More Textbook Hatred

Also, it’s clear that this vocabulary is set up in a way that precludes students from being successful in literature courses because it’s impossible to find works of literature that center on shit like “global village, GDP, community service, youth service, and civic solidarity.”

The textbook can work in Washington’s private schools that cater to the children of legislators. For anybody else, this is a total waste of time.


Textbook Hatred

The textbook we are supposed to use is total crap. Here are the vocabulary topics we must cover in Intermediate Spanish, Part II: technology, cultural diversity, environmental causes, politics, and “world without borders.” As a result, students end up being completely useless when they need to go to a store and buy something or name body parts or participate in daily conversations where globalization and diversity don’t tend to come up a whole lot.

Ms. Pattie

Klara loves her daycare teacher Ms. Pattie. All kids love Ms. Pattie because she adores them. She gets an almost religious glow when she clutches a child to her chest. 

All parenting books warn me that it’s normal to feel jealousy when your child shows love for a stranger for the first time but I say, are you fucking kidding me? I’m ecstatic that Klara loves her teacher. 

By the way, everybody who was telling me not to be afraid of daycare and stop looking for a nanny was right. And I was wrong, probably because I saw daycares in Soviet terms. For instance, both N and I were stunned to discover that we can brimg Klara in and take her home whenever it’s convenient. Of course, we are never disruptive of the group schedule but if I feel like not bringing her in on a Thursday, for instance, I can do that.

Children of Immigrants 

The Manchester bomber is a child of immigrants. Children of immigrants turn into a high-risk group in terms of anxiety, depression, alienation and anger if the parents resist integration or refuse to acknowledge that any emigration is a traumatic rupture that requires compensatory mechanisms. If the parents choose not to compensate, children will have to do it in a much greater degree. 

When such children end up stuck between two cultures, the private and the public, unable fully to move into one or the other and lacking the intellectual sophistication to turn this situation to their benefit, they might act in destructive ways. The nature of the destruction is, of course, mediated by gender and culture. Some people will thwart their own lives, others will visit devastation on their immigrant community, and there will be some who will go to the extremes of the Manchester terrorist. 

None of this is aimed at justifying the act of terror, of course. Everybody has shit to deal with, and it’s everybody’s choice how to do that. 

DR Harassment 

At first, I thought yay, I’m finally too old to be harassed in the Dominican Republic, so I’ll get to enjoy my visit there in the Fall.

But then I remembered that middle-aged women go to the Dominican Republic and Cuba in droves for purposes of sexual tourism. Does that mean I’ll be harassed even more than in the past?

The first time I was in Havana I was 23, and the harassment was so bad that there were days I wouldn’t leave the room. Not even to eat (and we all know how I feel about eating.) I’m not a shrinking violet and I don’t see every smile and compliment as offensive. But this was relentless harassment that was very hard to deal with.