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Thread: Secular Confessions

  1. #38881
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    If I had a choice in what Mira took as a second language, it would be Spanish and Chinese. Maybe Arabic/Urdu/Middle Eastern language as an alternative. Purely from a practical perspective, as these are most likely to come in handy as an adult. She does have Spanish classes in school, and one of the other teachers has started offering Farsi, so when she does get older, and if she has interest, I'll sign her up for that.

  2. #38882
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    Yeah I mean I enjoyed French and had I done something different I wouldn't have met my french sister as I call her. And had I gone to school for a phD in philosophy, reading knowledge of French would have been super useful (two reading knowledge languages required and based on my interests of postmodernism and ancients....French would have been one and Greek the other). But really in the US, Spanish is by far the most useful.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

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    Josh wants to learn Chinese but I'm confused because there seems to be a couple different types of Chinese language. If anyone can shed some light on this it would be great.

  4. #38884
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    Quote Originally Posted by daylilies View Post
    Josh wants to learn Chinese but I'm confused because there seems to be a couple different types of Chinese language. If anyone can shed some light on this it would be great.
    Mandarin and Cantonese. Mandarin is spoken more widely, and for work/travel purposes, Mandarin is better. I believe that Hong Kong is converting from Cantonese to Mandarin.

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    Katy, I think that's a good plan-to just wait and see which lottery she gets and then decide.

    As for the brain still being alive-I've heard that before. And I've definitely watched tv shows that featured people who claimed to remember things that occurred when they were supposed to be dead. To me, it makes sense that the brain is alive (at least on some level) because so many people have come back. I've also heard that death is euphoric, and that makes sense. Your brain is rejecting death, after all. What a way to go. I don't worry about it much. At least not now...I used to nearly obsess about it. And perhaps at another point in my life I'll become more curious and think some more about it again. It's also not unheard of for people to have fallen into icy water and remain submerged for an extended period of time. A few have been successfully resuscitated without any long-term effects and the theory has always been the freezing temperature of the water was what made that happen. The brain cannot be damaged if it cannot begin to die. I do find it interesting that other countries are actually trying to leverage this in saving lives for other reasons.

    On a happy note (I think) I just got the official documentation (and man, they do everything official here) that permits me to take the SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) training. Geek me is ecstatic, but realistic (perhaps pessimistic) me is concerned about the additional work load. I'm under no delusion that I will be giving anything up. Since I'm already overwhelmed with work, I'm not exactly sure how I'll manage. My conscience won't let me leave right away either, but I've already filed it away in the back of my head that if I continue to be overwhelmed with unrealistic expectations, SCCM is a great skill to add to my resume. It would not only mean more money, but a full letter grade advancement (if not two) here at Cornell. It's a really, really big deal. So as much as I cannot see myself staying here until retirement, for my career this is a great opportunity and I'm taking it. If I have to battle Lisa about my workload later, I will.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  6. #38886

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    The problem is that we can't do both lotteries - we have to choose before we know about the lottery for our home school. So if I decide not to do the dual-language school, then I enter the lottery at our home school and could easily not get into the dual-language kindy. ARgh

    "Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out." -Anton Chekhov


  7. #38887

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    Suja, does Mira also get Hindi and/or Urdu or some other Indian tongue in the home?

    katy, I personally would use my feelings of the school overall as my decision maker, e.g. what sort of quality of life will JJ have at the school? Spanish immersion would be awesome, of course, but you can find other ways to teach it to her (I can send you copy of Rosetta Stone, for starters) and I wouldn't worry too much about the school rating. They measure by just a limited set of criteria. I have a feeling any school I send B to will come up short of my expectations, and I'm going to end up supplementing it all anyway. I am already frustrated for my friends with school age kids who complain that kids can't complete their homework because the instructions are so poorly written by the teachers. There's a lot of room for bad communication; it seems more the norm than the exception these days, particularly in the workplace.

    Speaking of GreatSchools, I just hopped over there and saw this article recommending that the language all kids should learn is JavaScript. http://www.greatschools.org/parentin...ash_javascript

    Bridget, I'm so sorry about your awful night. I hope you all got to catch up on some sleep. The silver lining is... although it may have been a drag for you, your kids might have felt it was rather exciting. I remember the morning we were woken up at 3 am and evacuated for a brush fire in the mountains behind our house. It was tons of fun for me, even though my parents were hosing down the roof and generally afraid that our house was going to burn down.

    Janet, hooray for taking the first shot! I'm excited for you & fingers are twisted up like pretzels for you.

    Gretchen, I hope you've heard back from at least one of them by now, so you know you haven't slipped into an alternate universe or ghost realm. Of course, the fact that we can still commune with you would mean that you took us with you.

  8. #38888

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    BTW, I am hungry hungry hungry! It's the time of the month when all I want to do is eat. Even when I'm bloated in the face and my tummy feels full, I still want to put things into it. I know I've asked you guys this before, but do you have hunger that cycles with your periods, or am I a freak? I'm pretty sure half the reason I have a hard time taking off weight is that I can't keep my eating in check starting Wk3 of my cycle. As soon as my period finishes, I am fine, and can stick to any level of calories I set for myself. Grrr.

  9. #38889

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    I am totally like that, Myles! In fact I stepped on the scale the other day and I'm not happy. My pants are getting tight. So I start to think I am not eating right but then my cycle starts and I'm all, Oh THAT'S why! It has nothing to do with my massive night snacking. I'm just bloated and hormonal. I'm clearly fooling myself!And yes, I think it was an adventure for them. At one point S and K were whispering and they walked up to me and said they had a plan. A brick. "Mom. Throw this through the window!" LOL Best of all, Savana got to be the brave hero by crawling into the pitch dark window well and getting in through that window. She was terrified but pushed herself. That's pretty huge for her. And she clarified to me today that she is, in fact, not the least bit scared of spiders. It was just the whole situation...

  10. #38890
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    That happens to me too Myles...and I was a little dismayed at the dr's office yesterday when I stepped on the scale as well.

    Savana rocks!

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  11. #38891
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    Myles, I don't think there's ever a time that I don't feel hungry; I'm sure there is probably something wrong with me medically, but it's all I've ever known. LOL. I joke about it, but I seriously do eat and then 15 minutes later I'm thinking about how I need to eat within the hour. When I am pms'ing, though, I crave chocolate a lot!

    Katy, I would go with the school that gave you the best feeling. Those school scoring systems are never the true picture of the school. The school I work in used to be at the bottom of the league but is now closer to the top, but teacher morale is very low because the principal is very hard on them. The school itself has a nice atmosphere, but I can feel the tension, and I'm sure some of the parents do, too.

    As for languages, I would go with something practical like Spanish/Chinese or French where a big population of the world speaks it. I've been working on teaching Travis Spanish only because of my pipedream to one day either live in Spain or to have a holiday home there. He knows 1-10 and the colors so far.

    We just got home from a night out with Rich's work friends. It was their bonus celebration since they got paid their yearly bonus today. I used to work for the same company, so I tagged along. It was free drinks for all colleagues, so I got a few for myself! It was so strange seeing a lot of the people I used to work with; I feel so different now, but it was really nice to see some people whom I used to hang out with. I did put my foot in my mouth, though, when I told one older fella that he was looking good after he lost some weight and he was like, "didn't you know that I was in a coma for 3 weeks after being diagnosed with colon cancer in 2011?" Ooops!

  12. #38892
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    Mandarin is the more useful Chinese language to learn, since more people speak it and understand it. It also has fewer tones than Cantonese, so I figured it would be easier to learn. There are a number of other languages in China, like Shanghainese, and some speak only their particular language and not any others, although Mandarin is usually the second language. I started learning a little Mandarin on my commute once, and learned enough to say things like, "Don't worry" and "Do you have any pain?" and "I don't speak Mandarin" and "Would you like a drink of water?" and "How are you feeling?" and the common hello/goodbye stuff. The trouble is, most of the Chinese people here speak Cantonese. It still comes in handy sometimes.

    Bridget, your night sounds like my worst nightmare. I hate being at the ER. Hate it especially when I'm with three children. Would hate it even more in the middle of the night, when I'm afraid for my child's life. I would not like the snow and ice; getting locked out would be the topping on the worst day ever. I'm so sorry.

    I agree that GreatSchools doesn't always reflect on the school's true nature. My school gets a 7 and I absolutely love it. It's amazing, and I think the lower score reflects the fact that we have a diverse student population, many of whom come from disadvantaged and non-English speaking backgrounds. The staff, the school, and the environment are all incredible, though. A lot of the schools that get 10s are in very wealthy neighborhoods, where you know the parental involvement and oversight in daily schoolwork is monumental. Some of the students in my kids' K class don't do their homework during the week because their parents aren't there to read the directions to them or help them do it except on the weekends. One of our school friends moved to San Francisco, and her daughter started attending one of the top-rated schools there. She says she doesn't like it nearly as much as our school, and she actually just pulled her daughter out and is contemplating home-schooling.

    Anyway, I do think early language development is important, but I also think a school with a nurturing environment and good teachers is important too, and the overall environment and the way it deals with teaching and bullies and homework and test-taking and discipline and fun and the types of classes it offers besides the standard math and English is hugely important. I think it's a really good idea to tour the schools, talk to the parents, and get a general idea of what the schools are like and the general feel of the place, same as one would at a preschool.

    Just recently, when we were almost going to buy that new house, I toured a top-rated preschool that was just down the block from the house we were going to buy. It is expensive, highly-recommended, and when I went through there they answered all of my questions very nicely, but it just had such a cold feeling to it. None of the kids seemed particularly happy, although none of them were obviously unhappy. The preschool we use now, though, just feels warm and friendly. The teachers really seem to be genuinely affectionate and love what they do. The children play together, or at least happily side-by-side. It's so important to have a school that is good, not just top-rated.

    One of my co-workers chose a private school in her high-income town. She doesn't trust the teachers, who lie about things, and doesn't like the principal, who seems to always take the teachers' sides and doesn't address her concerns, since she already paid her tuition. She says she's stuck. I asked her why she didn't go to one of the public schools, since they probably are very good? She said she just thought private would be better.


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    Shoot, I was in the middle of a post talking about the differences in the farms around here that Janet might be discussing, and I completely lost that and my good luck/fingers crossed for your cycle this month. I was studying for my upcoming Pediatric Advanced Life Support class, and rewarding myself by checking APA at the end of every section, but after all that forgot to go back and talk about posts I saw while I was doing that. And then after losing my post I don't have the time to start over. Sorry.


  14. #38894

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    Thanks for the insight on Chinese languages. I have days where I'm just endlessly hungry but I never really noticed if it coincides with my cycle in any way. During my period, I am not hungry because my period upsets my stomach. I too am getting fat. It's actually beyond my previously heaviest weight, I fear. I just hate how slow the weight loss process is. I'm way too much of a quick reward type of person. I'm not going the no-carb route again because I did that and then I craved carbs so much when I was just shy of my goal weight, I completely went the other way and ate nothing but bread and pasta. That's how I gained all the weight, and then some, back. Also I'm not meeting NKOTB in the near future so I don't really have a deadline to work towards. LOL. I really don't believe in elimination diets, but it's also hard to eat healthy when you live with a man who can eat whatever he wants, and does. So I buy the things for nachos for him, and then I can't resist them. It's pretty bad.
    Last edited by daylilies; 02-22-2013 at 04:00 PM.

  15. #38895
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    Ashley I'm like you.....I'm pretty much always hungry. The only thing that helped was taking phen-fen....did great with that until they pulled it from the market because it was damaging heart valves. Or I had a few weeks after the gastric bypass where I wasn't hungry. I was supposed to have almost a year before I felt hunger again. I had three weeks. But at least after the surgery, I do know what full feels like. I just don't stay full for very long. And of course do all the things they suggest for hunger like making sure to drink a lot of water so it's not really thirst.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  16. #38896
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    Bridget, your night sounds like an absolute nightmare. How is Kai feeling today?

    Katy, I have mixed feelings about bilingual schools. I think being bilingual is an excellent thing for children, and it has been shown to increase a child's IQ - but the most benefits of bilingualism come from learning both languages together from birth. I'm not sure of the outcomes for kids who start to learn in the school-age years, although I do believe that younger is better. In my state, we have struggled with doing bilingual education well. DH knows a girl who went to school here in my local district from Kinder through high school, graduated with a B average, and can't speak English well enough to use it conversationally in the workplace. In her case her education wasn't so much bilingual as monolingual Spanish, and although there is a large portion of the community here that is predominantly Spanish-speaking, my personal opinion is that the school district didn't do her any favors (although there are plenty who disagree with me on that). I would look very closely at how the bilingual program was implemented and whether children were taught lessons bilingually, or whether certain lessons were taught in just one language or another language, and whatever the child didn't understand was missed information that she won't have access to being re-taught.

    I also believe strongly that a good teacher is better than any program or philosophy. A bad teacher is a bad teacher, no matter what curriculum they are using or program they are following, and same with a good teacher.

    About Mandarin vs. Cantonese - the classroom I worked with several years ago was having a lunar New Year celebration and one of my students was born in China so she came to school to help us with our celebration. We had read a book on Chinese New Year and I was very excited to learn how to say "Happy New Year" and I saved it up to tell her when she got there. She gave me a withering look and said, "You must speak Mandarin! That is Cantonese!" I wanted to slink off into a corner. She was always a very supportive and friendly parent, though. It was just funny to see her reaction to that.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    Yeah, I was afraid people from China would be touchy about which language you use. That's why I asked you guys first. LOL

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    I'm just going to add that I had the saddest conversation at work the other day. We were placing a little guy with a severe language delay in a special preschool classroom, and his grandmother came along to the meeting and was asking a lot of tough questions. One thing she wanted to know was whether the student would have any exposure to Spanish and whether that would be harmful to him, because someone had told her he shouldn't be exposed to two languages. (I will add that this family was Hispanic - this wasn't a racial/ethnic thing).

    Back 20 years ago or so, my cousin had a child who she was raising bilingually and her daughter ended up being delayed in speech and several other areas of development, and she was told to pick one language and stick with it. This was pretty much standard advice for a long time, but really best practice states that if a child is bilingual, they need to have access to the words they need to use to communicate with their families and schools. So if they speak Spanish at home and English at school, you can't make them not speak Spanish or they would never communicate with their families. So really the idea is to focus on the words the child needs to access his environment, in whatever language that needs to be. I worked with a little guy in that situation who had about five words total in kindergarten, some in English and some in Spanish. Only spanish at home. As I taught him concepts in English, he would go home and learn the same concepts in Spanish. He really just needed to learn the concepts and then he could generalize them (so I taught him to say "I want the ball" and he came back after break and told me "Yo quiero la pelota").

    So I started to reply to the mother that for a bilingual child, I wouldn't recommend hearing only one language, and she insisted that he wasn't bilingual, he spoke English only and she only wanted him to hear English. I told her I couldn't guarantee that, but that so long as when the staff was working with him they spoke to him in English, it would not actually be harmful to him to hear the staff use Spanish during the day.

    How sad is that?
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  19. #38899
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    My understanding is that the Chinese government generally considers to be Mandarin the "correct" form of Chinese. It is more widely spoken, but I believe a large chunk of the Chinese speaking communities in the US speak Cantonese and of course, for them, that is the "real" Chinese.

    While I don't speak any form of Chinese, what I have been told is that the different "dialects" of Chinese are really separate languages within the same language family, as different as French and Spanish or even French and German. They aren't necessarily mutually intelligible.

    Some linguist once said that "A language is a dialect with an army and a navy." Swedish and Norwegian are basically mutually intelligible, but they are different countries so each has their own language. Where as "Chinese" is not really a language but because it is a large country with a strong government, we talk about dialects of Chinese.

    /end language rant!
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    That is very sad about the "English-only" boy. Sounds borderline ethnic self-hatred to me.

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    I have actually had people flat-out lie to me about being bilingual. Once a child came in with both parents and I heard the father tell the little girl, "Go sit on the rug" in Spanish. So I asked the mother how often the child heard Spanish at home. "Not at all." How often does her father speak to her in Spanish? "He never speaks to her in Spanish."

    I looked straight at her and said, "He just did. How often does she hear Spanish?"

    "Maybe 5% of the time. She hears English most of the time."

    And then I have to evaluate a child's communication when the parents LIE to me about what language they speak. This becomes an ethical issue for me as I have to evaluate the child in their native language, whatever that may be.

    This is something I only see in the Spanish-speaking population. People who speak Mandarin, or German, or Arabic, or Dinka, are very up front with me about what language they use. I actually think it is because our state has such a terrible track record with bilingual education, parents don't want their kids identified as Spanish speaking for fear they won't have a chance to learn English.
    Last edited by Gwenn; 02-22-2013 at 05:15 PM.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    The interesting thing about Mandarin and Cantonese is that they really ARE different languages. They cannot be understood by one person speaking to another (they call it "the chicken talking to the duck"), but the written language is the same. Before I knew anything about it, I worked with an RN from China in Wyoming. She spoke either Mandarin or Cantonese and was often called on to translate for Chinese patients who ended up in our hospital who didn't speak English. She would sadly say that she didn't speak their language, but then would grab a piece of paper and they would end up communicating all night, back and forth, by notes.

    ETA: Even my DH, who can read some Japanese, can understand some Chinese characters.
    Last edited by 3andMe; 02-22-2013 at 05:31 PM.


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    Myles, we speak Malayalam (palindrome!) at home, so Mira gets that. She understands just fine, but it's like pulling teeth to get her to speak in it. She also has a good understanding of Spanish, because her nanny speaks it, but again, does not speak it. Sings in both languages, but doesn't understand completely what she's singing about.

  24. #38904

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwenn View Post
    Bridget, your night sounds like an absolute nightmare. How is Kai feeling today?I also believe strongly that a good teacher is better than any program or philosophy. A bad teacher is a bad teacher, no matter what curriculum they are using or program they are following, and same with a good teacher..
    I couldn't agree more. Kai is not better today. Possibly worse. He just coughs and coughs and coughs. It's awful. I imagine I will wrapping him up and taking him out into the winter air tonight. They told me that is the best thing for it.When I lived in Hawaii I applied for a job at a preschool and when I arrived I realized it was a school for Japanese children so I immediately let the woman interviewing me know that I spoke only 2 words of Japanese and those two words were "thank you". She said that was great as she only wanted English speaking teachers because she would always catch bilingual teachers speaking Japanese to the children and the parents were very rigid that they wanted them hearing only English at school.

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    That's interesting about the Japanese preschool, Bridget.

    I hope Kai's cough starts to get better soon!

    You guys, I just read the most emotionally draining book. It's called The Light Between Oceans. It's set in the 1920's and it's about a lighthouse keeper who is suffering from PTSD from WWI and his young wife who live on a rock in the middle of the ocean of the coast of Australia and only see civilization every three years. She has a series of miscarriages and after the last one, finds a crying baby and a dead man in a boat that washed up on their island. She decides to keep the baby and pretend it was the baby she just lost, since everyone knew she was pregnant and nobody realizes she has lost the baby. Her husband is basically only able to live with himself and the aftermath of the war by being an extremely "moral" person but he loves his wife and can see how much she wants the baby. It's so horribly sad, and not just in the ways you think it will be. But really, really well written. Definitely an interesting read for me at this point in my life. There is definitely a question of priorities, marriage or children, and how do you live with the consequences of your choices. I'd love to see what some of you think of it.

    Here's the link, since I can't hyperlink: http://www.amazon.com/The-Light-Betw...mm_kin_title_0
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    It's much easier to learn if you're immersed in it. In the higher levels of high school Spanish the teacher would only speak in Spanish and only allow us to speak in Spanish. I still remember thinking in Spanish as I left that class to go to the next one--thinking "now I have to go to gym" in Spanish.\Mandy, that sounds like a really interesting book. I confess I haven't read much lately but I will add that to the list.

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    It looks fascinating, but I'm not reeeaaaalllly sure if I want to read an emotionally draining book right now, to tell you the truth. That's what life is for (even for us fairly optimistic types), and my books are for escapes from reality. I will say I will think about it. I mostly read in bed before falling asleep, and the last thing I need is to be crying and all choked up before my Kindle falls out of my hands and back onto the pillow.

    I have been spending the past few nights browsing through all of these old pictures my mom gave me. It's incredible. She looks so young and carefree and dirt-poor in so many of them. We look like ragamuffins in a lot of the pictures. The one doll we each had that was made for us? They were falling-apart wrecks in the pictures I saw. My mom made most of our clothes, too, or bought them from thrift stores. I've told you we grew up poor, but I really remembered the adventures and the fun times.

    I saw some things I pretty much don't remember on a regular basis, some pictures of tents, friends, a campfire, and the vague memory of spending about half a year camping out near a riverbank somewhere in the south with another family. I guess in retrospect that sounds more like being homeless, but we had fun catching crawdads in the creek. We spent a summer in a friend's attic. We moved a lot. We lived for a while on a farm that had only an outhouse, and one year in a house in Idaho that had only intermittent running water and no heat. When the snow came up past the tops of the windows it was a lot warmer in the house, and my sister and I huddled in front of the tiny space heater in the morning to get dressed for school.

    This was the house that was the nice step up in the world, once my dad got out of medical school and got a real job. It had a phone that we shared with some other people, and we had a housemate. We didn't have to pay rent as long as we kept trying to fix up the place. It had two bedrooms and a kitchen and a living room, and heat and running water.



    Anyway, this is the kind of thing I think about whenever DH tells me that we have to get whatever the best gaming system is because when our kids have friends over their friends will make fun of them because they don't have the cool thing. Because his mom got him the suboptimal imitation thing and his friends laughed at him. And his parents didn't understand how important it is to have the best and the newest and the coolest, and how important that is for kids and their desire to fit in. And I often try to keep in mind, whenever he and I disagree on how to spend our money, that it's not just about money or the item, but it's about the boy who just wanted to have more friends and wanted people to like him, and how in the long run it was a lot easier for me because I had a lot of friends despite not having anything, and it was a great lesson for me to learn. And the times I didn't have any friends was because I was just a dork, and not because I didn't have the cool things (even though I thought it might totally save me if I was blond and had the right clothes and the right accessories).

    The hard thing is going to be teaching our kids this lesson, because they won't want to listen to us and our stories about "when I was a kid."


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    One thing about your childhood, L, is that you seem to have learned what really matters in life. I think it can be so difficult to pass on to your children what you learned as a child, though. Sadly, it's something they will have to figure out for themselves in their own way.

    What a beautiful photograph of the house, though. The picture really "speaks."
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  29. #38909

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    Bridget, unfortunately, it is not a family farm. It used to be, a long time ago, but then it was bought by our local park district. It is still a real, working farm, but it is much more of a park / educational facility than real farm. Still, it's awesome. We can just go hang out- like today, we had lunch with the chickens and peacocks. I mean, literally, the chicken was standing on my foot, and the peacock was right at my side. They also love Maiya, because they've learned kids drop a lot of food. We're not supposed to feed them, but, well, let's just say a few chickens ate some spilled walnuts today...

    While we did miss the babies being born, Maiya does get to see the pregnant Mommas, the brand new babies, she gets to occassionally help feed the animals, and do some farm work, and harvest some produce, and collect some eggs, watch sheep being sheared, watch wheat being harvested and milled, make ice cream, make other farm-style crafts (like corn husk dolls)... It's great, I love this place!!

    The official description, copied and pasted: George Washington Patterson came west in 1849 to seek his fortune in the goldfields of California. Instead he "struck gold" in the fertile farm fields of southern Alameda County.

    This farm was originally owned by the George & Clara Patterson family from the 1850s. It was turned over to the City of Fremont in 1978, and the East Bay Regional Park District has operated the property as a fully functioning, turn-of-the-last-century farm since 1985. A visit here is a journey back to the time of the 1850s Patterson Ranch--a prosperous, 19th-century country estate with a beautiful Victorian mansion and elaborate Victorian Gardens.

    The farm still grows the same kind of produce that was grown in the region in the last 100 years, utilizing agricultural practices from the 1870s to the present, demonstrating the transition from horse-powered to horsepower farming. The interpretive staff and volunteers, attired in Victorian clothing, guide guests through the Victorian house, demonstrate farm chores, and explain what life was like in the early 1900s. From December to mid-February monarch butterflies overwinter here.

    And, it's not a great picture, but here are the week "over due" (they weren't technically over due, but they were late compared to what I was hoping!) one day old triplets, Larry, Curly, and Flo!



    Speaking of, they have some fun looking activities coming up in March... Anyone close by want to come?

    And, OH MAN, Bridget, what a HORRIBLE night. I'm so sorry Kai is so miserable... I hope the meds start working soon and that he improves soon. And then the way it ended!! Wow... My heart goes out to you. And yay Savana!

    I don't know, I think it's fascinating and amazing how our bodies and minds work. They can essentially freeze people for DAYS, and bring them back, and then they're often better afterwards than before. In search and rescue, the worst weather to look for someone is slightly cold, but if it's freezing? You may just get to witness a private miracle! Obviously, since I live where 50 is "freezing", I haven't experienced this personally, but I do know people personally (not friends, but I met them, at least!) who have found people frozen, but then they were brought back. And all those experiences about "remembering" things that happened while you were dead? That's about the best insight we have in to how our minds really work. Fascinating!!

    Suja, how did he dirty so many dishes without cooking anything??? Well, he's better than my husband. He would dirty all that- then leave it on the stove for me. Thanks, hon...

    Gretchen, yes, I've experienced that! It's so frustrating when NO ONE gets back to you. I've even called myself just to make sure the lines are really working! Crazy, I know, but I get frustrated, hah.

    Ah, languages... I love languages. I am partially Japanese, and lived with my Japanese Grandmother growing up. Even though our culture was largely "American", we also had a lot of Japanese influence in our culture- but no one spoke it. It was enough to fascinate me, so in high school, I went as a foreign exchange student to Japan for a year. AMAZING.

    I was determined to do better by Maiya than my mom / Grandma did for me in being bi-lingual. For the first year, I did well. Maiya actually understood and enjoyed Japanese as well as English. But, unfortunately, I am the ONLY one in her life on a regular basis that speaks it, and she gets a LOT of interaction with other people. So, after she turned 1, 1 1/2-ish, she very, very quickly, she started strongly favoring English. Then, I screwed up, and as I found she favored English, I started using English more and more with her. By two, she had pretty much forgotten all the Japanese she knew. She almost never speaks it- only when we're with Japanese speaking friends, and even then, only like one word phrases that she picks up on at the time. She doesn't actually remember any.

    With that said... Yes, I think being bilingual is a great benefit to kids. Even if they don't become fluent or use it for their job, it really helps to keep them open minded, and it's like brain excercise. But, even so, I don't think I'd let it be the deciding factor in which school I chose, unless you have a strong reason you want them to learn. Like, if Maiya had a an option to go to a school that speaks Japanese, that would mean a lot to me, but not Spanish or French. I figure, if she wants to learn those when she's older, she can. If not, then a few years of bilingual education when she's younger won't make or break her education.

    And, yes, as L said, "Chinese" really covers many, many different actual languages. The two main ones are Cantonese and Mandarin, but there are lots of others, that are truly different languages (some even more different than English and Spanish). When these languages were developing, "China" was not one large country, it was many different small countries, even some "tribes" (I don't know if that's the official word, but it gets the point across). When they came under one government, many of them were introduced to the writing style of Chinese characters, and they applied their own language to those characters, and then learned the language of the new government, but didn't forget their own language. Much like Hawaiian- they can write in the letters we taught them, but it's not English.

    Japanese was very similar, actually. They did not have their own writing system, but did have their own language. Then the Chinese introduced the written word to them, and the Japanese took the characters and applied them to their own language. The way it transitioned, and slowly went from pure Chinese characters to a very modified version that worked much better with the Japanese language is really fascinating (how many times have I said "fascinating" this post????).

    L, the way you grew up is pretty amazing. Not that it was good or bad, but it really shows how money does not buy happiness, and how people can find joy in their life, even when it's tough. Your parents must have done a great job raising you, that you mostly remember the good parts.

    I grew up as a spoiled rotten brat, but mostly because my mom had it rough, and my Grandma had it rougher. Once they got money, they spoiled their kids rotten with the stuff they never had. My Grandma grew up in Hawaii (if you want to see how she lived, watch the movie "Picture Bride" on Netflix instant view. Because I KNOW my ancestry is really intriguing to you all, hahah), and... Well, it's not the same saying she had no running water and no heat, since this was the 1920s / 30s, and Hawaii (they just don't NEED heat there, hah), but trust me when I say they were POOR. And had 8 kids.

    Love the picture, too, thanks for sharing it! I love old pictures anyway. Here's one of my Grandma (she's the one labeled "Y", for Yukie) when she was about 6, so 1928.



    Anyway, not trying to take over your story, L. It's just amazing and I love seeing where everyone comes from. History, ancestry, geneology, different languages and ways of thinking, the way things and lives change... Love it all. And your story is amazing, and all the more amazing because it's just a normal life. I think that's what I love seeing, all the different ways that people live, and it's all just normal. Which is part of why I went to Japan in the first place, to try out a different lifestyle.

    Ok, apparently I am feeling sentimental and mushy and like being a blabber mouth... Sorry for my rambles, hah. I'll blame the drugs, though I doubt that's the cause...

    Speaking of, thanks everyone for the well wishes! I had 3 good-looking follies today at my U/S. Two 12s on the right, and one 10 on the left. Three does not seem like enough, as I've had multiple IUIs with 5 follies that failed... But my nurse told me that it should be different with these meds. Let's hope!!
    Last edited by Krystal5; 02-23-2013 at 02:58 AM.



  30. #38910
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    In my head
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    Good luck, Janet! When do you trigger?

    I don't know if you know this, but my sister is fluent in Japanese. She started studying the language in high school (because she won an award for the best Italian student in her school - lol - and was given free tuition for classes in her choice of Chinese or Japanese at the local community college as a prize). Anyway, she majored in East Asian studies and spent two separate years living in Japan. Then moved to New York and worked for a Japanese company where she used the language daily at work. Married a man from Japan and her kids were raised bilingual. Both of them could read in Japanese as preschoolers, in fact my niece preferred reading in Japanese and refused to learn to read in English until she started school. My nephew could read in both. Unfortunately, when they started school they showed a preference for English and my niece no longer speaks Japanese although she continues to understand it (my sister and BIL communicate in Japanese). My nephew speaks Japanese to his father, although it is more of an effort for him than English. My sister apparently speaks well enough that people who speak to her over the phone assume she is a native speaker of Japanese - of course if they meet her, they never think that!

    I can see the two of you having a lot to talk about. She will go on for hours about Asian history, and your post made me think of her!

    Even though my niece doesn't use her Japanese, she is learning French now at school and speaks very well. Just that early exposure to bilingualism is enough to teach the brain how to learn multiple languages and sets you at an advantage in that department. I would not be surprised to hear that Maiya picks up whatever language she chooses to study very easily even if it isn't Japanese.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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