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Everything posted by Greta

  1. I enjoyed that documentary. Thanks for posting it. I thought the study about in utero testosterone levels and their effect on the development of empathy and language ability was really fascinating. As to the part I bolded - I was just thinking this morning about how my daughter plans to get a STEM degree (geology/paleontology) but what she plans to do with it is more people- and relational-oriented. Her hope is to work in a natural history museum in a capacity which would allow her to share her love of paleontology with the public. She has specifically said that her dream job would be "talking about dinosaurs all day" ? I was chatting with my husband about this thread last night. He has several decades of experience in the engineering and physics world, both in private industry and in a national laboratory. He was saying that he believes the reason there are fewer women in STEM is that smart women can see that the crap you have to put up with in STEM (the long hours of demanding work, the pay being low relative to the amount of work you have to put in, the massive layoffs, the problems created by H-1B visas, etc.), just isn't worth it, and they wisely go into business instead (which is what he wishes he had done in some ways). So it was interesting for me to read your post today, saying basically the same thing!
  2. And "relative" abilities (if that's the right way to word it) like the second article pointed out. What I mean is, as I've been thinking more and more about this topic today, I've started to wonder if the teachers who encouraged me in English were on the right track all along! Because while I did fine in math, and I loved science and did very well in it, the truth is that English and reading just came more naturally and easily to me. So perhaps my teachers could see what I wasn't seeing: that's really where my personal strength was.
  3. Interesting - I wasn't aware of this dynamic. Thanks for posting this.
  4. "Early in school, teachers’ unconscious biases subtly push girls away from STEM." Yeah, I can believe this. My brother and I both had the same teacher for third grade (four years apart). We both had a hard time with multiplication tables. All I remember getting from that teacher was scolding and disapproval. My brother got extra help and encouragement, and a mini-celebration when he passed the final test. I have always loved science, but also thought of myself as not good enough at math to do most sciences. I got my degree in biology specifically because I felt I couldn't handle the math required for astronomy, which was my first love. I wonder if my math skills might have developed differently if I had ever had one teacher who had said "you're pretty good at this. If you work hard, you could do really well." I almost always managed to make A's in math in primary and secondary school (I think I had a couple of B's in elementary school, but that was it), but despite that, I always felt like I was bad at it. And no one ever told me otherwise. ETA: But it's funny to look back and think of how many teachers encouraged me to become an English teacher, despite the fact that I'd never expressed any particular interest in going that direction. I absolutely loved science, but I had precisely one teacher (my high school biology teacher) who encouraged me to go into science. ETA2: I feel I should clarify that I'm not saying there was anything wrong with my teachers encouraging me in English! The fact is that I did do well in English, so it was natural for them to encourage me. But I also did well in science, and I though I didn't think so at the time, looking back I think I was doing pretty darn well in math too. But I didn't get the same encouragement in those areas.
  5. Oh, another thing I forgot to mention. Initially, I thought that I didn't have food triggers, because I couldn't correlate my migraines to any particular foods other than alcohol. But then I read that food typically triggers a migraine 12-24 hours after you eat it, not immediately. So then I figured out that high-tyramine foods were triggering me. But it seems that everything I do to help reduces the severity of my migraines, which don't get me wrong is great. If they were still as severe as they were initially, I honestly don't know how I'd be able to function. Unfortunately nothing I do seems to reduce the frequency. But they aren't as bad and they don't last as long, so I am profoundly grateful for that!
  6. I haven't read the other replies yet, so forgive me if I'm repeating anything! But I wanted to share my experiences. First of all, (((hugs))) because migraines stink. I've had them since puberty, but mine became chronic when I hit 40. Chronic, by the way, is defined as 15 or more migraine days per month. If you are having chronic migraines now, that's when a doctor will prescribe you preventive medications in addition to treatment ones. I've tried all the standard ones (I think) at this point. The calcium-channel blocker was the worst. I took only two doses of it. It made me feel like I was having a heart attack or something, chest pains, rapid breathing, and just this weird feeling that my heart was really struggling. It was awful, but I assume my reaction is not common! Topomax made me feel really tired, loopy, disoriented, like I was in a brain fog (it also reduced my appetite and made me lose a little weight. I didn't mind that, but if you're underweight it might not be wise.). And it didn't help anyway. Amitriptyline worked for a few months but then stopped, and when we tried increasing the dose, it gave me heart palpitations. It had also made me very sleepy even at the lower dose, and I was sleeping about 9 hours every night and still having a very hard time waking up. Beta blockers did nothing to help. Made me feel a little bit weak, but not too bad (my blood pressure was already on the low side of normal. I've heard that people with high blood pressure have a lot of success with beta blockers, so your experience might be different). I'm currently trying Botox injections, and I can't say there have been any miraculous benefits (I think it's reducing the severity some, but not the frequency, I'm still having them basically every day, just as before. But my neuro says you need at least three treatments to know how well it will work, and I've only had two so far). But I will say that it's had ZERO side effects, so that's nice at least. As far as non-prescription things I've tried: feverfew, butterbur, vitamins B2 and D, and magnesium all did absolutely nothing for me. My migraines became chronic when I was on a low-carb ketogenic diet. Going off of that diet and getting on a high-carb, vegan diet reduced the severity tremendously. That helped more than any other single thing that I've tried, including the prescriptions, but if you're not eating low-carb, this might or might not be relevant for you, I can't say. Regular aerobic exercise reduces the severity a bit. Ginger and turmeric help some. Avoiding alcohol and high-tyramine foods is an absolute necessity for me. This, unfortunately, is a whole lot of foods: anything aged (cheeses), cured (deli meats), pickled (pickles, olives), or fermented (sourdough, miso, soy sauce). And some foods are just naturally high in tyramine such as citrus fruits (which I LOVE and dearly miss), nuts, chocolate, bananas, eggplant, avocado, and many others. (So just a personal whine/vent: being vegan without nuts, avocados, citrus, and miso/soy sauce is not fun. But I am committed to it now for ethical and spiritual reasons in addition to the health reasons that initially set me on that particular path.) About caffeine: withdrawal can trigger a migraine. So if you're having frequent migraines, it's actually recommended that you avoid caffeine. And given the negative effects that it has on you, you might be better off with a preventive prescription rather than relying on caffeine. Yet another thing that I dearly miss: coffee. You also mentioned that not eating enough will trigger a migraine, and it does the same thing to me. I think that the reason the low-carb diet was so bad for me in this regard was that insufficient carbs means insufficient serotonin, and migraines are intimately tied to neurotransmitter levels (though I don't claim to understand the details of how that works, both my GP and my neurologist have told me that's the case). So I recommend eating plenty of complex carbs: potatoes, whole grains, beans and legumes. (And incidentally, I lost weight going from low-carb to high-carb, so I no longer believe the "carbs make you fat" claim. But I do eat moderate/low protein and low fat. I think where many people get into trouble is eating both high-fat and high-carb.) You might want to watch this video about the use of ginger to treat migraines: I've found that it does help, but the effect doesn't last as long as an NSAID or triptan, so I have to keep taking it pretty frequently. ETA: I forgot to mention that crying triggers a bad migraine or severely worsens an existing migraine for me too. I think it's those neurotransmitters again, but I don't know. In any event, I try very hard to avoid crying! No more sad movies for me. Also, dehydration is a major trigger. But I found that making an effort to drink extra water did nothing. So I just drink to thirst and that works just fine.
  7. I was just going to ask about that - if a state doesn't define homeschooling or recognize it as a distinct thing, then how does it distinguish homeschooling from truancy? That seems very problematic.
  8. I've wondered this too, but I have never been able to find any official answer. I suspect not registering could you make you vulnerable to prosecution for truancy, which in my state carries a small fine and community service for a first offense, and a larger fine and jail time for a second offense. But in reality I would guess that rarely/never happens. They probably just tell you "register or you will be prosecuted" and that's the end of it. (I'm guessing!)
  9. I can't believe I didn't think of this with my first reply, but when my daughter was in taekwondo several years ago, there was a gym in the same shopping center where the TKD school was. That was so convenient: one trip, and we'd both get our exercise done.
  10. Can your older kid(s) workout with you? Our gym allowed our daughter to join at 15 on the condition that she always be accompanied by a parent. Then from 16 on, she could workout on her own.
  11. Interesting - I'm in a neighboring state (NM) and it's pretty common here too (though perhaps not that common). Do you think it's something cultural about this region of the country? This is the only place I've ever homeschooled, so I have no basis of comparison.
  12. Thanks for all the replies! I really am enjoying reading everyone's thoughts. I think Jean pretty much summed it up with the point that there is an "everyday" definition that most of us generally use, and a legal definition that's obviously going to be the one used when the government gets involved. I do wish the media would use the legal definition, since the everyday definition is too wishy-washy to be useful when you're reporting about a legal matter (I'm talking about the way they report cases where the government has gotten involved, of course).
  13. That would seem to be the most logical, consistent definition. And it would mean that about half of the homeschoolers I know aren't actually homeschoolers!
  14. Yes, it's that "actually educating" part where it gets tricky, indeed! I knew an unschooling family (and I will be honest that I disagree very strongly with the philosophy of unschooling) where it was obvious how hard the mother worked to encourage her daughter's learning: she was very thorough and deliberate with "strewing", she always asked her daughter if she wanted to attend school or even just individual classes that she thought would be of interest to her, she had a massive library, they were involved in a huge number of activities and groups, and she kept beautiful scrapbooks of all the cool stuff that her daughter did. So even though she wasn't formally educating in the traditional sense, I certainly think of her as a homeschooler. But I've known other families who didn't claim to be unschooling, but called themselves "relaxed" or "child-led" who seemed to be using homeschooling as an excuse for laziness. They were guilty of what I would consider educational neglect, and I know that at least one of these families also did not adhere to the legal requirement to register. But I still thought of them as homeschoolers too (just not very good ones). So, anyway, I guess I'm just pondering my definition of what it means to be a homeschooler, because it seems to be in need of revision. ?
  15. Agree with you completely about the irresponsible and inaccurate way the media sometimes reports it: the word "homeschooler" or "homeschooling" in the headline, and then way down in the report you find out they weren't legally homeschooling they were just truant. That's infuriating. And I also thought about the fact that the parents are most likely only claiming the homeschooling label to try to cover their own butts. But I was thinking more about the way the homeschooling community responds - like we accept self-declaration to be the definition of homeschooler in some circumstances, but not in others.
  16. you still consider them homeschoolers? Once many years ago at a homeschooling group event, the moms got to talking about the state's legal requirements for homeschooling. They are very minimal here: each year you submit a form declaring your intent to homeschool along with your basic information (name, address, ages of children) and affirming that you have a high school diploma or GED. That's it. The state doesn't follow up with you or check in on you in any way. You don't have to provide a list of curriculum or take standardized tests, nothing. So, in this conversation, it came out that about half of the ladies there don't register, some because "why bother?" some because they were outright opposed to the state having any say in homeschooling at all, and were therefore making the conscious decision not to cooperate. And a couple of people in that latter group were definitely encouraging others not to register. I was in the half that did register, because my thought was, "why not comply with the law when it is easy and painless to do so, and harms no one?" But whichever group you fall into, would you think of all of these people as homeschoolers? I certainly did, and still do. When a "homeschooling" family makes the news for abuse or neglect, I note that when applicable, other homeschoolers are quick to point out that the family wasn't homeschooling, because they hadn't legally registered as homeschoolers. They were simply truant. While it's a perfectly valid point to make, I have never heard anyone make that point about normal, functional homeschooling families that aren't legally registered. It seems to me like we're taking on one definition of homeschooling when it makes us look good (or at least neutral) and another one entirely when it makes us look bad. Seems like it might be veering little into a "no true Scotsman" fallacy. I'm not sure I have a point really, just musing, wondering what your thoughts are. Do most of the homeschoolers you know comply with the law? Do you consider people who don't comply to be homeschoolers?
  17. I didn't realize they had so many accommodations - that's good. Maybe they would have put her on a stationery bike, so that she wouldn't have had to trust to her own balance. I'm glad that your test worked out well.
  18. Hopefully that's exceptionally rare. It just doesn't "feel" rare when you know someone that it happened to. I haven't had a chance to talk to my mom the last couple of days, but the more I think about it, the more I think you're right and she probably misunderstood. Surely no one would order a treadmill stress test for someone who has trouble walking, right?
  19. Well, darnit, I hate it when I inadvertently pass along misinformation! Gah! Thank you for the links.
  20. Yes, that is an important distinction! My mom has taken my grandma to several of her appointments, and she said this doctor doesn't discuss anything, doesn't look anyone else in the eye, doesn't spend more than five minutes with you. He rushes in, taps away on the computer, says "this is what we're doing" and rushes out again. My Mom was the one who took my grandma to the appointment that resulted in her diagnosis. Grandma had swelling of her hands and feet, and a rattle sound in her lungs. The doctor didn't even bother to listen to her breathing. He just ordered some blood tests and left. (My mom has tried very hard to get my grandma to change doctors, but she doesn't want to.) This time it was my uncle that spoke to him, so I can't be sure (because I haven't talked to him directly). But from what my mom said, I got the distinct impression that it was an order not a discussion, and my uncle put his foot down and said no.
  21. Something interesting I learned recently which might be quite relevant here: when wheat is fully grown and ready to harvest, it gets sprayed with massive amounts of herbicide (specifically glyphosate, the active ingredient in RoundUp). This speeds up the desiccation that must take place before harvesting, so it shortens the amount of time it takes them to harvest the crop. And what are the effects on the human body of eating food that's contaminated with glyphosate? Well, acute effects have been studied, but the effects of small amounts over the long-term have not been extensively studied. Animal studies have shown that it disrupts the natural gut flora, killing off the good bacteria and leaving the bad to flourish. And unhealthy gut bacteria doesn't just lead to digestive problems, it's also been linked to obesity, Alzheimer's disease, and a number of other health problems. So it may be that the problems that people experience from eating wheat having nothing whatsoever to do with the wheat, but with the herbicides that they're unknowingly eating with the wheat. And by the way, many oat, corn, bean, and lentil crops are also sprayed with glysophate. So the solution might be as simple as eating only organically grown wheat, oats, lentils, etc. that have not been sprayed with glysophate, rather than avoiding those foods entirely, or even soaking, sprouting, or fermenting them. Edit: I was WRONG about this! See plansrme's links below. Mea culpa.
  22. Thank you, Katy - that does make sense that medical providers would want to avoid discriminating against the elderly, and I certainly honor that intention. But I would hope that would usually take the form of carefully discussing all of the increased risks associated with age, and not just giving the same blanket recommendations to everyone regardless of age. But again, since I wasn't the one involved in the conversation, I can't really know for sure what was discussed. But this gives me hope that the doctor was at least trying to do right by her, so thank you for that. I must say I'm extremely skeptical (to put it mildly) of that claim that people would live to 120 if the elderly were given the same medical care as those under 70. First of all, that seems to be ignoring the fact that medical mistakes are a leading cause of death in the US. And secondly, while medical care is important, very important, there's only so much that medicine can do to counteract an unhealthy lifestyle, which is the leading cause of death. If doctors really want people to live to 120, they need to focus more on educating people about nutrition, exercise, stress relief, etc. and not just prescribe drugs and surgery. But I know I'm getting off on a tangent here, and that's not really where you were trying to take the conversation!
  23. That's weird - seems more like a waste of their money than anything. That could be the case here, and maybe I don't have all the details. As far as I know, there is no other treatment he is recommending besides the medications that he's already prescribed. So I'm not sure what the stress test would be proving. But I'm 500+ miles away and getting all of my information second- and third- hand, so who knows!
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