MORE fail!

29 07 2009

Our good friend at Fox, Bill O’Really, has once again astounded the nation with his wit and brilliance:

http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/200907270052

(via IBY)

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More Education Fail

28 07 2009

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/class-struggle/2009/07/ap_wars_school_board_member_vs.html?wprss=rss_blog

Jay, quoting a school board member:

“in AP US history, for example, is that [more than 90 percent] of our students get 3 or above [considered passing marks on the 5-point test]. Our faculty views that as a mark of success [the national rate is about 60 percent]. I view it just the opposite. It has always struck me that if our students have that high a success rate, we are not giving enough students the opportunity to take the course.”

This man is in charge of the education of children somewhere. In fact, people who think this way are in charge of rather a lot of children’s educations. Mine for instance, or those in the ever…interesting MCPS schools. Or plenty of other districts around the country. And people wonder why I think our education system’s doomed…

Also interesting:

It’s a common refrain that schools do a lot for the kids at the top and the bottom but not enough for the kids in the middle. School districts that do not open up AP courses to a broader array of kids may be doing a disservice to kids in the middle. Our school district is ready to tackle this issue, although it is not clear that our faculty is ready yet.” (Emphasis mine)

What planet is this guy living on?





In which AT&T fail

27 07 2009

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/07/att_vs_4chan.php

AT&T’s story:

DoS attack on one of their customers by part of 4chan. AT&T block 4chan. DoS ends. AT&T unblock 4chan.

Reality:

Someone DoS attacks an AT&T customer. Said person spoofs it so AT&T think it’s coming from 4chan. AT&T block 4chan. Someone with slightly more intelligence at AT&T notices what happened, and yells at everyone until they unblock 4chan.

Blocking 4chan…lol. I dislike /b/tards as much as the next sane person, but like PZ said, gotta respect the terrible might of /b/

UPDATE: Indeed, teh lolz http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/07/4chan/





CTY post rewrite (this time wiith 100% added coherence!)

25 07 2009

(Because the last post was essentially me at my whiny pathos-filled worst, which completely trashed the point I was trying to get across, I figured I’d rewrite it as a coherent, intelligent post. Friends don’t let friends post without sleep!)

I posted a while ago about why magnet schools matter, and I think it’s time for another example along those lines: CTY (Center for Talented Youth). It’s a summer program for 12-16 year olds run by Johns Hopkins that requires certain SAT scores to get in. There’re classes in a lot of different topics, both ones that would normally be done in high school and ones that you normally won’t see till college (logic, cog psych, ethics, existentialism, philosophy of mind, one site has neuroscience, etc). The classes are, in general, very well done, fun and, even for the very intelligent kids going there, challenging. Example: my logic class covered the equivalent of one and a half college semester courses. Oh, and we did it in three weeks.

Now, forget all about all of that, because it’s completely irrelevant. This post isn’t about challenging courses. It’s about people.

CTY’s a place where the top end of the ability curve can find a community. Unlike just about anywhere else, there’re lots of other people like you there. Any strange, obscure reference you make, probably at least 3 people in earshot will get. Any weird thought you have won’t seem all that weird to more than a few people present.

And the same goes for how you act. A lot of gifted kids are, let’s face it, pretty crazy sometimes. But that’s perfectly normal there. In fact, it becomes self reinforcing so that almost everyone acts even weirder than normal. And, because we’re all like that, it’s Ok! You get cheered on, not made fun of.

And by that same principal, because there’s a lot of the shared experience of being pretty lonely at home sometimes, people are very quick to form friendships, and just generally very accepting of and nice to each other. People understand, and so they accept. Most of us have a few friends who will do that so that we can be ourselves with them at home, but here for three weeks it’s like that with most people!

And that’s important. Being able to feel normal, even if only for three weeks, makes a huge difference to people. That’s true of everyone, but for most people it’s a lot easier to find. Since for us it isn’t, places where we can often end up feeling more like home than home does. I mean that seriously; I can’t remember who it was, but someone at my site said that when kids age out, it’s like being told they can’t come home anymore. That’s really true. That’s how it feels like to lose a place where you feel normal.

The point being, things that bring together gifted kids matter. They don’t just matter for the academic reasons, they matter for the human reasons. If you only truly got the chance to truly feel normal and just another part of the group for three weeks a year, how would you feel? Exactly. Support them. Organize them. Advocate for more of them. Don’t just help the middle feel better, help us too.

For any CTYers who may happen to be reading this, I love CTY, I love the Passionfruit, and I ❤ you all! “I like you, I love you, I CTY you, I miss you.”





CTY or, What I’ve Been Saying

24 07 2009

[This post is rewritten in the next post. That one’s much better, so I’m taking this one down. Go read that one]





Hi!

17 07 2009

I’m back, but exhausted and sort of sick, so it’ll be a few days before I get anything up. However, I can say that I got a 5 on my AP US ^^





Music 5

4 07 2009

(No time to write anything up before I leave, but I felt bad not having ANYTHING for three weeks so here’s some music for the 4th ^^)

(Yeah I know Baba Yetu’s the lord’s prayer. It still sounds nice!)

(The worst that the 4th can be)

Aaaaand, for the last song for the 4th, the Boss with the BEST we can be (protesting wars 😉 )! ^^

Have a good 4th everyone, and see you all in a week and a half 😀