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May 3, 2013 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Wooden. And that’s not nice.

Chainsaws, clippers, ladders dancing out of garages.

Annoying, but due diligence.

Precaution for the coming hurricane season.

Wouldn’t want to be watchin’ a storm and regrettin’.

Measuring the storm (1886.Winslow Homer 1836-1910.Addison Gallery of American Art/ US public domain: photo reprod of PD art/ publication date/ artist life +100/

Measuring the storm
(W. Homer 1836-1910.Addison Gallery of Amer. Art/US public domain: photo reprod of PD art/ publication date/artist life +100/

The preference to avoid regrets is human?

Or does it have to be taught?

The preschool classroom was typical: Centers for art, music, home, reading, blocks.

Blocks: the pale finely sanded wooden ones.

A huge stock.

Enough to engineer the tallest of towering lumps.

Only one kid repeated took great delight in crashing others’ constructions.

So the teacher closed the block center.

Mine! All mine! Easy to play nice alone. (Thomas Eakins 1844-1916/ US public domain: photo reprod of PD art/ artist life+90.

Mine! All mine! Easy to play nice alone.
(Thomas Eakins 1844-1916/US public domain: photo reprod of PD art/ artist life+90.

The rest of the Pre-K mob grumbled.

Got grumpy.

Eventually started punching the kid block destroyer.

Of course they all had to sit in circle and calm down.

The teacher patiently explained.

Once ALL learned to play nicely and respect others, the block center would reopen

Kids won’t sit still.

There were wiggles, and frowns, and eyes glaring at the block destroyer.

Finally on little boy blurted it out.

(They do say the darndest things)

“He’s the one who’s being bad. Why are you mad at us? Why not just make him stay out of the blocks?”

He had a point.

They did tell him not to wave that finger in people’s faces.

Someone might bite it off….at this age, maybe not an idle threat.

As kids get older, behavior management changes.

Such animals! (1882  James Tissot 1836-1902.US public domain: photo reprod of PD art/ publication date/ artist life+100/

Such little animals! 
(Tissot 1836-1902.US public domain: photo reprod of PD art/publication date/artist life+100/

No finger-pointing,  just alarms – but that’s a good thing?

One local elementary principal has mandated her interpretation of PBIS Stetson

It’s a positive reinforcement management program to improve classroom behaviors which improves learning.

Everyone loves a pat on the head and a gold star!

No frownie faces!

Sending students to the principal’s office for punishment is not allowed. EVER.

Keeps those office discipline records clean.

No noisy kids waiting outside her door.

No squirming unpleasant calls to problem kids’ parents (who are frequently problems themselves)

Smiley faces all around.

Teachers must either ignore problem students or wear a timer that goes off every 2-10 minutes reminding them to praise the troublemaker.

Well, that certainly improves instructional time.

If that doesn’t work, the teacher is to take the problem child to sit in another teacher’s classroom

 So now one kid is interrupting 2 teachers in 2 classrooms and interfering with instructional time for 2 sets of students.

Jesse James. Probably kicked blocks. Obviously played with guns (US public domain: expired copyright/ artist life +70/

Jesse James. Probably kicked blocks. 
(US public domain: expired copyright/artist life +70/

Want to take bets?

Other kids become “problem students” in order to get praise and attention.

The praise alarm becomes a game: “Let’s see how many times we can get that alarm to go off in an hour.”

(Who really wants to learn fractions anyway?)

And there’s always the perpetual “Let’s see if we can get the teacher to cry.” (Kids do that. Seriously.)

Positive reinforcement, used appropriately and sparingly, works wonders.

But cheering just for breathing sets the kid up for failure in the future.

It’s sort of like “as a twig is bent, so grows the tree.”

Society can end up with a bunch of people a bit warped ( but full of self-confidence!)

Then what do you do with them?  

Hanging out with a bad crowd. (Butch Cassidy, the Sundane Kid and their Wild Bunch 1892.Gilman Collection/ US public domain: expired copyright/ photo reprod of PD art/ artist life+70/

Hanging out with a bad crowd.
(Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, and their Wild Bunch 1892.Gilman Collection/ US public domain: expired copyright/ photo reprod of PD art/ artist life+70/

That’s the question now.

Carlos Daniel Fernandez, 19, on trial for killing a homeless man in a robbery attempt (over $1.00).

  • Defense: “Oh, he intentionally shot the man three times – but only because the victim charged him. The victim shouldn’t have tried to fight.”
  • So, it’s the victim’s fault he’s dead?
  • It’s just murder – not capital murder.
  • Dead is dead. Murder is murder?
  • Sentence for “Regular murder”? 5 years to life. Parole possible.

It gets better. There were 4 “teens” involved.

  • They had been cruising looking for prostitutes
  • They were looking for easy targets – and “only became violent when victims resisted”.
  • Victoria Correa, 16, fired her shotgun at the man, but missed
  • Michael Alexander, 18, carried a handgun. His wife, Marilyn Villarreal, 18. was also involved.
  • The couple said they need money for their 1 yr old baby.

It gets better. Only arrested because days later they botched a home invasion.

  • Victoria was shot in the leg.
  • Fernandez shot the homeowner 6 times in the side. (He survived.)

Prosecutor: “They did this for the thrill of it. They thought these people wouldn’t fight back, and it was a thrill for them.”

Proud of being an outlaw: Frank Stilwell, 1881 (US public domain: expired copyright/ artist life+70/

Proud of being an outlaw: Smug Frank Stilwell
(1881 US public domain: expired copyright/ artist life+70/

Even better is the case being tried in Galveston.

Bartholomew Granger,42, “grinned and winked at prosecutors after his guilty verdict.”

  • He gunned down 79 yr old woman on the Jefferson County Courthouse steps in Beaumont, TX.
  • He was mad.
  • He was at the courthouse for his trial involving his rape of his own daughter.
  • Angry at his daughter and ex-girl friend/”wife” for testifying, he was waiting in his car to shoot them.
  •  As the came out he started firing – and bystanders were wounded and one killed.
  • His daughter? He ran over her with his pickup truck.

Tuesday, He was convicted of capital murder of an elderly woman in Galveston.

  • Trial was moved due to TX law that a jury cannot view the crime scene.
  • Wednesday Granger had a temper tantrum
  • He believes the justice system has wronged him
  • He blames his daughter “The bitch got what she deserved! She’s the one that should be dead – not the old lady – her!”
  • When Judge tells him to calm down: “I can’t, because these people are lying on me! It’s not about me being angry or being out of control…I told you from the very beginning. I didn’t want to come here.”

Didn’t want to come here?

Maybe if you hadn’t raped your daughter, run over her at that trial, and shot those others?

With sentencing on the table, he’s scrapping now.

Even during jury selection, security has been extremely tight.

So not a nice person – and he has friends.

Sometimes best not to put you head in the sand - too many strange birds around. (1898 Forepaugh and Sells Brothers poster/Strobridge Lithographic Co./ Library of Congress.cph.3g02989/US public domain: publication date/

Sometimes best not to put you head in the sand – too many strange birds around.
(1898 Strobridge Lithographic Co/Library of Congress.cph.3g02989/US public domain: publication date/

Nice people don’t want to be around people like these. 

Just like Preschoolers don’t want a block tyrant in their playgroup.

Those who have no regrets:

It’s never their fault.

They should have everything they want when they want it.

They want to “splain it to you” – you just don’t understand.

They deserve a do-over.

Are some people just like a tallow tree that naturally grows twisted, brittle, and easy to break? 

Could even those be helped along by those who care for them?

Like a gardener who enhances a young oak tree’s natural shape and life with prudent careful pruning?

Bedtime 1941-1945  (N. Rockwell 1894-1978/ Office of Emerg. Management:National Archives.513538/ US public domain:By fed employee/

The end of the day in a different era 1941-1945
(N.Rockwell1894-1978/Office of Emerg. Manage/ National Archives.513538/ US public domain: by fed employee/

As the twig is bent, so the tree grows, so they say.

Perhaps time to reevaluate. Examine tools. Make plans. Take action.

Wouldn’t want to be havin’ any regrets.

It’s the beginning of a stormy season.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Storm clouds ( US public domain: by federal employee/

Storm clouds
( US public domain: by federal employee/



  1. RAB / May 3 2013 12:36 am

    Jesse James looks like such a child….


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 3 2013 2:24 pm

      He really does. There’s another picture of him standing in overly large clothes with his guns – he looks like a child playing dress-up. Looks can be deceiving? Or started off as any kid, then something went wrong? Society needs to take a hard look at how teens/adults end up with the attitudes and perception of themselves and the world that the criminals in these events have. The worst part is that a 1 yr old child is involved with that couple – what chance? Thanks for galloping along


  2. Carrie Rubin / May 3 2013 1:02 am

    It seems people don’t want to take responsibility for their actions anymore. I suspect this is a reflection of poor parenting but also cultural shifts in perceptions of what’s acceptable behavior. I feel for teachers who have to assume the role of not only educator, but of disciplinarian as well.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 3 2013 2:29 pm

      ” cultural shifts in perceptions of what’s acceptable behavior.” You said it there. It’s gong to be interesting to see what happens now…it’s almost de-evolution back to the wild west? Perhaps need more “Jetsons” and “Rocky and Bullwinkle” and less reality shows, Hannibal, and Dexter for the little ones. (Not going as far as “Barney”…no not that song….) Teachers have always had discipline problems, but worse now for many reasons – parent bullies being one of them? Thanks for watching the parade


  3. Littlesundog / May 3 2013 1:34 am

    Brilliant writing! Being an introvert and keeping from noise and chaos in the world as best I can, I laughed at the “ostrich” insert. I surely would love to bury my head in the sand, but alas… there really ARE a lot of strange birds out there and one must be alert at all times! I don’t have the answers, and the problems society today poses, are overwhelming to me. I suppose that is why I tend to spend so much time with the wild animals and birds.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 3 2013 2:34 pm

      Attitudes and explanations by so many of those who break the law just make you shake your head. Lots of red flags going up, Society..please see them – and make some changes. Not a bad idea to get people back outside…dealing with nature and an environment that really doesn’t care about you does tend to change views. (So consider yourself a vanguard researcher searching for answers!) Thank for stomping along


  4. sandylikeabeach / May 3 2013 1:51 am

    Brilliant piece and I thought it was going to be about cutting down trees around your house before hurricane season (which I just did), but it was about so much more. And I think the appropriate response is a quote from one of my favorite TV shows: “The world is doomed.”


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 3 2013 2:36 pm

      I did start out with tree trimming for storms (that time of year for us all), but those comments by those defendants just bug me – know a couple of people called for jury duty on that Galveston case. (Just when you think TV show are bad, you turn and look at real life…) Thanks for tuning in


  5. PiedType / May 3 2013 2:45 am

    Whenever a child behaves badly, I look to the parents first. Manners, discipline, responsibility — all begin at home (or should). And teachers should be reinforcing those lessons. Psychobabble and political correctness (or, in the opposite extreme, zero tolerance) are ruining our schools. Discipline the block crasher immediately and appropriately. Isolate him. Withdraw some privileges. Make him take a time-out in the corner. Do something and do it now, while there’s still time to make him a responsible member of society.


  6. EllaDee / May 3 2013 2:56 am

    The only thing that reflects commonsense is your hurricane season due diligence but the rest of what you write you make up for in depressing content with entertaining writing 🙂 I like the message if not the reality of it – and believe there are bad people, even evil people. There may be some good in them but if there is evil bad then that’s it. In nature a wild animal mother or group will kill another if it’s not right. I’m not saying that should be strictly the case for humans but there needs to be responsibility taken by those who can for those who can’t or won’t.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 3 2013 2:18 pm

      Hard to entertain with such dismal events – but the attitudes of these people kept bothering me (know a couple that were in the Galveston jury selection pool). And these crimes are happening daily here. I agree with you – rabid, sick, and destructive animals are not tolerated by others in their species. It’s a crime these criminals are not dealt with quickly and harshly – trying “to be fair” to this kind of animal? Why spend the money? Publicity only encourages others. Society is enabling this kind of behavior. May need some sort of magic trick to get back on track, but starting with parenting/consistent appropriate behavior modification in schools with students might be a start. But it’s easier to pass laws and wave paper around? Glad you bundled up a comment to leave


  7. roughseasinthemed / May 3 2013 7:13 am

    Excellent thoughtful piece of writing. I loved the comparison between the growth of trees, and the children and the resulting adults. I’m neither an educator nor a parent but I do dislike seeing badly behaved children/young people. Luckily we don’t have anything like your amazing crime rates here, so I’ll use a simple example, which still gives a big (and sad) message out.

    It’s one I tend to write about every time it annoys me, and that’s kids on buses either taking all the front seats leaving old people to stagger to the back, or kids with seats not offering their seats to older people.

    Why haven’t their parents taught them to give up their seat? I think even our teachers at school would mention it from time to time. So it’s left to my partner and I in our 50s to offer our seats to someone 20 years older, because the bottom line is they are older, and if I am less agile at 50 something, then someone at 70+ is going to be even moreso. But would it really hurt a teenager to offer their seat to an older person?

    And the simple message there is ignorance and lack of respect for others. Will they go through life ignoring simple polite courtesies and not thinking about other people? Me, me, me?

    That’s before I even get into the ones who seem to think the supermarket aisles are an extension of the school playground …


    • jubilare / May 3 2013 12:35 pm

      In my home city we have what we call “Shakespeare in the Park” in the summers. Outdoor amphitheater, most people sitting on blankets to watch. One time I was sitting with a friend whose sister was in one of the lead roles. My friend had come over half the U.S. to see her sister.
      In front of us, a teenage girl started texting during the performance, the light of her phone was terribly distracting and so we politely confronted her during intermission.

      Here’s where the tale dives off the deep end of frustration. The girl looked embarrassed. Her mother, however, went off on US. Her argument was along the lines of “my daughter has a the right to text whenever she needs to.” As if, were there a real need, she couldn’t have walked a few yards out of the audience.
      At this encouragement from her mother, the teenager began to think she had been wronged. My mother, who was also there, took up the fight, still not being rude, but definitely not backing down, and the mother/daughter only got more offended until, instead of just agreeing not to text during the play, they left.
      I still can’t wrap my head around this level of narcissism. If adults don’t teach young people to be aware of and sensitive to others, then it’s no wonder that giving up a seat on the bus never even occurs to them (or if it does, they feel entitled to be selfish).


      • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 3 2013 3:07 pm

        (I love Shakespeare in the Parks! We always went even as little kids when we could find them. We were expected to behave and pay attention so we could talk about it later)
        The behavior at that event is reflects what is going wrong: Mom, you don’t have to defend your cub when she’s done something wrong – it’s not an attack on you- or really on her. You could use it to teach…oh, wait, you don’t get it and even if so don’t care.)
        Another what the heck is wrong with people situation…oh, it’s obvious what is wrong – your last paragraph says it pretty well.
        Thanks for nailing up that comment over here


        • jubilare / May 3 2013 3:26 pm

          I was even more disturbed because my friend at first asked her to be considerate in the sweetest manner possible, and with the explanation that she had traveled a long way just to see her sister. The woman seemed to have neither empathy nor sympathy. I’m still stunned, and it’s been almost a year since it happened.


          • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 3 2013 8:22 pm

            That is more disturbing. Obviously the world only exists for her pleasure…and the daughter is watching…can you image what her daughter will be like eventually?
            Trouble, big trouble if attitudes continue as they are going.


          • jubilare / May 3 2013 9:03 pm

            I hope and pray the daughter escapes that fate, for her sake as well as everyone around her.


          • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 3 2013 9:50 pm

            Society must find a way to deal with those who fell violence is an acceptable answer to their problems. And hopefully that child will be placed into a stable home and have a chance for a normal life
            Thanks for stacking a comment into the pile


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 3 2013 2:45 pm

      Hey – trees have rings and so do people (Post should have branched out there? Sorry, it’s a discouraging topic)
      Much is learned before the age 5. If kids are out of control – and telling parent what to do then , it’s only going to get worse. Some parents just don’t want to bother doing their job…like some dog owners don’t socialize and teach dog manners: then the dog is wild and “bad” but it’s not their fault. Society generally deals with “bad” dogs, but kids? And teen/adults with outrageous attitudes like those in these crimes? Better come up with a plan – storms ahead. (and don’t get me started on the supermarket….) Thanks for carving up a comment for here


  8. Rosa de los Vientos / May 3 2013 10:41 am

    Plenty of crazy birds out there, I know. A problem and a perception of all times though.

    But, what about all those ‘normal’ birds -with friends 😉 – doing more subtle crazy things in such sophisticated or elegant ways you wouldn’t even notice how they deeply affect ‘every day life’ and social conditions of so many others, especially on the long run..

    Nice post as it makes us think. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 3 2013 2:50 pm

      “Strange birds” are different from “crazy birds” – although you are right many perceive them to be the same. Also true is the idea that the “crazy” high profile/celebrity/politician/ultra wealthy” may get a pass through society as being “eccentric” or “amusing” but can negatively affect many others. Complex situation. Thanks for the kind words and for building a comment to leave.
      (Oh, great illustrations on your site – your art work?)


      • Rosa de los Vientos / May 3 2013 3:20 pm

        Yeah, you are right, strange and crazy is not precisely the same…

        Yes, the drawings on my website are all mine and I make them specifically for my ‘strange’ blog ☺! Well, just because I cannot keep inside any longer what I see and hear.

        I am trying to illustrate the social reality I have to cope with, for example touching topics on socio-economic crisis and sociocultural integration in Spain, localisms versus universalisms or globalization, etc., but in ‘simple’ daily life settings, so faraway from the so-called more ‘objective’ academic analysis…which researchers always have to justify and prove… I am freeeee 😉

        Thanks for having made the effort to take a look at my work, that is very kind of you!

        I am following your blog, as it is one of the few really meaningful ones to me and also because it has a reader friendly layout. 🙂

        Un abrazo, Rosa


  9. jubilare / May 3 2013 11:58 am

    I’m not sure if “liking” such a painful post is the right response… they need another option… acknowledge, agree, something like that.

    In my generation, gold stars were beginning to overtake sharp discipline, and there are both advantages and consequences to that. So many kids don’t get enough encouragement, while others get too much. I got a little too much. I thank God I got disciplined, too.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 3 2013 3:02 pm

      It would be wonderful if Word Press had another option – I think of that often when reading blogs, too.
      Society is so complex now. Teachers are doing a high wire circus act everyday. One size does not fit all – some kids need a heap of reinforcement to counter what is going on at home (some of it brutal) ..the trick is knowing the kids well – and having flexibility – Nothing will get accomplished by any of them if a framework of discipline is lacking. Consistent expectations and limits are a security blanket and comfortable (kids can relax when they know what is expected – and it’s reasonable..they will constantly be checking and pushing against it – put that’s developmental and necessary)
      Gotta have both appropriate discipline and praise. Unfortunately, too many adults/parents are bullies ( to kids, educators and society) – that what the little kids see and grow up thinking it’s OK. Thanks for hammering out a comment for here


  10. jmmcdowell / May 3 2013 10:40 pm

    Our society is broken. Some will say it’s not, only that there are some bad elements who make everyone look bad. But when I see the growing intolerance, bigotry, and I-can-do-whatever-I-want-when-I-want-to-whoever-I-want-and-shutup-about-your-ideas-of-responsibility behavior that leaves others just wringing their hands and saying, “What can you do?” I want to find a corner of the world where I can make it all go away.

    They say it’s darkest before the dawn. I can only hope that we’re at that point. But my gut instinct says we’ll sink even farther.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 4 2013 2:31 am

      Easier to trim and grow trees than people these days. These event are pretty extreme and happening too often. I started to end with an old “entertainment” poster of a magician levitating his assistant. We made need a few magic tricks to get out of this one. Meanwhile find a spot a burrow in for a bit. There’s always small things worth a smile. Thanks for hammering out a comment


  11. Kourtney Heintz / May 4 2013 1:58 pm

    People can change if they realize they are doing something wrong and want to change. But why should murderers be given the opportunity to change? Why are they allowed to have a life when they have stolen someone else’s? Sometimes the system is just wrong.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 4 2013 2:58 pm

      Seems like we might start addressing the one bad apple that spoils the bunch.
      They are pleading like crazy to save that criminal in Galveston…why? It’s not like it’s his first crime. The elderly woman’s daughter (also wounded) is carrying her mother’s purse everyday to court. Maybe the jury should pass it around hand to hand before they vote.
      Thanks for chopping out a comment for here


  12. / May 4 2013 3:27 pm

    Thought provoking work… A solution, I just can’t imagine the world getting any better without serious intervention from government (at all levels), that nobody wants or would pay for.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 4 2013 6:38 pm

      Nature might have some answers? A rotten apple spoils the bunch. Need to recognize problems and rot early on? Deal with it in a timely fashion, perhaps. It’s a puzzle for sure – and won’t be solved quickly or by waving writing on paper in front of people’s faces (especially those who so no inclination to follow rules).
      If each would take care of their own..that’s an old concept might be worth reexamining?
      Thanks for pondering along


  13. heretherebespiders / May 4 2013 7:17 pm

    We have a string band that flies all the way from PA every year to be in our small town’s St Patrick’s parade. They have amazing costumes and really look the business. As the parade was over and they were marching back up the town, some small boys (no parents to be seen of course) decided it would be funny to shoot the band with silly string (it stains, you know). My husband went nuts, shouted them down about their lack of respect – and one of the little shites tried to stand up to us. Hubby whipped the kid’s hat off his head and smacked him with it. Proud of hubby – but I still worry that in a few years, this kid is going to be a big, strong, selfish teen with a long memory 😦


  14. philosophermouseofthehedge / May 4 2013 8:49 pm

    Silly String is highly flammable, too. Some wanted to ban it as dangerous.
    More dangerous is using silly string when you shouldn’t. Cheers for your husband. Maybe the kid will think a bit about consequences of actions. (but like dogs, when kids are in a pack, their brains seem to disengage…that needs work…look at the kid mob crimes in Chicago).
    Usually there’s a Cinco de Mayo parade here….hmmm, not much publicity about that this year? Always love the fancy prancing horses and riders.
    Thanks for stringing your thoughts together for a comment


  15. shoreacres / May 5 2013 12:53 pm

    Well, I got to see Mr. Bartholomew Granger in person, from about twenty feet away during jury selection, and part of me wanted to be on that jury in the worst way, just to add my vote to convict. Of course if I hadn’t been excused I never would have been selected, either, as I had my mind made up already and would have said so.

    The government isn’t going to solve these problems. The government is part of the problem. More and more often, in more and more ways, the government is inserting itself between parent and child, and between action and accountability. The one thing government could do is enforce the laws that already are on the books. That’s so reasonable, of course – but if we would enforce current law, many of our problems would be eased. And if some laws are wrong, change them, instead of ignoring them and in the process teaching disrespect for the law.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 6 2013 8:27 pm

      Was hoping you’d stop by.
      Parents must step up and raise children (not see them as accessories – until they are unpleasant, then shove them off on friends/relatives/schools/…)
      School must be remove problem students so others can learn (one bad apple does spoilt the bunch)
      Authorities should enforce the laws on the books with swift repercussions – and stop accepting excuses and softer sounding/misleading terms such as “acting out” instead of “violent unacceptable behavior against the law”
      Unless there’s a recognition that it’s attitudes that must change, the violence won’t end.
      Murder is murder. Dead is dead. It isn’t a little dead, deader, and most dead.
      Same with assault, rape, stalking, robbery…..all laws on the books.
      So now Granger’s family is begging for his life…at least the media has finally stopped saying “alleged” and “earlier trial of violence against a family member”
      If it’s a monster – call it a monster.
      Attitudes must change.
      Media’s a good place to start.
      Thanks for adding your thoughts


  16. jannatwrites / May 5 2013 8:23 pm

    The constant positive reinforcement is ridiculous. (I don’t know, fear of physical punishment went a long way in keeping me out of trouble.)

    The lack of accountability and the ‘blame game’ is infuriating and sad. No one else is responsible for our own actions except us.

    This reminds of the conversation I have with my seven-year-old many times a day after an outburst, usually against his brother. “It’s his fault- he’s annoying me!” is what my younger son always says. Then I always tell him we can’t hit someone just for being annoying. We have to control our actions. Doggone if these people aren’t trying to prove me wrong!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 6 2013 8:34 pm

      No excuses! Sorry, I just feel like shouting that our a lot recently.
      It’s hard being a parent. Kids who have been taught to be polite and respectful often end up getting pounded by kids whose parents bully their kids/neighbors/teachers/ employees – kids whose parents encourage confrontation and violence. Plenty of YouTube videos (everyone’s a film director/actor now!)
      Just hope sanity is out there waiting to re-emerge. Thanks for stacking up a comment


  17. Robin / May 8 2013 7:05 pm

    Interesting, thought-provoking post. As usual. I don’t understand the “everyone is special” mentality in the schools. My daughter-in-law, a teacher, was telling us about the end of the year awards program in which the principal proclaimed that ALL seniors would get an award of some kind. The teachers, against the idea, were overruled. They had to sit down and make up awards, some for the kids who created nothing but trouble and least deserved an award. The teachers ended up with categories like “best hair” for lack of anything better.

    I dunno. Seems to me that if everyone is special, than no one is special. If everyone gets an award, it diminishes the accomplishments, or the worth of the accomplishments, of those who deserve an award.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 8 2013 9:05 pm

      And there’s the school that stopped having the ice cream party for all those middle school kids who made straight A’s last 6 weeks…don’t want any one to feel sad. Prepare those kids for life?
      What? No point in working hard and doing your best – no reward or recognition for all that effort.
      College is the first time some kids are hit with the reality of “there’s always someone smarter, there’s always someone prettier, , there’s always someone with less money/poorer.” But even some colleges are getting the “everyone’s wonderful/the same” shift – no grades given, for example.
      Not doing kids any favors.
      Over blown self important attitudes and unrealistic expectations sure can trigger stress, anger, and violence.
      Time to take a hard look at things: parents, educators, media, and society in general.
      Thanks for stacking up a comment



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