Thursday, January 31, 2008

Rambling Misc's.

This is one of those days where the head is headed off in all sorts of directions so this post will too.

I started this day checking blogs, and checked out Scott Adams. (He is the creator of Dilbert)

Mr. Adams has an interesting blog which is half serious and half nonsense. One day he decided that most songs were random words stuck together, and really did not have any meaning.

So he challenged his readers to post random phrases, and he would write a song.

I am not sure if he wrote it, or who did..... but someone wrote it, and someone else put some pictures with it and put it on YouTube... Here it is

My contribution didn't make the cut however.... as did many others I believe there were about 600 posts.


Ever have a song stuck in your head?

I had that silly "oh, oh, oh she amazed me" stuck in my head this morning.....

Then I started singing some Pink Floyd for some reason,

"We don't need no, education, we don't need no thought control"

When I got off the bus and jumped in the pickup, that song was on the radio, so here it is.....


I spent a lot of time in the educational system..... so I should be pretty smart, but I don't think I will start there.... instead I will start a little earlier.

Children are born knowing very little, they usually are pretty good at having their heart beat, most can figure out how to breathe (though my daughter was one of those who forgot how every once in a while). For some reason they all know how to scream, yell, and suck a nipple. Beyond that everything is a learning process. Newborns cannot see very well, until the brain learns how to process the information the eyes are picking up. They don't know they have arms until one whacks them in the eye. They don't know who all those people who keep making funny faces at them are until they learn them by smell, by sight, then by sound. Eventually they realize that they too can make those funny faces and funny noises. They learn that they can get things they need or want by making the noises, they learn that they too can sit, stand, walk, run. They learn that the funny red dude's name is Elmo and the square guy is Sponge Bob.

Someone told me once that people learn more from age 0-3 then they do for the rest of their lives. If you think about all the processes, all the muscles contracting and releasing at just the right moment, the feelings, the reactions..... just to take a step, or say a word, it isn't hard to imagine.

One does not have to be around children much to understand that they are sponges. They absorb everything. I tell my elementary kids on the bus to watch out for this, that what the 5th grader does, the 1st grader will do. The kids call it 'monkey see, monkey do' but its a learning process.

skip a beat

OK, so my daughter is 4 yrs old, has been watching her brother play soccer since she was 5 months old, and is taking soccer. The coach teaches them to move the ball with their feet and they run around kicking the ball in their little swarm.

I asked the coach why they did not learn to pass.

He said, "The girls are too young to be able to learn how to pass yet"

So everyday my daughter and I would get to practice early and pass the ball back and forth. As girls would show up, they would join us. Soon everybody but the coach's daughter was able to pass back and forth. Only then did he incorporate it into practice. If a 2 week old baby can take the weird shapes and colors, and develop a facial recognition system to identify "Mom" with, a 4 yr old can surely learn how to pass the ball.

This seems to be the underscore of the United State's education system. They are too young to be able to learn that yet. You can't teach a 4 yr old to pass the ball, you can't teach a 12 year old Algebra, you can't teach a 17 yr old calculus. There are so many people saying what our children cannot learn that few are willing to try to teach them.

My daughter is the only 12 yr old in Pre-Algebra. Last year as she was moving into 6th grade EVERYONE was given the option to take regular math, advanced math, or pre-algebra. However there was a warning attached. Expect your child's grade to drop, one level for each level up they go. So if your child was an A student and you stuck them in Pre-Algebra, expect them to get at the best a C! (After all they don't really have the ability yet to learn this stuff I suppose).

So my daughter was the only 6th grader in Pre-Algebra. Her grades went from B's and C's to A's and B's. I suppose she must be the exception to the rule, of course since nobody else was willing to try.....

She does have a father however that believes that children can learn anything and he believes that it is the parents job to educate, they are just given tools, one of which is the school system to do it with. (a few weeks ago she came in saying, "Remember that stuff about Pi and circles and stuff that you taught me 2 years ago.... were just now learning about it" Boy, I wonder what people would say about teaching Geometry to a 10 yr old!)

More about that stuff later.



I hate these primaries , I know who I want to vote for, so let me vote already.

If that person does not win their party's vote, I will have to vote for the other party, but if the guy I like in that party does not win...... Back to voting for Jesse Jackson I guess (I assume he's running again, maybe not)

The electoral college was great 200 years ago. The parties figured out who they wanted people to vote for, the states voted, sent their reps to some national location and those guys voted and a new president got elected.

That was great 200 years ago.

Today we have these computers. Today we can instantly tell how many votes were cast and who the winner is.

So let EVERYONE run.

Let everyone vote.

Then decide the winner by who got the most votes.

Seems easier.

I think the issue with it though is that the politicians would lose, and some guy who just bought donuts for the guys at the chicken processing plant would win.

Actually I do believe that if everyone could vote for anyone, the race in Mississippi would boil down to 2 people. Oprah and Paula Dean. Now Oprah has lost her accent, Paula wears hers with pride, so I am pretty sure that she would be the winner in the southern states.

I think she would do a pretty good job too:

Today, President Paula Dean addressed the Iraqi Parliment, she started her speech by saying, "Howdy Ya'll, I brought cha some nice fried catfish and turnip greens to eat while I'm a-talking, and if ya'll agree to these proposals I got a nice chocolate 'better than sex cake' for ya'll to try too!"


Dene said...

Right on with the revamping of the voting system, who knows, maybe sooner than you think!

Your meanderings are so interesting to read. I think you've struck a cord with many in relating the soccer story--sometimes we get so focused on not letting our children fail (as in well they aren't too coordinated yet so likely won't be Sucessful with the pass, so let's not let them try!) & with the Algebra story as well.

Vee said...

When I taught 7th & 8th grade kids -- such an interesting setup, self-contained classroom, two grades, six or seven subjects each, I taught everything. Lots of advantages in that but the disadvantage was the teacher prep time for all those assignments. My 8th graders were a smart bunch so I figured out real quickly that I could give them my old college English and math assignments. They ate it up.