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About Kalmia

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    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

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  1. I worked for the New York Zoological Society (Prospect Park Zoo) as an instructor. Big zoos, like the Bronx Zoo, San Diego Zoo, etc. that are accredited by the AZA take animal care extremely seriously. They are staffed by educated professionals including world-class veterinarians and nutritionists and behavioral specialists. The enclosures are kept spotless. Their health is monitored on a daily basis. All needed medical care is taken care of. The diets are arrived at using the best available scientific data. The animals have space to exhibit their natural behaviors and are given behavioral enrichment to keep their minds and bodies active. Being on the inside with friends who were keepers and vet techs and hearing all their talk, I had zero qualms about the care of the animals in the NYZS facilities. A world class zoo will also be doing conservation work. NYZS works in many countries to protect habitat and species. They also participate in breeding endangered species for release, the species survival plan. The zoo I was working for was breeding the endangered Wyoming toad. The only thing that saved the black footed ferret from extinction was the coordinated efforts of several zoos to breed and reintroduce them. Now, many "zoos" are really roadside attractions or underfunded city facilities or for-profit enterprises and I have my doubts about those and avoid them. And there are some species of animals that I believe should not be housed in zoos or aquariums. So I am not always, rah-rah zoo. But if you have qualms or moral reasons not to support them, don't go. It is perfectly okay to learn about the wildlife in your backyard/town/region instead. And if you go despite qualms, only go to an AZA accredited facility. At least you know that whether or not you believe the animals should be there, they are being cared for according to the most modern standards.
  2. I took the photos for my last house sale because my realtor's were known not to be great. Because I took my own, I could take the photo of each individual room at a different time of day to capture the sunlight streaming in, so the east facing rooms in the morning and the western facing rooms in the afternoon.
  3. I've applied it overnight on acne and have had great success especially healing the open pimples. So yes, for external application, it can be useful.
  4. If I had really understood that I was going to have to teach my kids to drive, I probably wouldn't have had any! And my son has had 30 hours of professional driving instruction! He's a pretty good driver, but when I am with him all I can see is potential accident here potential accident there. He gets irritated when I correct. I am having the argument in my head that since I am the parent of another child, it is not okay that I am risking my life to teach someone to drive. Basically it is horrible and I am ill suited for it. I make every excuse not to take him out driving and it has been at least 4 weeks since he has been behind the wheel. Honestly, if I had complete control over the money in the house, I would raid our retirement fund or the college funds to pay for all the private lessons he needed until he was ready to pass the test; and I am usually a do-it-yourselfer and not a spendthrift. But there is that much fear in my gut.
  5. I will be the counter-example. We moved from acreage in a wilderness region of western Maine to a house with an acre in an inner suburb of a small city. I hate it. I hate the traffic. I hate having neighbors. I hate that there are so few moths (I study moths for fun). I hate that I can only see a handful of stars (where before I could clearly see the Milky Way). I find the suburban people to be uptight and rigid compared to country people. Everything is more expensive, especially home repairs. I thought we'd do more things as we are near the museums, entertainment etc. but we did all of them once and were done. But having neighbors is the worst part for an introvert used to having none. Our house does back up to a nature preserve, but it is very weedy with low biodiversity. The suburban house is also more work as the entirety of the property is visible to neighbors who have very strong opinions as to how long grass can get and how flower gardens are maintained. In rural Maine, no one cared about anyone else's lawn. We are moving back as soon as it is possible. The losses in terms of privacy, beauty, wildlife, clean air, friendly people in the nearby town, zero traffic, and the night sky are not worth being close to the grocery store and shops. All of us are in agreement that for our family, this was a huge mistake. That being said, a more extroverted family would probably have an easier transition.
  6. I have a second cousin who got pregnant at 19 or 20 after mucking about following Phish and other hippie bands for a few years after high school. Did not marry. Had the baby. Got a job in Cracker Barrel. Relied heavily on her mother and grandmother for babysitting, but also made use of her trusted friends for babysitting, especially trading babysitting. She decided Cracker Barrel wasn't going to cut it to make a life for her and her daughter. Went back and got her B.S. Applied and got into medical school. And just graduated and is starting her residency. During medical school she did find a partner, but help from friends was a vital part of her success. There will be lots of women at your daughter's PS who have babies and can be mentors and maybe babysitters. Nothing is impossible when you are a determined mom.
  7. I've seen people cover the wallpaper with sheets of faux bead board and paint the bead board. It looks nice. Somewhat expensive for large areas though.
  8. When we lived in India for 6 months and three of us are very picky eaters who do not eat spicy food, we were dying for turkey, corn on the cob, dill pickles, sliced bread that tasted like bread with all the ingredients (not flour and water) though we were saved when a French lady in our neighborhood started selling baguettes and croissants right before we left, Cheerios, ice cream, and lettuce that would not make us sick. When we returned home the three of us ate and ate and ate and ate! My husband who loves Indian food more than anything was so depressed to leave it behind! I went to an American chain restaurant in Bangalore (probably TGI Fridays) and ordered grilled chicken and fries. The waiter said, "But Madame, that is so bland!" I replied, "Bland? Bland! That's perfect! I have been searching for something bland for two months!" He laughed.
  9. Longfellow Books Mackworth Island for a nature stroll. You can walk along the shore as well.. The Portland Museum of Art is wonderful.
  10. I used LToW with one child. It went very well, but I found that its primary strength is in the invention stage. This wasn't clear to me just from looking at the curriculum itself, It wasn't until I listened to the CD (yes, I bought it in ancient times, long before the videos came out). The CD had a long segment about going to "the well of invention" and "doing an inventory" before writing in order to have concrete and well-thought out evidence and ideas before writing, The curriculum introduces some of these Common Topics of classical writing: Definition (Genus, Division), Comparison (Similarity, Difference, Degree), Relationship (Cause & Effect, Antecedent & Consequence, Contraries, Contradictions), Circumstances (Possible & Impossible, Past Fact & Future Fact), and Testimony (Authority, Testimonial, Statistics, Maxims, Law, Precedent (Example). [Note: this list is not from LToW. It is from Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student 4th ed. Edward P. J. Corbett]. Being able to precisely define your terms and clarify the nature of your argument, using comparisons, determining cause and effect, things that came before and things that came afterward, circumstances, and listing "proofs", quotes from authorities, testimonials, stats, quotes, law (natural or otherwise), and examples are vital to writing a solid essay. But because it doesn't include the mechanics or style necessary for a polished, beautiful essay, I would say that it would be an honest use of LToW to use it to teach the invention stage and then drop it to use other resources to teach the molding of the essay in terms of style (word choice, flow, transitions, order, grammar, etc.). In terms of the Corbett book I mentioned above. It is not a curriculum and the language is solidly college level. However, the chapter " The Topics" (the common topics) has a fantastic explanation of each one. It would be illustrative reading for the parent/teacher to draw from when teaching the common topics of invention or could be useful for a very literate high school student to refer to. It also has a handy chart listing the common topics as well as other classical writing elements right inside its cover. SWB's writing series, Writing with Skill, also teaches the common topics very well, but while LToW does it from a whole to parts approach, WWS does it from parts to whole. Some kids take to one approach better than the other.
  11. Using your current skills: Teaching at a nature center, zoo, natural history museum, science center, state museum, arboretum (museum education is less about the teacher being the kid magnet, as the living creatures and specimens being the kid magnet). Working for the state government: forestry/entomology, fish & wildlife, environmental protection department/bureau. Adjunct biology instructor at local college. (Very low pay, but gives you recent experience to put on your resume). Substitute teacher for high school specializing in science. Working for a not-for-profit such as the Audubon Society, the Nature Conservancy, Xerces Society, a local land trust, or other conservation organization. Side gig type things: nature photography, nature writing
  12. I got the Verizon scam one too. They spoofed the real Verizon 1-800 number.
  13. Does it require the doctor enter the records or just that the office keeps electronic health records? I suppose in this day and age all records will be stored in computer systems, but couldn't a trained staff member enter the data freeing the doctor up to be a doctor instead of a data entry clerk?
  14. I believe the doctor being required to keep records on the computer is the last thing medicine needs. My new doctor in my new home does not do this, but I and most of my friends have had past experiences where we've just wanted to say "Turn away from the screen and toward me or I am leaving". It is probably not the doctor's "fault" as I am sure the organizations they work for and the insurance companies love the "efficiency" of not having to pay someone to transcribe doctors' handwritten notes, but it will erode so much trust. Here is one of many interesting studies on this.
  15. I've had several migraines that I first noticed while reading. (I read a lot.) In those words had "lost" letters or whole words were missing. Clearly this was involving more than my eyes as I kept struggling to read the words instead of thinking, oh dear, something is wrong here. This missing letter/word thing soon resolved into the more typical zigzag or halo pattern of my regular aura migraines and I figured out what it in time to avert the painful headache with medication, soda (works for me), and sleep in a dark room. Now, I have a friend who also had an episode or two with "missing" words on the page, turns out she was having numerous tiny seizures. I would definitely get checked by a neurologist for all three mentioned in this thread migraine, seizure, and stroke especially with both the visual and auditory "skips"..
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