Re: Keep Your Desk Tidy

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skin must be colored light tan

We've been over this. It's peach.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:38 PM
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In first grade, there was a girl who would count all the times I went outside of the lines on the coloring page and compare it to her own (much smaller) count. I made up for it by being being as ass to her (and nearly everyone else) in high school. She got me back for that by not visibly aging over the 25 years since.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:39 PM
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What on earth is the rationale for rule #2? Are schools insane?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:40 PM
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This is why so many Texans grow up to be politically conservative, isn't it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:40 PM
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So "true colors" means, accurate and realistic by kindergarten standards? Anyway, prior work on the same topic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:41 PM
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Now now, HP, when you draw the person shot by the police you need to use this brown crayon, not the peach one.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:41 PM
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Schools are Cyndi Lauper fans.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:41 PM
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I just gave myself an earworm that I enjoy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:41 PM
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But remember, HP, if they're allowed to carry guns in the grocery store, be sure to use the peach crayon.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:41 PM
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A friend's kid had a coloring standoff in preschool. He liked coloring just fine at home, but absolutely refused during class time. (Maybe they had dumb rules, too?) It escalated with the teacher sending the pages home to be colored and turned in the next day. My friend, who's always hated busywork, basically told the teacher there was no way he was going to force his 4 year old to color as homework.

Glad Hawaii's more the type to keep her head down and just follow school rules. It is a lot easier that way. Maybe she could say that her red sky is totally realistic for Middle Earth or Pern or something.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:42 PM
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Coloring is pretty soul-deadening all on its own. What's wrong with "drawing" as an activity? EH? EH?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:45 PM
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Glad Hawaii's more the type to keep her head down and just follow school rules.

I think she embraces the first two rules. They're right and it's about time someone finally acknowledged that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:45 PM
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Apparently, there was some concern that my inability to color within lines, or use scissors to cut along lines, meant I might struggle in kindergarten. I'm still not great at either task.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:46 PM
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I had this book as a kid and I totally bought its propaganda.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:49 PM
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I kind of want her to turn in pages where she's colored everyone's sclera (red? yellow?) just to be sure she follows #3. I guess they require use of the white crayon?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:50 PM
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At my kid's former preschool -- a Montessori school in a super liberal town -- my wife went in to help out when the kids made stenciled T-shirts for a school assembly celebrating the school and the sainted Maria. The teacher insisted that no paint go outside the stencil, and had a particular color designated for each design. Mrs. Yousbad was appalled, and encouraged/facilitated widespread disregard of these rules. These kids were 3 and 4 years old.

Just one of many signs that this school wasn't the right place for us.


Posted by: Osgood Yousbad | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:50 PM
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Am I crazy that that story rings a bell? Did you tell it here at the time?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:51 PM
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Like you asked for advice/validation about whether or not it was crazy for them to be so rigid?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:52 PM
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This is bringing back a bunch of repressed memories about how at the beginning of first grade I was too much of a coloring perfectionist and would go really slowly to be sure to stay inside the lines and the teacher told my parents I was really slow and falling behind and they told me I had to be faster and sloppier about coloring and it became a big upsetting thing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:52 PM
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She'll never drive an Isuzu.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:53 PM
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Maybe? It was about six months ago, at a time when I thought I wasn't around here much, and I don't remember doing so, but I can't rule it out.


Posted by: Osgood Yousbad | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:53 PM
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Nah, I'm thinking of something from much longer ago, years.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:54 PM
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But then later that year the teacher made me read books to fourth or fifth grade classrooms to shame them. Hmm. First grade was kind of fucked up.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:54 PM
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I think Hawaii should blow their minds by insisting on coloring only pictures of polar bears, arctic foxes, clouds, cotton fields, and snowflakes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:54 PM
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Jesus, no, I don't think there was anything like that for Mara, though she may have just done her usual "no, thank you!" and gone on to do whatever the hell she wanted. We've had to talk a lot about how my skin isn't "skin color" any more than theirs is, though. Actually, she's recently started doing most of her coloring with dark brown skin when in the past she might have gone with either peach or just blue or something.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:56 PM
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Smurfs are people too!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:56 PM
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That's a relief. There are lots of things I could conceivably have bitched about wrt this school but I didn't think I had, so if this had slipped out I would've worried about what else I might've said and subsequently forgotten.

We're not going to agree to their non-disparagement clause (seriously!), but even so.


Posted by: Osgood Yousbad | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:57 PM
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23: Oh hey, me too, but in kindergarten. And that was also the year I got disillusioned with teachers because mine thought a cygnet was a baby seal when everyone knows it's a baby swan. (This is going to sound like it belongs on the Pride thread, right? But I mean it to scorn the school and my young self, not revel in it.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:57 PM
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It's like about Krishna. You know, like Smurfs are blue. And Smurfs are, like, getting kids used to seeing blue people. And it's like, you know, with Smurfs being blue, kids see blue people, they, like, relate to Smurfs. And they relate to blue people when Krishna comes about, you know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 12:59 PM
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You should write a really emo club song about being blue.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:00 PM
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Somebody messed with WebEx and I'm confused.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:00 PM
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It's important for young artists to be taught rigid rules, so they will have something to rebel against.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:01 PM
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The more insanely rigid your rules are, the easier it is to give treats. "Today is 'talk during breakfast' day! Tomorrow is 'pick your own clothes' day!"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:03 PM
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I hate how Webex doesn't let you color outside the meeting window. I'd totally screw up other people's desktops if I could.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:04 PM
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All of your children (except Hawaii, obviously) are going to be living on your couch until their 30s, or you experience the sweet surcease of death, whichever comes first. Staying in the lines makes sense for a kindergarten -- it's a way of practicing fine motor skills. The "true colors" rule is to make them learn their colors better.

The skin thing is because you live in Texas, which is evil and must be destroyed.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:05 PM
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As long as they stay on the couch, I can avoid them pretty easily.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:08 PM
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All of your children (except Hawaii, obviously) are going to be living on your couch until their 30s... you live in Texas, which is evil and must be destroyed.
So I guess Hawaii only has until we get around to destroying Texas. I'll take the 30s on the couch option for my kids.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:08 PM
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Do the colorblind kids get a waiver on the "true colors" rule?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:09 PM
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I don't think I ever knew if either of my kids was coloring in school, or if there were rules governing the coloring. I guess they could have been. This sort of conversation always makes me feel vaguely neglectful.

(The fact that Newt was in the emergency room for stitches for the second time this year on Saturday? Also makes me feel vaguely neglectful. Although I was standing right there when he dropped a glass jug in the sink and a big piece of it bounced up and cut him, and I don't know how I could have stopped it.

He is my son, though. When you're checking in to the ER, people ask you the same questions over and over again. The fourth person who asked "So, do you have any medical problems?" got a dry "Well, I have this big cut on my hand...")


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:10 PM
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The teacher sneaks them the grayscale crayons.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:10 PM
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Personally, I never liked the way the colour darkens if you allow the pen to drift onto an already coloured area. So for me, colouring in was a matter of delineating parallel strokes with minimal overlap across the area to be coloured, which itself would be within the lines, obviously. A bit like putting stripes on a lawn.

Nor did I like mess at school, or papier-mâché.


Posted by: Charlie W | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:10 PM
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37 was me, I wasn't anonymously threatening the blogmother's offspring.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:11 PM
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I meant all of everybody's children, except Hawaii. Not just your children, heebs.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:11 PM
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I remember being impressed with kids who colored in such a way that the actual coloring strokes looked organized, a la 41.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:12 PM
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Coloring is pretty soul-deadening all on its own. What's wrong with "drawing" as an activity? EH? EH?

I always thought this too, but Jane seems to like both, separately, and sometimes would definitely rather just color. Kids go through periods of liking weird, rigid, soul-deadening things. The kindergarden rules for coloring really are insane, though.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:14 PM
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A few weeks ago I was at a friend's house, and was marveling at her kid's coloring. (There was some impressive use of perspective and 3D stuff.) But also, I commented on how there was no white space. Her kid is in first grade, so now I assume that that's why there is no white space. Anyway, my point: I bet the rules apply to free-form drawing as well as coloring, like the pictures my friend's kid had done of barns and people, which were then colored in truly with no white spaces inside the lines she herself had drawn.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:18 PM
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My kid hated the white space rule, as I said on your blog, Heebie; she *also* hated the rule about "true colors," if I'm understanding it right.

It wasn't called that here in Arkansas, but she wasn't allowed to color leaves anything but green, or apples anything but red, and various rules like that,which made her furious. Skies had to be blue. Clouds had to be white. Hair couldn't be purple. (Though she, in fact, had purple hair at the time.)

"But some apples are green!" she insisted. "And in the fall, leaves are red and yellow! What if my picture is in the fall? What then? WHAT THEN?"


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:22 PM
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35 gets it right. Why is this insane? Presumably there are plenty of non-in-school opportunities to do more free form coloring, and part of Kindergarten is just learning to apply rules. I don't think we ever got rules like this, though, but OTOH I don't really remember any coloring assignments at all. Anyhow, the lesson isn't "here's optimal coloring, your creativity is STIFLED," it's "here's a lesson in following some basic classroom instructions, on a subject that you all already understand, in a way that's going to be a building block for what we're going to do later in school."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:23 PM
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48: IDK, Robert. Shouldn't rules -- even rules in kindergarten -- make sense?

Aren't we otherwise teaching kids that rules are stupid and senseless and they should not obey them?

That doesn't seem like a good lesson.


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:25 PM
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Because it's such a cliche? That the phrase "coloring outside the lines" literally is the phrase people use to mean breaking out of the rigid school straightjackets put on people?

I'm not actually bothered by the rules, but I do think they're funny.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:25 PM
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Also, there seems to be infinitely many ways for them to practice following rules. Time to be quiet! Time to be still! Time to walk in a line! Time to not fidget! I don't think we're suffering from a lack of rules.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:27 PM
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Note: I haven't actually observed Hawaii's kindergarten class - I'm coasting on what parents generally say about kindergarten. It would be interesting to go watch one day, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:28 PM
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Why is this insane?

Didn't you even listen to the whiny folk song I linked in 5? Because your kid's creativity will be stifled forever!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:28 PM
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Shouldn't rules -- even rules in kindergarten -- make sense?

Are you living in a different universe?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:29 PM
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54: Yes, sadly. The one inhabited by educators. We sit around and think about this shit all the time. Depressing, I know.


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:31 PM
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Aren't we otherwise teaching kids that rules are stupid and senseless and they should not obey them?

Either that, or we are teaching kids that rules must be followed even when they are stupid and senseless. In which case, your point still holds: not a very good lesson.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:31 PM
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I feel like I've told this before, but I remember being really very sad when I started kindergarten and on the first day we had to color a picture and I don't even remember anything about the picture other than that it had a lot of raindrops and I colored the raindrops pink not for any particular reason except that it seemed like a fine color since I wanted to color them and rain is really clear anyway and I couldn't color them clear (obviously) and the teacher's only reaction to my picture which I had been quite proud of was to say very seriously that it wasn't okay to color rain pink--it needed to be colored blue. She said it with a tone of voice that suggested I had actually misbehaved in some way, like my pink raindrops were a deliberate rebellion of some sort. Her reaction was heavy on guilt: "You know better than that, I'm sure--you know rain is not really pink." I'm sorry teacher yes I know raindrops aren't really pink but I didn't know that artistically representing them that way was somehow wrong. She was so stern about it which was so unexpected that I couldn't even bring myself to offer the defense that they're not really blue, either. I accepted that blue was a closer representation of their true color than pink, and I hung my head in sadness and shame.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:34 PM
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Didn't you even listen to the whiny folk song I linked in 5?

Following that link, I think that's the first time I've ever heard a Harry Chapin song that's not "Cat's in the Cradle." Jesus, are all his songs like that?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:36 PM
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It's soul-deadening for an adult because it's boring, and you get nothing out of doing it. (Though isn't "paint-by-numbers" still a thing?) It's not soul-deadening for kindergarten kids because it's not that easy for them to do, and at the end of it they get a drawing that gives them a sense of accomplishment.

49: Rules like "the pencil should go where I want it to go" is a senseless rule? The skills involved in coloring in the lines are basic skills -- they're so basic that you don't remember learning them, but they're not so basic for a kindergartener.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:36 PM
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No. And that's the last of the three Harry Chapin songs I know.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:37 PM
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Rules must be followed even when they are stupid and senseless. The boarding pass says SSSS so we have to screen you even if you've already completed your flight! The regulations say so!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:38 PM
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57: Are you sure she wasn't saying you had to color the raindrops blue because you're a boy?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:38 PM
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I am 100% positive that no one told me that rule in advance. However, it has literally just now dawned on me that I actually did miss the first two days of kindergarten, and I suppose it's possible that rule was covered thoroughly in those first few days. You would think the teacher would have realized that I has been out and didn't know the rule, but maybe that's asking a lot with a whole class of brand new kids. Anyway, she really guilt tripped me and made me feel incredibly bad.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:39 PM
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It's like any creative skill. First you learn to color within the lines, and use "true" colors. Then, with that skill mastered, you can get creative with coloring outside the lines/having different colors in a more interesting way.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:39 PM
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Yeah, 57 seems like a natural extension of this principle. The same teacher who insisted that the pre-schoolers' t-shirt stenciling be perfect also told us that our kid's use of language was too literal because when she asked him where rain comes from, he said "the sky," instead of "the clouds." We'd never told him rain comes from "the clouds," and it *does* come from the sky, but that was not the Correct Answer, so obviously there was a Problem with his Development.

Never mind that this discussion arose out of a book that this child, not yet 3.5 years old, had been reading to his teacher -- obviously, he had problems with his language development.

I get what Halford and Someguy are saying about kids needing to learn about rules, but there are right ways and wrong ways to teach that lesson.


Posted by: Osgood Yousbad | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:41 PM
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You can't be rebellious unless you first learn the rules that you're rebelling against. If you're just doing random shit that's anarchy, not rebellion.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:41 PM
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I wonder if the "true colors" rule is sort of an ongoing test of whether the kid knows the conventional colors. Not that there's anything wrong with pink rain, but knowing that you conventionally indicate water in a drawing by coloring it blue is, maybe, a meaningful piece of academic knowledge?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:41 PM
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IF YOU DON'T COLOR WITH TRUE COLORS YOU WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT COLOR THINGS ARE AND YOUR COLORINGS WILL BE LAUGHED AT WHEN YOU GET A REAL JOB AT A BANK, LAD


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:42 PM
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Testing for color blindness? Though there are more efficient ways of doing that. But maybe some kids memorize the right answers to those colored test circles and they're trying to trip them up.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:43 PM
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To be fair, there actually is something wrong with pink rain. If you see it falling, you should get inside.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:44 PM
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69: I wondered about that. It's the most useful thing I can think of. Fine motor skills? Connect-the-dots seems a lot more useful for that. Really I think any explanation that doesn't involve some amount of coasting and some amount of "well, it takes them a while" doesn't seem so convincing to me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:45 PM
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70: "oh no! It's sunset! It's really happening! Run!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:46 PM
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The only coloring experience I remember from elementary school was being reprimanded by a teacher for coloring a rhinocerous solid gray; the color by numbers intrstructions required that I fill it with all sorts of garish, unnatural hues.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:47 PM
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Further to 67, there's a lot of "learn to fill in the appropriate adjective" work in K and first grade. "Snow is cold." "Giants are big." It's one of the ways they learn vocabulary and reading sentence construction. Having a baseline set of accurate colors (eg "The sky is blue") also helps with that project and ties directly into it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:47 PM
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Actually arguably from the point of view of teaching kids about how to draw things in the world -- and the way that color and light work -- having them identify the "true colors" is worse than useless. They'll spend their whole lives coloring tree leaves a bright, uniform green and faces peach and wondering why it looks so lame. Really they should get to color using whatever colors they want but then justifying it by proposing an arrangement of natural and artificial lights that would cause the scene to have that collection of hues.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:48 PM
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But kids really do have developmental problems, and kindergarten teachers are in a position to discover them. It's a human institution, so of course some KG teachers are going to be fuckers.

71: Coloring is much more vigorous practice of fine motor skills than connect-the-dots, plus it's easier. (If you're going to use connect-the-dots for fine motor skills, then you're going to ask them to draw straight lines, which is harder.) Anyway, connecting the dots is even more boring than coloring.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:49 PM
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I always liked connecting the dots.

You know what else about coloring is poisoning our children's minds? The idea that objects in the world are accurately described by single colors surrounding by a sharp, dark boundary. No wonder our nation is falling so far behind in Art.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:51 PM
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knowing that you conventionally indicate water in a drawing by coloring it blue is, maybe, a meaningful piece of academic knowledge?

It'd be more meaningful if you colored it wine-dark.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:51 PM
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The idea that objects in the world are accurately described by single colors surrounding by a sharp, dark boundary.

We're training them to work in stained glass.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:53 PM
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Is 76.1 directed at 65? If so, I did not say and never meant to imply that the teachers should not speak out about developmental issues they see in kids in their care. My point was just that this kind of blind rigidity was, in my experience, paired with and related to colossally poor judgment about what constitutes an issue.


Posted by: Osgood Yousbad | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:53 PM
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I hear in Singapore 6-year olds refract light with prisms to accurately render the colors' true wavelengths.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:53 PM
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The idea that objects in the world are accurately described by single colors surrounding by a sharp, dark boundary. No wonder our nation is falling so far behind in Art.

What have you got against Keith Haring?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:53 PM
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there actually is something wrong with pink rain. If you see it falling, you should get inside

Last year I saw white fluid bubbling out of someone's yard at a rate of maybe a quart per minute. I stopped and stared for a little while, wondering if I should knock on the door or call someone about it. Some guy on a bicycle yelled ``We've struck milk!" in an exaggerated Texas accent as he whizzed by. I just left.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:53 PM
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This is the reason no one can answer the question about how everyone can call a color the same word but do we really all see the colors the same?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:53 PM
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82: he was describing feelings.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:55 PM
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I seem to remember the first "real" drawing class I took (it was still for kids, but at the community art center and may have been called "life drawing") one of the big premises is that everybody had to first unlearn everything they'd learned about drawing (and color, &c.) as little kids.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:56 PM
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Urple's story makes me want to give him a hug.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:56 PM
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19: I was in the reading group for Slightly Dim Young People because I read (past and present tense) slowly and wouldn't finish things so they thought I just wasn't understanding what I was reading.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:56 PM
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75. "OK children, now it's time to work on bullshitting. Turn to your partner and explain to them why you colored the sky green, and remember to use one of the words we discussed this morning!"

That started as a joke but now I think that might actually be a more useful life skill. From what I've seen of small children it might be like one of those things like learning a second language, where you pick up how to say complete nonsense with enough confidence that people who know better start doubting themselves quicker when very young and it takes much more effort later in life to learn it.

I suspect that for all the potential reasons these sorts of rules have more to do with a substantial number of people who want to teach small children just being people who enjoy strictly enforcing meaningless rules over people who lack the background experiences to know that that's what they're doing. It's the pettiest of the petty tyrannies, but I guess it builds the appropriate habits for obeying other petty tyrants in later childhood.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:58 PM
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Anyhow the fact that we represent the contours of objects with lines is actually interesting for all sorts of historical and cognitive reasons (the first cave paintings were line drawings! Why? The world does not look that way if you take a photograph) but the coloring rules remain so much bullshit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:58 PM
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It's like any creative skill. First you learn to color within the lines, and use "true" colors. Then, with that skill mastered, you can get creative with coloring outside the lines/having different colors in a more interesting way.

It's like jazz, man.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 1:59 PM
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Gallant colors inside the lines and grows up to be a self-actualized consultant specializing in automated warehouse systems.

Goofus colors outside the lines and has relatively brief and non-lucrative career as a warehouseman. His serious occupational health issues lead to his becoming a financial burden to his family.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:02 PM
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Once again: school is jail for kids.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:06 PM
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There's a skill that I think of as the standardized testing skill, that's always come very naturally to me (and my kids) that I'm kind of depressed by -- the ability to naturally respond to any question with not so much what I think is the right answer, as what I think the person asking me regards as the right answer. "True colors" seems like training for that skill -- if someone asks you "What color are apples" you don't say "Depends on the kind of apple", you say "Red."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:06 PM
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One of the many moments of genius in John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation. Flan Kittredge says:

I remembered asking my kids' second-grade teacher: 'Why are all your students geniuses? Look at the first grade - blotches of green and black. The third grade - camouflage. But your grade, the second grade, Matisses, every one. You've made my child a Matisse. Let me study with you. Let me into the second grade. What is your secret?' 'I don't have any secret. I just know when to take their drawings away from them.'

Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:07 PM
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it's "here's a lesson in following some basic classroom instructions, on a subject that you all already understand, in a way that's going to be a building block for what we're going to do later when you will be programed to unquestioningly and ruthlessly carry out your orders as stormtroopers for our new GLOBAL EMPIRE!!


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:08 PM
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We actually listened to the song linked in 5 in elementary school and were very encouraged to be "creative." My teacher would have been over the goddamn moon about urple's pink raindrops. Being much more a Hawaii Geebie type myself, I hated it. I wanted to draw and color things that looked REAL, and was totally paralyzed by my inability to do so.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:08 PM
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89: Did the 60s just let out today? Kids do better with rules (at least my kids do). They like being given tasks, and then succeeding at them. They need to learn all kinds of trivial skills, like how to use a pencil and how to tie their shoes and the proper (and yet totally arbitrary) order for the alphabet. Kindergarten is where they do that.

Anyway, it's not like they're in kindergarten 40 hours a week. They can come home and scribble to their heart's content.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:10 PM
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I bet "no white space" is totally practical - ie keep them on task for longer than 30 seconds, because otherwise you spend the entire thirty minutes distributing new sheets of paper, and half the class finishes ten masterpieces.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:10 PM
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Kids do better with rules (at least my kids do).

The apple doesn't fall something something somewhere.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:13 PM
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Also, these rules teach a very practical lesson that following instruction produces immediate, tangible, beneficial results. Colored pictures that use realistic colors, have no white spaces, and stay within the lines are (not always, but almost always) objectively more aesthetically appealing that colorings that stray outside the lines, have white spaces, and use non-realistic colors.

Thus, in addition to all the other benefits mentioned above, children learn the lesson that, by following some basic directions, they can create something more immediately, almost tangibly better than they would create in the absence of direction. That in and of itself is an extremely important lesson for Kindergarteners.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:13 PM
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98: Yeah. There's too much creativity and not enough followership now. It's like being in a condo association with a bunch of high-IQ academics. That way lies madness.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:14 PM
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90: What I find weird is how early my kids learned non-representational comic book conventions. For example, my 4-year old knows what motion lines mean. I don't think anyone ever told him -- he just figured it out.

(The downside of this is that he's convinced that Nike sneakers are the fastest, because they have the swoop. He's mad he doesn't have a swoop on his shoes.)


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:14 PM
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Also, these rules teach a very practical lesson that following instruction produces immediate, tangible, beneficial results.

That's not going to help in real life. All following instructions gets you is more instructions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:15 PM
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It's like being in a condo association blog comment section with a bunch of high-IQ academics. That way lies madness.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:15 PM
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I actually find it amazing how young they can understand that "brown line with green shit on top" represents a tree.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:17 PM
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103.2: IT'S A SWOOSH, NOT A "SWOOP" WE WILL THANK YOU TO REMEMBER.


Posted by: OPINIONATED NIKE TRADEMARK LAWYER | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:17 PM
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I'm kind of sad that American schools don't teach drawing better (or really at all). As someone not spontaneously artistically inclined at all, I would have really appreciated academic instruction in drawing as a learnable skill, rather than something you were either naturally good or bad at.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:17 PM
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Anyway, various teachers tried to teach me to color neatly and then to write neatly. Most of them were very nice about it, but they all were horribly wrong about needing to use cursive in real life.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:17 PM
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I actually find it amazing how young they can understand that "brown line with green shit on top" represents a tree.

Those trees kids draw are fucking terrible. BRANCHES, KID. DO YOU NOT SEE THEM????


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:19 PM
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What these rules teach is to appreciate the absurd in life, because it is foist upon you and always will be, and you might as well get through the moment as fast as possible, and then share it with others later for a good laugh.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:21 PM
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At least that's how I was raised.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:22 PM
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109: Didn't we have an argument here on whether you should keep teaching cursive? Have we already argued about everything possible? Are we in a Borges story?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:22 PM
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BRANCHES, KID. DO YOU NOT SEE THEM????

I laughed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:23 PM
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I don't remember coloring rules feeling particularly oppressive despite my inability to follow them well, but my response to art classes/exercises during school was almost always: (silently) "I just want to get back to the words and numbers."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:32 PM
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I can't recall my son getting any rules about coloring, but they are going to teach him cursive this year. Best wishes to them. It sounds like it will be unpleasant for everyone directly involved.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:34 PM
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I am pretty sure I've mentioned the Ontario Provincial requirement to teach use of a straight pen, still in effect in the early 60s. The little ink bottles would come out, and slot into their holes up in the corner of the desk. Nibs and shafts would be distributed, and you'd put them together.

Advanced enough the shafts were plastic, but the requirement still held. Blotting paper was distributed and you'd learn how to do that. For a few weeks, the daily writing assignment would completed that way, dipping for every 6th or 7th character, depending on how big you wrote.

At least 2 grades, maybe more had that sequence about the middle of the year.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:36 PM
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the ability to naturally respond to any question with not so much what I think is the right answer, as what I think the person asking me regards as the right answer

This is, bar none, the hardest thing I have had to do in my life on a regular basis. It doesn't seem to get easier, either. I constantly think, "They can't possibly mean that!" or "What on earth do they mean here?" and lo and behold it is something I never thought of.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:39 PM
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It's actually true that little kids love small tasks with rules, and start to lose their minds a little bit when they don't have structure and guidance. Setting the skin color thing aside, this all makes pretty good sense. The trouble is that school doesn't know when to quit with the stupid rules, and treats kids like kindergartners way longer and in way more situations than is appropriate, which is what I think a lot of us are reacting to.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:40 PM
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I use a pen like that for some things. It lets me work out my hipster-asshole tendencies in private.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:40 PM
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115: That thought is so familiar. May I please be excused from the fun parts to go back to reading my book?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:40 PM
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there actually is something wrong with pink rain

You've time traveled to 1966?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:41 PM
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113. I love script fonts pretty much uncritically.

It's not a major regret, but being able to read and execute Chinese calligraphy competently is an ability I'd particularly like.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:41 PM
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120 to 117


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:43 PM
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I wish they would teach my kid Chinese calligraphy. That would be a lot more useful than cursive.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:43 PM
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I read the OP as requiring the kids to use only "true" green, red, yellow, rather than pastels or mixed hues, and was kinda excited about how that would force some interesting color composition choices and patterning that I thought kids would be really good at. The truth is disappointing. Kids pick up on normative illustration standards very well on their own.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:46 PM
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Of course having spoken badly about lots of pointless rules I'm now remembering all the times when teachers tried to teach creativity, only it was still clear that there was a specific right way to do whatever it was. The extended (probably sincere) social pretense that there wasn't (or that this counted as creativity in some way) was way more aggravating to me than any set of specific rules and procedures. Lateral thinking exercises (or whatever) never seem to accept "ignore this problem entirely and go run around outside screaming like a maniac, or possibly sit quietly in the corner reading a book", and those were my two preferred settings. So I guess halfway measures were often even worse. Freedom! Freedom or death math or something I don't care!


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:46 PM
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I'm trying to make sure 4th grade is all about petroleum engineering.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:47 PM
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118. Seconded. Saying nothing has the extra benefit that you don't need to imagine other people's motives; I usually regret having done that. Second best is glib, but I can't pull that off well myself.

119. It would be so great if there were still viable part time jobs for teenage kids-- small activities that offer rewards and some limited mode of engaging the outside world. Instead, tests, homework, a social life composed of mostly other kids.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:48 PM
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I think there is actually a lot of value to not having the true colors rule. If a kid uses whatever colors he wants, and it looks like shit compared to the kid next to him with his blue sky and yellow sun, he'll figure that out on his own.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:52 PM
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They can ref kiddie soccer games if they know soccer and can not smoke or swear for an afternoon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:53 PM
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It would be so great if there were still viable part time jobs for teenage kids

Argh. Sally would like to be earning some money, but with school from eight to three, soccer practice three days a week and an afterschool additional class the other two days, there just isn't time in the week for it, even if she could wangle herself into a job. Are there teenagers out there earning money?

(Newt has gone all entreprenurial, and is buying candy bars in bulk off Amazon and reselling them to his classmates. I feel like a bit of a bad parent not putting a stop to this, but I contented myself with telling him that if the school notices and objects, then he has to stop.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:53 PM
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If I mail him cartons of low-tax cigarettes, what kind of a take would he want to move them?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:56 PM
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Newt has gone all entreprenurial, and is buying candy bars in bulk off Amazon and reselling them to his classmates.

I did that. Except instead of candy, it was dope.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:56 PM
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Here's a song about sins and colors. Enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kc__AihG2Ds


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 2:58 PM
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132: What do kids spend money on anyway? You can't eat in fancy restaurants and you have nowhere to put vintage furniture. And then there are these adults hanging around the house who are willing to buy you clothing and stuff. Music is all free these days. I can't imagine what would inspire a kid to be entrepreneurial.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 3:02 PM
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126 Me too. I thought it meant something like only use primary colors or something. I'm clearly lacking in the skill LB delineated in 94. That explains so much.


Also, that earworm reading this entire thread.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 3:04 PM
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136 -- If you have the only parents in town who are not smoking weed with their kids, then you'd have to buy your own.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 3:07 PM
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136: Complicated coffee, and video games.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 3:07 PM
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If a kid uses whatever colors he wants, and it looks like shit compared to the kid next to him with his blue sky and yellow sun, he'll figure that out on his own.

Who's stifling children now? How is this ostensibly free but actually competitive environment more fair than a clear set of rules available to all, and from which all can learn.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 3:18 PM
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83 is disturbing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 3:21 PM
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98: Alphabet? Tying shoes? Have you *met* any kids from this century?

I haven't seen kid's shoes with laces in about 20 years. (I just this year -- my kid is 16 -- taught her to tie her shoes. Seriously. She had never had shoes with laces before.)

And they learn the alphabet in pre-school, if not sooner.

I'll agree fine motor control needs to be learned at some point, and coloring within the line is probably as harmless a way as any.


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 3:42 PM
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One incident from my horrifying year in 3rd grade stands out in this context: We were "following instructions" to create a drawing from scratch using only what the teacher said. SPOILER: It was a cat. It was obviously a cat, after the first 3 or 4 instructions. HOWEVER, either the teacher screwed up her reading of it, or the wording was inherently ambiguous, because I followed the instructions to the letter and wound up with something that looked like an anchor on an apple with two eyes and ears way off to the side somewhere. I was so mad about that. It's like, if you want me to draw a fucking cat, just instruct me to draw a cat, if you aren't competent to break it down into abstract steps. Fucking elementary ed curriculum.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 3:42 PM
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So, the thread with the Pinker thing on Harvard admissions and standardized testing is a couple weeks old now, but via Chad Orzel's blog I saw this post and this other post at EphBlog that seem fairly convincing, arguing that actually Harvard gives almost zero weight to extracurriculars other than sports and that academic achievement (including standardized test scores but also grades) is by far the dominant criterion for admission.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 3:43 PM
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||

"She is perhaps to the millennials what J. D. Salinger was to the post-World War II generation and Woody Allen was to the baby boomers: a singular voice who spoke as an outsider and, in so doing, became the ultimate insider."

SHUT UP New York Times Lena Dunham is not Woody Allen or Salinger oh my god. Oh, this is so wrong/I am so old.

|>


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 3:45 PM
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144 -- so is the perceived need to have solved global poverty by age 17 just a conspiracy by Big Ecuadorian Well Digging to rope in money and time from the upper middle class?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 3:46 PM
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Waitaminnit, so who's the Gen X Salinger/Allen? Puck from Real World: San Francisco? Lil Kim? Mayim Bialik?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 3:52 PM
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Then there was the post by Sco/tt Aaro/nson about how unfair it is that 16 year old math geniuses who never took a history class in their life and don't know how to write can't get into MIT, and some post by Ste/ve Hs/u about how Caltech is where all the true high-IQ master race people go because Harvard is just full of stupid people. Pinker somehow really stirred up the weird with that one.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 3:54 PM
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Also argh she is dating the guitarist from fun. misidentified in the Times without the period that it supposed to follow the name for no imaginable reason. I expect an erratum.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 3:55 PM
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Was Salinger really all that great? I think maybe I was too old when I read Catcher in the Rye.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 3:58 PM
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Ruskin's book for mechanics on teaching yourself to draw is good -- you line up your hatching neatly *and* draw trees with branches -- but I don't think even Korean kindergarteners would be quite up to it.


Slightly blogfodder, a Social Meaning of Exercise essay:
http://www.psmag.com/navigation/health-and-behavior/half-lifts-workout-says-social-class-85221/
It would have been better with survey data across time and regions and, hm, movies (How does fashion indicate the approved exercise style?), but that would be actual work.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:01 PM
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I don't know. I think he's great but it's been years since it felt like I had much to say about fiction that didn't boil down to "I like it" or "I don't like it."


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:01 PM
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150: I read it when I was 14 and I thought it sucked then, as I think it sucks now.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:03 PM
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Andrew Loomis' drawing books seem fantastic to me, but I can't do much at all:

http://www.alexhays.com/loomis/


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:05 PM
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I find a lot of people think it's a bad book because they don't like Holden Caulfield.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:05 PM
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Once again: school is jail for kids.

Truer words were never spoken.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:06 PM
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A quick poll of my millennial household about who the quote in 175 was about garnered the following responses: "uh, Tina Fey?" "Who is J.D. Salinger?"


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:06 PM
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Also good, the one that's all thumbprints and triangles and This Is how to draw a Car/Truck/Front-end Loader.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:07 PM
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Whereas hating all the characters in that way only Madeline Kahn could describe is only one reason I'm not that mad about Girls.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:09 PM
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only one reason I'm not that mad about Girls.

The other being, you were born that way.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:10 PM
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It's funny, of course that article is bullshit, but Woody Allen, J.D. Salinger, and Lena Dunham really do personify the core taste of the specifically New York Times readership culture at different historical moments (this is the only thing that the article can possibly mean by "ultimate insider" since Salinger literally spent most of his life as a recluse).

Which just shows that culture is collapsing and we need the all-consuming fireball. Even though I'm not really a fan of either Allen or Salinger they are both miles ahead of Dunham, who made one OK-ish movie and three OK episodes of a mostly terrible TV show.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:11 PM
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160 took me a minute but I laughed. 161 strikes me as correct, though I'd say it's even more specifically New Yorker readers, probably, plus they were all published in the New Yorker.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:14 PM
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These threads are always a little amazing to me, because... you guys would have to offer me money or that lucrative reselling-dope-from-amazon gig in 134 to get me to recall personal reactions to the elementary school curriculum. Virtually nothing has gotten past the big slammed door of DON'T THINK ABOUT THIS AS AN ADULT, EVER -- perhaps I had interactions with teachers that were actually traumatic? I do remember a few things clearly, but only because they were repeated by other people as stories with lessons.

On the other hand, a friend who grew up outside the U.S. (Narnia-esque places) said she was accelerated and bored in early grade school and got yelled and and hit by teachers for not hiding it, and I'm sure nothing so shitty happened to me. She said it sucked to revisit that when she was shopping for preschools in a liberal U.S. spot with her very bright, very sensitive kid. She would flinch when they told her the curriculum was somewhere behind stuff the kid could already do. I think the kid is doing fine, however, and has not been hit for knowing how to read, etc.

Salinger is quite good by the standards of U.S. fiction after modernism, but I can't stand him. Has the Millennial generation turned over yet? 2000 birthdays, maybe? Ended 9/11/01?


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:15 PM
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The high school teacher who introduced me to The Catcher in the Rye contended that it took place in a psychiatric hospital. Whatevs. Smearcase is right about the book; it's really good however much you dislike Caulfield. Contrast On the Road, which is as contemptible as its main characters.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:17 PM
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Also, I truly don't understand the Millenials because I don't understand how Lena Dunham can maintain any remote credibility while dating the guitarist from fun..

The 90s equivalent would be ... Chloe Sevigny dating a member of Third Eye Blind. How is this even possible? Maybe the answer is that Dunham's not actually considered cool among millenials and the whole thing is a hoax by New Yorker writers. Alternative explanation is that the Millenials are a bunch of morons who think Rock and Roll means wearing nice sweaters and playing the mandolin.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:22 PM
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155: Well, that's certainly the facile explanation. I didn't like or dislike him. I'm just confused about why he's in a novel, other that being a white male. It's like someone described the existential anti-hero to Salinger while he was half-awake, and he decided to write the novel instead of doing his laundry one week. Now, Chocolates For Breakfast, that has some real decadence in it! Salinger is like a bowl of Cheerios just before it becomes too soggy to eat.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:22 PM
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It'd be more meaningful if you colored it wine-dark.

The Greeks had blue things, but not in a way that they could understand. (No word for blue, you know. The sea was wine-dark and the sky was like polished bronze.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:25 PM
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I think several of the stories in Nine Stories are magnificent and I still feel very warmly about Catcher in the Rye but I don't have reasons for these things anymore. "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut" brings me pleasure as sentence-level writing and as a story, and that's that. I like the first paragraph of "For Esme with Love and Squalor" more than just about anything, but what's that have to do with anything? This comment will self-destruct.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:25 PM
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The high school teacher who introduced me to The Catcher in the Rye contended that it took place in a psychiatric hospital.

"One Flew Over The Phoney's Nest".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:26 PM
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The psychiatric hospital thing I would have said is all but explicit in the text? I'd have to look.

I'm just confused about why he's in a novel, other that being a white male.

Oh god, that's just how I feel about Jesus in the Bible. Your Nazarene privilege is showing, dude!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:32 PM
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The Romans might have found that one funny.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:35 PM
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Anyway, I read the whole of "Catcher in the Rye"'s Wikipedia plot summary and 170.1 is right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:41 PM
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170.1: well, yeah, but I thought of the setting as being drawn in such a way as to make the analogy without making it explicit. It's been a while since I've read it, but adolescent alienation is dawning at my house, so I'll probably have another go at it soon.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:44 PM
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I'm hoping my kids will rebel by being less alienated that I am.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:47 PM
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Learning to draw is kinda bullshit because it turns out that there is no objective "way to draw" only a set of basically arbitrary and absurd conventions that happen to be in vogue at any given point.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 4:47 PM
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Also Hawaii has homework every single goddamn day. As in, there's a month long calendar with thirty assignments, and each Friday she turns in the assignments from that week. That annoys me much more than the soul-deadening.

Right now, she loves homework and it's totally conflict free. (I don't know why it's not getting done at afterschool, like we were told.) But regardless, it's such a daily grind for ME. And jammies.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 5:01 PM
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Was Salinger really all that great? I think maybe I was too old when I read Catcher in the Rye.

My boyfriend (who hated the book in high school) is rereading it now while Rory is reading it in school. They both think it's brilliant. (I have no opinion. I don't even own a book.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 5:19 PM
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148: Ooh, I'm glad you reminded me to go back and look at that SA thread.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 5:27 PM
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164: That's maybe a tiny bit plausible, probably more than our teacher's explanation that Lord of the Flies is all the character's personality pieces reacting to his first wet dream. I mean, the island is shaped like a uterus, she sez. A room full of 17-year-old girls stared back somewhat blankly. I have no idea what the boys at the boys school made of it when she taught there. I've probably told this story before and noted that she looked way too much like the mom from Married with Children.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 5:37 PM
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Oh god, that's just how I feel about Jesus in the Bible. Your Nazarene privilege is showing, dude!

Actually I have a belligerent rant about: fuck Jesus and his male privilege for just preaching the same stuff that all (non-crazy) mothers teach their small children, but when Jesus says "don't hit" it's revolutionary. What, like Mary didn't tell him not to bite others when he was three?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 5:37 PM
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180: That's why the best gospels are the one where baby Jesus is straight-up murdering people. Fuck Mary and her rules! etc.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 5:41 PM
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Not to mention his anti-Samaritan bigotry.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 5:45 PM
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My fear is that I'm going to spend so much time trying to navigate my very important feelings around private, charter and public schools that I'm going to be sandbagged by the whole school is prison thing which is arguably the more important one. Hopefully LB has been right all this time and my daughter will be fine in any old neighborhood school by virtue of having weird smart professional-managerial-class parents. Or maybe that's Halford.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:06 PM
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Even if Halford is the parent, I think he is in that same class.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:10 PM
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(Lee wants to know what the fuck a parent-teacher organization is and why any parent or teacher, let alone child, would be willing to go to a meeting. Maybe it's just as well they overlap with her night class, even though it's awkward to run a meeting and take care of all the girls!)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:15 PM
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Lee wants to know what the fuck a parent-teacher organization is

It's a front for Big Wrapping Paper.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:25 PM
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The fundraising catalog for Hawaii's school is truly a front for Big Wrapping Paper. As far as I can tell, it's the only item in there that anyone can justify buying.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:29 PM
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Lee wants to know what the fuck a parent-teacher organization is . . .

Has Lee not spent much time over her life imagining herself raising children? I feel like that would explain several of the things that you've said about her.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:30 PM
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Our's sells rolling papers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:30 PM
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spend so much time trying to navigate my very important feelings

I think the key is to recognize that they're feelings and not facts. I say school is prison, and boy, do I believe it, but it's not the case for everyone, and--file this in the very large folder for "my issues are not necessarily my kids' issues"--might not be for my kids. So I'm trying to be more reactive than proactive: take the path of least resistance, and solve problems as they arise. Whether that involves little tweaks or wholesale changes, we'll see.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:31 PM
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188 may be very insightful.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:37 PM
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190 is the approach I am trying to cultivate too.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:39 PM
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I say school is prison, and boy, do I believe it, but it's not the case for everyone

Zackly. It's that way for one of my daughters in the horrible, painful way it was for me, but not for the other, and I think it would be that way no matter what kind of school she attended. Not-Bartleby does just fine, though, so I suppose I should be happy about that.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:42 PM
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My kids seem to have all kinds of issues I never dreamed of. Hokey pokey is having pre-K anger problems - we've been called in for a parent-teacher conference. He turns into a Tasmanian Devil spontaneously, sometimes when just playing by himself.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:43 PM
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Not real impressed with first grade thus far


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:45 PM
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195 -- not too surprising, you seem very precocious.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:49 PM
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Apparently it is a reading year. That noser has been reading for more than three years makes it a little superfluous.

Rilee in montessori seems to spend all her time doing pink tower over and over


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:50 PM
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Ho ho


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:51 PM
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186: You need an excellent president who structures it so we don't have to do fundraisers beyond the readathon. Possibly that comes from laziness rather than excellence, but who cares?

And Lee has always dreamed of having children, but only focused on the dreaming and the fun parts, which is also basically how she parents. That sounds a lot harsher than I mean it to be, because at this point it's just reality. She is very critical of anything I do that keeps me from being available to do the unfun parts, which includes my work at the school even though I almost always have 1-3 kids with me when I'm there.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:51 PM
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148: god, St/eve Hs/u is such a weirdo. Ride that teenage misunderstanding of Nietzsche to the top, dude. His pissiness about Cosma's g post was funny, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:52 PM
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Oh, it's just your kids that are precocious.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:52 PM
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They are, but the real problem is that they're disgusting.
And so, so confusing.


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:57 PM
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We are getting to the "impotent rage at school not doing right by our indigo firebrand" early so hopefully by the she's in public school we can just help her with her homework and chill out with the bong otherwise.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 6:58 PM
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Oh god, that's just how I feel about Jesus in the Bible. Your Nazarene privilege is showing, dude!

Dude, keep reading.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 7:05 PM
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Before you kill someone, check very carefully to make sure they're not very well-connected.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 7:10 PM
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I've got "keep your desk tidy" in my head to the tune of "keep their heads ringing" and it amuses me. Ring ding dong, ring a ding ding ding dong, keep your desk tidy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 7:18 PM
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N.B. Zardoz is not accurately described as an "indigo firebrand" and even though nobody took me seriously I feel weird about it. Parentering!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 7:20 PM
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Of course not. Someone linked to something the other day saying that recent babies have gone past the indigo generation and are now (as I recall) rainbow babies. We don't think she's some weird throwback!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 7:21 PM
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Jane is planning to be a "rainbow cat" for Halloween. She's ahead of the curve! Or an ativism! Or something!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 7:26 PM
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200: I was really surprised when he got a vice president job at Mich/igan St/ate a couple years ago. I would have thought he's skirted way too close to open racism way too publicly for any university to want him to have a job that political.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 7:26 PM
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(You know what's a great resource for rainbow cat Halloween costumes? Raver cosplay crafters on Etsy!)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 7:28 PM
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I think it would be funny to be the Blind Melon bee girl for Halloween, but it'll take some work to find a tutu that fits me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 7:29 PM
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Learning to draw is kinda bullshit because it turns out that there is no objective "way to draw" only a set of basically arbitrary and absurd conventions that happen to be in vogue at any given point.

Sure, but that doesn't make it bullshit, it means there are a dozen more sets of conventions to be learnt, played with, referred to, subverted at any time.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 7:44 PM
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And Lee has always dreamed of having children, but only focused on the dreaming and the fun parts

At the risk of being unfair, that sounds like somebody who likes the idea of playing the social role of "parent" without actually parenting.

On the other hand, I know somebody who keeps saying that the 50s dad model of parenting, "bath, story, and bed" sounds like pretty sweet arrangement. So perhaps there's now need to look for an explanation for why that would be an appealing fantasy.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 7:44 PM
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I had a client who was a pretty talented artist before he got sick. When he was doing well, he liked o draw. When he was struggling, he still enjoyed coloring, mostly mandalas. The shading on those things was pretty incredible--always within the lines though.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 7:46 PM
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the 50s dad model of parenting, "bath, story, and bed" sounds like pretty sweet arrangement

Truth!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 7:54 PM
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214: To be fair, no one thinks, "Gee, it will be awesome to do diaper changes in bathrooms with no changing table and then be woken twelve times a night by someone who throws pacifiers and doesn't have the telekinesis to retrieve them down yet!" right? She hadn't done meaningful babysitting, doesn't have a good sense of the differences between a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old or whatever, which is probably more pertinent when you do the kind of parenting we've done and don't just start at the beginning. But she went in knowing that and chose not to educate herself because her plan was that she'd learn more when she needed to, which she sometimes has.

Probably a lot of this is that I'm unfair to her because I'm supposedly an overinvolved parent and supposedly hold myself to high standards and want a partner who will meet those standards too, per the couples counselor we stopped seeing because that too was too boring and confrontational for Lee. I mean, I think she's below acceptable dad norms for our neighborhood for sure, but I'm trying to readjust my expectations accordingly. I don't expect anything from our relationship as adults, just want her to be pleasant to the children and take care of them when I absolutely can't. That way anything that surpasses that is good, but then anything that doesn't makes me freak out ridiculously, so this really isn't the best setup.

And now she's decided she wants a fourth child, maybe, so she can have her boy. I am not dealing with this idea well even though I'd be open to a fourth child if it were Mara's little brother or Selah's little sister, both of whom exist in the world in somewhat precarious custody situations where someone else's involvement may eventually be required. But she's gone back and forth on this a lot and I'm just not getting involved for now while she thinks about it.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 7:55 PM
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We have a Halloween lesbian wedding [+costume] because Bay Area, and I'm going steampunk. It's not the most original costume idea but I thought it'd look amusingly wrong on me. I'm still figuring out some details and may at some point indulge in a bleg.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 8:24 PM
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218: Victorian were-lesbian Universalist minister. You're welcome.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 8:27 PM
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I'm trying to think of a parallel construction for DYKES WITH BYKES that ends in DIRIGIBLES and coming up short.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 8:36 PM
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Unmarriageables?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 8:46 PM
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Incorrigibles?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 8:51 PM
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218: You can't go wrong if you have a shitload of cogs and watches.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 8:51 PM
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Indigo Firebrand would be a good nickname for a 19th century populist preacher who grew up on a plantation in the south that didn't cultivate tobacco, sugar, or cotton.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 9:00 PM
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221 is excellent.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 9:03 PM
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Mister Smearcase IS Indigo Firebrand IN Unmarriageables with Dirigibles II: Steam-Powered Boogaloo


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 9:11 PM
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224: Go home, uh, woman who wrote Boneshaker, you're drunk.

Seriously, I'd buy Indigo Firebrand and the Astrolabe of Heliogabalus.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 9:12 PM
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"Hello, my name is Indigo Firebrand. You ruined my childhood art classes. Prepare to die."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 9:19 PM
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Every time I watch Harrison Ford in Indigo Firebrand and the Temple of Unfavorable Dispositions I'm just confused about why he's in a movie, other that being a white male.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 9:28 PM
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You could have a character named Vergible.


Posted by: Vergalicious | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 9:29 PM
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Catcher in the Indigo


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 9:30 PM
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220:
Queers with Gears
Clockwork Cock Mercs
Grindr Winders


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 10:36 PM
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1. I'm so glad my children didn't go to school when they were little. But seeing what Kid C's (a boy who would never do anything creative at home) art teachers have got him to do in the last couple of years has been impressive. He drew a really good picture of a shoe! And another one of an egg!

2. Rainbow babies are babies born after the loss of a previous baby, at least in my internet world.

3. I read CITR when I was 9, which was probably a good age, because I loved it and Holden.

4. The Hannah character in Girls said at one point, "I think I may be the voice of my generation". I like to use that to laugh at Kid A, who is rather Hannah-esque.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 11:30 PM
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Mixed feelings on Catcher. My mother appeared in my room when I was about 11 or 12 and gave me the book saying something about how it might help me understand issues I might be going through. She was a reader--but not one given to recommending "serious" books to us kids--plus there was an unspoken rule in our household that the possible existence of inner emotional lives was not too be acknowledged. So I was a bit confused. Reading it in with obtuse preteen shallowness, I focused on the prostitute episode (and some of the dating stuff), and concluded that I was irretrievably naive and timid in matters sexual and I that I did not even want to think about what my mother was getting at.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 11:35 PM
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Maybe the answer is that Dunham's not actually considered cool among millenials and the whole thing is a hoax by New Yorker writers.

Yeah, this. I know people who watch Girls, but I don't know anyone who considers Dunham the voice of our generation or whatever. Which isn't to say that no one does, but I've certainly never seen anything in real life like the attitude toward her that you see in the NYT or the NYer. I can't think of anyone else who fills that role, either. This may be a symptom of Millennials being less cohesive as a generation, at least in terms of pop culture, than Baby Boomers or Gen-Xers.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 11:41 PM
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However, was short story that hit the right spot for me (I like'em short*). ANd bonus on-topicness for being about drawing instruction, I designed for both of them literally dozens of insulting, subnormal, but quite constructive, drawing exercises.

The unforgettable one was done in florid wash colors, with a caption that read: "Forgive Them Their Trespasses." It showed three small boys fishing in an odd-looking body of water, one of their jackets draped over a "No Fishing!" sign. The tallest boy, in the foreground of the picture, appeared to have rickets in one leg and elephantiasis in the other--an effect, it was clear, that Miss Kramer had deliberately used to show that the boy was standing with his feet slightly apart.

*Gentlemenz...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-15-14 11:42 PM
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235: Do you think there's someone Gen Xers consider to be the voice of their (our, I guess, though I've never identified with it) generation?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 12:48 AM
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Re. skin color in school. When I was in elementary school, we had the tempura skin color paint set, which had something like a dozen different shades, mostly named after food items (like, 'wheat,' or 'cinnamon' or 'toast' or 'melon'). We had to paint a paint sample of each color, and then make a chart of who had which skin color in the class. I think the point was to show that human skin colors mostly fell on a bell curve, with really light and dark skin being relatively less common, though when we painted in class, we also were allowed to use the skin colors, and we were allowed to mix our own colors from primary paints + white and black. In kindergarten we had a little lesson on how representing an object in paint required using different colors than simply the color we would use to describe the object (so painting skin required things like blues or reds or black to accurately represent shadow). We had to do a painting in the style of Picasso during his blue period.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 2:17 AM
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re: 237

I can't think of anyone. Obviously, Coupland, but i don't think anyone considers him the voice of anything. Just a guy who wrote a book.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 2:42 AM
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237: well, there was, but he got killed by SEAL Team Six a few years back in Pakistan.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 3:25 AM
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||

There's a mother on the local mother's board whose daughter is named Kyrie. I think it's safe to say that we were born in different decades. I don't think the daughter is wayward.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 3:59 AM
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Not at all the "voice of", but there is a friend of mine from high school who seems to be a sort of ideal type for my (GenX) generation. She was the valedictorian of our class, went to Stanford, met her husband at the Burning Man festival (back when it was supposedly cool, I wouldn't know), and was working for an SF dot com company during the boom.

I sometimes think I should connect with her via LinkedIn or something, since whatever the next big thing is, she'll probably be involved somehow.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 4:27 AM
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Yeah, I think the "voice of" designation doesn't get us anywhere: we didn't protest anything, and no one was our voice. But some people have been exemplars of trends or ways of life that have either made a difference, or captured people's imagination. In America, I'd put Page and Brin, Cobain, and Ted Cruz on that list. Who else?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 4:37 AM
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Snowden and Britney Spears.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 4:48 AM
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David Foster Wallace.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 4:58 AM
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Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith.

Just kidding.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 5:02 AM
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The main character in High Fidelity, apparently.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 5:05 AM
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Andrew Breitbart


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 5:08 AM
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242.2: "Will you endorse my skill in Situational Cannibalism?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 5:10 AM
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Ah, see that I bungled 236 and left off the name of the story: "De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period." Curious now whether Buttercup had clicked the link before 238.last.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 5:36 AM
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Thomas Piketty.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 5:51 AM
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"Voice of" seems to be a fair bit more of a claim for anyone than " a singular voice who spoke as an outsider and, in so doing, became the ultimate insider." I do think Halford's 161 is certainly right with regard to Allen. I certainly like fair-sized swathes of his work, but the "ultimate insider" characterization assumes a view of the NYer audience/mores as relative insiders.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 5:53 AM
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Not only do they have a NY audience, they're both from New York. Hey, reporters gotta make up file stories.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 6:02 AM
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I got to use the phrase "reverse Pauline Kael" at a business dinner last night. Not something I'd usually go anywhere close to in that setting,but a colleague had just related a a story of a business dinner she had back in the day where someone marveled that they did not know anyone who had voted for Bill Clinton.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 6:05 AM
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The Voice of the Millennial Generation is clearly Jesse Thorn. Or at least he claims that he is sometimes. And for more on-topic coherence, he was in the Times's wedding section so he's also a horrible person.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 6:05 AM
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If I were young enough to use google, I would google Jesse Thorn.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 6:14 AM
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Don't worry, AOL search uses Google on the back end.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 6:16 AM
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||

I was told this kind of thing dosn't happen in Texas, because geology.

|>


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 6:19 AM
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255 et seq. I hate to think what it says about a generation if their voice is John Hodgman's sidekick.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 6:20 AM
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259: Don't blame me, man, I didn't vote.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 6:21 AM
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255: That seems like a plausible choice, since I've never heard of him.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 6:27 AM
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258: in all fairness, my engineer was talking specifically about Eagle Ford shale, and that article is about Barnett.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 6:41 AM
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I cannot recall anything of my own kgarten experience, and stepkids were end of elementary / middle school when I met them. My son's kgarten equivalent grade did not involve any coloring that I can recall, although sure drawing. Also generous pre-penmanship training, "writing" very specific shapes on wide-lined paper, in very specific sequences. Age appropriate fine motor skills, small manageable daily doses but supra consistent. And during the parent-teacher conferences lots of going on about importance of fine and large motor coordination for abstract math and other reasoning skills in distant years to come. Ha! Try to get my kid focused on sport! Mr. Head in the Clouds does not see the point of scurrying from point A to B or dodging flying objects without a compelling narrative reason BUT totally happy to spend countless hours perfecting the turn of the shoulder *just so* so as to portray correct sense of joyous nobility, so i just wasn't going to worry.

Also a lot about courtesy and manners in kgarten. Hawaii should go to frenchy school, she'd loooooove it.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 7:59 AM
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Bart Simpson is the voice of your generation, kiddos.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 8:01 AM
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The Voice of the Millennial Generation is clearly Jesse Thorn. Or at least he claims that he is sometimes. And for more on-topic coherence, he was in the Times's wedding section so he's also a horrible person.

Wait, like a proper NYT wedding column thing, or just one of the notices? Or do you mean LA Times, given that he lives there? Also it's the Voice of Young America.

If I were young enough to use google, I would google Jesse Thorn.
He runs Maximum Fun, which is one of the better (if not the best) podcasting networks. As alluded to above, he's John Hodgman's bailiff on one of them, Judge John Hodgman. He also hosts the Bullseye show on NPR and the Jordan, Jesse, Go! podcast.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 8:40 AM
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I'm ever so slightly old to be a Millennial, but I'd argue that Jordan is closer to being my voice than Jesse.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 8:41 AM
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Miley Cyrus has got to be the voice of someone's generation, right? But whose?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 8:44 AM
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How is it possible to listen to podcasts for people who aren't stuck in traffic all the time? I've never figured it out.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 8:44 AM
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Public transportation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 8:51 AM
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268: hands-on chores, dishes/heavy cleaning/laundry folding? Of course that's only once a month or so.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 8:55 AM
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At the gym or jogging.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 8:55 AM
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How is it possible to listen to podcasts for people who aren't stuck in traffic all the time? I've never figured it out.

I pretty much listen to them whenever I'm not talking to someone or working.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 8:58 AM
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I listen to them when I'm working on stuff in the basement. I can't listen to non-musical things when exercising. I guess I could listen on my walk to/from work? That'd be five hours a week or so. Seems a little antisocial when I have Zardoz in the stroller. But some of these podcasts are like an hour and a half plus per episode! People listen to, like, several podcasts regularly! I guess if I took a train or bus like an hour each way that'd do it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 8:58 AM
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||

Sitting outside my grad advisor's office, waiting to meet with him, is a super surreal time travel lapse. Nothing has changed but I don't recognize 90% of the people in the halls, and I sure do feel older and unrecognizable.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 8:59 AM
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Gym - anything to avoid the ubiquitous auto-tuned voices those are evil.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 9:00 AM
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He's been using Voice of the Millennial Generation instead of American's Radio Sweetheart occasionally on JJGO. And yes, he was in NYTimes wedding section. And yeah, I'd agree that Jordan is closer to being my voice. Jesse has this weird but somewhat endearing thing going on where, for the most part, he sounds like a much older man, both in his timbre and his topics. I was surprised to find out he's only a few years older than me.

Podcasts are good for working, walking, doing chores, exercising, playing video games, and transit, at least some of the time.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 9:03 AM
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274: Maybe you're in the middle of one of those academic anxiety dreams where you suddenly realize that you didn't actually graduate for some bizarre reason.

There was a summer conference a while back at the small New England college where I was an undergrad. Being back for the first time in 15 years was a strange feeling.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 9:04 AM
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If we're talking podcasts, recommend some? I'm bored again.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 9:07 AM
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278 -- Not a podcast, but you'll get 40 seconds of chuckle from this. http://bagofdelights.tumblr.com/post/89652612113/classic-childhood-books-from-yesteryear


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 9:08 AM
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As stated above, I like Jordan Jesse Go for humor. For actual knowledge Sinica is a great podcast on current affairs in China (both of these podcasts are rather bro-y in their hosts but are good at bringing in female voices). The BBC's From Our Own Correspondent is a great way to have news.bbc.co.uk read to you in the dulcet tones of the British upper class.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 9:12 AM
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Well, maybe 20.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 9:14 AM
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If we're talking podcasts, recommend some? I'm bored again.

Lunchbox podcast? I haven't listened to it for a while, but a specific episode that I can recommend is: Last Supper of Puppies.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 9:16 AM
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He's been using Voice of the Millennial Generation instead of American's Radio Sweetheart occasionally on JJGO

To be clear, this was applied self-mockingly.

But some of these podcasts are like an hour and a half plus per episode

Some are. Many aren't. Some excellent short (sub 30 mins) podcasts include 99% Invisible, Answer Me This, Thrilling Adventure Hour, Sawbones, The Memory Palace, and any number of BBC Radio 4 shows.

LB: What sorts of things would you be interested in? Most of my subscriptions could be classified as science, comedy, movies, videogames, storytelling, or history/philosophy, so I can only really recommend ones in those categories (or some combination thereof).


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 9:22 AM
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Caustic Soda. Start with "Toys that Kill."


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 9:32 AM
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science, comedy, movies, videogames, storytelling, or history/philosophy,

Everything but movies and videogames there sounds good.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 9:33 AM
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283: Yeah. I only brought that up because you were bringing up the previous name of the show as if I had confused them, and it's very important that everyone on the internet know that I am not ever wrong but merely very humourless.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 9:44 AM
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Emma Smith's Shakespeare and Jacobean drama lectures are a delight.

Sherman Alexie and Jess Walters have a new show that is at least fun through the part where they read from a work in progress. I don't think they've gotten the guest thing down yet.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 9:49 AM
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Storytelling, in order of increasing risqueness: This American Life, The Moth, The Truth, Risk!, Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction

History/Philosophy: The Memory Palace, The History of the World in 100 Objects, 99% Invisible, Philosophy Bites, The Philosopher's Arms, The History Of Philosophy Without Any Gaps.

Science: Sawbones, Astronomy Cast, Star Talk Radio, All In The Mind, Neuropod, Nature, Science Friday, The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe, The Infinite Monkey Cage

Comedy:

Panel shows, more or less: International Waters, Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, The News Quiz, Ask Me Another

Improv/scripted comedy: Wits, Comedy Bang Bang!, Improv 4 Humans, Superego

People talking shit: Jordan, Jesse, Go!, Answer Me This, My Brother, My Brother and Me, Stop Podcasting Yourself, The Bugle



Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 9:49 AM
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Oh, and Thrilling Adventure Hour and Welcome To Nightvale.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 9:52 AM
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99% Invisible is great, particularly since it's produced by a guy from the local underfunded public-school-affiliated NPR station. And each episode is like 2 minutes long.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 9:59 AM
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More like 15 minutes, though 3 minutes is usually filler. Memory Palace is closer to 2 minutes.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 10:05 AM
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288, 289: Excellent. Now I just have to remember that I was adding podcasts when I get home, which is difficult considering the goldfish-like nature of my memory.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 10:07 AM
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My Lena Dunham point wasn't that she's the voice of her generation (which is always already bogus) but that it's stunning that she has any credibility at all while literally dating a member of fun.. Do we all just get to date guys from Nickleback now and maintain credibility as edgy artists?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 10:11 AM
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291: huh, they must edit them heavily when they broadcast them on the radio here. Wherever, still great.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 10:13 AM
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On the general subject of nattering human voices for listening, the audio books of Hilary Mantel's Cromwell novels are shockingly good, and available on Overdrive.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 10:17 AM
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293: She's good friends with Taylor Swift, which seems even more disqualifying.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 10:25 AM
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291: huh, they must edit them heavily when they broadcast them on the radio here. Wherever, still great.

Looking at the recent ones, they're all between 16 and 20 minutes. I guess even that's too long for US radio these days. Sheesh.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 10:27 AM
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Lena Dunham's continuing credibility is purely due to the awfulness of her haters, who are woman hating prigs to a man and hence the more socially conscious parts of the internet are on her side, even if they don't rate her.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 3:27 AM
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298 is an interesting theory. I wish I cared enough about Lena Dunham to check it out further.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 3:56 AM
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Related to the skin color discussion: Elmo and Lupita on skin


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 2:44 PM
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Boy did I not get Welcome to Nightvale, which struck me as all ambiance and no plot. My tastes are just about the reverse of that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 3:06 PM
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293: Really, though, Hannah--who I think is meant to be essentially Lena Dunham herself--is not written (by Dunham herself) as edgy at all; her defining characteristic as far as I could tell is being damaged and helpless in a way I guess we're supposed to find relatable. Jessa is the edgy one who would never hang out with Taylor Swift or date the guitarist in fun.. Jessa is also marginally more unbearable than Hannah. I may have mentioned before, I decided to stop watching around the time I noticed that I found Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) to be for sure the character I would least mind having to spend half an hour with.

I dunno, maybe this is what happens when you trust gentiles with depictions of life in New York.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 3:07 PM
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296: so's Lorde, which annoys my irrational nationalism surprisingly much.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 3:19 PM
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We finished the first season and maybe one more episode, and then never picked it up again, but I didn't hate Hannah yet the way I hate Jessa. The self-sabotage is a little excruciating to watch, but she seemed like the type of person who would say stuff that made me laugh.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 3:21 PM
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the time I noticed that I found Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) to be for sure the character I would least mind having to spend half an hour with.

100% agree, though that's a pretty low bar given the other characters. Mamet's daughter would at least be entertaining and I think she's the best comic actress out of them.

Also, I agree that "edgy" was a very bad word choice, the character/Dunham (and one problem is that these are definitely blurred together) is definitely not supposed to be "edgy." But on the other hand Dunham the artist obviously sees herself as projecting a kind of artistic integrity through what she sees (wrongly! part of the problem with the show is that this is so obviously fraudulent) through being "transparent" and "confessional" and putting forth her flaws for all to see, as well as (supposedly accurately) representing people her age. And people, apparently including millenials (according to things I read written by New York-based authors who are probably 30 years older than millenials) seem to buy this authenticity shtick that she's selling and treat her with respect as a real artist and as someone who's producing cool work. Which just seems incompatible with dating a member of fun..


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 3:26 PM
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Boy did I not get Welcome to Nightvale, which struck me as all ambiance and no plot.

Yeah, pretty much. There are some callbacks which really pay off, but it's mostly tonal. I can totally understand not getting it.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 3:29 PM
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God, how do you people even know what teenage twit is friends with what other pop culture whatever. I tried watching Girls once and it bored me silly. I'll just be over here with my alcohol watching my free HBO series on Amazon and occasionally yelling at the kids to get off my lawn.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 3:43 PM
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