Thursday, January 26, 2006

Attempts at real blogging

As much as it is one of the simple joys of my life to incessantly discuss strippers and porn, enough of that for now. If I get an interesting interview with a current or past stripper for my podcast at some point, then I'm sure we'll revisit the issue. But for now, I want to avoid giving the impression that my life is all about hot chicks.

Let's talk about something more sensible. Like body hair.

Gentlemen: If you're that obsessed over whether or not your woman shaves daily, weekly, or never, you need to rethink a couple of things. For starters, time. If a lady is running late and doesn't take the time to shave in the shower, too frickin' bad. At least she showered. Get over it. And if it's winter-- puhleeze. If she wants to run around looking like she's wearing some hairy legwarmers, she can. If she doesn't complain about your body hair, man stench, and beer belly, she can be hairy. And yes, (name omitted to protect the not-so-innocent but someone I like a lot anyway), I am talking to you. ;-)

Wait... That's not a whole lot better than talking about strippers and porn, now that I think about it.

It might even make me sound weirder. Maybe I'll go put some strikethrough on it and try again.


My 5 year old daughter has been dragging for the past few weeks, when it comes to getting up and getting ready for school in the mornings. She finally broke down this morning, started crying, and told me that she hates school. I'm sure part of it has to do with the fact that it's been pretty cold and rainy lately, and they aren't getting as much outside time at school as kindergarteners should. But part of it is that she's bored. She started sounding out words when she was 3, and finished reading all two hundred eighty-something pages of her children's Bible before her 5th birthday-- all by herself. She can do double digit addition and subtraction in her head (don't really know how she picked that up; she's been doing it for months), and loves to write letters to people (wonder where she gets that?). "Mommy, they make me do math and Ms. Debbie makes everyone count sticks, and I can do it without counting sticks. And they make us spell things one letter at a time, and I can write the whole sentence all by myself!" And the complaints went on and on.

I remember my school years vividly. Like a big nightmare.

I was a lot like my daughter, and learned to read and do math early. When I went into kindergarten, my teacher gave me a hard time. Why did your mom have to teach you to read early, anyway? Mom never really taught me to read-- she just read to me and answered my questions. In 1st grade, they realized I was drowning in my own boredom. So, worried that letting me skip to 2nd grade might cause emotional adjustment issues, they came up with a much more bizarre plan. Beginning in first grade and lasting all the way through 7th, I was in two grades at once. I would go to school with the kids my age for social studies and math (and they all thought I was the weird smart kid), and then I would go to school with kids a year older for language arts (and they all thought I was the little nerd).

In 4th grade, I moved to a school that had a good gifted program called PELICAN. It meant that several other gifted kids my age and I got pulled out for a full day one day each week to do hands-on projects, experiments, and study units, and it was SOOOOOOOOOO COOL! But my time in the regular classroom was still painfully boring, so they started pulling me out a second day each week to go to PELICAN with the older kids, too. So, I was in 4th grade for a half day and 5th for a half day three days each week, pulled out for 4th grade gifted program one day each week, and pulled out for 5th grade gifted the other day each week. That was when I was 9.

Sixth grade brought another cranky teacher who was annoyed that I needed to do a different reading level. I don't know why you can't just do the same book everyone else does! Um, because I did it last year?

Eighth grade brought band (woo-hoo!), and tracking, which meant that I got fed into all the honors classes and could finally be in one grade, with kids my age. It also meant that things got pretty easy, and I could skate by without doing my homework. That lasted through high school, and I never really developed anything that could be considered a study habit, much less study habits, plural. I rarely ever did homework, but could ace the tests if I listened even a little bit in class, and graduated high school with a good bit of AP credits and dual-enrollments and was accepted into the honors college at USC-- which I immediately bombed out of, having no study habits, no self-discipline, and having had any true enjoyment of education beaten out of me by a history of whacked out attempts at engaging me academically.

Enter the homeschooling idea. I homeschooled my children up until this school year, so this whole school thing is pretty new to me. I had enjoyed homeschooling because of the freedom to challenge my children, teaching them at an individual rate that wasn't to pushy but that did encourage self-discipline and taught my children the joy of a good challenge.

I don't want to look like a freaky parent who is controlling or delusional about my child's capabilities, but I sure as anything don't want them being bored. I have seen firsthand how boredom with the educational process can create bad study habits, instill a lack of self-discipline, and generate a general disregard and disrespect for the educational process in general, and educators in particular. I don't want my kids growing up with that. I want them to always challenge themselves, to always know that education is SUCH a gift and a blessing, and to enjoy the process of learning new things as much as they did back when we were homeschooling.

Hmmmmmm.... Not sure what to do.

See, this is the kind of wacko post you get from me when I'm sleep deprived from staying up too late to edit the podcast. I didn't quite finish, but it should be up by tomorrow, and this is going to be a good one. AND a reporter from the local newspaper sat in with me so that she can write a feature article in Saturday's paper about podcasting and local podcasters. Oh wait, I'm the only podcaster in my town (that I know of). ;-)

And I promise to those of you who listen to the 'cast that after this, I have several in-person interviews planned, so you will be spared the skype audio quality, at least for a little while.

Ho-hum. Better start my day.

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