31 October 2011

Cyberschools: the 800-Pound Gorilla of School Choice!


 Weapons of Math Destruction (used w/ permission)

"Cyberschools are the 800-pound gorilla of the choice movement, although vouchers and charter schools get a lot more attention." 

The National Education Policy Center claims that online education should be regulated - heavily - and has even offered "model legislation" for states to use in reining in perceived problems.  

The report outlines what I feel to be some legitimate problems with cyberschools using state funds.  Boodles of tax money - to the tune of 70% of a standard public school education - should not go toward businesses that throw recordings out in place of instruction, give little-to-no teacher interaction, and provide few safeguards to ensure the students have mastered the material.  That's robbery.  Many taxpayers also don't want to see teaching farmed out to some call center in India, as has apparently happened in the past.

But overall, the report is somewhere between incomplete and shoddy.  It offers no distinction between the various education providers and their curriculum, and none between the vastly differing demographics of (1) homeschoolers, (2) traditional public schoolers who are making up credits, (3) public schoolers who use online instruction because they live in a remote location, (4) public schoolers who use online instruction during an ongoing medical problem that precludes school attendance, and (5) public school at home charter students.  Reading this "proposed policy" business, it seems that all data remotely having to do with sitting in front of a computer was thrown into an old Tupperware container, shaken up, and presented as a comprehensive analysis potato salad at the educational choices picnic.  No one is eating that.

The authors also don't answer any fundamental questions about online learning and what would most benefit the students who are likely to enroll in a cyberschool.  For example, the report throws in an oddball statistic: only 3% of black students graduate from these charter schools. What does that mean?  Were most of these students behind when they began online instruction?  Did they approach online learning as some sort of last resort?  Were they "pushed out" because of low test scores which would punish their old schools under NCLB?  Something BIG has to be going on to come up with such an extraordinarily low number and likely have more to do with the public schools these children likely came from than the online learning experience.  But without more information, that's simply a guess.

There are other tipoffs throughout the report that would point to bias, such as the worry about how much "intergroup contact" is needed for virtual schoolers to experience the "improved intergroup relations" that occur in your local public school. They're also quite worried about whether special needs students, who have wildly varying needs, should even be allowed to have online schooling as an option at all.  Just you nevermind the nature of a given person's special need and/or the supports that would be available to that student in conjunction with an online learning program.

This is the sort of thing that passes for unbiased policy positions in the education world.

30 October 2011

Crazy Comment Monday!


Crazy Comment Monday!


 "I think that, as a subject, there is this something that only an older generation has and the young people do not possess. It is because they lived that much more. We should respect them and learn from them," says Gaichi Kono.  I mean, you could learn sooo much from the old man who has been cast in the film he directed.  It's called "Forbidden Elder Care."

Yyeah.  Scrub that.

Apparently, the old-fashioned bad girl at school theme isn't interesting in porno land any more and there is an entire "old man" collection of films.  And the market for them is described as "bullish."  Ew.  It's all in Japanese, though, so I don't know how well it translates.

Nevermind.

**

In other news, have you ever felt like committing suicide by jumping into a large body of water and letting bunches of worms crawl out of you?  Just asking.

**
And now for an "Overheard at My House" part of the post.  That's right, crazy stuff that has to happen while poor D is in charge!  Are you sure you want to keep reading?  Poor D.   He's feeling very sick, has already been to the doctor and gotten shots and antibiotics, and is considering visiting again next week.  Do you know how sick most guys have to be to do that?  Aww.

D has been puttering about the house, muttering things like, "but I just did laundry," grumble grumble, and "I just got done feeding everyone and cleaning up after the last mess, and now it's time for them to eat again..." and so on.  He also has discovered that I pay bills a little oddly.  "What is up with giving the credit card company $2,000?  We didn't spend $2,000!"  Sigh.  All my methods are now being questioned.  I have to write my checks with even dollar amounts, you see, as it bothers me to put in the odd pennies and transcribe all those numbers.  Just easier to write bunches of zeroes!  D is a bit outraged because if I spent $1,002 under my system, the credit card company would get $2,000 the next month.  I think that's ok though, because then the next bill won't be so high, right?

29 October 2011

Does This Guy Deserve a Punch?


At first, I thought that the guy was out of hand for punching the obnoxious dude in the local Target.  But my husband made me think about it from a different perspective:  these people were obviously disabled, minding their own business, and some guy comes around and farts in the lady's face not once but twice without provocation of any kind.  And they're running around videoing it and thinking it's funny.  The husband comes out swinging and nearly got arrested for battery.  But what if he did nothing?  What if they just sat there and dealt with the unpleasantness?  Bet you they would be up for more and more "farting" in the face and all kinds of nasty treatment.  If they called the police or store security, think anyone would do anything about it?  Of course they wouldn't!  So, these folks had a choice: be victims, and get ready for more bullying, or slug the dude and hope ya don't go to jail.  I don't know.  This video is obviously up for everyone's mocking pleasure in any event.  There ought to be some sort of rule against videoing and broadcasting people who are minding their own business like that, but I guess there isn't because it's a public place.  Still.  It just doesn't seem right that the video is up; unlike those TV "hidden camera" silly videos, they likely don't have the permission of the people being taped.

The Spoon

We don't really use it...
A dear friend in New Zealand sent us a decorative wooden spoon.  It's handpainted with a native flower and a city name.  I can't really use it; it looks like it is for show.

I thought about it for a fair while.  I was a bit reluctant to put it up and Emperor asked why.  Well, I've read far too many blogs and the like where the parents beat their kids with wooden spoons and then hang the spoons up as a reminder to the children that the next whoopin' is conveniently reachable by Mom 'n Dad.  So that's why.

"Are you SERIOUS?" he asked. (Is his voice starting to change? Because it just cracked.)  "People hit their kids with spoons?  And then put them on the wall?  Like, which people and what are their names?"

Well, I never said the world was normal.  Sigh. But I wound up hanging up the spoon.  I mean, it's a cute souvenir.  I shouldn't be afraid that random people are going to think I am beating my children with decorative objects just because OTHER people beat THEIR children with decorative objects, right?  I should be able to enjoy this just because it makes me happy to think about my friend when I look at it in the kitchen.

There it is.  Not long after, I overheard Emperor explain to someone about "beatings with wooden spoons."  Sometimes I think I should just never explain anything to anybody.

27 October 2011

A Random Post

1.  We need to start a "Keep CHRIST in HALLOWEEN" campaign.  I want people to contribute to my Christian organization and get all OUTRAGED that there are no Christian Halloween symbols at the local FoodMart. It is just not right that corporate America has decided that Wiccans with really bad skin get to represent this holiday.  We need to take back the land, people.  Bumper stickers are $10 each.  We don't have enough time to organize a really great call-in and boycott campaign, but next year, look out.  I'm already seeing the "Keep CHRIST in CHRISTmas" business on my friends' facebook walls.  I'm not sure if I should be entertained or join in the um, fun by reposting...  I was gonna go for "Keep THANKFULNESS in THANKSGIVING," but that didn't go well with a list of demands, so...

2.  Went out today with a friend, who REALLLLY needs to update her blog because if I told her stories, no way you would believe me.  They are that cray-zee.  I have entertaining friends, ok?

Anyway.  All I did was leave the house, get in her car, get out of the car, eat breakfast and then come home.  I am sooo exhausted.  I think I even overcompensated sitting in the plushy chairs and hurt my back.  Really.  Recovery takes longer than you would expect.  And PS, I will make the worst old lady ever.  I WILL be slow and I WILL complain a lot.  Also, apparently future me will evaluate restaurant meal choices by such criteria as, "Will this constipate me?  Because I need to poop sometime this week."  (Please do not let me get old.)

3.  To complete the random-ness of this post, I would like to talk to you about a game inspired by the Dukes of Hazzard show character, Enos.  It was made up by my little brother and male cousins and is called the Enos Penis game.

Ok, to play this game, you need a lot of bravery and a few household items. It's "1-2-3 GO" and then?  Run around and swack any opponent in the penile area with random household objects.  Last one standing is the winner!!

My aunt and uncle put a stop to this game after someone got into the metal rakes in the garage.



26 October 2011

Another Perspective.

Every now and then, it's helpful to have another opinion.  And sometimes you learn things you otherwise never would have known.

I've recently asked for special services testing for Emperor.  Mostly, I did this because I'm not getting any sort of a straight answer on "how to transfer an odd child into public school eventually, preferrably in a way that is not traumatic for everyone."  The school wants to quantify how odd, exactly, the child is and whether he "qualifies for services."  Hopefully they don't come back with a recommendation along the lines of, "Just send him to fifth grade next year and see what happens."

Sigh.  Welp, maybe he will qualify for bunches of stuff and maybe he won't.  When I get 'round to being up and mobile, I'll bring him in for a zillion tests and then we'll see what the school district has to say about my kid.  I don't feel particularly threatened by the process as 1. I started the process myself and can stop at any time; and 2. homeschoolers have a good plenty of rights in this state; and 3. our school district seems to think that homeschooling is the most boring, usual thing you could ever possibly do.  They get kids transferring in and out of homeschools all the time.  I know several families who cycle their children so that one gets personal attention at home (this is Jake's year to homeschool; next year it will be Tim's) or homeschool just during the elementary years.

Some people who live in heavily-regulated states have told me that testing is a very helpful process for them.  I don't know if these are the same people who would spend a gazillion bucks on the tests of their own accord, but they do say that they find some of the information helpful or at the very least, know that their children are on track in terms of what the children in public school are learning.

I am not teaching my child according to state standards, so I'm not going to be crushed if my child doesn't meet them.  But I think it will be interesting to see what they think about his handwriting, or his vocabulary and the like, and whether the process will give me any new insights, thoughts, or sense of direction in terms of his education.

Have you been through the process of testing your children, and what did you think about the process?  Did you agree with the results?  Were there surprises?  I'd like to hear from you in the comments just in general about testing and your children.

24 October 2011

It Must Be the Drugs.

So like, I'm on stuff but I still have my brains about me.  I think. 

I'm reading the news and in the news is a story, supposedly a very shocking one, about this lady who drank two 2-liters of Diet Coke each day.  Then she quit and it was a very big deal because of the health benefits of not drinking two 2-liters.  Is this news??  Because my husband can drink, like, four of those in a normal day.  Unless he is really thirsty; then it is more.  I suppose next up there will be a story about a lady who eats a bag of chips for a snack.  We will compare this nutritionally to the traditional candy bar snack.

Maybe the drugs are catching up with me that I don't think these are very exciting news stories.  I am just sort of mellow.

Just for the record, today my diet has been two doses of Miralax (hasn't worked yet, TMI, since last Thursday, but having gut surgery will do that to you), a bowl of grapes (also hasn't worked), two rolls with butter, a bowl of soup and a bowl of taco mix (meat, lettuce, etc.).  And three cups of coffee and a Diet Sunkist.  I think I should be in the news for that.  It is at least more interesting than two 2-liters of pop.  BORING.

I am just awake enough to look at all the news stories on the computer and then nap for a bit.  Then I wake up and look at more stories and catch up with my friends on facebook.  And then I nap some more. I think I am sleeping more than I am awake.  Maybe that is my job, just sitting around and healing. 

D has been buzzing about and taking the children to the doctor.  All the children are sick.  Emperor has one of those deep hacking coughs that frighten me to death.  I'd be afraid of turning inside out like an old sock if I started on a cough like that.  My stitches would pop and that would be it for me. Woodjie has an ear infection.  Rose has a fever.  What a mess we are! Poor D; I have left him to deal with all of that plus the kitchen dishes.  I am NOT going down there to catch what they have.

Also?  I don't want to go down there because then I would be tempted to straighten things up my way and I am supposed to be resting. 

Somebody write me a comment, would ya?  I'm bored here.  I will check comments between naps. :)

20 October 2011

The Flowers

Clearly, these flowers are not mine.
The scene:  I find a box by my front door when I return from running errands.  It's from a flower shop.

"It's not yours, Mom," Emperor assures me.  "Nobody sends you flowers."  Ah, but my name is on the box.  Inside the house it goes.

Emperor trails me as I set it on the counter and peek all over the box for a return address.  Nope.  Just the flower company.  Bummer.  I get a knife out to open the box.

"MOM!" Emperor yelps.  "It's not yours.  These are someone else's flowers.  You should put them back where you found them.  Or maybe give them to one of the neighbours.  It's probably theirs..."

But... my name is on the box.  So I open it.  Emperor cringes.  I look in the packaging for a card.  I look in the vase.  I peel the flowers out of the box to look for a card -

"Just put them back!  I don't think these are your flowers.  You shouldn't open them!"

*crinkle crinkle*

And I cut the stems according to package directions over someone's objections ("You're CUTTING them now?  MOM...") and put them in the vase with some water and flower food.  Sigh.  At this point Emperor is resigned to the inevitable; Mom has obviously stolen and damaged the flowers.  Then I called the company to find out who sent them. 

It's from my mom and dad!  Thanks, Mom and Dad!  See?  These ARE my flowers.  :)

17 October 2011

Weight Loss Wednesday!

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

I've not been doing well and scared to death to eat.  So six of these pounds?  I lost them just in the last week.  Thought I'd post this now because I don't mean to gain any of them back and *somehow* magically I won't if I post it here, right?

Ok.  Seeing the surgeon again tomorrow.  I am most unwell; hopefully we can get me in and out of the hospital soon.  There is certainly no way I will be able to wait until mid-November, though at this rate I'd be looking realllly good if I tried.  :)

16 October 2011

Not OK Here.

In the process of painting that kitchen, somehow I popped a hernia!  I had one before, had terrible time with surgery to tuck it in, and now it's back and worse than ever.  Nationals are off for Emperor, and for Elf, who had just received a scholarship to go with us.  We did have some sweet friends offer to take them, but D feels they are just not ready to travel that distance without us.  They've never been away from us for even overnight yet, so I guess that makes sense.

Still, I am devastated for them.  And pretty worried for myself, as the repair is going to have to be extensive (large area) and I don't do well with this whole process to begin with.  I'm hoping to hold out for surgery in mid-November, but this is looking less and less likely as the weekend goes on.

Just pray for our family, would you please?  D is going to have to do everything and be in charge of everyone for a good long while when I get 'round to having the surgery.  All doctor appointments for everyone else cancelled.  No after-school chess or orchestra stuff is going to be possible.  We'll be in survival mode and since I won't be able to scrub or even bend well, the house is gonna look it.

Well, anyway, I am dreading going and very scared so would appreciate your prayers... thanks...

13 October 2011

The NEW Kitchen!


I got new windows for my kitchen sink area.  Painted the frame white.  Still haven't decided what to do with the backsplash bit under the window; am thinking of small tiles instead of white paint.


 My house was built in 1964 and has almost all the original windows still.  I got tired of looking at bugs and cobwebs on the kitchen sink window and replaced it.  I couldn't clean it properly as the window didn't open well and I sure couldn't clean it from the outside as it is very high above the ground.  This should be much easier; the windows tilt in and have real working latches!  You can't let an event like that just go without fixing up other things nearby.  Do you like the colour of my NEW kitchen? I chose it to go with my Polish pottery.  Technically, yellow would be the best colour but it would look absolutely hideous with my black appliances and wouldn't "transition" from the stone brown in the next room very well.  So there you go.  No more squinting and bobbing my head about to see what is going on in the back yard.  It's so bright and airy, and I will enjoy looking out my window when winter comes... there is nothing like being able to see the view without having to feel the weather sometimes.


Blurry picture, but gives a nice overview of the kitchen. 

Bye-bye, gross-o windows.

Of course the Polish pottery stays in the same place.


11 October 2011

I Eat a Two Oh-eos!

"I make it a poop!  I two cookies!  Yayy!"  WOWW, I think Woodjie has finally figured this potty thing out.  We are almost done with day three of zero accidents.  Yayy!  Do you know what a big thing this is milestone-wise for Woodjie?  I'm so proud of him, and relieved as well.  I was concerned we would start elementary school with pull-ups.  Still have a way to go before we can count the hurdle finally crossed, however.  He has yet to do what he needs to do at preschool or on shopping trips, etc.  But wow.  This means we can finally switch to underwear.  Today's selection is Thomas the Tank Engine.  :)

07 October 2011

Assorted Stuff Post

What do you think about Lily, the "poverty-stricken" Muppet?  Should 4- and 5-year-old kids hear about "food insecurity" and the evils of the multinational corporation?  Help Elmo get out to the protest? (Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Occupy Wall Streeeeet?)

I say we have a super-rich kid on Sesame Street as well.  He doesn't talk to the other kids on Sesame Street very often; he goes to the private school with the rich kids on the next block.  The neighbourhood is changing because families like his are buying buildings and renovating them and not only that, they get to do so without paying taxes on their property for 20-odd years.  It's called "TIF."  Can you say that, boys and girls?

Some of the stores are leaving because Wal-Mart is now a mile away. In our latest episode, Grover does some SUPERRR-browsing at amazon.com and realizes he does NOT need to pay $45 at the local Mom-n-Pop when he can get the same item for $35 plus free shipping.  Big Bird has a girlfriend move in with him, but Snuffy finds some dirt on her on one of his facebook friends' pages.  The pictures are coming up in the next episode.  Later in the season, Ellen DeGeneres helps Ernie and Bert make an important announcement!

I dunno... I guess I just want my puppets cute and funny and teaching me alphabet letters.  I get enough reality during the other 23 hours of the day. 

**

Is it unethical for Mom to do Junior's homework?  Joanne Jacobs' post inspired a LOT of comments.  The snippy tone of some of these "educators" on the crapfulness of the parents they have to deal with (oh the trials!) just make my eyeballs almost pop out from all the rolling.  I suppose my short answer would be that they shouldn't help, but until "education" is no longer compulsory, I sure wouldn't call it unethical.  "Subversive" would be a better term.

**
Ms. Cornelius at A Shrewdness of Apes blogs against the Missouri facebook law.  Yep.  Here, teachers are somehow not allowed to be "friends" with kids on facebook in some twisted effort to keep kids safe.  I'm way more concerned about the other teens than the teachers, but ok. Instead of the current law, "how about making it illegal for districts to cut deals with miscreants who have crossed the line-- for instance, in exchange for a resignation, the district writes a neutral recommendation, merely pawning off creeps onto the next unsuspecting school district faster than you can say 'pedophile'"?  Hm, that sounds like common sense to me, which means likely it will not be law in the near future.


**
How about a math puzzle?  Can you solve this?  I was able to without the fancy-dancy stuff they recommend in the "answer" link.  I think it is prolly just basic algebra.

**
Is that a condom in my hair, or are you just disgusted to see me?  Verified by snopes.  :)

**
Finally, Saturday is NATIONAL CHESS DAY!  I put this link last because some of my readers are complaining that I post too much chess crap.  *shrug*  I guess this isn't your holiday, then.  Emperor and I will be going to an all day chess thing, complete with sleepover.  Elf will not be going because he is in trouble for whatever it is he did in school this week.  Sigh.

The New Clothes

Elf took some special pains to be presentable in this picture.  He put on an extra swoop of deodorant and has done his hair himself.  I am not allowed to touch his hair or even get close to him until the picture is taken, he tells me.  Emperor will let me hug him, and he didn't bother to comb his hair (he has to be reminded, and I forgot).  The picture, he says, is all about the shirt so the rest of that stuff doesn't matter. 

06 October 2011

The Emperor's New Clothes!


Well, here's the "before" picture.  Emperor kept getting snapped at about his "froggies" showing.  BUT Emperor said that no matter HOW TIGHT he makes his belt, his pants don't stay on!  He's having a lot of trouble with this!!  Well.  It could be because 1. the belt is not in the belt loops, 2. the button is broken, and... 3. the zipper is broken.  To complete this ratty picture?  There are gaping holes in the knees that have been patched with old denim jean pockets.  BUT! Now Emperor has some new clothes.  My chess mom friend Laurie has given me three bags full of really niiice clothes.  I was really happy but Emperor?  I wish you could have seen that little kid dance and ask several times whether the clothes were "for absolutely free."  Next time the kid shows up at the club he will be looking "gangsta."  (That is, I suppose, what young people say when they mean "snazzy.")  
Part of Emperor's haul.  Some was rushed upstairs for immediate use after bath.
Emperor was impressed that there were brand names in his stuff.  This brand is "guy swinging a vacuum." He has seen it somewhere else before.

03 October 2011

Crazy Comment Monday!

"We need more teachers willing to take risks, take chances and think out of the box. Too many are fearful of making waves or losing their jobs so they simply go through the motions and don't make any waves, graduating kids that should be held back..."

Sounds like a normal comment, doesn't it? Well, it does until you read the article it references. A teacher makes kids put cotton balls with vinegar on 'em in their mouths and chew them as punishment.

"I remember teachers making kids stick gum on their noses. Humiliatio­n was a good disciplina­ry tool back then," quips another commenter.

Blazen52 writes:

"Personally­, I applaud her for her work and creativity­. Vinegar would only cause discomfort and not any serious bodily harm as long as they were not allergic. People need to understand that there is little you can do to get through to these students that require special attention, and sometimes you need to resort to alternativ­e means of punishment to state your point. Most schools allow 'alternati­ve' punishment­s to normal students such as paddling if the student wished to take that instead of an in school suspension­, and last I checked, prior to enrollment of a school, there is a paper that asked the parents if they were willing to allow these 'alternati­ves' be used if necessary, and hey, it worked! Ask those kids if they didn't think twice before they committed the same act again."

It isn't just one comment supporting one teacher who had a little oddish disciplinary technique that concerns me. It's an overall lack of sympathy for children who are admittedly not perfect. In my opinion, about half the commenters on the article were at least nominally eligible for Crazy Comment Monday. Congratulations, World. You stink.

02 October 2011

The Mystery Soccer Score

We're playing soccer.

"Suppose, during the game, that no one can see if the ball goes into the net on a shot on goal; only the official scorer can see this but the result is not reported during the game. Finally, imagine if the only feedback players and coaches get from the game is delivered four weeks later as a final score. Who would improve under such a system? Who would meet soccer Standards other than gifted players under such a system? Yet this is how assessment works in school: there is little correlation between local grading and state standards and tests, feedback from standards-based tests comes too late to use for improvement, and there is too little detail in the feedback."

Ok, I like this idea of returning the tests to the children and showing them which answers they got wrong... maybe having the teacher take a class period to discuss why most kids got problem three incorrect. But I have a real problem with where the blogger *seems* to be heading: toward the standardisation of teacher evaluation and even the classes themselves in order to align with state testing objectives.  I'm imagining the teachers' unions should (and I'd agree with 'em for once!) fight that idea tooth and nail. 

But the streamlining of classes to help students pass state tests?  I suppose one could argue that everyone is already TRYING to align themselves with state testing objectives... that that is a given... and that standardising the classes themselves so that students perform well on the tests simply makes the process more efficient.

Beh.  I would like to see my local teacher make up her own class, and her own assessments for the class.  It would be nice if the teacher were told by the school board (not the state!) that this year in second grade, we'd like the children to be able to multiply two-digit numbers and tell time, please.  Go do that however you want to do that.

And then Mrs. Smith goes off, chooses her curriculum and figures out how to make all her students able to accomplish this goal.  I know some children won't make the goal but mostly?  No reason Mrs. Smith shouldn't be able to teach from her fave textbook.  I don't like how every third grade classroom contains all the same materials.  There's just no escape that way.  I could move across town and find my child is using the same crapola I didn't like in the last school.  Blehhh, and my child would be doing all the same stuff in the same order and there would be no surprises. 

When I was a kid and I moved?  They'd surprise you.  You just never knew if you'd arrive ahead or behind the game.  Some places even had new numbers and letters like "Zed" and "Ought." 




01 October 2011

Do What Ya Gotta Do.

It's either ingenius or poor parenting.
I don't know what to say lately.  I feel like I'm not 23 any more and I don't have the energy for deep cleaning too very often.  I don't have the energy for blog controversy, either.  I even started a new blog about homeschooling Emperor that is entirely controversy-free.  It's just about... homeschooling Emperor.  That's all.

Take a wild guess at the blog URL and see you there if you find it.

Anyway.  Lately I've been digging into the children's bags of hand-me-downs and getting ready for the change of seasons.  I took a picture to share with you.

Here's a little peek into what "large family living" is really like.  Mom rips the doors off the ol' closet and sets up a shelf like this from which the children select all their clothes.  Elf and Emperor share this shelf and their underwear and socks are in the milk bin.

Some of the things that I think will fit toward the END of winter season are stored in a tall dresser nearby.  I simply cannot dive, midseason, through 50 garbage bags full of clothes to find something only slightly larger than what's already out...

Each child has one pair of shoes, one pair of sandals for summertime, and one pair of winter boots.  No extras, sorry.  As it is having 16+ pairs of shoes in my entryway isn't the first impression I like to make on guests.  (I have no guests, but since I am blogging, I am *pretending* that part.)

In truth, my basement looks like something out of Hoarders, tenth season, where the producers get really desperate and start interviewing families whose problems aren't quite 183 dead cat bad, but bad enough that you feel better about your own cleaning and organizing skills when you are finished watching.

Well, what's been up with you guys?

Star Trek Roller Skating!

Woodjie LOVES the audience.  I made these little outfits for the children and they danced to the Star Trek: Next Generation theme...