Month: November 2011

Steve Jobs: ‘I’m glad I didn’t end up as an abortion’ |

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Steve Jobs: ‘I’m glad I didn’t end up as an abortion’ |

What an amazing story for a Thanksgiving season.

“I wanted to meet [her] mostly to see if she was OK and to thank her, because I’m glad I didn’t end up as an abortion,” he said. “She was 23 and she went through a lot to have me.”

Eventually Jobs was able to find and reunite with his birth mother, Joanne Schieble. He said that after they met she would often burst into tears and apologize for giving him up for adoption.

“Don’t worry,” Jobs would respond, according to Isaacson. “I had a great childhood. I turned out OK.””

Give thanks for the lives we have! Every breath is a blessing!

My Parents Were Home Schooling Anarchists –

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My Parents Were Home Schooling Anarchists –

An interesting account of what would now be called “unschooling”.

A lot of the ideas she talks about are things I believe as well, but a lot of them I don’t.  I am glad for my education, I am all the better for it, and I’m glad for the at-times lack of formality that allowed me to discover for myself how I learn.  Processing information in my own way and being responsible for my own assignments was ultimately the biggest aid in getting me through college, and what will soon get me through grad school.  There’s something to be said for learning how to plan your own lessons every day, even when you’re in middle school.

This lady may have had a questionable homeschooling experience, but I didn’t.  At the end of her article she misquotes the fact that there are not hard numbers on the success rates of homeschoolers in higher education, but that’s all the better.  It’s not for everyone, and people who claim it is are doing a disservice to the homeschooling itself.  But, for the people for whom it does work, it works incredibly well.

“The Lottery” on Netflix; addressing the crisis in public education ALSO: Prison Needs Projected from 3rd and 4th grade reading levels in local public schools

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“Four children enter a high-stakes lottery. If they win, they can attend one of the best schools in New York. A look at the crisis in public education, The Lottery makes the case than any child can succeed.”

After watching this movie, I am even more convinced that public education is a messed up system that fails more children than it helps.

“In a country where 58% of African American 4th graders are functionally illiterate, The Lottery uncovers the failures of the traditional public school system and reveals that hundreds of thousands of parents attempt to flee the system every year. The Lottery follows four of these families from Harlem and the Bronx who have entered their children in a charter school lottery. Out of thousands of hopefuls, only a small minority will win the chance of a better future. The Lottery uncovers a ferocious debate surrounding the education reform movement. Interviews with politicians and educators explain not only the crisis in public education, but also why it is fixable. A call to action to avert a catastrophe in the education of American children, The Lottery makes the case that any child can succeed.” – IMDB Review

One statistic in the movie really got me, so I looked it up.  And it’s true:

“When the State of Arizona projects how many prison beds it will need, it factors in the number of kids who read well in fourth grade (Arizona Republic (9-15-2004)).  Evidence shows that children who do not read by third grade often fail to catch up and are more likely to drop out of school, take drugs, or go to prison.  So many nonreaders wind up in jail that Arizona officials have found they can use the rate of illiteracy to help calculate future prison needs.” (Literacy and the National Reading Statistics) 



Too Many People? Ignore the UNPFA and Welcome Baby 7 Billion |

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Too Many People? Ignore the UNPFA and Welcome Baby 7 Billion |

“The UNFPA believes the world is already overpopulated. It even applauds China’s one-child policy, believing that the Chinese Communist Party got it exactly right by limiting most couples to one child. In fact, it actively seeks to encourage other countries to similarly limit their childbearing and turns a blind eye to the human-rights abuses that result.”

“If we really were “breeding ourselves off the face of the planet,” as the other side likes to claim, mortality rates would be climbing and life spans would be shrinking. Instead, we see the opposite.”

An extremely thought-provoking answer to the recent Economist article saying the exact opposite: that Baby 7 billion means birth-control isn’t doing it’s job.

World population: Now we are seven billion | The Economist.