124 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 10-27-18

  1. I can’t imagine who would stay up ’till 3:40 to watch a baseball game by teams that didn’t belong there. I always associate Dodgers with Brooklyn.
    Good morning everyone but Jo.
    Good night jo.

    Kim and others were suspecting something more devious about the bomber.
    I’m beginning to believe that he was just stupid.
    Dumber than me. even.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I sat up between 1 and 2 to write up a list of all the things I need to do in the next 10 days.

    (The cat helped by sitting on the pad several times to deflect my attention–why are cats wandering around the house at 1:30 in the morning?)

    Realizing how even more chaotic the next two weeks are going to be, I decided I need to write up my Utmost Response for the first two weeks in November ahead of time–so I’ll have fourteen fewer things to do.

    Since I’ve been writing them for 15 months, I have November’s already written, I just need to edit and schedule them on my FB page, and then I’ll mail the whole fourteen to the people I mail them to every day. They’ll just get them in a batch except one each morning.

    Anyway, I just reworked the November 7 reading and the reading is so germane, I thought I’d share.

    The Undetected Sacredness of Circumstances
    By Oswald Chambers

    We know that all things work together for good to those who love God… —Romans 8:28

    The circumstances of a saint’s life are ordained of God. In the life of a saint there is no such thing as chance. God by His providence brings you into circumstances that you can’t understand at all, but the Spirit of God understands.

    God brings you to places, among people, and into certain conditions to accomplish a definite purpose through the intercession of the Spirit in you. Never put yourself in front of your circumstances and say, “I’m going to be my own providence here; I will watch this closely, or protect myself from that.”

    All your circumstances are in the hand of God, and therefore you don’t ever have to think they are unnatural or unique.

    Your part in intercessory prayer is not to agonize over how to intercede, but to use the everyday circumstances and people God puts around you by His providence to bring them before His throne, and to allow the Spirit in you the opportunity to intercede for them.

    In this way God is going to touch the whole world with His saints.

    Am I making the Holy Spirit’s work difficult by being vague and unsure, or by trying to do His work for Him? I must do the human side of intercession— utilizing the circumstances in which I find myself and the people who surround me. I must keep my conscious life as a sacred place for the Holy Spirit. Then as I lift different ones to God through prayer, the Holy Spirit intercedes for them.

    Your intercessions can never be mine, and my intercessions can never be yours, “…but the Spirit Himself makes intercession” in each of our lives (Romans 8:26). And without that intercession, the lives of others would be left in poverty and in ruin.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. When I made my comment about wanting a plan for my days, I might have given the impression that I don’t like spontaneity. I don’t have a problem with that when it fits into my day and what I need to get done. I enjoyed the impromptu outing we had. However, I would have preferred to go early in the morning and had the whole day to enjoy. As it was, we drove over three hours to enjoy that much or a little less time where we went. We could have gone in the morning, if it had been planned ahead or right away in the morning.

    I do like to plan for a holiday meal etc. too. I did laugh at mumsee’s statement about being a youngest. My youngest is the same way and it can drive me nuts when she has done a couple of gatherings in the past couple of years. I cannot imagine shopping for the most basic things at the last minute and leaving so many things undone until the day of the event. It all seems to work, however, and in Rome, we do as Romans. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Well, we’re home after a quick trip away for our anniversary.

    DJ, we watched most of “regulation” ball, going to bed after the top of the ninth. The Red Sox would pull it off or they wouldn’t, but it was after 11:00 our time. This morning my husband told me how long it went–yikes!

    Last night I kept saying, “Well, Donna is probably posting on the blog.” But I see you showed self-control on yesterday’s thread.

    Was it worth the win? Or did you want the stupid thing to be over, either way, several innings before the bitter end?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. When I take over this country, there will be no baseball after Columbus day. No football before Labor Day, and no Football after New Years except the four legal bowl games.

    Legal? Rose, Cotton, Gator and I forgot the other.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Cheryl, happy anniversary 🙂

    Yes, it was draining all the way around. I have no idea how any of those guys can come back and play another game tonight.



    LOS ANGELES — God bless, Mary Hart. She stayed for the whole thing, getting almost as much screen time as she ever did on “Entertainment Tonight.”

    Hart and her fellow Dodgers fans were finally rewarded when Max Muncy hit the latest walk-off home run in World Series history, giving the Dodgers a 3-2 victory in 18 innings and ending the longest game (by time and innings) in World Series history early Saturday morning.

    Max Muncy’s 18th-inning homer lifts Dodgers over Red Sox, ends marathon World Series game
    … “Just a stupid experience for everybody,” summarized David Freese, the last position player to enter the game (as a pinch-hitter in the 14th inning).

    “We’re looking to even it up tomorrow. Bottom line.”

    Tomorrow was already here.

    When the clock struck midnight in the 17th inning, it got a rousing cheer from the crowd in the stadium. Long before then, the game had devolved into that staple of California TV – a car chase you couldn’t look away from, too much invested to turn it off and go to bed before seeing how much damage would be done in the end.

    The 7-hour, 20-minute marathon exhausted the resources of both teams – 46 of a possible 50 players were used. Boston’s eight relievers included their Game 2 starter (David Price) and their scheduled Game 4 starter (Nathan Eovaldi).

    “I’m tired,” said Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger, one of 10 players who played all 18 innings. “But I feel a lot better being 2-1 than being down 3-0.” …

    Liked by 1 person

  7. DJ, Buehler was great.

    I usually don’t watch complete games. I at least go check e-mail during the commercials and come back to find two outs already. But the book I took is one you can’t really read straight though (I’d been working on it for weeks, maybe as long as three months, and I read as much the last two days as I’d already read) and there really was nothing else to do, so I sat there through all of it, or at least all of it on a normal day. By about the sixth inning, my hubby was saying he’d go to bed after the top of the ninth and I said me too. And that’s what we did, leaving a game tied 1-1 that would almost certainly go into extra innings. My husband wasn’t feeling all that well and I’d already done all the reading I cared to do, so we watched it . . . or at least the first half. When he told me it went 18 innings, I told him I was glad it wasn’t a game that was important to us!! We’ve stayed up till 2:00 or so for a couple of important Cubs games, but 11-ish was late enough for us for a game we only vaguely cared about. (DJ, I want the Red Sox to win, but last night I went back and forth between wanting a Dodgers win for your sake–that was initially typed Dodgers sin–and wanting a Red Sox win so that the Dodgers would be down to virtually no chance. After all, 3-0 and 2-1 are very, very different places to finish!) It’s back to being anybody’s series, though I think the Red Sox will win in the end. Last night was a hard-fought game with great pitching, but way too long for a game that doesn’t really have a team I care about.


  8. I wished I didn’t care about it by around midnight 🙂 But you kind of had to stick with it if it was ‘your’ team hanging in the balance, ya know?

    Most of us think the Red Sox will take the series as well, but it would be nice to make it a little tough for them to do so. Maybe we can just wear them out more than we wear ourselves out in the end.

    Oh, and BTW, The Real, you’re welcome. 🙂


  9. Connie’s dog showed up. Ace is a border collie. So apparently was not wolves. He entered the camp of some searchers who were still out there. They took him to Montana. Hopefully, he will get fed and a quick vet check and be taken back to the mountains so they can see if he takes them to Connie. Sounds more like a health incident or broken leg so she may still be out there waiting. Unlikely if the dog left her but possible.

    Liked by 6 people

  10. It was fun to see Koufax (he was at last year’s World Series as well). So many of us grew up watching him as kids, he was a larger-than-life baseball hero in the 1960s.

    Game 4 starts in about 7 hours, if there are any men left standing.

    Even the fans who were there were exhausted, you could see it in their body language as the night wore on … and on … and on …


  11. But it ended well. The Red Sox have won enough recent World Series. And that can be annoying in itself after a while.

    It’s time for an underdog to upend it a bit.


  12. I am a middle child, and I can work with both spontaneity and organization. My eldest sibling, however, wasn’t the organizer amongst us. That was Second Sibling, and did she organize us! I still remember her strictures upon our behaviour and deportment. In later years, we have agreed among ourselves that the sibling dynamics were something resembling Eldest as Queen/General/Captain, Second as Chief Minister/Sergeant Major/First Mate, while Youngest and I were the lowly peasants/troops/seamen. Eldest had clear ideas of what was wanted, and Second carried them through. Myself and Youngest were generally willing pawns, but when we worms turned, it was Second who got the brunt of our wrath, not Eldest. [Now that is not to say we younger ones were truly oppressed or that the two elder ones were particularly unpleasant. The dictatorship was generally innocuous, especially since it usually involved playtimes. Our real rulers were wiser and wielded far greater powers than our older siblings, who were also under their jurisdiction. My mother, on more than one occasion, although requested to by talebearers, refused to discipline an erring child who had been already meted out punishment by her older siblings.]

    I do find that the generally recommended methods of organization, such as making lists, do not work for me. I have often, especially while preparing to depart on long journeys, tried to make lists, but the lists generally end up only dimly reflecting either my preparations or the items I actually carry with me. Yet, everything I need to do gets done and I have never yet lacked for what I need. I prefer less organization for smaller outings, as one has a lot more fun that way.

    As for organizing spaces and decorating, if you ask members (the female ones) of my family, they would tell you that my room is the least cluttered, neatest, and most attractively arranged room in the house. The funny thing about my very nice room is that I really do not spend that much time in it. The last two and a half years, I have spent the vast majority of my time elsewhere. While I am away, various visiting friends and relatives get the benefit of my room, the more so since Second’s family is now living with my parents. Since I arranged the place not just to please myself, but also to share the things that I enjoyed with others, I am content that others should use it.

    Speaking of Second and her family, Second In-law has found a job, working in a dairy. It is not a high paying job, but then my father never worked a high paying job either, and we were generally happy and content, and had enough for our needs and even some of our wants. They are all thankful. The littlest ones do miss their daddy when he is working. But, as I reminded my mother, we missed our daddy when he was working too, which is why we swarmed about him the minute he came through the door “like bees around a honeypot”, to use my mother’s phrase.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. Koufax footnote via Wikipedia: Koufax is also remembered as one of the outstanding Jewish athletes in American sports. His decision not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur garnered national attention as an example of conflict between professional pressures and personal beliefs.[7]

    Liked by 2 people

  14. We have ninety miles to go, and we are traveling six miles per minute – how many minutes will it take us to get there?

    Can you answer the above question without giving the answer? I am interested to know how many can answer it.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. 15 minutes. 60mph = 1 mile per minute. Multiply by 6 to get 360mph. 90÷360=0.25. So 90 miles at 360mph is 1/4 of an hour.

    I know I teach Spanish but I am good with numbers.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Why, you ask? Second son sent me that question. Asked a student who he was training to do fuel and time calculations while airborne. Presumably a college grad, that is usually who gets pilot seats in the mil. Said student did not have any idea or how to figure it out. I am sure it is an anomaly. We are not allowing people to graduate high school, let alone college, without the ability to read or do basic math, are we? Never mind.


  17. YA still isn’t replying to the two private messages nor to the three comments I left (on three separate posts, on three separate days) mentioning the messages. The last comment was asking her if she still uses Messenger. If she didn’t, and that was why she hadn’t replied, she could have told me then.

    I need to get Mrs. McK’s phone number, too. It is so frustrating to be concerned about my daughter, and the one person I am in contact with is ignoring me.

    (Although I will say that the part of me that believes in giving people the benefit of the doubt is thinking that maybe there is some reason she isn’t replying to my comments or messages. She can still post things, but maybe there’s one of those annoying Facebook glitches and she can’t comment? Nightingale thinks that’s unlikely.)


  18. I have asked Chickadee, too, but she is slow to reply. Even though she loves the McKs, I think she is timid to ask questions like that. 😦


  19. Not in my experience of college and university, Mumsee, and my self esteem has taken multiple beatings along the way, 6.

    No, a much more probable answer is either a) some students manage to cheat their way through school because they are natural born con artists that can wheedle other students into doing their work and persuade teachers to turn a blind eye; or b) the kid froze/choked and couldn’t think of the solution under pressure.

    I incline to b), as I have done a few stupid mistakes in the course of my training that were induced not from a lack of knowledge or ability to reason, but because the psychological pressure brought to bear in the moment induced a rising sense of panic and I just couldn’t think clearly anymore. I graduated at the top of my first nursing course, but in the course of that training I once failed an important test, because I choked. Immediately after the test was finished, I realized my mistake, even telling the program coordinator, whom I encountered in the hallway, about it in my misery. I was already sitting at a 75% in the course (60% was the pass rate), but failing that test meant an automatic fail in the course, and it was the knowledge that the test could make or break me which had caused me to choke. It was a stupid mistake too, really stupid. I had, in the course of the test, plenty of opportunity to correct myself, but in my panic, I couldn’t see the correction. When I got my final marks, however, I saw with relief and gratitude that I passed that course, with the 75% I had already earned before taking that test. I had failed the test, but they let me pass the course and I kept my high grade point average. I graduated at the top of my class and earned an award because my instructors had recognized that my choking on a test wasn’t a true measure of my abilities. It wasn’t coddling. It was justice and mercy wisely blended together.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. That Mumsee sure is tricky.
    I started with Peter’s solution, then I noticed Cheryl’s answer.
    Too much learning can corrupt your thought process.


  21. Roscuro, I’m glad that wasn’t your college/university experience, and I’m sorry that your self-esteem has taken multiple beatings. Neither artificially-inflated esteem nor knocked-down feelings of self-worth is good.

    At the same time, I think Mumsee’s 4:17 raises good questions about why so many of our schools (here in the U.S. anyway) pass children from grade to grade to grade to graduation without regard to basic skills development that shows sufficient advancement.

    Holding children back (making them repeat grades) was already anathema with numerous administrators when I was teaching in the public schools, and it’s been a quarter century since I’ve taught in the classroom.

    You’re right, Roscuro, that high-pressure situations can cause one to choke. But what I was hearing back in the 80s and 90s in teacher’s lounges was about kids who were falling farther and farther behind the more years went by, and plenty of those teachers wished they could convince the higher-ups that those struggling children shouldn’t be promoted to the next grade just because it was May or June and time to pass them along so that retaining them in their same grade wouldn’t hurt their self-esteem.

    What the struggling kids needed was time to acquire skills that would give them a sense of accomplishment, despite the fact that they (we all) make mistakes from time to time on things we know how to do. It’s not the occasional high-pressure fail that I’m talking about, but the consistent not-knowing-how-to-do-whatever that needs a solution. And it’s not a healthy solution to pass them into an environment where the gap widens between those who have acquired the necessary skills and those who have not.

    In any case, please accept my apologies if I came off as flippant or uncaring with my 4:29 remark.


  22. 6, you didn’t offend me. The comments just struck me as being a bit unjust and too facile. Having grown up in the homeschooling environment, I have read of the many examples of children who were rejected by the school system as being unable to learn succeeding in an environment which allowed them to learn at their own pace – I read about how Thomas Edison’s mother taught him at home after his teacher said he shouldn’t even be in school and heard of how one homeschooling advocate family’s eldest son didn’t learn to read until he was 9, yet eventually made his way to an Ivy league university. Even Winston Churchill failed miserably at learning Latin, causing his father to send him to a military academy in disgust. I have also heard, from the homeschooling world repeated criticism of the school system for not making children repeat grade and passing children who did not learn the basics through school. The school system is condemned when they fail students who do not work well in their system and condemned when they pass students who are failing in their system.

    Although I appreciate the opportunity to be homeschooled, by a mother who was , before she retired just before the birth of her first child, a public school teacher for ten years, I recognize that my opportunity to be taught by my mother, and my nieces’ and nephews’ opportunity to be taught by their mothers, was because someone taught my mother and grandmother in school. My mother attended both public and high school before getting her teacher’s certificate after one year of teacher’s college. If one reads the literature of early Canada (Anne of Green Gables) and the pioneer era in the U.S. (Little House on the Prairie), one realizes that the amount of information a student needed to pass in school and work in society in those years was in some ways far less and far more basic than the information that they now need – for example, Laura Ingalls could teach school after writing an exam at the tender age of fifteen, while Anne Shirley went to Queens for four years in her teens (essentially a high school course) and was able to teach public school. Although fictional, both stories, in those details, are based on actual facts about the educational systems of their respective countries. Now teachers must have a bachelor’s degree before taking teacher’s college courses, meaning their training may take five years.

    Similarly, students are expected to learn more and do more. One educational controversy I recall hearing about on the news as a young person was the amount and level of the homework that public (not secondary) students were expected to complete. Parent expressed that their children had no time to play in the evenings because of their level of work, questioning why their child, who spent all day at school, would need to bring home more work. My father was made to repeat Grade 12 and graduated from high school a year later than his peers. He went into a practical training program to repair cash registers, and then as technology changed, was trained in other office equipment. He never went to college or university, but his problem solving ability helped him learn to rewire circuit boards and improvise moving parts when replacement parts were slow to come in. I can think of many professions that now require a university degree which even 50 years ago only required a practical course given by employers. My own profession is a case in point. I had a preceptor in my first nursing program, who some thirty years before, had taken a nursing course given by a hospital, with most of her course time spent taking care of patients learning on the job. Now, we spend hours in the classroom, and hours on research assignments, with only our final year spent in more practical than classroom training. Nurses graduating now know more about anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology than physicians would have known in the early 1900. After all, much of what we know about body systems has grown immensely in the last hundred years. Perhaps the real problem is that education has not been able to keep pace with the flood of new information.


  23. One of my teachers once in my reading specialist classes said that she did her masters on children who did not succeed in reading recovery. The key was that they had no background knowledge. no one had been holding conversations with these children and they didn’t know how to converse. I had a boy like that. Finally realized that both parents worked, one at night and one during the day. So a parent was home, but sleeping. He and his little sisters were mostly on their own. He once corrected me on a spelling test when I said the word ‘saw’. Don’t you mean ‘see’? I think that he had never heard the past tense.


  24. Jo, I realized how important the child’s context outside of school was to their ability to learn in West Africa. There, students going to college, going by the few essays I saw, wrote at perhaps a Grade 8 or Grade 9 level, while I encountered some high school students who could barely read a simple story. To begin with, they were studying in English, while their mother tongues were completely different. But even more importantly, most of them had illiterate parents. It did not escape my notice that one girl who was considered very brilliant at her studies had a parent who could both speak and read English. My mother and Second took a childcare course, and they said that the importance of reading to children to enable them to read in the future was repeatedly emphasized. Those whose parents cannot read or do not read to them have a long, uphill battle to master the concept.

    We should remember that for a long period in our past history, most people could not read. Yet people worked and became masters of their work, whether or not they could read. There are worse things than not being able to read. Reading is important to Christians, especially since the Reformation, because of the ability to read the Bible for ourselves, but the ability to read is not even necessary for salvation or spiritual growth in the life of a believer. Reading certainly makes things easier, and has been the vehicle for the explosion of knowledge in modern times, but not everyone has to read.

    Similar to reading, I doubt the average peasant, on whose backs the European and thus Western civilization was built, were ever taught to multiply or divide, although they may have learned by experience the patterns of counting numbers. I have met such people in West Africa, who had never been in school but learned by experience of bargaining in the market place how to turn their basic counting skills into something more. School is a privilege, which sadly, many children take for granted, thus wasting their opportunities. But one can learn much outside of any schooling at all. The real problem with many students who never learned and were just passed up through the grades is not that they were academic failures, as that is no shame, but that they are indifferent to both the necessity and the benefit of learning, whether inside or outside the classroom.


  25. Absolutely, there is a lot of info needed out there. But the basics remain the same and need to be learned, I would think, to get to the diploma. Our literacy rate in this country is not where it should be. Our mathematics test results are not where they should be. Our science and history are not where they should be. The school days are filled to bursting and yet….

    I have had several children in several different public schools. I have not been impressed. My seventeen year old is being passed each quarter, not because he does any school work at all during the quarter (he doesn’t. No homework, no reading in class, no listening in class, no notes in class, nothing) but because he comes in during the three teacher work days after finals and brings his F’s up high enough so the school will let him continue to participate in extra curricular activities. He cannot do a lot of the basic math the eleven and twelve year olds are doing in sixth grade. He does not know a lot of the science or history or literature that they know. He can make a top in 3 D printing (other seventeen year old made a dragon at the library) But he will continue to pass because that is what they do. In previous years, we enforced consequences as well as we could. This year we are leaving it to the school. The past several weeks I have received notice that my son needs to do some homework to bring his grades up. Son has told us he is not going to do any homework until he turns eighteen. I wrote a letter to the principal and superintendent and let them know we would support their efforts but it is on them. They are the ones who keep giving him that loophole. And he is just one of many many students doing the same thing. He is proud of his fifty percentile in standardized testing and he is a very bright boy, just not very smart apparently. Though what he is doing is getting him a diploma and lots of playtime.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. And, because reading and math are not necessary, why insist on giving those who don’t want it or can’t, a diploma? Shouldn’t a diploma mean you put in a lot of work to get it?


  27. I would say that in our country, in this day and age, reading, and at least basic math, are indeed necessary to survive. I guess there must be exceptions to that, but not many.


  28. Cheryl, we will be studying butterflies this week and I will be using many of your wonderful photos. I just found where I had saved your butterfly book, so I will be sharing that too. Thanks, you are better than a google search!!

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Ah, but it wasn’t actually over, was it, DJ? 9-6, and I thought about you all evening.

    My husband watched it all, and I watched most of it. So many things the announcers confidently told us didn’t happen. The Dodgers had been up by four points 54 times during the regular season and had won every single one of those games–just one of several such upsets. The Dodgers’ four runs shouldn’t have happened in the first place, since an error brought in a run and extended the inning, and then someone who couldn’t hit against left-handed (right-handed?) pitching did, and brought in three runs.

    I’ll tell you, though, when they were into the sixth inning with no runs, I kept joking to my husband that we’d go to bed with the game 0-0 and get up to find they had played a record-breaking 19 innings that finally ended 1-0. Some announcer sounded almost gloating when he said the Red Sox bats have sure been quiet the last two games, and my husband and I are like “Um, is he watching the same games we are? Because in the games we’re watching, the Dodgers only have one more run than the Red Sox in the 18 innings last night plus all the ones we’ve played so far. So you can’t exactly pick on one team in this one.”

    Then that 4-0 inning, with a very disappointed Red Sox pitcher, and everyone across the country figuring that the Dodgers just evened up the series, because there was no reasonable likelihood that the Red Sox, scoreless through two-thirds of the game, were going to pull 5 runs out of their hats. The game had been boring and long for those first five-and-a-half innings, but the last three-and-a-half were well worth watching. 4-3 and it was a new game. Then when it was 5-4, I kept saying, “They need more runs, can’t send it back to the Dodgers with just a one-game lead, or they’ll tie it up again and send it into extra innings again.” And the bases were loaded, and nearly loaded, two or three different times, with the Red Sox finally being ahead enough (9-4) that it was the Dodgers that had no reasonable hope. But then the Dodgers did get two runs, and you could sense their fans thinking maybe they still had a chance . . . and then it was over.

    A hard-fought, fingernail-biting, good game. The Dodgers could still win it–remember in 2016 the Cubs had three elimination games themselves, and won all three to win the World Series. But the chances don’t look all that great. (And we noticed last night that Larry King wasn’t in his seat, and wondered how long he stayed into that 18-inning marathon.)


  30. DJ, forgive me, but I didn’t reach your 10:16 post till this morning, and I laughed out loud. My husband asked (when I read it aloud) did you eventually replace woo-hoooo with boo-hoo?

    Hey, at least you didn’t have to stay up through more than a dozen innings.


  31. Mumsee, I don’t have a high school diploma. That is another thing that is repeatedly bandied about in homeschooling, that pieces of paper granting an academic designation are meaningless and convey nothing about a student’s abilities. Yet the homeschooling culture also accuses the schools of handing out those apparently worthless pieces of paper to those who are undeserving.

    Seventeen year old sounds, from the repeated descriptions, like one of those who are natural manipulators that manage to get around the system without doing the work. That he is able to do so does not necessarily reflect badly on the system or the teachers. After all, one’s vulnerability to being conned is not necessarily a reflection on one’s character.


  32. Incidentally, the illiteracy rate in the US has remained at 14 percent for the past ten years, according to Google. One reason for the presence of a certain amount of low literacy and numeracy scores in Canada has been recognized as the presence of immigrants whose first language is neither of the two official languages. In other words, these people may read perfectly well in their own language, but read poorly in English or French. That is something I understand perfectly well, since my reading level in French, despite having earned a certificate in French Proficiency, is far below my reading ability in English. Since the literacy and numeracy tests, as well as every other kind of test, is written either in English or French, those whose first language or mother tongue is something else are at an immediate disadvantage, just as English or French speakers would be trying to write a test in Spanish or Hindi or Arabic or Mandarin, etc., even if they had spent some years studying the language. As an example of how much language affects academic scores, Canada recently adopted the NCLEX licensing exam for registered nurses, and the rate of newly licensed nurses from Quebec plummeted, not because the nurses graduating from Quebec schools were poorly educated, but because the NCLEX exam was developed by a company based in the US and their translation of the exam into French left much to be desired.


  33. Roscuro, I don’t hang around other homeschoolers, haven’t in probably twenty plus years. My thoughts are my thoughts based on my children, both homeschooled and public schooled. I have had several children who could not read who were continually passed in public school. In third grade, sixth grade, ninth, and tenth. Nor could they do challenging math. They were not manipulators like seventeen year old, just children who could not read or do math. I have also been around the public school students and heard some of them read and seen their senior projects. Some are very good. Some, I can’t imagine we can’t come up with a better diploma system. Getting credit for being a warm body in class is not the same as learning.

    Seventeen is a master manipulator and we have explained it to his teachers and the school administrators. Initially, they don’t agree, just that he needs a little more love and understanding. Then they get it but they have already fallen for it and passed him on. The next year rolls around, with some of the same teachers and he does it again because, “this time I am going to do the work” and they believe it. It is true in his personal life as well. He always has a family that will let him stay at their house and play on their game console or computer or use their internet. For about five months and then they begin to realize he is not what he says. Then he moves on. He has gone through six families that I know of in the past three years. He also has several adults he plays, for money. They come through for him for several months until it dawns on them that they are not getting what they thought.


  34. Not all illiteracy (or lack of basic mathematic skill) is due to foreigners.

    Both in Chicago and in Nashville I did a little bit of homework help (to be distinguished from tutoring, since I had received no training or such). In Chicago I worked with one girl, about 11 at the time, who had been coming to my house frequently since she was nine. She and her cousins would come to my house, and their favorite books were a series of Bible stories written for preschoolers. My little girl’s house had no books that I could see. When I got her and another girl in the after-school program, her homework might include 3 + 4. So I would ask her, “What is three plus four?” She would count on her fingers. Affectionately, I would grab her hand to keep her from using her fingers, and she just couldn’t do it. When an 11-year-old is reading books meant for five-year-olds and needs her fingers to add single digits, she isn’t academically prepared.

    In Nashville I tended to be put in with fourth and fifth graders. A boy might call me over to help with his homework. He’d have 453 x 21, and he wouldn’t know how to do it. So I would show him that you start by multiplying 3 x 1, and maybe he would know that much and maybe he wouldn’t. But he clearly didn’t know anything of his times tables. “What’s three times four?” I’d ask, and he’d shrug. Well, you cannot multiply without memorizing your times tables. You simply can’t. So I would draw three rows of four circles each, have him count them, and show him that is 3 x 4, and his answer is 12. Put that down like this. I’d work through a single problem like that, and then tell the employees (I was merely a one-day-a-week volunteer) that this boy needed practice with his times tables. But I got the sense that schools thought that rote learning was harmful to children and they didn’t insist on it. But really, if you can’t multiply three times four, you aren’t prepared even to buy groceries or figure out how much rent you can afford. I doubt most people really need algebra, but you surely need to know whether a paycheck of $1,200 a month is enough to cover rent of $800 (shared with one other person), plus groceries, utilities, and so forth. If you can’t figure out how much an $80 purchase will cost if it’s 10% off, then you are really going to struggle. My sister has had lots of experience with cashiers who cannot figure out 40% off a price, and I myself have been charged more than the regular price for an item that is on sale because of a cashier doesn’t have the math ability I had by fourth grade.

    When I edit a book that includes math, I always check it, and I nearly always find an error somewhere. Sometimes it’s stupid stuff. One author (writing a book on finances) had a fictional story she kept going back to in order to illustrate principles, and in one case she showed how much more a couple would have to leave to their heirs if they did such and such . . . only in the first use of the story they had three children, and when she came back to it they had two. By the time I divided the second amount three ways instead of two, her example didn’t work anymore! (She was doing lots of sleight-of-hand math, a tax break for this and deferred earnings for that, and I couldn’t keep up with any of that stuff. But the final amounts didn’t work.) I’m in no way an expert in math–I have basically only had it up to eighth grade–but anyone who can’t do such calculations as figuring out whether 40% off of $138 is a better or worse price than $99 is going to be quite vulnerable in our fast-talking culture.


  35. I graded achievement tests occasionally in Nashville. (They weren’t Tennessee students.) And I was utterly horrified at how they were graded. For instance, high-school students taking math tests were considered to have made a “minor error” for any decimal error. Let me illustrate. For confidentiality reasons, I can’t use actual examples, but let me make one up.

    Story problem: Wal-Mart is selling a coat for 40% off its final clearance price. The original price was $138, and it was put on clearance for 20% off. Target has the same coat for $75. How much will you save (if anything) if you buy the coat at Target? (Show all your math.)

    So, if the student subtracts 40% and then subtracts 20%, it will be considered a major error, since he did the figuring backward. (He might get credit for doing the math right, so he might get one of the three points for this question.)

    But let’s say he does this:

    .020 x $138 = $276; $138-276 = -138; .040 x -138 = -552. $75 – (-552). $75 = 552 = 627. I would have saved $627 buying the coat at Target.

    It would be my job to make sure he did every step correctly, doing the math myself to make sure it is “only” a decimal error. (If you look at my example, several places have decimal errors, and the final completely illogical answer of a negative price.) If I recall correctly, such an answer would have gotten two out of the possible three points, as long as all the math is correct (except for the seemingly trivial error of the wrong decimal place).

    So we were using calculators to verify that the answer they got is indeed the answer they should have gotten if they multiplied 400 instead of 0.4 way back in step two. “This student came up with an answer of $12,456.98 instead of $42.34 . . . but hey, it’s a decimal error, and thus a minor error.” I don’t remember whether we took away any points at all for a minor error, but for sure he would have gotten at least two out of the three possible points here.

    No, I am not exaggerating. I actually had an answer that came in over $10,000 when it should have been under $50, and the student should have looked at the story problem and said, “Wait, I did something really wrong somewhere” and should have received zero credit . . . but it was only a decimal error and thus officially a minor error. It didn’t matter how many spaces the decimal point was off, or where in the question it happened. Personally, I don’t want the IRS taking 150% when they mean to be taking 15%, and a store manager doesn’t want a cashier taking off a 60% discount instead of 6%. Nor do I want the person measuring carpet to be unable to figure out how many feet are in 12 1/3 yards. If the cashier rings up forty of something instead of four, I won’t be reassured by it being a decimal error. If I mean to buy 0.52 pounds of bananas at .49 a pound, don’t charge me for 520 pounds at $4.90 a pound! Decimal errors are easy mistakes to make, but they’re bad ones. And well before a student is in 10th grade, he ought mentally to know “The answer to this one will just be a few dollars, maybe $5 or $10 or $15” and to see that an answer above $10,000 is wrong.

    Oh, a calculator error was also a minor error, so we were supposed to be looking for those, too, and my boss was a whiz at figuring out what the student did wrong. If she was supposed to have multiplied by 674 and instead hit the wrong key and multiplied by 874, that was quite all right. If we couldn’t figure out the math of how the student got something, we were supposed to let our boss look at it; and she would send the paper back with “she multiplied by 874 instead of 674; calculator error; minor error. 2 points.”

    We also had one test question with ambiguous wording. A small minority of students (15 percent or so) read it the wrong way, and thus answered it the wrong way, and got no credit for their answer.


  36. In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m not going to church this morning. (Well, it isn’t morning anymore.) My husband is sick, and my legs are bothering me, so I didn’t want to drive and then climb stairs at church. They feel better than they did last night, but last night I could hardly walk and didn’t think it wise to go unless I wasn’t the one driving.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Cheryl: Hey, at least you didn’t have to stay up through more than a dozen innings.

    There was that.

    I bailed the game in the 9th, though later saw the Dodgers managed to get 1 more run before it all ended, for all the good that did.

    They blew it hugely last night. Very disappointing. Shouldn’t have happened.

    They’ll have some work to do before next season.

    This one, while not quite over yet, will more than likely be kaput after tonight’s game.

    Hope you both feel better, sometimes a Sunday spent “down” at home is what our bodies need.


  38. While I felt happy for the Astros (eventually and albeit somewhat begrudgingly) last year, I can’t say the same for the Red Sox. They’re the big brawny kid on the playground so winning for them is more of an entitlement, I imagine, and not the big deal it would be for many other teams.

    Sorry, The Real. We (lamely) tried.


  39. Cheryl, I suspect a good part of the problem is that the children are encouraged to use calculators or their phones to find the answers and because they trust those devices and have since second grade, they cannot catch those errors. You can see the same problem with cashiers and customers who are not paying attention.


  40. Cheryl, the number of books a child has in their home is actually considered a contributing factor to both literacy and numeracy (mathematical abilities) levels. One study which looked at Canadian born university students found that about one third of those who had ten books or less in their homes at age 16 were at a lower level of literacy and numeracy (they were not illiterate or unable to do math, obviously, but their abilities in each area were more limited than those who scored higher): https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/75-006-x/2014001/article/14094-eng.htm.

    About the marking method for math, I recall my mother telling me that the reason she told us, as she had told her students, to show our work, was that long math problems were marked according not only to the final answer, but also whether the child displayed the ability to think through how to do the problem correctly. Thus a wrong answer might receive marks because although the child made a calculation error which threw off the final answer, the work showed that they knew the right steps to solve the problem. My mother began teaching in 1969 and retired 10 years later, so this was before the major changes to the educational system in the 1980s. Giving marks for the correct process in a math question that has an incorrect final answer is not a new concept.


  41. I am late on Mumsee’s math story problem. I arrived at the answer by figuring 6×10=60 miles in 10 minutes so add 5 minutes more to get 30 more miles, therefore 15 minutes. Before homeschooling, I would have divided as Roscuro did, but would have needed to write it out. In homeschooling I found other ways to do math problems so I could do it easier in my head. This may not be logical, but it is how my brain works. In school we did all math by writing it out. And in my work, it has all been done by plugging numbers into a machine and not using the brain to calculate. I think accountants in general may have difficulty doing math in their head for that reason.


  42. We had a really good service with communion this morning. I know some of you have communion every Sunday which is nice. For those who have it less frequrntly, it seems to really add a sense of specialness to the service.


  43. them Dodgers belong in Brooklyn. It’s a long subway rude to watch them play in California.

    Pondering Mumsee’s question and 2:58 and Peter’s 3:19, and my almost taking that track.
    What happens is this: When someone asks a guy, “Can you fix this?” is really an ask for help.
    Your wife asks, “Can you open this for me?” means she want the jar open.
    “Can you fix my bicycle tire?” means your kid has something wrong that you need to deal with.
    It’s a logical male response to “Can you …..?”
    Hence: Can you….? Was not misinterpreted in a male lexicon.
    Problem solved.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. The header photo is nice. On my small phone screen I can not tell what kind of flower is pictured.

    AJ, feel free to pull any of my photos off of Facebook to post. I can not send any because my storage space is so low that I can’t pull up the photos and send except through Instagram and Facebook.


  45. Janice, my maternal grandmother could do long sums in her head. Whenever I read the scene in Little Town on the Prairie where Laura Ingalls does long division sums orally in the school exhibition, I think of my grandmother. She, of course, went to high school in the 1930s, about five decades after the era of the Little House books. I can do mental sums – I did Mumsee’s math problem mentally – but I feel safer second checking myself by writing them down or using a calculator, especially when calculating drug doses. It takes one tiny mental blip, like forgetting which number was being carried, to get a wrong dose. Calculating drug doses is actually very basic math, nothing more than multiplication and division using simple equations, but when one is tired or distracted, it can be a very easy to make a small slip. Of course, we are constantly advised to use our critical thinking – e.g. if a medication comes in a 1 mL vial doses, and your calculation calls for 10 mLs of the medication, then you should check your calculation again, since you probably shouldn’t be giving 10 vials of a medication to anyone at once.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Roscuro, I agree with the idea of giving partial credit, up to a point . . . a student whose calculations are wildly wrong (he has no understanding of decimals at all) should not have it treated as a “minor” error. If the answer is 120,457,690.0987654 and the student accidentally puts the decimal point one row over, that’s a minor error. If the student puts 607.9 instead of 80.79 somewhere up in the calculation and throws everything off, it isn’t. When your answer on the difference between two prices comes up with a number higher than the higher price, it should be a good clue something went wrong. Getting full credit for such an answer (or only getting it docked one point of the three or four available) gives a false picture of the student’s ability,


  47. Nightingale has always been good at math, and The Boy is very good at it.

    People complain about Common Core math, and often share on Facebook photos of problems worked out with Common Core math that they think seem ridiculous. But Nightingale says what she sees is that it is like putting mental math into writing. I think sometimes it does look like they make it a little more complicated than the way I do mental math, but I understand it.

    One of the problems that can be encountered with a student showing their work is that some very intelligent “math whizzes” come at the problem differently than the way they are being taught.


  48. Kizzie, as long as they can explain how they got to their answer and the answer is correct or simple math error incorrect, it is fine. Being able to show your work, also shows you can show somebody how to do it which means you understand it.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. How about those Dodgers?

    Painters are not here today, thankfully. I was talking to my elder after church and mentioned the lunar-sabbath-obsessed person to him, he said I should invite him to come to church some time and throw out his questions and challenges to our pastor during the Q&A SS session.

    What I’ve thought of, too, though, is the fact that my neighbors on the south and J, the lead painter guy, are not believers. They see / hear this guy and run the other way (as even I am doing).

    There’s something more I probably should be doing in countering all of this, but I either don’t know what or how — or I don’t currently have the spiritual energy, which is no excuse. 😦


  50. I wasn’t a math whiz, but fairly good at math, and yes, I have quite a few tricks to do some math in my head. But in junior high when I had to give my answer and show my work, I’d write down the answer and then I’d “show” my work, which had nothing to do with how I got my answer but was just what the teacher wanted us to write.

    Then I got to high school math, which was correspondence (no teacher to explain things) and I could no longer do it in my head or find a simpler way to do it on paper, and I didn’t understand it, and I was lost and got bogged down. My freshman, sophomore, and senior years combined took about a year. I took two-and-a-half years to get through high school. I got seriously bogged down in algebra and French.

    I once did some writing and editing work for some curriculum for kids: test preparation, writing papers, etc. And one of the skills it went through in one of the booklets was one I had never thought of actually teaching: estimating. They didn’t ask the student to find the answer, but questions would be something like. If you need to make 27 copies of a paper that is 15 pages long, estimate the amount of paper you will need. A. 150 sheets B. 400 sheets C. 900 sheets It really seemed like a useful skill to teach. Intelligent people (or at least people who are good at math) do that sort of thing all the time to narrow down the quantity of something. You don’t need the exact final number when you’re in the store trying to figure out if two boxes of cake mix will be enough for cupcakes for the whole class; you just need to know each box makes about a dozen cupcakes, your class has 24 students, and sometimes they don’t make exactly what they say and two or three parents might show up . . . two boxes is probably enough, but let’s get three to be on the safe side. It’s one of those things you just do, and probably one of those things parents teach their children to do, but not something you think about as being part of curriculum.

    But I do think that good math skills includes the ability to look at your answer and say, “Does that make sense with the original question?” If the question is “One-pound bags of flour cost $1.19 each. A five-pound bag of flour costs $4.99. How much you save if you buy one five-pound bag of flour instead of five one-pound bags of flour?” the answer MUST be considerably lower than $5.00. (That is one of those questions where I would hate having to “show my work,” by the way. My actual “work” would be mentally multiplying $1.20 by five, or $1 by five and then 20 cents by five, subtracting a nickel from the total; then subtracting five dollars, and then adding a penny back. “Showing my work” would be a good way to double-check my math, but it wouldn’t really be “my work.” It would instead mean doing the sum twice.)

    Inner-city kids used to come by our house in Chicago frequently, and I made cookies with them a few times. And I did do specifically because it’s a good, practical way to “learn math.” Shopping and keeping track of the approximate cost of items in your shopping cart is another good one. Children who don’t have such day-to-day interactions with parents, or who can’t figure out those skills on their own, lose a lot.


  51. DJ, a sharp reproof would be in order for the lunatic (he is obsessed by the moon). What strikes me is that Peter and Paul and even gentle John would not give any quarter to those who taught false doctrine. Peter’s terrifying reproof to Simon Magnus, Paul’s comment that he and the elders would not give place to the Judaizers in Jerusalem even for an hour, and John’s command to not even give a farewell of common courtesy to false teachers all show a much less tolerant reaction to those who taught heresies than today when the culture of free speech and freedom of conscience detrimentally influences the context of the Church.

    We have cable television in the apartment here, and my fellow student likes to watch it. She was watching an episode on the National Geographic channel the other night which talked about beliefs in the afterlife and included an exorcism from a supposed exorcist in the U.S. My gut reaction to seeing this charlatan invoke the Holy Spirit and the name of Jesus in his false ritual was genuine embarrassment and disgust – so much so that she offered to turn it off. I said it was OK, as I could see it was completely faked, but I took the opportunity to explain that the Bible strongly condemned those who made money from trying to use the Holy Spirit’s power, so she could understand what was offending me about the segment.

    Liked by 3 people

  52. Well, according to Wikipedia, New York’s Public School standards require the teaching of phonics, as does Ohio and California. Common Core standards include the use of phonics according to its website. It is a relatively new teaching technique, considering how long people have been learning to read, only suggested in the mid-1800s and introduced into schools in the mid-1900s: https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-18493436. It occurs to me, reading the UK-based article on phonics, that the teaching of phonics would be further complicated by regional accents, so that vowel and even consonant sounds in words would vary widely, making the use of phonemes to teach how to sound out words even more difficult. As the BBC article notes at the end, being read to in the home is by far the most important step to learning to read. I learned to read before going through the taped phonics lessons my mother had – I remember being able to read the text of the booklets that accompanied the tapes – while Eldest Nephew learned to read and write before even being formally taught the alphabet (he was three).


  53. The Dodgers’ name makes me think of an American folksong called The Dodger that the great American composer Aaron Copeland set to orchestral accompaniment (https://songofamerica.net/song/dodger/):
    Yes the candidate’s a dodger,
    Yes a well-known dodger.
    Yes the candidate’s a dodger,
    Yes and I’m a dodger too.

    He’ll meet you and treat you,
    And ask you for your vote.
    But look out boys,
    He’s a-dodgin’ for your note.

    Yes we’re all dodgin’
    A-dodgin’, dodgin’, dodgin’.
    Yes we’re all dodgin’
    Out away through the world.

    Yes the preacher he’s a dodger,
    Yes a well-known dodger.
    Yes the preacher he’s a dodger,
    Yes and I’m a dodger too.

    He’ll preach you a gospel,
    And tell you of your crimes.
    But look out boys,
    He’s a-dodgin’ for your dimes.

    Yes we’re all dodgin’ . . . etc.

    Yes the lover he’s a dodger,
    Yes a well-known dodger.
    Yes the lover he’s a dodger,
    Yes and I’m a dodger too.

    He’ll hug you and kiss you,
    And call you his bride,
    But look out girls,
    He’s a-tellin’ you a lie.

    Yes we’re all dodgin’ . . . etc.


  54. Reading some more threads and I see the Lunar Sabbath folks refer to the Set-Apart Spirit that opens one’s eyes to this ‘truth.’

    Sounds like they’re all as obsessed as my sidekick painter


  55. DJ, I was just reading about the Shakers this week. Apparently, they believed their founder was the female incarnation of God on earth. That set-apart, obsessive mindset just keeps popping up with every new variation on heresy.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. “Our bums” You got it Donna.
    You realize that is real Brooklyn talk don’t you. I’m not kidding here. That’s what they said in Brooklyn.

    It used to be that people went to the world series games on the subway. With the Bums, Giants and Yankees, NYC always had a team in the games.


  57. I had that Danny Kaye record (7:05) as a kid, this YouTube version is paired with some photos of the old baseball cards many kids collected back then.


  58. roscuro, yes, the Shakers, apparently a small group of them still exist back east. They did make nice furniture 🙂 I suppose the whole mandatory celibacy thing led in some part to their numbers collapsing rather quickly.


  59. Wow, minutes into the game and Boston leads 2-0.

    I’ll have to switch to the Hallmark Christmas movies tonight, I think. 🙂


  60. Roscuro at 6:37 pm: I like that song. A friend of mine, whom I accompanied for his senior vocal recital in college, sang that and others of Copland’s Old American Songs.

    His voice sounded almost exactly like B. J. Thomas’s. Especially this song:


  61. Roscuro, as precise system of phonics might be newish, but the whole point of an alphabet is that words are made of letters, and those letters have somewhat consistent sounds. The child who learns to read by watching his mother as she reads a book to him is probably noticing “patterns.” Sometimes the pattern might be that every time the word “cat” comes up, his mother says “cat.” But other times it might be that most of the time a word has a g at the beginning, his mom pronounces a particular sound. Even the sound of many of the letters gives a good hint; that’s a B and that’s an M. To ignore the sounds the letters make while we teach children to memorize what a word “looks like” is nuts. For one thing, FROG and frog look different, especially by the time you include different fonts. When I was working with kids in their after-school program, some fourth grader would be looking at one of English’s most simple words, for example “dog,” and say “I don’t remember that word.” She’d be trying to recognize it, not to read it.

    It seemed to me rather strange to try to teach reading by “recognition” (rote memory) . . . but not to teach the times tables, which require rote memory! English has plenty of non-standard words that simply have to be learned. But dog and cog and cat need not be among them.


  62. Except for children like twelve year old. He can read and he can read quite a bit but he cannot do phonics. His are all memorized words which is why I have him read aloud a lot to me while sitting with me and he has me read aloud a lot to him while he is reading along. I cannot imagine memorizing so many words and it is the shape of the words he mostly memorizes, though also the first couple of letters. Which can be confusing if he stops with that because then elf and elephant are the same word.


  63. DJ – You mentioned that the Red Sox have won their share of World Series. But until their 2004 win, they had not won one for 86 years (I think it was). Although not a sports enthusiast, I remember how exciting it was when they finally won that World Series.

    So, they’ve just been making up for lost time. Don’t pick on them. 🙂


  64. DJ, I came on here to see if you need any comforting . . . though I might be the wrong one to give it, since I’m (mildly) rooting for the other team.

    I see we zoomed way past 100 . . .


  65. Cheryl, but why? (rooting for the ‘other’ team)? I mean, really, unless you live there, used to live there or have some other tie to Boston …

    Well, carry on. I’ve come to accept the loss, I’ve even turned off the game to watch a comforting Hallmark Christmas movie. Something about a gingerbread house cooking contest.

    Maybe next year.

    We did win the pennant, so that’s a plus. But yes, it’s tough since we came within a hair of winning the World Series in 2017. Almost … Not quite.


  66. DJ, my husband didn’t want the Dodgers to win since he saw them as spending a lot of money the second half of the season to “guarantee” a World Series win, and that sort of thing turns him off. Since I didn’t particularly care either way, I rooted with him for the Red Sox.

    I also kind of have it in my mind that the Yankees and the Dodgers are the ones who win all the games, though I guess that isn’t actually accurate.

    But as a Cubs fan, I do understand the “this will be our year” thing.


  67. That’s major league sports. Not sandlot anymore.

    Dodgers last won a World Series in 1988. Not a super-long time ago, but 30 years — long enough to make us ready to win another one now.

    I see that Boston won, their 4th (or 5th?) championship win in 15 years, not bad.

    Liked by 1 person

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