eXTReMe Tracker WARNING: The opinions expressed and linked to in this blog are not necessarily mine (anymore).

My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Wednesday, February 12

Related to the idea of withholding "junk books" is the idea that there is other "junk" (TV and Video Games) that fills up the mind and leaves no appetite for more "nutritious" ideas.

I've read that the reason people like sugar so much is because it a signal that something, fruit, was good for them (or maybe people who preferred sweet things ate fruit and survived and had more offspring since fruit was good for them and helped them to be healthier). Now that sugar can be separated from fruit, the fondness for sweets can't be entirely trusted. A person could eat and enjoy pure sugar or other foods made with sugar but miss out on important nutrients that are found in fruit. Therefore, a person might be healthier if they stuck to eating unprocessed foods. On the other hand, they might take advantage of this knowledge to make healthier foods taste even better or to make better tasting foods healthier.

Does this analogy hold with learning and enjoyment? Did "enjoyment" lead people to do things (learning and creating) which were good for them and helped them survive and procreate? Do TV, Video Games, and poorly written books offer enjoyment without learning and creativity?

Friday, February 7

Attention and Self-discipline
(revised from Feb. 12, 2003 8:34 PM)
The idea that one can do anything for 15 minutes reminded me of similar advice from another source - Charlotte Mason. She lived in England during the late 1800s and early 1900s as an educator. She also encouraged parents to educate their own children. She had a lot of ideas about education, but the one relevant here had to do with "habit training" - specifically training attention.

She thought that children (and adults) learned to be inattentive when forced to work long past the point of interest in a subject. She claimed #suggested# that attention could be trained by keeping the lessons short and varied, by encouraging the child to pay full attention since the lesson would soon be over, and by stopping the lesson before interest was lost and attention began to be difficult to maintain. She suggested 15 to 20 minutes per lesson (or type of activity/subject) for a beginning 6 year old student, and then gradually increasing the time by 5 minutes, per lesson period, per year until the student could focus for 45 minutes #May 7, 2003# per subject# at high school age.

There was another technique that was supposed to help with training the habit of attention -- the withholding or limited access to picture books and "junk books" (my term) from children. The idea was that a child might get "filled up" with junk and not have interest in more mind nurturing books that required greater attention and effort to enjoy.

#May 7, 2003# I think now that whatever interests a person nurtures the mind. One of the most nurturing acts one could do for a child is to pay attention and interact with him. Another important aspect of nurturing is helping a child get rid of "junk" that doesn't interest him. As his knowledge grows about what is healthy and good for him, provided by plenty of interaction with interesting people, what interests him will tend to be healthier and better for him. #

Me neither, 5 minutes seems to be my limit.

Posted By: becky smith 2/7/2003 4:43:00 PM

I can't do 15 minutes of homework. But I'm weird.

Posted By: Elliot Temple 2/7/2003 2:08:00 PM

Thursday, February 6


Revisited May 6, 2008
(revised Feb. 12, 2003 8:40 PM)

In case you haven't heard of this support group for the clutterly challenged, FLY stands for Finally Loving Yourself. Marla (the author and listowner) sends out various reminders, tips, and testimonials revolving around the subject of housework for SHE's (Sidetracked Home Executives).

I could live without the purple puddles, the feather duster, and the shoes, but there is something compelling about some of her messages. She criticizes some of the bad ideas floating around out there that can trip up people in getting what they want done.

One important bad idea that she often criticizes is, "If you can't do something right, don't do it at all." This motto, although it's intended to inspire, can be an enormous obstacle to doing much of anything. All one has to do is think, "Oh, I can't do that right, better not try." Instant excuse to avoid trying new things, getting work done (even work you LIKE), etc.

Flylady Marla has an anti-motto for this. It goes something like, "You can do anything for 15 minutes." Instead of looking to "do it right", she suggests just working on it for 15 minutes.

A related motto or maybe just a rewording of the one above is, "A job badly done is still a blessing." She especially warns about not accepting what help your children are willing to give, but she also mentions how important it is to accept oneself.

I love the advice to just vacuum the middles of rooms. If you're an immaculate housekeeper anyways, you might not appreciate this advice. (Then again, if it gave you an extra hour to play with your kids or read your favorite book, maybe it WOULD be appreciated). For one who is striving to just get the place looking less like the wake of a tornado and more like... a light gust had blown through, it might be just the thing.
I'm an atheist and I have no problem talking about blessings. Even outside D&D games. No more than *wishing* you well.
Posted By: Elliot Temple 2/7/2003 2:07:00 PM

One of the Bad Things About Austin

My agreement with this post is undecided as of 05/06/2008.

One of the bad things about Austin

"Austin City Council members Thursday lent their voice to a growing chorus of cities urging the Bush administration not to go to war with Iraq without the support of other countries." -- Austin American-Statesman

Umm, the bright side is that's one less regulation the council has had time to inflict on Austin today.

*Comments* (Comments on this broke, so I saved them within the post)
oh, also, it's curiosity, with no u. (ur link is spelled wrong)

Posted By: Elliot Temple 2/7/2003 2:12:00 PM

I guess if there are other countries on our side, like Britain and Australia, then they will support the war? Or do only France and Germany count as other countries? And if France and Germany come around, will your city council?

Posted By: Elliot Temple 2/7/2003 2:04:00 PM


Posted By: becky smith 2/7/2003 11:25:00 AM


Posted By: becky smith 2/7/2003 11:24:00 AM