Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday morning things

* Started doing the crowny-prongy things for Chrysalis, got a cramp in my hand, so I gave up for last night. I've got three of the four done so I'm nearly done. Then it's just the face.

* Brought the version 2.0 of the High Street Vest (Noro Taiyo sport, with plain cream-colored Regia 6-ply silk for the ribbing) for invigilating today. Without thinking about it, I grabbed the Blossom capelet to put on over my shoulders (so I would not be cold in the dress I am wearing), so it's a Noro kind of day.

In my world, that's a good thing. Some of the Noro yarns have less-than-ideal textures (scratchy, lots of bits of vegetable matter to pick out) but I do love the wild color striping in them.

* I started reading the Danica McKellar book last night. A few thoughts:

- very, very girl-power-y. I think most teen boys would find the book distinctly off-putting.
- I would have been annoyed by its tone when I was in the age group for which it was originally written ("Gah, does she think I'm a child or something? Or an empty-headed shopping drone?") but now, I look at it and go, "You know, this goes through things in different ways than I was taught them and I can appreciate it."
- It IS a good review. I'd like to see her do a similar book for The Calculus. I have several "re-teach yourself calculus" books but so far I've not managed to get much traction in them.

* Even though the book is, as I said, very girl-power-y, there is one quotation I liked (she has quotations from actual students) about how a lot of people in junior high and high school don't value "smart" but (the person being quoted) noted that "smart" was what helped you figure out what you wanted to do as your career and helped you get there. And yeah, that's true to what I saw. Not so much in high school - which, as I've said many times, was much better for me because it was an academic prep school and my own particular brand of "weird" fit in a little better there - but in junior high.

I knew kids in junior high - this would have been the early 80s - who "partied" every weekend. And I don't mean the Mabel Pines type of party (where you play music and dance with your friends and eat popcorn and drink soda and talk about cute boys and are at home and in bed by 10:30 pm), I mean hard-core "partying" like getting drunk. (And possibly high, though I never heard much about drugs at my junior high. Then again, given my reputation, no one would have said anything around me.)

These were people who were like 12 and 13. I really wonder how they managed later on. I know a lot of them considered it a badge of honor to pull Ds and Cs (enough Cs to stay out of trouble at school) and be able to party all weekend. I swotted away because I cared about my grades (I wasn't  popular, so I felt like my status with the teachers/ what I could do what my brain was ALL I HAD, and also, I knew that getting good grades through school was probably the key to my getting OUT of that place). I wonder if those kids grew up or what they wound up doing....lots of them were the kids of executives and the like, so I assume something was expected of them. Or maybe they just partied through school and college, then joined Daddy's (or Mommy's, I suppose) company.

I also wonder how their parents responded to their report cards. If I pulled a B (the lowest I ever got) in an academic subject, my dad would kind of sigh and tell me I needed to try harder, to spend more time studying. (I sometimes got Cs in gym, but that caused a little less sighing than a B in, say, Algebra, would. Anyway, gym always felt like a class where the deck was stacked against me - I was not athletic, I had foot problems that made long-distance running painful, I was kind of uncoordinated at that point in my life...). 

I don't know. I know a common trope these days is that "school is bad, it's a warehouse for kids, and of COURSE the brilliant innovative ones rebel and it's just the little sheep who earn good grades" but I kind of think not learning basic math and American history (including material like the Constitution) could probably hurt someone in their future career. (And anyway, didn't Someone pretty well known once compare sheep favorably to goats?)

And I don't know. As much as I hated some things about grade school, I liked learning, and I think I went to a pretty good school with generally good teachers. (I particularly remember my 6th grade science teacher, and my 8th grade American History teacher - Mr. Radie and Mr. Haas, respectively. Mr. Haas especially gave us a really good background and lots of knowledge and we did stuff like study the Bill of Rights. And there was the expectation that "You're supposed to know this as a citizen." And he was a nice guy. I just liked his class.) I mean, I had a few terrible teachers (another science teacher whom I will not name but who was the one who had an "inappropriate" relationship with a student, most likely after I had left that school). But I liked learning and I liked school. I liked studying and reading and I liked feeling not-dumb about stuff. (It annoys me when I don't know something, I tell myself either, "You're smart, you should be able to figure this out" or "You're smart, you should know this.")

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