Abolishing Grades

I find the idea of abolishing grades cooky and weird. You abolish grades, you lose students like me. I’m competitive, I respond very well to hierarchies and evaluations. None of this had prevented me from being a life-long voracious learner and an adventurous, risk-taking student and scholar. 

What’s the payoff that can be gained from this “there are no winners here, everybody who participated wins!” approach? When is the time to let students know that that’s not how life works? What’s the point of preparing them for the kind of world that doesn’t exist?

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On Parenting

The analyst says that great psychological harm is caused to children by chaotic environments. Unpredictable mealtimes and bedtimes, unpredictable emotional reactions on the part of the parents, chaotic personal lives of parents, all that kind of stuff. 

This is all obvious and barely needs to be pointed out.

However, there’s another type of chaos that is just as damaging but not as obvious to the naked eye. A child’s life can look very organized and orderly, yet one or both parents can have disordered, chaotic minds, and that is something that the child will perceive and feel anxious. 

When both kinds of chaos – the external and the internal – come together, that’s where the worst damage is done. 

Also, important advice that I got: if you are OCD (I am, obviously), make sure your child doesn’t see your OCD rituals. That creates a lot of anxiety for a kid. I didn’t know this, and it was really useful.

Another piece of advice: never connect your emotional states with the child’s actions. (e.g. “I’m sad because you did this.”) Of course, this one I already knew. 

Dirty Hypocrites

I was deeply saddened when I saw that after the Franken bombshell one Democrat after another started releasing these identical, copy-pasted statements of fake condemnation and asking for the ridiculous “Ethics Commission” in an identical voice. Gillibrand, Schumer, both of my senators, Durbin and Duckworth. OK, Duckworth is notoriously dumb but Durbin? I kind of liked him. 

Of course, I also liked Franken. I read his book, followed his fraught first election, subscribed to his site. But he turned out to be a disgusting creep. And the party that rallies – entirely needlessly because nothing is lost in political terms if he resigns – to his defense after pilloring others for these and much smaller transgressions simply stinks. 

At the very least, I hope that nobody will now have the gall to mention the stupid pussy-grabbing tape.