Fish

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Appropriate....

This makes sense. And if you don't understand then you've never had to try to speak over the texting, movie watching and instagramming of today's youths.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New Year, New Cheerleaders, Same Old Songs

My second day of in-service leaves me tired, panicky and disillusioned. Once again we hear the praises sung of the same folks-largely folks who get a great deal of attention and support from all concerned. Once again we hear new mandates including programs that seem likely to make kids who aren't G/T or 504 or SpEd even more invisible than they are now. If you're a teacher you've probably seen this illustration of equality vs. equity.
Now in this scenario what is desired is for the participants to say that by taking the box from the tallest student and given a second box to the smallest one, it's providing "fairness for all." But as one of the faculty members pointed out, our data shows that we have almost equal numbers of G/T students and Special Needs students while 73% of our students aren't involved in any way at all with additional support or contact. Anyone who has had special education students parachuted into an already large class knows what happens next. The needs of the SpEd kid come first in every circumstance. Then ESL, 504 and G/T. Pity the average kid who isn't on the top or the bottom of anyone's list. If they get time at all it's usually for goofing off or acting up because that is just about the only way they get face time.

What advocates want us to say is that taking from the tallest ( or most gifted) kid is fair because then everyone is level. But in reality taking away advantages from the G/T kid actually is the same as taking away hearing aids from a hearing impaired student. Why should G/T kids get less in terms of funding, attention and time than Special Needs students who already get the lion's share of education budgets? I am shocked the parents of G/T kids aren't screaming. And they should be. This type of false parity not only limits the improvements of our best kids, but gives false appearance of achievement to the lowest achieving group.

In reality what happens is that in order to give the lowest group the appearance of "success" the supports and encouragement that could elevate the average and above average learners into bigger and better things are removed. In short, we are on a path to limit the best and brightest in order to appease the parents of those kids who will never work outside a shelter environment, indeed, if at all.
Idiocracy is real.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Killing Childhood

Below is my response to what I think is a very important organization. We have parents who are too involved in their kids lives in very unhealthy ways. The most obvious activity is sports, but other activities have their problems too such as when a girl not ready for pointe shoes due to her lack of ankle strength and muscle tone had her mother yell at my daughter who is degreed in dance and familiar with what a young dancer must do to prepare for the often challenging move to pointe shoes. It's just one example-I have many more.....

Here's the blog:
Changing the Game

Here's my response:
Whether it is dance, football or basketball parents have gotten way too involved in their children's lives and not in a good way. I've seen members of the PTA climbing the backstop at a LIttle League game screaming at the umpire. I've seen parent coaches claim that kids they knew were years older were younger for the sake of winning all the games. In one case, on my son's under 14 soccer team during a tournament, I watched as the father of the team's star player paced the field shouting commands often in direct conflict to the coach. The son, a truly skilled player, ran down the field heading for the goal and then his dad shouted. The kid stopped, glared at his dad and kicked the ball to a player on the opposing team. That kid never played soccer after that year. My own son, not a star, but a solid player, still plays as an adult and watches games whenever he can find them. Which player would you rather have on your college team?

And this is the problem. Parents are trying to game the system. They hold kids from Kindergarten in hopes they will be older, bigger and faster as a 19 year old on the football field. They sign kids up for multiple sports like the girl in my third period who had either select soccer or select volleyball practices or games every single day. It starts in grade school. Parents have 'activities' every day. There's no chance for playing with neighborhood friends without making an appointment. As a result, kids don't know how to create games on their own. It's a problem.

It is not that sports or dance or whatever your kid competes in is a bad thing, but in life it should not be the ONLY thing that defines your child. I think it is so sad when we have kids who are gifted artists or writers or performers who can't take those classes because their one focus is something else. Do we really want our kids to be so limited in life? One of the saddest cases was a beautiful girl who was an amazing artist and could have gotten a full ride at any of the elite design schools. She loved art. But Mom wanted her to play golf-a game she didn't like and wasn't very good at-because Mom read she could get a scholarship. This same Mom forced the girl to go to nursing school when the poor kid had no interest in the profession. Ten or so years down the road, this kid will burn out.

Kids need variety in life. This is the only childhood they will have. Parents need to stop living vicariously through their children. I hate the excuse "this is the child's choice' because children want to please their parents. Our children should not be held to the Victorian ideal of being tiny adults. As one of my athletes who was a competitive skater said "This is not my life, it is the life my parents want for me." She would be at the local rink from five to seven every morning and five to nine every night. We fought against child labor-but please tell me what the difference is with this kind of schedule?

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Race Industry

A commentary on a much lauded book of complaints by Tahnesi Coates.

Coates seems to be the epitome of the Liberal Victim, constantly seeking a single source to blame for his problems in life. There's not enough hot water-blame Whitey upstairs. There's no seats left for a Broadway show he wants to see-blame Whitey with money. There's black kids on the street vandalizing his car-blame Whitey. After awhile the habit becomes a litany and white people become the Judas goat for every thing he-the self appointed representative of Blacks Everywhere-has suffered in life. How he manages to blame being bullied and beaten by other black kids on white racism is about as logical as the use of N-word by rappers and wannabe thugs. Excuse me as a white woman for not caring anymore. While I will always seek to actively help individuals, I will risk the microaggression of not particularly caring about their ethnicity other than in an observational way. Also, I am personally tired to death of the assumption by black activists that there's some secret grant that all white folks get. I worked my way through school. Contrary to the John Hughes film imagery that seems to fuel Coates' ideas on how all white folks live, that is not reality. My dad worked until the day he died at age 75. Right now my husband has been unemployed for more than a year. My kids worked two or more jobs in college and are grossly underemployed considering their degrees. Yet somehow Coates, who I'm sure got a nice advance for his book of complaints and is compensated well enough to live in one of the most expensive cities in the world, believes because not everyone in the world smiles at him daily, he can blame entire swaths of humanity for his problems. I'm suffering from Grievance Fatigue and frankly cannot take time to worry about whether the feelings of wealthy black men are hurt because the white grocery cashier-whose feet and back probably hurt from standing for hours on end-didn't give him a cheery high five with his purchase.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Chattanooga Shooting

What should be obvious from this act of terror is that this administration has learning absolutely nothing since the very similar event at Fort Hood. Unarmed military personnel on their own turf are essentially targets and this administration, along with the others before them that condoned this policy (renewed in 2011) of denying personnel of their sidearms while on base. This is a deeply flawed policy based more on the fears of anti-gun advocates than in reality. Evidently we have learned nothing from the reality of Ft. Hood and the Navy Yard shootings.

As to the shooter-there was one big clue. He was fired from his job for failing a drug test. Currently our administration has taken draconian measures to "decriminalize" drug use. Just this week the president went to El Reno facility in Oklahoma to register another statement that we should not judge those who indulge in what is criminal behavior such as drug use. Drug use while on the job is a huge issue. There have been videos of union workers at auto plants toking at lunch-a very dangerous stunt considering the machinery they are using. There have been cases of bus drivers and train engineers indulging to the detriment of all on board. Like it or not, drug use is a bad thing when combined with high skill programs. The shooter was fired and that is justified. What is also a problem is that nobody seems to want to ask the shooter's family why they didn't show concern for his seven month stint in Jordan. Most people would be troubled that their son was dropping out of a career and heading to a region that is dangerous. The shooter's father was investigated and perhaps terror networks found this too dangerous for them to use him as an asset in place. But an electrical engineer working at a nuclear power facility could be someone placed to do significant harm on a larger regional basis.

At this point, if the shooter was meant to do something at the nuclear facility, his dismissal ended that possibility. His desperation to prove his worthiness to be part of this terrorist network may have led to what was really a rather haphazard albeit effective plan of shooting up recruiting centers where due to publicity he would have known the personnel were unarmed. He probably didn't consider collateral damage.

Let's revisit the drug use issue. There's been a great deal of confusion over what would compel upper class, educated men and women from here and abroad to risk everything for the sake of a cause that seems little more than a death cult. Back when the Silk Road was a major East-West trade route, assassins would attack trade groups exacting horrendous mayhem in the process. The word "assassin" comes from the same rootword as "hashish"-the attackers of trade trains would get high so that their cruelty and carnage was masked in a haze of smoke. I wonder how many of these various terrorist attackers have been given high grade, uncut drugs with the goal being to enthrall them physically via addiction while at the same time creating the kind of psychological atmosphere where a normal kid raised in a western home would think it makes sense to kill people at random.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Getting Political: On Trump

I am very wary of Donald Trump. His history doesn't align with what he's saying now. Granted, anyone can have an epiphany and change their direction. It happened to St. Paul on the road to Tarsus. But I don't think that's what is happening here. As Obama consistently pushes the Democrat party to the Left, I think that Trump's goal is to push the Republican party to the right to the point where voting for them is untenable. Trust me, as a Texan I see first hand the collateral damage to the economy and individuals from unchecked ILLEGAL immigration. That the Republicans have not created a message that differentiates between legal and illegal immigration demonstrates how we have ceded the message to the media and the Left. 

Having said that, I am angry as anyone out there. The attacks on free speech, religion and security are personal affronts. I believe the White House, in particular Jarrett, have very skillfully selected cases that they believe can inflame national angst and push for action. Only in two cases has this not worked. In McKinney, where a large group of out of control teenagers invaded a private HOA pool, "someone" sent out of work protester Deray McKesson to stir things up. By and large it didn't work and the push back after finding out that the gathering was a recruiting tool to get underage women to dance for much older men at unsupervised gatherings rather cooled the heat. Likewise the absolute wisdom of people in South Carolina after the tragic shooting of nine people defused what I am sure the White House hoped would be more days of rioting and demands. 

So what do we need to talk about? All these actions hide a shell game of distracting voters from the real issues. What needs to happen is we need to talk money. We are running out of money and the president can't cut programs or tax more without alienating his base and impacting whoever gets the DNC nod. So they are seeking more REVENUE STREAMS. Trump probably recognizes this. This is why there's talk about taxing churches, taxing Ebay (go look at th most recent TOS there if you don't believe it) and taxing other previously "safe" income outlets. This needs to be what our candidate discusses, circumventing the firebombs from the left. While Trump may be saying what some want to hear, we need someone who can implement those actions. He's not the guy.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sad

I just don't know how to make it through this anymore.
Our house is falling apart.
There's no money to fix it.
Because my husband can't find a job.
Because the economy sucks.
And it's me carrying the weight.
I am so tired
I am so tired
I am so very tired.
My heart hurts.