wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior - WSJ.com:
Despite our squeamishness about cultural stereotypes, there are tons of studies out there showing marked and quantifiable differences between Chinese and Westerners when it comes to parenting. In one study of 50 Western American mothers and 48 Chinese immigrant mothers, almost 70% of the Western mothers said either that "stressing academic success is not good for children" or that "parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun." By contrast, roughly 0% of the Chinese mothers felt the same way....What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences. This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist; things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up. But if done properly, the Chinese strategy produces a virtuous circle. Tenacious practice, practice, practice is crucial for excellence; rote repetition is underrated in America.

As much as I disliked Ms. Chua's World On Fire, I can't help wondering if she has any unmarried sisters. Seriously, though...she's on to something here, and it's not just a Chinese thing. RTWT
wombat_socho: Wombat (Boss Coffee)
End Them, Don’t Mend Them | The Weekly Standard:
America’s public schools have served their purpose. Free and compulsory education was good for a somewhat unpromising young nation. The country was half turnip-head hillbilly and half slum trash from foreign refuse heaps. Public schools were supposed to take this mob of no-account pea pickers and bumbling greaseballs and turn them into a half-bright national citizenry. It worked, causing six or eight generations of public school kids to rush home to their shanties or tenements shouting, “Everything’s up-to-date in Kansas City!” or “Mom, Dad, this is America, quit boiling cabbage!”

Public schools helped create the idea of America and inculcate Americans with a few rudiments of knowledge. To judge by that very American item, the Internet, a few rudiments is all anyone cares to have. As for the idea of America, everybody’s got it now, all over the world. I’ve had a cab driver in New York who got the idea of America in a country so remote that not only had I never heard of it, neither had he. I don’t know if this cab driver’s reading level was at or above proficient, but his math skills were well-displayed on the taxi meter after he took me from JFK to Manhattan by way of the Brooklyn Belt Parkway. I’ll bet he sends his kids to private school.

A cogent argument for closing all the schools, firing all the teachers & administrators, and giving people the $15 grand they're pissing away on the foregoing. Couched in humor, of course, this being P.J.

Kinda-sorta related: Comic Sans Has Had Enough Of Your Attitude.

(h/t GVDL, who moonlights as The Most Interesting Man in the World.)
wombat_socho: Wombat (Politics)
Mona Charen: Abolishing Department of Education isn't extreme | Washington Examiner:
The Department of Education is a great burbling vat of waste and it is not extremist to say so.

The fact that Harry Reid thinks it's extremist is another good reason for Nevada's voters to do us all a favor and add him to the unemployment rolls in November. RTWT.
wombat_socho: Wombat (FGSFDS)
» The U.S. Economy Needs Fewer Public School Jobs, Not More - Big Government:
Teachers unions, the Obama administration, and most Democrats in Congress want to spend another $23 billion that we don’t have to shore up public school employment. If we don’t go along, they tell us, it’ll be a “catastrophe” for American education. With fewer teachers our kids will supposedly learn less, further crippling our already wounded economy.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

Yeah, it's always "for the children", isn't it? What BS.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Got a 74.5 on the first of the tax class exams tonight. Damn. Thought I was going to do better, but I obviously thought wrong, and adding to my annoyance is that I missed three questions through pure stupidity - read the questions wrong and therefore gave wrong answer. This put me in a foul mood for the rest of class. I was not consoled by hearing from my classmates that just about everyone had done as badly or worse.

Nothing for it but to study the notes and get properly caffeinated for the last test next week, because after that it'll be all over.

In other news, I had a half-day assignment at T.C. Williams which actually was more like an hour and a half (they do weird things with the lunch schedules in these parts) but whatever; the kids were well-behaved and quiet. Also ran into one of the school secretaries that was there back in '98 when I temped there briefly. She's running sub assignments now and was pleased to see me again; invited me to drop by sometime even if I wasn't subbing, which I may well do. Doesn't hurt to have a clout in the front office.
wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
This is kinda long and introspective, but at least it's not emo. If you're not much interested in what's going on in my head, move along. There's nothing for you to see here. On the other hand, if you want some context for things that are going on here and elsewhere in my life, this is a good place to start.
Would you like to know more? )
wombat_socho: Wombat (the mark)
Pedobear becomes official symbol of the Winter Olympics. Good going, eh? For those of you mercifully unaware of 4chan memes like this, Steven den Beste explains it all. (Ace)

Even more stupid, verging on evil: chic LA restauranteur succeeds in suckering California schools into mandatory school gardening curriculum for children of Chicano farm workers. (Little Miss Attila)

As a palate cleanser, try this Finnish war movie. No English subtitles, unfortunately. (Ace)
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Today's half-day assignment was with a sixth-grade English class* and went surprisingly well. Kids buckled down, did the assigned work, and caused me no problems worth complaining about. This was good, since for some damn reason I couldn't get to sleep last night and doubt if I got more than three hours of sleep. Anyway, it was only half a day/two classes. Since the school finally paid me for my stint in December, I put half a tank of gas into the Sportage, did a little grocery shopping and then came home for lunch. After doing some minimal stuff with internet spaceships and chatting with friends online, though, I'm pretty tired and going to crash early.

Adding to today's general happiness, the weather was really nice today. Sunny and in the 50s, so I turned off the heat for a little while and aired out the apartment. Nice while it lasted.

*Alexandria's schools are organized differently than most systems: elementary schools run from K-5, middle schools are 6-8, high school freshmen are in their own annex to the high school, and T.C. Williams High School has sophomores, juniors and seniors.
wombat_socho: Wombat (EVE)
hurfing and blurfing about EVE )

In other news not pertaining to internet spaceships, I got a half-day sub assignment on Friday. Better than no assignment at all, not as good as a whole day. Also, a preliminary run-through of my taxes using TurboTax indicates that I'm going to get about $900 from the Feds and $200 from the Commonwealth, which should come in very handy indeed.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Spent the day at the same middle school I subbed at last month (and in October), covering for the same teacher I subbed for in October. Many fewer problems than last time, probably because some of the kids were also in Mr. Perkins' class last month and have gotten it through their heads (possibly also spread the word) that I am Not To Be Messed With. Aside from one bloody nose (not my fault) which was dealt with expeditiously using a couple of Kleenex, basic first aid techniques, and a pass to the school clinic, the day was pretty uneventful. Attendance was taken, students were briefed on the lesson plan for the day, and I spent the rest of each period wandering the classroom in a largely successful effort to keep the noise down to a dull roar and the kids focused on work as opposed to socializing. I had the most trouble in the one class where I had a co-teacher. *rolls eyes*

With any luck, tomorrow will bring news of H&R Block training this week and maybe some hours into the bargain. I have bills to pay and a huge gaping hole in my checking account, so the sooner some money comes in the happier I'm going to be.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Today's substitute assignment was supposed to be a half day, but the regular teacher never showed up, so I got a full day's work (and pay) out of it. As with my first assignment, I laid down the law right away with the kids at the beginning of each class. I think that was a big reason I only had to run one student down the hall to the vice-principal. I also got a chance before school started to talk to the teacher I subbed for back in October. She was very impressed by how I did (especially since it had been my first class with civilian students) and was going to request me tomorrow, but unfortunately I had this prior engagement with the leg-cutters downtown...

...which wound up being scheduled for 1230 tomorrow. So I could have done the assignment anyway. Oh, well. Anyhow, yeah, P is going to pick me up at 1100 and cart me home after the cutting is done. I admit to being a little nervous about it. This is my first surgery since they took my appendix out in sixth grade, and since my bulk and (lack of) definition prevents a spinal tap (THANK YOU GOD) they're going to put me under. Not that I don't have confidence in the staff or anything, but accidents happen. I just hope one doesn't happen to me. Prayers would be appreciated from those of you so inclined. It's supposed to be day surgery, and let's hope it actually is.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Finished my first day of subbing, covering for a language arts teacher in one of the two middle schools. Since the Kia is hors de combat until Carlos can figure out what's wrong and fix it, I took the bus over there and back, which involved a fair amount of walking on top of all the walking I was doing in class. (The kids stay quiet and on task so much better when I loom over them.)* By and large it went well; most of this teacher's classes were Honors classes and those kids were generally well-behaved with a couple of exceptions that I left notes about. One kid in the last period got on my last nerve, wandering around messing with the others, and so I invited him out into the hallway where one of the regular teachers proceeded to realign his headspace with some impressive non-obscene language before taking the little troublemaker down the hall to the vice-principal. On my return the rest of the students were noticeably quieter.

Missed lunch at the school, wound up walking a couple blocks to Subway (needs must when the blood sugar drives) and then another couple blocks to the Braddock Road Metro, where I took a bus to the Alexandria Hospital. I was hoping to catch a Metrobus down into Foxchase, but instead of waiting 45 minutes I just walked it, since it was all downhill. My legs may forgive me, but not today. :(

Was going to make chili tonight but instead I think I'll just fry a pork chop or two, nuke some veggies, and crash.

*[livejournal.com profile] windelina, I don't have your bubbly personality, so I have to rely on presence. ;)
wombat_socho: Wombat (Politics)
Man, I've been doing a lot of walking these last couple of days. Marched up the hill to the management office to pay the rent, came back to the apartment and collapsed for a while, and after dinner went out to the Alexandria City Republican Committee meeting by bus, which involved a couple of blocks' walk between bus routes.

Wow...it was almost a flashback to RPM* days in District 61. On the other hand, both of our Republican/Independent city council members were there, and everyone was really pumped on account of the big wins on Tuesday. Both the candidates for delegate were there as well and got standing ovations for their efforts; Sasha Gong in particular got enthusiastic cheers after delivering an impromptu two-minute speech in which she called out the Democrats for being a bunch of racists. Some things never change. I put my name on the committee's e-mail list and will probably wind up being the precinct captain for Foxchase, which like most precincts with apartment complexes has a lot of turnover. It'll get me out of the basement and also get me face time with people, which is two good things at once.

Aside from that, I finally got my ID number from the ACPS** and got set up on the assignment system. Nothing out there yet, but I'll be diligent about checking the website. It's flu season, after all.

*Republican Party of Minnesota
**Alexandria City Public Schools
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Called in to Accountemps (all three NoVa offices) this morning and made sure they were showing me as active. ACPS never did get around to calling me today, so I'm going to follow up with them tomorrow and find out what's clogging the gears. I also headed over to the management office to hand in my lease renewal paperwork and complain about my living room window. It's been nice during the day lately, so I figure I might as well get it unjammed now...what the hell, it's been almost two years, I ought to be able to enjoy it before next spring. Confirmed that there is a DirecTV hookup in the building so I don't have to deploy my own antenna, which would be in radio defilade anyway since I have a north-facing basement apartment. I won't need that until next spring either, but it doesn't hurt to plan ahead.

Saw Game 5 of the World Series down at Shooter's tonight; it went much better than the preceding two games in Philadelphia since the Phillies staved off extermination 8-6, partially due to the awesome pitching of Cliff M.F. Lee and partially due to Chase Utley's two dingers, which moved him ahead of Reggie Jackson on the WS homers list. For once Charlie Manuel remembered that Brad Lidge is shitty, and called in Ryan Madsen to close the deal in the 9th. Madsen made things unnecessarily exciting by giving up hits to Posada and Gojira Matsui before getting Jeter to ground into a double play and striking out Teixeira, but he got the save, so it was all good.

Minor personal accomplishment - got my alt into Goonfleet and out of the Tribal Defense Forces, where he'd been grinding missions for loyalty points. Normally I would have podjumped to Goon space, but i decided to take my little missile boat and run for it. Surprisingly, I managed to run the 56-jump route through Gallente and Amarr space without getting blown up and/or podded. Also, there's some drama involving a friend of mine who's risen to a position of some responsibility in the Swarm and the new spy master/counterintelligence chief, who I used to think well of until he had a major attack of bitchiness at my friend's expense. Maybe next time he'll remember to fuel his own damn towers. :)
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
E.D. Hirsch's Curriculum for Democracy. Needless to say, Hirsch and his Core Knowledge curriculum never came up once in any of my education classes. Rousseauists, all of them. (Maggie's Farm)
wombat_socho: Curly W (baseball)
Went over to Alexandria City Public Schools' main office this morning to turn in all my paperwork and get fingerprinted, which means that if everything goes smoothly (no reason why it shouldn't) I'll be an active member of the substitute pool starting Monday. Hopefully I'll have better luck with that than I've had with the various temp agencies.

Been on quite the reading jag lately, which considering how much time I'm spending with my feet up isn't too surprising. Today I finished S.M. Stirling's The Peshawar Lancers; yesterday I wrapped up his Helot War trilogy with Go Tell the Spartans and Prince of Sparta, both of which are co-written with Jerry Pournelle. I've also been browsing through Total Baseball, mostly looking at horrible teams like the A's, Browns and Phillies from the 1940s and 50s. Actually, since the Browns became the Orioles in 1953, there's not much to look at, but what's there is morbidly fascinating.

Speaking of baseball, I finished sixth in the fantasy league [livejournal.com profile] fsf_rapier started, which puts me two places behind him and one behind [livejournal.com profile] luned, though it really wasn't that close. [livejournal.com profile] luned's Rivendell Rangers led my Dukes by 10.5 points at the end of the season, mainly because my pitching blew chunks. I had the league's worst ERA and WHIP, to say nothing of Batting Avergae Against. The only pitching category I did well in was saves, where I was fourth. The offense was similarly bad: league worst AVG and OBP, mediocre HR and RBI - at least we led the league in steals, which is just ridiculous since that's not the kind of team I like. :(

Maybe next year I'll do better, after I pick up the Sporting News guide and figure out who all these damn players are. Also, I need to just leave my pitchers alone until June; I got rid of Scott Baker, Justin Verlander, and Cole Hamels, all of whom started badly and finished great. :(

My eyes are telling me I spent too much time staring at this screen today, so I think I'll post this and go to bed.
wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
Avoiding an Italian future: why we need to do this. Luigi Zingales' article describes how Italy's pro-market politicians got eaten alive by the pro-business faction after their (eventually) successful defeat of the Marxists. This is something that's still thrashing itself out here, where the difference between Main Street and Wall Street is more obvious than it might have been in Italy. (Instapundit)

You know, for somebody that was going to unify us all in a post-partisan glow with his cleanliness and articulate speech, 0bama and his crew sure manage to piss a lot of people off. Even people that wanted to believe what he was saying. (The Corner)

Kids without parents have a tough time getting it together in school. Not exactly news, but some people just don't get why the single-mom thing is such a bad idea. I saw links to this earlier in the week but forgot to post them. (Instapundit)

Been wheezing and coughing up stuff today so decided not to go to Mass and share it. Ironic, I'm taking all these antibiotics, and some damn virus moves in to mess with me. Ffffffffffffffffffffffffff.


Oct. 21st, 2009 08:48 am
wombat_socho: Washington (Washington)
I sure hope I impressed ACPS* with my zeal for the job as opposed to my illiteracy when I showed up this morning for in-processing - one week and twenty minutes before I was supposed to be there. :headdesk: At least I had all my papers done and ready to roll.

*Alexandria City Public Schools
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Took about an hour tonight to fill in all the forms I'll need to turn in to the Alexandria City schools tomorrow, including a voided check for the direct deposit. This will go in with me tomorrow to the fingerprinting along with the copies of my college transcripts and the letter from the VA saying I don't have tuberculosis. All this paperwork gets turned in tomorrow when I get fingerprinted a little before 0830. *sigh* Well, at least I'll get access to the sub scheduling systems (phone and computer) once they hear back from the Commonwealth that I'm not some kind of preverted child-abusing felonious wackjob. That shouldn't take long.

Aside from that, not a whole lot on the agenda for tomorrow. The usual job hunting and hanging out on the Internets, I suppose.

Finally, your moment of Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere Porn Zen for the day. The drag racing starts about 7:30 into the clip.

(Moe Lane)

oh, great

Oct. 20th, 2009 02:40 pm
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Called the advice line yesterday to check on the Clindamycin dosage, which I erroneously thought was 9/day instead of the more reasonable 6/day (RX actually said three pills every 6 hours) and they said someone would call me back. This morning my primary care doc called and said yeah, they messed up the RX: it should have been 12 pills a day. OMFG. I think I'm just going to go on the BRAT diet for the duration.

Meanwhile, I woke up with what I thought was a cold, but it seems to have passed. Still feel kind of bleh, but I need to go out and get stuff printed out today since I need to turn in a ton of forms/transcripts/stuff when I go in to get fingerprinted by the Alexandria City schools tomorrow.

Ironically enough, the day I turned the heat on, we're expecting a high in the 70s. Indian summer?


wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)

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