Totally Random Bullets of Crap

    • Our little town is continuing to amaze me.  In the past year FOUR frozen yogurt places have sprung up.  There’s at least 3 new decent coffee places.  AND!  There are two places in town with decent Korean.  Yay!
    • Gremlins came back.  This time they brought RATS.  So far they’re only outside, but I am terrified of rats after a bad experience in a college dorm.  *shudder*  After buying some poison and reading up on it, we decided to call our exterminator.  This part of the country scares me.  The flora and fauna are not gentle.
    • The SF/Fantasy section of Barnes and Noble has been taken over by Vampire Chick-lit.  (The YA section still has non-vamp/demon/zombie/werewolf stuff.)  I did pick one up… but only because Esther Friesner has a book of short stories, Fangs for the Mammaries.  Who can say no to Esther Friesner?

    • A poem:
to pee…
or not to pee
to leave the safe confines of one’s closed office
or venture out into the exposed world
where any student could ask just one quick question
but if one does not pee…
an eternity of sorrow
    • My kid told someone else’s mother at a birthday party that (s)he had a new chapter book (Bad Kitty Gets a Bath — an excellent read for all ages).  It’s always uncomfortable for me when the subject of my child’s reading ability comes up in front of other parents.  It’s always met with derision or hostility.  I don’t want to brag and I don’t want to deride those abilities that my child should rightly be proud of.  We’re proud too (and more than proud, we’re pleased as punch that (s)he gets to enjoy books that we enjoy).  So I keep my mouth shut.  She asked my child if (s)he read those chapter books all by hirself.  DC said, “Me and mommy read it.”  Then the mother derisively said that her child pretended to read at that age, “she said she was just reading in her head.”  I didn’t say anything.  I never do anymore.

  • I love calculators.  Hours of preschool entertainment.
  • If your search query is “how much of graduate school is payed for,”  then you shouldn’t be going to graduate school.  And not because you’re concerned about cost.

41 Responses to “Totally Random Bullets of Crap”

  1. First Gen American Says:

    I hate haters.

    My town is also getting pretty hip. The community is taking it into they’re own hands to make the place quainter. There’s even a volunteer group that plants and tends the flowers in our town. It’s so cool.

  2. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Hee. I’m not sure “hip” is a good adjective to describe our little town, but I do like Korean food!

  3. imawindycitygal Says:

    I was a pretty advanced reader for my age, too. Thank goodness my parents and teachers were supportive of my voracious reading habits. My parents were very proud that I read the entire bible when I was 10 and again when I was 12. Not the best piece of literature, but it was pretty racy in some spots: Sodomy! Incest! Supernatural freakiness! I guess it was only later that they realized the true impact of this inquiry was me becoming non-religious.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Heh. Ze loves his children’s bible (a gift), or at least did last year when Ze got it (Ze hasn’t taken it off the shelf in a while), but it doesn’t have any of the dirty bits in it. I think it also kind of glosses over the crucifixion to a much greater extent than my Catholic kindergarten did.

  4. squadratomagico Says:

    What did bad kitty do? I’m curious.

    I am now reading a lovely bit of YA (I think… it does have a fair amount of degeneracy) called “The Lonely Werewolf Girl.” Really great.

  5. squadratomagico Says:

    He wasn’t being a bad kitty. That was a bad bully of a *puppy.*

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Well, yes, in this case. BUT, to fully understand what makes Bad Kitty a bad kitty, you have to have read the children’s non-chapter books (one is an ABC book and the other is a number book)… Bad Kitty can be a very very bad kitty when she wants to (26 alphabetized ways of bad, even). She can also be a good kitty when she wants to.

      She also doesn’t get along with Uncle Herb, but we haven’t gotten that chapter book yet.

  6. Everyday Tips Says:

    #1, ignore those women that chime in about your kid’s reading. You probably won’t even be talking them in a few years anyway. 2/3rds of my kids read when they were four. My oldest read Harry Potter at 5. (I read it to him first to make sure he could handle the content.) I hate all those judgmental moms out there. Email me anytime you want to rant about that.

    I understand your bathroom dilemma. You really only have one choice as the alternative is much worse. You just need to relocate your office closer to the ladies room.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      If only it were a ladies room!

      The whole school situation is really frustrating. We all remember how AWFUL it was to be so far advanced of our classmates and isolated, not allowed to skip, etc. etc. Especially when they mainstreamed gifted. The state we’re currently living in does not value education or diversity even to the extent that the one we grew up in did. And our elementary district just changed from one of the best to one of the worst. I’m really about ready to tell DH to try to get a job at Google, even though I love my job, just so we can feel comfortable having our kid go to public schools at grade level.

      Right now we’re sending out feelers for hir skipping a grade and we’re checking out the private schools. All of hir friends at school are a year older.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Oh, and I should add that not all the folks who notice DC being advanced get angry or accuse us of pushing hir, not letting hir be a kid, stressing hir out etc. Some of them just get very sad about their own kids. That is majorly uncomfortable too. And their kids are great too, just in different ways.

        And that sounds awful, like I’m bragging about how perfect my kid is. (But… I do think my kid is great, just like DH is great… Argh… I should keep my mouth shut.)

      • everyday tips Says:

        You may want to consider private school…

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Therein lies another sad thing that’s quietly stressing me out in the background.

        Private schools in driving distance: 1 Catholic (we still have to check this one out), 1 that looks awesome until you get to the part about “taking the bible literally” (which we don’t), and 1 that we were going to do except it’s been through a new headmaster every year for a few years and is probably going to shut down next year from lack of students (it was doing great until the 1st headmaster died). There’s also a few smaller fundamentalist private schools. We were really hoping our Montessori would get permission to do open a charter elementary but those plans have been put on hold. Basically right now we’re trying to decide if we want to move or do Catholic and can we skip hir a grade either way.

      • Everyday Tips Says:

        School is a very tough decision. Email me if you want to chat because I have been through this already. (I couldn’t find your email address on this site.)

        I personally was against skipping a grade because I did not want to take away a year of my kid’s childhood. However, we found a fantastic situation for our kids.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        There’s always graduate school for extending childhood if it comes to that. Or a gap year before college.

        Our kid has a birthday close to the deadline and all hir friends are a year older. Home schooling isn’t going to happen for us. Our email is grumpyrumblings@gmail.com .

  7. Donna Freedman Says:

    You’re right to ignore the other parents. When will they understand that (a) other children’s accomplishments are not accomplished solely to imply criticism of their own child-rearing methods, and (b) parenthood is not a competition?
    I learned to read somehow when I was younger than four, maybe even three. Shocked the living daylights out of my mom. I had two older sisters, so that might have had something to do with it.
    When my oldest sister was in second grade, I think, the teacher read “Charlotte’s Web” to the class. She told me about it and the next time our dad took us to the library I wanted to take the book out. The librarian told me it was too old for me. My sisters protested, “She can read!” The librarian made me read the first page to her, to prove it.
    Of course, this was back around 1961, before Baby Einstein et al. And some kids in my region didn’t want to read at ANY age.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      If it’s a competition, then obviously I’m winning because my kid is great. It does bug me that some other parents don’t think their kids are great too, but that’s a parenting difference. I don’t understand it, but they have that right… it just makes me uncomfortable. I feel the same way when people say mean things about their spouses… but they’re sticking together for a reason so who am I to judge?

  8. LindyMint Says:

    Wow, there are so many random crap bullets here, I don’t know on which one to comment. So I’ll just say I enjoyed them all, but the pee poem I enjoyed the most, because it’s not often you read the word “pee” in a blog post.

  9. frugalscholar Says:

    I don’t know…I used to arrive at school with my kids right when the special needs bus showed up. I really try to be quiet about their gifts, because they are just that: gifts. I also have too many friends w/ kids with difficulties….

  10. Mom, Ph.D. Says:

    I’m missing something, I think. I don’t know why one commentator writes, “I hate haters.” Was the woman described in the original post really derisive? Did she seem to hate your child? If so, yikes! But maybe she was more innocently assuming your kid was average, not extremely advanced for hir age? Is that hate or derision? Did your child feel ridiculed? (If so, then she is a meanie.)

    Frugalscholar is on to something. I’ve learned of a number of learning problems among my son’s schoolmates over the years, from relatively mild to serious. Some parents have a lot on their plate.

    I’m OK when other parents assume my son is average.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I’m fine with folks assuming my kid is average. I don’t like folks condemning me for “pushing” my kid or not letting hir enjoy hir childhood or saying (s)he couldn’t possibly be doing what (s)he’s doing (I get, “Why does (s)he NEED to read at this age?” and “It’s ‘nice’ that you were working with hir on that.”) Or feeling bad that their kid isn’t as cool as mine, because they should believe that their kid is cooler than mine because it’s THEIR kid.

      Let me repeat: I do NOT brag about my kid in public. I keep my mouth shut. But my kid cannot help being awesome and I get a lot of flack for that. (S)He’s not showing off or bragging, (s)he’s just doing things like reading street signs or whatever because (s)he is a reader and I hate feeling pressured to hide that.

      In terms of the other mom’s derision, she was mainly being derisive of her own daughter (and the idea that reading is something possible and desirable). Implying that her daughter was lying when she said she could read, and in front of her (now older) daughter.

      • Mom, Ph.D. Says:

        Yeah, I figured I was missing some of it. In a reply to frugalscholar, you seem to imply it is your child being condemned, not you.

        I personally don’t know any parents feeling stress because their kids’ are so awesome that it incurs jealousy and even turns mothers against their own children. That can’t be a very pleasant experience for you, to say the least.

        I did understand the first time around that you didn’t brag in public and that your child can’t help being awesome. I guess that will be your child’s albatross–awesomeness. (Or I guess your child’s awesomeness is your albatross.) Sigh. Well, chin up and shoulders back! You’ll all get on all right, I’m sure of it.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I think that perhaps you’re mocking me here.

        Parents around here look down on their kids even without my kid’s help. Heck, they hit their kids in public too, though this particular mother does not, to my knowledge.

        Let me clarify that I do live in a geographic region of the country and in a small town where mental accomplishments are not celebrated and are considered elitist and looked at with suspicion. We did not have as much of a problem when we were spending time in a large coastal city (though they had their own quirks). So yes, obviously I’m imagining everything and it is very nice of you to point that out so obliquely. It’s like being on a mom forum.

        I should have kept my mouth shut, I guess. If you can’t brag about your kid anonymously on a forum, then it’s back to just the grandparents.

  11. Tara Says:

    I remember being in a grade 3/4 split class and there not being very many of us grade 3s, so the teacher taught everyone grade 4 work. Then, the next year they made me take grade 4 since I was “small for my age and quiet”. You know what? I spent the whole year being bored and doing “extra” work that wasn’t anymore challenging. I had the same problem the next year in grade 5. In grade 6, my parents switched me to French school to try to help with that. Even in French, Math was still super easy. In grade 7, I cut a deal with my teacher that if I put in a full effort in gym class (which I hated), then I could work ahead in math, which was a good move. I ended up going to an honours/IB high school, but I was even bored during honours/accelerated classes – it was just different work. I finally ended up finishing high school in 4 years instead of 5 thanks to accelerated classes, but even then, I was still doing lots of work, but not harder work. Going to university at 17 was the best decision I’ve made in regardless to schooling – high school sucked being smarter than everyone else.

    My parents considered private schools, but decided against it since it would cost the same per year as university would per year, which they thought was silly. I think I’m doing great now, but that could have helped then. Or maybe the private school would have just been full of rich, snooty kids.

    Good luck handling the gifted “problem”. I really wish that more schools had the resources to help “gifted” kids like they do to help “less smart” kids.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I wish I could protect hir from middle school.

      The research says that the best solution, absent of real tracked gifted education, is to skip the kid a grade. (In terms of tracking, it’s bad for above-, average-, and below- average kids but it’s good for the “gifted.”) Gifted children do a lot better academically and socially when skipped. But convincing the local school district of that may be difficult.

      And as a teacher who has also spent a ton of time volunteering and tutoring, I know that most kids are capable of a LOT more than the schools push them to do, “gifted” or not. Which is depressing. There are a lot of girls out there who are truly good at math but because they think they aren’t they give up and eventually become bad at math. That makes me cry too.

      • Tara Says:

        Yup, I think that skipping me would have been better back in grade 3 since my closest friends were in grade 4.

        But in grades 8 and 9 when they skipped me 2 grades of French, it was really awkward. Not only was I 2 years younger than everyone else in those classes, but I also got better marks than everyone, finishing with 99% and 98% those two years.

        I’m a firm believer too that when given the correct, encouraging environment, most kids can be good at math. I hate that they’ve developed programs for the kids that “aren’t good at math” to help them, but many educators don’t see or don’t have the energy to help the kids that are good at math already be less bored. Example: My elementary school was really good at holding kids back, but refused to ever let them skip ahead. In my math classes in high school, the “troublemakers” were the smartest kids because they were bored.

        Or what about the gifted kids who don’t succeed because of terrible home environments? I really, really feel for those kids.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        So much of what makes a person who they are is a combination of nature and nurture. It really isn’t fair when people are unable to live up to their own potentials.

        Our montessori director pulled out her kid and is homeschooling him because he was bored and becoming a huge trouble-maker. That’s unlikely to happen with our kid– (s)he is very into rules and good behavior, but (s)he’s sensitive and gives up on things easily and I’d like hir to get used to being challenged and to keep trying in the face of adversity. The way kids don’t run around on their own in mixed age neighborhood groups anymore (s)he doesn’t have opportunity to aspire to things like standing on one leg, blowing gum bubbles, whistling, and doing cartwheels… things that take practice and time. The only place things like that get taught are in classes it seems, so you don’t see the older kids doing it and wish you could do it yourself. But we’re working on keeping trying and remembering that it’s ok to fail if you keep trying. (The “gifted” pages tell me this is very typical of the “gifted” child. Many things that seemed weird are actually just normal for “gifted” kids, it seems.)

  12. Grace Says:

    I have no memory of ‘learning to read.’ One day, at age 4, I took the book out of my mother’s hand and proved to her that I could read it. And I read to myself ever after–to the point that other kids would hide their books when I came over because if I found them, I would choose reading over playing. It’s probably Karma that none of my children are readers–at least not in the soul-satisfying way that I read. And if they do, they want “true” books, not the science fiction that I adore. And you’re right–Friesner is wonderful–one of the funniest ladies in SF, if Connie Willis isn’t around! Have you read anything by Leslie What? She’s another very funny, amazing SF author.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Books are AWESOME. Reading is wonderful. I don’t think I have read anything by Leslie What, though the name sounds familiar so maybe I’ve seen some of her short stories. I met Esther Friesner at a convention… I was totally star-struck awful just like I always am with famous authors (most recently, Peter S. Beagle), but she was definitely hilarious in her interactions with others (so not just on paper!). I like Connie Willis too but have not seen her IRL.

      • Grace Says:

        Short stories are Leslie What’s oerve–she won the Nebula a couple of years ago. Hmm–so you go to SF conventions? Love those cons! Where else can you see your favorite author drunk on his/her behind?

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I haven’t had that pleasure yet. I’m the woman standing there silently in the signing line, handing over the book to sign. Sometimes I get enough courage to stammer out, “I l-love your work.” No fear at all of all sorts of famous people (US presidents, Nobel prize winners, actors) but I’m a dumb-struck fan-girl when it comes to my favorite authors.

  13. Comrade PhysioProf Says:

    Dude, do you have Pinkberry? That shitte is fucken outstandinge!

  14. MR Cache 2010, Nov 06 – Will The DOW Rally? | Money Reasons Says:

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    […] an earlier RBOC, I related an instance at a birthday party in which my kid was talking about a new chapter book […]

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    […] the original post, I mentioned an experience I’d had at a birthday party and how it made me uncomfortable, and […]


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