Of Cabbages and Kings
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Morthoron

I realize that Milhi. You are honorable. Or as honorable as a Republican can be, I suppose. But I am a fairly good judge of character right from the get go. And Sophia is, if anything, sensible and smart. I'm really not worried about her. Much. A little perhaps. She's so damn stubborn. I don't know where she gets it from.

4/29/2012 #121
Nimbus Llewelyn

The fact that either of you could take me apart dead drunk with one arm tied behind your back, and the fact that whatever you would do you would do stone cold sober would be added incentive.

Since I weigh about 154 pounds and I'm 5' 9" at most, I would second that, though I can take a lot of punishment in a fight.

4/29/2012 #122
Nimbus Llewelyn

She's so damn stubborn. I don't know where she gets it from.

*scratches head* Um... her mother?

4/29/2012 #123
Virtuella

We listened to good music and danced to it.

The Graceland Album + the sling. Very good combination. Happy memories. :)

Another thing that is good for children is siblings. As you can see from Morth's example, they're even useful later on in life...

4/29/2012 #124
Morthoron

As you can see from Morth's example, they're even useful later on in life...

Yes, my brother was particularly useful in barfights. Not that we do such things any longer, staid middle-aged gentleman that we are. *sniffs haughtily*

But I swear, I've never seen someone pick someone up by the face and sling them like a ragdoll. That was memorable! Ah good times, good times!

4/29/2012 . Edited 4/29/2012 #125
Nimbus Llewelyn

*nods* If someone ever hurt my theoretical future children, my sister would verbally dismember them and make their life hell. For everyone but me, she is a very scary little person. I would do the same thing in return, but possibly with a sword.

4/29/2012 #126
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

The Graceland Album + the sling. Very good combination. Happy memories. :)

For us it was Julius Fucik's Winter Storms Waltz. I had a whole LP album of Fucik. I think it was Dvorak the night we brought him home from the hospital and whirled around the living room.

4/29/2012 #127
Nimbus Llewelyn

Yes, my brother was particularly useful in barfights. Not that we do such things any longer, staid middle-aged gentleman that we are. *sniffs haughtily*

But I swear, I've never seen someone pick someone up by the face and sling them like a ragdoll. That was memorable! Ah good times, good time!

Damn, I wish I'd been able to hang out with you two. Sounds like it was fun.

4/29/2012 #128
Virtuella

Both my childen had very unexpected and very strong preferences as babies. For my daughter, at times the only thing that would calm her down was me singing Moscow Nights, for my son, The Girl From Ipanema.

4/29/2012 #129
Morthoron

Damn, I wish I'd been able to hang out with you two. Sounds like it was fun.

Yes, except for the stitches and crutches every once in a while, it was fun.

4/29/2012 #130
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

Okay, the chastity of our daughters aside, why is it the US education seems to be failing so badly?

4/29/2012 #131
Virtuella

Damn, I wish I'd been able to hang out with you two.

I don't think I've ever been to a pub like that. We always went to the kind where people talked and talked and talked. With my boyfriend at university, it was usually critical theory we talked about. No wonder nobody ever bothered him.

4/29/2012 #132
Virtuella

why is it the US education seems to be failing so badly?

I think it is very hard to say whether or not a current education system is failing. One would have to look twenty years into the future and see how the young people get on then.

4/29/2012 #133
Nimbus Llewelyn

Yes, except for the stitches and crutches every once in a while, it was fun.

Meh. 'Bones heal, pain is temporary and chicks dig scars'. Thank you Evel Knievel, for that one.

4/29/2012 #134
Morthoron

Okay, the chastity of our daughters aside, why is it the US education seems to be failing so badly?

I sense we've committed an indiscretion with our digressions. Hence, this intercession. ;P

Why is it failing? Teachers are not tenured on performance, the pay for teaching is altogether paltry, parents are not involved with their kid's schooling, and the curriculum is so generalized that it excites neither the smart kids nor engages the troubled kids. I couldn't stand school, until I got to college and chose my own path and classes.

4/29/2012 #135
militaryhistory

to Morth: Ever thought of writing a memoir?

on the US education system: Virtuella's got a point, but it seems to be pretty clear that something's going wrong somewhere.

4/29/2012 #136
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

I think it is very hard to say whether or not a current education system is failing. One would have to look twenty years into the future and see how the young people get on then.

I'm looking at the English skills of the current crop and making my judgement on that. Teens like Milhist and Nimbus are anomalies. I read books that presumably had professional copy-editors, and they have mistakes. And no one knows a thing about history anymore.

4/29/2012 #137
piewacket

Okay, the chastity of our daughters aside, why is it the US education seems to be failing so badly?

1. Teachers no longer have the right to maintain discipline in their rooms.

2. Parents (most of them) no longer invest any time or interest in their children's education.

3. The ever expanding litany of what schools are teaching. The straying from the basics to include "pet" topics of whatever current political party is in control.

4. The absurdity that lowers standards for everyone rather than setting high standards and understanding that not everyone will reach them.

5. The flat out refusal to accept that people have different skills and abilities and that's okay. Not everyone will be an A (a true A, not a dumbed down A) student and not everyone will be an athlete. As long as the C student is trying his/her best and learning all they can, the system is working.

4/29/2012 #138
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

Teachers are not tenured on performance,

Therein lies a problem, because teacher 'performance' is such a subjective thing. The more we try to judge performance by objective testing, the worse it seems to get.

I couldn't stand school either. They seemed bent on driving the love of learning right out of me. There were standards, though. A paper with misspelled words was sent beck to be corrected. At least in my day that happened.

4/29/2012 #139
AltearazCreator

I had only one teacher who really ignored all the 'light touch' rules, like accepting late assignments or correcting/ignoring mistakes just to shuffle someone along. His motto was 'Garbage in, garbage out', meaning if you handed in garbage, he'd throw it out unmarked. Best teacher I ever had.

4/29/2012 #140
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

1. Teachers no longer have the right to maintain discipline in their rooms.

Interesting you would say that. Two weeks ago, one of the teachers at Longfellow Middle School died unexpectedly of natural causes. She was only forty -- it was a heart condition. My younger granddaughter came crying to me, all broken up about it and how badly they had treated her in class. She said that she, herself, had told the teacher to, "get the hell out of my face." That would have been a trip to the principal's office back in my time. I don't think it even occurs to them that teachers or any other adult need to be treated with respect.

4/29/2012 #141
Virtuella

Teachers are not tenured on performance

That is a dangerous route to go down. It is very difficult to judge a teacher's performance. For example, a teacher might one year systematically put down the foundations for good progress later on, while not scoring high in test etc. The following year, another teacher might reap the fruits of those efforts. A teacher might achieve impressive test results by teaching to the tests, with the children otherwise acquiring very little in the way of transferable skills. I once prepared an S4 class for German prelims. Within three weeks, they improved their scores considerably, but they hadn't become any better at German, merely strategically better at navigating the test papers. I am keenly aware that incompetent and/or indifferent teachers are a problem, but performance-related pay is not the answer. I actually think the starting point would have to be the job interview. I have been to a fair few, and the questions are usually geared at finding out whether you've "taught the course before" and know the current buzz words. Not once was I asked, for example, "Why did you become a teacher?" or "What do you think are the most crucial challenges education is facing this decade?"

Another important point is what value society gives to the teaching profession. I was recently at a training course where we were told that in Finland (one of the best education systems in the world) teaching is considered the most desirable of all professions and that only the best of any year group get into it. In Britian, we are far from that attitude.

4/29/2012 . Edited 4/29/2012 #142
Nimbus Llewelyn

I'm looking at the English skills of the current crop and making my judgement on that. Teens like Milhist and Nimbus are anomalies. I read books that presumably had professional copy-editors, and they have mistakes. And no one knows a thing about history anymore.

*bows in acknowledgement* Most of my peers regard my language skills as either impressive or irritating (I sometimes use long words and old fashioned turns of phrase to annoy some of my peers).

Last year, my set, a fairly clever set did not get what year America joined the war. I said '1941', whilst refraining with difficulty from adding, 'you morons'.

4/29/2012 #143
AltearazCreator

That would have been a trip to the principal's office back in my time.

In a lot of cases it still is. But what exactly is the principal going to do? Slap their wrist and say, "Donchu do that no more!"? Send them home? That's a dream come true. When kids get in shit, they wear it like a badge of honour.

4/29/2012 #144
militaryhistory

I don't think it even occurs to them that teachers or any other adult need to be treated with respect.

Fact of the matter is that most of 'em aren't taught that at home, and a lot of the time the adults they're around aren't worth any more respect than you'd give any other human being, which means that any attempt thereof will likely fail. Throw in a focus on self-esteem rather than making them understand that, in point of fact, they do not know everything and need to shut up and listen because the teacher actually does know better than you do, and you get recipe for disaster.

4/29/2012 #145
AltearazCreator

Another important point is what value society gives to the teaching profession

I believe 'leeches on the public tit' is commonly used in North America.

4/29/2012 #146
Morthoron

to Morth: Ever thought of writing a memoir?

Not exciting enough, just in stretches (or maybe snatches). Even I would get bored reading it.

Teachers are not tenured on performance,

Therein lies a problem, because teacher 'performance' is such a subjective thing. The more we try to judge performance by objective testing, the worse it seems to get.

I couldn't stand school either. They seemed bent on driving the love of learning right out of me. There were standards, though. A paper with misspelled words was sent beck to be corrected. At least in my day that happened.

I think the curriculum needs fluidity and to center and develop a student's strengths. Let's face it, some folks are destined to be mechanics and carpenters. That is not a bad thing at all, in fact such a career can be highly lucrative and ultimately very rewarding. But if you force a kid who can create a Chippendale cherry wood setee to spend innumerable hours in irrelevant general learning classes, he won't participate (true story, a dear friend is a prize winning master woodcrafter who nearly failed high school).

4/29/2012 #147
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

I think the curriculum needs fluidity and to center and develop a student's strengths. Let's face it, some folks are destined to be mechanics and carpenters. That is not a bad thing at all, in fact such a career can be highly lucrative and ultimately very rewarding. But if you force a kid who can create a Chippendale cherry wood setee to spend innumerable hours in irrelevant general learning classes, he won't participate (true story, a dear friend is a prize winning master woodcrafter who nearly failed high school).

On what grounds did he nearly fail high school -- the inability to write a good essay paper? I can almost see that. Even carpenters and mechanics have to be able to read and measure, plus they need a good seat of the pants understanding of physics and problem solving. I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but my grandfather never went past the eighth grade formally. He was a lathe operator at fifteen, paid for his own private math lessons and then apprenticed to an architect. He became very successful. I don't think he knew jack shit about French literature or the Renaissance, but none of his buildings ever fell down.

4/29/2012 #148
Virtuella

I really have no idea what it looks like inside American schools. In Scotland, there are a lot of positive aspects, for example school trying hard to meet the individual needs of children and to be flexible and encouraging. On the other hand there is too much focus on nonsense like school uniform and dux medallists. Even in primary school, they get Head Teacher's Awards and stuff like that and it's supposed to be positive enforcement. What it enforces is a) the idea that we learn for external rewards and b) that education is competitive. I am very strongly of the opinion that children should a) learn for the sake of having learned something useful/inspiring/valuable and b) as Pie said, every child should develop and progress as best they can, without some being picked out as "top of the class." I went through 13 years of schooling without anybody ever getting any kind of award. If you got a good grade, that was an award in itself, other than that, you learned because a lot of the stuff was actually rather interesting. That is not to say that people can't enjoy competition - as long as it is voluntary to take part. My school does a fabulous sports day: there are competitive events for those who wish them and fun events for those who don't, and that way everybody can have a great, active day without anyone having to feel miserable because they were forced to run in a race where they knew from the start they would come last.

4/29/2012 #149
piewacket

Teaching also used to be one of the few professions that clever and educated women could pursue. With the job market wide open, that is no longer the case.

Teachers never have been exceptionally well paid. Before the age of rampant consumerism and greed, that was not an issue. Teachers made a lower middle to middle class living--they still do. It used to be that if someone were fortunate enough to be able to receive a higher education, they chose a profession for which they felt a calling. Nowadays, they chase the money.

4/29/2012 . Edited 4/29/2012 #150
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