Yesterday's spate of Blog Envy has abated somewhat, amidst complaints about blog content and quality levels. Yeah, yeah, yeah. If you guys did more exciting things, I wouldn't be reduced to describing Table Envy, now would I? I could be writing about things like your birthday parties:
LOS ANGELES - When 6-year-old Michael Wong-Sasso grows up, he wants to be a trash collector.
So naturally, he wanted to have his birthday party at the local dump.
About 40 children and their parents gathered Saturday at the Sunshine Canyon Landfill to celebrate Michael's seventh birthday.
For safety and sanitary reasons, the party was held in a small valley on the landfill's outskirts, away from bulldozers and strange smells. The partygoers were surrounded by scores of potted trees, which are used to landscape the landfill.
Having a party at a dump is "definitely different," said Scott Krause, who brought his 6-year-old son, Trevor.
"It's not like you're saying, 'Oh no, not another birthday at the landfill,'" Krause said. "I mean, how many times can you go to Chuck E. Cheese's?"
Now I am going to a birthday party next week, but I don't get the feeling that the Birthday Missy will be complaining that it's not being held in a dump. Of course, she'll have plenty of things to whine about when she sees her gifts.
[Check back on December 20th for the full write-up.]
And speaking of birthdays:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DIDDAKOI!! The blog is one year old today!
["Thank you. Thank you ver'much."]
Read a very good column by Victor David Hanson about our aircraft carriers called "Our Islands in the Storm." You'll want to read the whole thing, but I found the following observations about the culture and education on board a carrier to be very interesting:
First, like the phalanx, the American carrier is more than a weapon of destruction or even a tool of deterrence. It is a microcosm of America itself at its best. I spent two days recently on the John F. Kennedy and watched from out in the Atlantic as it unceasingly received and launched F-14s and F-18s. The average age of its crew seemed about 19 or 20. Most Americans don't trust their children to take out the family van on Saturday night; our navy entrusts $50 million jets to teenagers, whose courage and maturity trump those of most adults.
At Stanford University, where our wealthier and supposedly more educated reside, silly theme houses exist with names like Casa Zapata and Ujama, as upscale students are segregated by race in a balkanized and separatist landscape. My own university in California has auxiliary but separate graduation ceremonies for Mexican Americans.
By contrast, in the far less comfortable but much more real world of the Kennedy, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and whites are indistinguishable in the manner in which they eat, sleep, and work, united as they are as Americans in a common cause, not separated by race, class, and tribe. African-American officers supervise whites, and vice-versa in a meritocracy where equality is a natural, not an induced, phenomenon. Women fly planes that men service or the other way around or both. And recently graduated Naval Academy ensigns learn from tough men with tattoos and calluses who inhabit primordial places of fire and oil in the ship's bowels or who work on the flight deck where a momentary lapse in concentration can get one disemboweled or vaporized in seconds. Our universities might do better to mothball Ethnic Studies and send the entire freshman class to the Kennedy for a semester.
[But our educational system is working so well, especially in my neighborhood . . .]
Suspension of Kindergartners Increasing
PHILADELPHIA - One hit a pregnant teacher, another exposed himself and another stabbed a classmate with a pencil.
They've all been suspended from school this year. And they're all kindergartners.
In the first four months under new schools chief Paul Vallas, 33 kindergartners have been suspended from Philadelphia public schools, up from just one during the same period last year.
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Quote du jour:
"Education helps one acquires a higher grade of prejudices."
-- Laurence J. Peter (1919 - 1990) Canadian-US educator, author
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