Friday, June 30, 2006
posted by Q6 at 9:33 PM
There was an article about a month ago in the Los Angeles Times that, I think, proves the decline of American civilization as we know it. It explained that college students are now taking classes in how to do simple things . . . . like balance a checkbook, do the laundry, and cook. (The article even includes empirical evidence: the fire alarms in the dorm kitchens don't go off as often.) I'm thinking now about the parents spending $20K a year to send Junior to Berkeley so he can learn to tie his shoes better.

I have two thoughts on this particular subject. One, I'm concerned that in the wide spectrum that is public education, we've got the order wrong. We should be teaching certain things in a certain sequence, each thing at a point when it's to be best absorbed. Some of these things should be taught in schools by certified teachers, and some should be taught at home by involved parents."

Two, I'd like to give a big shout out, a hug, and a kiss to my mom; she taught my brother and me how to do a lot of this stuff as a matter of course. If everyone had a mother like mine, this class wouldn't be necessary and the world would be in a lot better shape.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
posted by Q6 at 6:04 PM
Here's why a high school should never hold early finals for Seniors: with a full week to go, they've got nothing left to do except make trouble.

Here's how streakers typically do their thing these days: they choose a time when everyone can see--even create the time, if they can--then start at one end of campus, strip out of clothes they have no desire to see again (yes, we find the clothes), run across campus with masks over their heads (they'll get the credit later, through backchannels), and jump into the waiting getaway car out back. Only once in our school's history has anyone actually caught one mid-sprint and wrestled him to the ground, and I don't know all the details; I do know, however, that it was that incident that started the policy that we don't catch them mid-sprint and wrestle them to the ground.

When it happened this week, it involved fireworks and throwing water balloons (not realizing, of course, that the underclassmen would respond with volleys of full soda cans). It got pretty out of hand, and in the end we had two sets of clothes (for four streakers), several expended fireworks, a partial license plate number on the getaway car, and a video taken by one of the Seniors. I can't disclose how far we got with any of it, but I can tell you that no one was seriously injured. Thank God.

Right as it started, though, one of these naked teens (blech) bumped right into me. I'm not one to wish harm on children (or anyone, really), but if I'd had just a moment more to think about it, I wonder if I would've stuck out my foot and he moved on. Probably.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
posted by Q6 at 4:02 PM
I had the pleasure recently to partcipate in a discussion on Internet safety. I was asked to attend, quite unexpectedly, by the Bureau of Jewish Education here in Orange County (someone in the group knows a friend of mine, who dropped my name). It was more of a planning meeting for an event the Bureau plans to hold next April. Several people were there, including representatives from local synagogues, the local police, and the ADL. After about two hours of discussion (and I didn't hold back--I've got several hours of monologue on this subject), one of the Bureau members said exactly the right thing: "It sounds to me like we need to change our focus a bit; we need to direct more of this toward the parents."

I'll continue to help them out as best I can; but my job seems done here.