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Michelle Conde

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About Michelle Conde

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    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

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  1. Yes, I grew up in an area that is strongly opposite myself on the political spectrum, as well as having lived in areas like that for 5 1/2 years of my adulthood. You will wind up paying for things via your taxes that you disagree with, but that will probably happen to some degree everywhere. Mostly it's not such a big deal in individual interactions with people, as you can always look for the common ground and the good in others whether you disagree or not, generally agree to disagree as needed, and excuse yourself from relationships with the few people who refuse to allow that mutual respect. The big exception to this was public school. There kids don't have the option to excuse themselves from a situation, and (at least where I lived) there are some teachers who feel free to use their position to push their own political views, deride students who publicly disagree, and even in one instance lower grades. On the up side, kids who go through the public school system and come out the other side still holding views differing from the norm will have really deeply explored what they believe and why by that time.
  2. Well, she and her mother combine their students for group classes and recitals, so I'm not sure. Also, these teachers are very in-demand and she might just not have room in her practice right now. Another option is her daughter, who is just starting her teaching practice, and therefore much more likely to have space open--but I'd rather have them with someone who has more teaching experience if possible.
  3. Sorry, not my daughter. We are definitely changing teachers, as I will let dd know. I mean I am wondering if the teacher's daughter (the other teacher that I think dd would do well with) will also have a problem with us not doing recitals on Sundays.
  4. Well, she made this easy. At dd's lesson, I started to bring up my youngest who I had previously talked with her about starting this summer on lessons as well. I thought maybe I would start ds with the daughter teacher, and then see about switching dd over, too, after her book 1 recital in June. But instead, the teacher told me she won't take ds on unless we agree to start coming to recitals on Sundays. (We don't do extracurriculars on the sabbath for religious reasons). She said that she has had other LDS students who came to Sunday recitals, so she doesn't think it should be a problem for us. She did not say she would drop dd if we wouldn't, but it seemed like that was where she was going. So, the question is whether her daughter will feel the same way, or if I need to find someone else.
  5. She's never cried during a lesson, but during practice. Her teacher will say, "practice just these two measures the first day for as many times as it takes you to master them completely, then the next day, add two more measures and do the same thing with those four, then add two more. . ." Which works better for her than when she was trying to work on a whole section at a time, but even so, she gets really overwhelmed before a week has rolled around and she is supposed to know a ten or twelve measure section perfectly. I have told the teacher this, but she keeps saying things to dd like, "Remember, it's very important for you to practice every day, and it's not good enough to just whip through it sloppily and say 'I'm done!' You really need to practice the way I have showed you, and work on each part carefully and the right way every time." So I'm not sure if she believes me. She also will often seem to be repressing irritation when dd still can't play a whole song after a month and a half of working on the same piece.
  6. That's hard. There's a Suzuki violin teacher I keep thinking would be great for dd2, as she does really excellent teaching, but has a lighter, more fun and less stressful manner than dd's very exacting teacher. Monthly group classes are done with both teacher's students together, and the two teachers alternate teaching, and dd has really enjoyed the classes taught by the other teacher. Dd2 gets overwhelmed and cries at least once a week during practice--she wants to stay with it, but music does not come easily to her, and she has to work significantly harder and longer to master pieces and progress than either of the siblings she is sandwiched between. And I think, but am not sure, that dd's teacher thinks she doesn't work very hard at practicing, and that is why she takes so much longer to progress. (Ds who is 19months younger than her has been playing the cello for less than half the time she has been playing the violin, and is half a book ahead of her. On the same song, which is more technically difficult for cello because it requires shifting positions, ds will master it in two or three weeks and it will take dd three months.). Also, youngest ds is going to be starting violin lessons soon, and the other teacher's lighter, more playful manner seems like it would be better for a very young student. But not only do the two teachers do group classes together, the other teacher is dd's current teacher's daughter. I just don't know how to broach that, socially.
  7. Thank you all very much. This has helped me to think through things. Dh and I have reluctantly agreed that, as much as we love house #2, the commute is not going to work for us. We have a trip in a few weeks, and we're thinking we'll just wait 'til after that and take another look at what's available in a month or so.
  8. Thankfully dh's employment is very secure--or maybe unfortunately, because as long as there is crime, there will be need for prosecutors. Your point about being vulnerable to health problems is certainly valid (in fact we experienced that when my youngest was born, and moved closer to a city with a good children's hospital and specialists for a year), but when your employment is based in a small town, that possibility needs to be balanced against possibly renting or commuting forever.
  9. I did quite a bit of work alongside my parents on our house growing up, and I think I have a fairly good idea of how much of it I enjoy in a hobby way, and how much would be too much. (I enjoy painting, minor tiling jobs like backsplashes, redoing kitchen cupboards, I don't mind things like baseboards and doors, I'm not up to handling things like walls and windows without my dad, but no one will ever get me to lay a large stone tile floor again!)
  10. House #1 (current town) mediocre public schools + two great charter schools that are hard to get in to. Hopping real estate market. House #2 (town in other state) excellent public school. Moderate real estate market. House #3 (town dh works in) mediocre public school + a very good charter school. Low numbers of houses go on the market there, but they tend to sell quickly. This house is an exception, having sat on the market for 8 months now (I assume because of the weird L-space).
  11. House #1 has had everything redone. Plumbing, electrical, insulation, a new roof (the old roof had several layers of tiles already and was completely removed and replaced). I don't know how to tell whether a house was well-maintained prior to being updated. Would an inspection be able to find that out? I have no attachment to our town. We have lived here for a year, and I still have no friends here. My boys' best friends just moved away, too. It is conveniently located for shopping and some of the kids' activities. We have set a hard and fast line for ourselves for what we are willing to pay for a house, so yes, we'd be prepared to walk away.
  12. It's mainly just plain, but not bad, and has an odd layout. The square footage looks generous on paper, but there is a long, narrow, L-shaped room that runs the length of two complete sides of the house which would be a challenge to figure out how to make good use of, and the other parts of the house that are put together normally are kind of on the small side for the size of our family. But maybe I should try to think of it as a blank slate instead?
  13. A father and daughter reproduced the diary of 13-year-old Eva Heyman (who died in Auschwitz) as Instagram videos. This might be a good resource for families covering the Holocaust in history.
  14. I don’t know about ps sports in either one. I should look that up. My oldest child interested in the kinds of sports they do in schools is six, so it’s never come up. Good colleges are available in both states, less expensive in the other state than in ours, though so far my kids all say they want to go out of the region to the private college dh and I attended, which is cheaper and better ranked than either state’s schools.
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