Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Last week a 12 yr old girl was arrested in her school room, handcuffed and marched across the street to the police station where she was booked and charged with lord alone knows what. probably 'inappropriate use of a magic marker".

What she did was, in a moment probably of 12 year old emotion, write the names of her best friends on the desktop. The teacher called the police and they arrested her.

This was not a troubled kid, not a problem child. She had perfect attendance and good grades. She is now suspended from school.

Two or three weeks ago a little boy of about seven was removed from the classroom and his parents called, because the teacher found a Lego marine (with rifle) belonging to him. He may have been showing it to a buddy. It was suggested he undergo therapy. By now, he may need it.

In Pennsylvania the school sent home special laptops for the kids so they could do their homework on them. What the kids and parents did not know was that each laptop came with a small camera that could be activated remotely by the school. They activated it a LOT. The school is now having its doors sued off by parents.

this is one side of the coin.

the other side is, the schools no longer hold kids back if they cant do the work, and they all graduate with their class (it looks so good on the record books) whether they can read or not, so as not to damage their tender psyches. When there is a death of a dog, rockstar, hamster, or grandparent the school holds grief counseling sessions, thereby nailing the grief to the wall forever for those kids, rather than letting them deal with it their own way...

does anyone else see a huge discrepancy between the first part and the second part?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Old Timer's Disease

The only thing more annoying than starting a book and realizing you've already read it, but also realizing that you know this only peripherally--some of the names seem familiar, but you have no clue as to what happens next. Sometimes you don't like the book almost as much as you did the first time, when you bought the first copy; but it takes you fifteen chapters to realize you are plowing through old ground...

what really scares me is the total lack of any sort of memory of either the first reading or what I liked/disliked about it. Gone. Just gone.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Guy gadgets

And the cellphone was lonely, so he brought home a GPS handheld to keep it company, and then so he would be able to mush out into our frozen wasteland and play with the GPS (which is really kind of neat) he got a pair of those new skinny aluminum snowshoes.

At this point, I don't mind. It gets him out walking, it gives him a hobby, and since he wants to go climbing next summer, I do not have to go with him now, and I do not have to worry about a 66 year old man stravaging all over the White Mountains for the first time in decades.

It does seem that when men embark on Adventures like this, they are no longer content with a stout stick and good boots. They need compasses that cost a week's wages, a better camera, walking sticks that do everything but play the bagpipes, special backpacks to hold all this stuff...if he ever falls over with that new backpack on he will be immobilized until someone can get him unhitched from it.

And the calendar (picture those transitional calendar page effects from forties movies) is whizzing past February, the days lengthen noticeably, and in 27 days it will be spring. Mud, snow, glop, and all. Not a hard winter, necessarily, but a winter, and I may just go stand in the mudsnowglop when the time comes, just because it's there.