Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January, 2010

Hello everyone. I’m still on break, but I discovered this article while reading several reputable and not so reputable news sources. My schedule this semester is pretty full, so I have yet to determine a good time for me to post on a continual basis. However, this academic semester has started of well, and I look forward to continually providing my poor and possibly useless commentary to an audience who may or may not exist.

Several things to look out for:

1) The State of the Union Address (for the United States of America), is this Wednesday. I encourage all of you to listen to it or watch it (probably the latter). I think it is extremely relevant to any person who lives in America. Many people have been complaining about the continual war, or asking questions like: “What is the country doing to fix the economy?” Well, this is a perfect time for people to learn what topic the president is actually concentrating on. Is he putting all his efforts into supporting a health care bill, or is he concentrating more on the new supreme court ruling? Liking politics or not is immaterial at this point. It’s about knowing what is actually going on, and being educated enough to recognize the importance of finding things out for yourself.

Besides, I always found it was rather stupid that people liked to make commentary about what they knew near-nothing about. For example, people who love American Democracy without realizing that American runs on a Republic system. Or commentating on the “international free market” when it doesn’t exist. Or complaining about the American economy without doing a little research. Reading blogs (even mine) may be insightful, but I would hardly consider it research.

2) I’m going to try cutting back on the actual length of my posts. Usually, my rants will last about 1000 words, which is good (I suppose) for people with nothing better to do. But, I feel it is more beneficial for me to learn how to write less while still relaying the same amount of information than it is to write whatever the hell I want for over 9000 (yes, I went there) words.

Course, it didn’t really work today, because I’ve seem to have hit past my intended mark of 500 today. Man do I need to shorten these “precursor complaints.”

‘Oral sex’ definition prompts dictionary ban in US schools – Guardian.co.uk

I understand if an elementary school wants to ban Catcher in the Rye, or if a public school is comfortable with carrying, say, copies of playboy. Heck, I even understand how a protected/limited search engine would ban you from searching for Shel Silverstein (although it is more of a “I can see people programming this poorly” than as an actual ban). But dictionaries? Because they contain definitions of sexually explicit words?

Please, like you would use the word coitus to explain how you created your child in the first place.

I thought it was interesting how parents dream of their kids growing old and getting married and possibly having kids of their own, when the very same parents are terrified that their child will learn (oh goodness, that dreaded word), about SEX. Yes, perhaps kids shouldn’t learn about sex when they’re 4 or 5, but they’ll have to understand what it is eventually. Children do grow up. Many will have sex eventually, probably far before you realize they’ve lose their virginity. Trying to remove all possible relations to any connotation of sexual interaction will only serve to feed their ignorance. Or, encourage their rebellion.

When will it be time to teach a child about sex? As much as we would like to think that “they’ll just know” or “we’ll know when they’re mature enough,” the world does not work that way. There is no telepathic connection that sends a signal to your brain that says “your child is ready to know about sex.” By continually viewing children as, well, children who are incapable of “understanding” the complexities of sex, not only will children realize they can no longer learn from their parents, but they will move onto other sources. Perhaps not so wonderful sources (unless you guys seem to believe that music videos and dictionaries are a good way to educate children about sex).

Which leads me to another question. When it is time for a child to learn about sex, where will he or she learn it? The school? A dictionary? The side of a cigarette carton? I’d hope not. I would think that children would be able to trust their parents enough, at whatever age they are at, to learn about what sex is. Perhaps, if more parents took the time to explain sex without either avoiding it or depending on other sources to teach it, we would have fewer pregnant preteens.

In any case, it is ridiculous to have the notion that your child will always and forever be pure and free of sexual thoughts and influences. By educating and teaching your child when they ask about sex (whether they discover it through a dictionary or a friend), you (as a parent or future parent) will be able to explain what sex is before they think that sex is something akin to a mash of hentai, playboy, rap videos and dictionary explanations.

Read Full Post »

Break

Mint Cafe will be on break indefinitely until I figure out what my new schedule is going to look like for the Spring 2010 semester.

Read Full Post »

Hello everyone. I am on vacation, which is a rare chance for me. Currently, I am typing away from Florida, after an amazing visit to Disney World. If you have enough money and time on your hands, I encourage you to go. It was really quite amazing. But bring good shoes. I don’t think my feet will ever be the same again.

I also had a really spectacular New Years. It’s pretty funny, I left NYC for Orlando, and I spent my New Years Day watching the ball drop from NYC. Way to shove it in my face that NYC is great during the winter season.

Currently Reading: Out of My Mind by Andy Rooney
Currently Eating: Nothing
Currently Drinking: Mountain Dew (MTN DEW)
Currently Listening To: A Girl Worth Fighting For (Mulan, Disney)
Currently Located: Florida
Current Mood: Childlike, giddy, relaxed, happy 😀

This weekend, I had the distinct pleasure of visiting Orlando, Florida. And, as a result, I had the equally distinct pleasure of GOING TO DISNEY WORLD FOR THREE DAYS. It was particularly interesting because my last visit to Disney World was a family vacation. Disney world, as a theme park, is an especially popular place to take children on vacation, and it is rather interesting to see how parents interacted with their children. Everyone thinks of Disney World as the “happiest place on Earth.” After all, the park encourages you to smile till your face falls off. And yet, my memories of Disney World (and many other family vacations in areas that encourage family vacationing) are filled with bad memories.

The problem with most family vacations is that, although the parents intend on making it a vacation, parents also want to make the most out of their time by making sure their children sees everything! This results in a lot of running from sight to sight, rushing through food, complaining at someone when things go wrong, and getting into fights with other parents who are doing the same thing. Instead of taking the time as an actual vacation (you know, to relax), parents feel rushed to finish everything and make sure their children get to “do what their kids want to do,” even though their kids don’t know what they want to ride on, or see. As a result, the parents just try to do everything. And while we don’t know what kids want to do, we know what they don’t want to do: rush around and bump into things while their parents fight over what to do next.

Another problem with family vacations (and parenting as a while) is that parents like to use their children as a way to “extend” their dreams. Rather than the child living as an individual, the parent lives vicariously through their offspring (I’m sure plenty of you guys know THAT feeling). On a larger, lifestyle scale, this is when a parent forces a child to pick up an occupation that “I’ve always wanted to do as a child and never got to,” or when the parent makes the child attend a college of the parent’s choosing. On a smaller, theme park scale, this is when a parent drags a child to a ride because the parent really wants to go on it, or makes the child take pictures with characters that the child might not want to take pictures with (this was especially popular with my family, who forced both my brother and I to take pictures with every character that came within vision). The child gets really frustrated, because s/he doesn’t want to do all these crazy (and possibly scary) things, and the parents get frustrated because they thought that’s what the kid wanted to do (“because that’s what I always wanted to do as a kid”) and the action resulted in more stress and more crazy/upset children.

This leaves the family with a rather unpleasant vacation, full of dragging, screaming, crying and unhappy memories. Another family vacation, ruined.

In hindsight, I realize that a lot of this stuff could have been avoided by taking me on vacation to places at a slightly older age, and to places that actually had stuff to do. Families that brought their children when they were older (and not between the ages of 2 and 6) avoided the hassle of using strollers (there was a ton of “stroller parking lots” in Disney World) and encouraged a family-vacation atmosphere by allowing their kids to choose what they wanted to do (because kids were able to make decisions on their own by that point). Children were able to vocalize when they were doing things too fast, or when they didn’t want to go on a particularly scary ride (this doesn’t actually mean that the parents listened…. another major problem with family vacations). Children were also able to better appreciate areas like Epcot that were geared towards a slightly older audience, and they had a slightly better patience for long lines.

The nice part about Disney World is that some parts are geared towards a younger audience. Even in a park such as MGM Hollywood Studios (where there were increased thrill rides and older-movie references), there were places that were specifically geared towards the younger audience. In other family vacationing spots, such as a city like San Fransisco or Washington DC, there is a lot more stress with regards to planning to do everything and a lot more of those “things” are adult-oriented. I wonder what family vacations are like in New York City, with parents dragging their kids to Times Square, the Statue of Liberty and the tons of museums, all the while having to deal with their kids whining about the walk and trying to understand the rather confusing subway system (I don’t think it’s really that confusing, but I’m sure that’s just because I’ve lived there the majority of my life). The worst tourists to deal with in the city are the family vacationers, since the parents are in a continual state of stress and anxiety, and the kids are always complaining and screaming.

With all the stress that comes with “I need my kid to see the world,” it’s no wonder that every child always wants to go on vacation with their friends, rather than with their crazy parents.

Read Full Post »