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Posted by john h on 1/12/04 at 10:06 (141866)

We have so many people posting about weight these days. I recently looked at my class pictures in 1st grade, 8th grade, and high school graduation. In 8th grade we had one girl who seemed to be overwieigt. In 1st grade no one was overweight. In my high school class there were probably 2-3 overweight. I think stats are now that over 50% of Americans are overweight. Certainly this has to do with the changing lifestyle and fast food. We had no TV and no McDonalds as I grew up and I never heard anyone discuss weight. Our diet was full of fat with biscuts,bacon, and gravy every morning. Food was cooked in lard and we would devour milkshakes and whole milk. I do think we were a lot more active. I walked to school a mile or more starting at about age 8. We had gym or vigorous outdoor activities every day including the girls. I remember the silly outfits the girls wore to play field hockey every day. Sort of like big bloomers. Today I do not even know if they require physical education every day. We sure did not have coke or candy machines in the school. Some things in life have gone down hill. I am not up to date much on education anymore but it seems we spend way to much time in courts. In the 40's and early 50's we were still very much into the basics of reading,writing,math,science,spelling(i should have failed that),etc with no goof off courses. If you failed a grade you were held back a year which I doubt every happens anymore. I read that just this week that some schools do not give grades and on TV they were showing a school were the kids could come to school or not, discuss anything they wanted, no homework, no grades, and the teachers were more or less just there to observe. It appeared to be total chaos to me. Attendance was not even taken and everyone graduated no matter what. Who would send their children to a school like this and why?.The teachers at this school seemed to be refugees from the 60's.

Re: Weight

Pauline on 1/12/04 at 13:50 (141885)

I'm afraid those 'good old days' are long gone. Sure we had TV back then
but our parents were home and we didn't sit in front of it from dusk to dawn. Also there was not that much on TV. We didn't have 1001 channels and you couldn't connect video games to the TV.

Lots have changed since you and I grew up, but the biggest change I think is more single family homes. Moms don't seem to cook nutritious meals anymore and families hardly sit down to dinner together opting instead to eat on the road.

I don't blame fast food for making kids overweight I blame the parent who chooses to feed them the stuff.

You realize this could turn into a hot topic don't you John. It's sometimes easier to be on the outside looking in than standing in a persons shoes. I think each of us has the power within to make changes in our own life and the changes we choose to make can affect the life of others. If we want our kids to change, perhaps parents have to change first.

Re: Weight

john h on 1/12/04 at 14:28 (141889)

I think if you start off life thin you are very likely to have a better chance to remain that way. I weighed in at 121 lbs coming out of high school and was at about 145 at age 22 and have remained around 165 every since. I never thought about weight as none of my friends did. I do not recall anything my mother or father said about eating other than 'clean your plate'. The first two TV programs I ever saw was the Chicago Cubs which I watched through the window of a bar (first to get the very expensive items) and The Ed Sullivan Show at my dates home. This should have been around 1947 in the Chicago area. Not being overweight had nothing to do with any concious decison on my part. I played a lot of sports and probably had some genetics to go with it. I used to spend the night often with my buddy in high school. He was very thin and I remember every morning we drank pure creame for breakfast.His mom made him which incluuded me. I do not remember any 2% or any thing but real out of the cow pasturized milk. I must say that my weight has stayed close for 30-40 years but it has sure shifted some. As a nation we are probably 40% heavier than at the turn of the century and going up. Strangely with PF I am much much less active than I once was but eat a lot less (why I do not know) so my weight is staying around the same..

Re: Weight

john h on 1/12/04 at 14:32 (141890)

Julie: my post is in no way critical of someone being over weight but meant to be informative. My daughter is overweight and when she was about 10-11 she was a twig and I really worried about her. She did not inherit her dads love of athletics and loves to eat to much. She is a grown woman so I have little influence anymore.

Re: Weight

marie on 1/12/04 at 15:30 (141896)

This may be a hot topic but we have become a nation that has some serious weight issues. When I was at the Ann Arbor Art Fair...it was packed,I sat down for about a half an hour to rest my tootsies and I just watched the crowd. I never really paid much attention to a persons size, it's never really mattered to me what folks look like but....at Ann Arbor that day I began to notice that the majority of people were overweight. Not just some but almost everyone I saw. It wasn't done in a mean spirited way just a simple observation. Since then I've been very attuned to watching people in crowds and I have to say that the numbers are probably true. :-? I'd say it's more like 50%. Like John, I was lucky and got skinny genes and was very active so maybe I have just been out of touch with what is going on.

Is it the food we eat? Is it the hurry up lifestyle that forces us to eat on the go? Is it less physical activity? Does stress contribute to it? There are so many possibilities. Today i brought home a low carb cookbook....I really need to loose 10 lbs...ok 15:^o. It's my turn now to try to diet or simply just eat healthier foods.

best wishes to all, marie

Re: changing times in education...

Suzanne D. on 1/12/04 at 15:36 (141897)

You make some good points, John. This is my 24th year teaching, with two years of full-time subbing before that. I have seen lots of trends come and go. I was required to take modern math in college as this was going to be what we would all be expected to teach. By the time I had my first job, it was out the window.

I think in education, the biggest mistake that is made is going from one extreme to the other. The pendulum swings one direction, and everything we did before is thrown out, even the good things that worked. Then things swing back the other way. I couldn't begin to count the number of huge binders that have collected dust on my shelves of new programs that came and went.

I have always tried to do what I thought was right and helpful to the students regardless of what the latest fad in teaching was at the time. Sometimes I have had to be pretty creative in doing those things, because I had to satisfy the new requirements while still teaching the basics the way I thought they should be taught. I learned that I often could do more good by just quietly closing my door and teaching the way I thought best than by trying to put up a fuss about whatever the latest
requirements were. (Not that everything new is bad, of course, but I have seen some ridiculous things.) I told a young teacher not long ago, 'Sometimes it doesn't work to make a fuss. They just watch you more. Smile, be pleasant, hand in the paper work, and teach to your very best potential the way you see fit. If it works and the children succeed, keep doing it that way. If it doesn't work, find a way that does.'

We are fortunate in my school to have a PE teacher who firmly believes in helping each child be fit and reach their potential. He has a great plan for building muscles and strenth, etc., and has taken our primary and intermediate fitness teams to the Marine Fitness Meet every year since he came. After about three years, we have won every year. All our children have PE three days a week.

What you wrote about teachers 'observing' makes me think about a workshop I attended several years ago. The presenter made a big deal of saying that we had to get over the old-fashioned way of the teacher being the 'sage on the stage' and become the 'guide on the side'. Children were to choose what they wanted to learn. How can they choose things they don't even know about? Sure, I believe in 'hands-on-learning', but I'm 51, and they're 6. I should know more what they need to learn than they do!

Well, mention education, and you all know I will have to respond! :) One last thing, speaking of homework. My children have math homework every night (not a huge amount, but something to reinforce our lesson that day). After about a month of school, if they don't turn it in, they sit out at recess time (when it is nice weather, we can do out to the playground although we're not supposed to call it 'recess' in our lesson plans. So my creative next-door teacher who has taught 41 years calls it CPD - cooperative physical development :) ) A new teacher this year said to me in front of my children, 'Oh, are you going to be mean and make those poor little children sit out today? Does it really do any good??'

That really got to me, but I just smiled and said, 'Oh, yes. They have to learn that there are consequences to their actions.' If we don't teach them, how will they get that point?

Well, I'll come down off my soapbox now!

Suzanne :)

Re: Weight

Julie on 1/12/04 at 16:26 (141901)

Don't worry, John: I agree with you. If you're thinking of the board discussion a couple of years ago, my problem then was with the 'blame culture' that seemed to be developing and the judgemental attitude expressed by some towards overweight people. Blaming and judging can't ever be helpful, and I was sorry to see that rearing its head here.

But there's no doubt that obesity is a huge and growing problem in the States and is fast becoming one here in England too. There are many factors involved - fast food, irregular eating habits, too much sugar and too much saturated fats in the convenience foods we're eating more and more of, plus increasing inactivity (particularly worrisome in children). And, particularly in the States, oversized portions, which, as eating out increases, becomes a significant factor.

I suspect that eating habits and other lifestyle habits are formed early on in life, and if 'good' habits combine with fortunate genes, as has clearly happened in your case, it's possible to stay slim throughout life. But if - just as a for instance - a child develops a sweet tooth through being given too much sugar in whatever form, it can then be very difficult to control weight (I speak from long experience!)

Re: changing times in education...

marie on 1/12/04 at 16:50 (141903)


I have to agree with the pendulum thing...that drives me nuts. Sure we always have to be on the look out for new educational strategies but I am tired of being expected to jump on the band wagon for every new thing that comes down the pike. Kids don't know how to choose...why? Because in our modern hurry up lifestyle we don't have time for kids to make their own decisions...they're all made for them. Their schedules for school and afterschool activities are handed to them. Everything is organized and figured out ahead of time. I spend the entire year trying to teach my AP Studio Art students how to organize their time and projects and make their own decisions. They literally can't do it. In fact there is a class at Harvard that teaches young people to slow down, look around..and most importantly how to make decisions, how to investigate. I want that teacher's job.:)

Well we just have to do the best we can....I wonder what the next gimmick will be.

Re: changing times in education...

Dorothy on 1/12/04 at 16:50 (141904)

I wish we could clone you, Suzanne, and put a 'Suzanne' in each classroom. It is an interesting point of curiosity (related to the swinging pendulum you mention) as to why it is so difficult to settle on at least a small range of techniques and body of information for teaching. I mean, is this a result of too many people thinking they have to 'study' the process over and over, as in for advanced degrees, or is it really so mysterious?

Re: Weight

Dorothy on 1/12/04 at 16:55 (141905)

Television (cable, satellite dishes, VCRs, DVDs), computers (internet, games, video games, and if we are to believe the very disturbing - IMHO - statistics - pornography), automobiles, no necessity to walk anywhere, eat too much, move too little, plethora of publications touting the wonders of eating, plethoria of publications touting the 'ease' of fitness.... a few suggestions. Lots of people are not just 'overweight'; they seem to be increasingly what fits the category of 'morbidly obese'.
I think that food is way too easy to get and movement is way too easy to avoid.

Re: changing times in education...

marie on 1/12/04 at 18:23 (141911)

It's not really all that mysterious....complex maybe. Yes we need a Suzanne in every first grade classroom...and some others too. Actually we need a variety of personalities because we teach a variety of personalities. Every kid needs at least one teacher they can identify with. What we need is for some of those educational intellectuals to ask teachers, like Suzanne, what works in her classroom. If it's working...leave it alone.

Re: Weight

Rick R on 1/12/04 at 18:44 (141914)

Wow, some great stuff in this post and on this thread. I'm in the midst of facing a 30 lb problem and the possibility I won't be able to run to attack it. It's never been my fault when I gain weight. The first time I blimped up to 230 it was my mother-in-law's fault. She and her evil garlic and Itialian cooking. I started running and of course lost the weight and got PF. It took several more years to regain the weight while I couldn't run. It was obviously the incompetent doctors at fault, it had nothing at all to do with my love for food nor my traditional ancestral beverage. This last time all was well until the demands of work 14 - 16 hour days not to mention Saturdays and even Sundays for many months. I stopped running and wouldn't you know it my old friend Mr. PF has returned. So this time it's my employer's fault. I managed to dump the first 10 but the next 20 loom large so to speak.

As for the education thing I suffered from the opposite swing of the pendulum (well put Suzanne)than the one my children faced. Back in my day I was labeled as careless if not just an idiot. I did manage to comply with those lofty expectations from time to time. My penmanship couldn't be explained any other way. They didn't happen to understand that I was writing backwards, not to mention reading, and had the attention span of a gnat. So clearly the answer was to kick my backside, keep me after school and do what ever else they could to make me hate school. In today's world I would be no better off. I'd be labeled dyslexic, or however you spell it, and have ADD, and need to be drugged. I didn't stop hating school untill 16 Feb 1973 when I met this skinny girl with the evil mother that had a quest to get somebody fat. I'm telling you it's not my fault!

I got placed in a special stupid section for math in 7th grade but they still let me ride the big buss. In 8th grade I was supposed to finish 7th grade math but the teacher busted me for not being stupid enough. The SOB sent me right to honors math. He happened to be one of my father's first students so he couldn't believe the geene pool could get that shallow that fast. I ended up in the 30's on the ACT in math and science and 2 courses away from a double major in math, engineering being the other, which I did accomplish. So there you have it saved by a luck and/or a dedicated teacher.

Daughter #2 was culled from the herd in 2nd grade. She was saved by a 'Suzanne' (Julie Waddell moved to Tuscon I believe) in her first year of teaching. After a great first report we asked her if the old habits of drifting off into space (where she still seems to reside) had gone away and the teacher responded 'Of course not, we only have her for about 10 minutes of the hour but she still keeps up, can you imagine what she'll be like when she grows out of this?' Wow, from the 22 year old. The two of them became great friends. Christina caught the bouquet at her wedding. That little bundle of joy became pretty much a straight A student by 5th grade and thereafter.

You teachers out there do have some profound power to shape the world. So if things go wrong it must be your fault!! Sorry I couldn't stop myself, but I'm sure it's not my fault.


Re: Weight

marie on 1/12/04 at 20:02 (141915)


I was put in the dumby class too....but my 7th grade teacher knew better! Bless her. Although I haven't done anything momentous I did manage to graduate from college and the amazing thing is that as bad as my cursive writing was back then and is now.....the bank still cashes my checks....with my illegable signature. LOL.

Re: Weight

Rick R on 1/12/04 at 20:56 (141918)

I gave up on cursive as soon as they let me. It wasn't until what I pass off as adulthood that it occured to me what an impediment the physical act of putting pen to paper was. How does one learn the craft if the physical portion of the process is so constrained? That's my story and of course I'm sticking with it. My wife won't let me write checks God bless her. She never mastered the art of checking by memory and is somewhat reluctant to see it in action. She has some silly notion that it should be recorded. I never did and never messed up; the numbers part is the easy part. I just sort of make my mark . I forged my physics prof's signature once and it fooled him. I had to repeat it to his face because I was just messing with him. From thence on I had the job of signing lab reports.


Re: Weight

Dorothy on 1/13/04 at 00:22 (141924)

Delightful reading.

Re: Weight

john h on 1/13/04 at 12:31 (141949)

I remember on particular class in high school where the teacher had the people with the highest grades sit in the front and the dumbos were relegated to the back. The name of the class was 'Core Curriculium'. You would be sued today I bet.

Re: Weight

john h on 1/13/04 at 12:46 (141953)

Julie: Last week my daughter told me that a parent brought their 7 year old child into the emergency room for some problem. He weight 185 lbs and she said just from walking up a few stairs he struggled to breathe. They did not bring him because of weight. What on earth are they thinking?

Re: changing times in education...

john h on 1/13/04 at 12:53 (141955)

Suzanne: I do not know what the Orientals do in education or in particular the Japanese but we need to perhaps copy it. They seem to lead the pack in everything when it comes to education. Probably much associated with the family unit sticking together. I have found in business when I lease a commercial space to an Oriental group or family they just do not fail or go bankrupt. They do what ever is necessary to succeed. I know it is not PC to talk about groups but the facts are go to a major university and take a peak a the honor roll and look at the percentage of Orientals on it. It has to be the family, values, and culture. Japan is still very much an intact culture with few immigrants which accounts for little change in culture and values.

Re: Weight

Carole C in NOLA on 1/13/04 at 16:41 (141964)

John, it was always the other way at my school. The kids who weren't very smart had to sit in front where the teachers could keep an eye on them and give them extra help.

Those of us who worked our tails off were relegated to the back of the room. I hated it. I was very nearsighted and my father would not buy me glasses. I could not read anything on the blackboard in most classes and consequently it was very hard to keep up with my assignments.

After high school I bought glasses with the first paycheck from my first job, and in college I always sat in the front row. Some people probably thought I was a goody two-shoes for doing it, but to me it was such a privilege.

Carole C

Re: changing times in education...

marie on 1/13/04 at 18:35 (141976)

The difference between Japanese Education and American Education.

1. In Japan the education of a child is the responsibility of the child and the parent.

2. Teaching is the responsibility of of the teacher.

3. High school is not a privilidge. Students must pass a test to get into high school. Students who pass are placed in a school that coincides with their score. That could mean a school prepping for University or a Vocational School.

4. Japanese students end the school day at 2:30. At that time the students and the teachers scrub and clean every inch of their rooms and school before they end the day.

5. Students do not go home from school. After school they go to Cram School. This is paid for by the parents. There the kids review and study everything they need to know to pass their tests. This lets out around 7:00 in the evening.

6. Individuality does not excist in the Japanese culture(or any culture which practices the teachings of Confuscious). They have no clue what the term 'Creative Writing' means. There are no debates at school either. Art is copied over and over from generation to the next. Modern Art and creativity are very new to the Japanese.

7. THE most IMPORTANT difference. We spend our time teaching formulas to kids. They must all do it the way the teacher saids, the way the book saids. In Japan they give students the ANSWER and ask them to figure out how to get it. The Japanese people's PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS are superior, because they have to figure things out on their own. They are forced to take responsibility for THEIR education.

8. In Japan you must pass a rigourous test to get into University. The stress is intense and suicide is not uncommon for those who fail to get in.

9. Most men do not go home after work. Drinking and alcholism is rampant. Men drink themselves stupid....but by 10:00 pm they are on the train home to their family. It's an amazing thing to watch them pile out of the bars, barely able to walk, promptly at 10:00 pm. Most kids grow up almost fatherless. Most women do not work. Japan is where we were at in the 70's with women working. It's just started to take hold.

Japan leads the world in Math at the high school level. The United States of America leads the world in Math and Engineering at the college level. We lead the world in software development....why? Because we teach individuals who are given permission to be creative.

Re: changing times in education...

Rick R on 1/14/04 at 09:55 (141999)


Excellent analysis. I'm no expert in Japanese culture but from what I know you are spot on. My daughters best friend, who I often refer to as my non-biological daughter, is teaching there. We are getting some interesting little tidbits from her, mostly food related. Another interesting reflection is the high suicide rate in Japan.

As for the academic elite, the Japanese system does a great job of sorting them out. As for the common folk, they don't stand a chance. Part of the strength of our nation is our ability to draw on a multitude of strengths from a multitude of people, not just from one cookie cutter. Strength from diversity perhaps. Some remarkable things are accomplished by people that don't stand a chance in high academic circles, or are perhaps late bloomers.

But good grief haven't we lost something that was a big part of how we got where we are, responsibility. My father was a high school teacher. By the end of his career he essentially couldn't fail a student. We have also stifled diversity of thought on campus, sometimes under the guise of diversity.

My last two children had a self taught math program in middle school from the University of Chicago's brain trust. All the teachers did was check homework. So guess who was the math teacher? I used to spend roughly 3 hours a night with daughter #2 on math alone. She'd do homework until we took the books away from her at 11:00PM. For those three years, my life consisted of going to work at 5:30 AM getting home at 7:00, and teaching until 10:00. No time to get drunk and stumble out of bars. The school district, in their infinite wisdom, decided it was high time parents were involved.


Re: changing times in education...

Suzanne D. on 1/14/04 at 17:32 (142028)

Oh, yes, Rick...responsibility! And pride in doing one's best, and doing a good job with the only reward being that you did your best...I could go on and on! (:(PIPE)

Then your statement, 'Some remarkable things are accomplished by people that don't stand a chance in high academic circles, or are perhaps late bloomers'. I read this just after a conference this afternoon with parents of one of my first grade girls. I was almost in tears by the end of the conference - but not tears of unhappiness or frustration.

This mother and father were older when their daughter was born to them - after 9 miscarriages. She is quite precious to them, and they both work hard to help her. The mom works at a laundry early in the morning, and the dad works at a farmer's feed store. I was immediately impressed that he came, too, and that they called and asked for the conference themselves. Their daughter is actually doing quite well, but they wanted to make sure they were doing everything right in helping her. The dad said he wanted her to have more than what either of them has been able to have and was so worried he wouldn't be able to help her enough. He said, 'I don't know the meanings to lots of words.' Then he took his glasses off and wiped his eyes and said, 'It fears me so that one day she will ask me something that I don't know, and then I'll lose my spot with her. She loves me so much, and I work every night trying to read to her and help her with math, but I don't know if I do it right.'

I tried to assure him that she will always love and respect him because she knows he cares about her, and it won't matter if he doesn't know how to help her with her homework as she gets older. I told him my daughter does calculus which I don't begin to understand, but she still loves and respects me. I said, 'Do you realize how special it is that you sit and help her each night? At least half of the children in my room do not have anyone who regularly does that.'

He said, 'Sometimes I am so tired at night, but I always sit with her. She means everything to me. I used to read to her; now sometimes she reads to me instead.'

I'll put her chances of succeeding in life as much higher than many from much more affluent homes.

I felt honored to sit and talk with them. I wish every child had at least one parent who cares as much as those two.

Suzanne :)

Re: changing times in education...

john h on 1/15/04 at 12:30 (142092)

The Japanese sure lead the world in quality vehicle production. We cannot produce a vehicle that is of the same quality that the Japanese routinely produce. They produce the worlds finest cameras and I think produce nearly most of the worlds TV's and VCR's. As a child we made fun of anything that read 'Made in Japan'. Technologically they reign supreme. They have an extraordinary talent for music for what ever reason. I spent some time in Tokyo and found the more educated Japanese really would not associate with Americans unless it was on a business basis. I do not know how the German education system is now but at one time a German student graduating from high school would be almost the equivlent of one of our college graduates. As I recall students were separated out on ability and went to a vocational school or into academics.

In my high school in suburban Chicago we all took the basic core courses for the first two years. At that point students could elect to go the vocational route or continue on for perhaps college preparatory. The vocational students had their own buildings and took such courses as carpentry, shop, body shop, mechanical drawing, etc. They actually built a new home every year which was sold to the public. This all worked very well.

Re: Weight

john h on 1/15/04 at 12:32 (142093)

Carole I was sitting right in the middle where I liked it. I sure did not want to be up front. In later years when I was in college I made an effort to sit in front where I was sure to hear everything.

Re: changing times in education...

Rick R on 1/15/04 at 13:35 (142099)

Yes you are absolutely right. But, do you know what/who's methods were used and how their industry financed the application of those methods? Mr. Demming and Juran and ...oh you foot the bill along with a few of your friends. I am a student of TPS of the Toyota Production System. On a few occasions the application of the TPS has been my primary job. Toyoda (they weren't allowed to use the real last name as the company name) sent his son here to study Ford. As much as they out produced our sorry buts they scored perhaps their biggest victory in marketing. They listened to their customer (us) and US West Coast marketing consultants, and built the cars we wanted to buy(duh)while our arrogant icons of industry remained product focused.

They then leveraged the inroads they had made by filling the underserved small inexpensive niche to continuously improve (driven by Tiiachi Ohno)and thus climb up the food chain.

Now they are loosing share to Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia and lately China. Not to in any way discount or diminish what they have accomplished, I believe it a bit of a mistake to look only at their culture or education system as the holy grail of industrial success when other significant factors were major enablers.

Re: changing times in education...

Kathy G on 1/15/04 at 15:14 (142107)

Wow, this is a fascinating thread! So much ideas and information! Of course, since my sister-in-law and best friend are elementary school teachers and I used to volunteer in the schools regularly, I have to weigh in but not with the insight and wisdom of Suzanne.

My friend is 55 and my sister-in-law is 62 and retiring after this year. They, like Suzanne, say that the ridiculous programs that have come along over the years have been a total waste of time. Currently, they have in place a math program that the school system insists will work but that the teachers say is not preparing their students for the future. They fear that these children will 'fall through the cracks' and will not learn math basics. They are Readiness and first grade teachers, by the way.

The frustration from this math program is nothing compared to the frustration they feel because they are required to teach 'to the test'. These kids, and I'm talking little ones, are subjected to testing in the first weeks of school. Naturally, they don't know the answers to many of the questions and it undermines their self confidence and truly upsets them. Talk about setting kids up to hate school! Usually, the first few weeks of school are extremely hot and humid and here we have little first graders and younger, slaving over tests. There may be problems with the American education system but these accountability tests are not the answer.

I loved Suzanne's comment about holding students accountable for their actions. As a mother, I think that is one of the hardest things you have to teach your children. So many times, I wanted to come to my children's rescue when they messed up but I believe I raised two responsible adults because I wouldn't bail them out. My daughter had a wonderful third grade teacher who worked very hard to teach her class the importance of taking responsibility.

Most of the educators I know are also very upset about the accountability testing that the government now mandates. They claim that they are forced to teach 'to the test' and enrichment is impossible.

As to obesity, you've said it all. My sister asked me for tips on how she could get her thirteen-year-old son to go out and play. She wanted to know what I did. It wasn't an issue for me. My problem was getting them back inside after school! But as so many have pointed out, I was fortunate enough to raise my children in a two-parent home and I worked part time and was home with them. I look at these single mothers, struggling with the responsibilities of career and motherhood and my heart goes out to them.

Because I stayed home, going out to eat was a luxury in our family. Heck, sending out for pizza was a big deal when they were younger. So, we never had to deal with the fast food dilemma. These days, I can easily understand why parents find it easier to pick something up than to face cooking a meal after working all day. Society has changed so much and I'm not sure all the changes are for the better. Don't I sound ancient as opposed to the spry 54 I really am?

Oh and John and Rick, when I was in eighth grade, I was in an advanced program of studies. It was a state-funded program and it was the most enjoyable year of education I ever had. There was one problem, and even in eighth grade I was sensitive enough to pick up on it. Our division was called '8A', the next '8B', and so on down to '8D'. I used to think it was horrible to label kids that way. I felt sorry for the students in the lower division and almost embarrassed because I was a member of the 'elite'. So, education has certainly come a long way in that regard.

So after a few days of absence, there's my more than five cents worth!!

Re: changing times in education...

Kathy G on 1/15/04 at 15:18 (142109)

DUH! So much ideas???? They wouldn't put me in 8A these days!!:'>

Re: changing times in education...

marie on 1/15/04 at 18:05 (142133)

On testing and accountability.....we borrowed that from Japan. Our tests are not as difficult by any means. When passing the Profiency tests in Math, Language Arts and Citizenship was required to recieve a HS diploma in Ohio some years ago...we were terrified. But then something happened....that 'responsibility' word we have been throwing around in this thread...suddenly took hold. If we pass a kid and they fail the test we have some explaining to do. Not just the teachers but administrators who also had a hand in social promotion. Kids began to take it seriously and so did schools. I say go for it ....test my students. I am responsible for teaching my students in accordance to the standards and benchmarks set forth by the state of Ohio. I may not like it but I respect it. If I'm doing my job they'll pass. As teachers we got use to shutting the door and focusing on what WE thought was important. Administrators did the same. Now when an idea is presented...I want the statistics that say this is an effective technique...a proven theory. Show me the money or I'm not buying into it. Administrators can't shut the door anymore and do what they want. They have the reponsibility to instill effective strategies that WORK. We have to listen to what the employment market is telling us....and they are telling us that the kids need to understand and put to use 12 years of education. It's not a perfect system but it's better than graduating kids that can't function at work.

Re: changing times in education...

marie on 1/15/04 at 18:10 (142135)

Rick...I'm a Toyota teacher and I do wish that more American companies did what they do yearly for education.

The Toyota International Teacher program is the creation of Toyota Sales, USA.....an American company.

Time spent helping your kids with homework is well spent. It's tough to raise kids....my parents tried to warn me but I didn't listen. Once I had kids I found out they were right.

Re: Weight

Carole C in NOLA on 1/15/04 at 18:19 (142139)

Then if I had known you in college, I would have liked you for more than your good looks. :)

It was always nice when somebody else would sit in the front row, too.

Carole C

Re: Weight

JudyS on 1/16/04 at 10:48 (142187)

I always took a seat in the row against the wall....so I could lean back against it and doze off.....wish it was because I was a party animal in college but I wasn't.....
I was a single mom while I was in college and working two part-time jobs!

Re: Weight

Carole C in NOLA on 1/16/04 at 10:56 (142191)

No wonder you were sleepy!!! That's quite an accomplishment, Judy.

Carole C

Re: Weight

JudyS on 1/16/04 at 11:07 (142196)

carole - are we both on company time this morning?

I'm at State doing a week-long project but can never resist checking HS.com when I'm in front of a computer!

Re: Weight

Carole C in NOLA on 1/16/04 at 11:31 (142202)

Judy, I'm on a work schedule in which I work 9 hours/day, and then every other Friday I get off. It comes out to 40 hours/week.

So, today is my day off!! Yay! And I also get Monday off since it's a federal holiday. So, I'm on a mini-vacation at home. :)

Those 9 hour days (plus required half hour lunch, even if I have to skip it) are real killers. But when my every other Friday off comes around, it seems worth it. Maybe. LOL

Carole C

Re: Weight

JudyS on 1/16/04 at 12:02 (142205)

Carole - I Have A Plan.

The next time you have a mini-vacation I'd like to come to NOLA and use up your time with you. 'K?

Re: Weight

Carole C in NOLA on 1/16/04 at 12:58 (142210)

Sounds like fun, Judy! :)


Re: Weight

John H on 1/16/04 at 18:55 (142233)

Let me kown what bars you all will hang out in and maybe I can drop in.

Re: Weight

Carole C in NOLA on 1/16/04 at 20:18 (142237)

John, the most likely bar for me to be found in is usually a salad bar. :)

Carole C