09 June 2007

Recent Readings (Rapid Review)

Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Two thumbs way up. Unless you're not married. Then I suggest you wait. Otherwise, a compelling read and a sweet (unorthodox) love story. I sympathized with the characters and the time traveling, which in other hands might have been more science-fiction-y feeling, had a depth of reality to it. Out of the entire book, I didn't like two scenes. Gomez was in both of them. One of them I just didn't get until I thought it over for a couple of hours, and even though I don't like it still, I can see why the author included it.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Really! I've never read it until now. And honestly, I don't like it. I never connected with Jane's insane attraction to a grumpy, brusque and deceitful man. I'm glad that he became decent-er before she married him, but..... not the tang I want in my romances.

Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins

Cute. Favorite paragraph: "The hardworking necklace couldn't believe it. It let out an inaudible, exasperated gasp." I liked the drawings and pictures and quirkiness. But classic material it is not. There's no inspiring theme to it. It is cute.

03 June 2007

My Turn

I'm sick and tired of being sick.

And of my children being sick.

It means we're the pariahs of playgroups and can't go anywhere except when absolutely necessary for survival. The Rosita has taken to scavenging for food. The Dude lives off a diet of applesauce, yogurt, and crackers with a random fishstick.

It means I've had minimal contact with friends for a month. It means we're starting to chat with the walls just to relieve boredom. It means that my head is about to explode from a combination of sinus pressure and whining leaving the aforementioned walls covered with a lot of blood and some snot.

At least it will give them something new to talk about.

02 June 2007

My First (Official) Rant

I've been flip-flopping about whether to send the Dude to Kindergarten or not. The Spozo Maravilloso is all for the Dude going to Kindergarten, but not having attended Kindergarten for a significant amount of time, I really don't see the point of it.

Case in point: Here are just some of the curriculum requirements for reading:

Decoding and Word Recognition
1.14 Match all consonant and short-vowel sounds to appropriate letters.
1.15 Read simple one-syllable and high-frequency words (i.e., sight words).
1.16 Understand that as letters of words change, so do the sounds (i.e., the alphabetic principle).

AUGH!!! The dude can read "carbohydrate" from the cereal box. He would be soooooo bored. And when he's bored, he acts up. I understand that it's a good thing (especially for the teachers) to have children learn to sit down and be quiet even (especially?) when they already know what's going on, but honestly, I don't think it's in his best interest to go to class where he knows everything already.

UNLESS the teacher was someone awesome that understood what was going on and would find a way to make it worthwhile for him to go.

BUT I think that is really hard considering that the poor teachers are becoming increasingly bound by rules and regulations about what they can teach and how they can teach it.

I'm beginning to feel nostalgic for one-room schoolhouses where you just moved up in your lessons if you were ahead (it wasn't age based), but you were still in a social atmosphere where you could play with kids your own age.

What really set me out on this rant was that California Legislature is trying to pass a law (AB 1236) to make Kindergarten compulsory and to start government-run "Kindergarten Readiness" (ie-preschool) programs - AFTER the people of California just voted against this program. It is another example of these lovely lawmakers deciding they know what's best for us poor unenlightened souls that don't know what's best for ourselves.


Phew! I feel much better now.