What teachers need parents to do, says Danza, is “persuade their sons and daughters to take part in their own education.” That can’t happen, though, if parents don’t get involved. “There were evenings when, as an English teacher hosting an open house for parents, I stood mostly alone,” says Danza.
I could have written that. In my six years of teaching high school, I rarely had more than 5-10 parents show up to Open House each year. And that’s out of 100+ students per year.
“I told her that I did indeed know what a Magic 8 Ball is. There were toys when I was a kid, too, LETA. I once saved the princess in Super Mario Bros., you know. I might not have been holding the game in the palm of my hand BUT IT EXISTED. Here, let me show you the permanent muscle damage done to my right thumb from aggressively pushing the A and B buttons on the Nintendo DS controller that was wired to the box. WIRED. We had wires and WE LIKED IT.”—At my house, we used to play jump rope with the wire that connected the VCR to it’s remote. This did not make my parents happy. (via It is decidedly so | dooce®)
“Being fact-checked is not very fun. Good fact-checkers have a preternatural inclination toward pedantry, and sometimes will address you in a prosecutorial tone. That is their job and the adversarial tone is even more important than the actual facts they correct. In my experience, seeing your name on the cover of a magazine will take you far in the journey toward believing your own bullshit. It is human to do so, and fact-checkers serve as a valuable check to prevent writers from lapsing into the kind of arrogant laziness which breeds plagiarism and the manufacture of facts. The fact-checker (and the copy-editor too actually) is a dam against you embarrassing yourself, or worse, being so arrogant that don’t even realize you’ve embarrassed yourself. Put differently, a culture of fact-checking, of honesty, is as important as the actual fact-checking.”—Ta-Nehisi Coates, in praise of fact checkers. (via theatlantic)
“The missing link between issue advocacy and voting struck me forcefully when I discovered that many of the young women who rallied recently at the state capitol to protest Gov. Rick Perry’s attack on Planned Parenthood hadn’t voted in the 2010 gubernatorial election. They had skipped a step in the policymaking process that might’ve kept them out of the heat – voting out a leader willing to risk women’s lives to score political points. I’ve also met plenty of bike-riding young people who are passionate about saving the environment, fanatic about composting, obsessed with their carbon footprint — but they don’t vote either.”—Why Don’t The Young Vote? - The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan - The Daily Beast
“… thinking you can reduce the number of abortions by making abortion illegal and then making life extra crappy for women so they’d be more likely to want to have abortions is sort of like a pitcher walking all of the batters in baseball so none of them hit home runs and then acting all confused when the score keeps increasing.”—Catholic Newspaper Calls Obama ‘More Pro-Life’ Than Romney
After Gabby Douglas won the all around, Bob Costas ended the night by remarking how wonderful it was to have an African-American woman win, particularly for the way that it might inspire other African-American girls. Someone in my twitter feed snarked, “Bob Costas just ended racism in America. Well done!” which was a deft, if heartless jab. Obviously, Gabby Douglas’s victory does not mean racism is over, just as Raisman’s doesn’t mean anti-Semitism is. The Olympics are a big sports event, and there’s only so much patting ourselves on the back we should do about symbolic events when there are so many non-symbolic atrocities happening every day.
And yet there is maybe a quick, surreptitious grip on the shoulder we might allow ourselves. The American women’s gymnastics team consists of an African-American girl, an Asian-American girl, a Jewish girl, a white girl, and, silver medal be damned, a walking, talking vaulting machine. It is coached by an all but incoherent, mustachioed, bossy Romanian and his nearly as intense wife. It is far and away the most diverse women’s gymnastics squad fielded at these games. Last night, an 18 year girl won a gold medal dancing to a Jewish folk song on the 30th anniversary of the Munich Olympics, a song that most Americans know, if they know it at all, from Jewish weddings. I kvelled, and then I kvelled even more when NBC panned up to the stands and showed Raisman’s teammates cheering her on, wearing the same outfits and the same smiles, but not a one of them looking the same.