30 October 2013

Bad Touches Taught in School

 WARNING:  With a title like this, you know that some parts of this discussion may not be suitable for young readers.  Thank you.

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Today, I came across a horrid story about a little child who was locked in a closet for six long years.  She gained two pounds from the time she was two years old until she was eight.  Medical professionals weren't sure she'd ever recover.  The poor child's vagina was so torn that there was no separate anal opening, and she required several surgeries.

Just incredible bad, bad stuff.  And her siblings would be right there, playing nearby... I guess it was normal to them. 

All that to say, I "get" where books about sex abuse and terrifying happenings need to be printed for children.  It simply doesn't follow that these materials should be available in my child's elementary school for just any kid who grabs a random book off the shelf to read.
The student's mother allowed me to post this excerpt.

An acquaintance of mine on the East Coast is saying that No More Secrets for Me by Oralee Wachter was available for her seven-year-old in public school.  Just out for any kid to check out of the library. 

I haven't read the entire book (just the preview on Amazon linked above) but it looks like a great therapy or teaching tool for kids who have been through this sort of thing, to let them know they aren't the only ones to go through this.  I suppose some parents might also guide their children through a story like this in the hopes of preventing difficulties down the road.

"What makes me furious," my friend wrote recently, "is that they don't teach my seven-year-old child how to hold a pencil, how to spell, handwriting, or U.S. History."  And yet "they will tell me what foods she has to eat, how much she should weigh and apparently, give her books about sex without my permission!"

The school encouraged the child to write a report about this book.  The mom is (understandably) outraged.  

Happy Halloween, Fattie!

Oooh, your kid is fat.  So instead of giving him a treat this Halloween when he comes to my door, I'm gonna give him a note stating y'all have really failed him as parents, the community has failed him, and by golly, you ought to ration the rest of the candy in Tubby's bucket.

Really, there are people like this out there who can be this mean.

28 October 2013

Yippeee for ObamaCare!

What people in other states or countries don't understand is that every state has different rules, so you can't really say that ObamaCare is some really great thing that everyone needed.  Here, to qualify for Medicaid (free insurance with no copays), you have to own less than $1,000 worth of stuff for an entire family.  So we could all be homeless, but because we own the car we'd be sleeping in, no insurance for us.

What would make sense is expanding Medicaid qualifications, but that would require a huge cash outlay down the road for each state, so our state didn't go for that.  

But everyone is required to have insurance now.  Making people buy a product from a company whose executives earn more pooping in the bathroom than most of us earn in a month is not a heavy-handed government tactic.  It's just a "tax," and we should be used to that sort of thing by now.  So what's happening is that a lot of lower-middle class people are discovering they can't afford insurance and do the other things they like to do, such as eating and paying a mortgage. 

Our insurance is changing next year.  The upshot is that we're paying a lot more for less stuff, and we're thankful that we at least can afford to do that as long as no one actually gets sick.

27 October 2013

October Crafts

I got a large box of old-style computer paper for absolutely free at the Surplus Exchange.  If you're in the Kansas City Metro area, you're going to want to pop by and check them out.  They're selling old office chairs and desks for incredibly cheap prices as well this week.  What I like about the paper is that it's all one continuous sheet - you know, the old kind with the holes on the side for the printer knobs to grab as it rolls through the machine - and so it lends itself to crafts like these:

Rose loves painting so much, she says she's going to be an "art-er" when she grows up.  Woodjie was a bit upset at the idea of getting his hands messy, but eventually, he was ok with it and even enjoyed it just a little bit. 



Woodjie also makes super-cute crafts at school. He wants to tell you about the little monster he made recently. His teachers are into Pinterest this year.

25 October 2013

G Update

Tons of things have been happening with G, but I haven't blogged about them until now.  Since he's an adult, I'm going to be leaving a few things out as to respect his privacy, but I wanted my readers to know he no longer lives with us.

And that's a great thing!  G is very, very excited to have received funding and the help he needs to be much more independent.

G now lives in what I will call "Smallville" for blog purposes.  There is only one McDonald's and about three stop lights in the whole city.  It's somewhere around an hour away.  Close enough that we can visit him a couple of times a month, but far enough away that he is independent.  He's very excited about the new place, which he shares with another young man in his mid-20's.  There is usually a staff member nearby so that everyone is safe and can get to the store and what-have-you.

G even has a job and goes with his room-mate by bus to and from work each weekday.  There are also tons of activities.  He just got back from a vacation to Branson!

It took about three trips to move him out there with our van.  He had a couple of chairs and about a ton of sports gear.  We decided just to order him all new furniture, give G's old furniture to Elf, and save ourselves a lot of moving hassle.  The delivery people have just put in the finishing touches and he's pretty happy. 

Rose cried for several days after G left.  I think we have finally convinced her that G is happy where he is.  G has told her this on many occasions, that he WANTS to move out and he WANTS to be away from home.

Rose is a bit worried about that.  "I moving too when I being big?" 

Yes.  I think you will, Rose.  :)




23 October 2013

Sexy Homework for Fourth-Graders

So, what would you do if you found some other woman's hairclip, with some of her hair in it, under the bed you sleep in with your husband?  

Nevermind that. What would you do if this hypothetical situation were thrown at your fourth-grader for homework?  

The Arizona schoolteacher who assigned the work said she didn't bother to read the assignment and whoopsie/sorry in a hastily-sent email to parents.  Because saying "my bad" just fixes it and s'cool.  

I've no doubt some fourth-graders can handle that sort of hypothetical deductive reasoning without taking the assignments personally.  But seriously?  In public school?  I thought all these teachers couldn't sneeze without a committee forming about how to do that exactly right.  Guess not.
 

18 October 2013

Carolyn's Country Cousins Pumpkin Patch







We went to the pumpkin patch today and had a great time picking out our very own little pumpkins!  We also fed the goats and took a tour to see all the animals.

16 October 2013

The Actual Budget Negotiations

Democrats: We need to spend a lot more money to solve everyone’s problems.

Republicans: We should spend just a little bit less money to solve everyone’s problems.

Democrats: A lot, lot more.

Republicans: Only a lot more.

Democrats: If you won’t spend a lot, lot more, we will shut down the government.

Republicans: If you won’t cut back to just spending a lot more, we will also shut down the government.

Public: But you don’t have the money for any of this.

Both parties: We will borrow it!

Public: But we don’t want to pay for all this borrowing.

Both parties: You won’t pay for it. Your children and grandchildren will.

Public: Spend a lot, lot more!

Children: Hey, wait a minute!

Both parties: Shut up, kids. You can’t vote.
 -- Michael Farris, HSLDA Chairman, on facebook.

13 October 2013

Anatomy Lesson

Woodjie can speak, but sometimes the words are all garbled up and mis-pronounced, or he'll get the tenses and pronouns all weird.  You usually know what he's trying to tell you if you know him, though.  He's autistic and hey, we're working on the speech thing, but mostly we're just glad for every word he says.  We're grateful.

Today, Woodjie informed us that his "weenie" was hungry.  After a fair bit of a "WHAT?" and some investigation, we let Woodjie know that that is in fact his "tummy."  His "tummy" is hungry.  All I could think was, I am SO GLAD he didn't go to school and tell all his little friends that his "weenie" was growling.  :/

12 October 2013

Northland Knights 2013

Emperor and Rose played in the Northland Knights 2013 Tournament today.  Rose was able to draw two games out of five in her K-2 section and Emperor placed second in the K-12.  Because he played "up," he was not eligible for the grade level trophies.  But he did an awesome job and played some difficult players.
Lunch!

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10 October 2013

You Cannot Talk About Yourself

An autistic teen's IEP was not properly implemented.  He got in trouble for apparently sassing off at a teacher.  It's easy to do when you're overwhelmed, and if you have autism, often there are behaviour plans in place to keep you from getting that overwhelmed to start with.  His parents tried speaking with the superintendent about the IEP needing to be followed.  The super's office cancelled the meeting and refused to reschedule.

This is OCTOBER.  I don't know about New York schools but here, in four days we will have been in session two full months.  More than enough time to figure out how to implement a document and just generally get your stuff together.

Christian Ranieri went before the school board to complain, and they shushed him.  They couldn't legally discuss this during the meeting, and basically you need to shut up now, they told him.  They also yapped about staff's "rights" and bla bla bla.  Also?  Stop trying to see the superintendent.

"You go through three layers before you come to the superintendent," the superintendent blubbed.  And also bla bla bla bla.  Article.

I hope this gets resolved to the family's satisfaction, and more than that, I hope this district learns from its mistakes.  It's just not right that people should have to share their private business in public in the hopes that they can get what they deserve under FAPE.

Three-Second Rule? This is Gross.

Do you have a three-second or five-second rule about food on the floor at your house?  Here we have footage and a full write-up about whyy that might be a bad idea, complete with as-it-happened video.  Hint:  it wasn't food after all.

08 October 2013

Cloudmaking

Woodjie brought this home from school.  Under the flaps, he's drawn the cloud as well.  Isn't that a cute idea?

07 October 2013

Send Kids to School, Keep Your Job

Should school board members be required to send their children to public schools?

Abby Freedman was elected to a Florida school board last November.  She's since withdrawn her son from public school and is sending him to an expensive private school.

Do you think she should be required to quit her post or re-enroll her son?

Go to School, Get an iPad.

Our tax dollars pay for "incentives" for kids to show up to crappy Detroit schools on "Count Day," when enrollment numbers are collected for funding.  Charters attract a large number of area families, the local schools no longer have an easy monopoly, and the administration is feeling the fire under their butts.

“We have competition. I think we may have gained in market share" this year, Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Jack Martin said recently.  A news article relates that 90 percent of state funding is determined on "Count Day."

You'd think this would be a great thing.  Schools lose money if you don't show up.  So demand better things and tell them your child will be "sick" that day if they aren't delivered.   Schools are just like any other business in that they can piss off a sizeable minority of their "customers," but when a good number take their business elsewhere, it will hurt.

I have to wonder at any parent who would allow their child to get on the bus that day.  To think that the schools can offer crappy "education," year after year, and buy the kids off with an occasional bicycle or an iPad is insulting and disgusting.  These children deserve so much better.



06 October 2013

Kids Don't Know What Real Food Tastes Like

Everyone fought hard to get real beef to the students for their lunches.  None of this pink slime crap.

But the schoolkids complained that real beef wasn't perfect-looking in the middle.  Yep, that's because it didn't have caramel colouring.  It also didn't have enough taste, so the new-new and improved school burger patties now contain 26 ingredients.  Here's hoping at least one of them is beef.

It's sad.  I'm glad they're listening to the customer, but this is sad, sad stuff.  I don't think any of us can really trust what we're tasting.  This week I learnt that lots of kids actually eat beaver butt.

Oh I wish I were kidding.


01 October 2013

A Friend's Facebook Status

Maybe it's just time to privatize the government. Give all the corporate interests seats in Congress. Apportion the seats by revenue and just let them run the joint. Get rid of the middlemen.

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...