Tuesday, April 05, 2011

LinkFest

I'm way overdue for a LinkFest, I think.

A terrific post about homeschooling, socialization, and how even though our homeschooled kids actually do learn how to manage social situations (it's really true!), they'll never truly fit in. They'll always be different because of this different way they've been raised (and because the parents who raised them are different enough to go against the mainstream). And this difference--it's a GOOD THING. Here's a nice little quotation from the end of the post:
And just to throw another fly in the ointment, if you have dared to challenge government schooling or conventional private schooling, I suspect you aren’t normal or especially well-socialized either. Somehow you were impervious to social conditioning enough to think outside the box. You’re probably a little odd too. No offense, but most of the homeschool parents I know, are. I include myself among them. We’re either deliberate, accidental, or reluctant social misfits who imbue our children with a set of values and beliefs that resist the siren songs of government schooling, pop culture, and social engineering.

Yup.


Next, here's a story about an extremely persistent Census Bureau person trying to follow up with a couple about the American Community Survey. Because there still seems to be confusion about this, I'll take the time to say that the ACS is NOT the same thing as the decennial Census.

In case you weren't aware, there is no more "long form" decennial Census. They have done way with the long form because some genius at the CB decided to create the ACS instead, which is sent to randomly selected households all over the US all the time. Every month of every year.

I am not opposed to telling the government how many people live here every 10 years. I am vehemently opposed to their attempts to extract personal information about my life via the decennial Census form or the ACS. I especially hate that they tell me it's for my own good, and that I owe it to the other people in my community (for without MY information, they won't know where to put the next hospital!). I especially especially hate it that they threaten people with exorbitant fines for non-compliance.

Interestingly, the story I linked to above has a quote from someone at the CB who states flat out that they will not prosecute the people refusing to complete the ACS. As far as I know, the fine that could be imposed has been and will continue to be an empty threat to coerce more compliance with the ACS than there otherwise would be. (Just my opinion, not legal advice, yada yada yada)


The Florida Peanut Allergy Protest. Le sigh. In a nutshell (ba-dum-bum!), parents were upset over school rules to accommodate a kid with a bad peanut allergy. They had a big protest complete with misspelled signage and slogans. They made their campaign personal against the family of the child.

Here's the thing: they had some really, really wrong information about what the procedures were. I had actually wondered why this protest was happening in March--hasn't the girl been in school since the beginning of the school year? Why yes, yes she has. Haven't these procedures been in place since the beginning of the school year? Why  yes, yes they have.  In fact, they were in place ALL LAST YEAR, TOO. The infamous mouth-rinsing? The school changed that policy BEFORE the parents bought poster board and markers.

This is a terrible misunderstanding. I still maintain these parents behaved particularly badly. I have no problem if they want to complain or protest to the school officials. But to target this kid--this 6 year old first grade child--and her family is just mean. Complain all you want--to the people who put the policies in place (the school officials). I also recommend gathering some actual facts, too.

Incidentally, I do have a longer post planned about this topic, as sharing another article about this protest on FB inadvertently sparked a peanut controversy of my very own. I actually really don't mind that people complain about the policies--things are different from when we were kids and I think it's okay to be unhappy about it. However, I have a serious, serious problem when people send peanuts into a supposedly peanut-free zone because they think that their rights are being violated. More on that later, though.


To end this LinkFest in a less serious (not to mention wordy) way, I just LOVE the Knitting Tips by Judy. Her videos are extremely helpful and I have learned quite a bit. She explains and demonstrates the ideas very well (sometimes she goes a bit fast, but usually she's very slow and deliberate). I'm learning to knit on double-pointed needles now! Woohoo!

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