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04 November 2008 @ 10:43 am
It's a big, big Tuesday!  
First, Happy Birthday to pamalax, a kind and versatile lady whom it's been my pleasure to know since S1 of Prison Break! I hope you have a great birthday, and are not too tired to enjoy it. :D Care for a snippet of fic? Please let me know!

~*~

I voted. Went with a book and everything, but there was hardly any line— a combination of good timing, and a lot of people in my region voting absentee (including my husband). Since California gave up the punch-block system after the "dangling chads" disaster in Florida, the slowest part of voting is filling in those ovals with a black pen. It's like the GRE all over again: no Xes, no lines, and make sure you fill the WHOLE thing. Took about 3 minutes, vs. the under 60 seconds I could do with the punch-mechanism.

I listened to Christopher's Rise Against album on the way into work. I was hoping it would be better— instead, it's basically head-banging music. I call this genre Thrash. For all but three songs, the drummer sounds like Keith Moon on speed. Ork. :(

Christopher's teacher finally gave him permission to write his lengthy Explorers Report in cursive. His printing is excruciating to read, and his cursive is great, but she makes him print in class. However, the pain of reading multiple pages of his handwriting finally got to her and she bailed out of the report. That'll teach her. Curses to the lack of emphasis in Kindergarten on holding the pencil the right way. I've nagged and nagged, but he keeps reverting to the fist-clench method instead. :(


 
 
 
miss_mandy on November 4th, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
I've never held my pencil the "correct" way, but my printing is quite legible. (It's my handwriting that is atrocious, looks the same as it did in Gr. 5)

Does he hold his pencil with two fingers on top and two on the bottom and the thumb across? That's how I hold mine and I used to think it was pretty weird until I met a couple other people who hold it the exact same way.

I don't type the right way either. I only use my two index fingers for the entire keyboard, unless I'm hitting shift, enter or backspace. I only ever use one the right shift too, it's weird. But I can still type faster than anyone I know.

Oh useless anecdotes, how fun they are... ;P

Edited at 2008-11-04 10:02 pm (UTC)
Princess Robot Bubblegum!astrothsknot on November 4th, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
I don't get the insistence on touch typing with all the fingers.
As long as you can type reasonably quickly, what's the problem?

I seriously need to cut my nails...I'm typing in rows I'm nowhere near

Edited at 2008-11-04 11:09 pm (UTC)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 5th, 2008 12:05 am (UTC)
As long as you can type reasonably quickly, what's the problem?
A lot of people can't, without learning touch-typing.

But it improves the work to be able to type w/o looking at the keyboard as you do it, because you already know where everything is. Plus faster not to move your hands around! It's held me in good stead, other than the number keys which are still often nearly foreign territory. ;)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 5th, 2008 12:00 am (UTC)
My daughter holds it the same way her brother does, and all her writing is legible. The pencil rests on the index finger, and the thumb clamps on top of it so that you're writing with your whole hand as a fist instead of using finger dexterity.

I don't know why Lauren can work with that. Christopher's results are what you'd expect. :0

He holds the pencil the right way for cursive, though, and also if he puts it in his left hand. I tried to get him to spend some time last summer figuring out if he's left-handed (he's left-eyed), but he never wants to do anything you tell him too.

As a result, he also draws pretty much at the stick-figure stage. :0

I love touch-typing! Learned in 7th grade, and given that I do software programming for a living, it's proven very beneficial!
Princess Robot Bubblegum!astrothsknot on November 4th, 2008 11:06 pm (UTC)
How do they teach kids there to write? Here we don't bother so much about holding the pen, because at the age we start - 3 - most kids can't hold the pencil right anyway. As long as you can read what they write. If his cursive is fine, then I wouldn't worry about how he holds the pencil and work on the teacher letting him use grown up writing. Printing is holding him back.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 5th, 2008 12:03 am (UTC)
How do they teach kids there to write?
There's some minimal attention to how to hold the pencil, but because they're pushing the attention on writing letters and such, the teachers don't focus enough on the physical mechanics. Then by first grade, it's too late. :(

When I was a kid, we learned the "ball and stick" method of writing, which is very manageable for little people. Now the rage is all this Denelian thing, where the letters are halfway to cursive. The claim is that it makes the transition to cursive easier. However, people are ignoring the fact that it makes early writing for 5- and 6- year olds harder, because they don't have the dexterity for that. Seriously, our educational system is being run by people with no sense or perspective on cognitive and developmental capabilities. :(

and work on the teacher letting him use grown up writing. Printing is holding him back.
You're not kidding. But she's 1-2 years away from retirement and has been doing this for over 30 years, so as you can imagine... she's not terribly flexible. :(
brigid_tanner: Dean-scratching headbrigid_tanner on November 5th, 2008 01:30 am (UTC)
I had no idea learning to write was so complicated. I don't really remember learning, and haven't been around any kids enough to notice. But I type pretty well ;) The only class my dad insisted my brother and I *both* take in high school was typing. And it's about the only thing i used daily that I learned way back then.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 5th, 2008 01:38 am (UTC)
I had no idea learning to write was so complicated. I don't really remember learning, and haven't been around any kids enough to notice.
See my reply to athrosknot above. It was a lot easier learning when I was a kid, because the ball-and-stick method of shaping letters was closer to the capabilities of really little kids. It's much harder now, and moreover... in my day (*pulls out rocking chair*) kids didn't begin learning to write until first grade. Pushing that down a year (along with reading) and going to a method that's harder for little hands really does not help!

The only class my dad insisted my brother and I *both* take in high school was typing.
That was very serendipitious for me. When I lived in Portland, we'd go to "Orchestra Camp" during the first 4-6 weeks of summer (which got us out of endless yard work at home). Orchestra Camp was half of a summer-school session, and the other half was U-Pick. So one summer, I picked touch-typing as the optional class. Who knew I'd wind up using that every day in my current profession?
she said mysteriouslyresounding_echo on November 5th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC)
I somehow timed it perfectly, because I didn't wait to vote at all. And there were open spots next to me.

Rise Against in my lil bro's fav band. I don't get it.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 5th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
Rise Against in my lil bro's fav band. I don't get it.
Christopher heard _one_ song by them on John Madden 08, and wanted the album. Which I've held back forever to look up the lyrics online and see what he can actually listen too.

But ork-- the lead singer has a high, nasal voice, and the music is like BAMiddybuh-BAMiddybuh-BAMiddybuh-BAMiddybuh over and over again. What's to like?!?