Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ozzie and Harriet and Arne

"The days of telling kids to go home at 2:30 and having mom there with a peanut butter sandwich, those days are gone....the hours from 3 o’clock to 7 o’clock are a huge anxiety, and that’s why we have to keep our schools open longer."
Arne the Scarecrow

Many families have limited choices.

Daddy's working. Mommy's working. Grandma's in the old people warehouse.

And we need kids to improve their test scores so that they can compete with the children in India and Sri Lanka, to make more goods few of us need, to keep Mommy and Daddy at work even longer.

Maybe Arne should take a peek at Bob Herbert's column today. Arne keeps talking of moral obligations. Herbert today is talking of sin ("A Sin and a Shame").

"At the end of the fourth quarter in 2008, you see corporate profits begin to really take off, and they grow by the time you get to the first quarter of 2010 by $572 billion. And over that same time period, wage and salary payments go down by $122 billion.”
Andrew Sum, PhD
Director of the Center for Labor Market Studies
Northeastern University

That's called a clue, Arne.

If you want families to raise healthy, educated, well-rounded children, at least one adult needs to be home during a child's waking hours.

An adult who can show a child how to sow, how to fix things, how to enjoy life outside the classroom, outside the office, outside the car. Maybe even how to love.

Want to raise school performance? Raise minimum wage to a level that allows a child to see an adult family member for at least half the time she's conscious, doing something worthwhile besides "earning a living."

The Ozzie and Harriet photo is from a website that sells the videos.
And yes, Duncan's quote is sexist, but it's so stupid I doubt he's doing any harm with it.
I'll get back to teaching science again soon.


Unknown said...

We have more egg plant than I imagined we would. The peppers are starting to grow, too. My wife cheated and helped pollinate them with a chicken feather. Joel helped, too. I was skeptical of this black magic concept, but it worked.

The tomatoes are supplying salsa and spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce and the asparagus and watermelon and artichoke are all coming to life as well.

The herb garden explodes with scent after a monsoon storm. We have buckets of gray water for the future. We can inhale clean, cool air.


We didn't earn any of it.

The garden teaches me that life is unpredictable and that we never "earn a living."

Teacherfish said...

I posted a story about the lack of our success in the garden in my blog today.

Perhaps we didn't take it seriously enough. Perhaps I should try a chicken feather.

Perhaps I'm glad I'm on this side of the industrial revolution and there are plenty of vegetables available in the supermarket and the farmer's markets-even if sometimes my kids came home to an empty house, in good years and bad they never went hungry.

doyle said...

Dear John,

True. We earn dollars. Even then, "earned" is a funny word, especially given how money flows. A migrant farm worker makes less than Bill Gates--who earned their money?

Dear Teacherfish,

One of the sad things about industrialization is that we fail to learn what hundreds of generations before us learned. We live in a land of experts.

It's been a warm summer--tomatoes need cool nights to ripen. You may be taking too good care. A very well fed tomato plant with deep green bushy leaves may need the stress of changing light to get it to fruit.

It will.

(Interesting parallels in your post.)


Unknown said...

Why are my tomatoes ripening, then? Just curious. It's still in the nineties at night. Is it just chance or is it that they need disparity in temperature?

I am seriously gardening blindly - all trial and error (the first year was almost all error)

doyle said...

Dear John,

You know, it might indeed be the temperature disparity. I don't know. I am tempted to Google it, but maybe I'll throw the question out to the sophomores and see how they tackle it!