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  1. PixieJane commented on FoxTrot Classics 16 days ago

    I recall getting spammed with some really obnoxious political letters and magazine offers, fake charities, and worse, all of them very political and/or religious (the bad kind no decent Christian wants to be confused with). One was relentless phone calls to switch to a “charity” phone service (if you define charity as “fighting the gay agenda”) and I had to get EXCEEDINGLY rude (as not even “to the point bluntness” work with them) before they stopped calling me. Not sure if it was coincidence or others my name got sold to but I even got spammed with “prayer scams” (they give you blessed handkerchiefs or something if you send in a “donation”) which at least weren’t political, just sordid (and even a little amusing). But no one else was troubled with such things, and it all went to my PO Box, not my home address.
    x
    And then I got my friend signed up at the same gun range I’d gotten signed up before the spam started and she got the same exact thing (I’d given my PO Box rather than home address on my membership form to the range as well which is where all the insane spam was being sent). We both talked to the manager there who both denied the range had sold our names to anyone but also couldn’t understand why anyone “who cared about the 2nd amendment would mind.” That was the beginning of the end for both our memberships there.

  2. PixieJane commented on Calvin and Hobbes 3 months ago

    I loved learning but hated school because it was too slow for me. But once I was failing math until I ignored the teacher and read the book and I went from an F to A student and scored a 110 on the semester exam (only one to get the bonus question right). After that she set me up as a tutor and I advised them to do the same thing (but it didn’t work for all of them).

    x

    ‘Course the teacher typically gets the credit while the student gets the blame no matter how good or bad a teacher is which I don’t buy into, in my book whoever gets the credit is also the one to get the blame to the same degree. (To be fair some good teachers are prevented from being as excellent and inspiring as they could be by the system and/or school board.)

  3. PixieJane commented on Calvin and Hobbes 6 months ago

    It really depends on the child and how the child and parent get along together. And some children will be abashed at a time out while never forgiving a spanking while others (like my cousin that Calvin kinda reminds me of) won’t respect anything less and may even feel insulted if you act like they’re fragile.
    x
    But the most important thing is respect (not to be confused with fear). If a child respects an authority figure (which is earned by walking the talk, living up to their own professed values, being able to give reasons and show fairness) then about anything will work and behavioral problems shouldn’t be that much of a concern anyway. Parents who are hypocrites, unfair, and who impose punishment (be it spanking or anything else) based on their own moods rather than the child’s behavior (so that it seems random to the child) aren’t going to have the respect, and though the fear might keep them somewhat in check it will generally only be while in reach (and once a teenager even that might not work, the teen might return violence for violence, too).
    x
    I speak from my own experience. I never respected my alcoholic parents and the only regret I ever had when being punished even when I actually earned it was “I got caught” rather than “I shouldn’t have done that.” My granny, OTOH, was loving, fair, principled, and consistent, I DID respect her and a mere look of disapproval could make me cry, and with her I’d feel shame at doing wrong even if she didn’t catch me at it.

  4. PixieJane commented on Calvin and Hobbes 10 months ago

    Not an atheist myself but I do know that most atheists are simply skeptics (as one famous one said, there are many gods that are disbelieved and they just believe one less than than Christians), not that they’re trying to justify doing anything. Plenty of Christians sure have no problem doing the most horrid things and then saying Jesus forgives them so if they just wanted to “avoid responsibility” then they wouldn’t have to reject God, and by claiming to be religious people would trust them more which would make it easier for them to hurt or be forgive by a jury of their peers for “finding Jesus” (creating the true moral nihilism because morality no longer matter, but rather belief).
    x
    And while atheists have their share of sociopaths right along with the religious they still see actual consequences inherent in THIS life and therefore tend to adopt a “golden rule” of their own (just as nearly every religion has done, especially modern ones). Many such atheists would call themselves “secular humanists” which are run by enlightened values, and you can find such secular humanists helping in organizations like Amnesty International, Save the Children, and Doctors Without Borders (including in Africa where they try to cure the sociopathic evil inflicted on society inspired by religion, typically Christianity and Islam).

    x
    Therefore I see it as only fair to measure people by their actions and motivations rather than by what gods they believe or don’t believe in (as there are plenty of good people of all faiths & skepticism just as there are rotten apples).

  5. PixieJane commented on Calvin and Hobbes 11 months ago

    Lots of competition still in schools, they’re all about the testing now (as that’s important to school funding). You can even fail kindergarten for not being able to read (whereas I was considered exceptional to know how to read by the time kindergarten let out). Sports remain a top priority for many (and they’re all about the winning, which means losers), and plenty of parents push their kids even harder to compete even against friends (sometimes to make sure their kids have a good chance to get into a good college, other times as ego games against other parents and/or living vicariously through their kids), and ironically parents can even take the outcomes more seriously than their kids (especially sports, but many people will mention the insane moms of confused children in Toddlers & Tiaras, too, which btw has spawned spinoffs like Cheer Perfection that just came out following the world of competitive cheerleading).

    x
    And kids still develop their own pecking order as always, which includes scapegoats for the rest to trash, often with school approval (especially if it’s jocks or queen bees are doing the tormenting). All in all, as a general rule I’d say they know more competition than I did back in school (though at the expense of quality education with the focus on short term rote memorization than actually understanding the material), but that doesn’t stop people from doing what they’ve done for thousands of years in griping how easy the next generation has it (instead of walking uphill through the snow for miles to school, and uphill back home, too) and how bad kids these days are, though overall the kids today seem better to me than the boomer generations (which are statistically shown to be much more violent and drug-crazed than kids today).
    x
    A fun song on this topic, IMO, is What’s the Matter With Kids Today* in the musical Bye, Bye Birdie (can be found on YT easily enough), where a father sings how horrible his kids are while his own mom sings the same about him.

  6. PixieJane commented on Calvin and Hobbes over 1 year ago

    I grew up in an East Texas town so small that it doesn’t show up on many maps and it depends on the county for things like cops & courts. It does have a school, but K-12 is all on the same lot (and has a bus they got in the 50s and never replaced which also picks up all K-12 kids who don’t choose other methods, including walking) and didn’t have any sports team, at least not from the 90s on (seems unimaginable for Texas!) I literally saw more Confederate flags than American and Texas combined (even a relatively nearby courthouse flew one but were forced to take it down last summer).
    x
    I was a tomboy though my Granny (whom I lived with when in town) tried to get me to be more girly, and required me to wear a dress when she took me to church. However, she did buy me my first skateboard (obviously not in town) for my 14th birthday as I’d wanted one so bad since I was 11.
    x
    She did get calls while I was growing up, like the old lady who ran the drug store in town (the town had 3 stores, all next to each other and by the school) called my Granny when she saw me walking home with 2 boys to say I was having sex with both. Granny did know me better than that and reminded the gossip about the commandment against bearing false witness but then told me after I shouldn’t be alone with boys, especially not more than one at once, as people would talk. Of course the boys didn’t get into any trouble at all for walking with a girl, but as Granny said, the town considered me responsible not only for my behavior but for the behavior of any male towards me so it was important to guard my reputation. But then my older male cousin (who also lived with Granny) made sure the boys treated me right (as he liked to say, “No one treats you bad but me” :-D )

  7. PixieJane commented on Calvin and Hobbes over 1 year ago

    Just out of curiosity, how did you get into C&H?

    I discovered the comic in the library when I was 17 (year 2000) and loved it. I put a copy of one strip in the break room which was really popular with the librarians. Since then I actually bought some copies, though all but one has been stolen. :-(

  8. PixieJane commented on Calvin and Hobbes almost 2 years ago

    Complicating it is how many denominations within the same religion see itself as incompatible with others in the same religion. For example, where I grew up the Baptists saw Pentecostals as little better than snake handlers and sometimes saw them acting more demon possessed than filled with the Holy Spirit. Pentecostals in turn said the Baptists missed an essential element of salvation. Both hated the Jehovah Witnesses as unpatriotic scum for refusing to pledge allegiance (as they saw it as idolatry) who returned the contempt and believed celebrating Christmas & Easter were idolatry. And all 3 hated Catholics as idol worshippers if not outright pagans.
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    Another difference is I grew up in a “dry county” (alcohol couldn’t be legally sold) as they all saw alcohol as polluting the body (which should be as a temple) but when I went to a Russian Orthodox Pascha/Easter they insisted I drink vodka and wine (and I was 17, and I saw them do the same to one who was 10). The Russians (actually from Russia or raised by those who were) were baffled by American Christianity, especially the televangelists and also the idea that God protected people from harm or even made believers rich (the so-called “prosperity gospel”). The Orthodox who I described my Bible Belt town to thought the Baptists, Pentecostals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the like were all crazy (especially if they were against alcohol when Jesus turned water to wine). :-D
    x

    But anyway here’s your Pascal’s Roulette, have fun playing:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/02/08/pascals-roulette/

  9. PixieJane commented on Calvin and Hobbes almost 2 years ago

    Creative writing was my forte. Teachers usually let me read & write while others did their assignments (and weren’t always allowed to do the same as me when they were done) on the condition I didn’t ask the teacher questions she couldn’t answer (which I’d do if I got bored, hence the indulgence). I found I enjoyed in school suspension because I’d do the week’s assignments in a day and spend the rest of the week writing stories that were popular with other kids and often earned me good grades and compliments.
    *

    But one got me in huge trouble. Supposed to write a fic about what the founding fathers would think of the USA today I wrote a creative fic where me and the class interviewing them via ouija board and a subsequent brawl with Pentecostals caused their ghosts to possess the Pentecostals and they decided to hold another revolution and we went with them for extra credit, but there were also historical villains also possessing bodies trying to stop us (obviously influenced by The Matrix which I’d just seen) and the surprise ending was our principal was possessed by Adolf Hitler (thus explaining his obsession with trying to mandate school uniforms, which I gave a footnote to a school library book on growing up in Nazi Germany) and with the help of then Gov. Bush (TX) and President Clinton (also possessed by tyrants) they almost crushed us but we got saved by some vengeful Iceni Celts (possessing a biker gang) who had issues with Suetonius (in Clinton). Thing was I heavily footnoted my fic from history books to explain why the historical figures said & acted as they did.
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    The class loved it, but I got an F and sent to the principal who suspended me over it. A classmate rewrote the story (as mine had been destroyed) but made it more violent (in his version the principal and 2 teachers he added in are killed by him in the final battle instead of esaping to expel us in mine) and put it in his zine and it was extremely popular (we both even got asked to autograph it).
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    Then Columbine happened and someone turned the zine in and next thing I knew they were trying very hard to have us placed in an abusive mental hospital even against my mom’s wishes. I ended up dropping out and unschooling and I found without having to bother with school I was able to learn a lot more.
    *
    Another teacher said she loved my fic because in her mind I not only learned the facts but THOUGHT about it, and the non-American history was pure extra credit in her book (and it would’ve been a lot less boring to read, hear, and grade than most such papers). She said if I’d turned that story into her she’d have given me an A+ and that my school was run by idiots.

  10. PixieJane commented on Calvin and Hobbes almost 2 years ago

    It actually is harder at lower levels these days…you can even fail kindergarten now if you don’t pass all the tests they give you and can’t read at least a little, and I don’t recall a single test in my kindergarten. I taught myself to read in kindergarten but I don’t recall it being a required skill until time to graduate the first grade.

    High school seems about the same, however, and compared to the rest of the Western world, the more schooling an American has the dumber the student is compared to peers in many other countries.