Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gratitude January 29, 2009

This evening Sarah and I walked over to the Charter School to hear the Youth Chamber Orchestra perform works by Vivaldi, Beethoven, Grieg, and Bartok. Performers ranged in age from 9 to 19 years of age, most (all?) of them products of home schooling, private, or charter schools.

After that we walked across the street to hear the author of The Power of the Possible, Auriela McCarthy, talk about her book at Many Rivers Books and Tea.

She offered sound advice to avoid frustration and hurt feelings on Valentine's Day.

For women: Tell your man exactly how you'd like the day to unfold. Flowers at breakfast, where to go for dinner, exactly what gift you'd like to receive, and so on. Give him a detailed road map. Write it all down if your man seems to suffer from attention deficit disorder. Tell him all this at least one week in advance. Then, remind him—again—a few days ahead.

I know, I know, spelling out like this is not romantic, like in the movies. So forget the fact that you had to give him the road map. Blot it out of your memory. Hit the delete key.

Do that, and allow your experience of Valentine's Day come come pretty close to what you wanted, like in the movies.

For men: Listen. Ask for a road map if one isn't provided. Follow the road map.

Simple, useful, practical advice. May this advice benefit all who read it.


This evening I'm grateful

  1. To live in town where we can walk to 2 events like this on the same evening.
  2. To Katherine, Alden, and Delwyn for chiming in and for posting to their blogs.
  3. To feel that America is changing course in millions of ways for the better. Hope that is palpable.


Delwyn said...

Today at the end of the working week
I am thankful for ~

bush turkeys ~ I was entertained by one at the cafe after pump class

butterflies ~ I found one inside on my return home after unsuccessfully trying to photograph one at the cafe!

For differences ~ we don't celebrate Valentine's day, but it's good to hear about different cultural mores.

P.S. What is a charter school?

P.P.S. I found this quote the other day:
There is one thing which gives radiance to everything. It is the idea of something around the corner. GK Chesterton

Katherine said...

Classical music by ones so young. Fabulous!
1. Friday night movie nights: Good friends, good food (pot luck) and good (uplifting) movies.

2. Yellow-fleshed nectarines.

3. Free(-ish) education (my daughter has just enrolled in a 17 week course).

Mr. Kinder said...

You don't do Valentine's Day? I've obviously got to brush up on the history of that day. I think it causes lots of misunderstanding in these parts.

Charter schools are schools that operate under different rules than ordinary public schools, under a charter. Their effect is to corrode our system of free public education.

What they seem to do is to provide a refuge for those who wish to extract their children from the ordinary public school but do not have the money to pay for a private education. Charter schools allow educated or concerned parents to extract their children of from neighborhood public schools to the detriment of those left behind.

It's probably fair to say charter schools are good for those who can afford them and bad for everyone else.

Like Katherine said, it's "freeish" education, good for those who can handle

Delwyn said...

Is your school a charter school?
We sent our kids to a Lutheran school - because of the caring environment and it offered alternatives to the large public schools, but not for the religious indoctrination, however after being brought up in the Baptist Church I don't think that it harms children to be exposed to mainstream religious teachings and from there they can choose their own paths. I know I am grateful for the things that I learned on Sundays as a child.

Delwyn said...

Dan, as you have not posted your usual daily prayer of gratitude I am placing my sat 31st list here.

* I am thankful that I was exposed to a religious framework in my childhood so that as an adult I had a launching pad to begin a spiritual quest and begin to make comparisons.

* For the teachings of Thomas Moore, the writer, through his wonderful books.

* For my son oldest Sam and his partner Jo for their appreciation and enjoyment of family.

Mr. Kinder said...

Delwyn, no, my school is not a Charter school. I've come to understand that if we were to become one, we'd get significantly more funding from the State of California.

We're a regularly-funded public school and operate under the (sometimes odious) rules and regulations that are required of non-Charter schools. We fit between the Charters, which often charge tuition--not called tuition, mind you--of about $200 per month per student. This yields about $40,000 per classroom per year above and beyond what I spend on the classroom. So these charters offer a level of education I can only imagine.

What sets us apart is not fees. We are a commuter school. Most of my students are imported to our schools by car (we can't afford busses) from outside the district. We're mostly white.

Below my school on the educational food chain are neighborhood schools which take all comers and charge nothing, and tend to have mostly minority students. Sadly we have re-instituted educational apartheid in America in 2009 after some attempts to remedy this injustice in the sixties and seventies.

On a happier note:

I am thankful, too, for my parents' efforts to give me a religious education. I'll eventually do some posts about that subject here. I'm thankful for my two grown children 24/7.

Alden said...

Dan, my wife Christine and myself have used this tactic for years, tell the other person what you want for birthdays and even Christmas. It avoids disappointment and yet more stuff which lies around, which you may or may not want but can't really throw out because it was a present. The way to cover the romance aspect is to double things up - one present that they tell you they want and another of your choice - double the work, double the expense, but usually double the pleasure for both parties.

Mr. Kinder said...

Good idea, Alden, the "both-and" approach. My wife's birthday is coming Friday, and that's the approach I'm taking.