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Tue, 11/16/2010 - 21:00 -- Bee

Uh. Britain. Are you serious about these new immigration policies? Really?

When I moved here six years ago my visa was issued on the merits of a spouse who had to prove that nobody in the United Kingdom could do his job. The visa allowed all four of us to remain for five years, during which time we had no recourse to public funds, although we were obligated to pay local and national tax.

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Mon, 11/08/2010 - 21:00 -- Bee

With stunning efficiency, the authorities just noticed I pulled my kid out of school. Two years ago. In a different county.

Since I followed the correct procedures, this means that it took the council exactly that amount of time to process the paperwork. Amusing for me, as my family does not require support or intervention. Not especially thrilling for the people who might need help - namely the kids who drop out of school for significant financial or social reasons.

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Sun, 10/31/2010 - 21:00 -- Bee

The other day I had a painter in the flat to work on the windowsills and when I offered a cup of tea we started chatting. After a few minutes this very nice fellow - a lifelong resident of Hackney - asked why I moved to England.

I offered the true and short reason: I came here because I wanted to live in a more equal society, where everyone has access to health care, education, and housing.

He looked puzzled and asked "But don't you miss your mum?"

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Tue, 10/05/2010 - 21:00 -- Bee

The government is taking away my child benefit? But I never bothered to claim it! Drat. And this is surely just the first of countless other social supports that will be destroyed in coming months.

The longer I remain alive, the more I am aware of structural barriers to success. From the vantage point of 39 years of age, it is obvious that my scummy little urchin self was not meant to accomplish much of anything. I was certainly not meant to smash my way to the other side and start shouting that I was shackled, subverted, sabotaged. What have I ever asked for?

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Sun, 10/03/2010 - 21:00 -- Bee

This epic move to the Big City has detracted from the more urgent fact that my kid is leaving home for university.

Dismay! Regret! Poignant moments galore!

She has been camping amidst the boxes in my living room while trying to find a flat. What, you say - shouldn't she have a dorm room? Why no. That would be too civilised. Apparently freshers (many literally fresh from the countryside) should be able to magically conjure accommodation without any assistance or advice from the institution, in the most expensive city on the planet.

It's a Long Way from Columbine to Havana: An Educator Looks at Cuba by Brian Fitzpatrick

When the smoke from the Columbine High School massacre cleared, fourteen students and one teacher in my school district were dead, and dozens were wounded. Fortunately, two huge bombs that had been planted in the building didn't explode. Shock waves rippled through the culture and our educational establishment. How had American education gotten to such a terrible and tragic turn? In the wake of Columbine, all of us teachers, veteran and novice alike, were forced to make brutally painful evaluations of our educational goals and means.

Monica and Me by Laura Fokkena

Gifted young women like Monica dwell in a purgatory of thwarted ambition. They find that while braininess and aggression are not encouraged, artful manipulation is available as the most powerful device in the feminine arsenal. Monica's byzantine designs to further her affair with Clinton are the brilliantly neurotic symptoms of someone, who, as we say, 'has too much time on her hands.' This big girl should have been mentored to run the world, not run little games around the little men who inhabit it.

Day in the life of a Silicon Valley Grrrrl Mom by Rebecca Trotzky-Sirr

I pass for a Stanford student if I try. Which is good, because I am a Stanford student. I keep handing Hank all the good things that I needed when I was traveling and homeless. I'm persuading Hank to take the fresh vegetables, milk, organic whole wheat bread, and cheese. He just wants the meat. I'm hoping that I can improve his diet. Maybe get him to eat something that has nutrients and calories in it. He just wants the meat.


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