There appears to be a big stone head hovering over Kathleen's! I confessed earlier this morning to the fact that I don't think K has even been righteously Zardozed! I know ZRM was hankering for one at his new place, but he's already getting hundreds of comments... besides, you can't ask for one, you've got to wait until the stone head of fate hovers in your general direction... he knows that!
Also, since the usual suspects seem to be scarce these days... fish, you might actually have to ante up comment or two more than your usual 3. Don't hide behind your, "I do important work for a living! I don't have the time!" We've seen how many useless links you cast out upon the blogging waters during the day. We don't buy it.
I could hear my neighbor working in her yard today, singing along with the radio... and what did I hear as I approached? "Gimme summer lovin'..." I could not stifle all chuckling. I tried. She asked what I was laughing at when I replied, "Were you singing "Gimme summer lovin'??"
Well yes, yes she was. I was informed it was a classic. I said I was familiar with the song, but was pretty sure it was "some" lovin', not just summer lovin'... because, you know, lovin' is good year 'round.
She thought about it, but said she was pretty sure it was summer... I asked what the difference was?? Did she mean a short romance that only lasts the summer?? Or was summer lovin' "hotter"?? She paused... and pondered, and said she wasn't sure... It was at that moment that a bad, bad poem, from an inappropriate, former co-worker popped into my head and I had to leave before doing anymore damage to neighborly relations:
When the weather is hot and sticky
That's not the time to dunk your dickie.
But when the frost is on the pumpkin,
That's the time for dickie-dunkin'.
God, I can't believe I even remember that... but then I remember so MANY things he said to clients because he was so inappropriate!!!
Also... a shout out to Steve Winwood... my neighbor would like you to know... YOU'RE SINGING IT WRONG!!!
Since I'm busy as sin these days, and since the Eldest Lamblet needed to vent her spleen, I said if she put it on paper, I'd post it. The following is EL's rant. She's ready for summer. Too bad there will be summer school...
She's tough, but I'll ask that you be gentle in the comments. She's 15 and I'm a mother... need I say more. :) Also... let's hope cutting and pasting from Word works... if alignment is all screwed, it will just have to stay all screwed...
All problems in society can be easily traced back to one factor: education. It is with education that our next generation of leaders, diplomats, and, most importantly, problem-solvers arises. Thus, if the education is less than stellar, so is the quality of society. I believe that most of today’s problems can be attributed to a poor educational system. For a first world country, the very country that put a man on the moon, fought the British Empire and won, and is the homeland of many prominent thinkers, our schooling systems aren’t very impressive.
The average American school system is an oxymoron. It is flexible yet unbending as steel. It is known to be a very easygoing system, yet the number of overstressed and anxiety ridden students escalates. So here’s the question: where are we going wrong? One of the reasons that statistics are all over the place is because of a very simple fact. All students are different, and we all approach learning differently. If you take a student that is a self-disciplinary, has a strong work ethic, and puts a high value on education, odds are they will do fairly well in the system. If you have someone who doesn’t see the direct effects of poor grades and no one (including themselves) has tried to advocate for them, then it is a completely different story.
The first student will do well enough to get through the system, but will they prove to do as well in the real world? Yes, knowing how to pass the ACT, SAT, and PSAT is an achievement that many colleges prize, but are we instilling a love, a dream, or innovation? A love and appreciation for art is not instilled by taking a multiple choice test on the techniques of Georgia O’Keefe and Vincent Van Gogh; it is built by the process of picking up a paint brush and happening upon the realization that, “Gee, I wonder what lead him to smear the paint like that,” or, “I see why she found this pile of skeletons to be beautiful.” Likewise, an opinion is not formed by rote. Creativity cannot be fostered in a cage. An ACT prep book will never be able to tell you why gay rights movement is important, wrong, or otherwise. We can write down the quadratic equation until the cows come home, but the importance isn’t earned until we actually use it. The things we learn in class are beautiful, but we corrupt their beauty by making them only textbook facts. Knowing how to “win the system” may give us short-term success, but what benefits do we really reap from artificial knowledge?
The second student sees the flexible side of the system. “Homework is an important part of education, and education is important to my future. Ergo homework is important. However, important things are cherished and enforced, so every time my teacher ignores a late homework assignment or just wheels me down to detention, they are diminishing the importance of my future,” says the second student. Not every student is treated the same. We expect more from the student that continually does as they are asked, and we expect less from those who don’t. I have seen more than one person make it through the educational system without really learning anything, and it is a cold and sad day when they are dumped into the real world and have none of the preparation to guide them. There is a chance that they will pull themselves up and be successful, but it’s a much longer and rockier trail to traipse through.
Another problem with our system is the “more is more” mentality that it abides and its failure to value efficiency. Any person who has at some point learned chemistry most likely knows about balancing equations. Every chemical reaction is a precise recipe with measurements down to the atom. When you learn to balance an equation, you learn that just because you poured more of A into B doesn’t mean you’ll get a larger reaction. Rather, that the most successful explosion is one that is created based on proportions and balances. For example, one can seem logical and say, “Homework makes me smarter.” So, it would also be logical to then say, “The more homework I do, the smarter I will become.” Then, theoretically, if I do eight hours of homework, I am eight hours smart. However, there is more to it than the homework itself. Obviously, if I did eight hours of nothing but homework, I would be starving and I’d probably have to go really badly. With all of this distraction, easily half of this “homeworking” is rendered useless. Also, if all I need to do to get the concept hammered in is twenty problems, then I’m not learning any more by doing the ten surplus problems. In fact, if I’m doing eight hours of homework it’s harmful to my education. I spent precious hours I could have used sleeping not learning and not resting for my next day of work. The rush to get work done isn’t giving me time to eat properly, so either I’ll grab something quick that probably isn’t healthy, or I just flat out won’t eat at all. The homework that takes thirty minutes may not seem like the direct better choice, but if it is more concept intensive than the rote method then it is more efficient and ergo more helpful.
As often as the administration blubbers about how much it cares about its students, the fact of the matter is we don’t want your synthetic empathy. We don’t feel better just because you say you care and are thinking in our best interest. If you really care, you’re going to make it so we actually do feel better. All of the kids who have a constant need to release stress or anger will feel less of a need to do so if you address what’s causing the stress and anger. The boy who cried wolf eventually lost his credibility after he lied about there being a wolf so many times, and we don’t honestly believe you care about us if you keep saying everything is okay when it’s not and worse you’re not doing anything to fix that. Sometimes it’s not even that the schools aren’t doing anything; it’s that they aren’t doing something that will actually appeal to their students. Making some peer group to talk about their feelings on their bullying experiences isn’t nearly as good as cracking down on bullying to get it to stop.
That brings me to my final point which I’m going to try not to rant about. A big reason why a lot of kids don’t want to go to school is because school is not a friendly place. School is not the place you go to to talk about your feelings and feel accepted. I realize the world is not a very accepting place either, but that’s because we don’t hold it to a higher standard. Schools don’t put the same values on their students. When the school’s football team has a festival prior to state and the math team gets a streamer and a cookie, who seems more important? At my school during extensive summer training, the football team always gets the field, and the marching band (the ones who are carrying large, heavy, heat-conducting instruments) have to march on the black top. A school can’t change the social divisions of jocks, nerd, preps, and punks, but they don’t have to further it either. My school has some leadership/school improvement group that is pretty much a bunch of empty grandstanding and a nice looking thing to put on a college application. One of their talks was themed “Pathy Party” and it centered around sympathy and empathy. The main point of the lesson was that you’re not always going to catch someone at their finest and that just because someone doesn’t look like a star doesn’t mean they won’t shine like one. They talked about Vincent Van Gogh, one of the best painters of all time, and how during his lifetime he was pretty much a hobo who everybody hated. (At one point in his life they had to lock him up in jail for a night just so the villagers wouldn’t maim him) It also delved into the point that just because someone is combating depression, anxiety, or autism doesn’t mean they won’t do amazing things. I was almost impressed with my school when it was so blatantly interrupted by a girl who said, “But what if they’re just… bums? What if they have no ambition? Why should we give them a chance? This Van Gogh guy doesn’t seem like he did anything of importance.” After remaining silent almost all period, I had to break my silence to correct her. “No one is just a bum. Everyone has ambition. There are people who are sick, and because of that, their “ambition” may be temporarily impaired. We should give them a chance because they are people too, and you can’t guarantee they won’t do something astounding. That “Van Gogh guy” revolutionized art and created a technique that people to this day found beautiful. Just because you think he’s a bum, doesn’t make him worthless.” She scoffed at me and continued to spew intolerance. The way school has disappointed me the most is that it has cultivated an intolerant generation of people. Sure, a jock being mean to a nerd is a small scale action that probably won’t have a large impact on the world, but by not reprimanding those people, you are saying it’s okay for them to treat people like that. You are promoting inequality and intolerance. These are what I find to be the flaws of the American schooling system.
Female derwear. I refuse to use the p-word.They were nonchalantly draped on the neighbor's bush. No jokes, please... Said neighbor is in her 70's... these did not look like the derwear of a 70 yr-old. Other houses surrounding this neighbor's yard are also occupied by a couple of elderly women so I doubt they're theirs. Said derwear do not belong to this household either.
It was windy last night, but I don't think it was windy enough to blow your shorts off...
It was also cold last night... 19 degrees... I don't care how hot and heavy things got between whomever... 19 is too cold to frolic in nature.
It's too cold out for anyone to be line-drying.
Perhaps someone was still too full from Thanksgiving and decided going commando would be more comfortable... I don't know.