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Why doesn't Riti Sped quit or get another job?

Believe it or not, Riti really does like her job. In her own words, 

 

"Because I love it. I love kids. I enjoy knowing that I am enriching the lives of my kids each and every day. The hundreds of cards I have from my kids and their parents is proof of this. I love to chase the kids, mess with them (in a NICE way--like peek-a-boo and shit). Also it is nice because the kids believe anything I tell them. For instance, it is a well-known fact in my class that I in fact built the school in three days, by myself. I could use my degree which is in no way related to my profession, and do something else. My friends always ask me, "Why don't you use your degree and make some real money?" But this would not allow me to do several things that I like. For instance: 

 

1. Laugh at my life on a daily basis

2. Eagerly await the daily smorgasbord of unusual events 

3. Lead an entire class to believe I am the best person in the world 

4. Order people (aides) twice my age to do shit for me

 

And no, I don't make a lot of money. This does not bother me or even slightly persuade me to change careers. As long as I have money to drink myself into a stupor 4 nights a week and wear nice shit, I don't care. I will never quit my job because I love it."

 

 

Riti, if you like your job so much, why do you make fun of your retarded students? Why would you put this page up?

First off, Riti does not make fun of her students. Humor has several uses, and not all are to ridicule or debase. This page should be seen in the same light as surgeons or paramedics making jokes about injured people, or psychiatrists making light of their mentally deranged patients: The people in those fields use humor as a way to relieve the daily stress and aggravation of their very difficult jobs. Paramedics and doctors, especially battlefield surgeons, are renowned for making sick jokes about their patients during their off-time. They do this as way to relieve the horrific stress of their jobs. If they don't release the emotional tension through humor, then it has to come out some other way, hence the saying, "If I don't laugh I'll have to cry." Being a special education teacher is not substantially different. Riti Sped works with children that have profound and substantive disabilities, and would never be anything but loving, caring and helpful to her students, but on her own time, she, like all sped teachers, must find a way to relieve the stress of a very difficult and emotionally trying job. This is her chosen outlet. 

 

Furthermore, the humor employed on the page is Riti's own special, sarcastic brand, and though it does seem rather mean and vitriolic at times, it must be remembered that these are printed jokes in a medium that is wholly separate from her interaction with her students, and sees a side of her personality that her students generally do not see. 

 

In her words, 

 

"If you ever met me, you wouldn't think I was mean. I am very compassionate, insightful and have a general concern for society. But that wouldn't be very funny on this page, would it?"

 

 

Is this for real? Can you be serious?
Yes. Everything on this page is absolutely and completely true. This is not a parody or a satire or created fiction of the demented mind of Brody Voss. The pictures should be enough proof of that. Riti composes every story directly from the real life events of her job as a special education teacher, and Brody edits them and posts them on the site. There is no
need for embellishment or lies in a job such as hers. 

 

Of course, even though I say that, all of this could be invented by me. Who actually knows?

 

 

Should I feel bad for laughing at these stories?

No. Absolutely not. These are stories related by a special education teacher and written with the intent of making the reader laugh. To that end, there is a much sharper edge to the stories than there is to Riti Sped's behavior towards her students. If you separate the page from the teacher, then you should have no problem laughing at these stories. Now, if you made fun of a retarded person in a cruel way to their face, or was intentionally mean or cruel to a retarded person that you met, then you are a horrible person and should be shot. 

 

Laughing at this page is no different than laughing at Dead Baby jokes. No one would laugh at an actual dead baby, but the jokes, in a separate context, are nonetheless funny.

 

 

Why do you use the word "tard?" Isn't this a horrible thing to call them?

We decided on the word "tard" mainly because it is not a word. We picked it for this reason, and thus we can assign our own meaning to the word "tard."

 

When using "tard" we no not mean necessarily mean "retarded," "stupid," "slow," or any other such word that carries a negative connotation with it. We did not call this the "Retard Blog" or the "Really Stupid Kid Blog" because that is not what it is. This is a journal that is written about the daily happenings in a special education/behavioral disorder classroom. 

 

The children in Riti's class have a myriad of issues, and no two are alike. Some fit under the conventional definition of "mentally retarded," or "developmentally impaired," if you prefer that term. Some are autistic. Some have highly developed neuroses. Others simply have run-of-the-mill behavioral disorders. 

 

We are assigning the word "tard" to all of them as a way of classifying all of them together. For instance, when Riti says something about "her tards," she is referring to everyone in her class. 

 

From an entomological perspective, the definition of "tard," as we use it, could be something as follows:

 

tard: n., A student in a class that is set aside for children with some sort of special need, e.g. metal retardation, autism, behavioral disorders, etc, generally referred to as Special Education classes. 

 

If you think it is a derogatory word, then that is your problem, not ours, and reflects the biases and issues you bring to the table, not us. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2002-3, Brody Voss & Riti Sped. All rights reserved.