29.10.09

7 quick takes



It's been a while since I did one of these. But I read so many interesting things this week I figured here would be a good place to share them with you.

1. Against School by John Gatto is a scathing look at the historical roots and intentions of public schools and why they fail to help our children to reach their full potential. It's not just for home schoolers though. He speaks also to parents whose children are in public school about what they can do as well.

Here's a bit to catch your interest.

By the time I finally retired in 1991, 1 had more than enough reason to think of our schools-with their long-term, cell-block-style, forced confinement of both students and teachers-as virtual factories of childishness. Yet I honestly could not see why they had to be that way. My own experience had revealed to me what many other teachers must learn along the way, too, yet keep to themselves for fear of reprisal: if we wanted to we could easily and inexpensively jettison the old, stupid structures and help kids take an education rather than merely receive a schooling. We could encourage the best qualities of youthfulness-curiosity, adventure, resilience, the capacity for surprising insight simply by being more flexible about time, texts, and tests, by introducing kids to truly competent adults, and by giving each student what autonomy he or she needs in order to take a risk every now and then.
thanks Leila for the link.

2. How did I manage to go 30 years, most of them with long hair, and not know how to make "Milk Maid" braids like this? I've tried before, and done something harder that looked less pretty.

3. This little video called What is Poverty? made me cry.

thanks Ann Voskamp for the link.

4. This article about the actual effectiveness of the Gardasil Vaccine that supposedly prevents cervical cancer terrified me. 44 girls have died after getting the shot, and the stats show it has no positive impact on preventing the disease. Gardasil Researcher Drops a Bombshell

5. I have a bit of an internet crush on Veronica Mitchell. I'm enjoying her new blog The Slow Food Experiment almost as much as I enjoyed her older one. And I HAVE to read the exchanges on twitter between her and Beck because they are usually entertaining, for me. I have a closet love for the same type of wit. Yet I feel like that person who tries to jump in on your conversation at a party, isn't very funny, and you smile politely but really wish they would leave you alone. Either that or an internet stalker. But I'm convinced that if we ever met in real life she would like me, and I would like her. She could see that I'm not nearly as pompous in person as I seem to inadvertently become on the internet.

6. We watched the U2 on YouTube concert live on Sunday night. Aaron's brother was somewhere in the crowd in the inner circle right around the stage. I guess they had a bunch of people from organizations that combat human trafficking on stage there, including an acquaintance of ours, the director of Eleho. We couldn't see any of them on the feed though.

Is it just me, or does Bono have absolutely no idea of what to do with himself on stage? He just seems so... awkward. And funny. If a guy who wasn't Bono got up on stage to sing and did the same stuff we'd all laugh at him. Honestly, it was boring to watch, and listen to. I like their old stuff better.

On that note, I was thinking, as I loaded the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen while watching a giant crowd of people with actual leisure and disposable cash for such things as rock'n'roll concerts, that I am getting old. I'm not there yet, but I'm well on the way. I think it was the juxtaposition of such domestic chores with all the excitement of the concert fans. I'm not sure I ever got excited about stuff like that, but now I know I definitely prefer a quiet night at home with my family to all the hype of a big event. I mean, just imagine getting out of the parking lot after the concert. See? Like I said.

7. I am reading The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down right now. It's the fascinating account of the cultural clash between the immigrant Hmong community in Merced CA and the western doctors over the care of a little girl with epilepsy. (Hmong is the name of one of the hills tribes in South East Asia. They've migrated from China into Laos, Thailand, Burma, etc over many years.) One of the things that it does very well is make apparent how vast the difference can be between the way two different groups of people view the same event. It's well written and easy to read and also a bit mind expanding.
It's particularly interesting to me because most of the children in the Charis Home are Hmong.

7 Quick Takes hosted @ Conversion Diary

4 comments:

  1. Leaving the parking lot -- that's perfect.
    I always say, at 42, that I'm going to make a good 60 year old. I guess maybe you'll make a good 40 year old! That's a plus, to me, but I apologize ahead if it doesn't seem so to you!

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  2. I am just AMAZED at those milkmaid braids. Since I have such little talent in the hair-doing area, this is way out of my league. :) Super impressive.

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  3. I like this post a lot. Lots of good things. Well, 7 or so of them :)
    I'm going to re-post your vaccination article while I'm trying to braid my hair.
    ...Or maybe I'll do them at different times.
    Thanks again, toots.

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  4. I only just saw your post today, so forgive me for not responding sooner. Thanks for the compliments. I think we would be friends in real life. You are always welcome in Twitter conversations. Though if you started tweeting things like, "Veronica, you look really good in that blue t-shirt," I might take the stalker thing to heart.

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