Archive for March, 2007
Dr. Deborah Serani wrote a post on her page about noise levels and stress. Though this has implications for every workplace, it is especially relevant to elementary school teachers and their students. No only does noise effect your physical health, it can impair your ability to think and remember what is going on around you. I have noticed that when I’m working with younger children I have to write everything down or I’ll forget, but I always thought that was soley due to the chaotic atmosphere of a kindergarten classroom. If the noise effects me, a seasoned professional, what does it do to a 5 year old who’s trying to learn her letters and numbers? How many tummy aches are really the product of a stressful learning environment? Teachers of younger students are always saying that class sizes need to be smaller. I think a class of 20 is plenty until 5th grade, though there should be a classroom aide until 3rd (there rarely is). It should go up to 25 in middle school, and hit no more than 30 in high school.
Last night on 60 Minutes John Edwards and his wife were interviewed about their decision to stay in the Presidential race despite Elizabeth’s ongoing battle with cancer. The questions were difficult. It almost seemed like the interviewer was trying to convince them to drop out of the race, but they handled each question beautifully – the way any Presidential candidate should. Last night’s interview showed that John Edwards can be diplomatic and Presidential, which was no doubt part of the goal, and I applaud Elizabeth for choosing to deal with her disease based on what she feels is best for herself, her family, and her country.
Make no mistake, this is not a post about John Edwards. This is about the choice one woman has made to continue to battle an awful disease by choosing to live her life. It’s true that a political campaign is hard on the body and mind, but after the interview I saw last night, I have no doubt that Elizabeth can handle it. I also have no doubt that it was HER decision that kept John in the race. She believes in her husband and she believes that his Presidency would be what’s best for America. While that remains to be seen, she has done what all cancer patients are told to do – find something to live for. I hope that her very public battle will serve as inspiration for anyone living with terminal disease such as cancer. I wish her good luck and good health.
Ten schools in Massachusetts have extended their school day by 2 hours. A lot can be done in that time. Many teachers I know are often frustrated that they don’t have enough time to teach important concepts, or to adequately explain them to students who have trouble grasping them. Some of the most amazing discussions in my Literature and History classes have been interrupted by a bell. Once that energy is gone, it’s difficult to get it back.
Hopefully schools will use this as an opportunity to reimplement music and art classes. If students are lucky, a wider range of electives. But I know many administrators are thinking of the Almighty, asking themselves, “What is this doing to their test scores?” Well, it’s raising them. And teachers are getting paid more, too.
The price of birth control pills doubled, and sometimes tripled overnight. For women in college, with children, or already working 2 jobs to cover costs, this is quite a shock. So my suggestion is that they make the men they are having sex with pay for birth control. It’s only fair. why should women have to cover 100% of the cost when they’re only having 50% of the fun. Usually less, but that’s besides the point.
Really, women should be charging for sex every time they get into bed. They’re bearing the financial burden of any outcome, anyway. There are millions of dollars of unpaid child support floating around out there. How many men who plead with their inconveniently pregnant girlfriends to have an abortion actually pay for half of it? Often if a man chooses to walk away from his responsibilities there are only repercussions if the mother of his children can find him AND afford a lawyer. Happily married women should charge their husbands and donate the money to shelters for abused women. Since money is what truly rules this country, the only way for women to ever be equal is to make men financially responsible for their reproductive rights.
Some doctors are prescribing Adderall, a drug most typically used to treat ADHD, to treat obese and overweight children, not that it’s been approved for that use. One of the side effects of Adderall is weight loss, but it can also stunt children’s growth. My question is: why is it legal for doctors to prescribe drugs for conditions they weren’t designed to treat? Why isn’t the FDA paying more attention to regulating legal drugs? More importantly, why are doctors handing out drugs like candy? Is it possible that the reason Americans are so complacent is because they’re sedated? How many people are on anti-depressants and other mind-controlling substances like Adderall? I’m not saying that some people don’t need these drugs. If you’re bi-polar, take the medication, but if your depression is being caused by major life changes and some serious bad luck, put down the pills and get some counseling first.