The more perspicacious among our readers may have gathered that I am a public school teacher. I may just be among the smallest minorities in the profession: atheist, libertarian, Republican, skeptic.
The last of these in me was amused by an e-mail with which one colleague plagued the district today: an effort to sell a Salt Crystal Lamp:

I have new – in the box – never used – Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamp. These lamps release healthy negative ions to keep the air you breathe pollution free. They are also pretty.

Boy, am I glad she hasn’t wasted any of those negative ions yet. I can use all the negative ions I can get, and as everyone knows, there’s nothing more healthful than HIMALAYAN salt crystals. They are formed from the tears of dying sherpas, weeping with joy at thoughts of nirvana.
And did I mention that they are also pretty?
Knowing this about a colleague gives me all the more reason to oppose the intrusion of the personal and the ideological (in this case the idiotical?) in the classroom.