Sunday, January 8, 2012

Winding Down, For Now

Used to be that blogging was a regular part of my routine. I was writing and reading every day and blogging was a part of all that. Now, after being in school for a year and heading into student teaching for the the semester, I just don't write so much, and blogging feels a little more labored and a little less purposeful.

Truth be told, I miss writing every day and blogging regularly, but I don't foresee how, in the very near future, I'll be able to return at least to blogging in a meaningful and consistent way. And so, while I've loved staying connected to people through this venue, but it's time to step away from it, at least for a while. Notice I can't say I'll stop forever, but I don't know when I'll start again. For now, I'll sign off and wish everyone a wonderful new year.

Until soon.....ish.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mitt Romney Lies Some More

Now he's lying about his job creation and Obama's. He claims to have created 100,000 jobs while at Bain, and that the economy under Obama has lost 2 million. Greg Sargent writes in the Washington Post:

"Meanwhile, Romney’s claim that two million jobs were lost under the Obama presidency is based on the idea that there’s been a net loss of jobs since he took office. In other words, Romney is taking into account the fact that the economy continued hemorraghing jobs at a furious rate after Obama took office — before Obama’s stimulus passed. But the figures show that once it became law, monthly job loss declined over time, and turned around in the spring of 2010, after which the private sector added jobs for over 20 straight months, totaling around 2.2 million of them.

You can debate whether the stimulus underperformed. You can debate whether the stimulus is the reason the economy did add private sector jobs. You can argue that public sector jobs loss should be factored in. But it is not debatable to claim that the overall net jobs loss number Romney cites is a fair measure of the success or failure of Obama’s policies. At an absolute minimum, Romney should be pressed to explain why he’s claiming this net loss figure as an indictment of those policies, when many of those jobs were lost before the policies were implemented."

This election is just going to be awful.


So, yesterday, I'm on the train with the kids on the way to The Muppet movie (which, by the way, was a little sad -- when did Kermit get so sad?) and we're reading Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger, by Louis Sachar. Now, I'd gotten the book because my daughter had asked for Sideways Stories from the Wayside School, and the bookstore didn't have it, but they had Stranger stories. And, I'd recently read Holes, also by Sachar, which is a lovely book (until the end, when it's a little too much good news even for a kids' book). But, I have to say, in Stranger stories we got to a chapter about one Mr. Gorf who has three nostrils and uses one of them to steal children's voices and then calls their moms and tells each mom how much her son or daughter hates her. (Mr. Gorf said he did this because these students "took his mommy away and he's going to take their mommies away." His mommy turned students she didn't like into apples.) In any case, this didn't feel like the cruel, fascinatingly horrible things that happen in fairy tales, or in, say, A Tale Dark and Grimm (which I loved). Nor did it feel like the bad but you know it's not serious kinds of things that can happen in books when the author is being "funny". It just read as mean, gratuitously mean. Granted, we didn't get to the end of the chapter because we arrived at our subway stop, but I have to say, I was pretty disappointed in Mr. Sachar. When choosing books for kids, we trust authors we know, authors we've read, and while not every story has to be like the others, I wasn't expecting revenge via prank calls. Boiling evil magicians, now that I'm OK with. Prank calls that make children cry? Not so much.

Update: I just asked Helen if she finished the chapter with her dad. She did. She liked the ending when a pepper pie made Mr. Gorf sneeze out all the voices and then Mr. Gorf's whole nose flies off. I admit it, it's funny. But funny enough to make up for this stricken faces in the middle? I don't know. Maaaybe.

Monday, January 2, 2012

On the Homepage

No big deal, but a certain 7-year-old I know pretty well is on the New York Public Library's homepage holding up a library card. At least she's there today, January 2nd, in the afternoon, when we're just back from seeing The Muppets (she was underwhelmed) and drinking too much hot chocolate at City Bakery. (Well, the girl didn't like the hot chocolate, nor did her brother. The preferred the pretzel croissant and chocolate chip cookie respectively.)