Sunday, March 05, 2006

Odds & Ends

Checking out books at the Donnell Library Center. The librarian scans the first few on the pile, then pauses and looks carefully at the titles. Teacher? she asks, looking up.

Yeah. Why, other adults don't take out 2 copies of the same children's book on hydroelectric power?

Well, you're not supposed to, she says, scanning the second copy.

I went to three different libraries and lugged home 10 books on energy resources, one extremely old educational video on the ozone layer, and 3 grown-up books on India for a little independent study a friend and I are doing in the hopes of travelling there this summer.


My friend forwarded me this incredible opportunity for K-12 teachers to participate in a scientific research project in the Arctic, aboard an icebreaker. I would go in an instant if it weren't for the dates and the possibility of the Fulbright. Anyway, I don't know how many teachers are able to take the first month of school off, but what a fascinating experience it would be - I hope whoever goes blogs the trip!


I may use this article when we study astronomy: Rotation of the Earth Plunges Entire North American Continent into Darkness. Actually, it would be a fun assignment to have the kids read this and dihydrogen monoxide and then write their own humorous articles on science topics. To do a good job, they'd really have to get the science. It might be better for high school students, though.


I'm thrilled to see I'm in the "living people" category... lol.


The Streets (sweet British hip-hop) make me so happy. I don't have the new album yet (editor's note: maybe that's because it's not released yet?), but this song from the old one about sums it up... A kind reader even sent me an mp3, which is, of course, for evaluation purposes and will only be here for a few days, so check it out quickly. And then buy the whole album, because it is full of funny & charming surprises and the songs even tell a story when played in sequence. (Please tell me if the mp3 link doesn't work; I'm still new to this).

Could Well Be In
...I told her I thought it was important,
That you could get lost in conversation.
Chattin shit, sittin in, oblivion
With that person who's your special one.
She said she was the worst pool player under the sun,
But blokes go easy so she always won.
I saw this thing on ITV the other week,
Said, that if she played with her hair, she's probably keen
She's playin with her hair, well regularly,
So i reckon i could well be in.


And one more thing: the South Dakota abortion ban is just so horrifying. I can't believe this is the world I live in. If a woman doesn't want a child, or - godforbid - is pregnant as the result of a rape or incest, exactly what good does it do to force her to have the child?


Blogger Nancy said...

omg. you're, like, famous. i wonder who wiki'd you!?

6:30 PM  
Blogger ms. frizzle said...

I know. Dude, wikipedia. I saw it in my referrals and was like, what the hell? and my second thought was, and what do they know about me?! lol.

6:53 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

your secret admirer is ezra pound, lol.

10:40 PM  
Blogger graycie said...

I'm working with non-fiction reading in my classes as well as all kinds of writing. I want to use these: "Rotation of the Earth Plunges Entire North American Continent into Darkness" and "dihydrogen monoxide." I think my advanced folks would be delighted -- and then I could have them research and write their own.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Cave-Woman said...

Congrats on getting the Wiki! I traipsed across your blog when I was researching the role of Ms. Frizzle for a Magic School Bus play. Since then I've been a loyal reader, and have enjoyed your links to useful education resources for my work as a museum educator.

Congrats again!

10:55 AM  
Blogger NYC Educator said...

"...what good does it do to force her to have the child?"

Republicans are willing to go out on a limb and protect you right up to the moment you're born. Then you're on your own.

Unless you're brain dead. Then, they once again rush to your side--They can't afford to alienate potential voters.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rape and incest are horrible. To have a child under those circumstances is unimaginable. But to cause harm to my child because harm was caused to me? I could not live with myself. I would see myself similar to my abuser.

Just because I was abused does not give me permission to abuse another.

I see all human life is valuable, even those who are a result of abuse.

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand the feelings of those who feel strongly about abortion on either side of the issue. With out any disrespect intended I do point out the difference in philosophy here. Abortion is considered, "abuse" or "murder" and many other horrifying things. I personally have a very complex view of abortion but when considering an embryo in the first four weeks of life, there is no pain involved, no "knowledge" of being harmed, an embryo in my opinion cannot be abused. It is true that a life form is being extinguished but then we kill cows for food and they are much more advanced than an embryo, we kill plants for food and they are alive but don't feel, we euthenize animals and we kill adult humans in war. I do find it disturbing not that many people have a view different from my own but that so many people cannot discuss the issue in a calm and rational way. Most people simply quote their one phrase with emotional backing and this strong emotion is all they have to go on.

I personally have many ideas for how to lessen the problem of unwanted pregnancy and have less abortion at the same time. I wonder why we have to see everything in an either or situation? We typically think in binaries as a people (Pro Choice, Pro Life) but what about those of us who are in between?

My personal feelings are that regardless of philsophy (the two above) abortion is not an ideal circumstance. I would prefer very much to see people be more careful with their birth control methods, and their choices for themselves. I would like to see crime prevention, less rape and less incest. I would like to see more morning after pills, as I personally (although I know many don't agree with me) view preventing a fertilized egg from implanting the day after the rape or sexual contact much less harmful to both parties than a late abortion at 20 weeks. I have strong feelings about abortion laws being completely incongruent with the ability of a fetus to live outside the womb. It makes no sense to me to be able to have an abortion at 24 weeks when fetus can live outside the womb( and this is not offered at every clinic, some clinics do not go past 12 weeks) when the fetus's of 20 week old babies who cannot at this point survive outside the womb are required by law to be buried. This makes no sense. The law recognizes these fetus's as a living being but allows them to be disposed of or "killed". In these cases I agree that this is wrong. I wonder why we have to argue about whether it should be legal or not legal instead of changing the law to legal up to 12 weeks or 16 weeks? I know that it would not satisfy the Pro-life camps completely and it would be seen as a great threat to the Pro-Choice camps as a journey towards outlawing it completely. But isn't that what compromise is, both groups being uncomfortable with having to meet in the middle? I think that in most circumstances (and there are ALWAYS exceptions) people know they are pregnant and have time to think in the first 3 to 4 months of the pregnancy. If you were raped or abused you know that. If you forgot your birth control or it malfunctioned you probaby know that. If you missed your period or started getting signs and symptoms you know that too. There are always women who don't know but if you don't know, you are probably not in the catergorie of someone who the pregnancy would be a greater burden and could consider adoption or raising the child. Again, in most circumstances. (And yes, I've been pregnant, and no I've never terminated a pregnancy)

I think that adoption is a very good option, there is no lack of parents who would raise a baby here in this country however, being pregnant and is no picnic and I cannot say that I don't understand the desire to NOT be pregnant if one doesnt' get to be the mother raising that child. There is morning sickness, emotional upheaval, stretch marks, labor and delivery, fear and anxiety and then the depression of not nursing and caring for your baby. I would want to avoid this regardless of being Pro-life. Anyone would agree that even if they chose to go through with it that it would be terribly upsetting to have to do it especially if you were not at "fault" or if you were very young.

I wonder what it would be like if all of us on both sides of the issue got our heads together and brainstormed better options? Why don't we put our money into finding a way to do something like this:

A woman is raped. She becomes pregnant, it's too late for the morning after pill, but she really doesn't want to keep the baby or has a medical condition that would endanger her life to carry a baby to term (this does happen, especially with diabetes and kidney problems.) However, she is Pro-life and doesn't want an abortion either. She goes to a new kind of clinic called "Fetal adoption" The doctor performs a surgery that does NOT kill the fertilized egg, embryo or fetus, the earlier the better but instead implants the fertilized egg into another woman's uterus. This woman would "adopt" the fetus or the fertilized egg and attempt to carry it to term. There would be risk of miscarriage especially in the early stages of the science but there would be a chance at life too. Imagine if it started working! No more abortion, and no more being pregnant if you didn't plan it (especially in those circumstances where the individual was not careless) and on top of it all a family with infertility problems would be able to not just adopt a baby but "conceive, deliver and breastfeed" that baby!

This would be a HUGE medical undertaking and finding the right "matches" would be difficult maybe impossible but the point is WHY are we not thinking outside of the binary of EITHER OR? Let's come up with solultions to the problems that give all people a better "choices"!

Let's try to understand each other too. Our emotions are important and our right to believe what we believe is important but arguing back and forth to no end has very little purpose!

I am "Pro-more better choices".
Thank you

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The abortion argument isn't all that strenuous as an intellectual exercise unless you want to ensure the argument leads to the conclusion that the right to an abortion is incontestable.

Ask any adoptee how he/she feels about the alternative.

That aside, the argument boils down to the rationalization of the moment at which "life" begins.

Through a series of verbal and intellectual contortions it's generally argued and agreed by many that life isn't life during the first trimester of a pregnancy.

However, one only needs to run the film backwards from the delivery of the newborn to the moment of conception to understand the emptiness of the belief that life isn't life in the earliest stages of a pregnancy.

If almost 100% effective birth control weren't available, it would be easier to rationalize abortion. But not today, when preventing pregnancy is painless, easy and inexpensive.

Meanwhile, on the legal side, to justify the killing of a living entity, it is necessary to show that the living entity is not human and therefore does not benefit from the protection of the law.

The argument embraced by those who support legalized abortion is the same argument used by the Supreme Court in its decision to uphold the rights of slave-owners prior to the Civil War.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Chaz said...

This is what happens when a resonable policy is captured by the extremists in our society. Affirmative action was a once noble policy that allowed minorites to have equal footing for college admissions and jobs. However, it soon developed into a quota system that favored middle-class blacks and women at the expense of east Asians and Jews and even supported reverse discrimation. The mainstream society became fed-up and now we are seeing the last stages of affirmative action as the new Supreme Court will probably strike down any policy that favors one group over another.

The same goes for abortion. Roe v. Wade was a wonderful policy that allowed women to have legal abortions and control of their own bodies. However, here again the extremists captured the abortion issue. The extremists don't want parental notification about their 14 year old daughter's pregnency. Further, they don't want the girl to tell the clinics who the father is. Why? How about if it is a 22 year-old man that impregnated the girl? In this society that is satutory rape, a criminal offense. Moreover, most of us are appalled by partial birth abortion. I consider this murder and so does mainstream society. Is it any wonder that Roe v Wade is under attack?

Now we have gay marriage. Do you really think that mainstream society will put the gay culture on equal footing with the heterosexual culture? I don't think so. When an alternative culture is forced on the children in our society, the parents will never permit it (Refer to Buster the Bunny). Tolerance and to a degree acceptance does not mean that society would allow promotion of an alternative lifestyle in our schools.

You may not like what I said but as a moderate any policy taken too far ends up being thrown off the cliff.

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's true I don't agree with everything you said, but I like the way you think regarding the abortion issue. I believe you have a great point there. I like they way you think about that. I would argue regarding the first issue you brought up with Affirmative Action. I'm not a 100% supporter of it however, I'm not completely against it either. I believe it needs to be revised, but your facts are not quite there. Actually statistics show that woman and ASIANS benefitted much more than Blacks especially in the Western States. I can tell you that my husband does NOT get all of the jobs he apply's for and if AA ever helped him, he was unaware of it. As for me, as a woman, I've never received the benefit, but my mother has. And in her case it was well deserved. It took my mom NINE years to get a full time teaching job, and she was told to her FACE that the reason they could not hire her was because her husband made too m uch money, she didn't need to job over the young men who h ad families to support. She made straight A's, had a masters, was president of Phi Theta Kappa, went to school on full fellowship and got student teacher of the year. It was illegal to tell her that or to do that but it was done anyway. Because it is a small town, and my dad has a business there, they could NOT press charges or he would have lost the schools business among other people. She had to sub for NINE years. AA got her the fellowship and she deserved it. Too bad it didn't get her a job.

Now, she won't be able to retire because she won't have enough years in. That is what she got for sacraficing to stay home with 4 children and put her own life on hold for everyone else. I don't know what we need but there are many who need protection.

I welcome your thoughts on this.

J.S. aka anonymous from before.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Chaz said...


Thank you for you response., I see we agree on most things. By the way, the biggest discrimination was and is age discrimination! It appears your mother was subject to this. My general experience is that the suburban school districts don't hire people over 35, unless they have no other qualified candidates. Under the new contract you might see the same thing in teacher transfers. Time will tell.

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


All hiring decisions in any industry are based on finding the youngest best candidate.

No one ever hires the oldest most qualified candidate over a younger one.

11:34 AM  

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