Category Archives: Education

Duh Economics

If I hear one more person ask how spending billions of dollars is supposed to stimulate the economy, I think I’ll scream at the top of my lungs while pulling every hair out of my head. After that, I will buy a wig, glue it to my head and continue with the hair-pulling.

I’m going to be as restrained as I possibly can here, but this is getting ridiculous. At the risk of sounding like a condescending jerk, when someone asks how spending money stimulates the economy, they show a complete ignorance of even high school-level economics. The question is as jaw-dropping to me as asking how billions of people having sex is supposed to stimulate population growth.

So then you get the argument, ‘well, this is not a stimulus bill, this is a spending bill.’ What do you think a stimulus is? That’s the whole point! — President Obama

Exactly! I’ve been saying this, almost verbatim, for a couple of weeks now. Thank you, Mr. President!

But now we’ve got people saying, “So, he finally admits that the stimulus bill is about spending.”

Excuse me while I have a facepalm moment.

President Obama no more “admitted” that the stimulus bill is about spending than a person could “admit” that air traffic is about planes flying around in the sky, or that ice is about frozen water.

But let me tell you where I think President Obama went wrong in all this: He gave too many people more credit than they deserved in assuming that they understood what the damn word means.

He didn’t “admit” to anything, as that would imply that he had previously denied or attempted to cover it up. I think he just finally realized that he was going to have to dumb it down for people who clearly weren’t grasping all the words or understanding the very basics of Duh Economics.

This is not simply a matter of perspective. This is not some sinister, liberal conspiracy to steal people’s money. The United States is in economic crisis. Police are being called to control the crowds at job fairs! This is the harsh reality of the situation.

Republicans may not like it but the way to create jobs fast is through spending. It matters when you’re wrong. A whopping proportion of the Republican rhetoric about stimulus is wrong – total economic bull puckey. It’s time to take the radical step of privileging correct information over incorrect information.

Rachel.msnbc.com

For a crash course in what economists from both sides of the aisle are saying, please watch at least the first four minutes of this, though I do recommend the entire eight minute course.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2009 Rambling On


Hell Holes

This video discusses many of the logical holes in the concept of hell. It also briefly touches on free will.

More From QualiaSoup Good stuff!


Positive Atheism

I don’t have much time for posting lately, but I found this and wanted to share it with you:

I have something to say to the religionist who feels atheists never say anything positive:

You are an intelligent human being. Your life is valuable for its own sake. You are not second-class in the universe, deriving meaning and purpose from some other mind. You are not inherently evil—you are inherently human, possessing the positive rational potential to help make this a world of morality, peace and joy.
Trust yourself.

– Dan Barker, Losing Faith in Faith

Via Positive Atheism


A People’s Holiday

A Brief History of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

“This is not a black holiday; it is a peoples’ holiday,” said Coretta Scott King after President Ronald Reagan signed the King Holiday Bill into law on November 2, 1983.

I Have A Dream

Video Credit


S-U-C-C-E-S-S

That’s the way we spell success!

Our first day of homeschooling couldn’t have been better! John was motivated and eager, and his energy was contagious. It was great to see him smiling and excited about school again.

The assignments in the outlines I have posted are quite easy. They are, for the most part, a record to show that we are meeting the minimum requirements, and then some. John’s educational experience is by no means limited to the assignments recorded on my blog. I could not possibly record every learning experience that he and I share together.

Math has been quite intense for John this year. Not only had it become more difficult, as would be expected, but his math teacher was extremely critical and demanding. She describes herself as “passionate” and claims that her methods motivate students. I describe her as obnoxious, and her methods did nothing but discourage my son and make him feel bad about himself.

What she calls “motivating”, I call humiliating and belittling.

In an effort to help restore John’s confidence, I have decided to back up a bit in the math department. Right now we are reviewing material that he is familiar with, and we’ll gradually progress to more challenging work. My hope is that this will remind him of just how much he does know, and help relieve some of his anxiety over math. It will also give me an opportunity to find out, first hand, what he knows and where he gets stuck. This way, I can have a better idea of how to help him improve.

I had fully expected a call from the school today but didn’t receive one. The letter of withdrawal should be the end of it. I guess I’ll find out in the next week or so if that’s going to be the case. I certainly don’t want a fight, but I’m prepared for one. Hopefully, it will end with the letter and we can continue with the business of homeschooling without unnecessary distractions.

You know I’ll keep you posted!

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2009 Rambling On


School Days, School Days

It’s official! I’ve sent a certified letter of withdrawal to the school, and joined the Texas Home School Coalition.

I know I didn’t have to do that. Texas is homeschool-friendly and there is no requirement to join an organization or have one represent you. However, one of the reasons I withdrew my son from his middle school was the Principal’s out-of-control and consistently-irrational behavior. That being the case, there’s no telling how she might respond to John’s withdrawal. As a member of THSC, I am entitled to pro bono legal representation, should it come to that.

I’m not expecting the worst, but I’m prepared for it.

Classes begin tomorrow. John and I are so excited! I’ve spent the past couple of weeks reviewing various sources and building our Curriculum Library. Besides all the online sources I have listed, we will use books, worksheets, DVD’s and anything else that strikes our fancy as we go. Of course, we’ll only use a few sources at a time, and pick and choose as we go. I just like having it all there in one place for the sake of convenience. It will also be useful for showing that I do have a curriculum if I’m ever faced with having to prove it. The Lessons page will show that I’m pursuing it in a bona fide manner.

Selena has been a huge source of support from the beginning of this. She lives in Texas and homeschools her son, too. She wrote to me today with some advice that really hit home and rang so true. With Selena’s permission, I would like to share it with you:

One of the biggest things I had to learn was to NOT try to duplicate what has been done in public schools. I was unconsciously still thinking that their way was the standard. I pulled my son out of the public school system, but turned around and unintentionally pulled the school system into our home. I became overwhelmed and put unnecessary stress on the both of us. I want to encourage you that you were the one to be your son’s first and primary teacher. You taught your son how to walk, talk and go potty, and you are more than capable of providing the best opportunities for your son! You go, girl!

When I read that, I breathed a sigh of relief.

I have been so worried about not doing this right because I’ve been measuring myself by the public school standards.

But this is our school! We will meet the basic requirements of teaching reading, spelling, grammar, math and good citizenship. As long as we do that, it’s up to us how, when and where it all takes place, and anything we add to our curriculum is completely up to us and at our discretion. That’s going to the really fun part!

We will follow a schedule that works for us, and study the things that we’re interested in. I’ll post daily lesson plans on my homeschooling blog for anyone who is interested. We plan to study some interesting material that we’re both very excited about.

I mentioned in my last post that I’d found what I think will be the perfect science curriculum for us. I also mentioned that I would probably use an article from BBC History to begin our study of The American Revolution. Since then, I have found another source that I think is fantastic! It’s called Liberty! The American Revolution. I found the lesson outline at PBS Teachers and it’s designed to go along with the six part video series bearing the same title. Mike found all six episodes on Google Video and sent me the links, so I don’t even have to buy the DVD’s.

That should keep our history class rolling for quite some time! I’m really looking forward to that and the science lessons we have planned. I feel like I’m going back to school myself, and in a way, I guess I am.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2009 Rambling On


Happy New Year!

I guess I’d better make my New Year’s post before the clock rolls over.

I’ve been a bit preoccupied lately. School starts next week and I’m trying to put together a workable homeschool curriculum. There’s no shortage of sources, but reviewing them and finding the right ones can be very time consuming.

Of course, I also have to work, keep up with the housework, make sure we’re both fed and still make time to relax and laugh with my sweet pea. It’s a challenge, but we’ll work together and get it done.

We’re very excited about homeschooling! I believe I’ve found the perfect science curriculum; it’s from Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes (ENSI). We’ll start with a unit called Nature of Science. It teaches what science is and is not, discusses the limits of science and corrects misconceptions about it, and eventually leads to a study of human evolution.

I’m really looking forward to this course of study.

My son also wants to study the American Revolution. I’m pretty sure I’ll use BBC History as a guide, but if anyone knows of other good sources for teaching this subject, please post a link in comments. I need to put the lesson together over the weekend, so I’ll take all the help I can get.

Everything else is coming together nicely. This year is going to be great!

  • We’ll get Mike’s immigration taken care of and we can finally live as a family on the same continent!
  • I have made a wonderful friend who is more like the big sister I never had, and I look forward to the continued growth of that relationship.
  • Barack Obama will be sworn in as President of the United States.
  • We’re happy, healthy and loved.

Happy New Year, readers, friends and loved ones. May we continue to grow, learn, share and laugh together.

Peace and happiness to you all!

Sincerely,
Lottie

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2009 Rambling On