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Everything posted by Happy2BaMom

  1. If such a precedent was established, I wonder if homeschool students who experience(d) gross educational neglect - or who think they have - might also sue their parents? (I'm not trying to be snarky, just wondering how far out the ripples might flow.)
  2. I finished my teaching certification about 7 years ago. I had *a ton* of instruction in phonics, including one whole (required) class, plus I had to pass a reading instruction exam that included phonics & how to teach them, so I think a lot depends on where you get your education.
  3. Uuuuuggggggghhhhhh.....Amazon. I'd *really* be careful. I was interning in Seattle when Amazon first began (dating myself here). From the start, it was a brutal place to work. It's a great resume builder. Most people resign themselves to working there because of the skills they gain and the long-term pay incentives are a worthwhile trade-off. Shut-off-the-brain and just get-on-the-treadmill for a long-term reward type thing. I'm sure there are people who like, and perhaps even love, their jobs there - a gazillion people work at Amazon, there have to be *some*. But the corporate culture has always been harsh and demanding. If they are putting stipulations on how far away you can live, I'd bet a big pot of money that at-home call-ins will be a feature, not a bug, of that position. And your hubby will still (most likely) be expected to be in the office at 9 a.m. (at the latest) the next day for a full day of work. Maybe I'm wrong. But I'd encourage your hubby to not be dazzled by 'bright lights, big city' and to probe what the day-to-day expectations are. It is not a worker- or family- friendly employer.
  4. Relocation is hard, harder when you don't want to leave where you are at. You all sound quite content there...I think a huge move would be a much bigger deal than you realize. So I'd probably vote for listening to your gut. That being said, I lived in the Seattle area for nearly 15 years (I've been gone for a few years, but still have a lot of family there & visit often). The biggest downside is the cost of living and, due to that, the traffic (as people push further out for cheaper digs). It is not that less expensive than San Fran. Other than that, I *love* Seattle. You can be outside nearly every day of the year - the average high is January is something like 40 or 45 and freezing temps are rare. While it's gray a lot, the temps are moderate, and the rain is more drizzle than downpour (although you can get downpours). There are mountains *everywhere*. Puget Sound is beautiful, the San Juan Islands and Vancouver, BC are a few hours away and there is *so* much to see and do. And the greater metropolitan area is 4 million people. You can find your tribe. Yes, some places will be militantly liberal. And some (yes, even in western WA) will be militantly conservative. The idea that you can't live in an area of 4 million people because some people are militantly this or that is rather.....overly-sensitive. However, if the Big Tech is Microsoft or Amazon, well, as a tech friend of mine says, "Those are good places to be *from*". Meaning they are good resume builders but most people don't stay longer than they have to. Hours & working conditions at both places tend to be pretty harsh, although perhaps Microsoft is mellowing a bit these days. Best of luck.
  5. I'm willing to bet a lot of money that this is by design. Make it nearly impossible to comply....which allows for more people to be classified as "illegals"...department then looks "tough", makes bigger news splashes, etc. Not to mention that ICE agents are largely invisible to the public. Untouchable even. And therefore can't be held accountable. On a related anecdotal note, an English friend of my was recently here on a legal visa. When he flew in to the U.S., he ended up spending 4 hours being interviewed by customs agents. He's not sure why. He has no criminal record and no 'flags'. He's 42 years old and has never even smoked pot or gotten a parking ticket. It amazes me that Americans are so frickin' passive about all of this. Do they not see what is happening? A LOT OF FACELESS 'PUBLIC' AGENTS ARE BEING GIVEN UNLIMITED POWER - the power to detain, to question (for however long they want), to decide, to lock away. No one really knows when or why or how or who. It's chilling. It has *nothing* to do with keeping us safe and everything to do with expanding government control over our lives.
  6. Students may think that, but in my day, you didn't just get to get up and announce it to the whole class, using class time to do so. Really, no one else cares why any other student is there. I think the students need to get over their egos.
  7. I insist on one but it's because my dog often comes with me in the car (except on hot days). Even on pleasantly warm days, the sun on an enclosed car quickly becomes dangerous. But I fully open my moonroof anytime the temp is >50 and then I crack all windows and that creates the world's greatest draft. The hot air goes up & out, airflow is pulled through the windows, and it stays very pleasant. I still don't risk it on hot days, but anything below 80-85 (depending on cloud cover, humidity, etc) and the furbutt is riding shotgun with me. Just to point out that there are practical applications as well.
  8. Boy, the methodology they used for this map seems suspect to me. The survey firm created a profile and then projected that onto the country as a whole (IOW, the map isn’t based on actual surveys of the different parts of the country). They say they interviewed 2,000 people to create profiles, but I don’t think that # of interviews is a sufficient sample size to reflect the whole country. (And perhaps it is accurate....but it troubles me because it gives the impression that it’s based on solid data as opposed to a projection of what they assume to be true.). As for the topic at hand, dh and I own property in a beautiful but very extreme political area (referring to both the severity of the views and politicians elected), and we’ve decided to not settle there largely because of it. I am in a minority where we live now, but people are respectful and don’t delve into political topics in general. I have good friends on the “other” side. I respect and like them. This area isn’t on the retirement list for other reasons, but the people are good and I don’t concern myself with their politics. I just can’t do crazy/extreme long-term for retirement. Life is too short and I don’t want to spend my last years on earth feeling depressed.
  9. My hubby was career Navy (retired now). There are *really* strict regulations on the bases / boats / ships re: firearms - when they can be carried, by whom, how, how they are stored - and *really* strict penalties if those regulations aren't followed. It's the same in the Army (& I'm assuming for the other services). It just boggles my mind that professional soldiers and military leaders recognize the dangers of firearms & proactively ensure/enforce the safety of all, yet in everyday society, people assume every slack-jawed idiot should have automatic access to 24/7/365 unrestricted carry. (And, for the record, I don't think our school shooting problem is just a gun-control issue. I think our national obsession with violence and ego and the belief that the best way to gain respect is by establishing yourself, usually through force, as the strong one. But that's a whole other post.)
  10. She needs to be a high school teacher in another country. Send her to college in another country to help pave the way. Doesn't have to be Canada (though it's not a bad thought) - anywhere in the EU, parts of Asia, heck even many parts of Latin America have affordable college tuition, low cost of living (so she doesn't have to make much), more affordable/accessible health care &, best of all, no weekly school shootings. The U.S. doesn't have a way forward to fix this problem. And, no, it's not just guns (though I have long loathed the loss of the ban on assault weapons), it's also our every-man-for-himself culture & numerous other things that we seem to have no way of addressing in any significant way.
  11. On the other side of the anecdotal, my family history is very different & much more dire. I'm older Gen X & my SIL is deaf as a result from childhood measles, my mother almost died from pertussis as an infant, a great aunt died due to diptheria and a great uncle currently struggles with repetitive debilitating shingles. But rather than relying on anecdotal evidence, it's best to look at the CDC, which has some good articles about historical impact of these diseases. Here's one on measles: ~ 6000 deaths a year each year between 1912 & 1922 (this was when they first began tracking). Here's another one on the history of epidemics.
  12. I think it's safe to say that there wouldn't have been a tax cut, but other than that I don't know and, TBH, I don't really care. My statement wasn't so much meant to be partisan as it was/is an observation of historical fact. The U.S. has now cut tax revenue and increased spending, and as such, is projected to be running annual deficits of ONE TRILLION+ dollars every year going forward. Most people in this country do not seem bothered by this. I guess everyone is just assuming that we will escape the fate of every other civilization that has done the same thing? According to the Congressional Budget Office...."interest payments will rise from $325 billion last year to $928 billion by 2029, a nearly threefold increase. If tax cuts and spending increases are extended, interest will exceed $1 trillion and set a new record as a share of the economy....The federal government will spend more on interest than on Medicaid or children by 2020. By 2024, interest will match defense spending.... interest is on course to be the single largest government program within three decades ". I am concerned about future generations, and about the consequences they will experience as a result of our decisions. I am truly concerned about THEIR paychecks and pockets. Most people are obsessed only about their own. Even if they say they are concerned (about the future generations), ignoring or being OK with one trillion dollar deficits pretty much negates their words, IMHO. And this will be my last post on the subject, as I don't want to hijack the thread any further. ETA: I think politicians don't care because the American people don't care. There have even been studies done, asking if responders if they are concerned about the deficit: "Oh yes, yes, very concerned." Then the same population was asked if taxes should be raised or spending should be cut. The most frequent response was "Neither."
  13. We paid more, by a few thousand dollars. The loss of some deductions is what pushed it up. Fortunately that's not that big of deal for us. In the news today: the U.S. deficit is up 77% over the same period in 2018. The U.S. has managed to add $310 billion in debt so far this fiscal year. But I'm sure the U.S. will avoid the fate of every other empire that's massively overspent and underfunded itself. <eye roll>
  14. Generally speaking (& merely IMHO), many Americans do not like or trust many other Americans, especially if those other Americans are in positions of any authority. Any person who works for any level of governmental organization is assumed to have malicious intent until....well, let's just say they are assumed to have malicious intent. It's just part of our culture & with the breakdown of our institutions, it's only made things worse. I agree with being cautious, and in never volunteering information, but excessive amounts of energy seem to get expended on protecting oneself from any & all _______ (insert person of authority in blank) who are deemed a threat, or who have threatened anyone else in previous situations. I think this mindset contributes to more stress and a further breakdown in relationships. I don't know how we - as a culture - can reverse the level of instant mistrust that is so common right now. It has gotten markedly worse in the last 10-20 years.
  15. First of all, I feel your pain. I've had to fire two farriers, and I *SUCK* at it. The first one (I'm ashamed to say), I just called to cancel the appointment (mentioned that horse was seeing the vet for a pre-nav check-out, which was true....), and then I just never called him back to reschedule. The second farrier (who's actually a barefoot trimmer) is still doing one of our horses. I switched another one away from her, and just put it down to vet / the brief need for corrective shoes / had some special situations going on. Those reasons were partly true, but the real truth is is that she wasn't trimming the other correctly. I don't know how long I'll keep up the split schedule - this is relatively recent. I think you have a few options: 1) If you really are going to fire him, honestly, I think it would be less awkward for both of you if you e-mailed him (if that's an option...I think e-mail is 'nicer', as he will get to it when he's ready to go through e-mail), or even just texted him and said something like: " I am going broke trying to figure out the lameness issue. Due to the stress & urgency of this, I really need to try a different approach with Mr. Social's feet. As such, I will be following my vet's recommendation and am going to try the services of Mr. Farrier #2 for the next few trims. I will let you know if something changes. Please know I have really enjoyed working with you the last five years but, for the sanity of my bank account and my family, I just need to change things up. Please call if you have any questions." 2) If you choose the phone call option (and I could see why someone recommended that)....well, I'm not above doing the junior high thing and enlisting the help of a friend to come over at an appointed time to hang out with me while I made the phone call (told you I suck at this). Honestly, having someone supportive there to: 1) make sure you actually make the phone call (and not put it off), and 2) to walk you through a practice run, and 3) just give you courage, can really help. (pathetic, I know...but it works) It's really tough when it's a personal relationship.
  16. Our society has largely devolved into people of all stripes doing nothing but posting/sharing sh*t on social media with zero interest or concern whether it is factual or represents the whole picture. The point is to feel superior to whomever/whatever is deemed "Other" (aka "inferior"). There is no interest (nor is value seen) in thinking, be truthful, having integrity, or delving beyond the initial presentation in order to truly understand the situation or people on the other side. I have been saddened to see (IMHO) many in homeschooling willingly fall into this same trap, rather than holding the line with truly "well-trained minds". Honestly, I don't see a lot of difference between homeschoolers and the general public anymore (in terms of what is deemed acceptable behavior). But to return to math, it's a great mistake for people to assume that public schools are some sort of monolith where all schools are the same. Our local school district is excellent, with many elementary schools having 95%+ of the kids passing nationwide tests with scores at 50%ile or above. There were other reasons I homeschooled and other complaints I had about the education, but math wasn't one of them. And I know of several other districts that have also really risen to the challenge, CC or no, so (unfortunately), a lot depends on where you live. ETA: I don't mean to sound necessarily positive about public school/math there. I also have a M.Ed., which I finished about 7 years ago, and it was a real mish-mash of information and not particularly valuable (but also a cubic butt-ton of work....). Part of NCLB was a requirement to teach "evidence-based strategies" - teaching strategies that have/had been proven in research to work in the classroom(s) at some point in time. Sounds great, right? Well, by the end of my Master's, I had a notebook of probably 1,300 strategies. A lot of textbooks were just strategy after strategy. It really wasn't helpful. At. All. And teaching is a grunt job. Yes, a few states pay very well. Most don't. And the stress level and the level of expectations and the lack of parental and societal support (including viral videos basically mocking what teachers are trying to do). just isn't worth it. The best and brightest definitely ain't interested and they are not the ones showing up in teaching ed programs.
  17. ??? It’s not similar at all. Sounds more like your personal rant against a situation in your particular area. Government policy on sewers is not the source of these people’s poverty. The Homeowners don’t have the money to fix the problem(s), regardless of regulation or enforcement. They have NO money. They have very limited - or no - access to employment, or to local education that leads to employment. Most can’t afford to move to the city, or they don’t (esp in the case of the Rez) want to abandon their people. Government programs could potentially help resolve some of the foundational risks to these peoples’ health and lives but that isn’t a priority
  18. There is a world of difference between "low income and having few material things" and poverty. They are not remotely the same. Poverty is consistently not having enough to meet basic survival needs (such as food, basic shelter, clean water) for yourself and your family. That doesn't have anything to do with the media. I provide support/volunteer with organizations that help Native Americans on the Pine Ridge (& other) reservations in South Dakota. I am familiar with the conditions there and I can say, hands down, true poverty is bad. Really bad. None of those people hope to reach middle class. That's a pipe dream, and they know it. But perhaps some disaster assistance after a major hailstorm (which followed a tornado) would be nice. But they don't even qualify for that. I recently gave some money to a leader there who was trying to supply firewood to the elders, because they have old people who literally freeze to death in their own homes, every year. Or take the poverty in Alabama, where raw sewage is floating in people's yards and they don't have the money to fix it, and hookworm is now a problem. That's poverty, and yet we pretend it doesn't exist, or blame the people in those conditions for not being able to help themselves even though they have zero resources, low education, low nutrition, and very limited job opportunities. And yet, somehow, we always have money for corporate welfare and taking care of the haves.
  19. Actually, it's very well documented that helmets reduce injuries and deaths in motorcycle accidents. And there are other studies (link 1, link 2 ) showing a greatly reduced injury rate with bicycle helmet use. I understand people may disagree with helmet laws (that's a whole other discussion), but I have not seen any evidence that they actually do reduce participation in a significant way (which isn't to say it doesn't exist, but I haven't been able to find it). And, for the record, re: the original topic, I find it really difficult to typecast the approximately 73 million people who make up the Millenial generation (that will soon outnumber the Boomers). In my experience, they are all over the map, even more so than the generations above them. And I really rather hate putting MILLIONS of people into tiny defined boxes, especially the negative, judgmental ones usually used for Millenials. They're people, for goodness sakes, not a list of (pejorative) characteristics.
  20. Sporthorse-owning / experienced Pony Club / 4H / dressage mom here. I hope I don't come off too strong. My intentions are good, and I don't mean to overwhelm you with questions & commentary, although I recognize I may be throwing a lot at you. Perhaps I'm missing something here, but has anyone really done a diagnostic work up to determine the true source of the problem? An x-ray really provides very limited information and even if something appears off in the x-ray (which it doesn't even sound like anything showed up), you still have no confirmation that there isn't also another problem that is also contributing to or causing the lameness. A thorough diagnostic will involve blocking (numbing) the lame leg, starting with the hoof, then moving up the leg, with the horse being trotted out on the pavement after every block has taken effect. Once the horse trots sound, you've isolated the area of lameness. At that point, you move to x-rays or ultrasound to see what is the underlying issue (My apologies if you know this already - it just didn't sound like that was done.) Our regional lameness specialist (who's been doing this for nearly 40 years) states that ~70% of horses that have one lameness issue also have another (because they start carrying themselves wrong due to issue #1, which then causes issue #2, etc). Every single time I've taken one of our horses for a lameness diagnostic situation, the problem has turned out to be something other than what I was convinced it was before we went in. Including two weeks ago, when I had one local vet diagnose a tendon injury & then it turned out to be a dry abscess/gas pocket in the hoof. (Hoof block solved the lameness, x-ray & probing revealed the pocket.) Or the time we went in for what I thought was pre-navicular and it was a suspensory ligament. Now, multiple blocks can be expensive, so it isn't always worth it to do them on a horse that is largely a backyard pet. But the thing is is that your horse is being heavily used right now (that's the nature of a lesson horse, no matter what they tell you). He's a lesson horse. Multiple riders, different abilities, repetitive & stressful work. He has different needs now &, as such, his body has needs that require to be taken seriously. The fact that the instructor says that he can be a "jerk" and can "put them into a rail" raises so many red flags for me. So. Many. Flags. That is a very frustrated and/or hurting horse. That is not normal behavior. And, yes, I know some horses have challenging temperaments and need skilled riders. But horses are not by nature aggressive with people, and it doesn't sound like anyone - including the instructor - is stopping to consider why he might be acting like that, especially since he is not sound and he has still been asked to work (he was lame enough to need a few days off regularly between rides & yet no one explored that? They just kept working him until he wasn't sound at all? WT*?) The needs of lesson horses are often not considered at barns, even if people are not intending to be cruel. Injections & shoes are often "wing & a prayer" quick fixes and it sounds like the only reason the vet gave an injection was that the horse is currently lame & he's had injections before. Did the vet rule out a rear suspensory ligament injury? With the trailer incident, with the mud issue, with the lesson work schedule, I would be concerned about that possibility. And with ligaments and tendons, if you keep working them, they can tear, which then leads to a minimum of 6 months stall rest with hand walking only. So I personally am paranoid about that type of injury. There may be a lot that I'm misinterpreting or misunderstanding here, and I recognize that. But, if it were me, I'd be doing more digging to find out how often he is being used, by whom, for how long, in what manner, how he is being put away / taken out - and I'd listen to / look to your horse, If he's actively lame or misbehaving, he really needs to be out of that situation, until one / both of those things have been permanently resolved to your judgment/satisfaction. IMHO, of course. Best of luck.
  21. I completely agree with HomeschoolMom (re: unpredictability of the impact foster or adopted children have on the whole family....I was a foster parent for several years), and I second Ottakee in that I highly encourage you to consider becoming licensed foster parents and offering respite care. Respite care workers are really, really needed and it is a great way to help kids and to become more familiar with the foster system and the children/situations that are served through foster care. It gives you a way to help these kids without a huge long-term commitment, and sometimes you can really connect with a child you meet this way and can explore a further relationship from there. I think you/your dh have made a wise choice for now....I have known a few families who’ve had relatively easy transitions with adoptions. I’ve known more whose lives have been blown completely sideways, sometimes for years. Most situations have been somewhere in between. And some issues with adopted kids don’t show up for years, so there can be long-term uncertainties as well. Homeschooling is wonderful. Fostering is wonderful. They just both take a lot of family resources (time, energy, emotional investment). It’s wise to tackle one at a time. Best of luck!
  22. Get a grip. Capitalism is thriving the world over, with many more calls for more of the same. There is no risk the world system is going to suddenly "systematically change", but it sure makes for those whose greatest concern is "communism". There is nothing fake about what is happening to the environment, or the Arctic, or the birds, or the great insect collapse (google any one of those). But if you don't believe there is a problem, it's all just "fake", no amount of information otherwise is going to convince you otherwise. Enjoy your daily disposables and carry on. Bluegoat posted about an issue she is struggling with on a daily basis. Really, it's not about your trigger topics.
  23. Hormone-disrupting chemicals are not related to birth control pills (well, I'm sure some miniscule amount are, but bc pills don't even make the top 10 of endocrine disrupting chemicals found in our environment. HDCs are largely a function of modern life. I don't want to sideline this thread any more, but here is a good, short list of the categories.) There have also been some good books written on this topic.
  24. Yep. And I have yet to have anyone on the "let's all get on board with all-gender-is-neutral" side address this issue in any substantial way. Or in any way whatsoever. Usually what happens is this issue is brought up, and then ignored. I do have empathy for the many people who struggle with societal gender "assignments" and who do not feel that they as individuals fit within their own bodies. I often wonder how much of an influence of the cubic-bazillion-crap-ton of endocrine-disrupting chemicals that have been dumped into our environment the last 30 or so years (some of which affect the fetus at parts-per-trillion) plays into people today not aligned with their biological bodies (that, we'll never know, as the whole environment is it's own cluster & it's impossible to tease something like that out now). I am not opposed to re-arranging our language on a societal level if that's what is needed/where we are headed (but I would point out that you need a large enough buy-in from others to have that happen). But I am also concerned about that we ARE blasting right past issues such as what happens when biological males get to define - instantly and with no questioning allowed - who & what qualifies as "female" and "woman". Talk about disempowerment. Talk about the ultimate power for patriarchy. But apparently to raise these issues makes me "transphobic", and difficult. (ETA: no one here has said that to me. But I have been called that (and worse), for daring to raise these issues in other settings. It's like, in the last 5 years or so, we have a whole new social Gospel with it's own set of disciples. Gawd help you if you cross them.)
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