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Comment: Re:It is ludicrous (Score 1) 140

by Anrego (#48679805) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

The really terrible thing is they are cutting things like shop and metal working, which is really what we need.

Not saying high school should become a pre-trade school, but they shouldn't completely ignore the fact that there are non-university career paths, and in the current job market, they may even be a better choice.

Comment: Re:Keep the kids longer and don't send homework (Score 1) 140

by Anrego (#48679403) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

Not only that, but classrooms tend to drop to the lowest common level. The kids who are behind because they can't get their homework done (due to as you said, shitty living situation, both parents busy or just unable to help, etc) drag the whole class down with them.

Limiting homework would serve to level things out a bit, and honestly as a kid I think I would have preferred more classroom time if it meant no homework.

Comment: Re:Ouch (Score 2) 140

by Anrego (#48679393) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

I'm really all for that.

Kids have very diverse lives out of school. Some have sports or other activities after school, some have shitty home situations that make doing homework harder, etc. At least if most of the learning happens at school, kids get mostly the same shot at it.

Personally I always hated homework growing up. As an adult I've fought hard not to take work home with me. A few people at work have my cell number for absolute emergencies, but that's about it. Webmail access? Company laptop? Nope and nope. When I leave work I'm done for the day. The convenience of quickly checking something turns into the expectation to always be available, and screw that shit. I'll put in an 80 hour week when needed, but when I'm off the clock that's it.

Comment: Re:It is ludicrous (Score 2) 140

by Anrego (#48679355) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

It doesn't even have to be project based, you just need good teachers who arn't stressed and completely burnt out.

For instance, I hated history up until grade 11. The difference? The teacher still used a mostly lecture style, but she made it interesting, and engaged the class in discussions. She knew the material backwards and forwards and so she could (and did) let the class go off on unintended tangents. Up until that point history had mostly been about memorizing names and dates and arbitrary facts associated with them. She had us discussing they why and the implications and I loved the shit out of it. I ended up developing an interest in history that I still explore on my own to this day.

Most teachers seem burnt out, know the system is broken, and often barely know their material because you have math teachers doing history and history teachers doing physics due to manpower and budget problems. When the teacher just wants to get through the day and isn't passionate about the material, the students adopt the same mindset.

Comment: Re:It should start later, esp. for high schoolers (Score 1) 140

by Anrego (#48679297) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

Well, the problem there is diversity.

I'm one of those "afternoon thinkers". During my first year of high school, we did split shifts with another school that was undergoing renovations. They had to be bused in, so we got the early shift. Class started at 6am, which for me meant getting up around 5am. Looking back I would love to see stats on the grade average from that year. I know my marks were down across the board. My physics score was so low they didn't want to let me take the advanced course the following year (which I did anyway and did fine in).

But that said, some people are morning people. They are weird but they exist. They get up by their own preference at like 5:30 am chirp around the office while the rest of us star blankly at our monitors waiting for the coffee to kick in.

Comment: Ouch (Score 4, Interesting) 140

by Anrego (#48679265) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

This all makes sense and is probably a good idea.

That said, despite school having literally been decades ago, I find myself empathizing with the kids on this one, who I'm sure arn't seeing this as an investment in their future but rather yet more time spent in the dungeon. I didn't exactly hate school growing up, but damn if I wasn't ready to get the hell outa there when the bell rang.

Maybe it's because we just had Christmas and that always puts me in a nostalgic child like mood. I'm sure if they announced this in September when school is just getting back into session and screwing up my morning commute I'd say to hell with the kids, but for now, the kid in me say: BOOOO!

Comment: Re:people still watch that crap? (Score 2) 106

by Anrego (#48643771) Attached to: Behind the Scenes With the Star Trek Fan Reboot

Agree on TOS and TNG.

TNG in particular is hard to re-watch. A drinking game based on "reroute power from the" would probably kill the hardiest drinker within a few episodes. It did have a surprising number of really solid episodes though, and while boring and predictable, the rest of the show is generally watchable.

You didn't miss much with voyager. They went way overboard with the whole strong female lead thing, and created an all knowing all powerful and totally unbelievable character with Captain Janeway. They then surrounded her with cardboard characters and a central plot that held no tension (lets face it, no way they were getting home by the end of the episode.. ever). It had a few ok episodes, but unlike TNG most of it is just unwatchable dreck.

Now DS9 is where I disagree. Yes it was a cliche war story, but it was a well done cliche war story. Also unlike the other ST shows the characters actually had, well, character.. and there was an actual ongoing story arc, and the civilizations they ran into mostly made sense because they wern't just there to make some point within the span of an episode.

Comment: Re:Fire all the officers? (Score 1) 515

by Anrego (#48582109) Attached to: Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

Soldiers at home arn't usually put into confrontational situations on a daily basis with a high temptation / likelihood to mess up.

Take those soldiers and put them in similar-ish circumstances (that is, actually send them to war) and you sure as shit see those behavioral problems emerge.

Comment: Re:Please don't do that (Score 1) 416

by Anrego (#48575311) Attached to: MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

I've been doing this for years. I started when youtube started going nuts with the takedowns.

These days I pretty much grab any video/image/audio clip/document/etc that I think I might some day want to watch again, because more and more there is a good chance it'll be gone when I want to.

Comment: Re:Haters gonna hate (Score 2) 187

by Anrego (#48534353) Attached to: Microsoft Introduces<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Core

Yup.

I personally don't think I'll ever trust Microsoft as a company. Microsoft may seem somewhat benign these days, but they did some pretty damn evil stuff back in their day. The spirit of Microsoft past, which left a trail of corpses behind it back in the 90s and early 00s and put things in place to bolster their business which still cause grief to this very day is still in there. To them anti competitive practices were practically a religion, and just about everything they did had an end goal of crushing someone or at least locking future competitors out.

It's pretty much impossible for me to read a Microsoft announcement and not immediately assume malicious intent. I suspect I'm not the only one either.

Comment: Re: Yeesh (Score 1) 584

by Anrego (#48526239) Attached to: Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?

I don't buy it for (mainly) three reasons:

1) Animal studies have shown terrifyingly similar gender specific behavior, especially with regards to toys.

2) At an age where social queues such as "don't bite your sister" are a struggle, I find it very hard to believe that kids all across the country seem to play in a manner consistent with others of their gender. Yes society puts the the pieces there, but the kids still seem to gravitate towards the same stuff. Even in cases like the authors, where there is a serious effort to steer a kid in a "non-traditional" direction, the maternal/nurturing or hunter/gather instincts woven deep in our DNA still manage to manifest themselves.

3) In cases where for whatever reason some kid doesn't conform to the norm, no amount of parental pressure seems to change that either. You can't tell me every kid is consistently picking up on slight social queues from infancy yet you end up with say fathers burying their sons in sports only to have the kid showing an interest in say, ballet.

Comment: Wow (Score 3, Insightful) 584

by Anrego (#48520253) Attached to: Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?

This guy sounds like an insufferable asshole.

Kids are interesting because they arn't restrained by years of learned social behaviour. Sure they are influenced a bit by society, but at that age they tend to just do what their hearts tell them to do regardless, which to the great frustration of people like the author often conforms to the stereotypes they are trying to fight.

Attempts to raise children in gender neutral environments always seem to end terribly, and of course there's the whole David Reimer thing.

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