Her parents must be pretty strict. They reported her missing just because she wasn’t home by 9?
Her parents must be pretty strict. They reported her missing just because she wasn’t home by 9?
Via Philip Greenspun:
- people who are poorly educated are hired as schoolteachers
- teachers have limited autonomy (partly as a result of their low level of knowledge and ability)
- schools have multiple missions, only one of which is education, which leads to a loss of focus
- teachers and administrators dwell on student and family backgrounds so as to build up a catalog of excuses for poor educational outcomes
- parents are complacent regarding the low expectations set for their children
Let's just hope these tablets are better at raising our kids than cable.
— Paul Danke (@pauldanke) June 24, 2014
Sheryl [Sandburg] wrote the homage or essay or ass-kissing-memo or whatever we are calling the Time 100 writings, about Beyonce. Sheryl talks about how Beyonce has changed the music industry. She’s a leader in song and dance and performance. But there’s exactly nothing surprising until Sheryl adds, “Beyonce does all this while being a full-time mother.”
In that little sentence, Sandberg does something very big. Sandberg declares that you can have a full-time job and be a full-time mother.
This is convenient. Because now Sandberg is a full-time mom who spends some days away from the kids signing autographs. And running Facebook. And Beyonce is a full-time mom who spends some days away from her daughter on billion-dollar concert tours. So basically anyone who gave birth is a full-time mom regardless of how much of their time is spent on kids. Now we can all feel good about ourselves regardless of our choices.
They have dragged out their life in stupor and semi-sleep, they have married hastily, they have made children at random. They have met other men in cafes, at weddings and funerals. Sometimes, caught in the tide, they have struggled against it without understanding what was happening to them. All that has happened around them has eluded them; long, obscure shapes, events from afar, brushed by them rapidly and when they turned to look all had vanished. And then, around forty, they christen their small obstinacies and a few proverbs with the name of experience, they begin to simulate slot machines: put a coin in the left hand slot and you get tales wrapped in silver paper, put a coin in the slot on the right and you get precious bits of advice that stick to your teeth like caramels.
The stories coming out of this South Korea ferry disaster are wrecking me . . . I say that as someone who normally finds death interesting, especially on a large scale.
In 1957, The New York Times [published] two lists of skills. One was drawn from a corporate personnel manual, the other from a kindergarten report card:
List A: Dependability; Stability; Imagination; Originality; Self-expression; Health and vitality; Ability to plan and control; Cooperation.
List B: Can be depended on; Contributes to the good work of others; Accepts and uses criticism; Thinks critically; Shows initiative; Plans work well; Physical resistance; Self-expression; Creative ability.
A successful executive in 1950s America, in short, was expected to have essentially the same skills as a well-behaved four-year-old. (B is the kindergarten list, by the way.)
A woman is telling me about her two sons . . . they’ve grown up to be fine young men, she says. It’s disappointing, of course, that neither of them managed to finish high school but it was really unavoidable because the older boy was much smarter than his peers and so he was always bored and academically unengaged and finally dropped out completely, and the younger boy just imitated whatever the older boy did.
I’ve heard this type of woulda-coulda-shoulda before and I have to admit I’ve never been totally receptive to it: this happened . . . then that happened . . . the kid did such-and-such . . .
It sounds very passive. Parents aren’t supposed to be passive observers. There are intervention points every day. If things aren’t going in the right direction, you do something to take them in a different direction.
Look in any classroom in America . . . you’ll see kids with a range of abilities. Are you telling me that all of the smartest kids are destined to fail because they’re smart? That because they’re smart, they have no option but to get bored and check out and fail?
Lots of smart kids do very well in school . . . they get good grades and test scores and they go to good colleges. What is the difference between those kids and the kids who get bored and check out and fail?
Think about it . . .
Everyone can shut up about “let’s get more women into leadership positions.” Because they don’t want leadership positions. Or they’d get them. Obviously. Women want to have time for their kids. And leaders – especially top-down leaders – dedicate their lives to their work. There won’t be female leadership and male leadership. There will be people who lead at home and people who lead at work. People will take ownership of outcomes for the areas of life they care most about.
One of my colleagues at work has a son in 6th grade. She’s trying to figure out which math class to put him in for 7th grade.
Working backward, we know that “normal” kids take Algebra I in 9th grade, the smarter kids take Algebra I in 8th grade, and the smartest kids take Algebra I in 7th grade. Placement depends on how a kid scores on the math placement test.
My co-worker’s concern is if her kid gets a top score on the placement test and he’s eligible to take Algebra I in 7th grade, does she want him to do that, or to wait till 8th grade?
If he takes Algebra I in 7th grade, that would mean he’d be taking the hardest math classes all through high school. Would it be better from a college admission standpoint to take easier classes and get all A’s, or take the hardest classes and maybe get a B+?
Our kid has already been through the Irvine schools. He’s in college now so I can answer questions like this with the benefit of experience.
“I like to see kids push themselves to take the hardest challenge available,” I said. “Colleges are not impressed with kids who get A’s in easy classes.”
“But what if he takes hard classes and gets a B+?” she asked.
“My advice is, don’t get a B+.”
If your kid takes hard classes in high school and gets B’s in them, he or she may not be able to attend a top university, but it wasn’t their destiny to attend a top university. Your kid is not that kind of a kid.
That reminds me . . . Olympic figure skating is on TV this week. Are you watching it? Neither am I, but I’ve heard that some of the skaters actually fall down during their program.
They’re supposed to be the best skaters in the world. Even I could go out there and skate around for a few minutes without falling down. Granted, I couldn’t do any spins or jumps or skate backwards or anything like that.
The point is that to be recognized as the best at something, you can’t just do easy things well. You have to risk doing things that are hard to do. In the skating scenario, it’s not enough to say “I didn’t fall on my ass.” No, you didn’t, but you didn’t even try to do anything hard.
In any endeavor, you won’t impress people of discernment simply by avoiding anything that might give you some difficulty. Step up to the challenge.
Souplantation is doing a Kids Eat Free promotion today for Presidents’ Day . . .
This is unfair. We’ve been coming to Souplantation for 20 years. They NEVER had a Kids Eat Free promotion when our kid was young enough to participate. Now that he’s too old, they do Kids Eat Free day.
I really feel that in recognition of our abiding loyalty to Souplantation, our kid should be able to eat free NOW, despite the fact that he’s 20 years old and eats as much as three normal guests . . .
My wife is telling me that the parents of one of our son’s high school friends are moving back to their home country of Japan. She doesn’t understand how parents could move so far away from their children. Their two kids, both in their 20s, are staying here in California.
“Well,” I say, “other people’s kids are often a little disappointing, in my opinion,” and she starts knocking on something that I’m pretty sure is not even made of wood.
My family and I are enjoying a meal at a Japanese restaurant. In the booth behind me are a husband and wife and five kids, the oldest of whom looks to be about 12.
One of the kids, a boy of about 5, is standing up and running a toy car back and forth along the divider between his booth and our booth. He gets bored with that after a while and starts drumming on the divider with a pair of chopsticks.
The boy’s activities don’t bother me much . . . what bothers me is that it takes 15 minutes for one of the parents to tell him to stop it and sit down. He doesn’t do either and nothing else is said or done about the matter.
In the near future, this boy’s inability to sit still and follow directions will get him “diagnosed” by a schoolteacher as an ADHD kid, even though the real reason he can’t sit still and follow directions is that his parents never taught him to sit still and follow directions.
And folks, don’t have five kids. Raising a kid requires more than 20 percent of your attention.
Teens from Asian nations dominated a global exam given to 15-year-olds, while U.S. students showed little improvement and failed to reach the top 20 in math, science or reading, according to test results released Tuesday.
Why am I not shocked by that?
Because Americans on the whole are dumb and lazy. We have lots of dumb, lazy parents raising dumb, lazy kids. The average American kid doesn’t compare well academically to the average kid in an Asian country where academics and hard work are valued, or to the average kid from a small, homogenous European country where it’s easier to get everyone pulling in the same educational direction.
The U.S. is a big, diverse country and the average academic results are pulled down by a lot of dummkopfs.
But still, the smartest people in the world are Americans. Our smartest people are smarter than the smartest people in other lands.
You don’t think so? I’m looking at the list of winners of the 2013 Nobel Prizes . . . out of 11 recipients (I’m omitting the winners of the literature and peace prizes because those aren’t academic awards), eight are from the U.S. The other three are from Belgium, the UK and France, and the Frenchman is affiliated with Harvard University.
No one in Asian countries is winning any Nobel Prizes. Q.E.D.
“Do not ride your bicycle around the corner,” the mother had told the daughter when she was seven.
“Why not!” protested the girl.
“Because then I cannot see you and you will fall down and cry and I will not hear you.”
“How do you know I’ll fall?” whined the girl.
“It is in a book, The Twenty-Six Malignant Gates, all the bad things that can happen to you outside the protection of this house.”
“I don’t believe you. Let me see the book.”
“It is written in Chinese. You cannot understand it. That is why you must listen to me.”
“What are they, then?” the girl demanded. “Tell me the twenty-six bad things.”
But the mother sat knitting in silence.
“What twenty-six!” shouted the girl.
The mother still did not answer her.
“You can’t tell me anything because you don’t know! You don’t know anything!” And the girl ran outside, jumped on her bicycle, and in her hurry to get away, she fell before she even reached the corner.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and neither does the nut.
Joe Bell, 48, was walking cross-country from Oregon to New York to memorialize his gay son, who killed himself after being bullied.
Bell’s journey began April 20 and ended this week on a two-lane road in eastern Colorado, where he was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer whose driver had apparently fallen asleep.
Specializing in ineffective and destructive ways of relating, a vicious spiral in which the faults of the parents are passed on to the children . . .