• DH and the kids have been making up fake tag-lines to Darkwing duck.  “I am the sludge at the bottom of your hot chocolate.” “I’m the one who is stuck to your hair when you can’t comb it”
  • All this calling I’ve been doing of my representatives has made me a lot less phone shy.  I had no problem calling my mom’s local bookstore to get her a gift certificate there (they don’t have online ordering).
  • The appropriate response at work when someone way down the hall from you and on the other side politely asks you to turn down your music is, “Sorry” and to turn it down.  It isn’t, “Seriously?” and “Where is your office?” and then to just turn it down a tiny bit so that the person still has to close hir door AND put on headphones to not hear your crappy ass music.  (Although before the combination wasn’t working.)  Nobody wants to hear your music!  This is why God made headphones.  Or you could close your own fricking door.
  • dear middle school, please stop with the random spirit days that happen about once every one and a half weeks that require dc1 to dress in different types of clothing (specific sports jerseys or hats, random colors, etc.) that zie often doesn’t have and that we are not going to remember even if zie did have them.  It was hard enough remembering spirit Fridays for things most kids have (like the school shirt, or a funny hair style) last year.  This random day element is just too much.  We have jobs.  Dc1 has homework.  Why are you doing this and why are you attaching it to a group prize so that kids who don’t or can’t participate are shamed?
  • I do not like mosquitoes.
  • dc1’s orchestra class requires hir to download an app and record a practice session.  They also required the purchase of a specific $20 t-shirt for performances.  I have to wonder if they have anything for kids who don’t have a tablet or smartphone at home or who can’t afford a $20 shirt.  And do those kids have to go up to the teachers and admit the lack of resources or does the school take kids who qualify for reduced price lunch aside?  For science class they asked for donations for students who couldn’t afford an $8 piece of equipment but nothing like that in orchestra where the demands are more expensive.  Last year in paradise things were provided to all students from the school, but a lot was paid for with $500 donations requested at the beginning of the year (half for extracurriculars, half for everything else).  No large donation requested here.
  • speaking of donations, there are so many junky school fundraisers here.  I so much prefer just cutting a check.
  • Dc2 goes to a for profit daycare but they want to expand so they’re asking us to do fundraising (they’ve also started asking us to bring in items for projects instead of providing them and they are now enforcing late fees).  I’m not sure how I feel about this.  If it were nonprofit I would happily donate, but with a for-profit I’m not so sure.
  • I bought Wonderwoman stamps.  They make me happy.  Wonder Woman!  Wonder Woman!

Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: . 14 Comments »

14 Responses to “RBOC”

  1. delagar Says:

    My kid’s AP classes required her to download apps (and other things), which is one reason we broke down and got her a real phone, instead of the dispos-o phone she had been using.

    I didn’t get around to asking the teachers what they did for students who didn’t have phones / tablets that had the ability to download these apps. I assume something, but who knows. Maybe the school just assumes if you’re in AP classes (or taking orchestra) you’re from a family that can afford an expensive phone.

    Almost everyone at her school (“everyone,” according to my kid) has iPhones. IDK how this can be true, since while about half the kids come from parents with money (Wal-Mart money, mostly), the other half come from minimum-wage/double-job parents. Or no parents at all — her BFF lives with a grandmother.

    But on the other hand, yeah, so far as I’ve been able to ascertain, they do indeed all have iPhones.

  2. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Action item for today:

    Tell the house congressional oversight committee 202 225 5074 that Trump’s kids running his companies is not actually a blind trust and that they still need to probe into his financials and apparent conflicts of interest. The committee still needs to do a bipartisan review of Trump’s financials.

  3. Cardinal Says:

    “not so sure” about making donations to a business? Would you donate eggs or bottles of wine to the restaurant you patronize? Would you donate nail polish to your manicurist? As a business they can set their prices wherever they want and see if the market will bear it, but asking for donations to their business expenses so they can increase their profits is pretty disgusting.

  4. chacha1 Says:

    Education rant:

    Welcome everybody to the wonderful new world of “public education.” It’s been crap for decades because of states’ policies of local funding, and is about to get even worse. When my sister was a public-school art teacher, she had a $300 budget for supplies for the full year. Five classes a day. That art program probably doesn’t even exist anymore.

    I think ‘charter school’ is code for ‘for-profit deliberately segregated school’ and the proposed new secretary of education is going to be selling off the system to her cronies (and DT’s). … Progressives should be pushing back thusly: if X is not going to be provided, then Y cannot be required (i.e. standardized tests which have achieved exactly nothing in improving the nationwide level of literacy or employability, but which are a huge profit center to companies that do not provide education; biased and inaccurate textbooks which give students less value than a free newspaper subscription would but which are a huge profit center to companies, again, that do not provide education … ).

    Frankly I’d be tempted to burn every education policy passed in the last 50 years except Head Start and Title IX, wait for the new administration to exhaust all available avenues of corruption, and then start over when they are gone. It will give us somethiing productive to do while all the investigations and trials are underway.

    And I think all this technology-dependent BS is just another way to exclude and marginalize people without money, and/or to homogenize school populations. “Download an app and record a practice session” means they are assuming a smartphone in the household. And I will bet you anything the specific app they are requiring is only available on one – maybe two – platforms. Even I know that not every smartphone will run every app. So who decides which app, and thus which smartphone? Who is getting the kickback?


  5. First Gen American Says:

    Well as long as we are ranting about schools….middle school has been overly complex. In grammar school. Assignments went home printed on paper. It was simple.

    Now in middle school, it seems like every teacher has their own system
    you are supposed to conform to and I can’t keep track of who needs assignments submitted via google docs, vs hardcopy printed…typed vs handwritten. .oh and sometimes the same teacher wants things in multiple formats. Some post assignments online, others don’t.

    Son is still trying to rely on memory to keep track of all these details and still isn’t diligent with the planner despite repeated fails and demands to do otherwise. That has been a frustrating disaster. He is on track for being banned from electronics indefinitely. How can someone who’s so smart be such a disorganized mess?

    Good ask the grumpies post. How to teach organization and time management to a middle schooler.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Us too! Though on the plus side, 3 of the teachers (the “core” of science, language arts, and social studies… not math because DC1 is in Advanced which has a different system) all use the same system because they’re supposed to (but other cores can use different systems, which means it can change from year to year or child to child). DC1 keeps losing hir planner, but zie only has math homework regularly (usually listed on edmodo, as is GT) and the teachers send us an email once a week (google docs, though some other cores use edmodo) for the core classes about other assignments. Orchestra sends us an email once or twice a month with assignments (with attached flyers) and zie has to login every day and upload assignments to Charms and sometimes we have to upload things to Charms, which fortunately DH has taken care of. The school itself has yet another system, but they only have us connect to that a couple times a semester so I’m not sure what it is called.

      We’re probably going to push that ask the grumpies question off until we run out of other questions and then we’re going to punt because if we knew we’d sell the answer for a LOT of money. (We have had some luck with putting a checklist on the fridge that DC1 has to go through every night, but it isn’t foolproof. If it were, DC1 would be getting an A in orchestra because zie wouldn’t have forgotten to log hir practice.)

    • Rosa Says:

      Planners are the worst. Seriously. And having to deal with all the different stuff is well beyond most middle schoolers. Would you be able to help him by emailing all the teachers, finding out who wants what, and having a copy of that for him to refer to at hom?

      We have the exact opposite situation – in the elementary levels each classroom was that teacher’s private fiefdom. Kiddo’s 4th-5th grade teacher’s system for assignments was “I will tell you them verbally, and occasionally write them down, then randomly change them. And you can only turn them in at specified times, never early. And I will blame you if you can’t handle this.” The ONLY reason we didn’t make a big fuss about it was that the penalties for not doing work weren’t terrible (and were random) and I figure learning to decode authority figures weird stuff is a life skill.

      This year, all the teachers use the online portal to put deadlines and grades. It is awesome. And many of the assignments get turned in online. One of his teachers had a “many small assignments” method last quarter, but so many kids didn’t turn the work in, she changed it to this quarter. He’s so happy and finding it so easy and we can check up on him easily too. I love it. I hope it’s not just a transitional thing for the 6th graders, that it goes on all through the middle school.

      • chacha1 Says:

        If schools have moved to electronic assignment & submission, then any given school should definitely have a single intranet which parents/students can access to get all assignments and submit all work. There should NOT be different systems for each grade, let alone each classroom; that’s ridiculous.

        The one time I got disciplined in grade school it was because my Mom forgot to initial a math assignment for me to turn back in, to the one teacher who required such a practice. Nobody should get disciplined over that shit, especially if the school allows every teacher to do it “their way,” especially not an A student FFS.

        That said, decoding authority figures’ weird stuff is indeed a valuable life skill. :-)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        DC1’s private school had one system for the entire school (engrade, IIRC).

  6. gasstationwithoutpumps Says:

    I don’t find it strange to donate to businesses. What else is a tip?

    I regularly donated costumes, props, and other stuff to the theater classes my son attended, even though we were paying over a thousand a year to the group for classes. (They had a fund-raiser after he graduated from high school, and I donated $1000 to their scholarship fund.)

    I think that it is perfectly reasonable to let people know that donations are welcome and to have scholarship funds to help out those students who need financial help, but I agree that the basics of public education should be completely free. They weren’t when I was a kid in Illinois—we had to buy supplies every year, but they were free for my kid in California. Part of why the school could afford to have all the supplies be free was because they posted a list of what they needed at the beginning of each school year, and the parents who could afford to chipped in to make sure they had enough. If it weren’t for Proposition 13, the property taxes would be enough to pay for the schooling, but as long as old money isn’t getting taxed, those of us who earn more than the local median need to help out voluntarily.

    • chacha1 Says:

      There is a qualitative difference between making a donation to fund a scholarship or provide costumes (which benefits students who now have access to educational experiences they wouldn’t otherwise get) and making a donation (whether in cash or in time, as in fund-raising) for a for-profit company to expand its physical plant (which benefits the company as they are now using outside capital to secure their assets).

      Expansion of facilities is a capital cost which should be met by investors (if a for-profit company) or by grants (if a non-profit). Capital costs should not be secured by pressure on customers (in this case, parents). Asking parents to fund-raise for this purpose is inappropriate. If the daycare company can’t hack it as a for-profit, maybe they should look into re-organizing as a nonprofit. At least then parent donations are tax-deductible.

  7. D.W. Duck Says:

    “I am the troll in your comments section”

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