Archive for February, 2012

The Color of Milk

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

You come to an intersection — a red light means stop and a green light means go.  Yellow, well, there are different schools of thought, but the other two are always the same.  Around here, we have three “trash” bins — one for actual garbage, one for recyclables, and one for compostables.  They’re always black, blue, and green, respectively.  There’s never any doubt — food scraps go in the green bin, bottles and cans in the blue one.  Doesn’t matter whose house you’re at, you know where to scrape your plate.  Unfortunately, not every industry is so considerate.


In Praise of the Plastic Wastebasket

Monday, February 13th, 2012

In my bedroom, we have a nice wooden wastebasket that, more-or-less, matches my parents’ antique dressers.  It was a good find at Costco some years ago.  For the kids, however, I’m not interested in anything other than an inexpensive plastic wastebasket.  Sure, it’s tacky and cheap looking and maybe even bad for the environment, but there’s a very good reason I wouldn’t have anything else.


Grading on a Curve — for Schools

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

A young girl, studying in schoolGenerally speaking, in order to get an “A” grade, you have to demonstrate that not only did you learn the material but that you demonstrated an understanding far beyond what was expected for the course.  You could say that someone deserving of an “A” would know the material so well that they wouldn’t even make careless mistakes on a test — the material would be far too simple to provide any wrong answers.  In the case of a school, an “A” would mean that the school is turning out students who not only meet the standards but go well beyond them.  But what do you do if your schools aren’t performing so well and you still want to say they get an “A”?  Well, if you’re the Public Education Department in New Mexico, you redefine what it means to get an “A”.


Who marries who at 3 years old?

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Marriage is an abstract concept that, frankly, most young children don’t fully understand.  For them, it’s usually good enough to know that when grown-ups love each other very much and want to be a family together, they get often get married.  There’s no need to discuss the tax implications or workplace benefits or hospital visitation rights with a three-year-old.  But is it necessary to limit the concept to the traditional one-man-one-woman definition just because you’re talking to a three-year-old?  Even if you, personally, are okay with the idea of same-sex marriage?  Even if you live in a country where same-sex marriage is legal?  Lisa van de Geyn, writing in Today’s Parent, seems to think so, because talking about same-sex marriage is hard.