Denis Ian: When Do Children Get to Be Children Again?


Thank you Denis Ian.
This is a good way to think about the current state of our Education system, an excellent sentiment for your Parenting toolbox, and a notion to carry with you to the Voting Booth!

Diane Ravitch's blog

Is childhood a lost concept? Have we decided to treat five year olds like little adults? Reader Denis Ian reacts to the post about a child’s first day in kindergarten, which was spent taking assessments, not playing or socializing. Taking assessments:

I find it harder and harder to repeat myself when I bump into tales like this.

I sort of cringe myself into almost-anger because what we all see before us is so macabre and so twisted. And it reappears week after week after week.

In this case, which is hardly unique, a child’s first several moments in school … her first actual memories perhaps! … are of evaluations, testing, and assessments. This sounds awfully army-ish to me … and not very school-ish at all.

But the essential question … the one that should be asked first … is very simple: Who thinks this is a good idea? Who thinks…

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aw, come ON


Please watch the video I’ve linked below, then read the rant.

How to Deal with Protesters with Understanding and Civility.

Protesters: heard and acknowledged rather than threatened, or called “bad people” who are ruining our country, or sucker-punched. No violence incited. Was the President happy? Clearly not. But he still let them know that he heard them and understood their frustration and was hoping they’d sit and remain part of the conversation. Whether you like our President or not-hopefully you can see that he was certainly civil, inclusive and Presidential in his response.

(yes, I know this was more than a year ago, which doesn’t reduce its impact; the contrary, the contrast is even more striking to me, as it was all over the news when it happened and could have set an example for others at future events. I also remember the “You’re in my house!” response at another time, which I must admit I thought was pretty great. But you are hereby absolved of sending me videos of every time our President was heckled and responded less graciously. I’m linking you to this one example because, well, it’s exemplary!)

I haven’t unleashed Rachel Maddow’s time-stamped proof of incitement and encouragement to resort to violence. I still might. But I don’t know who would still need proof at this point that a current front-runner needs to choose his words in a more thoughtful and kind manner. There is no good intent behind the dreadful things he says. Continue reading

Fat is the Enemy of all Mankind.


Cartoon by Barry Deutsch Used with the artist's permission.
Cartoon by Barry Deutsch
Used with the artist’s permission.

Dear Girls and Women Everywhere,

If you ever hear anyone say the words in this post title to you, or anything with a comparable meaning, I ask you to PLEASE know that a perfectly acceptable response is,

“That is complete and utter bullshit; please do not project your skewed views of what is important onto me, as I am perfectly wonderful just the way I am.”

or,

“What an extremely shallow world view you have. I pity you.”

or,

“Interesting. I would have thought that bigotry, violence, war, or pestilence would be more of a humankind-destroyer than fat. But that’s just me.”

or,

Continue reading

Jazz (ercise) Hands!


fire escape
1926 Fire Escape

So. Asthma. Got that anvil dropped on my chest about 4 years ago. Out of nowhere. From running 5K races to not being able to power walk a block without having to stop to try to catch my breath, in a mild panic at the sound of-not wheezing, mind you- the gurgling in my lungs. My usual at-school workout 25-30 trips up and down the fire escape (pictured), doing curls/flys on every step with 5 pound weights? Became a one-up, one-down, do some stationary curls for a minute or two (hoping that people would just think  I was doing interval training and hoping that sweat was a good camouflage for tears of frustration) before repeating the whole thing a few times. The worst were the nights, when I’d be dreaming that I was drowning, only to wake up and find out that I was. I spent quite a few nights trying to sleep upright to combat that particular terror.

So. Diabetes. Got that jab to the pancreas about 6 months ago (July 30, 2015 to be exact). It was also deduced that I’d been hosting the blood sugar monster for several years without diagnosis or treatment. With medication and a very low carb way of eating, I’m learning to keep the blood sugar in check. Of course, the other necessary ingredient in treatment is exercise. Refer to above paragraph to see how that was going for me.

So I climbed the fire escape. Up and down, catching breath in between each trip, still trying hard to look like an ultra-cool interval athlete. Ha. Freakishly strong arm and leg muscles, but cardiovascular strengthening? Nope.

Suddenly, a salvation of sorts:

Continue reading

This is me, 2016.


                                 peace cat.jpg

I am planning to post on a regular basis this year (though I’ve been posting pretty regularly every 4-6 months; let me amend this to: I plan to post on a regular, more frequent basis this year). While there still may be a lack of rhyme/reason to post themes, there will be several areas about which I’ll want to write, get your opinions, or ask for your advice:

  • Education. The political side, or the classroom side. I teach Elementary age children of poverty, and have for my entire 32-year career. I am currently serving as the Music Teacher and Gifted Ed teacher at my school.
  • Philosophy/Politics. I am a left-leaning, born-too-late-to-be-a-real-hippie liberal, so my posts will reflect that.
  • I’m going to share more about some chronic health issues that have hit me like a sledgehammer over the last few years-Diabetes (the newest) and Asthma being the two that have hit me hardest. I will share how I’m dealing, and probably ask for a lot of advice (with the DISCLAIMER! I am not a doctor, and I know that you are not, so anything we share with each other will NOT be construed for, or be intended to replace, advice from actual medical professionals). Neither one of this conditions is actually under control, so you may hear a tinge of frustration as I write about them.
  • Cats. Of course.

And my kid. Of course.

So the 2016 Journey begins. Hope you’ll hang with me and maybe we’ll have some great discussions and learn some good stuff on the way.

Peace, friends, and Happy New Year!

…what was that Statue of Liberty thing again?


The height of vanity, isn’t it, to reblog myself?
I was revamping my blog, going through posts and cleaning them up, when I got to this one that I wrote SIX years ago. It wasn’t terrorists that fueled the mean then, it was the fear of a drop in property value, which, wow. But it points to a different truth-do we just look for a reason to not welcome those in dire straits, because we might-gasp-have to sacrifice something in order to do so? I stand, during this Syrian refugee debate, in the same spot as I did with Haitian refugees six year ago.

also, this: Award-Winning Marine Just Tweeted A Perfect Response To The Syrian Refugee Crisis

"...but I'm not the only one..."

Give me….who?

“The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?”

-Pablo Casals

Boggled. That is my mind right now–befuddled and boggled.

I read the comments section (I know, the last thing ANYONE sane should do is read the comments) that follows an online article about Haitian refugees being flown into the states, both adults to come stay with family members already here, and children and babies here to be taken in and adopted by Americans.

I’m not going to add any power to those comments by quoting them. You know the drill: a bunch of powerless ignorants who think if they spew enough garbage, someone will finally validate their existence. Hate and bigotry are their drugs of choice.  It blows my mind to read such drivel.

Basically, the sentiment is that we should NOT be taking in our  human brothers and…

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I’m no hero


I posted this 2 years ago and decided to toss it back to the top of the page in the hopes that it might change even a few hearts and prompt the owners of said hearts to think before they commit verbal abuse. A girl can hope. If it makes sense to you, feel free to share.

"...but I'm not the only one..."

angry “You (insert religious/political/racial identity here) MORONS!”

“I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness.” -Mother Teresa

 

I am no big hero.
But.

I would NEVER have called all Bush supporters a bunch of conservative morons. Why? Because not all conservatives are morons. Because it’s prejudicial and irrational. Because, no matter how I felt about W, the people who loved him simply disagreed with me. That doesn’t make them morons; it makes them human-there are as many opinions and philosophies as there are humans.

To paint any group with a broad brush is so unfair, so wrong, and though apparently I’m a Universal Unitarian according to the latest circulating survey and maybe not the resident expert, it is SO not Christian. And it’s pretty hate-filled as well, and I do disagree with hate. I suspect that those spewing the “liberal morons” meanstream

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