purposely saying they don't, not recognizing they feel this way, or refuse to even consider it. Seems to me it is you who won't consider any other option.

    If you can determine others intent, even when they say it is not true, others can do that to you.

    Your argument has devolved into a "because I said so, it makes it so".

    As I said, in my district, subs are respected (except those that have done something to lose respect at which time they are often not asked back). Their job is not to be the teacher. They don't have credentials in most cases. They are almost always looking for ways to help in addition to covering the class they are supposed to cover.
     
  19. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Nov 21, 2014

    Yes, we can play this game back and forth all day.

    Do I know for certain what others think? No, I don't.
    Can I recognize a condescending tone when I see or hear one? Yes, I can. So can others.

    This is a recurring theme in practically ANY thread regarding subs. Some members absolutely DO adopt a tone that is condescending towards subs in general. Just as they tend to adopt that same tone towards other members and teachers when they disagree on a "hot" topic. I can't tell you how many times I've seen members here post the comment "Well, if YOU think it is OK to do X, I can only IMAGINE what the environment/atmosphere in your classroom must be like?"

    Why? Because the environment MUST be so drastically different simply because Poster A doesn't agree with Poster B on the topic being discussed (which often has nothing to do with classroom environment to begin with).

    Just like your comment about my "insecurities". Even though you did it to prove a point, you actually just proved MY point that many members DO resort to exactly those types of comments when another poster continues to disagree with their view.

    As I said, this has been a constant occurrence on these forums from the day I joined. I noticed almost right away. It certainly isn't everyone, by any means, but it usually are the SAME ones adopting that tone time after time.

    Anyway. that's enough discussion on that topic. It's obviously not going to change and will continue to be tolerated by the mods and admin. It is what it is and always will be.
     
  20. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Nov 21, 2014

    Getting back to the actual topic of the thread, I don't see anything wrong with asking a sub to cover an extra class during the planning period of the teacher they were called in for. If I were the principal and had other classes that needed to be covered, I would certainly be trying to draw from the subs on campus first before pulling the regular teachers from their planning periods.

    However, if there aren't other classes to cover, then I agree the sub does deserve the planning period just as much as the teacher for whom they are covering.

    I've used planning periods to review the instructions left by the teacher to make sure I'm presenting the material as they wish and giving out the assignments as needed. I've also used it to organize the handouts for the next group of classes, as well as write my notes to the regular teacher about how the day has gone and what I've done. MOST of the time, that only takes a few moments, but if something out of the ordinary happens, it can take a lot longer to write an accurate summary of the events for the teacher.

    I've helped cover car duty and bus duty (when asked). Other times, if I was lucky enough to cover for a teacher with planning during the last period, I've gotten to go home early.

    That may sound "unfair", but I don't get paid as well as the regular teachers when I sub and I get NONE of their benefits. So getting to leave early once in a while was a nice surprise. Other times, I had to stay and sweep the room, empty the trash and other duties normally expected of the janitor staff, because the janitor was also a bus driver, so all the teachers had to clean their own room at the end of each day.

    Whenever I subbed, I ALWAYS left the room in as good a shape, or better, than I found it. If I had to collect assignments, I made sure they were sorted by class periods and sorted further by alpha-order or seat order (whichever the teacher preferred).

    I made sure I covered ALL the material and notes left by the teacher, but when their notes were sparse and barely sufficient, I did what I could to figure out what the class had been doing and continue on with that.
     
  21. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Nov 21, 2014

    Just to be clear, if any of my posts sounded condescending, the reader imagined it. I have never thought myself superior to subs (in general).

    One thing to remember when comparing bad subs and bad teachers: Bad teachers make things bad for themselves. Bad subs affect the teachers they are covering for.

    If I mess up my own plans and teach out of order, I have to fix things on my own. If a sub messes up my plans, then I have to fix her mistake.
     
  22. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Nov 21, 2014

    Didn't see this on this thread that I know about? If so, who said this. If not, then you are blaming people her for what others said and that isn't fair. That is taking someone else's opinion and placing it on others. That is reading previous tone and intent into something that isn't being said here. That would be on you.

    Yep. I did say the difference matters. That was me. I'll sing it from the rooftop. I do believe there is a difference in what one can expect from a credentialed teacher coming into a class to sub than a person who has 15 college credits from some time during their lives where those credits don't even have to be in education. Sometimes policy differences do matter in the discussion. This time it definitely does. Saying that it is condescending to mention how differences in a district might matter because often it doesn't makes little sense because it makes a very big difference in this case unless you really want all of us to believe that across the board the skill of the substitutes who have as few of 15 college credits unrelated to education from anytime in their life is going to be equivalent to that of a credentialed teacher. That is not to say some may be as effective or more effective, such as yourself, but that will be the minority, not the majority.
     
  23. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Nov 22, 2014

    I never claimed this particular statement was made in this particular thread. I was talking about the ONGOING tone of condescension I've seen on this site since first joining and listed that statement as an example because I have seen variations of it many, many times over the last several years.

    I felt I had explained that pretty clearly, but perhaps not.
     
  24. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Nov 22, 2014

    I already made my point. I put both scenarios because I didn't see that comment in this thread and if I missed it I knew you would be back pointing that out. Because you are using past comments by others who did not participate in this thread, you nullified your argument and showed that your response to the posts being made on this thread have little to do with what others are saying on this thread and everything with your anger from past conversations. That means you are making false claims about what others are saying on this thread based on previous experience. That is not fair to people because they made no such claim that you are accusing them of and is not conducive to a discussion.

    I wish you would have pointed out specifics on this thread that showed people though subs were inferior. Obviously, you couldn't so you had to use your deep held hurt to blame present posters for past transgressions of others. It doesn't lend credibility to your point about the posters in this thread who you are accusing of looking down on subs as inferior.
     
  25. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Nov 22, 2014

    Perhaps it is time to end this thread - it appears to be devolving into personal interactions well removed from the original considerations. Everyone will have an opinion based on their own personal experiences, and that is just life.

    I hope this thread is closed very soon.
     
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