DC2 got into the dual language program

Which means zie won’t be going to private school or skipping a grade.  At least not right away.

Our plan was either DC1 does public school in the dual language program for kindergarten or zie skips K and goes straight to 1st in private school.  DC1 lotteried into dual-language and will be going to the one on our bus route.  (A benefit of being rezoned into one of the worst school zones is that’s also where the specialty programs are housed in the hopes of getting high SES parents and kids involved with the school.)

I’m not sure how to feel about this development.  On the one hand, dual-language is awesome.

On the other hand, while DC2 doesn’t need to skip two grades at this point (recall DC1 started K early and did K and 1 at the same time–DC2’s birthday is right before the deadline unlike DC1’s), zie really does not need to take K.  Zie can read pretty much anything at this point and writes pretty well (with some getting letters and numbers backwards a lot much like I did at hir age) and is up to double-digit addition and subtraction without carrying/borrowing in hir math books.  The state goals for K involve counting to 10 (recall that learning goals for this state are about a year behind those in much of the rest of the country).  Not to mention that class sizes are large, which makes it more difficult for teachers to differentiate and give personalized attention, though obviously some teachers are still good at it.

We’re hoping the second language acquisition will make the lack of other new material in K more bearable.

Starting K early wasn’t possible if we wanted to do dual-language, and skipping dual-language K doesn’t seem like a great idea even if it’s allowed given that DC1 knows very little Spanish.  It’s possible zie could skip dual-language 1st or a later grade, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

So I worry.  I hope we’re making the right decision.  But I know we can course correct if not.

I also hope that my eager, strong, excited DC2 doesn’t get beaten down too much by school.  I hope zie isn’t silenced by expectations and peer pressure.

I want to protect hir.  But I don’t know that I can.

Conversation with a friend about political economy: Two economists lament

In case you wonder what economists talk about when they get together…

Economist 1: I have a friend who is not speaking to me because I sent hir an article by Alan Krueger saying that a $15 min wage is probably too high (after zie made a big deal on social media about attending a “fight for 15” rally). And I have another friend who is avoiding me because zie voted for Trump and knows I think that’s despicable. I think I quit.

Economist 2: Don’t quit! Can you tell hir 15 is probably right for [expensive city]? You’re better off without the Trump supporter in your life. Keep fighting for evidence based policy, even if you only get to see people who truly understand once a year and at work…

Economist 1: I told hir I thought it was right for [other expensive city]. I was nice about it (I thought) and I sent it to hir over email – not publicly on Facebook. But zie’s ticked off anyway. And yes – I probably am better off without the Trump supporter but I’m so disappointed in hir and I’m sad about it.

Economist 2: Maybe if we lived in a different world with more social support and greater support of people getting education and also more automation…

Economist 1: Yes. Exactly. I don’t like arguing with people who are on the same side but… This friend was a strong Bernie supporter [#notallberniesupporters], which I guess explains a lot. Sigh.

Economist 2 [still imagining a theoretical world in which a $15 minimum wage is imposed across the US]: Probably what would happen though is we would have a highly functioning black market with little to no worker protections. *sigh* Reality just doesn’t care about ideals and opinions.

Economist 1: The side that *supposedly* cares about science and evidence won’t listen when the science doesn’t perfectly support their ideals. And everyone hates economists :(

Economist 2: We were briefly listened to under Obama… Everybody should love us– we have a hand for everyone! There are very few one handed economists!

Economist 1: Exactly!!! But instead we get crap from BOTH sides.

Economist 2: It really makes one not believe the median voter model. What bunk! (To think I so strongly believed in it prior to the Gore v. Bush election. How naïve I was.)

Economist 1: Maybe if we didn’t have gerrymandering and the electoral college…

Economist 2: Excellent point.

Have you lost (or gained) friends over politics recently?

Link love for another long week

It is not too early to register to vote

Keep activisting, here’s why!

How the trump administration is destroying the affordable care act through incompetence, not just malice.

Trump administration makes it harder for workers without access to 401K to save for retirement.

Which is a worse dystopia:  Handmaid’s Tale or MadMax?  (But, as a commenter in this Scalzi thread points out– maybe we are already heading towards both)

What about the mother I never had? (death from self-abortion)

The real problem with Ryan and McCarthy’s pre-election conversation about Trump being paid by the Russians.

Russian money laundering for Trump

This underreported video from a couple of weeks ago is worth watching.

Trump suggests imprisoning journalists

MSNBC is ending one of their top rated shows because it is taking a “hard turn to the right” for no good business reason.  It seems they’re letting ideology get in the way of profit maximizing.  Or perhaps they have bigger political plans that actual liberals are too skeptical to fall in line with.

How to comment if you want to keep the national monuments Trump wants to get rid of

Chilling

Doomed to repeat it.

The cost of leaning in

Is this career advice helpful or harmful?

Cool idea

That might have been a little racist

h/t delagar for this link (that #2 already knew about) of sex advice for teens

The reasons for NOT writing listed here are among the most insightful I’ve seen

How to invest in your accumulation years

Edible games

Asking strangers why they read

I love this magazine article title.  Black twitter’s response to the content

 

 

Ask the Grumpies: The Ideal University

SP asks

Thoughts how an ideal university would function, use of adjuncts, what is the purpose of a university? Is it to educate students and conduct research, and what is the weight of these functions.

I read occasional news media about these topics, and they hit similar themes that sometimes don’t ring true. Most recent example article (posted in my FB news feed by a former adjunct English professor at a university): http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/09/higher-education-college-adjunct-professor-salary/404461/

^ ok, a note on the above paragraph.  I must have written it [#2 does not have and has never had FB] but I have no memory at all of doing it.  I just read the article and don’t remember ever seeing it before.  Apparently I have lost all my memorial faculties, but I’ll comment on it now.

I have no memory of it whatsoever.But here’s a thought: Tuition is high not because there are too many administrators. It’s because states have disinvested and the feds have made unfunded mandates [#2 says, yes, this is what the research says as well]. Also, the cost of health insurance has skyrocketed, which is one of the biggest expenses for a university, aside from salary [#2 isn’t as sure about this, but maybe?].

It’s true that adjuncts are treated poorly, yes!But there are whole *systems* that need to be fixed because people voted for legislators that didn’t fund education and because health insurance companies are for-profit (among other reasons).  But yes, adjuncts don’t get paid enough. I agree there.  Adjuncts should also not be required to mentor students nor write rec letters, unless they are full-time actual faculty (even if not TT).

(I see that this doesn’t answer your question, SP, but please forgive my wool-gathering.)

There are many purposes to a university and many ways to have an ideal university.

On the subject of adjunct pay and working conditions, #2 is kind of like… that’s where supply and demand hit.  Getting a humanities PhD needs to be less attractive so it isn’t so easy to find a phd willing to work a crap job at minimum wage.  (Note:  we pay our adjuncts 10K/class and many of our lecturers make ~100K/year on top of their day jobs.)

This paper discusses compensation of faculty members.  It seems to be optimal for some definitions of optimal, but I only really read the abstract.

I don’t know what the purpose of a university is or what the ideal balance between teaching and research is.  We need research because it provides positive spillovers to society and is unlikely to be privately funded.  We need to teach students so they will become productive members of society.  I don’t know if we should move to SLACS and think-tanks or if we should keep on with our continuum of community colleges/SLACS/R3/R2/R1/think tanks.  I mean, I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Though I do think we need more government funding to decrease the cost of education, particularly for those who are credit constrained because it is the only way we know of to productively reduce income inequality in an increasingly automated society.

So that’s not much of an answer either.  Maybe Grumpy Nation has better opinions.

Opine for us, Grumpy Nation!  What is the ideal university?

Haunting the Middle-Grade Library Stacks

#2 likes to read Regency romances when stressed.  I like them too, but I can’t read a lot of them in a row.  In the worst of my stress and anxiety, I found myself gravitating to the middle-grade stacks in the local library.  Soothing.  Here are some books:

The Anastasia series by Lois Lowry.  I love these so much!  Anastasia, Absolutely… One of my favorites is Anastasia, Ask Your Analyst (hilarious hijinks).  I have read the whole series at least once or twice.  They do have an order, but it’s not important to me.

The Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda.  The beginning of an adventure series with two kids in peril, based on Hindu mythology.

School for Sidekicks by Kelly McCullough.  A kid learns that not every super-human is a hero, and not all heroes or sidekicks are what they seem.  Happy ending!

Nightbird by Alice Hoffman.  Beautiful and also a happy ending.  What happens when people find out that your brother isn’t… like everyone else?

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier.  Very pretty and moving graphic novel about family, love, ghosts, and culture.  Read it!

Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O’Neill.  Another graphic novel for younger kids.  Princesses can do all sorts of active things.

I read all of Zilpha Keatley Snyder when I was young.  Turns out, she kept on writing while I grew up, and I found a bunch of her newer stuff (ca. 2008) on the shelves.  Try finding magic and friendship in The Unseen.

Grumpeteers, do you read any children’s books for comfort?  Which ones?

Giving money instead of stuff to school events

Schools often seem to be really into the idea of kids bringing stuff from home for parties and for crafting.  (DC1’s middle school probably spends more class time making pointless crafts than any prior school year experience, even back when ze was taking a daily art class at private school.  *grumble*.  Also they seem to have a ton of pot-lucks.)

One of our new discoveries this year was that instead of trying to figure out how on earth DC1 is going to get a pie on the school bus and to an appropriate teacher without destruction (or worse, one of us having to drop it off at school!), was that we could just write a check or send DC1 with a $20 bill for these events and the teachers will use it to purchase whatever it is they’re asking for.  This has improved our lives tremendously.

I do wish they could be a little bit more like the school back in paradise and just ask for a lump sum donation at the beginning of the year instead of these small sums throughout the year, but I also realize that where we live now doesn’t exactly have the same donations base that Paradise had so it’s not quite as easy just to ask for $500 and then have that be enough to cover all the kids who can’t pay or whose parents won’t pay.  It turns out that there’s even a state law of some kind that says the orchestra can only do fundraisers to cut the costs of all tickets to events, not to make the events free for kids whose parents can’t pay.  (It turns out, however, that directed donations can still be used for that purpose– I got a nice note of thanks with a receipt when we wrote a $64 check instead of a $32 check for DC1’s most recent orchestra field trip. $32 is a lot of money when you’re trying to make ends meet!)

So yay, even if they don’t always ask for cash, cash can still be king.

If you have school children (or if you teach), how does your school deal with needed stuffs?  What would you prefer they do?

Link Love: Stay strong!

Hey guys!  It’s been another crazy week.  Here’s how to stay sane from a therapist.  I’m not sure how to best give a pep-talk, but I do feel like if I keep fighting and resisting that means that everyone like me is still fighting and resisting too.  So hang in there, because that means everyone else like you is hanging in there too.  I do feel a little lack of direction right now, but so does everybody else, including most of the bad guys, so that’s something, right?  If you want to know what you can do, our current recommendations are 5calls and indivisible, but we want to continue to encourage everybody to find a local group— especially those of you in red and purple states.  It’s time to go nuclear.

Why the Census director’s resignation is a BIG DEAL.  Not just for academics, but also for political power reasons.  The fascists can keep more political power if they under-count cities.

This NJ Republican just lost any claim of being a moderate (voted for the ACHA).

Confused by the James Comey Firing?  Here’s an easy to understand Primer from 5/10.

We linked to this before, but for mother’s day, here’s the mama’s bail out day donation page.

Here’s a plausible theory about why the GOP is going along with a fascist no matter how awful he gets.  It would seem to explain my senators…

WTF is wrong with the NYTIMES?

How our democracy was hijacked.

I wish this were my senator.  Instead I get a true believer whose people have been told to lie (“I’m just an intern, but I think I’m supposed to say that we can’t give you that information [about planned appearances], oh wait, I’m supposed to say we don’t have that information, but even if I had it I couldn’t give it, I don’t have it, I’m just an intern.”)

A couple of our older posts on health insurance markets:  How the used car market is like health insurance and What is the purpose of medical insurance?

A stressed nation (three months have passed… )

Publishing while female.  Being in business school while female.

When schoolie mcschoolface is the best of the options.

This is highly unsettling.

How big is a buttload?

Nicki Minaj went on the best kind of spending spree.

Amusing

These are even better than regular green and black  (We get no $ etc.)

Why?