Selective Tornado

It turns out that yesterday’s tornado has knocked the entire town’s electricity out and everybody has been sitting in the dark for 15 hours. Our residential area seems to be the only execption which is why it took us a while to realize why there are no traffic lights and why all restaurants are closed.

What really sucks is that we have few trees as it is, and the stupid tornado has torn out half of the precious few.

Profs’ Kids

OK, folks, if you have a child who:

– thinks it’s OK to miss weeks of class and then blame that on the professor who failed to communicate to him that the course begins when the academic calendar says it should;

– is likely to offer the professor advice on how the course should be modified to suit his  individual needs;

– is convinced that professors should be on campus 8 hours a day every day;

– considers it appropriate to lecture his profs on what he perceives as the course’s shortcomings;

– believes that it makes sense to tell his profs, “Well, my mother structures her summer courses in a different way”

then maybe it’s not the best idea in the world to place him in the university where you teach. Especially, if you can send him to absolutely any college in the state for free.

I Hate Platitudes

When you meet a woman who is intimidatingly witty, stylish, beautiful, and professionally accomplished, befriend her. Surrounding yourself with the best people doesn’t make you look worse by comparison. It makes you better.”

Yes, sure, intimidatingly witty, stylish, beautiful, and professionally accomplished women are all lonely and in constant need of friends. People should totally be encouraged to befriend them because, unlike all those dull, boring, plain and unsuccessful women whose social calendars are totally overflowing, they are spending their lives in sad loneliness. Let’s all feel sorry for the beautiful, witty and successful.

Rather than saying something trivial, maybe one should not say anything at all.

Sophie Hannah on What It Means to Be a Parent

Sophie Hannah writes these beautiful, typically British mystery novels that are funny, sarcastic and insightful at the same time. Here is an excerpts from her most recent novel Kind of Cruel:

I learned a lot about what it means to be a parent. . . If you have a child that behaves like a savage, deflect attention from his shortcomings by accusing the teachers of “pathologizing” him and failing to meet his individual needs, especially if these include the need to poke other children in the eye with a fork. If your son fails a test, accuse the school of being too outcome-focused; if he is lazy and says everything is boring, blame the teacher for not stretching or stimulating him in the right way; if your child is not particularly bright, couch the problem in terms of the school failing to identify and plug a “skills gap”; crucially, ostracize anyone who dares to suggest that some gaps – those belonging to clever children, specifically – are easier to fill with skills than others, and that, hypothetically,  a teacher might try endlessly to lob into the chasm some fairly basic proficiencies and fail to lodge them there, owing to an inherently unsympathetic micro-climate of massive stupidity.

Hanna’s novels usually revolve around dysfunctional families and pathological relationships. She is very well-read and is yet to write anything stupid or inconsistent in terms of individual and family psychology.

Kind of Cruel is not yet out in the US but The Other Woman’s House is and it is also superb.