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Re: Fishing License

On 5/12/06, David Fletcher <fc fletchersweb net> wrote:
At 03:57 12/05/2006, you wrote:

>On Thu, 2006-05-11 at 14:52 -0300, Jacques B. wrote:
> > It's unreasonable to expect parents to have access to PowerPoint for
> > school projects.
>I think it's unreasonable that parents should have to stump with $1000+
>worth of machinery (a PC), plus proprietary lock-in software, for
>homework purposes.  And what are you going to do with it?  Use it as a

My son just uses Open Office. It works fine with any files he brings
home from school.
Yes, OO does a great job bringing in MS Office files.  My problem is
I've created a few OO Impress presentations with animation (bringing
in images in sequence).  But when I save it to PPT format and then try
it out with the view, the animation sequence is lost and everything
comes in at once.  Doesn't matter if it's OO for Linux or Windows.
Actually I've had better success with the one for Linux to be honest,
but still not 100%.  Bugzilla?  Perhaps.  But my issue is that the
schools should support open source format to allow parents/students to
use non MS products which will save in an open source format (having
said that I just realized that I assumed MS PPT will not open OO
Impress, but did not try it - has anyone tried to already?  I will now
that I've mentioned it).

And I wasn't going to venture in on Tim's comments about school.  But
seeing I've started on topic (well at least it's Linux/technology
related even though not specific to FC - but that's the OS I'm running
OO on if that helps keep it on topic) I'll indulge now and go off

Tim wrote:
"I work in electronics, I highly technical field.  I've never needed
anything I was taught at high school beyond basic maths in the first
couple years, and the same applies for most people that I know in a
wide variety of jobs.  All those nightly hours of grief were a
complete waste of my time.  If I knew then what I knew now, I would
have coasted school."

Good for you.  But not everybody will work in electronics.  And even
those who do, not all of them will seek to plateau at the same level
as you.  Some will certainly strive to advance beyond that and
therefore will no doubt find more relevance in their academic journey
than you did.  I hpoe you are not doing your children (assuming you
have children) the disservice of passing on your ignorance.

YOU may have not have found value in physics, chemistry, history,
biology, advanced math, literature, arts, etc.  But to the person who
pursued a field of study in medicine, dentistry, scientist, astronomy,
politics, etc would have found value in that but not in shop.  The
three R's must make up the foundation of a good education.  But all
that other knowledge and experience comes in handy in various aspects
of our lives.

Dad, why does the sun rise and set everyday?  Dad, why is it that when
a balloon is outdoors in the cold it's small, but it's bigger indoors?
Dad, why is it that when you drop something it falls to the ground?
Dad why is it when you go around a corner real fast you slide to the
outside and not the inside?  And the list goes on and on.  I don't
know about you, but I want to be able to answer my children's curious

And that presentation that your child has to do on ants for example is
not only to learn about ants.  It's also to put into application his
written language skills, and oral language skills & presentation
skills if presenting it to the group.  And 12 years of school is as
much about developing social skills and maturity to get ready for life
as it is learning ABCs and 123s.  Based on what you suggest a child
would be given a career early on in life and learning would be
tailored to that career.  That's why we have post secondary.  In your
scenario a child would likely finish their education by age 12.  But
then again emotional development, maturity, sense of responsibility
would still be under developed.  That would come with life experiences
(which school is a part of).

I agree that homework should not consume 2-3 hours per night.  It
should be in keeping with the child's grade level.  An elementary
school aged child shouldn't have any more than 20-40 minutes per night
(lower end for younger kids of course).  When the clock hits 5 do you
stop working?  I know I don't always stop when the clock tells me to
stop.  Do you do any learning outside of your work hours to help you
with your work?  I know I do.  My older child (still elementary age)
thinks it's pretty neat that Mom & Dad are considering returning to
university to advance their studies.  Plus he sees Dad doing the
occasional correspondence course, reading a technical book, online
doing some reading or trying things out, all in the name of advancing

I've always told my kids that all I ask of them is to be kind,
respectful, honest, and work hard.  The rest will fall in place.  I
should (and will) add to that to never lose the thirst for knowledge.

Coast through school, and refuse punishment, I hope you are not
teaching that to your kids.  Why not teach them your youthful
indiscretions while at it.  As one of the other posters supporting you
put it, he turned out fine.  Well everything is relative.  And we are
multi-dimensional.  We can turn out fine in one part of our life but
not another.  He turned out fine coasting, lucky him.  Not all do turn
out fine by simply coasting.  Why not tell your child how you had
unprotected sex but you never got aids or got a girl pregnant
unintentionally so go for it.  Why not tell them that you did this
drug or that drug, or drank and drove but you turned out fine so go
for it.

Just because something "turned out fine" does not make it right.
Certainly it does not make it right for everybody.  School is designed
to provide as broad a stroke as possible to nurture and stimulate as
many students as possible.  But because we are all different,
invariably some will not flourish in our education system, others will
blossom, while others will simply get by.  Can it be improved?
Always.  But to suggest it is a load of rubbish is a load of rubbish.

Please forgive my OT indulgence.  I'll refrain from contributing to
the continuation of this OT side thread.

Jacques B.

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