SL 706

I’m in between articles. I have one article that is still sitting on an editor’s desk waiting for edits, but I haven’t heard anything about it. I have a long term project that needs some attention. But nothing urgent. So, I’m surfing around this week and getting my ducks in line at home and with the kids.

Ian is kicking ass in his engineering class at school, so I’m signing him for computer camps this summer. The computer industry is reaching out to the autistic community more and more, because of their coding mad skillz. I think that is a realistic career plan for Ian in the future.

To get him there, we really need to bring up his reading skills. So, I’ve been reading up on the research and hiring tutors. Did you know that 2/3rds of American kids are not on grade level for reading? Ian has hyperlexia, so he’s great at phonics. His trouble is with reading comprehension, because his language skills are low. So, every day, we read with Ian and break down the text paragraph by paragraph, pull out the idiomatic expressions, discuss the passage, help paint the picture in his head of the story, and then discuss the emotions of the characters. Wish this happened at school, but it doesn’t.

This guy writes this same article every year. FWIW, the Atlantic does a lot of articles about community college. I made a point of discussing the pros and cons of textbooks and technology for the community college student just last month. Eye roll.

Funny review of “Fifty Shades Freed”.

Lots of chatter about Andrew Sullivan’s article this week.


27 thoughts on “SL 706

  1. I’m glad Ian is doing well at engineering and computers. We put our son in those computer summer camps also, mostly because it means we can go to work without bothering grandma so often. I don’t know if he’s learning much. I don’t see much chance of him not becoming a lawyer.

    1. “I don’t see much chance of him not becoming a lawyer.”

      Because he argues with you all the time? Or is there some genetic predisposition?

      1. He doesn’t just argue with me, he argues with math. He complains that his math homework takes too long, but it’s entirely because he wants to argue about why math is wrong. And basically the whole family is lawyers but me.

      2. MH said:

        “He doesn’t just argue with me, he argues with math. He complains that his math homework takes too long, but it’s entirely because he wants to argue about why math is wrong. And basically the whole family is lawyers but me.”

        Oh, wow.

  2. In defense of the middlebrow media focus on elite institutions, it is neither surprising nor wrong that writers would write about what they know, and that readers would want to read about issues that affect their lives directly. Also, more arguably, the enculturation of the future elite is more important than the enculturation of the future middle class. The latter point is what Andrew Sullivan thinks. Of course, one could argue the opposite, that what matters for the future of society is that for every Harvard graduate there are a thousand guys in bars thinking and saying politically incorrect things, and even voting accordingly, secure in the belief that it’s a free country.

    1. Also, for every Harvard grad, and every thousand – white and straight, I guess? – guys in those bars, there are a thousand women from the non-elite schools, at least some of whom are thinking, wow, it’s nice to have someone at my institution stand up for me. Because non-elite women also occasionally get abused or molested or harassed or ignored. And a couple hundred African American men, from that same non-elite institution (mine is up to over 20%), some of whom are also thinking, hey, did somebody at my institution just say black lives matter? That’s nice for a change. And a hundred Latino men saying, whoa, someone values my culture too. And so on.

      Though these people are a little less sure than your white guys that it’s a free country, they may also be voting.

      1. Why do you make everything a racial comment? I didn’t say anything about race. The working class black people I know–not a huge number, to be sure–aren’t very politically correct. The gay people I know aren’t that politically correct either. And most of the Trump supporters I know are working class women.

      2. I work at a non-elite school, and the students’ rage over Trump and sexism and white supremacism is pretty intense.

  3. I actually loved the Fifty Shades Freed trailer I saw. It actually made being Mrs. Christian Grey look like fun, in contrast to the first trailer, which seemed to be for a horror movie (not kidding!).

  4. I liked this:

    “It was only now that I realized: This entire trilogy has been an R-rated version of Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go.”

  5. “I don’t see much chance of him not becoming a lawyer.”

    If you are not actually a currently practicing lawyer, or otherwise work in the legal industry, you might be surprised. A significant part of lawyering today is all about computers. Specifically, using computers to gather, organize, and manipulate a massive amount of information. Some of the most valuable people on my teams are not lawyers by training, but they can make the computers do what we need them to do, and have picked up enough law on the job to be far more valuable to us than your average lawyer.

    1. I hear all about how discovery works for corporate law now. I’d think defending drunk drivers and doing divorces for bartenders would be more fun.

  6. Good for you for working with Ian on his reading comprehension. As your statistic indicates, it’s an issue and lots of kids fall through the cracks, especially the ones with stellar decoding skills. They can read far beyond grade level but don’t understand much of what they are reading. Unless the parents and/or teachers are on top of it, they’re missed. That old saying – learning to read in grades 1-3 and then reading to learn from grade 4 onwards.

    Literacy is one of our passions re charitable giving and volunteering. I volunteer tutor early readers once a week in a local elementary school through a local charity. And one of the kids I’m working with this year is similar to Ian – great decoding but struggling with comprehension. I’m sure you’ve done your own research re strategies but if you want some ideas, email away.

    1. And how they taught comprehension back in the day (my day!) with those SRA boxes of passages/questions is very outdated. Comprehension is much much more than being able to spit out facts about a particular passage.

  7. Castleman is dead right, and it’s a good article to lather, rinse, repeat. His Goldrick-Rab quote is spot on “few journalists seem to understand, Goldrick-Rab said, is how tenuous a grasp many students have on college. They are working while in school, often juggling multiple jobs that don’t readily align with class schedules. They are attending part time, which makes it take longer to graduate and reduces the chances of finishing at all. They are raising children, supporting parents and racking up debt trying to pay for it all.”
    If his article leads you to want more! more! I suggest Paying For The Party, How College Maintains Inequality.

    1. “They are raising children, supporting parents and racking up debt trying to pay for it all.”

      One of my second cousins had her mom living off her student loans.


    2. Yeah, I agree – if every year we have to have multiple stories about stressed-out applicants to Harvard, there’s no problem with reminding people how college works for most people.

  8. “I’d think defending drunk drivers and doing divorces for bartenders would be more fun.” This may be true for some but even for them it is not a viable way to make a living.

    1. This is true. The attorney I know did divorce for a while. She wanted to help women but part of her income was based on the revenue she brought in, and many clients ultimately can’t pay their bills.

      1. So grim. They fight over the custody of the fucking poodle, which will be dead in three years, and piss away everything they have saved in the course of the marriage. Awful work. Good to try and make a fair outcome, but now a pleasant way to spend your career.

      2. Yes, I can’t imagine practicing in a field where people’s emotions were engaged, as opposed to purely financial matters. I would find that very unpleasant. Although high-end matrimonial work can be remunerative.

  9. So, about Sullivan, who says ” In the world beyond campus, few people use the term microaggressions without irony or an eye roll; claims of “white supremacy,” “rape culture,” or “white privilege” can seem like mere rhetorical flourishes; racial and gender segregation hasn’t been perpetuated in the workplace yet…” However, the inhouse NYT squabbles about ( Bari Weiss are full of exactly that sort of virtue signalling.
    It’s my wife who keeps us on as subscribers, if it were up to me, the Times would go.

    1. Wow, that’s hysterical. Imagine what those people would have done with FDR’s “Fellow Immigrants” line. I especially like the one comparing Weiss’s tweet to the Japanese American internment. If I had kept scrolling, I’m sure the commenters worked up to full-blown Holocaust comparisons.

      1. So, we were talking witchcraft in Europe – Fugger newsletter 1587: “The herein mentioned, malefic and miserable woman, Walpurga Hausmannin, now imprisoned and in chains, has, upon kindly questioning and also torture, following on persistent and fully justified accusations, confessed her witchcraft and admitted the following. When one-and-thirty years ago she had become a widow, she cut corn for Hans Schlumperger, of this place, together with his former servant, Bis im Pfarrhof by
        name. Him she enticed with lewd speeches and gestures, and they convened that they should, on an appointed night, meet in her, Walpurga’s, dwelling, there to indulge in lustful intercourse. So when Walpurga in expectation of this sat awaiting him at night in her chamber, meditating upon evil and fleshly thoughts, it was not the said bondsman who appeared unto her, but the Evil One in the latter’s guise and raiment and indulged in fornication with her.”

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