What's the strangest thing on your school supplies list? What's it like to be homeless? Farewell Tettegouche arch. Steam engines in western Minnesota. And four protests that won't depress you as much as the one in New York yesterday.
The Monday Morning Rouser:
1) A colleague noted the other day that times have changed with the mandatory school supplies shopping list. Clorox disinfecting towels was on his kids'. It's been 10+ years since we had to do this ritual -- actually, it was my wife who did it, of course -- but even over that time things have changed, an article in the Winona Daily News points out:
Likewise, the request that each child bring a deck of playing cards doesn't mean the public schools are opting to supply Las Vegas with dealers. The numbered suits are an effective and inexpensive math teaching tool, Hanson said. As an added benefit, after class is ended, an after-school cribbage club provides the children with "great practice in counting -- especially by twos and fives," she said.
In other cases, technology drives the need for a specific item.
"If you've ever been in a computer lab with speakers on you know why we need headphones," Hanson said.
When their child first enrolls parents are asked to provide $2 for a pair of headphones
A deck of cards? Headphones?
Here's the list from a 4th grade classroom at Chelsea elementary in St. Paul:
GRADE 4 NO PENCIL BOXES / TRAPPER KEEPERS
40 # 2 pencils with erasers
3 black erasable pens
4 wide-lined spiral notebooks
5-10 pocket folders
1 old sock
1 cheap flash drive & 1 lanyard to carry it
Colored pencils, fine-tipped markers, dry-erase markers & crayons (in separate ziplock baggies)
White glue or white glue sticks (with name on it)
Plain narrow ruler with inches and centimeters
Pointed scissors - (left handed if needed)
1 box of tissues
Flash drives? Old Socks? No pencil boxes? (Are they weapons?) Why do colored pencils have to be in separate baggies?
That's today's discussion point. What's the strangest thing on your kids' classroom shopping list? What's on there that should be? What's not on there that should be?
Related: Los Angeles is opening a school that cost more than a half billion dollars. Do you suppose the parents have to buy school supplies there, too?
2) What's it like to be homeless? Check out InvisiblePeople.TV via YouTube. It documents individuals from the cross-section of homelessness. It warns you that parts of it may be offensive, which seems an odd statement. It's all offensive.
3) Just stand there for a moment, Tettegouche arch I want to remember you the way you were:
(This image was taken by Jim Brekke via Flickr.)
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports the arch is no more:
An iconic image of Lake Superior's north shore, Tettegouche's sea arch along the trail to Shovel Point has collapsed. Sometime in the week leading up to August 22, the archway was consumed by the same natural forces that created it. Weathering and erosion have left behind a new landmark, a sea stack, sure to be photographed by many for years to come.
It's funny how we feel sad about rocks.
4) Kenneth Griffis wanted a steam engine of his own, so he and his grandfather, Jim Briden, went to the drawing board to design one that they built together. Kenneth is 13.
There's something about steam engines for a lot of people. Or maybe it's the banjo. They'll have their get-together over Labor Day weekend in Rollag.
5) Why, yes, I am trying to ignore the dueling demonstratons near the World Trade Center site yesterday (although I did read Howard Kurtz's spot-on criticism of the shameful role the media is playing on the subject). Here are four protests that won't depress you as much. In San Francisco, protesters demanded equal rights for women -- if by equal rights you mean the right to take your top off in public. Even better. It was organized by Raelians.
In Houston, college kids are protesting the sale of their university's radio station. In Brazil, demonstrators criticized a ban against joking about political candidates. Jet skiers in Michigan demonstrated against an ordinance that's kept them off a lake.
Bonus: The Tuttles are selling the nation's oldest family farm. Their kids don't want to run the farm. Are you a farm kid gone bad? Why didn't you want to take over the family homestead? How much pressure was there for you to?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: Glenn Beck's upcoming rally at the Lincoln Memorial, scheduled on the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, has angered some civil rights leaders. The planned mosque/community center near the World Trade Center site has caused outrage in some quarters. Are there places in America where certain activities should not be allowed?
Second hour: A recent study indicated that a spinal fluid test can be 100 percent accurate in identifying patients with significant memory loss who are on their way to developing Alzheimer's disease. But should doctors offer, and patients accept, a test to find a disease that is not yet treatable?
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - First hour: Carrol Henderson, non-game specialist at the state's Department of Natural Resources, joins Midday to talk about the effect of the Gulf oil spill on migrating birds.
Second hour: TBA
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - First hour: TBA
Second hour: Sissela Bok talks about her book, "Exploring Happiness."
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - Independent Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner releases his budget blueprint this afternoon. MPR's Mark Zdechlik is covering the news conference.
Twenty-five school districts in southwest Minnesota got special permission this year to start their school year before Labor Day. They start on Monday. MPR's Tom Weber will reveal what those schools did with students that had State Fair conflicts.
Euan Kerry looks at a movie that's being shot around Minnesota. It chronicles the experience of war and stars James Cromwell.
(FYI: The link to today's question just feeds back to Newscut.)
1) Our school shopping list for my kindergartner is very short. Her school supplies the normal supplies, but we buy hand sanitizer, Handi wipes, dry erase markers, and glue sticks. Besides gym shoes and a lunchbox (well, that's my decision), that's it. I feel a little left out of the school-shopping fun.
3) When rock formations cease to exist, it is kind of sad. The post reminds me that the Old Man of the Mountain no longer exists, either. That was a gorgeous formation, and SO iconic. I remember there was talk of using glue and bolts to put it back together, but Wikipedia says that a non-profit is settling with building a memorial.
And a comment on school starting early: I was very taken aback that my daughter's school is in that group starting next week. It just seems wrong, somehow.
Yes, the Franconia Notch formation was pretty interesting and I'm glad that cooler heads have prevailed. What made it interesting was that it WAS a natural formation. The idea of building something that looked like a natural formation always seemed to me to miss the point.
The school supply list for our second grader has 23 items on it. Everything on the list will be community property, except for the backpack and pencil box. For me, the most striking thing on the list was the 72 sharpened yellow #2 pencils. So that comes out to one pencil every 2 1/3 days. I think when I was in school, I could make a pencil last at least a month.
First off, I'm a teacher. So let me comment on the pencils. I, too, could make my pencils last forever. I still have pencils from college and that was over a decade ago. Yet, my students can have a pencil in the morning and somehow within 15 minutes they cannot find a pencil anywhere in their desk, locker or backpack.
I try to collect any pens, pencils, crayons, etc. in a bin and students can borrow when they need one.
No pencil boxes because everything is probably slated for a communal pile for everyone to use. When my son was in school we hated the concept of communal school supplies. The same kids who brought in the cheapest quality stuff (yes, maybe it is all the family could afford) would also be the first to take the best quality things. We would end up buying two sets of many items: one for the "pool" and a personal set for our son.
I'm not surprised by the flash drive. By the time he got thought high school he had actually outgrown one and wore another out. Starting papers on the computer at school, working on them more at home and then finishing them on yet a different school computer made it a necessity.
One of the odder things that ever appeared on his shopping lists was a blank cassette tape. It never got used. The teacher didn't even know what it was for and had no plans to use it.
Thanks for the shout out to InvisiblePeople.tv!
The formerly homeless man behind the site, Mark Horvath, is currently on his cross-country road trip. He'll come through the Twin Cities in September. I highly recommend hanging out with him!
Last year when he came through town I had the chance to go with him as he handed out socks outside the Dorothy Day Center and talked to people gathering their stories. It's pretty powerful to see in action. (Here I am handing out socks with Mark last year.)