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choosing school

Mon, 06/13/2011 - 09:30 -- Bee

Ever since his fourteenth birthday my son has been exasperated with me, and frequently asks why I do, oh, anything and everything.

I quickly learned to answer "Because I am old, and stupid."

He accepted this, and proceeded with the activities most dear to an adolescent.

Except one day he asked why I was doing something so obviously routine and necessary I answered "Because I am old, and stupid, and boring!"

He paused, thought about it, and replied "You're not boring."

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righteous indignation

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 02:35 -- Bee

Yesterday I was walking through a seedy part of East London talking to my fourteen year old son. Ahead, about half a block away, I noticed a cluster of ruffians obstructing the path.

Specifically, one man stepped out in front of us, planting himself solidly in my way. He was what in the UK we would call a hard-man; the shorthand from home would be skinhead, though that term means something entirely different here than it did where I grew up. In short, his tattooed muscular form did not convey "cute hipster bartender."

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geography & spelling

Tue, 06/07/2011 - 09:14 -- Bee

A representative of the Historic Royal Palaces (capitalisation their own) just wrote to ask if I can change a link on a foment.net post. From 2005.

In a slightly related note, I have just spent several obsessive hours in the hipmama.com archives. Yes, it is true, I keep everything.... the question is, can I find it again? But anyway, I dusted off a bunch of stuff that I myself formatted. Except my computer INSISTS that 1/3 of the words are spelled incorrectly.... cause my machine is now properly British.

While my files are forever defiantly American.

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surgery & sarcasm

Thu, 06/02/2011 - 02:07 -- Bee

For those keeping score at home, my visit with the surgeon happened earlier this week.

The first puzzle of the appointment occurred when I asserted that I am allergic, or otherwise opposed, to pain medication.

The doctor seemed quite concerned, and suggested various options as I stared quizzically before halting the debate with the comment "Really, it will be fine. This stuff isn't what i would call 'pain.' I've had worse. It won't bother me."

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academic integrity

Thu, 06/02/2011 - 02:05 -- Bee

One of the most irritating aspects of my grownup life is the fact that I spend a great deal of time with people who care about academic rankings.

This is repugnant to me not because I disagree that it is important to strive for excellence - oh no. My problem with rankings is the fact that they are meaningful in a factory where input = output.

How does that translate to education, where standards can only be reliably applied to basic and largely irrelevant goals like achievement on standardised tests, or the performance of school sports teams?

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magical bunnies & coloured eggs

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 04:20 -- Bee

Belief in magical bunnies is a prerequisite for receipt of Easter baskets.

So obviously, everyone in my household believes!

Though I suspect this long tradition is drawing to a close, since the elder child is twenty, the younger fourteen.

No more babies!! No more coloured eggs!! No eager rush to the baskets, no yelping joy at what was contained therein!

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