Curriculum Night: How my Child will learn to Become a Mid-Level Management Suck Up

This evening I went to my daughter‘s “curriculum” night at her school. This just happens to be my last one for elementary school. Have you forgotten about curriculum night? Or maybe you are a bad parent and have never attended one before? Basically, the teacher tells you what your child will be learning over the course of the year. In the great State of Washington, goals have changed and the names of the goals have changed. We’ve had WASL goals, we’ve had Iowa tests, we’ve had critical thinking goals, MAPSAT, BS Goals, etc. The acronyms keep rolling out and the goals keep changing but it all comes down to this: we want our kids grow up with a decent brain inside their heads.

I’m all for progress and helping my child become a world thinker who is compassionate and uses critical thinking in their ever changing world of shifting paradigms while at the same time becoming a global citizen that needs to manage her own future. How about that? Is that a “mission statement” or what?

One of the new math concepts is for our students to work on the computer solving problems. Really? The teacher had a sample problem involving pizza and two kids. One kid was named Lucas. All I was thinking while she was showing us the math word problem was that Lucas was a fat pig who shouldn’t be eating 3/8 of the cheese pizza, 4/8 of the pepperoni, and ¼ of another one. That Lucas kid is going to be one fat ass kid with weight and self-esteem issues if he keeps pigging out. Poor Lucas.  Did Lucas think he found the best Seattle pizza?

Welcome back to School!
Welcome back to School!

My other concern was that it was fairly stupid to being solving this math problem on a computer. A good old pencil and paper would be a lot quicker and easier to use. How are they going to do the math on the fly if the computer isn’t there? Hmm? Are the children of today (and tomorrow) going to be able to do math without the use of a pull down menu? Could they mix art and math together and sketch out the problem on paper with a pencil and still figure it out?

Really, all I saw was that our schools were teaching our kids to rely on a computer to create a whole bunch of extra work to solve a simple math word problem. They can make pie graphs, charts, etc. That’s great but it is a simple problem. They don’t need to make a ten page report on it that is a waste of everyone’s time. Are we creating a society of mid-level managers that make reports for the heck of it and to justify their jobs?

“I have that twenty page report on why we shouldn’t eating Twinkles!” Conclusion: Uh, because they are bad for us? Or maybe we should eat them because it helps the fitness industry keep fitness instructors employed?

Over the years, I’ve learned that you need to watch less TV, get off the worthless texting and Instagram, Facebook, social media sites, and read more nonfiction (that was a big one tonight) and classic novels. I would also add you need to get out and experience life. Take the kids to museums, road trips, ferry boat rides, hikes, walks, boat rides, and feel the wind in your face.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the internet as much as you do. All the information at your fingertips, merely a click away…it’s wonderful.

Yet, I’m just as guilty as other parents and their children in letting social media run our lives. I have a hard time disconnecting from my iPhone. I have slowed down my use of social media. I have tried to make a deliberate effort not to check my phone when I’m doing activities with the family. I try to ignore that email buzz on my phone. It is hard. Sometimes I’m good and other times I’m not.

What are your thoughts about using only computers for school work these days? Will it work?


Dear Facebook: 67% of us are leaving you….

This morning one of our local TV stations mentioned a survey about Facebook users.  You can imagine that a lot of us might spend a tad bit too much time on Facebook. A whopping 67% of the people in the survey said they were going to spend less time on Facebook this year.  Just like a meth addict coming back to his favorite drug, I know most people with a Facebook addiction will still be logged on and hitting the “Like” button.

Sure, Facebook might be one of those background windows on your desktop but it is still there.  The window is still open, you are still logged in and looking at status updates every few minutes.

My cousin is addicted to Facebook and I’m worried about her.  Like every addict, I have a sense of concern about her behavior.  She posts on the average of 5-9 times a day.  And she “likes” a lot of things.  To her defense, I know she is using social media to spread the word about her business.  Well, she should be spreading the word about her business; however it appears that she is getting off topic on every post.  I don’t really need to know she “likes” that cute puppy dog in the snow.

Of course, you can argue that my Facebook addiction is my cyber stalking of my cousin.  She is constantly on my newsfeed.  I probably should block her because her updates are really cutting into my Facebook stalking time of other people.  How can I spread out my stalking of everyone else if she is always posting and distracting me?

However, if I block her I won’t have anything to complain about.  What fun is that?  I could also not be logged onto Facebook at all.  I could go cold turkey.  I can give it up.  I can devote my time to actually work projects.  I did give up the mobile Facebook application on my Smartphone.  No one needs to know I just check in at the Bellevue Square Taco Bell (when I really should be at work).

What is the solution?  There isn’t any solution.  We are doomed.  You should know by now that my advice is heavily dosed with sarcasm and is worthless for the advancement of your knowledge base.  The only reason you should be reading my blog is to feel better about yourself.  You can learn that you are like every other Facebook user out there that wants to quit but won’t quit.

Really, if you quit who is going to “like” all those cute puppy pictures?