Thursday, November 1, 2007

No Child Left Behind

A teacher in Madison is protesting the No Child Left Behind standardized testing by refusing to administer the test. Kudos to him! He is being threatened with dismissal although it sounds as though the superintendent is not handling the situation properly. It is state law, beholden to federal law, that these tests be administered. What a crock. I detest standardized testing when the results are used as a threat.

As a high school teacher once asked, "What if a child wants to be left behind." Anyone not familiar with the delights of adolescent mood swings and other idiosyncrasies that strike this age group would not understand that enticing/motivating/bribing this age group is often an effort in futility. What about the elementary student who didn't get breakfast that morning or whose parents had a knock down drag out fight at 2 a.m. How well does a middle school child test the day after being told his parents are divorcing or that her father just lost his job? One or two days of testing to judge a child's academic placement.

Be my guest, Mr. Bush and Mr. Kennedy....try making a student learn. Education is supposedly being enhanced because of bill pushed down public schools' throats (ah, gee, private schools don't hold to this same standard) by a President who cannot speak in compound sentences? By a President who mangles the language at every opportunity?

Whatever the outcome for the Madison teacher, I applaud his stance. As a school board member and former educator, I did not allow my daughter to take the 10th grade standardized tests the first year given in Wisconsin. I caught some flack from a few educators which I thought hypocritical....they hate standardized tests, also, but lacked the balls to pull their children from the testing.

Standardized testing and mandated learning from the federal government is a shabby attempt to put a bandaid on the gaping wounds in education. Easier to pass this type of legislation than find true solutions to the problems.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

This is the Halloween card I made and sent out to a selected few. I love the bad stamp and the colors plus the ribbon adds a fanciful touch. I enjoyed making this card more than most Christmas cards I have made. There is just something warmer, cozier, and more fun about autumn and Halloween than Christmas.

I like decorating with pumpkins, leaves, black cats, and witches. I have found some great witch decoratives and have them placed about the house for October. Just the concept of being able to fly about on a broom, cast spells at will, cackle, and create potions sounds right up my alley. The first witch I liked was the Margaret Hamilton Wicked Witch of the West. Her famous line"I'll get you my pretty....and your little dog, too" is a delightful classic.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Yum and Yuck

pizzashrimpgarlicbreadcheddarcheesepotatochipshamburgerschocolatecashewspopcornbltspeanutbutterbutterednoodlesgelatocoffeedietpepsibaconryebreafrenchtoastfrenchfriescaramelcandyappleswafflesstrawberriesbleucheeseartichokesstuffing YUM

brusselsproutslimabeansliversteakclamsoysterscauliflowerskittlesbutterscotchpuddingapsparagusaniseveallambmilkporkchopschickendarkmeatduckgravycilantrorefriedbeansbrickcheeseeggsbenedictcreamedcornsaltwatertaffyblackjellybeansfrenchsilkpie YUCK

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Scream: Dedicated to Fox Valley Meangirl Moms

Ann was home for the weekend. We met for lunch at Red Lobster, browsed the mall, checked out the new Steve & Barry’s store (awesome prices), and stopped at Starbucks before we each went our own way. Behind us sat two teenage girls and a “Mean Girls” mother. The girls were going on and on about another girl (not atypical for adolescent girls), but it was the mother who put Ann and me into hysterics. This mother was soooooo into the conversation and soooooo wanting to be a “cool” mom. She had more diva qualities than the girls! Besides trying to live vicariously through her daughter she gave forth an overly dramatic touch of motherly indignation at some of the discussion. In my mind I pictured a version of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” so made a face mimicking that. Ann cracked up! When we finally gave up on the valley mom and her mean girl wannabees we went back to the car where I happened to have my camera. Ann took a picture of my impression of The Scream. I dedicate it to all the Appleton, Wisconsin, valley moms.