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Posts Tagged ‘school’

9 Reasons ‘Hookup Culture’ Hurts Boys, Too

In Uncategorized on November 22, 2013 at 9:11 pm

As the mother of a son to other mothers and fathers of sons…Read this.

Ideas

An entire generation of parents has spent years panicking about the effects of hookup culture on girls. But what about boys? That’s the question Rosalind Wiseman takes on in this week’s issue of TIME. Wiseman may be familiar to you as the author of Queen Bees and Wannabes, her look at the social rivalries of girls (on which Tina Fey based the movie Mean Girls). For her new book, Masterminds and Wingmen, she delves into the world of boys. As the mother of two boys, she was eager to make sure that their side of the story was not left out. During two years of research, she interviewed hundreds of boys across the country — individually, in groups, over the course of extended e-mail correspondences — and their stories are really quite striking.

As Wiseman writes, we assume that boys are the perpetrators and beneficiaries of…

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Our kids are not just their test scores.

In Inspiration, Random on November 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm

 

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The following letter is to some students from their principle. It was sent home with their standardized tests scores. This, to me, is someone who really understands the education of our children. I found the letter on the blog of Mrs. Rycus, a third grade teacher.

The body of the letter:

“We are concerned that these tests do not always assess all of what it is that make each of you special and unique. The people who create these tests and score them do not know each of you– the way your teachers do, the way I hope to, and certainly not the way your families do. They do not know that many of you speak two languages. They do not know that you can play a musical instrument or that you can dance or paint a picture. They do not know that your friends count on you to be there for them or that your laughter can brighten the dreariest day. They do not know that you write poetry or songs, play or participate in sports, wonder about the future, or that sometimes you take care of your little brother or sister after school. They do not know that you have traveled to a really neat place or that you know how to tell a great story or that you really love spending time with special family members and friends. They do not know that you can be trustworthy, kind or thoughtful, and that you try, every day, to be your very best… the scores you get will tell you something, but they will not tell you everything. There are many ways of being smart.”

 

The picture belongs to Sanshoot on Flickr

Do You Really Understand How Many Kids Are Hungry?

In Inspiration, Random on November 1, 2013 at 7:05 am

 

Hunger should not be an issue in a country as prosperous as the United States. Now that the food stamp program has been cut but prices still rise it will be even more difficult. Think about how much food is thrown away each day. Can you look a child in the face and tell them they don’t deserve to eat? There are so many children in our country who rely on school lunches and the SNAP program. Do something, anything, to help feed them.

Places you can donate:

Local food banks

Feeding America.org

Ample Harvest.org

 

I Can’t Believe Our Schools Do This To Kids. What Are We Becoming?

In Random on October 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm

 

I don’t think I have ever begged to have a post shared before but I am now. Please share this post. Please contact your local school board and government and get this stopped. If we respond to our children with violence in a school setting we are creating angrier and more violent kids. I am not exaggerating when I say this story made me cry. I just don’t understand the mentality that will allow someone to think that shocking a kid or putting them in a dark closet-like room for hours is healthy. What in the hell is wrong with our society that this type of treatment is being approved by schools.

I do realize that there are kids that are extremely difficult to deal with, I get that. But I don’t think that these responses to bad behavior are productive. It is barbaric.

Please let me know your thoughts on this and please SHARE.

 

We have an obligation to imagine: Neil Gaiman on Reading. Brilliant.

In Freelancing, Inspiration, Random, Writing on October 18, 2013 at 8:14 am

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The following link will take you to a wonderful article that the author, Neil Gaiman wrote on the importance of libraries, reading and imagination. He really makes a wonderful argument for how important books are in our lives and the workings of society. I was saddened to read that the size of prisons can be based on what percentage of 10 and 11 year old children can’t read. And I was interested to learn why China now encourages the reading of science fiction.

Read and enjoy. Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors and a pretty neat human being.

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens

Also you may want to watch a Commencement Address that Neil Gaiman gave in 2012. Amazing Stuff. I have watched it several times because it reminds me to be the best I can be as an artist and writer. Make good art.

The Most Effective Weapon in the World: Education

In Inspiration, Random on October 12, 2013 at 10:07 am

http://www.upworthy.com/watch-this-incredible-young-woman-render-jon-stewart-speechless?g=2&c=upw1

This young woman is brave, dedicated and dangerous. Through her efforts she is breaking barriers and making a better world for her generation and those to come.

Duck! Flying Pigs!

In Freelancing, Inspiration, Writing on June 25, 2013 at 8:10 am

I won’t start this post with the obligatory “I know I haven’t posted in awhile”….well never mind, I think I just did. Regardless, I came across a TED Talk video today that made me laugh and think. It struck an immediate chord with me as one that struggles with algebra. I remember as a young student yelling in frustration at my mother, “Letters are for reading, not adding.” Needless to say, math continued to be forced on me and it wasn’t until I was 40 that I actually passed an algebra class. I still think letters should be for reading not adding.

As this video went on I began to consider the statement ” When pigs fly”. Me being me and unwilling to accept that anything is impossible I consider pig flight to be improbable but not necessarily impossible, just as many things in my life could be explained in the same light. I have had dramatic changes happen in my life the past few years. If I had been asked years ago if they would occur I would have said “when pigs fly”. But here we are and not a flying pig in sight. I am sure that in some secret government lab some bumbling yet brilliant LSD imbibing fringe scientist along with his sweet but weird son and an FBI agent that travels to a parallel universe are working on making pigs fly….oh wait, that’s a television show. OK, maybe no one is actively trying to make pigs fly but I do feel all of us should be trying by sheer force of will, imagination and fearlessness make our own pigs fly. (You do have a pig don’t you?). You should strive to challenge the impossibilities in your life and make them possible. Reach for your dreams and like the song says “You may not get what you want but you’ll get what you need”. (Source: Rolling Stones a bitchin’ rock and roll group that is now geriatric and a weird) Or just take a nap. We need our rest, too.

If you are so inclined let me know about your flying pig experiences. What did impossibility did you make possible? I may, with your permission put any responses into a blog post to show others how amazing you are.

(You may be thinking, did she really after all this time feel that this is the most compelling post she could come up with? Yeah, that’s pretty much it. I have a lot on my mind and a lot on my plate but I feel that I will be posting more soon. Maybe when pigs fly.)

Should a Kindergartner Have to Work for Their Lunch? Yes, says Lawmaker Ray Canterbury of West Virginia

In Random on April 26, 2013 at 9:22 am

school lunch

I woke up this morning and made sure my grandson made it to the bus on time, walked the dog, made coffee and then I sat down at my computer in a pretty good mood. That lasted about five minutes until I read this Washington Post article,“West Virginia: Lawmaker wants kids to work for ‘free lunch’”. Now, I am seriously pissed.

Read this:

 “I think it would be a good idea if perhaps we had the kids work for their lunches: trash to be taken out, hallways to be swept, lawns to be mowed, make them earn it,” said Ray Canterbury, a Republican from Greenbrier and a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, during debate over Senate Bill 663, also known as the Feed to Achieve Act.

 

What in the hell is this idiot thinking? Children should have to sweep floors and empty garbage to receive their lunch? Isn’t the stigma that is attached to be one of the “free lunch kids” enough? This guy sounds like Mr. Bumble in Oliver.

 

I truly don’t understand the disconnect that many of our government representatives have when it comes to other Americans. It takes all Americans to keep this country functioning. The average unskilled worker makes about $27,000 a year. That’s just over $2000 a month. The average rent for a two bedroom apartment is $800 a month, add another $300 for utilities. That leaves $900 or $225 a week to cover all other expenses such as food, gas, clothing, medical costs, dental costs, car repairs, car insurance, etc. With this income a family of four would have, after rent and utilities, just over $50 a week is available for each person’s care. That’s about $8 a day. Hmmmm.

 

I get so tired of hearing people ranting on the news that the problem in society is education and if people would just apply themselves they could get the better jobs, stay off public assistance and support their families. That sounds great but there are kids who do not have the ability to excel in school no matter how good their intentions, there are kids who cannot qualify for college because their grades are not good enough and there are kids who have to work to support their families and can’t dedicate themselves to their studies. Are these kids still not vital to our communities? You are ignorant if you think that they are not. These are the people that will build our roadways, pick up the garbage, clean our schools, cook our food, stock our shelves and do any job that does not require a college degree. Unskilled workers are necessary to keep America running. They are as important as any college educated persons sitting in an air-conditioned office.

 

I WANT my tax dollars to go towards feeding kids. I WANT my tax dollars to make sure they get to see a doctor when they are sick. I WANT my tax dollars to help someone. I DO NOT want to shame them or humiliate them in order for them to receive any help.  I want them to receive a lunch that costs about .40. Today when you go out for lunch and order that $2 iced tea, think about how that $2 could have bought a week of school lunches for one kid.

I am ashamed that any member of our nation’s government feels that programs like this are” is undermining work ethic and teaching students they don’t have to work hard”. You know what, I am not just ashamed I am disgusted.

 

Mr. Ray Canterbury, if I could I would vote you off our continent.

They’ll see how beautiful I am And be ashamed— I, too, am America.: Our Power is Our History

In Inspiration on April 14, 2013 at 10:06 am

It’s odd how some days have a natural theme of their own. Unintentionally you are surrounded with information that is all tied together. Yesterday was such a day. Yesterday’s theme was racism.

Earlier in the day I came across a reading of Still I Rise by Maya Angelou, this lead me to follow other YouTube links. In college I studied African-American history and literature. When I home-schooled my daughter I taught her much of the same. To me I think my fascination with this history is the strength of the human spirit. The beauty of the soul that continues to have hope in the direst of circumstances enthralls me. I came across a PBS special on a remarkable book and its background. Its title is simply, Slave Songs. The songs of slavery offer inspiration, painful naked truth and many were used to hide codes to lead escaping slaves.

 Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

HISTORY DETECTIVES | Slave Songbook | PBS

Here are a few:

McIntosh Country Shouters preform Adam in the Garden

Louis Armstrong: Go Down Moses

Black Gospel Quartet Singing: Roll Jordan Roll (Acapella)

And my favorite

Hazel Miller – This Little Light of Mine

There are so many more songs that I haven’t mentioned.

Still on YouTube I also found some wonderful videos about the period in history known as the  Harlem Renaissance. There was I. Too, one of my favorite poems. This is a very powerful poem by Langston Hughes, an incredibly talented man. Then there is one of my favorite authors of all time, Zora Neale Hurston,  read “Sweat” .

I, Too by Langston Hughes

The History of the Harlem Renaissance

Biography of Zora Neale Hurston

Today there is a book signing in the small town of Mount Dora, Fl. it’s a book about a dark part of Florida history. The book is called “Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America  by  Gilbert King  More of the  story of the Groveland Boys can be found on PBS’s site, The Legacy of Harry T. Moore “.This part of Florida’s racist history is a fascinating and terribly sad story.

Then there was a conversation I had with a friend. She is a beautiful 25 year old woman and she also is an amazing artist and one of those people that as soon as you meet her spirit attracts you. She is also bi-racial. Here’s what she told me when we discussed race.

“I am so offended when people ask me. ‘What are you?’ What kind of questions is that? What are you? Am I a dog or a freak? Who the hell do these people think they are? I choose to not let my race define me. I am me.” Me being me, I told her to answer, “I am a human being”, and walk away.

Racism is still creeping through our society and eating away at people’s hearts. It disturbs me on a profound level. The only protection we have against evil such as racism and hatred is our history and education. I find it terribly, terribly sad that so many people do not know the African-American history. When I took an African-American literature class the teacher pointed out to the class that I, a white woman in her 40’s and the only white person in the class knew more about their history than they did. She said it was shameful. Sounds harsh but it opened up a door in many of the young people’s minds and they started listening and asking questions. They became my friends and would talk to me about their history and we would discuss the good and the bad. I came away from that class having had the richest educational experience of my life.

One of the things that make me the proudest as a parent is that my children are color-blind when choosing their friends. My son’s best friend growing up was African- American and it wasn’t until years later that my son realized that when he was invited to join in a parade that was planned to celebrate Martin Luther King Day that he was the only white person in the parade. He never noticed. My children choose their friend by their character not their color.

There has been progress made in the fight against racism but there is so much further to go. I hope that in some small way this post has enlightened you, maybe educated you or at least made you think. Whether you are white, African-American, Asian, Latino or any other ethnicity the dark history of our world needs to be studied, if it’s not we are in danger of repeating it. We need to come together as the Human Race.

The introduction video was Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child, it is sung by Rev. Timothy Fleming Sr. at the Rialto Center in Atlanta, Ga.. Powerful.

8-Year-Old Follows Tenn. Lawmaker Around Capitol Until He Drops Welfare Bill

In Inspiration on April 13, 2013 at 8:46 am

Here is the full article 8-Year-Old Follows Tenn. Lawmaker Around Capitol Until He Drops Welfare Bill

I think this bill is absolutely ridiculous. So, a child who is struggling in school shouldn’t have enough food? Clothes to wear? A roof over their head? Are you freakin’ kidding me?

This kind of thinking disturbs me. While I do believe that there are problems with the welfare system I also don’t think this is a viable fix. I also don’t think that requiring drug tests for recipients is viable. There are parents out there with drug problems that have children and maybe the only way their children get to eat is if the receive food stamps.Now imagine this mother of two small kids fails a drug test and now the children have no food in the refrigerator and no medical care. Who did that help? Drug addiction is a huge problem that has a massive failure rate. It is my understanding that only 10% of the people who go through rehab are successful in kicking their habit.

Then you hear of people who still hundreds of thousands of dollars from government assistance programs. One story that occurred in Florida recently comes to mind: Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release.

The system is broken but the cure is should not punish children. Please don’t respond by asking me what I think the answer should be because I don’t know. I do know that both of these propsed fixes are NOT the answer in a country where 1 in 50 kids is homeless and according to No Kid Hungry 1 out of 5 children in the United States Struggle with Hunger.There are groups that dispute the statistics but one thing they cannot dispute is that hunger hurts. It’s a shame that any child in our society where people commonly carry $300 phones and purses that cost several hundred dollars does not have enough to eat. And if you think that its because their parents are only lazy, good for nothing druggies, think again. Many recipients are what are referred to as the “working poor”. How many times have you heard stories about families that were “middle class” and after the breadwinner was laid off form his job he struggled to find employment, lost their home and ended up taking al ow paying job and applying for food stamps.Now, do think that living in that kind of stressful environment might effect the grades of the kids living in that household? So lets take away their food assistance. That’ll teach them.

Take a moment and think what could happen to you if you went to work tomorrow and found out you don’t have a job. Or if you are one of many that don’t have health insurance or minimum coverage and you became seriously ill that left you disabled. How would you provide for your family? Now your child who was formerly a good student begins to get poor grades and you missed a couple of teacher conferences because you had job interviews. Now you are ineligible for food assistance. What are you going to cook for dinner?

One of the figures I kept coming across was it takes about $15 a day to feed a child in the US. That’s $450 a month for one child. Say you have two children. now it’s $900.00 a month. Did you know that the food stamp benefit for  a family of four is around $500..

OK. I’m done. Now let’s go eat.

 

 

 

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