October 27, 2007
Just What I Wanted to do Tonight
... wait for the cops.
I managed to forget to lock my car last night. (Thankfully, that was a night in which I did not also leave my keys in the car, which happens sometimes.) Someone opened up the car, tossed my CDs around, threw all the stuff out of my glove box, and walked out with my XM radio and my various car chargers. Ironically, the chargers (for the phone, the iPod) were worth far more than the radio.
Yes, I should have locked my car. But it's really irritating to think that some jerk around here thinks it's just fine to come onto my property and help himself.
He didn't take any CDs. I guess "Story of the World" and an Arkangel production of "Macbeth" just didn't do it for him.
October 12, 2007
Why I Hate Talking to People
I forget, sometimes, how insular my internet world is. Sometimes I stray into a more mainstream area of the net, where I'm quickly brought up short by the fascinating attitudes I find.
I involved myself in a discussion on breastfeeding on an email list. I consider myself somewhat of a breastfeeding activist; however I've also had the experience of having a child who could not, would not nurse, despite professional help and lots and lots of trying. And tears. Thank goodness for formula, in his case.
But we did honestly try everything before we gave him formula, and it was this story I was relating on the list. In fact, since I was unable to pump enough to feed my baby, a dear friend actually pumped her own milk for us. Yes, I fed my baby someone else's breast milk.
I expected some folks to be ooked out by this, because we've all forgotten about wet nurses and history. But I wasn't prepared for the response I got, which was outright disgust. One woman was particularly disgusted by the whole idea, and, of course, thought I just should have given the baby cow's milk and had done with it. (I never do get this argument. Why is human milk, which is for humans, disgusting, while milk squirted out of a cow's udder is acceptable? When you think about it, isn't that just weird?)
But she didn't stop there. No, she went on with this bit of logic: If I would let my baby drink some other human's breast milk, then logically speaking, why wouldn't I also let him drink urine?
Obviously I was not going to get anywhere with her on the subject of breast milk. Fine, drop it, done. But I could not resist the urge to try to point out to her that her logic is just bad. Er, no, you logically cannot equate breast milk with urine. One is nourishing and meant for human consumption. The other is just not. So, uh, no, I would not feed my baby urine, and by the way, what kind of frakked up person are you? (Okay, I only added that part in my head.)
Y'all know what kind of response I got, don't you? A rant about how I'm entitled to my OPINION about her LOGIC. Now she is offended because I did not let her have her OPINION.
I'm sorry, but we're done. When you don't even have the faintest clue that a logical argument is not governed by your opinion, we have nowhere to go, and I cannot help you. The biggest problem that I can see is that the world is full of you, you folks that cannot tell opinion from fact, or logic from wishful thinking, and you all vote. Some of you teach children (but not mine!). I sincerely hope that only a tiny number of you manages to equate breastmilk with pee.
Oh, she also came back with the stellar logical zinger that perhaps instead I'd let my baby eat someone's spit.
I'm going to go back into my own world now, where people are not so bizarrely sick and weird. Or at least, they're bizarre in ways I can cope with.
June 2, 2007
This Post is Definately About Grammer
I have been accused of being intellectually elitist. On a homeschooling board. On a homeschooling board for classical homeschooling.
It boggles the mind.
Why was I accused of being elitist? Because I was helping to point out some common grammar and spelling errors. No one was singled out or deliberately targeted; we were discussing common, general errors. You know, those misspellings and usage errors that sound like nails on a blackboard.
What did we get? Post after post about how pointing out such things is mean. It hurts feelings. It's ... intellectually elitist.
Frankly, if you are interested in classical education, I assume you care about things like grammar, and spelling. I think you ought to realize that you are teaching your children grammar, and not grammer. I think you ought to learn that "of" is not the word we use with "could," "should," or "would." If you follow an educational philosophy that is more laid back about things, I'll let you off the hook. But classical educators? For Heaven's sake, if we can't be elitist, who can?
Even if the word "elitism" conjures up all your inner guilt and makes you run for your hair shirt, you should not be afraid to confront and correct your mistakes. It's better to learn than to defend. Is the opposite of elitism blissful ignorance? Or just mediocrity? What do you choose for yourself?
Elitist. I am so there. Maybe I should just print it on a T-shirt, or stick it in my .sig file. "Warning: Educational Elitist. May correct your spelling, or your logic, or urge you to read a book."
Since it's 1:30 in the morning, I'm pretty darned sure every one of you will who reads this will find some spelling or grammar error to throw back at me. In a post like this, at least one error is guaranteed to be terribly embarrassing. (Like the time I posted about spelling errors on the WTM board, and misspelled "misspell" every time.) That's okay, I can take it.
April 26, 2007
Concert Ticket Blues
Remember when to get a good seat for a show, you just had to be in line early? Remember when, if you were one of the first ones in line, you would get a good seat?
Hoo, boy, are those days gone.
Have you tried to buy a concert ticket lately? Here's how it works: First of all, you not only have to find out the date and time the tickets go on sale, but the dates and times of the presale. There is always a presale event, and, often, more than one.
The idea behind the presale is that you'll get better tickets, since you're buying them first, before everyone else. It doesn't work that way. Each group putting on a presale has a preselected block of tickets to sell. It could be a good block. It could be a terrible block. The fun part is - you have no way of knowing! Each presale has its own little secret password, or other requirements, such as fan club membership.
Last week I bought tickets for a show. I knew of three - three - separate presales. I wanted good seats to this one, so I found times and scrounged passwords and codes for all three. At the first and second presales (remember, this is before tickets go on sale to the general public) I came up with seats around the 30th row.
Eh? Excuse me? I tried the next presale - same thing. Finally, through the third presale, I managed to get into the 26th row. Oooh. I belong to a large online community of fans, and everyone reported similar results. When the point of the presale is to get the best seats because you've got first crack, well, somethin' ain't right.
Just to see, I checked the tickets at the general onsale as well, right when they went live. 30th row and beyond.
This means that none of the places selling to fans sold seats in the first 20 rows. As it turns out, this particular venue took most of those seats for itself, to hand out to season pass owners, corporate sponsors, etc.
So the venue grabs a chunk of seats. Each organization with a presale grabs a chunk of seats. General onsale is whatever is left over by then.
There are always scalpers, brokers, and the like. There's a group called "I Love All Access" that specializes in charging out outrageous fees for a seat in the first 10 rows. The fans fall all over themselves to buy these "special packages."
In other words, if you want a good seat at a concert, at least in Detroit, you should be prepared to pay upwards of $150 a seat ($350-$600 a seat for the first five rows). And, of course, people pay it.
It's insane. I'm not even sure who can afford to go to shows these days. Heck, even lawn seats are often $50.
What a racket.
April 5, 2007
Britain Down the Tubes
Speaking of Becky, I see that she posted on her blog an article about the British actively discouraging the study of Greek and Latin in schools. Earlier this year it came out that British schools are also not really teaching about the Crusades, or the Holocaust (because they don't want to offend their Muslim students, you know). And of course, last year we learned that they're also not going to teach British cultural heritage.
Doesn't it make you want to cry?
I suppose it was inevitable. Once you take away a sense of cultural identity and key events in your history, you have to squelch any study of classical languages and literatures. Latin and Greek teach you to think logically, and the study of classical texts teaches you the signposts that tell you when your culture is on the road to hell. The study of the classics can also bring up disturbing ideas about "right" and "wrong," which they seem to want to avoid as well.
What was that bit about those who cannot remember history ... ?
I love England. I've always dreamed of living there. Now, though, between stupid educational reforms and stupid laws restricting self defense, it would be more of a nightmare.
April 2, 2007
Why We Homeschool - Lego Freedom!
As if we needed another reason to be glad we homeschool. Check out this piece entitled Why We Banned Legos.
A group of teachers of children ages 5-9 fostered unstructured play with Legos, resulting in a structure they called "Legotown." Children built, traded Legos, and created a large, creative town. But then, you see:
Occasionally, Legotown leaders explicitly rebuffed children, telling them that they couldn't play. Typically the exclusion was more subtle, growing from a climate in which Legotown was seen as the turf of particular kids. The other children didn't complain much about this; when asked about Legos, they'd often comment vaguely that they just weren't interested in playing with Legos anymore. As they closed doors to other children, the Legotown builders turned their attention to complex negotiations among themselves about what sorts of structures to build, whether these ought to be primarily privately owned or collectively used, and how "cool pieces" would be distributed and protected. These negotiations gave rise to heated conflict and to insightful conversation. Into their coffee shops and houses, the children were building their assumptions about ownership and the social power it conveys — assumptions that mirrored those of a class-based, capitalist society — a society that we teachers believe to be unjust and oppressive. As we watched the children build, we became increasingly concerned.
Which is sad, because that's how life works.
I wonder what the rebuffed children did with the time they were not spending on Legos. Did they find other activities? Did they get involved in an interesting project that meant more to them? Did they sit on the sidelines, watching and moping? I'm guessing they left the Lego barons to themselves, and found something else to do. Which, again, is how life works. Not everyone is good at everything, or suited for everything. And golly, that's okay.
But no, the children must be stopped before they realize that capitalism works. The teachers banned the Legos and embarked on a re-education program. In the end:
From this framework, the children made a number of specific proposals for rules about Legos, engaged in some collegial debate about those proposals, and worked through their differing suggestions until they reached consensus about three core agreements:
All structures are public structures. Everyone can use all the Lego structures. But only the builder or people who have her or his permission are allowed to change a structure.
Lego people can be saved only by a "team" of kids, not by individuals.
All structures will be standard sizes.
With these three agreements — which distilled months of social justice exploration into a few simple tenets of community use of resources — we returned the Legos to their place of honor in the classroom.
Oh, you poor kids. You thought you were having fun and being creative with toys. Now you know just how wrong you were. But through a careful examination of how bad power is, what a bad person you are if you have any power (even if you have the power/wealth by pure chance) and how creativity might hurt someone's feelings, you can be cured. Now that you're free from the ideas of competition, ownership and creativity, and full of guilt for your previous successes, now you can play correctly. Go on, kids. Have fun!
I'll make you a deal, folks. You teach the kids socialism and guilt. I'll teach mine to be creative, resourceful and successful. I have a feeling I know how both groups will end up.
March 28, 2007
Would you believe it?
In an attempt to solve some ongoing health issues, my new doctor (I love my new doctor) has taken me off dairy.
Okay, fine. It's annoying, but I can do that. I've had to throw out most of what I normally eat: Who would have guessed that my lunchtime turkey burgers have dairy in them? That the veggie burgers have dairy in them? So does the bread.
The last straw, though, was the soy cheese. Soy cheese is pretty disgusting, but it will do in a pinch. I checked the ingredients label today, before I ate some, and guess what? It has dairy in it. What on earth is the point of having dairy in soy cheese? Don't you eat soy cheese because you can't eat dairy? I refuse to believe that there are people out there who actually like fake cheese made out of beans.
It's just sick.
October 13, 2006
You bet your ten-gallon hat Texas is right.
When you are attacked, anywhere, what is your best chance of survival? It's to fight back.
Kids at school are easy pickings. People with violent intent know that the kids are largely helpless, that no one else there will have a weapon, and that the carnage and terror will make him an instant media star.
Yes, teach the kids, and the teachers, to fight! I hate that it's come to this, but if my kids were in school I would certainly feel better if teachers and classes were coached on how to make it extremely difficult for an attacker to succeed. In such a situation, you cannot wait for the powers that be to save you. You have to save yourself, to keep yourself alive until help can come.
While we're at it, perhaps an on-site armed guard is not a bad idea. I don't advocate arming the teachers or the administration, but someone on-site with arms training could be invaluable when a student body is faced with an armed idiot.
Fight back. What is the alternative?
August 16, 2006
It's a Big Internet Out There
Few things amuse me more than watching people discuss message boards, email lists, and other various online communities, including blogs. Everyone has an opinion about them.
I think disillusionment with an online community comes mainly from a lack of understanding about the reality of the community. Let's take a message board for parents who are classically homeschooling their children: Just because a parent is a homeschooler does not, unfortunately, mean they are intellectually robust autodidacts seeking to join the Great Conversation. Thankfully, many are, but not enough to assume. You can't even assume it of classical homeschoolers.
But putting that aside, what do the vast majority of people, certainly the majority of homeschooling parents, come to message boards for? The come for the socialization. Sometimes they do come to think, to discuss, to debate, but most of the time they're tired and want to veg out. If we're charitable, we could even say that they're mentally tired after discussing the ethics of war and negotiation, or working with a child to translate Cicero. The result is the same. Most people are there because they want to relax, let off steam, whine, ask a question, feel like they've connected with someone in a stolen 15 seconds.
And then, of course, many, many people want to be one of the collective. They come for validation (though let's face it, sometimes the non-Borg come for validation too). Personally I love the whole hive mind concept, but perhaps that's because I've never, ever been subject to peer pressure. I operate by finding out what everyone else thinks - and I love to find out what everyone else thinks - and then doing things my way. I understand that others are not like that, and some come to depend on the hive mind for their every decision; I can't help them. I barely understand them.
Should we give into the urge to veg out online? Maybe not. Undoubtedly too much of it is bad for both the brain and real-life relationships. But some people take their intellectual stimulation elsewhere ... you know, in real life ... and so don't feel the need to engage in meaningful intellectual talk online. Or at least, not constantly. Perhaps not even often. It doesn't mean they don't think, learn, or discuss. Just not online.
So it amuses me when people feel that online groups let them down, because they have become one big, banal, social club. The group didn't become that. That's what it always was, from day one. To think otherwise is to fail to understand people online.
To have a specialized community online, in which the life of the mind is celebrated and banality is kept at bay, you have few options. You must set up your group deliberately with your goal in mind. You must state it clearly, to every prospective or new member. And then you must moderate it to keep out unwanted chatter. Your group will be small, and after the initial burst of activity, it will die down. If you're lucky, it won't die off. It will take constant work to maintain the group as you wish it to be. You will be fighting against entropy. The chatter will creep in, and the banality will follow. But if you are willing to put in the work, it is possible to have a great, focused group ... or at least one safe from the kind of chatter and whining you're trying to escape.
And it's as easy as ... doing it. The internet being what it is, anyone can have any kind of community. So the one you were at doesn't suit your needs? It's so easy to find another, or run one of your own, that it doesn't really bear complaining about. It's like complaining about blogs. If you don't like them, you don't read them. Your opinion on the worth or quality of the product is not likely to change anything, not in this world of free publishing.
You can't expect an online group to be anything for you. It is not a real group. It's not being what you want it to be? Well, then stop basing your needs and wants on a group of virtual people that someone else created and runs. It doesn't owe you anything.
August 12, 2006
To Work or Not to Work
I posted this darned thing, and then realized that somehow I posted it back in July instead of yesterday.
And then I decided that I didn't give a damn about Ms. Hirschman. However, since then people have asked for my opinion, and because that happens so rarely, I forced myself to re-read the original article.
For twenty-five years, she watched as the backlash generation slowly walked away from the promise of a better life. Women — whether they stay home or, like most women, just carry the responsibility for home to work and back — are homeward bound. Their husbands won't carry enough of the household to enable them to succeed fully in the public world. Glass ceiling? The thickest glass ceiling is at home.
Their bosses, who are mostly someone else's husband, won't do the job their own husbands turned down, so there is no employer day care and there are no government tax breaks. Look deeply and you will see that liberal and conservative commentators largely agree that ideally women belong at home.
And women say they choose this fate, and the feminist movement backs them up.
The women Ms. Hirschman is concerned with are the "intelligent and privileged" women, women who are on track to high-profile, high-powered jobs: lawyers who could become Supreme Court justices; television producers who could shape programming for a nation; policy makers of all types. Her argument is that if these women drop out of the work force, feminism loses ground. Strong, important female voices disappear from the spheres of influence, a loss for all women. She also argues that although these women say they are freely choosing home and family, they're not; the glass ceiling at home weighs too heavily on their "choice." Besides that, she pulls no punches in admitting that she sees staying home as the wrong choice, undermining the aims of feminism. And so, these privileged women have a duty to have few or no children, and remain in the workforce leaving the childcare and housekeeping to someone else.
As you might guess, I disagree.
First of all, I disagree that these "privileged" women have as much of a glass ceiling influence as she claims. True, they may be married to privileged men with high-powered jobs who assume housekeeping and childcare to be beneath them (Ms. Hirschman provides not one single example of a supportive husband who actually shares in the childcare and household duties - presumably she doesn't believe the exist?). However, these are the very people who can afford nannies and housekeepers. They can pay to have the everyday grind taken care of by someone else. No, if these women are choosing to stay home, I believe they are honestly choosing to stay home.
That rubs Ms. Hirschman the wrong way, and I can understand why. When a woman has a first-class education and the resources to go forth into the world and be successful, to make a difference, it's a slap in the face to the feminist powers that fought for those very opportunities for her to choose to stay home and do childcare instead.
The unfortunate down side to fighting for freedom means that people just might use their freedom to make choices you dislike.
Do these women make the choice to stay home at the expense of other women? Perhaps. I'm not convinced. I sense a kind of social elitism in Ms. Hirschman's arguments that bothers me. I don't like her implication that this is the duty of the privileged woman, to work and advance womankind, while leaving her children in the care of ... presumably less-privileged women. Certainly Ms. Hirschman's portrayal of men in her essay leads me to believe she has no faith in men picking up the slack (all her examples of men are selfish and look on housework/childcare as anathema). So it must be professional child-care workers. You know, those people who do that job that is so looked down upon, and who do it for so little pay.
This is America. Is it not still possible for a less privileged, but determined, woman to make her mark on the world? To say this is the duty of the privileged is, I think, insulting. It assumes that the elite have to do it because they're the only ones who can. I don't buy it. I still think anyone can do anything, with hard work and ingenuity. Perhaps if one of these more gifted women bows out of the workforce after finding she'd rather care for her own kids, she's simply leaving the field open for someone with fewer natural opportunities but who wants the job more.
But back to the big question: Why do women who seem to have it all in the workforce choose to stay home? I think it comes down to this: Biology is destiny. Not in a sense that means women are only genetically capable of having children and cleaning a house. But realistically, it's women who have the babies. We can't change that. Men can't have them. We can't stop having them, not entirely. No matter what work we choose to do in the world, we have to take childbearing into account. We have no other choice.
If we choose to have children, we must choose to either interrupt our work or delay it. We must choose to structure our work around the lost time and chaos a complicated pregnancy might cause. We must manage the time and energy that giving birth and caring for a newborn take. We must accept the fact that we are likely to have strong feelings about the child, again based on biology, that prompt us to want to focus more on it and less on the job. For some professions and career ladders, these interruptions spell disaster. Sometimes they can be managed, and our work will go on. Sometimes the women choose to focus on the child instead and the career later, if at all.
Ms. Hirschman hopes that privileged women will choose to have few children if any, and manage the interruptions so the work can continue. In this way, she hopes we will gain and maintain equality in the spheres of influence in our society. But because women have babies and men don't, this is not equality! Our influential jobs, our definitions of success, our offices, our workdays ... all of these things are based on men, and on male biology. The only way for us to be equal in such a world is to eliminate, or at lease minimize, the childbearing aspect. But why is it "equality" for women to have to smother such a basic part of ourselves? How is it "equality" to pretend we're just like men?
Equality in the workplace, and in the leadership of this country at all levels, can only happen by a fundamental restructuring of values and social constructs. Equality doesn't happen when women have children furtively, pretending the job of motherhood is not important and keeping the whole baby business tucked away from the boss; it happens when we can change work and success to something that is more flexible, and that values the care of children. It happens when men accept their share of family and home care, and adjust their work accordingly. It happens when we change our definition of success, and influence.
So, yes, "choose your choice," ladies. Work if you wish. Stay home if you wish. Choose meaningful work from your home and have the best of both worlds. Find a real way to work for equality.
Besides, you've got to wonder what all this time of intelligent, influential women in the workforce has brought us, when we still get ads like this and this. I want to see a man in that bathtub. Pronto.
That Old Let's-Test-All-Homeschoolers Thing Again
But why should I write about it when there's Kathy Jo? The bit about how the government knows we're not breaking the law is especially good.
August 3, 2006
Hey Britain, Homeschooling Looks Better All the Time, Doesn't It?
Jeff forwarded me an article about upcoming changes to England's teaching policies. From now on, English schools will officially not teach the difference between right and wrong. But you know, I'm okay with that. Schools should teach information and educate children. Parents and religious organizations should teach right from wrong.
I'm more bothered by the decision to no longer teach Britain's cultural heritage. Instead, "the school curriculum should contribute to the development of pupils’ sense of identity through knowledge and understanding of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural heritages of Britain’s diverse society.” Diverse, of course, meaning anything but British.
"The proposals say that individuals should be helped to 'understand different cultures and traditions and have a strong sense of their own place in the world'"
How can you have a strong sense of your place in the world if you know nothing about your place in the world? Britain's history is so remarkably important to the western world that this makes me want to cry. And if Britain isn't teaching about it's history, who will? The countries the immigrants come from? No, I know what they're teaching, and it has nothing to do with the Magna Carta or the evolution of traditional common law.
References to developing leadership in pupils have also been removed. One of the present aims is to give pupils “the opportunity to become creative, innovative, enterprising and capable of leadership”. This is due to be replaced by the aim of ensuring that pupils “are enterprising”.
Was this change made because we don't want any more pesky British leader-types, with their heads full of that pesky British cultural heritage and ideas? Or do they just think that creativity, innovation and leadership are beyond the reach of their present students and are giving up?
All right, British parents. The ball is in your court. Take it and run. Far away.
July 18, 2006
Another Clue to the Grumpiness
I re-started Weight Watchers this week.
I do well on Weight Watchers, but at some point I just get tired of counting and stop. Then the weight starts to creep back up, so I start again. This time I thought I'd do something different: instead of counting points, I decided to try their Core program.
On Core, you don't count points. You eat as much as you like, off of the "Core" list. Okay. The Core list is not bad. It contains eggs, dairy products (fat free), lean meats, oatmeal, grits, fruit, vegetables, veggie burgers, beans, one serving per day of rice/pasta/potatoes, all things I like to eat. Sounds fine. No problem. Let's go! And so I jumped, feet first, off that bridge.
I didn't give it much thought, you see. I dislike feeling hungry, so I was seduced by that "eat all you want" shtick. But what I failed to realize was that the Core list makes no allowances for sugar.
Yes, that's what I said: No sugar. None. Okay, fruit, but we all know that fruit doesn't really count. The list does allow for fake sugar, but I don't eat fake sugar (or fat-free cheese).
By dinnertime tonight my family was in mortal peril.
Yes, I know I'm addicted to sugar. I know that the crankiness came from detoxing, and my body is better off without the stuff anyway. But the flesh is very weak, and I want a doughnut so badly I'd almost sell a child for one.
And it is true that the Core plan allows for 35 points a week of non-Core foods; believe me, that would not be enough. It might be enough if I also exercise EVERY DAY so that I could eat activity points too. I have to have enough to account for some bread now and then, and chocolate, and, of course, the wine. I know, the idea is that you fill yourself up with the Core food, so that you need only small amounts of the bad stuff. It's a nice idea. We all know the truth.
I'd give it another day or two, but I think my husband is probably ready to give me IV glucose while I sleep.
July 15, 2006
Don't Eat the Chicken
Another, um, benefit to driving through Arkansas is the number of chicken farms we pass. The great majority of the ones we see provide chicken to Tyson, and, presumably, raise the chickens to Tyson's specifications.
Let me tell you, those chicken farms stink. They rival the stench of the paper mill in Ashdown. They are truly horrible, disgusting, stinky places to pass on the road.
We passed one or two Pilgrim's Pride chicken farms as well. They did not stink. We were very close to an independent chicken farm, which used the same type of chicken houses. It did not stink.
If you could smell what we have smelled, you would never touch Tyson chicken again. I know it's cheap, but trust me, you can do better. Check with your local farmers and buy some nice, local, free-range chicken. It costs a little more, but your body will thank you, and so will the people driving those highways in Arkansas.
June 6, 2006
Oh, I am in a black, black mood.
There are good, big reasons for the mood. We're not talking about those here. But there are plenty of little reasons too, like the fact that I hate people.
Here's a good example of a small reason. Not long ago Daryl posted a link entitled Women + Homeschooling = Lunacy. Daryl, I completely agree. Witness how many women get so emotionally invested in their curriculum choices that they can't just say "that program is just not for me." Instead, they have to insult our educational goals, engage in passive-aggressive snarkiness, and finish off with a pronouncement on the general state of our souls for using the curriculum that they have chosen to not use. Why isn't "No, I don't like that one, it doesn't meet my goals" enough?
Plus, I bought two boxes of the utterly wrong kinds of file folders for the timeline I want to make. And I went to the library, but didn't get any books for me.
I need a strong drink and a peer group. The trouble is that the strong drink is easy. The peer group is nowhere to be seen. Oh, peer group! Where are you? (Yeah, I know. You're in Texas. And Iowa. And Maryland. And many, many other states that aren't spelled "Michigan.") Fine.
What's your favorite thing to watch when you're in a real people-hating mood? I'd go for Firefly, but it's not an option tonight.
March 31, 2006
Punishing the Educated SAHMs
You see, when the government pays for your education, they think they should have some say in what you should do with it. Imagine that.
I don't think they are wrong. If the government provides that education with the expectation of training a workforce, then the person who takes the education and chooses to not work probably should pay up. However, it shows just how flawed the Dutch are in their understanding of the importance of raising one's own children.
I'd prefer to pay for the education, thanks.
March 22, 2006
Why does this even need to be said?
It's so mind-bogglingly simple. Really. It is.
If you, as a parent, cannot get, say, your four-year old to do what you say without beating them with plumbing tubing or forcibly restraining them by wrapping them in sheets, you have a problem, you don't know how to parent your kid, and you need help.
If you cannot manage a young child's behavior without resorting to tools like this, the problem is you. You need help. Please, please get some.
If you cannot manage a baby without resorting to spanking and slapping, you need help. You're not doing it right, or well. No, you're not.
It's a shame that the commentor on this post is one of many who doesn't get the fact that yes, you can raise well-behaved kids with well-defined boundaries without resorting to the methods espoused by the Pearls in "To Train Up a
Dog Child." It might be easier to turn to punitive discipline, but it's so worth it to find another way. Can you imagine what Lynn Paddock feels about her discipline methods now?
If you own the Pearls' book, or the Ezzo book, please, throw it out the window (better yet, burn it) and go to Joanne'sPositive Discipline Resource Center instead.
February 9, 2006
Packing is evil.
The problem is that we're taking this packing opportunity to create a household inventory. So that means we're not just plunking stuff in boxes, we're creating a database in which we list everything we pack.
That. Takes. Forever.
It takes at least an hour to pack a box of books. Ask me why I didn't just dump them all in and label the box "paperbacks"? Ask me why I didn't do that, and then drive the box to the dump?
I don't know.
Tonight I packed a box of curricula I'm not currently using. I estimate the value of the box to be $450. And there will be plenty more where that came from.
I am pruning as we go along, but it doesn't seem like much. I'm trimming, and we probably need to lop off huge branches, or just pull out the hedges altogether.
At any rate, we are moving s l o w l y, and we really don't have all that much time. Our move target is the first week in April. We have no house to move into, this house is not ready to show for sale ...
But it will all work out, right?
November 22, 2005
Bashing my head against the wall.
Just some short tidbits before I go to sleep. Think of yourself as my pensieve.
1. Harry Potter has nothing to do with Wicca, except that some Wiccans use wands. Disappointingly, these wands fail to do anything useful, such as the dishes.
2. Harry Potter is unlikely to turn your kids towards Wicca. If they get suckered in by the cool spells, they are going to be seriously disappointed with Wicca. They will also discover that there are not any cool Wiccan boarding schools. Nor can they actually transfigure their enemies, no matter how hard I ... uh, they ... work at it. Interestingly, Wiccans seem to live in the same physical reality as the rest of you.
3. It blows my mind that there are Christians who will not read "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" because it contains a witch. Blows. My. Mind.
4. Yes, as a non-Christian, I do let my kids read LWW - heck I even encourage it - even with the Christian allegory. Gosh darn it, they're just some books I like.
5. "Grammar" does not contain an "e." Neither does "lightning."
6. "Definitely" does not contain an "a."
That is all. For now.