honestly. this is no surprise (wow. albert thinks government/media secrecy is common. well thats a surprise), but it makes me wonder if the government is lying to us and the major news networks are also "lying" to us, what are the american people supposed to believe anymore? who can we trust? will we just give up on real news altogether and piece real world politics from news networks here and there? or will we give up on formal news networks and go for the much more humorous sources, such as late night political talk shows or the onion? (the onion has online videos which are HILARIOUS)

its such a sad state of affairs. but i don't care.

Day 6 I had the pleasure of working with toddlers, and it is at this point that I realized that they were placing me in a younger and younger age group classroom instead of putting me all over the place, which is really helpful to know now. Except this was the last time that they did this. I declined working with infants, because even though they're adorable, I don't really feel that I could learn much from them, gender-wise.

Generally, this was a very new and awkward experience for me. I've never worked with a group so young, and the difference between these kids who were no more than 14-16 months old, and the 2-3 year olds. These toddlers could barely talk, they needed help with all of their daily activities, had special chairs with straps and even had a different playground from the rest of the kids. The teachers were also more relaxed concerning their nap time rules, allowing the children to sleep for an additional 30 minutes. The classroom looked similar to the other classroom except there was a mini playset comprised of a ramp, a tube, and a tic-tac-toe spinny block toy on the side, inside the classroom, none of the other classrooms had playsets indoors, only toys. The children were also noticeably different, they were much smaller, all wore diapers (very happy that I didn't have to change them) and some even had pacifiers. Although some children in the older groups still wore diapers, they were usually for safety measures, because by now the teachers knew when each child should go potty because by 2 years old, children should be able to relatively control their wastes or at least alert someone when they have to use the bathroom, which many of the older kids do. This age group however, had no control whatsoever, and went as they pleased. Another noticeable difference was their inability to use the English language. They could understand the instructions that were given to them, but had difficulty conveying their desires. Most of their "words" were incomprehensible and were accompanied by hand gestures, mediating what they wanted. The most advanced children babbled and sometimes used a word here and there, but the majority of the children just used advanced babble, typical of their age. In order to advance their acquisition of language, the teachers always asked the children to "use big boy words," as a way to reinforce their use of words, a sort of zone of proximal development. On the playground, I also noticed that the children didn't play with one another as much as the older kids did, but rather interacted with the toys/equipment on the playground more. There were also a handful of kids that were just playing with themselves, and apparently this behavior was common in some of the kids, but uncommon in others, but generally was a common sight to see kids playing by themselves. And to no surprise, given that they had so many toys to play with.

Cognitively, their ability to learn came slowly, as they repeated the same mistakes over and over again, although some of the older ones already knew what to do in certain events. For example, when a child wants more food/drink during snack time, he or she would have to ask using their words while their plate/cup was down on the table. Almost all of the children had difficulty understanding this, and had to be prompted by a teacher to use their words or put their dish on the table in order to be served. One child however, Abby, had to be told only once to put her dish down instead of being told multiple times or having the dish put down on the table for her. Although it wasn't a major feat, it set her apart from the other children. On this particular day, the WCCC had visitors on the toddler playground; giant bees. Although they were harmless carpenter bees, they were big, black, and made loud buzzing sounds, "scaring" all of the teachers to different extents. I wasn't explicitly afraid of the bees, but I wasn't going to play in the sandbox where they were flying around. The children however, took no notice and played in the playground as if the bees weren't even there. This was surprising to me for two reasons; one, 2-3 year olds would SCREAM and point whenever they saw a bug, not neccessarily meaning that they were afraid of it, just screaming because it was there and they felt that they had to tell everyone, and two, they weren't afraid of big, black, buzzing creatures that flew around in the air. I don't know if these kids had a schema for bees, or if they didn't notice them and hence didn't react to them, but I found their nonchalantness towards the bees quite humorous when the teachers didn't want to go near the bees. They also had an extremely short attention span, or the script of washing their hand was completely lost on them. After they got their diapers changed, it was my duty to help them wash their hands, and although they knew what the teacher meant by "wash your hand" (they went do the sink and stepped up on the stool) I had to basically wash their hands for them. The first few kids I just instructed, by pointing to the soap, and pointing to the paper towel. But sooner or later, they just started playing with the water instead of washing their hands, despite me instructing them what to do. It soon became much more effectively for me to grab their hands and wash it for them.

Gender-wise, I found that the toddlers were no exception when it came to gender segregation. Although there were only four boys on the playground (two were from the other class), boys and girls played together on the playground and in the classroom. The child that I connected with the most this time was a girl, named Delilah, and she didn't seem to be threatened by my presence at all, but instead seemed to be happy that I was here and even gave me a hug (yeah it was really cute) when she left, suggesting that she was securely attached. When her mom came to pick her up, she was very happy that she was there, but wasn't eager to leave like some of the other children, who saw their parents as an escape from the WCCC, instead of a individual who takes them home and signals the end of their day at the WCCC.

Heres something interesting. The playground is right next to the infant room, and one of the teachers of the infant room came out, throwing some of the attention of the toddler teacher toward the infant room. She then asked one of the children if they wanted to see babies, and most of them just came rushing down from the playground to see these infants, eyes wide with curiosity. I mean, they were babies several months ago, its so funny that they are so curious.

*all names are fictitious, although the characters are real

Ugh. I can't believe I typed out this long, lengthy journal article, only to be timed out by blackboard so I lost it. So aggravating.

Well, on day 5, I learned that I should ask the teachers about the past behaviors of the children, allowing me to discern whether or not an event was novel or not, and also giving me a better background of the child, for the teacher will usually drag on about the child and all the things that he/she has done in the past.

I worked with the preschool group on day 5, and they were about 2-3 years of age. In comparison to the older children, these children were slightly more hesitant to accept me into their groups, and I noticed the cognitive phenomenons in these children that were typical of early childhood. When the teacher asked "Who knows the twinkle twinkle little star song?" everyone's face was blank, but when she turned on a CD recording of the song, many of the children's lightbulbs went off in their heads and after the first line started (cognitive cue) singing along, and by the end of the song, every child was singing along, demonstrating a superior recognition memory in comparison to recall memory. The teachers also pointed out to me (what they thought) their extremely short attention span. "If you ask one of the younger ones if ice cream is cold or hot, they won't think about the question but rather just reply back with whatever the second choice was." We then tested this on several of the children, and this very true. Although I would attribute this more to a developing system of sensory registry and short-term memory. when we asked the older kids the same question, I could see them actually stop what they were doing and think about the question for a couple seconds before replying, while the younger kids didn't display the same level of attention to the question and instead just replied immediately. Within the familiarity of the WCCC atmosphere, the children developed small scripts to daily events, such as upon waking up, they would go potty, wash their hands, and then go play. However, this script was very rudimentary, and without the teachers, it is unlikely that the children would be able to do this on their own, especially when many of them immediately rush to the toys/books after naptime.

Socially, there was one child, Ernie, who kept on asking for his friend Bert, who was in the same class as he was but was absent that day for whatever reason, (doctor's appointment maybe?) and this child seemed to be absolutely lost. According to the teachers, Bert and Ernie were best friends, and unfortunately, Ernie wasn't very developed language-wise, and most of the words that came out of his mouth were "Wheres Bert?". Which was actually pretty endearing, but when his reply to every question is "Bert," it gets awfully repetitive (and yes, he did reply "Bert" to the question "Is ice cream cold or hot?" which gave the teachers and I a good laugh). Even though Ernie was one of the older children, all children develop at their own individual pace, and I guess that Ernie is no exception.

Gender-wise, boys overall seemed to have better spatial navigation and movement. For one, Linda was playing with 3 blocks, shaped in a quarter circle and when you put them together in a certain way, the 4 blocks would come together and make a circle (the 4th block was in the box of other blocks, and she had no trouble finding that). However, this thought process was lost on her, as she tried to put the blocks together upside down, in which the "teeth" of the blocks wouldn't fit together properly. And even though I showed her how the blocks should be arranged, she kept on trying to arrange the blocks in her own way, displaying the lack of development in her frontal cortex or simply a small attention span (but I can't imagine it could be the latter, because it took me all of 5 seconds to show her how to put the blocks together). After trying to piece the blocks together, an onlooker, a boy named Jimmy, got fed up and said "this is how you do it," and pieced the remaining 2 pieces perfectly. Now it is possible that hes very familiar with these 4 quarter-circle blocks, giving him an unfair advantage over Linda, but that wasn't a guarantee, and since they were about the same age, it seemed that boys overall had (at least this boy) better myelination of the frontal cortex than girls. Also, on the playground, they were playing on a playset that had thin steps you had to climb in order to reach the top (you could've taken the stairs as well, but these thin steps were apparently much more fun) and I noticed that the boys had a much easier time on these steps than the girls. Of course with all flash observational data, there are many many confounding variables, but just based upon these two events, it seemed that the boys had a better developed frontal cortex. At this point, gender segregation hasn't really set in, and although these children know their gender, it plays a very negligible role. More boys played with the power tools/cars than girls, and the girls played dress up with the skirts and ballet items while the boys didn't really play dress up, although both groups displayed a significant level of pretend play. I didn't really fully connect with any one of the children, and if I had to choose a child that connected with me the most, would have to be a girl named Abby, suggesting that her sense of identification hasn't come to fruition (nice vocabulary word there Albert).

*all of these names were made up

negative side of good weather

however, there is a negative side to great weather. it makes boys want to run around half-naked, which is awful and disgusting. because 1, they think that they're toned/fit/athletic or whatever to attract the ladies but they're usually not and instead 2, they're just really hairy and the only thing that they're showing off are their sweatervests (slang term for a really hairy chest. trust me. they suck. we were playing ultimate frisbee and i had to guard a guy with a sweatervest. it was awful. i felt that it was going to like grab me with its long hairs. ugh.) and 3, i just straight up don't wanna see dudes half-naked. not into that. and its not even that hot outside.

another reason why warm weather is "bad", and this time, its the ladies fault. i feel that i need to address the issue of sundresses. and how some chicks JUST CAN'T PULL OFF THE RIGHT ONES. (at this point i went to urbandictionary to look up the formal definition of sundress, but it wasn't there. much to my disappointment.) so instead i went to my good friend wikipedia.

A sundress is an informal sleeveless dress of any shape in a lightweight fabric, for summer wear. The dress is intended to be worn without a layering top, and the design must therefore cut a balance between modesty and allowing sun exposure.

so i'll name some pet peeves of mine when it comes to these sundresses

1. florescent colors that make you look like you're from the 80s. there are FEW retro models of sundresses that look good at all, and even fewer girls that can pull them off.
2. wearing BLACK leggings with sundresses. why would you ruin a good thing? sundresses are usually lighter colors, and contrasting them with black on a nice day? just don't.
3. wearing WHITE leggings with sundresses. seriously don't wear leggings.
4. please wear sundresses that are structured, at least to a small extent. of course since it is a dress, it should still have that flowy feel to it, so it should be structured like a jacket, but it shouldn't be completely free of any hem or "structure".
5. there aren't a lot of people in the sunken gardens wearing sundresses atm, so i don't really know what other negative things i can say about it.
just in case you didn't know, its a great day today, and its absolutely GORGEOUS outside. and for reasons like this i'm so happy that we have the sunken gardens for people just to lay out in. it is. plus i had a 30 minute psych class which was supposed to be 80 minutes long. can't complain with that.
thank god you didn't make us blog about abortion. that would've been absolutely crazy. although i wouldn't mind a blog about something controversial. i'm sure that people have things to say about it.

hands off please government. its reasons like these that make me a libertarian. although i do agree that this is an overreaction, this is a small problem that may convey the bigger issue; government domination of the first amendment. they have the ability to censor/pry anything that they feel is "i dont' even know what the right word is here. neccessary?" people gave up their civil liberties without a fight, and now the bush administration is doing what they please. not surprised. once again, this barrier to information gathering should not be a big deal in comparison to the bigger picture.


considering my asian background, i should be worried about things like this, how my school will be viewed in the real world. in my opinion however, going to the elite tier of colleges doesn't guarantee you a great career/job in the real world, and vice versa. as long as you're willing to work hard, and you're generally good at what you do, you will succeed. i mean although at first if you have a degree from some community college, you probably won't get accepted into the high-end job that you want that a graduate of harvard might be able to get easily. but still, once you work hard at your lower-tier job, your success will pay off in the end. but however, i believe that the world is fair, which i do recognize is a flawed view, but i stick to my beliefs.

Same group as last time, one of the Pre-K groups. Unfortunately, there was no birthday party this time, so I didn't get a chance to peek into the interaction between parents and their children. Oh well. Also, Jared (the male college student that works there) wasn't there this time, and the difference was substantial. Almost ALL of the children seemed very comfortable around me, mostly the boys, and especially one boy we'll call Kara. Since there aren't a lot of male teachers at the WCCC, the boys are probably very excited when they find a teacher that they can identify with (gender-wise). Him and a few others were most obviously securely attached at a young age, because they had no problem being around me, he even sat in my lap during story time, despite being around me for 4 hours tops. Kara and the other boys he was playing with showed signs of precausal reasoning, especially when they were playing with grippy-block toys (at this point almost all of the play they do is pretend/symbolic play), in which he put them together and apparently it was supposed to resemble a ship. Upon "blast-off", one of the kids asked Kara where the fire is on the ship, and Kara responded by saying that this ship doesn't have fire. And then they both started arguing whether or not fire came out of a spaceship. The kid incorrectly reasoned that all spaceships spew fire, and Kara, because he was pretend-playing, didn't really respond with good arguments, just kept on repeating, "this spaceship doesn't have fire!". Johnny apparently did a good deed, which I had no idea what it was, and was able to tell me he had a sticker on his cheek as he pointed to himself in the mirror, as he should be able to according to mirror studies about self-recognition.

Then for the rest of the day, the kids just went off and played outside, since it was SUCH a nice day. Gender segregation didn't seem to set in, although boys did boy things when they were playing house, (ie, they were using pinecones as hammers to fix the roof, the girls and Kara were making a cake/pie/food(they couldn't make up their mind) out of grass and twigs and such). But other activities, such as hide and seek, tag, and just general play seemed to be enjoyed by both genders. Except one pretend play where the girls collected flowers to make a salad of sorts, but those girls belonged to the older, 4-5 year old class, where gender segregation seems to rear its head.

day 2 at the wccc

2-3 year olds have so much more energy than the 5 year olds, and as a result they tire me out SO FAST.

To set the scene, I came right on time during this visit, and the kids had already woken up from their nap and the teacher this time was much better at introducing me to the children, which may explain why they were more accepting of me in their classroom as they came to me before I came to them. Like last time, I helped the kids pack up their things, except I was much more involved in helping them, for it turned out to be basically me packing up their stuff while they watched/attempted to help. I put the cots away, but there was one kid, named Jackson (I got it right this time, I can actually remember most of their names so prepared to be amazed) who just refused to get up. Mrs. Ruby (the teacher) told me that he was a hard one to wake up. I picked him up and he started to smile and giggle but he tried to hide it, pretending he was still asleep. As I tried to put him them, he refused to stand up so I had to pull out and chair as he jumped slumped into it, soon falling off and "sleeping" on the ground. During this time, the kids were also told to use the potty, and the teachers helped them with this, some of them even had diapers, suggesting that at least some of the kids weren't fully potty trained.

The kids were then instructed to sit at the table for coloring. Obeying orders wasn't the problem with these kids, its just that they wanted to do so much more, refreshed and full of energy after their nap. Many of them wanted me to read books for them, and I noticed that one girl, named Lindsey, who seemed to be a very girly girly girl, was carrying around this Barbie book, and even though the teachers and I told her to put the book back, she would always go back to that book. That book was also the most feminine book on the shelves, suggesting that this girl was already fitting into her gender role (more on this later). The drawings of the children were pretty incomprehensible, except there was this one girl, Emilia (similar to the Elizabeth of the 5 year olds group) had advanced control over her hands, for she was able to draw/color recognizable shapes, which were in this case a blue football. At one point, she even exclaimed "thats not how you color! You have to color like me!" and by coloring like her, she meant everyone had to color inside the lines (which she did an okay job at) and use a lot of force when using the crayon. The pictures of the other children tended to be much a bunch of different styles of lines, such as squiggly lines and awkward looking spheres. One girl, Megan drew me a picture of something, and I asked her to write her name for me, which she attempted to do, as she told herself (Up down, up down, up down) and "Megan" turned into "MMMMMMMMMM".

Then came snack time, by this time I was well acquainted with Jackson, and the other boy in the class, Jonas, and a handful of the other kids, (this class was relatively small, I would guess about only 8-10 kids). As they lined up, with much persuasion, for snack time, they joined the other classes in the little cafeteria room for milk and animal crackers. I sat next to Jackson, who only wanted to drink his milk, and wasn't interested in his animal crackers as he pushed them away from him. These children seemed to also be learning how to effectively communicate, using words instead of pointing to tell others what they want, as the teachers called this "using big boy/girl words". Of course, in order to facilitate this shift, I didn't give Jackson the milk when he pointed to his cup or the jar of milk, instead I asked him to tell me what he wanted, and he did so easily, and then I allowed him to pour his own milk. After a while though, he got relatively bored with the milk, and began to pick at the animal crackers, biting off the parts that protruded from the rest of the cookie, but mistook them to be the legs of the animal, when sometimes they were actually heads. Once they were round-shaped, he claimed that they could "floom" (his word for going really fast. its not really a word, its more like a sound accompanied by a lot of spit). I assumed that this was relative to his knowledge of cars and their aerodynamic shape (he would rant on and on about the Disney movie "cars" and how he has it and how much he loves it, in which other kids chimed in and wanted to share their knowledge of this movie with me"). But he also told me that after snack time, his mommy comes in to pick him up. Being my first time looking after this group of kids, I assumed that he meant right after snack time, when in reality, she didn't come until about 6 o'clock, about 2 hours later.

After this, the kids were sent back to the classroom, for story time, where the same little tricks were used to get them to be quiet, although it didn't work as well as it did in the other group, due to their short attention span, the kids grew awfully restless, especially when the story was about the biological growth of a bird, starting from an egg. It was awful. Afterwards, the kids were escorted to play outside (thank GOD), where they burnt off most of their energy, and the usual playground activities ensued, such as tag, hide and seek, pretend play, and just using the items on the playground. At one point, Elizabeth wanted me to pick her up so she could dust the roof of her castle (which was meant to be a log house) with her fern-esque leaf (where she got this leaf I have no idea) and she giggled in excitement as I helped her dust the roof of her castle. Another surprise came from a boy from my previous group, named Andrew, who wanted me to play catch with him, but he wanted to play behind the trees because the sun got in his eyes and the tree provided shade. To be aware of his environment to such an extent in my opinion is pretty incredible, although his hand-eye coordination was lacking. Afterwards, when a boy joined our little "in the shade" play group, Andrew wanted to play basketball. However, woodchips were all over the playground, so bouncing the ball was an impossible feat, but they tried to bounce it anyways, and he used the tree trunk as a makeshift basket, and by throwing the ball against the tree represented a point. The kids got bored of this impossible game quickly, and plus it was getting cold, so the kids were hastily rushed inside.

For about the last hour, it was constructive chaos, and the kids were allowed to play with basically anything except the table top toys. And at this point, the gender rift became very apparent. The two boys in the class played with the cars the entire time, while most of the girls played dress-up, and dressed up as dancers, cowgirls, and other very feminine roles. The girls almost immediately recognized that the cars were for boys, and one girl, Stella maybe?, when a car rolled her way, picked it up and gave it to the boys saying, "here, cars are for boys". And although one girl did play with the cars, her playtime was brief as she moved onto more gender neutral activities, such as legos or books. The kids soon moved onto table top toys, as during this hour most of the parents had come and picked up their children. When Jonas's mom came, he didn't say a word, just somewhat sat there in "shock", not saying a word and not moving. All eyes were on him, and for a solid minute did nothing until one of the teachers, Miss Brittany, coaxed him to get his coat and things from his cubby. Jackson was the last one to leave, and until his mom came, we just played with a magnetic picture etcher, as he attempted to draw a rocket that quickly turned into an odd black circle.

i love it, i love my music, my programs, all the free pc games i get, and sometimes videos for my favorite tv shows. i love it all. and yes sometimes i do think of the consequences, but i figure as long as i don't pirate as much as joe over here with this gigabytes upon gigabytes of illegally downloaded material, i'll be okay. but while i'm at school, i'm uber suspicious, which means that i won't be downloading anything illegally, which means that if i want my music, i gotta a, steal it from my friends, b, try to find it online via google.com music search, or c, look it up on hype. all of which are working pretty well for me.

day 1 at the WCCC


I have a lot of experience with kids, and I leaned heavily on this to incorporate myself into the WCCC. As a YMCA camp counselor during the summer, I had basically all the jobs that the "caretakers" had at the WCCC, but the camp kids were much older, ages ranged from 1st graders to 5th graders and a few outside of this range sprinkled in. In addition, I also taught kids how to swim for many organizations, including my various swim teams and such, but once again, these kids were mostly 10 and unders, or "squirts" as we called them. The kids at the WCCC were obviously much younger, and its definitely a new experience.

So immediately when I walk in, I was about 5 minutes early (the afternoon shift), meaning that most of the kids were still asleep, and I was half-awkwardly introduced by the teacher. The kids that were awake immediately noticed me, curious to see a stranger in the midst, but I think my crew of kids were about 5 years old (which I learned later) and weren't really threatened at all. The teacher told me that they love it when boys come, maybe because most of the teachers/volunteers are of the female orientation, and its nice to see a boyish figure every now and then? I took these first 5 minutes to take in my surroundings, and I saw all of the kids on their cots, which look disgustingly uncomfortable, these plastic devices with mesh in the middle covered with each kids' own sheets. I noticed that the kids that were asleep were curled up instead of sleeping with outstretched arms and legs, like how adults sleep. Possibly because the cots were a bit small (but there was about a foot left of space left on the bottom of the cot, but the mesh didn't instead all the way to the ends of the cot), or maybe its because its their attempt to keep warm, although the room wasn't really that chilly.

Anyhow, the kids woke up, and I helped the teacher collect the books/cots which some kids weren't even reading, they were using them as hats and were hiding in them, possibly due to a short attention span because the kids aren't allowed to do anything while it is nap time besides read their books. Afterwards, the kids began to do their academic exercises, which today was writing the number 6 and the word six a bunch of times. At this point I was able to sit down and actually connect with the kids. And they were incredibly friendly, especially the ones at my table, three girls named Maragret, Burnie? and Elizabeth? and another boy named Ilan? (I am absolutely TERRIBLE with names). I was helping Ilan with his numbers and then he said that he smelled gum (which I was chewing), so I jokedly hid my mouth behind my hand, which got the kids laughing, and I guess that was all that I needed to break the ice. During this time however, Maragret's nose was bleeding, and many of the children were scared. When I asked Ilan why he was scared, he said he was scared because it was red and scary. I then asked him if hes scared of my shirt (which was red) and he said no because it was painted red (the kid had a point, albeit it didn't make sense) so I asked him if apples are painted red and he replied yes. I then asked him what else is red but isn't painted red, and he was unable to answer me. Honestly, I just think that he associated blood with horror films when he was exposed to it and subconsciously accommodated blood to be scary, just like how he accommodated a heart that he traced to be pink, and then noted how a girl made hers multi-colored, which was "wrong". The girl immediately then scribbled in some pink into her heart and traced an airplane and made it pink. How he thought up of the "painted things aren't scary," I have no clue.

By then I had earned the "friendship" of many of the kids, especially Elizabeth who took interest in me for whatever reason. She seemed to be one of the older kids, judging by her knowledge of the basic classroom procedures and her mechanical ability to trace and draw pictures. She also wielded a significant amount of authority amongst the kids, one instance I remember was when Ilan wanted to see her paper so he could see how she did her 6's (even though a 6 was already on the sheet that the students were supposed to trace if they were having trouble). She wanted me to sit next to her during snack time, which I did. Snack time wasn't terribly interesting, except Elizabeth poured an entire cup of apple juice when she was supposed to take only a half-cup, which the other kids pointed to their cups as if to teach her what a half-cup looks like. By this time the kids wanted to know how old I was, so I turned it into a game where they had to guess and I would tell them if my true age was higher or lower than what they said. This game went on for a good 20 minutes and they could never guess my age because the top repeated guesses were 1, 10, 100, and 1000. And randomly 21. They seemed to be incapable of remembering that their previous answer of 2 minutes ago was incorrect, and that they should move either lower or higher according to what I told them, instead of guessing random numbers.

Afterwards, we had a short session on the letter "A", and kids had to name a word that started with the letter "A", which Elizabeth aced, while other kids were having trouble. Then we read a book, which was pretty uneventful. But what was interesting were the little "games" that the teacher used to keep the kids under controlled. They were pretty simple, for example, when she wanted the attention of the kids, she would say "1, 2, 3, all eyes on (and at this point all the kids would look at her and say) ME". And also, to get the kids from moving around during story-time, the kids were motivated to sit still so that they wouldn't "break the bubble" (the bubble being the circle shape they were sitting in). I vaguely remember trying to use these "games" in the past, but to no avail. Clearly children at this age are obedient and will do mostly whatever the authority figure says to do.

From then on, the kids just played outside on the playground until their parents came to pick them up. This was pretty uneventful, except many more children noticed me as we played hide and seek. There were a handful of children that cried for various reasons, which apparently were common because they were incredibly resilient and were all better in a matter of minutes if not seconds. Except one boy, Andrew, who was confronted by another boy who didn't like it when Andrew pulled on his jacket. At this point Andrew starts crying, and was inconsolable. Out of the blue, and this boy would NOT STOP CRYING. Maybe this is a residue of his baby years, crying whenever he is uncomfortable with a situation and keeps on crying until he gets attention/the problem is resolved. However, this problem was obviously his fault, for the other kid just said plainly and calmly "Andrew I don't like it when you pull on my new jacket," which didn't accompany a physical shove or anything of the sort. The staff felt that the problem didn't need attention because apparently he does it all the time, and usually resolves it himself in a violent fashion. Additionally, his parents were late picking him up on this particular day, which may have added to his level of "discontent" if children at this age are aware of the time.

I really wish these kids would stop crying. It breaks my heart when my ancient technique or rubbing/scratching their back fails to make them feel better.

Bottom line: the cost of education is ridiculous. Which should be no surprise, because education is a business and follows the normal economic laws of supply and demand. The higher the demand, the lower the supply and hence the price skyrockets. Even though the government does provide some aid, comparing the costs of education from today to the costs of education 20 years ago, the numbers would be drastically different. The consequences of going without one, we are told, would be hell upon earth, as society/parents/media tells us that without a college education, it would be difficult to lead a good life.

However, there are so many people in the world that lead successful lives/careers either not going to college or majoring in fields that aren't in any way related to their career. Although I am sure that these individuals are few, when I wait and think, I don't really have any data to support this idea, and would be interesting to explore.

the heartbreaking work of an emo

its about that time again for another installment of the saddest songs ever. if you've been following my facebook notes (all 4 of them. which you probably haven't). with this mix i went with a lot of the old school slow depressing songs instead of the modern "emo" songs, because they just sound really repetitive and the message just isn't as strong in my opinion. plus i feel that i left a lot of the oldies out in the last mix, so here they are.

1. "brick" - ben folds five
2. "nightswimming" - rem
3. "tears in heaven" - eric clapton
4. "iris" - goo goo dolls
5. "yesterday" - the beatles
6. "bad day" - daniel powter
7. "your song" - elton john
8. "over my head" - the fray
9. "against all odds" - phil collins
10. "because of you" - kelly clarkson
11. "glycerine" - bush
12. "bittersweet symphony" - the verve
13. "wonderful" - everclear
14. "champagne supernova" - oasis
15. "chasing cars" - snow patrol
16. "hate me" - blue october
17. "okay i believe you, but my tommy gun don't" - brand new

now go cry in a corner emo kid.
reading this article reminded me of a movie i saw over spring break which i don't really recommend to anybody, because its real long and it seems that there was absolutely no editing because everything moved SO SLOW. the title of this movie is "2001: a space odyssey". it has that famous musical space piece where an eclipse slowly appears. you know, the one that goes "daaaa daaa daaa. DA DA. *insert drums" yeah its not really that helpful if i do that is it.
anyhow, the writers of this movie estimated that we'd be exploring the far reaches of our solar system by 2001, which obviously is not true. which makes me think that it'll be a while before people abandon the old school interface in order to adopt a more "click-and-drag" approach. even though that may be new and interesting, even i wouldn't abandon the technologies i'm comfortable with in order to test the cutting edge (which is why i hate beta testing). i mean enough people have trouble using their regular old-school interface computers now, and i can't imagine people abandoning their traditional comforts to adopt this, until it becomes mainstream.

last king of scotland

albeit it was a great performance my scot whitaker, the last king of scotland just had this eerie, suspicious feel throughout the entire movie, which creeped me out like mad. although it followed historical events, the story of the protagonist was complete fiction, although some of his actions were real, but performed by different individuals. its a serious-drama intense movie with a geopolitical feel, but i wish that the director would've drove home the story of african genocides, because even today they are rampant, and hollywood seems to be one of the best avenues to get the message out there unfortunately.
google has done a very impressive job taking advantage of the internet and all of its services. what used to be a simple internet search engine, google.com has expanded its services to include things such as google service packages, website creators, blogs (obviously) and its on the cutting edge of the future of the workplace.
but this one step is a step too far, by pushing medical patients to place their records online to be viewable by third-parties. hellooooo spam mail. however, i can't knock google TOO much, because it is completely voluntary, and it is a subtle maneuver by google for a much larger cause, but we'll just have to wait and see.

this song is boss

have you ever heard of the band neutral milk hotel? they're an indie-acoustic band from louisiana, and i think that they're absolutely amazing. especially one song, "king of carrot flowers part 1," which to this day i don't really know exactly what they're talking about, but i nobody seems to know really. but SO many people have heard of this song, and when i send it to my friends, they think its really awesome too, which makes me wonder what the difference between these indie bands and mainstream bands is. i mean obviously, they're independent which means they don't have a label to tool them, but this song is. fantastic.

take a listen.

When you were young you were the king of carrot flowers
And how you built a tower tumbling through the trees
In holy rattlesnakes that fell all around your feet

And your mom would stick a fork right into daddy's shoulder
And your dad would throw the garbage all across the floor
As we would lay and learn what each other's bodies were for

And this is the room one afternoon I knew I could love you
And from above you how I sank into your soul
Into that secret place where no one dares to go

And your mom would sink until she was no longer speaking
And dad would dream of all the different ways to die
Each one a little more than he could dare to try
honestly i should care more about these things, and i used to be a staunch advocate of defending my rights, but now i just feel that this is a battle that none of us can win. both of these articles point blame at each other's factions, liberal and conservative respectively, but partisanship has absolutely destroyed our legislative processes which entrenches debate on whos' to blame rather than how to solve a problem. i personally point the finger of blame on, everybody to an extent. i blame congressmen for bending over to lobbyists of the various telecoms and for trying to make themselves feel better by reassuring themselves that this isn't their fault, i blame the bush administration for their incredible, yet immoral, agenda built on fear (which soothes the american people into giving up their personal liberties for the sake of national security), and i blame the american people for buying into this state of fear and not doing anything about it.

now i may sound uber hypocritical here, but honestly, there are bigger issues at hand in my opinion, than FISA. even though this debate may explode into the whole personal freedom vs national security issue, i can guarantee you that it won't, and thats what matters. we should debate from the top-down, instead of the bottom-up, because no one is brave/intelligent enough to argue such a controversial topic.

sunflower seeds

i love 'em. they're so delicious. makes me wonder who thought to eat these things. who was like, "dude. a seed. i bet you if i crack it open with my teeth there will be a prize waiting for me inside. oh wait. do you know what would make this even better? flavoring it with stuff such as ranch, bbq and original! (i still to this day don't know what original tastes like, well i know what it tastes like, but i don't know what its made of, and even if i did i still wouldn't know.)" anyways, whoever had that epiphany (probably sitting on a toilet on the roof ((scrubs reference anyone?))) is freakin' awesome. because they are delicious and are apparently high in vitamin E phosphorus and magnesium. isn't that sweet? and its a natural source of fiber, zinc, and folic acid. which is good for your metabolism apparently.

and theres something about kids safety here too, because i know the heimlich maneuver.

response to net neutrality.

its honestly not surprising that the government is placing lousy restrictions on the interwebs (i have a low opinion of our government if you couldn't tell. and if you can't tell, then you're silly) and contorting the meaning of the first amendment in order to sell out to the broadband companies such as at&t (whom i also hate. except verizon. because their service is money). unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be enough support for deregulating the internet, and i'm not surprised at all, considering that there are more pressing issues for america to answer, like whether or not we'll get our tv writers back or not (seriously. i want heroes to come back on. like now)

but in all seriousness, despite the fact that our congressmen/women (thats the last time you'll see me do that) think that the internet is a "series of tubes" (which may ironically enough be a witty metaphor)the bigger question here is when will we the american people get pissed to the point that we demand the rights guaranteed by our first amendment? (answer. never. and that sounded really corny. like the end of presidential speeches corny. woahhh i can't believe i stooped to that level. i apologize)