By Jason Wojciechowski on August 20, 2003 at 4:53 PM
I got to visit the Garden today as part of a lame "new teacher" thing. There were a couple thousand of us there, which was pretty impressive. Joel Klein (the Chancellor of the school system in NYC) was there, and the mayor was a maybe, but didn't show. Randi Weingarten, the President of the New York UFT, also spoke. She's straight out of a movie about labor leaders, I swear. That's a good thing, though, because it gives me a sense that there's competence and fire at the top of the chain of people who are looking out for my livelihood.
Weingarten actually has an interesting background: she basically studied to be a labor leader ("industrial and labor relations" was her major at Cornell), went to law school at Cardozo, worked as a labor lawyer (where, her bio notes, the UFT was one of her clients), then taught in a Brooklyn public high school.
Anyway, the event was a mess, as it usually is when the Department of Education is running things, and I'm not sure if I'm going to get my couple hours of "New Teacher" credit for going. I don't know how big a deal it is if I don't, but I didn't feel like messing around any more after listening to folks like Klein talk for about two and a half hours.
My first trip into a basketball arena showed me how good the views are. Then again, looking at the Knicks' website, I'm realizing that I was sitting in $214 seats. Only courtside tickets cost more. Moving up to affordable seats (maybe the $30 ones?) would probably reduce my favorable impressions of basketball arenas a lot. Oh well. I guess I'll have to get my law degree before I start catching the Lakers when they come to town.