Out of the Mouth of Middle School Mafiosi

I have been pleasantly surprised by the members of the Middle School Mafia who are under my control supervision at The Young Human Factory.  I have only twice been subjected to rage and unspoken threats, and one of those came from a parent.

In fact, they show a delightful willingness to throw themselves into the deep end of the pool of knowledge and understanding. The following are first-semester highlights:

  • “I am good at spelling, reading and riting.” (On a very confident self-assessment!)
  • “Do ‘women of color’ come in all colors or just some colors?” (Asked by a student categorized as POC and when the term was explained, said dubiously, “Isn’t that racist?”)
  • A drawing of a girl and a bucket of water. (A response to “What image comes to mind when you think of the protagonist? Write a brief response.”)
  • “Is there a movie of this book?” – pause to hear “no” – “We should read another book.” (This was followed by an explanation of how tech-using kids today need to have audio and visual versions because reading letters on a page is something people did before the invention of cellphones.)

Blogging schedule

I will be writing posts (or post) on Sunday mornings. I’m doing this for two reasons: The Factory work is draining my intellectual capacity and my drafts folder is full of as-yet-unresolved situations. No example of the latter would be the current Son of Jerkface MacGuyver affair. (Not love affair, mind you. More like a detective case – or defective case.)

Fetishizing the Poor?

I received a message that was out-of-the-blue and full of vulgar putdowns. Someone read my recent posts and decided I was “just like Ann Pratchett” and “fetishized the poor”.

I figured out that the American author Pratchett had written an op-ed in the New York Times called “My Year of No Spending”. (It’s behind a paywall, but here is the NPR interview.) After listening to it, I understood that my correspondent thinks I’m a well-off white woman with first-world problems of over-abundance, playing at being poor.  And I may own multiple Chapstick lip balms.*

My correspondent is ridiculous. My interest in frugality is because I have two financial concerns.
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2018 Progress Report #1

  • The Bullet Journal has already shown me that I have unrealistic expectations of myself. I scheduled about 48 hours of work on the 5th, for example.
  • I made the first monthly payment on the principle of La Casa de Tontería’s mortgage. I could have set up an automatic payment, but I want this to be a conscious decision and a celebration.
  • I paid for a short haircut. I prefer long hair, but this time of year, static electricity builds up as it brushes back and forth over sweaters. Then it twists and tangles onto itself. I end up looking like I rolled out of bed and stuck my finger in an electrical socket!
  • I made a breakfast date with a friend. We both have full schedules – she’s an elected official – and lunch always seems like an interruption.

Minimal wardrobe

I thought this was an interesting article about wearing a minimalist wardrobe as a realtor work uniform. My mother knew a woman – a law clerk, as I recall – who always wore black blouses with black trousers with accessories supplying color and variety.  For those who adopt such habits, dressing becomes an absolute no-brainer.

My own wardrobe is divided in half: work clothes and play clothes. Never the twain shall meet, with the exception of informal clothes like a T-shirt under a suit jacket. A few years ago, I had casual clothes only for summer, not even a pair of jeans.

Another bullet journal idea!

After I posted about starting a bullet journal, an online pal and an old colleague sent me a link to Prevention writer Erinne Magee’s explanation of how she used bullet journaling to lose weight.

Although I’m more interested in gaining muscle and stamina, I got some ideas. I hope other readers may find it helpful, too.

Trying out the Bullet Journal

I started a Bullet Journal this week.

I’m actually a little angry that I didn’t do it before. Not angry at myself, mind you – no, I’m angry at the ladies who introduced me to the concept, complete with different colors, highlighters, stickers, etc. and apps on their Smartphones.

In other words, they complicated it when the entire point of bullet journaling is to focus on what is important. Ryder Carroll created it as a tool to combat a cluttered mind and a distracted life. Continue reading