Sunday, November 29, 2009

The effect of not sharing dinner on the family?

I've been thinking about what effect this would have on the children.

Diane raised the boys after my brother died. They did not have meals together. Food was put on the table, the boys took what they wanted and then went some where to eat it along. What effect did this have on their personality? The boys are now in their middle 20's and scattered to places unknown to me. They are unwelcome here.

This could be about the destruction of the family unity. Back when I was having supper with the family the parents stayed married. That is also a part of the destruction of the family. Back when the family unit was intact the male was able to support the family. Now it takes two, in most cases, to earn enough to support the family. Parents out of the house for 10 hours, 5-6 days a week turns having supper together an impossibility. It turns into stopping at the deli, bring it home, and putting the bags on the table: 'Come and get it!'

It is a mess.

Pop the pig ...

I happened into a kids program this morning and saw an ad for Pop The Pig.  Their must be a connection between this and obesity. It caused me to wonder about its effect on behavior.

The link to Pop The Pig

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving is another opportunity to waste.

I prepared a Thanksgiving dinner and saved the left-overs. It was in the left-over phase that I realized that waste is happening on a grand scale. I senced something might be happening when I heard a flip news woman say that there will be a lot to go into the garbage. So, in the clean-up phase the left-overs are prepared for late night snacks, soap, lunch, student's sandwiches, etc or some percentage of it goes into the garbage. I remember my mom giving me a bag and telling me to put it in the garbage. It would be very heavy. The bag I put in the garbage this Thanksgiving contained turkey bones and it was small and light.

I recall my sister-in-law and the food waste in their house. I thought at the time that they should just put it directly into the garbage can and skip the cooking phase. Cooking was a waste of time. Order, have it delived and eat like wolves. I witnessed the behavior. They didn't even set down at the table togather. The food was in small bags. The boys grabbed what they wanted and went somewhere to eat by themselves.

It was a joy to share Thanksgiving with Brenda.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ground zero or Flint, Michigan?

YouTube video

My grand mother lived in Owosso, Michigan and my uncle George worked for GM in Flint.  After his divorce he lived with his mother in Owosso.  When I would visit my grand mother I would pass by Flint.  Something really bad has happened in Flint. I now live in Holiday, Florida. Someone shot Dixie [my cat] in the eye.  I will take her to the doctor tomorrow.

What are we as a race of people?

Hunger in Flint.  Do you really care?

Al Gore on Saturday Night Live

There was Al Gore dressed in a suit holding his book: An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It . 

He was not allowed to speak a complete thought.  He was constantly interrupted by a black wearing what appeared to be an equivalent of a clowns suit, dancing and singing 'What's Up Now?".  The situation totally discounted Al Gore.

Does this represent the attitude of most college educated Americans?  If it does, then we are all in jeopardy.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

What's up?

I am frequently asked that question and I'm uncertain how to answer it.  When it is dark and the sky is clear, I want to say the moon and stars.  When it's day time, I'm tempted to say the stock market.  Other times I'm tempted to say the price of gas. 

Ask your students this question.  What's up?  Maybe they know. Please post their answers.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Do what you were told and keep your mouth shut.

I witnessed this in the small towns near Midland, Michigan. Dow Chemical is located there. Dow needs highly educated employees in research and management. They got them from the University system. The hourly employees came from the small towns near Midland where most people only had a high school education from an inferior school system. Gradually Dow need for better educated hourly employees increased: they needed more than just someone with a strong back that would do what they were told and that would keep their mouth shut.

I had some of the Gladwin Michigan students in my classroom when I taught at Mid Michigan Community College. They refused to study, they were disinterested in what was being taught, some did not bath and were generally nasty people. They were not the type of people that Dow Chemical wanted. This is another reason why Dow management would out-source. It was not could just that it could be done cheaper else where.

Dow also learned how to do more with less people. That was obvious when I saw Dow's employee parking lots. When I was there, the parking lots would be almost full. When I visited there the parking lots were about one 10th full.

By the time I left Michigan, Gladwin had become a welfare town.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Teaching without purpose ....

That is what you are doing without a goal and lesson plans that will fullfil that goal.  Otherwise, just wing it. I hope you are not doing that.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You made the mess; you clean it up!

Have you ever said that?  What what would you think if you were told  'the Law does not require me to do that'.

Progress Energy employes pruned my oak tree and left behind the limbs.  I thought that someone would be back and remove them.  About 3 weeks have passed and they were still there.  So I thought that someone must have forgotten to finish what they had started.  So, I called Progress Energy to remind them to remove the limbs.  That is when I was told, "The Law does not require us to do that". I was shocked. Their mess had suddenly become my problem.

I knew that a Code Enforcement officer would soon be after me for what they did.  My next step was to use my lawn tractor to pull the limbs into the back yard where I can safely cut them into small pieces.  What does this have to do with education?  It is about students not being taught correct behavior.

When they become adults, they pass laws that allow them to make a mess and not clean it up! They have become good law abiding citizens. Or, have they become something other than that?

A message from Russia!

"If we don't take joint action, the consequences for the planet may be very distressing to the point that the Arctic and Antarctic ice can melt and change ocean levels," he said shortly before leaving Singapore.

"All of this will have catastrophic consequences."

I live about 2 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and at an elevation of 12 feet above sea level as do millions of us do who live in Florida. You may take the 'I don't care, it doesn't effect me attitude' as do many who live on higher ground.  I don't live where I do my choice.  My location was determined by my parents. You might think that I should just move.  I have thought about it.

I try to avoid indifferent people. I have gotten rid of most of them and I avoid the rest.

Monday, November 16, 2009

She took me to the hospital and then she took me home and beat me.

That is what Brenda told me her mother did to her after she touched a hot burner after her mother told her not to do it. Brenda ignored her mothers when she was about 9 and suffered the consquences. Today, Brenda and I installed a cook top in her kitchen and she recalled what had happened many years ago.  It sure was tempting to touch the cook top to see if it was hot.  We didn't do that.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.

Sir Isaac Newton gave credit to the knowledge of scientist that preceded him. He did that because he understood that he could not have understood physics and mathematics without them. They provided the foundation that he built upon as did people like Albert Einstein.

I frequently witness teachers encouraging their students who have not yet learned what they should know if they had first learned the knowledge of the Giants to draw a conclusion and expound upon that conclusion when they have not learned the fundamentals. I cringe when I witness this and think that they are creating the next generation of con men.

Here is the link to Wikipedia that explains  "... standing on the shoulders of Giant."

Monday, November 09, 2009

Freedom of the Press requires a Press!

I bought a Tampa Tribune today.  It was only 24 pages.  The pages were small and the paper was printed on cheap paper.  The price was .80 cents.  I have not reason to buy another Tampa Tribune.  With the Tampa Tribune gone, there will only be the St. Petersburg Times remaining. I read the Times at Ronald's this morning. There was not much left after Ronald removed the advertising.

The Freedom of the Press may remain for a while after newspapers have become an historical artifact. I sometimes wonder what others value. They do not seem to care about others and sometimes they do not even care about themselves.  I bought the Tampa Tribune at Greenbay.  The clerk ask me if I wanted it in a bag. I said, "No".  Then she put a sticker on it.  I said, "I don't want a sticker on it either."  She than said, "It is the store rule. If it isn't in a bag, then it must have a sticker."

Now you know what is important.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

How schools stifle creativity

Sir Ken Robinson, Ph.D. presents a very important message to educators in this video. Link to video

I have thought some of the same thoughts but it was not for me to put it togather and present it.  I do have a blog from which I can pass it on to you.  I hope you do something constructive with what you will learn.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Eric Kandel: From Mind to Brain and Back Again

I discoved last night when reading Scientific American Mind, October/November 2009.  His profile begins on page 33.  He was award the Nobel Prize for his work that revealed the basic mechanisms of memory. It is something that all educators should know.  After all, our effort is futile if our students do not remember what they have been taught. 

I would summarize it for you, but then you would most likely not discover Eric Kandel.  Get to know Eric Kandel and then you will know why he was awarded the Nobel Prize.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Quote of the Week:

Science and technology multiply around us. To an increasing extent they dictate the languages in which we speak & think. Either we use those languages, or we remain mute.  ~James Ballard