Friday, July 27, 2012

The problem with education

This definitely resonates with me... however, while defining the problem is good, what is the wide-scale solution to this? De-templatizing education creates a lot of potential for inequality (which, granted, is already a problem, and the struggle for equality has been a big factor leading to the current situation) and makes governance difficult. It would take a lot of work and the transition could be a very unstable period. Would it mean breaking apart the current public education system and re-wiring it to at the least cover a few of the major types of learners, potentially leaving the edge cases left behind on the side of the road? Or should charter schools be given more incentive and creative freedom?

It's an obvious problem, but I would like to hear the obvious solution(s), and see how feasible they are. Public schooling has a hard time making this shift due to its scale, and private schooling has issues due to the radical nature and risk involved, and needing to have a way to find acceptance and ultimately show comparison results.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Our day at the zoo

We went to the San Diego Zoo for the Bridgepoint Education Family Picnic. We all went around 9:30 (Sophia, Lara, me, Karen, Leonilda), but Lara got tired early and left around noon. Sophia and I stayed until about 5pm, then took Karen to the airport for her trip to Texas for 5 days. She completely crashed in the car on the way home, while simultaneously telling me she wasn't sleepy. Sophia LOVED her pink cat face painting, and was sad when we washed it off at bath time. She told EVERYONE about it at dinner in Daphne's, Subway, Jamba Juice, and Starbucks, and got a lot of attention.

Overall a good day, and a great reward for her filling up her Heart Board! (probably more on that later). Anyway, typing this on my phone, so forgive terseness and any oddly autocorrected words!

"I'm ready to go to the zoo!"
"But first, let me show you my zoo dance!"
Sophia plots our course
The first major hit, the duck pond!
We realized there was a direct relationship with how much they liked certain animals to how close they could get to them.  The ducklings and goats won first billing as Sophia's favorites, followed closely by the snakes, turtles, and the polar bear that could have eaten from my hand.
"Can I ride the peacock?"
Mammoths are much bigger up close... but this one hiding here was Sophie-sized
Riding a saber-tooth cat - I'm not sure it likes it, but she sure did
The extinct American Lion.  HUGE!  I wouldn't have wanted to run into one of those around here a few hundred thousand years ago!
This is my friend Frank the polar bear.  We really bonded while he chewed the meat from his bone.  He could have bear hugged me if not for the foot+ thick glass.  Probably a good thing.
Lunch with a few thousand of my closest friends from Bridgepoint
Sophia saw the face painting booth, and suddenly wanted nothing else.  I didn't think she could hold still, but she did an amazing job hopping right up on the chair, tilting her head back and closing her eyes and just waiting, before the woman even told her to!  She sat more still for a longer time than I can remember ever having seen her do, ever!  
The end result... Note:  this is NOT a pink tiger!  And she wasn't a real cat... she just has a pink cat face, she was still a person-girl.  She wanted to make that very clear.
Self-pictures are a LITTLE easier with a mirror... she spent a while staring into this mirror, and we came back to it several times
We petted goats, lambs, and a little horse.  The Wild Animal park (er, I guess now it is the Zoo Safari) is a bit more interesting, letting you pet gazelles, but she still had fun petting these.
She was very interested in the giant snapping turtle.  And I do mean giant, it was as big as her!  Me: "Sophia, smile!" Sophia: "Ok daddy... turtle, SMILE!!!  SMILE turtle!  Daddy, is he smiling?!"
A nearby group pitied my outstretched-arm self portrait attempts, and took this.. glare, sadly, keeps you from seeing the TURTLE (who I'm sure was smiling), but it at least got us
Me: "It was a long day, and you didn't have a nap.  Are you sleepy or tired?"  Sophia: "No, Daddy, I'm not tired at all!  I still want to see more animals!"
About 10 seconds after the above picture, mid sentence claiming she wasn't tired, she trailed off.  I talked a bit, no response, so looked back and saw this.  She didn't wake up with a little voice prompting, was totally out.  Clearly "not tired"!

Thursday, May 31, 2012


It has only been three years.  I know that sometime in that time period, I had made posts saying I was hoping to try to get in the habit of posting something more often, which I actually never did.  What I don't know is where those posts actually went, because they are no longer here.

I have done a bit of cleanup, and while the layout isn't the most spectacular website you will ever see, it is now easy for me to post to via phone or web site, and it includes my twitter feed directly... not that I use THAT all that often either.

There are easy ways to get to most of my profiles, as well as the ability to subscribe via RSS or email, for the two or three people who care about what I put here.  I could potentially even open posting up to my wife and/or kids (who at the moment can't quite spell, but eventually... they will probably laugh at my outdated idea of a 'blog' by the time they are proficient enough to communicate digitally, though).

So much has changed since last posts... our youngest is now our oldest, and is clearly a real person now.  Our new youngest is getting there, getting around very well and beginning to communicate.

Kung fu has slowed down but not stopped, and I'm hoping that I can get back into it soon, with kids old enough to share in the pain.

My wife and I are both pursuing new degrees in our vast free time.

Overall, things are good.  I'm curious to see if anything gets posted here in the next 5 years, but if not... Hi me from the future!