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Jilly_in_VA

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
Number of posts: 6,730

About Me

Navy brat-->University fac brat. All over-->Wisconsin-->TN-->VA. RN (ret), married, grandmother of 11. Progressive since birth. My mouth may be foul but my heart is wide open.

Journal Archives

Africa: Hakainde Hichilema, The Zambian 'cattle boy' who became president

It was a case of sixth time lucky for Hakainde Hichilema, who has finally become president of Zambia after five unsuccessful attempts.
Mr Hichilema defeated his main rival, the outgoing President Edgar Lungu, by more than a million votes.

But who is the new president? And why has he succeeded after years of failure?

Mr Hichilema, 59, has described himself as an ordinary "cattle boy", who herded his family's livestock in his youth before going on to become one of Zambia's richest men.

The president-elect and leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND) is widely referred to as HH. He was born into humble beginnings before managing to get a scholarship to the University of Zambia, and later graduated with an MBA degree from the University of Birmingham in the UK.

He went on to make a fortune in finance, property, ranching, healthcare and tourism.

He has used both aspects of his background to appeal to voters.


https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-58229710

A Global Guide For Parents: How Your Kids Can Have Fun Without Stressing You Out

Admitting this makes me feel like a bad mom, but it's the truth: I don't enjoy "kid-friendly" places. At birthday parties, zoos and play areas, I'm either completely bored or utterly overstimulated. The noise, the lights, the chaos! After an hour or two, I'd leave, say, the children's science museum exhausted, on edge and feeling like a small piece of my soul had died back at the snack bar after spending $10 on a slice of cheese pizza.

Nevertheless, I packed my daughter's schedule with these activities, and I told myself: This is what a good mother does. This is optimal. I have to sacrifice what I want to do on the weekends for her.

But what if that's all baloney? What if that thinking is needlessly making my life more stressful and hectic?

About four years ago, I began to report on parenting around the world for Goats and Soda. I looked into why Cameroon kids crushed the marshmallow test (which tests whether or not a kid can wait to eat a marshmallow in hopes of receiving two marshmallows), why Maya children wanted to help around the house and why many kids up in the Arctic seem to have better control over their anger than I do.

Through this research, I started to see my own culture with fresh eyes. I begin to see that Western culture has several deeply entrenched myths about parenting. Myths about what "good" parents do and what children need to grow up healthy, confident and — this is a big one — helpful. Myths that you don't really find in any other culture around the world.

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2021/08/15/1027425635/a-global-guide-for-parents-how-your-kids-can-have-fun-without-stressing-you-out
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The other one

'Let them be kids!' Is 'free-range' parenting the key to healthier, happier children?

She describes herself as having been a “fairly cautious” parent before the pandemic, but Shannon now worries about her children’s safety more than ever. “The pandemic has made me more paranoid and fearful of other people,” she says. She has two sons, aged seven and four, and she’s anxious about them falling ill “because they are too young to get vaccinated”. When her elder son’s school reopened last year, she kept him at home. “We don’t go inside other people’s houses, and, if we have play dates, we do them outside,” she says. As a hospital chaplain in Indiana, Shannon has seen people dying of Covid, so her fear is understandable.

There have been benefits – her sons are closer than ever – but she acknowledges the downsides. “That social aspect of their development is something I’m definitely worried about. There’s a part of me that’s like: ‘Let them be kids,’ and there’s a part of me that’s like: ‘I need to keep them safe.’”

This safety-at-all-costs style of child-rearing is one many parents will be familiar with, even if the anxieties are different – and the pandemic may have highlighted it for many, or made it worse. From a child’s perspective, the past year and a half of lockdowns, closed schools and playgrounds has given a message: the outside world is dangerous; stay away from other people. It’s safest at home. If we are starting to emerge from the pandemic, now may be a good opportunity to rethink what kind of childhood we want for our children.

Lenore Skenazy, a New York-based writer and activist, advocates what she describes as “free-range parenting”. While she says, with a laugh, that she loves safety (“helmets, car seats, safety belts”), she also believes children should be given more freedom, which builds confidence and independence. We must trust them to make their own decisions, and – this is scary for parents today in a way it wasn’t for previous generations – allow them out by themselves.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/aug/16/let-them-be-kids-is-free-range-parenting-the-key-to-healthier-happier-children
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One of two articles on parenting I wanted to share

New Illinois law bans 'hairstyle discrimination' in schools

Illinois schools will be prohibited from issuing rules regarding hairstyles historically associated with race and ethnicity, such as braids and twists, under a new law signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The measure approved by the Legislature this spring and signed by Pritzker on Friday aims to end discrimination based on students’ hairstyles. It is known as the Jett Hawkins Law after Gus “Jett” Hawkins, a Black student who at age 4 was told to take out his braids because the hairstyle violated the dress code at his Chicago school.

His mother, Ida Nelson, began an awareness campaign after the incident, saying stigmatizing children’s hair can negatively affect their educational development. She called Friday’s bill signing “monumental.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/new-illinois-law-bans-hairstyle-discrimination-schools-rcna1683
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It's a damn shame that this even requires legislation.

Tesla's Autopilot faces US investigation after crashes with emergency vehicles

The US government has opened a formal investigation into Tesla’s driver-assistance system known as Autopilot after a series of collisions with parked emergency vehicles.

The investigation covers 765,000 vehicles, almost everything that Tesla has sold in the US since the start of the 2014 model year. Of the crashes identified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as part of the investigation, 17 people were injured and one was killed. The driver of a Tesla Model 3 involved in a fatal crash that California highway authorities said may have been on operating on Autopilot posted social media videos of himself riding in the vehicle without his hands on the wheel or foot on the pedal. The May 5, 2021, crash in Fontana, a city 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Los Angeles, is also under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The probe is the 29th case involving a Tesla that the federal agency has probed. (AP
NHTSA says it has identified 11 crashes since 2018 in which Teslas on Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control have hit vehicles at scenes where first responders used flashing lights, flares, an illuminated arrow board or cones warning of hazards. The agency announced the action on Monday in a posting on its website.

“Most incidents took place after dark and the crash scenes encountered included scene control measures such as first responder vehicle lights, flares, an illuminated arrow board, and road cones,” the agency said.

The investigation covers Tesla’s entire current model lineup, the Models Y, X, S and 3 from the 2014 through 2021 model years.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/aug/16/teslas-autopilot-us-investigation-crashes-emergency-vehicles

Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in.

It's no secret that kids hate homework. And as students grapple with an ongoing pandemic that has had a wide-range of mental health impacts, is it time schools start listening to their pleas over workloads?

Some teachers are turning to social media to take a stand against homework.

Tiktok user @misguided.teacher says he doesn't assign it because the "whole premise of homework is flawed."

For starters, he says he can't grade work on "even playing fields" when students' home environments can be vastly different.

"Even students who go home to a peaceful house, do they really want to spend their time on busy work? Because typically that's what a lot of homework is, it's busy work," he says in the video that has garnered 1.6 million likes. "You only get one year to be 7, you only got one year to be 10, you only get one year to be 16, 18."


https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/health-wellness/2021/08/16/students-mental-health-time-get-rid-homework-schools/5536050001/
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Having seen my grandkids" kindergarten-4th grade homework, it IS straight-up busywork. They should be doing that in class. For a lot of other homework, I'm a proponent of the backwards method, which I've seen done successfully in several areas: teacher videos the lecture/explanation to be watched at home, then discussion/problems are done in class the next day.

Today I am a Nani

My first great-grandchild, Lilliana Rosemary Dawn, was born at 4:39 am this morning. I don't know yet what her birth weight was, but I have seen pictures. She was very wide awake and has chubby cheeks and a full head of dark curls. A perfect little girl!

An immense mystery older than Stonehenge

Reshaping previous ideas on the story of civilisation, Gobekli Tepe in Turkey was built by a prehistoric people 6,000 years before Stonehenge.

When German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt first began excavating on a Turkish mountaintop 25 years ago, he was convinced the buildings he uncovered were unusual, even unique.

Atop a limestone plateau near Urfa called Gobekli Tepe, Turkish for "Belly Hill", Schmidt discovered more than 20 circular stone enclosures. The largest was 20m across, a circle of stone with two elaborately carved pillars 5.5m tall at its centre. The carved stone pillars – eerie, stylised human figures with folded hands and fox-pelt belts – weighed up to 10 tons. Carving and erecting them must have been a tremendous technical challenge for people who hadn't yet domesticated animals or invented pottery, let alone metal tools. The structures were 11,000 years old, or more, making them humanity's oldest known monumental structures, built not for shelter but for some other purpose.

After a decade of work, Schmidt reached a remarkable conclusion. When I visited his dig house in Urfa's old town in 2007, Schmidt – then working for the German Archaeological Institute – told me Gobekli Tepe could help rewrite the story of civilisation by explaining the reason humans started farming and began living in permanent settlements.

The stone tools and other evidence Schmidt and his team found at the site showed that the circular enclosures had been built by hunter-gatherers, living off the land the way humans had since before the last Ice Age. Tens of thousands of animal bones that were uncovered were from wild species, and there was no evidence of domesticated grains or other plants.

https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20210815-an-immense-mystery-older-than-stonehenge

Virginia school board passes LGBTQ inclusivity policy that sparked protest, resignation

The school board in Loudoun County, Virginia, voted Wednesday to adopt a hotly contested policy requiring teachers to address students by their preferred gender names and pronouns.

The policy, which was approved 7-2, also ensures access for transgender students to school facilities and programs. It also mandates access for students to restrooms and locker rooms that “correspond to their consistently asserted gender identity.”

The policy abides by a state law passed last year that requires school boards adopt a policy protecting the rights of transgender students, according to a district statement.

The school system’s “number one priority is to foster the success of all students and ensure they feel safe, secure, accepted and ready to learn at school,” the district said.

According to the policy provided by the district, “Staff or students who intentionally and persistently refuse to respect a student’s gender identity by using the wrong name and gender pronoun are in violation of this policy.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/virginia-school-board-passes-lgbtq-inclusivity-policy-sparked-protest-resignation-n1276676

Virginia school board passes LGBTQ inclusivity policy that sparked protest, resignation

The school board in Loudoun County, Virginia, voted Wednesday to adopt a hotly contested policy requiring teachers to address students by their preferred gender names and pronouns.

The policy, which was approved 7-2, also ensures access for transgender students to school facilities and programs. It also mandates access for students to restrooms and locker rooms that “correspond to their consistently asserted gender identity.”

The policy abides by a state law passed last year that requires school boards adopt a policy protecting the rights of transgender students, according to a district statement.

The school system’s “number one priority is to foster the success of all students and ensure they feel safe, secure, accepted and ready to learn at school,” the district said.

According to the policy provided by the district, “Staff or students who intentionally and persistently refuse to respect a student’s gender identity by using the wrong name and gender pronoun are in violation of this policy.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/virginia-school-board-passes-lgbtq-inclusivity-policy-sparked-protest-resignation-n1276676
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