Category Archives: Education

‘I’m constantly asking: Why?’ When mass shootings end, the painful wait for answers begins. – The Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/im-constantly-asking-why-when-mass-shootings-end-the-painful-wait-for-answers-begins/2018/03/15/6fb0347e-1d8a-11e8-b2d9-08e748f892c0_story.html?utm_term=.febc803e891c

Toward the end of their interviews, Reid asked Holmes what he believed caused him to kill others. Holmes boiled it down to hard numbers: 45 percent was caused by his belief in the point system, another 45 by the feeling it would prevent his suicide, and 10 percent by his broccoli-like hatred.

Reid, however, said he found those answers lacking.

“You could call them excuses in a way, because they don’t make sense,” he said. “People break up with their girlfriends every day; that doesn’t mean they become killers. They struggle with depression and impulses; that doesn’t mean they become killers. These things are associated with the action, but they are not predictive.”

Reid is a forensic psychiatrist who clearly has no clue how mental illness works.

This sounds exactly like OCD to me, except instead of checking the locks 3 times or washing hands for exactly 45 seconds to prevent bad things from happening, Holmes was certain that killing people would save his life because he knew the alternative was him committing suicide, something he knew he didn’t want to do.

While this seems like an unsatisfactory answer, it is one that shows that there is a way to prevent future attacks of this type. OCD can be treated.

Now, I’m sure that some people are thinking, “well, such bad thoughts can be shut down; they’re a choice.” Uh no. They’re not a choice. People don’t get to choose what their obsessions are or what works or doesn’t work (for them).

I have a problem with songs (and thoughts) getting stuck in my head for hours on end. Hours. But I randomly found a trick that works to stop the repetition: I’m a Little Teapot. Yep, somehow this nursery rhyme a) doesn’t get stuck in my head and b) is capable of shutting off whatever has been on repeat when nothing else has.

You may be thinking, “well, I get songs stuck in my head all the time!”

For days on end? 

With no relief?

Where you happen to stumble upon one thing that brings you quiet for a little while?

This forensic psychiatrist has unintentionally shown exactly what’s wrong with the current system: we don’t recognize universal symptoms as universal when it’s easier to assume that there must be a deeper problem.
 I get why this happens. We don’t want t stigmatize all OCD as the same. We don’t want to stigmatize the issue. And that’s fine! That’s great! There are many many different flavors (from mild annoyances to severe “I can’t live like this”)!

But ultimately, it is all the same. And it needs to be treated as such if we want to move forward as a society. Not because a handwasher and door-lock-checker can suddenly become a serial killer (actually, since these are coping mechanisms they’d be less likely to “snap”), but because everyone deserves to live in peace and while we may think of handwashers and door-lock-checkers as quirky and harmless when compared to people whose coping mechanism is murder, neither group gets to live in peace. Both are slaves to their obsessions. That’s not fair to them.

What makes the Parkland shooter different is that everyone in his life knew he was troubled and wanted to gwet him the help he needed.

But their efforts were stymied by red tape. The type of red tape that seems to stem from a lack of money invested in mental health care.

Calls for putting more police officers in schools, arming teachers, and installing bullet proof glass and metal detectors all strike me as reactionary. They are all things that will respond to the next shooting, but will do absolutely nothing to prevent it. 

I think such money would be better served by creating an in-school suspension system that focuses on mental healthcare rather than just shuffling troubled kids along. And there should be a seemless transition between graduation and adult mental health care. Cost should be no object because anyone asking for help for themselves or a loved one should receive it. Period.

Advertisements

Made My Evening:

“Cultural differences occur in pragmatics, even within the same spoken language. For example, Shirley Brice Heath (1989) spent many hours observing White middle-class parents and African American families who were poor. She found that the adults asked different kinds of questions and encouraged different kinds of “talk.” White parents asked test-like questions with right answers, such as, “How many cars are there?” or, “Which car is bigger?” These questions seem odd to African American children, whose families don’t ask about what they already know. The African American child might wonder, “Why would my aunt ask me how many cars? She can see there are 3.” Instead, Heath found that African American families encourage rich storytelling and also teasing that hones their children’s quick wit and assertive responses.”

–Child and Adolescent Development; Woolfolk and Perry 2015

The Turpins – This is What Homeschooling to Hide Abuse Look Like

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/2018/01/turpins-homeschooling-hide-abuse-look-like/

One of the things that my conservative relatives say about stuff like Stop and Frisk is that (black) people shouldn’t mind police checking on them if they have nothing to hide.

Of course, there’s a big difference between driving while black and parents not wanting a social worker to see that their children are emaciated and aren’t educated on grade level. One is racism on the part of society and the other is society turning ablind eye on abuse in the name of…what…freedom? Independence? Religion?

State tests are the BARE MINIMUM that a student should know at their age. They are an absolute joke for any AP student. Which means that they should also be a joke to any homeschooling parent worth their salt. Any homeschooling parent who refuses such tests should be suspected because it means that they are uncomfortable with their child’s education so far. A teacher who is equally uncertain about their students’ performance on these tests should also be suspected.

And yes, I am in school to become a teacher. If I’m ever uncertain that my students will pass these tests, I will take a good long look at my career choice.

Homeschooling students should have to take these tests yearly in person at some kind of government facility.  Hell! The DMV would work! Just some place where a trained set of eyes can see whether the children are being neglected or abused. Guess what? If the parent doesn’t have anything to worry about, they shouldn’t oppose in person testing. It’d be no different from routine checkups and dental appointments.

There is npo boogeyman. There is not conspiracy to place all children in foster care. But honestly, if this is your fear, you need help.

There’s NOTHING inherently wrong with homeschooling! But it is all too easily a vector for abuse and neglect.

That time I wrote my entire 25 page Thesis in a single evening.

Post inspired by reading: Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins.

My last semester as an undergrad, I was in my history degree’s mandatory Thesis course. Well, mandatory as in we all had to write a 25 page Thesis to get the degree, but each 10-15 person class had a separate main theme, to best match content to interest rather than being entirely open ended (I LOVE UVA!).

The one I chose was “Gender in the US Civil War Era” though my paper ended up being only marginally gender oriented. While I tried to draw up the female angle in my sources, mainly I was writing about the difference between what was really going on in Washington vs. how local people (SE VA and NE NC) viewed what was happening/laws that were passed.

Remember the fainting ladies of Portsmouth!

Anyway, the whole course was centered around guiding us down the path of writing our paper, teaching us how to find and vet sources, coming up with our topics, actually finding sources; all of our assignments were to keep up on track (while we actually did learn about gender issues during the CW Era.

Anyway, in early April (Graduation was May 22) our homework was to have 5-6 pages of rough draft to go over in class. I misunderstood and thought we had to have the whole rough draft. 

I’m also a procrastinator, though I’d spend weeks letting my paper “perculate” in my head, drafting and redrafting paragraphs and arguments, but never actually writing much down.

So, the night before class, I had all my sources read and had notes from them (because of the work we’d been doing the past 3 months in class), I just had to buckle down and write. 

Which I proceeded to do.

All 25 pages (double spaced, thank god).

Actually, it may have only been 23, but that 25 wasn’t  set in stone and I did know that out was just a draft that was due. Drafts can be shorter than the final project.

I wrote all through the night. I think it took me a good 15 hours (including some distractions) total.

This was the only all nighter I did in college and I have no regrets. Rather than be embarrassed when I walked into class and learned that I’d screwed up, I was happy. The paper that I had been dreading all semester was done! Sure, it’d need some tweaks, but as every scholar knows, you can’t write a proper introduction until you’ve written the paper and came to your real conclusions (instead of just what you think you will be talking about). Research is fun because you don’t know where you’re going until you get there (if you are doing it right, of course).

I’m writing about this today in part because of the story I’m reading and also because the semester started this week for school (I’m getting a MSED in Elementary Education online) and between my two classes (Human Development and Public Speaking), I will be writing 5-10 research papers (though P.S. forbids reading off a manuscript and all speeches must be given with just notes; it’s still all the work of a paper). Given the time frame, I expect they’ll all be 3-5 pages (double spaced), which is less than many of my ranty blog posts (which yes, if possible for P.S., I will be using my blog posts for inspiration).

Honestly, I’m just worried that P.S. is going to be super boring to learn because it has to be generic. It’s one class that everyone must take, but it’s taught en masse rather than in small sections where each topic is different so you can study in the context of what interests you (like my thesis course and the undergrad writing requirement at UVA). I’d much prefer to study Public Speaking in the context of the Civil War Era, or the Guilde Age, American Presidents, 20th c. World Leaders, the Civil Rights Movement, scientists begging for funding…

‘Cuz, we ALL know that this generic class is going to focus on the most famous speeches known to mankind ( the ones studied to death). The Gettysburg Address is important, but what about comparing it to the counter speeches given by Jefferson Davis? Or the “I have a dream” speech vs. a speech by Malcolm X?

Hmm. I think I just found another good topic for that class!

AnyHoo. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for this month! I can’t link to it from my tablet, but you can find it at the top of the page 😊. There are some really fun card challenges that I’m hoping to enter this weekend, if I don’t have too much trouble with school work.

Klansville U.S.A. | American Experience | Official Site | PBS

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/klansville/

It’s way too easy to draw connections to what was going on in 1960s North Carolina and 2017 in Charlottesville and other places where the Alt-Right has been causing trouble.

Teaching Everything Using the Scientific Method

Mmkay. So, I had this epiphany (it’s like the last thing I wrote) a few weeks ago about how pretty much everything is learned through the Scientific Method:

  1. Background Information/Observation,
  2. Hypothesis,
  3. Design and Conduct the Experiment,
  4. Evaluate the Data,
  5. Draw a Conclusion

In other words, think up a question (Why is the sky blue? What year was the Declaration of Independence signed?), offer a hypothesis (Because it is. 1776.), Design and Conduct the Experiment (I will look in my textbook(s)), Evaluate the data (do I agree with my textbook? Can I verify this information using another source?), and Draw a conclusion (The sky is blue due to the angle of sunlight hitting water molecules in the atmosphere, 1776 because I saw a real copy of the Declaration in the UVA library).

I wish I had realized this earlier while I was reading through the Language Acquisition and Reading (Creating Literacy Instruction; Pearson 2016) textbook. Even though they have used various different terms, pretty much every strategy for teachers to use has boiled down to the Scientific Method as described above.

Here’s the latest example:

Mini-lessons used as a part of a Reading Workshop for lessons using Independent Reading. These mini-lessons have 5 basic parts (I have block quoted them to make them easier to read, but the analysis is mine alone):

1. Connection (Background information and Hypothesis)

2/3. Teaching and Active Involvement (Conducting the Experiment)

4. Link (Evaluate)

5. Follow up (Conclusion)

I have to create 3 different lesson plans for the class, due Dec. 3rd. My hope is to have them comply with my theory of universally utilizing the Scientific Method, but honestly my first goal will be ensuring that they meet any and all requirements that my professor has for the assignment (because I’d prefer to pass the class since I don’t have real students to test my lesson plans on). However, once the class is over, I’m thinking about creating some of these lesson plans over winter break. Of course I’ll post them here unless and until I decide to use them for a future class and aren’t allowed to plagiarize myself.

Complementary Relationships Aren’t Necessarily Bad– Date Lab – The Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/date-lab-height-is-of-utmost-importance-to-these-two-could-we-deliver/2017/11/07/37596350-ae92-11e7-be94-fabb0f1e9ffb_story.html?hpid=hp_weekend-chain_date-1112%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.7900b384e27e

You really should be a complement to your partner, in every sense of the word. Not too overly same or overly different. 

However, in Christian Conservative circles, complementary strictly means the if you have a vagina you do X and if you have a penis you do Y. Roles in these relationships aren’t based on a person’s abilities and interests, but on strictly what the Bible says a man or woman is supposed to do.

Secular folks have let the Christian right commandeer this term and that’s sad. 

Hubby Got Mansplained…

…by his son, haha.

Remember my post about the mansplaining I witnessed at work? 

Well, Hubby got to experience getting mansplained today after he had a busy afternoon. First, he had to go change the water heater at his dad’s house and then shortly after he got home, his phone rang for a police call. From my perspective, he was telling me about the water heater and then he left for the call and when he came back, he was bitching about his son.

What had apparently happened is that while he was changing the water heater, he texted his son about it, but didn’t get much of a reply because his son was working. During the police call, hubby got a text back from his son that listed all the rules and regulations of changing out a water heater (his son is a plumber’s helper).

Hubby pretty much grew up in the plumbing industry since his mentor was a plumber and he got dragged into working on plumbing early. His son knows this, which is why hubby was so annoyed to get a text that essentially lectured him on the proper way to change a water heater hours after the job was done.

Once I figured out what had annoyed hubby so much, I could only laugh.

I explained to hubby all about mansplaining including what happened at work with the pressman mansplaining how ink works to the GM.

Ironically (not really), hubby ended up mansplaining the whole thing to me as he bitched about being mansplained to, hahaha! When he was done, I pointed out that he’d just mansplained to me and that this was why I tune him out half the time, but that he was exempt from hard feelings about it because of his blue screen of death 😊. I got flipped off for my trouble, but I could only smile at that, haha.

I think it was a very productive conversation because now if he starts mansplaining something for real (not just a blue screen moment), I can reference the time he got mansplained to in order to head him off! Woohoo!

Texas Church Shooting Video Shows Gunman’s Methodical Attack, Official Says – The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/08/us/texas-shooting-video-devin-kelley.html

If there are no criminal negligence charges filed against those people in the Air Force who didn’t do their job and report his assault convictions to the federal background check system…I don’t even know.

Will Republicans who have been bitching for years about how perfect the background check system is (“there can’t possibly be a way for someone who shouldn’t get a gun to get through the system! We don’t need more gun laws!”) finally understand what we (moderate) gun control folks want?!?!

1) A comprehensive background check (extreme vetting? Sure, IF we’re going to be assholes to refugees, too.) And a life sentence in prison if your negligence leads to someone purchasing/using a weapon that they use to do harm.

2) Comprehensive and regular gun safety training. No one should be stupid enough to leave ANY gun where a child can find it! Regular reminders of how badly gun ownership can go IS A GOOD THING! And, yes, I’m cool with having similar retraining for a driver’s license!

3) A limit on the number of guns a person can buy in a month (ideally in a lifetime). A gun is a WEAPON, not a toy! It should NEVER be an impulse purchase. If you start crying like a three year old because you can’t get a toy RIGHT NOW!! you are part of the problem. Grow up!

Guns become illegal when a person with no (recorded) criminal past purchases guns to sell to people who can’t purchase guns themselves. Period. Limiting the supply (with limits on purchases) not only increases the price on the black market (which will cause purchasers to need more money, leading to more non-gun using crimes (because they can’t afford one yet) that will make it easier to catch them before they buy the gun), but will obviously reduce the total number of illegal guns on the streets… eventually. TL;DR: Make it harder for criminals to buy guns on the black market=more slip ups=more arrests=ultimately less crime.

No, these 3 demands AREN’T perfect! Probably nothing would have stopped Paddock in Las Vegas. But I live in a place where between the 7 cities where is usually a gun related murder (or 2) every night. The status quo doesn’t work. There is a hole in the system that can be closed IF we quit pretending it doesn’t exist or worse care so much about our own ability to purchase guns like candy that we feel no guilt when someone’s death is directly related to our own greed and entitlement.