Beware of the Queen Bee Mothers. “... since when did a toddler judge another toddler according to their socio-economic status?”
NY Daily News:
A new Muppet makes her debut.
Willpower is best used with care. Success means one must eschew the easy path, and journey into what our modern instant-gratification culture would call Mordor ...
SF New Mexican:
Enrollment begins this weekend for uninsured children. “Often, she says, parents tell her they deal with their sick children at home unless the illness is severe enough that a hospital can’t turn them away.” My italics. Are the profits of the affluent so much more important than comprehensive health care reform? I don’t think so.
NY Times Magazine:
NY Times Books:
Guggenheim Study Suggests Arts Education Benefits Literacy Skills. The only people to paint what they could not first describe, would probably be Neanderthals.
SF New Mexican:
Richardson scandal! Teddygate! Bark, bark, bark ...
Music therapy helps develop communication skills. I find this fascinating, because I’ve always had a difficult time with rhythm, unable to match anything but the most fundamental beats. Even then, when an audience starts clapping in rhythm, I seem to naturally gravitate to starting on the ‘off beat.’ Bookmarked for future curiousity.
The car of my elementary-school dreams; though Racer X had that loner thing going, that appeals more to my character.
Okay, who on earth can study and watch TV at the same time? Don’t start telling me kids are great multi-taskers, when I haven’t met one yet who can spell consistently.
NY Times Science:
A few new books try to walk the recent societal tightrope between science and religion. “‘I have been struck,’ Dr. Roughgarden writes, ‘by how the ‘debate’ over teaching evolution is not about plants and animals but about God and whether science somehow threatens one’s belief in God.’” Historically, religion has always accommodated new scientific advances, albeit slowly ... even when they contradict the standing dogma of the era. The only thing required is a reinterpretation.
Related: NY Times, Stem Cell Work Gets States’ Aid After Bush Veto.
Full-time working parents are able to generously spare their children ... 19 minutes a day.
Weightlifting Death Risk. Some youths have undiagnosed enlarged aortas, prone to tearing when lifting heavy weights.
SF New Mexican:
State panel to study universal health care. “In tackling New Mexico’s problem with health-care access, the governor started with children. This month, a larger pool of poor children age 5 and under will be able to sign up for Medicaid coverage. The state will distribute information about the program at various venues, including Smith’s supermarkets, Wal-Mart stores, the state fair and schools.”
To take the yawn out of math equations, teach the teachers. Here’s a suggestion. Applicability. Instead of sitting in the classroom, measure the trees outside the school ... and other such ‘creative’ ideas that haven’t been used since the turn of the century in America. Have the kids build a trebuchet in wood shop, and then use calculus to test its range (both on paper, and in reality). It was a lack of applicability that discouraged my generation from learning math (“new math”).
Inside Higher Ed:
A Moralist of the Mind. I admire this: “Our sacred world must remain the book,” he says. “No, not the book: the page ... To get inside a page of Haydn, of Freud, of Weber, of James: only so can our students be possessed by an idea of what it means to study…. Then, at least, they may acquire a becoming modesty about becoming ‘problem-solvers,’ dictating reality. Such disciplines would teach us, as teachers, that it would be better to spend three days imprisoned by a sentence than any length of time handing over ready-made ideas.”
Imprisoned by a sentence. In high school, I felt imprisoned by the interminable analysis of the ‘Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.’ Yet now, at my current age, I could be imprisoned by a sentence there, and find many truths. My sacred world is in thought, perception. Reminds me that Milan Kundera was motivated to write an entire book just from expression in a hand gesture made by a woman he did not know; that in chaos theory of weather, the beat of a mosquito wing can become a great storm ...
For 7th Grade Jocks, Is There Ever an Off-Season? Yes, but what do the kids feel they want to *do* when they grow up? I picture worn-out knee cartilage, lower back problems as early as late high school.
NY Times Art & Design:
An Exhibition About Drawing Conjures a Time When Amateurs Roamed the Earth. Gathering around the drawing room piano for an evening seems to have disappeared, too.
New questions about safety of tuna imports. And more reasons to go organic: “Children eating non-organic foods were switched for five days to an organic diet and pesticide levels were measured in their urine before and after the change. The study—published this past fall—found that some pesticides disappeared from the children’s urine after going organic.”
Let’s embrace la dolce vita. Gems in here. “British middle-class mothers will spend far more time, energy, not to mention money, on ballet, judo, Kumon and piano lessons than on ensuring that their children eat nutritious meals. [snip] Italian bambini, instead, are taught that food is sacred: this is the country that spends £2 per child per day on schoolmeals (while Britain spends 40p), and where CIR, the co-operative that holds a virtual monopoly on school-food catering, will only serve meals made with ingredients found within a 30km radius.” My italics.
SF New Mexican:
Are flip-flops damaging your career? Folks walk differently in flip-flops; I wonder about back strain sometimes. Still, for summer, they’re a godsend. You don’t go walking barefoot in New Mexico (goatheads, cactus spines, apache tears, and more).
For more children, less time for outdoor play. “We believe there’s great value in kids being bored. Boredom spawns imaginative play. I’ve seen it work with my kids time and again, whether they pick up a book, turn their bed into a fort, or visualize our dogs as dragons they must defend themselves against.” I agree.
Evolution’s Lonely Battle in a Georgia Classroom. “In January 2004, when they were about to be adopted, Kathy Cox, Georgia’s education superintendent, announced that she would remove evolution from the standards because it was too divisive an issue.” My italics. If divisiveness is the standard, I’m surprised anything gets taught ... even the Bible.