February 5th, 2004

running, bomb tech

Reading, preschool, kindergarten, homeschool

I remember first grade trips to the library.

We weren't allowed to check out enough books, for starters. After the teacher and the librarian determined that I could read, I had the run of the library -- and the first time, I proudly checked out a chapter book.

But then I saw what the other kids were reading -- short, silly, fluffy books that I'd never gotten a chance to read at home, because Mama was picking out the books with the best pictures and the best writing. So I would read as many of the Berenstein Bears books as I could in one library trip, and then check two out, and read them.

I'm sure my parents and teacher wondered why I wasn't reading the harder stuff. It was nothing as overt as peer pressure. It was isolation, and feeling like by being a good reader, I was missing out on all the fun and good stuff.

I had that feeling a lot during the first grade. I'd home-schooled for Kindergarten, which may not sound like a horribly big deal, but it was to me. I'd gone to Montessori School for preschool, and while there, I'd developed some distinct ideas about "fun" and "fair". For the first year or two, it was great. I got to read, I got to do things with the classroom equipment, we had Circle Time -- wonderful.

And then they instituted the idea of "stations". You went to the station, where there was an activity, and you had to do exactly that activity. You could not play with the stuff. You had to use it like the directions said. The two girls at the station in front of me were not being serious. They were playing house with the counting fruit, which you were not supposed to do. But it looked so very fun. And they didn't get in trouble for it.

So, when I got to the station, I played with the counting fruit. And of course, I was the one who got reprimanded for it, and the tone of the reprimand was as if I were some idiot who didn't understand the instructions. I was certain that the little twits didn't understand the instructions. It was that moment when I knew for certain that the rules were different for different people, and I was the one who was usually going to end up in trouble even though the cool kids broke the rules and got away with it. The universe was inherently unfair, and I was mad.

Public school kindergarten, it looked to me, was a lot less regimentation (the thing I most bitterly resented about the change in the Montessori school) and a lot more fun toys that we would be allowed -- encouraged -- to play with. I had plenty of toys at home, but that wasn't relevant. These were new toys, different toys, and I would get a chance to play with other kids.

And Mama had a schedule crunch. She could either get swallowtayle to Montessori school and back, or me to Kindergarten and back, but not both. So, swallowtayle went to Montessori school, and I got home-schooled for Kindergarten, which I bitterly resented. I didn't get to be around the other kids, I didn't get to play with the toys, and I just knew that there were other things that the kids were doing that were new and different that I was missing out on, missing out drastically. I was angry, rebellious, and decided that my mother was the worst teacher on earth. When Mama proposed that I do first grade at home, I gave her The Look and announced that no, this would not be happening. I remember being very definite about it. I was probably fairly rude as well.

All through first grade, though, I felt as if I were missing out. The vast majority of the kids in there, it felt like, already knew each other from kindergarten. They'd gotten a chance to play with stuff before it became Serious Grown-Up First Grader Time. I'd missed out, just like I always missed out, and there wasn't a way to make up for it.
running, bomb tech

Limiting Factor

The true limiting factor on how far and fast I can walk or run has rarely been my legs, after about age ten. It's been my lungs.

I remember the day it started. I had been sick, but I'd gotten better, and it was one of those summer days where swallowtayle and the Suzuki-method violin students had been playing music at the Museum up on campus. We ran around like maniacs, and I was running back to the car when I felt my breathing suddenly get worse. My lungs were clogged up again, and I was sick for another week or two.

I was more careful after that.

It happened again in the freshman year of high school. The gym teacher had us running sprints, and we'd done something or other wrong, and we just kept running and running...

I got dizzy and my lungs did that nasty thing again. Goodbye, health for winter break!

I'm plenty strong. If I do things that don't strain my lungs, I have decent endurance. I just can't do anything that makes for heavy breathing when I'm sick, because that makes it worse.


Elusive, dark, cranky. Also, busy at the moment. Later.
running, bomb tech

From the Pirate Queen of freshstartwrite

Fwd: The Ages of Women
In honor of women's history month and in memory of Erma Bombeck

The ages of women:

Age 3: She looks at herself and sees a Queen.

Age 8: She looks at herself and sees Cinderella.

Age 15: She looks at herself and sees an Ugly Sister (Mum I can't go to school looking like this!)

Age 20: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly"- but decides she's going out anyway.

Age 30: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" - but decides she doesn't have time to fix it, so she's going out anyway.

Age 40: She looks at herself and sees "clean" and goes out anyway.

Age 50: She looks at herself and sees "I am" and goes wherever she wants to go.

Age 60: She looks at herself and reminds herself of all the people who can't even see themselves in the mirror anymore. Goes out and conquers the world.

Age 70: She looks at herself & sees wisdom, laughter and ability, goes out and enjoys life.

Age 80: Doesn't bother to look. Just puts on a purple hat and goes out to have fun with the world.
running, bomb tech


Have wished happy birthday to father-type. Left message. Called later, got mother-type, and talked. She now knows that I am having School Issues.

It's good to talk to parents.
running, bomb tech

Fun on the List: Skippy's List vs. Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

Which of Skippy's List has Miles disobeyed?

65, if clowns = clones; 73, especially on Dagoola; 93, heh, no, it isn't...; 90 belongs to Ivan; 130 is his Weather Officer commander; 151 has to have been violated at some point; 188 is way illegal now; 192 would be very possible if he had some Naismith-information that they didn't

Old amusing tidbit dug up from the List's past by Mark
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running, bomb tech

Phone Post: Hitting On

439K 2:03
“I just went shopping, and on -- I, I -- something interesting happened -- on the List lately there has been a thread about flirting, or more specifically hitting on. And ... I just got something that I think sort of qualifies. It was actually pretty subtle, and I never would have if noticed anything, only for, well, I get in line, and there's the checkout guy and I'm getting a ball of twine.

And ... he says, "I noticed you're always getting stuff like this and I wonder, do you, you know," and he makes the motions with his hands, "crochet."

And this would not be remarkable, except this is the first time that I have actually gotten twine at that store, I rarely, um, am in the line that he's checking out, and you don't tend to crochet with twine. [Motorcycle engine in background]

So (laughs) I'd say that was one of those lines that are used as -- that are definitely if not untrue, then exaggeration and are used for the sole purpose of getting a conversation started when there is no actual valid reason to ever start a conversation.

So, I think someone just hit on me! Night, yo!”

Transcribed by: azurelunatic