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Showing posts from January, 2012

Bad Names Lead to Bad Lives

"Oh, I’ll judge the dickens out of you if you name your child Nevaeh or Kristayll or Natorious. Perhaps it’s racist/classist of me, but I think you are putting your children at a disadvantage right from the start and that’s stupid. Maybe even cruel." - Jenny.

Did you know that the "wrong" name will set you up for failure in school?  Yeah.  Having an "unfortunate" first name sets you up for failure.  You're more likely to have a poor "educational outcome" or even become a smoker.  Of course... no one gives a list of these "unfortunate" names.

I want to know what they are and what sort of doofus would think "Tyler" is more likely to smoke than "Bertram" or vice versa.  I mean, how do they weight that scientifically?  I want to know if they think I "saddled" Emperor with a "horrible" name (yes, I was really told that once).  It's true that IM John Watson once remarked that with a name like…

Happenings at Home

Tips for Homeschool Fakers.

"And while I'm sure that you (name), are a responsible homeschooler, I've met women over the years that are basically pretending to homeschool and teaching their children almost nothing, or only teaching the subjects that they themselves enjoy. I believe strongly in every parents right to homeschool, but both parents and school systems need to be accountable for teaching real skills." - Andrea Rayna Withers, from the comment section of a recent HSLDA post on facebook.

Oh, yay! I love pretending to homeschool.  How about you?  There are just so many ways to do it!  Here are a few I thought up off the top of my head.  Feel free to add your own in the comments.

1. Say things like, "E = mc SQUARED these are low prices!" near the shelf stockers in Wal-Mart.

2. All y'all religious homeschoolers, make sure to train your children to say, "WOW, Momma, that done fulfilled prophecy according to Jeremiah 4:29 right they-yer!"  Have a silly contest between…

You Cannot Walk Away.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama said that students shouldn't be able to "walk away from their education" and has called on every state to require attendance until graduation or the child's 18th birthday.  Wow. 

I think everyone should be screaming about this, but especially homeschoolers.  I have a real problem with compulsory attendance in the first place personally.  WHY should a child be compelled to learn what the state wants him to learn for one blooming minute, let alone 13-plus years of his life?  I thought liberals were extreme into this "choice" thing. My brain, my choice, my right to decide? 

Though I "get" the whole "graduation means opportunity" business he's trying to get at.  Very nice idea on paper if one imagines that school is always a pleasant place for all children and that all children are even flipping well CAPABLE of "graduation." 

Dang, if just requiring attendance is going to ch…

Michigan School Prosecutes Mom for Tardies

Kid, nevermind your autism and how it affects your being able to get to school on time.  We think you should just go into foster care and your single momma? We'd like to send her to jail.  Yeah.  That's pretty much what this school in Michigan is saying.  The mom and son duo start their day TWO HOURS EARLY and still can't make it in time on some days.  Have you ever dealt with an autistic child who has it in his head that thank you, he is NOT going some place or another?  You have a choice of beating the kid or hoping you can figure out some way to help the situation resolve itself. This single mom looks like she has everything together at first blush, and maybe she does.  But I think before we send her off to jail, maybe it would be cheaper for the taxpayer and better for everyone all around if an autism specialist of some kind were hired to help the mom with techniques that will at least decrease the tardies or help the CHILD to regulate his own schedule a bit better?  …

Hobbit Cloaks

Can you tell which is Elf, and which is Emperor?  They love their new Hobbit cloaks.  Patrick and G want their own as well, but I will have to guess and amend the pattern so that I can make a garment that would fit much taller Hobbits.

I'm Very Upset.

My kid accepted a dollar in the bathroom from some man we don't really know as a prize for beating the man's friend in chess.  (Both men are well over 50.)  Emperor does not seem to understand why accepting money in the bathroom is not OK.  He doesn't see why this is a dangerous situation.  He doesn't understand why I flipped out about it and said it just looks doggone weird.

I don't know that the man was really attempting anything odd; he seems like the type who can't stop talking for an hour even if someone bet him $100... so it's hardly surprising to me that he would strike up a conversation with Emperor in the bathroom.  Or strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere.  He is *probably* harmless enough...

But this incident has freaked me out.  D has instituted a "Mom will go with you and stand outside the door, and you will do what you have to do and get out, no chatting or accepting anything" rule for bathroom breaks that occur outside the…

Fat is the New Normal.

Get over it, people.  Really.  It bothers me that someone would even say that 1 in 3 adults is "obese."   I looked up the definition and it said "very fat or overweight; corpulent."  Obviously if 1 in 3 people are above a given BMI, it is now NORMAL to be in that weight category.  One THIRD of ALL people are in that weight category.  That means they need to adjust the charts because you can't say it's unusual any more; it must be evolution or something (cough cornsyrupandotheradditives cough).   How can you even be called "fat" if 1 in 3 people, 1 in THREE, is also "obese."  Um, good grief, they aren't even bothering to get hepped up about "overweight" any more.

When I was a size 5 and walked for six miles a day and lived on 1600 calories, I was actually overweight.  By a pound.  And that pound really, really REALLY bothered me.  Now?  I would be ok with about 40 pounds over that ideal for reallio.  Actually, I think about …

Second Place!

Please congratulate the tied-for second place winner at the Lead Bank Tournament in Lee's Summit.  This was a two-day adult level tournament, USCF rated, three-hour long games.  With CASH prizes! Emperor now has $33.33 to spend as he wishes!  It has been an exciting but very long weekend.  :)

Zombies Just Need Better Medical Care

I still am not sure how to react to this story.  Scientists studying the "Haitian Zombie?"  It would make me suspicious that it's not real if zombies only happen in Haiti.  BUT apparently the voodoo doctor can capture your spirit or something in a jar, and everybody knows that zombies make good slaves (no, really, read the article...) and so scientists are investigating this possibility.

The reality they're finding is pretty sad.  Grant you, the sample size is pretty small (how many zombies do YOU know in real life?) but it sounds like the wanderers are simply mentally ill or have developmental/cognitive problems.  These poor people need some serious help.  I just wonder how many of these "zombies" have been killed by people who think they are their undead relatives.

Do you think the whole article is wacky?  I'm not sure what to think.

Nanny Workplace?

At first I was outraged, watching this.  It's really pretty dehumanizing to go to work and get weighed and measured.  I have to wonder if any of their workers are over 6 ft 2 tall that they really expect a waist size of 33 inches to be even remotely, remotely practical.  You know it has to be discriminatory toward tall people (read:  African- and European-ancestry people... you know... racism).  It's just outrageous.  But honestly?  It would be nice if some workplaces didn't expect employees to work 10 hour days, work through lunch, give their employees projects and deadlines that make exercise difficult to impossible if sleep also has to happen that day, weekend work... and so on and so on and so on. Somewhere there is a balance of you taking care of your work and your workplace and the people at work taking reasonable care of you.  No, not nannying.  But maybe not shipping in pizza and donuts to meetings.  Maybe getting rid of the 12-hour workdays and the vending machin…

After a Little Help.

"Oh, no, you just want my picture on the blog and that will embarrass me!"  But he conceded that the embarrassment is worth about $1.50 and so here you go. Emperor says he wants YOU to send money to him right now as well.

Is This How I Wear My Hat? I Think So.

And he's serious.  And he says it with such a straight face.  And see how he's perplexed as to why I said, "Awwww!" and took his picture.  Awwww!  Notice the little narrowed "why are you documenting this" eyes.  I don't know how to put it, but Emperor is so straightforward and serious that he is creative without realizing it.

Catchall Drawer Post

1.  I recently heard that Barbie trashed her dream house.   This is sad, sad stuff.  I always thought Barbie wasn't nearly so perfect as she looked, but then, I also know that there really are people whose lives are almost very nearly perfect.  Poor Barbie.  Everyone keeps projecting dysfunction of every sort on that chick.  She still looks good, though.

2.  Also sad?  Republican candidates for president.  I'm starting to panic about the economy because it seems the Republicans are purposefully putting up real losers as contenders.  Call me paranoid (twitch!) but I think they really want whoever is going to be in office (coughObamacough) to take the blame for how crappy things turn out these next five years or so.  I mean, seriously.  Gingrich wasn't even all that special in the 90's.  He and Romney are just recycled semi-bland wannabes.  Behh.

3.  On a way brighter note, Emperor earned enough $5 chess coupons for winning tournaments to buy his own brand-new digital ch…

A Note From My Dad

Reprinted here with permission:

Believe it or not, this is the home my father grew up in at Towanda, PA. Built in 1876 by my great-great grandfather William Ronan. I visited here every summer until I was married. My "Uncle" Teddy Whyte and Aunt Mary Barron lived here long after Big Gram (Margaret Ronan) and Little Gram (Bridget Barron, my Dad's mother) passed away.

The house was painted white then, but seems little changed. A scary place .. Especially the root cellar and barn out back .. A barn my Dad raised his rabbits in as a boy.

The house is at the very top of the immensely steep hills above the Town of Towanda.. And you can see the slate slag behind the house as the mountain crested. Big Gram used to drag Don and I up the hill ... with buckets ... to pick blackberries for her jam and wine. We were exhausted by the effort ... which didn't affect her ... dressed in her all-black mourning clothes and lace and black button shoes ... and she was 104 years old!

Don (m…

Working for a Living

When I was a kid and worked at menial jobs, I noticed that the people I worked with went out of their way NOT to go out of their way.  At the end of their shift, they'd clock out and that would be the end of it. 

One of my close relatives used to say well, that is why they are IN these sorts of jobs.  See how they are talking with their friends instead of organizing shelves or seeing if that customer over there needs help?  Or that lady.  You can tell she is talking with her boyfriend on the phone the way she is swooning about all over the place.  She needs to do that on her own time.  I'da fired her.

Another great thing he used to say was that employees should get sick on their own time.

I agree with this mindset pretty much.  If you're at work, you're supposed to be working.  Really working.  Not giggling with your friends or chatting on the phone or flirting with some guy who "happens" to come to the store when you are working.  Get moving.  I can't s…

Homeschool Slump?

Are you in one?  Seems as though everyone is re-evaluating their homeschool curriculum and schedule around this time of year.   New resolutions are being made on the 'web to actually GET OUT THE BOOKS and make kids read one or two by the end of this year.  I find it pretty funny because these writers are the people who were working hard already.

I do know some people who have literally scheduled their children's lessons into fifteen-minute increments (complete with page numbers in each subject for each day).  The problem with this way of thinking is that it just takes one sickness to totally screw up your schedule.  For the YEAR, baby.

I use the sticky note method.  I know you're tired of hearing about it, but seriously.  A sticky note to tell your child where to START in the book and where to STOP.  Move the sticky notes to new START and STOP positions at the end of the day.  Stick a worksheet into the book in question if you want one completed tomorrow morning.  Or whate…

Emperor's Test Results

I was floored that the kid received a "very superior" in the "verbal comprehension" subtest.  VERBAL COMPREHENSION??  No, really, they think that.  This is the kid who will walk right through doors that say "DO NOT ENTER" because he is exiting.  Does that sound like comprehension to you?  :p

But they can admit he also lacks "higher cognition skills to carry multiple objects, perform task in proper sequence or with multiple steps, and imitate actions."  Translation: he's smart but not smart enough to figure out how to carry stuff?  That is sooo... Emperor.  And so confusing.  Just... why.  But hello, this is why he is not allowed to go swimming or even use sharp scissors.  You might think I'm overcoddling but I'll just let you go ahead and think that and keep my kid alive and in possession of all his limbs for another day.

Anyway... I asked for testing because I was hoping that we would see some sort of offer to help Emperor with his …

Linky Luv!

Parents of public schoolers NEED this free guide to eduspeak

Harry is blogging again!  Missed you, Harry!  It's a great post on the poverty mindset and how much money is too much?  Enjoy.

Do you think that it is discriminatory to require a high school diploma for a job?  The discussion is over at Darren's place.

Virginia is crazy.  Most crazy people are harmless.  :)  Seriously, my goodness, I would have to do illegal drugs to get this kind of energy.

Unrelated to anything.  I am obsessed with this.  Click this and then "change cut" to 185 piece crazy cut.  Then try to solve the thing under the "average time."  I worked and worked and... why? but I worked a long time and now I can do it more often than not.  I was just determined.

You know a blog post is going viral with good reason when you read something like this.  You know... I don't blog a lot about it, but Woodjie has a lot of troubles and our kids have a hard enough road ahead of them without p…

Crazy Comment Monday!

It's a crazy video this week, but you will enjoy this one.  You know how when you were in school, you copied a few sentences out of an encyclopedia, changed a few words and wrote a conclusion sentence such as "I like birds alot," and that was your report?  In a similar vein, DESE ("Dessie," our state ed. department) slapped together this hilariously atrocious video for our enjoyment. 
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Ok, ok.  It's funny in an oh-so-unintentional way.  First off, the narrator never spent more than three days in Missouri, and at least two of those were likely spent making this bad film.  He sounds as though he is from "vaguely somewhere American" because he has a strong broadcaster accent.  Being "Missouri Proud," as the website suggests, means we need to outsource.
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But that alone doesn't make it obvious that DESE did a slipshod job.
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No, folks.  We need to make it more ridiculous than that.  We need to have a few shots of people cavorting outs…