Heinlein Reader’s Discussion Group
Saturday 04-28-2001 5:00 P.M. EDT
Teachers In Heinlein
Here Begins The Discussion Log
You have just entered room “Heinlein Readers Group chat.”
joelrmpls has entered the room.
SAcademy has entered the room.
joelrmpls: Good afternoon.
SAcademy: Good afternoon. I have things to do so I’ll leave and come back later.
joelrmpls: Looking forward to chatting with you.
SAcademy: I just returned from a cruise–a short one, and everything is in a mess!
joelrmpls: I hope it was fun.
joelrmpls: It’s among the many things I’ve never done, but intend to do, sooner or later.
SAcademy: Haven’t unpacked yet, and had to clean the refrigerator, and go shopping for food.
SAcademy: The food was very good–nice ship, but too many people aboard.
SAcademy: They’re like floating tenement houses these days.
joelrmpls: I’m not much for crowds, myself, unless I know everybody, and often not even then. But, alas, I am overly fond of good food.
SAcademy: Believe it or not, I didn’t gain a single pound.
SAcademy: But it was nice to get to sea again. I think I have salt water in my veins.
joelrmpls: I’ve actually been doing quite well on the weight issue for the past three years. My doctor says that me being diagnoses with diabetes may well have been the healthiest thing that’s happened to me since I gave up smoking in 1985.
joelrmpls: I enjoy sailing, although I’ve only gone on the sea once — Minnesota has lakes, but that’s a different thing.
SAcademy: Very different.
SAcademy: I have to keep out of the sun–former redhead.
SAcademy: So I don’t sai any more in small boats.
joelrmpls: I burn easily, despite my relatively swarthy complexion. But I do like getting out on the water, even if it doesn’t go up and down.
SAcademy: Have to go and get my other glasses.
joelrmpls: Ooops… got to go pick up my daughters from a friend’s; back later, I hope.
joelrmpls has left the room.
stephenveiss has entered the room.
stephenveiss has left the room.
stephenveiss has entered the room.
ddavitt has entered the room.
ddavitt: Hi everyone
stephenveiss: hiya.. I’m actually here and awake for once.. amazing 🙂
ddavitt: Yes, this isn’t too bad for you is it?
ddavitt: Are you home SA or still on holiday?
stephenveiss: its fine for me..
ddavitt: I forget how old you are; is it O’s or A’s this summer?
KultsiKN has entered the room.
ddavitt: Hi Kultsi
KultsiKN: Hello, all!
stephenveiss: its Os.. but Im taking one A early (Computing)
ddavitt: Seems to be just me and Stephen actually here
ddavitt: Good luck!
stephenveiss: thanks 🙂
ddavitt: How is the pic page ? Didn’t mean to get you into trouble!
stephenveiss: heh.. its getting there.. between coursework and revision, gettin stuff like that done has been a problem.. I apologise..
stephenveiss: will try to work on it tonight
KultsiKN: come on, Stephen, don’t overdo it!
ddavitt: Does it take a long time to input new stuff?
ddavitt: I have a page in theory but nothing is on it
stephenveiss: it doesnt take that long.. its just that most of my coursework/revision is done on the PC.. its nice to take a break from it
ddavitt: I tried to input a photo from the hard drive and it didn’t work so I gave up 🙁
ddavitt: Fresh air you mean? have to watch that stuff
stephenveiss: well, just anything that doesnt involve a monitor and keyboard 🙂
ddavitt: I know the feeling
KultsiKN: Huh! Everybody’s leaving AIM…
SAcademy has left the room.
ddavitt: Booted probably
ddavitt: SA may not be at home yet which might be causing more problems
KultsiKN: That’s a sad fact 🙁
SAcademy has entered the room.
KultsiKN: Hello, Ginny!
McKevin0 has entered the room.
ddavitt: Hi there
McKevin0: Hello all
SAcademy: Hello, all.
ddavitt: Don’t recognise the name; first time here?
ddavitt: Not you SA:-)
rjjusu has entered the room.
McKevin0: I’m an old Prodigy HF’er – been away a while
ddavitt: Are you home or still on holiday?
McKevin0: Just recently started lurking again
ddavitt: Welcome to this chat then. We plan to look at the teachers in Heinlein’s books
McKevin0: Thanks for the welcome. It’s been good to see some old posters again
ddavitt: I’m just trying to catch up on the log of the Thursday chat to see what happened after I left
SAcademy: I’m afraid my mind is still on holiday
ddavitt: Know the feeling!
KultsiKN: Wish mine were, too1
rjjusu: Good afternoon/evening, all.
SAcademy: Did I send all of you an email from the sea?
ddavitt: Yes, thanks. You were having problems with AOL though
ddavitt: Glad the Bermuda Triangle was navigated safely.:-)
rjjusu: I was just reading the log myself. I think you came close on the math idea Jane, but could have expanded it a bit.
ddavitt: We can look at it again if you have new points to raise
SAcademy: AOL Anywhere still has a lot of problems. You still can’t initiate correspondence. Have to just answer what comes in
ddavitt: That’s the beauty of 2 chats on the same subject
ddavitt: That must be annoying
rjjusu: We’ll see where the discussion flow goes – if it is like most, it will be like water – always seeking the lowest level. 🙂
SAcademy: It was. They will get around to fixing it later I hope.
ddavitt: Not here; we flow uphill all the time:-)
rjjusu: Yes, only in a RAH discussion could we negate the second law of thermodynamics….
SAcademy: Robert would have loved that!
McKevin0: Fifth law of thermodynamics has something to do with my wife and me fighting over the thermostat:-\
ddavitt: OK, I am going to read the chat fast. brb
rjjusu: Wouldn’t we all – then we more easily could achieve some of his many dreams and visions. Unfortunately, the laws associated with political decision making often attempt to deny the laws of the universe.
SAcademy: Does anyone else love going to sea? Or do you use airplanes all the time?
McKevin0: Have never gone to sea, though my wife has been after me to take a cruise sometime. Am afraid I’d be broke after being on a ship with a casino for several days.
rjjusu: I’d love to go on a cruise some time, but I’ve spent most of my professional life flying or working with aerospace platforms of one type or another, so the sky has a great attraction to me. But I must admit that the few times I’ve been to the shore, either coast, and looked out at the sea, that there is an undeniable attraction.
SAcademy: No matter, you just avoid the casino. But it’s a better thing to go on a smaller ship than one that has a casino.
McKevin0: Understood SA, probably not much of the flavor of being at sea comes through on a large ship.
rjjusu: There is something about the vastness, and the overwhelming power inherent in that large body of water that reaches into one’s soul and challenges it …
SAcademy: I just played $2.00 worth on this trip.
ddavitt: I’m back.
ddavitt: I love the sea; English after all, hard to live far from it…but I get sea sick. Not fun:-(
SAcademy: Quarter slots. Lost it all of course.
ddavitt: I won the jackpot once or twice but probably put more in than I’ve got out over the years
SAcademy: Try Bonin. And I understand that there’s a new Dramamine which doesn’t make you drowsy
McKevin0: My son went to a casino right after his 21st birthday. Put in $20 and won $200 immediately. Then did it again. I think that’s their way to hook newbies.
ddavitt: Not a problem at the moment but I’ll remember that.
ddavitt: Ontario is so far from the sea….but the lakes are lovely
ddavitt: OK, do we want to start?
SAcademy: I haven’t seen Ontario, you just can’t go everywhere in the world!–it’s tooo large.
ddavitt: Randy, since you had a query do you want to kick off?
McKevin0: Am all ears
ddavitt: You’ve seen more of it than all of us put together probably so I’ll take your word on that
SAcademy: Well, we spent years at it!
rjjusu: Will do, in a second….
ddavitt: I once thought it would be fun to recreate the Tramp Royale trip and see what had changed…
ddavitt: Wonder if it would be easier or more difficult now?
ddavitt: Visas and such are maybe less necessary
SAcademy: I’m sure the Aussie income tax situation for foreigners has.
ddavitt: And you can take as much money as you want now?
SAcademy: I don’t know that Rules change.
ddavitt: Never had a problem spending UK money; no restrictions now on how much you can take abroad
SAcademy: But if we ran short, we’d send a cable to Lurton and get more money.
ddavitt: There was after the war I think
ddavitt: Actually, your trip might be impossibe now; no ships, everyone flies
SAcademy: Yes, British were allowed to take out about $50
ddavitt: The routes you went on might not exist now
ddavitt: Mind boggles
rjjusu: Jane, in the first discussion, there was a lot of talk about the importance of math. Most of it focussed on learning how to think “logically”. However, of equal importance is the idea that math is a “LANGUAGE”, and like any language, it has a vocabulary and a grammer. Languages truly shape our thinking. The differences between English, Russian, and Japanese are more than just grammer and semantics.
rjjusu: There are true differences in thinking that come through when we speak and read in those languages in the original.
SAcademy: Take freighters–those are fun. Only 12 passengers, and you learn to play cribbage.
ddavitt: Isn’t maths universal language tho?
rjjusu: How do YOU mean universal language?
ddavitt: I would get sea sick on a little boat!
stephenveiss has left the room.
ddavitt: If I write an equation in UK, someone in US would understand it
SAcademy: If people wqant to get along together, language isn’t a real barrier–just use your hands.
KultsiKN: I can attest to that, SA.
ddavitt: Yep; pointing and looking puzzled works
rjjusu: Yes, but in some countries you can go to jail for that, or upset your spouse … 🙂
SAcademy: I was sure you knew it, too Kultsi
ddavitt: and smiling…
ddavitt: Like Poddy says, if you know please and thank you, it’s a big help too
ddavitt: But of course, going back to maths, the difference in measurements can mess things up
ddavitt: That’s engineering of course
KultsiKN: A real PITA.
ddavitt: But isn’t a quadratic a quadratic the world over?
rjjusu: Jane, there are at least two levels to that. Assuming you are only looking at the math, yes, a self-consistent mathematical system would have the equation solve the same way in both “minds” But, if you were going to attach a physical meaning to the math, you have to know what the common symbology is, and what you want the variables and constants to represent.
McKevin0: Read the other day that if God had wanted us to use the metric system we would have had 10 disciples 😀
ddavitt: Give me an example?
rjjusu: A second-order partial differential equation can represent heat flow, electromagnetic equations, or neutron transport in a reactor – same equations, different things entirely.
ddavitt: Yanking it back to Heinlein tho, why do you think he put so much emphasis on the importance of maths over all other subjects?
ddavitt: I sort of don’t understand that….
McKevin0: Well, being an engineer by training…
rjjusu: Because it IS an important language, and if you have good teachers to help you explore the meanings inherent in it, you can discuss problems in many areas….
ddavitt: fair enough.
joelrmpls has entered the room.
ddavitt: Maybe it wasn’t explained in the text through lack of space
ddavitt: Hi Joel
DavidWrightSr: Hi Everyone. I’m Back
ddavitt: Just looking at the importance of maths in the books and why that is so
ddavitt: Hi Dave!
joelrmpls: Hi, all.
KultsiKN: Hello, Joel!
joelrmpls: You get that file, Jane?
ddavitt: Half way thru chapter 3 thanks!
joelrmpls: (I can only stay a while today; stuff has to get done.)
ddavitt: It’s set in Crimson Sky town!
joelrmpls: Well, yeah.
KultsiKN: OK, give!
joelrmpls: Although all of the fantasy stuff takes place offstage, and has nothing at all to do with the plot.
ddavitt: Before or after the events in that?
rjjusu: Remember, that it can apply not only to engineering, but to other areas. Recall the professor/psychologist in “Blowups Happen” – math was extremely important there, as it could explain not only what might have happened on the moon, but it might explain what was happening in the minds of those under stress.
joelrmpls: I’m not sure. It’s either before the Night of the Wolves, or Sparky is the only person in Hardwood who doesn’t know about it.
joelrmpls: It’s not really intended to fit into the chronology; I just wanted to set it there, and get back to some of those characters.
joelrmpls: K > Give, what?
ddavitt: OK, looking forward to finishing it.
ddavitt: Isn’t that more pshchology tho Randy?
KultsiKN: That file sounds sort of interesting…
ddavitt: but you know wha I mean
ddavitt: I am typing and looking after lauren and Eleanor. Multitasking is a mum speciality 🙂
joelrmpls: It’s my new spec (i.e. written on speculation; no publishing contract) novel, Foreign Land. Nonsf.
ddavitt: Several Heinlein refs too…like the mortgage burning party? Or is that a US tradition?
ddavitt: It’s almost as if you’re saying all subjects have maths as a background or foundation?
rjjusu: Yes it is, but why can’t math apply there? After all, math is the language of science, and not just the “hard” ones. Don’t forget that RAH ws somewhat interested in the works of Korzebski (sp?) – shows up in Stranger, as well as other places. Language and thinking and acting are all intertwined. Math is a way of sorting that out.
McKevin0: Never have managed to burn a mortgage. Just refinance :-$
DavidWrightSr: That’s pretty typical. Lots of people used to put the paid-out mortgages in a ball at the foot of the stairs.
AGplusone has entered the room.
ddavitt: Hi David.
KultsiKN: Hmmm. Interesting — especially as I haven’t read any of yours. Joel.
ddavitt: I don’t know many people in UK who’ve paid their’s off
DavidWrightSr: Back when people actually paid off mortages 🙂
ddavitt: Theirs I mean
joelrmpls: Mortgage burning is a USian tradition, at least in my old home town.
rjjusu: Welcome David – I’m trying to convince Jane that almost everything has a mathematical basis, but not sure she is buying it.
ddavitt: Randy, if maths is that important and integral then I see why Heinlein made such an issue of it…but I’m not sure it is
joelrmpls: All of the customs I refer to in the book are real. Not that that would have stopped me if I’d thought of something better.
ddavitt: I think yu’re cheating a bit:-)
AGplusone: Hi, All. Sorry I’m late. Just got back from the LA Times-UCLA book festival. I think I can get Connie Willis to visit (and maybe Joe Haldeman, again)
ddavitt: A book festival is a good place to be
joelrmpls: How so, Jane?
rjjusu: A bit? How so, 🙁
ddavitt: And that sounds great.
ddavitt: Just that you’re making it more significant than it is.
ddavitt: Expanding the definition too much perhaps?
AGplusone: [and now afk to open the wine bottle … for 1 min] 🙂
ddavitt: It’s maths that’s all.
McKevin0: Have some for me, AG
rjjusu: Would you just say of a great piece of literature, that “it’s just words that’s all?”
ddavitt: I’m dry at the moment; rushed in from the shops late and logged on a bare minute before 5.00
ddavitt: But is maths comparable?
joelrmpls: I think the ability to learn math is a filter. It demonstrates a certain kind of intelligence, and it demonstrates it unambiguously.
rjjusu: I think so, but YMMV
ddavitt: I recall a pretty bit about frozen equations in Space family Stone tho
ddavitt: Hang on
AGplusone: It’s plain and simple a screen for logical, problem solving, linear thinking.
McKevin0: Certainly it’s more apparent that there’s some rigor to learning math that may not be as clear in other areas
rjjusu: Very true, Joel. My dad used to teach high school biology and general science. He always said that he wanted to go on in the sciences, but could never get past calculus. In a way, he was filtered out.
ddavitt: the complex logics of matrix algebra, frozen in beautiful arrays
ddavitt: Heinlein made them sound musical
McKevin0: Is that what “not learning by osmosis” means?
DavidWrightSr: Mathematics is nothing but languages, that can sometimes be used to describe real phenomena.
rjjusu: They’re symphonic, if you can but see them.
joelrmpls: Sure. I think that it’s possible to, say, write an evaluation of the effect of the introduction of snowmobiles into the Skolte Same Lapp culture that demonstrates a high order of intelligence, but it’s at least ambiguous whether one’s drawn good conclusions, done research, or is just faking it.
ddavitt: Maybe I’m tone deaf…
rjjusu: Maybe you havn’t had a good teacher, which leads us to …..
DavidWrightSr: Randy. I had the same problem. I was going to be a physics major, but could never keep up with math needed in time.
rjjusu: The topic of the day!
joelrmpls: The chance of one being able to accurate guess, say, a partial area under a curve is pretty close to nil, and when repeated it comes closer. So to speak.
ddavitt: I have sometimes had an inkling; the pleasure of graphing a lovely curve or getting an answer in whole numbers instead of a string of decimals that prove ypo’ve gone wrong
ddavitt: But it’s just one of many subjects at school that gave me that feeling
ddavitt: OK, let’s look at teachers
rjjusu: But the question is, “Was it the subjects or the teachers that really gave you those feelings?”
joelrmpls: Also, remember RAH’s background.
ddavitt: Which ones in Heinlein were the best and why?
ddavitt: We only really have 2 official ones; Dubois and matson
KultsiKN: I never had a good teacher who could have explained the worth of math, pertaining to, and explaining its worth in RL situations.
ddavitt: Why so few amongst all those juveniles?
ddavitt: Prof sort off
rjjusu: I think we should consider teachers/teaching in the broader sense. HSS–WT and Space Cadet had a major impact on me when I was but a young’un. From the first I learned to teach myself – as I went to a very small high school. From the second (as well as Starship Trooper) I got a glimpse of the life at the academies and in the military.
rjjusu: Finally Double Star showed how often we can make a major change in our life – if we want to learn and if we have those that can truly assist us in learning. The aspects of teaching that came through those books probably greatly influenced me as to what I do today.
joelrmpls: Yes, but we have a lot of unofficial ones — Kiku, Jubal, Baslim, etc.
ddavitt: Sort of I mean but he was not a teacher originally was he?
ddavitt: Kiku? On the job training of Sergei I guess
DavidWrightSr: He was when Manny knew him
ddavitt: Yes he was then, agreed
DavidWrightSr: We don’t know what he was before being transported (besides a bomb thrower)
ddavitt: But often he became the pupil; can’t see that happening with Dubois
ddavitt: Politician I think
rjjusu: What about in Double Star when Lorenzo has many “teachers” all helping him to learn how to be a Boneforte?
ddavitt: Matson OTOH let Rod tell him what to do on tangoroa; as there he was the novice and Rod the expert
ddavitt: There are lots of guides and mentors but not many with teacher as their profession
ddavitt: Red Planet maybe
joelrmpls: Jane: yup. He’s clearly preparing a possible successor.
DavidWrightSr: I don’t think that you say that for sure about Dubois. We never saw him a situation such as happened with Deacon
ddavitt: But Stoobie left and wasn’t that memorable and Howe was in it for the wrong reasons
ddavitt: Sergei is being groomed
DavidWrightSr: We don’t have that many ‘school’ situations, actually.
ddavitt: He didn’t have the knack of making his pupils like him. On purpose
ddavitt: Or he had it and didn’t use it
AGplusone: Puddin’s father is a professor, but we never see him teach in class, just teaching Puddin’
ddavitt: Forgot him
joelrmpls: And, of course, there’s the Old Man.
joelrmpls: Although his teaching methods do have some limitations.
DavidWrightSr: Also, Baslim had been a teacher at one time at the academy.
ddavitt: Puppet masters you mean?
rjjusu: Consider the tasks of a teacher – to be an information transmitter / transformer, to be a coach, a mentor, a guide. Each aspect changes the student. But in the true sense of the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle, the teacher is always changed too. Using that as the benchmark, there are a lot of teachers.
rjjusu: Or are we only going on credentials, which Zak pretty well pegged
ddavitt: Again, not an actual teacher IMO
DenvToday has entered the room.
joelrmpls: In Red Planet, Doc’s trying to be — but nobody’s listening a lot of the time.
DenvToday: Greetings all!
ddavitt: Hi Denv
AGplusone: Hi, Ron.
joelrmpls: I like Jim’s idea that he’s really Lazarus.
rjjusu: Hi, Ron
DenvToday: Hello, hello.
ddavitt: OK, I have to feed L so i will watch but not type for a bit
AGplusone: [Smitty’s Lazarus … not room enough for two Lazaruses in that time line]
McKevin0: You can let L type 🙂
ddavitt: hang on, propping bottle in 1 hand
DavidWrightSr: You need voice recognition software, Jane
ddavitt: sort of works but not v well
rjjusu: I think we should try to get past the teacher title and look at the teaching individual. I don’t think RAH was that much into putting things into neat little labeled containers.
joelrmpls: I’m fond of Dragon Naturally Speaking, but I don’t use it for this sort of thing.
ddavitt: smitty tore up iou’s; not LL!
KultsiKN: There’s a lot more to teaching than just passing on the data…
AGplusone: [anyone have experience in either of the two Mac software available now for that … ]
joelrmpls: Smitty’s also far too young.
AGplusone: [Smitty will get it back in favors when he opens Happy Daze’s home for wayward girls]
KultsiKN: The personality of the teachers forms the pupil quite as much as what he/she’s teaching.
joelrmpls: Ooops — phone call. Got to go. Take care, all.
DenvToday: One of my favorites has always been Deacon from Tunnel.
DenvToday: Bye Joel.
AGplusone: Randy: where do we go if we don’t put it in boxes and label it?
ddavitt: bye joel
joelrmpls has left the room.
McKevin0: Gotta go. Wife sending me out to buy drugs, er, fill a prescription.
rjjusu: The problem today, and mentioned in some of RAH’s books, is what happens when the teacher goes outside their area of competency, whether it is as aspect of the information tramsmission function, or the socialization function, or just trying to get students to think. Remember the Family Living teacher in HSS-WT?
DenvToday: lol So long McKevin.
McKevin0 has left the room.
DenvToday: rjj, I don’t. Refresh my memory.
AGplusone: Yes, the one who thought kids should vote on home family government
ddavitt: bedroom for each kid
ddavitt: quinlan’s, 9 kids
DavidWrightSr: and an allowance to teach them the value of money 🙂
ddavitt: pie in sky ideas
ddavitt: nice but impractical
ddavitt: for those not well off
AGplusone: but that was her ‘area of specialization’ Randy
rjjusu: David – the categorization process is important. But remember that in one sense, the labeling process is a shortcut specifically so we don’t have to think, much like stereotypes, so we can just react more quickly. However, if we do it unthinkingly, we can end up in worse trouble than if we had taken the time to think.
rjjusu: Or at the wrong time.
DavidWrightSr: Korzybski had a lot to say about that, IIRC
rjjusu: Another thing is that anyone can claim an area of specialization, but that doesn’t mean they are competent in that area. “By their fruits will ye judge them..” 🙂
DavidWrightSr: Speaking of Korzybski, what other ‘teachers’ do you think had an influence on RAH and what was their impact on his writings?
DavidWrightSr: It also doesn’t mean that the ‘area of specialization’ is any damn good either.
rjjusu: True. And while specialization is for insects, they do what they do very well. They truly are specialists.
AGplusone: “From my father’s textbook I know the world history course he studied was not detailed (how could it be?) but at least they treated the world as round ; it did not ignore three-fourths of the planet.”
rjjusu: I think that there were several other authors that influenced Heinlein and his “way of thinking” Unfortunately, I still have a huge part of my library down in Las Cruces until the house there sells and we buy a new place up here.
ddavitt: who is that ag?
rjjusu: I think there was an article in THJ about such influences.
AGplusone: RAH, in the Expanded Universe essay at 521
rjjusu: That’s the name I was looking for, Jane.
rjjusu: Even one-handed, you’re far ahead of us….
ddavitt: Not when I can’t recognise a Heinlein quotation!
AGplusone: My point, I think, is the areas of ‘specialization’ taught today and recently are unnecessary areas of study for a suitable education.
ddavitt: 2 hands back now. The capital letters return
rjjusu: Suitable education? Defined as….
ddavitt: Need to go back to the 3 R’s?
AGplusone: How bout the other way: try “senior problems,” i.e., how to balance a check book, write a resume, change diapers.
ddavitt: Shouldn’t parents teach those?
KultsiKN: Like ‘non vitae, sed scholae discimus’?
rjjusu: A suitable education could be defined as the education that allows you to survive and flourish in the environment that you will be operating in. The essence of Tunnel in the Sky.
AGplusone: Or tenth grade “health studies,” i.e., how to avoid lice, use condoms, etc.
ddavitt: Don’t need a teaching degree to teach diaper changing:-)
ddavitt: We had that sor of thing at school
rjjusu: Practice makes perfect
ddavitt: Forget the title of the course
rjjusu: Pampers for poopers?
DenvToday: I remember in Tunnel in the Sky, RAH “threw away” the fact that high school basic ciriculum is far in advance of college ciricula today.
AGplusone: Is ‘drivers’ education’ an appropriate course?
rjjusu: Maybe I should avoid keyboarding comments
ddavitt: we don’t have that; few kids have cars in UK
ddavitt: probably a good thing
AGplusone: He did that in Farmer in the Sky, too, Denv … far in advance. I wanted to attend that school.
rjjusu: And most schools have abandoned it here – they don’t want the liability risk.
ddavitt: as we can drink at 18
DenvToday: Yep, I remember that Dave.
ddavitt: Survival course absolutely impossible now; imagine the lawsuits?
AGplusone: No, that’s ‘driver’s training’ … driver’s ed is merely the rules and watching safety films.
ddavitt: Didn’t have that either
AGplusone: Required course in California. Wastes a whole semester’s class for one class period.
ddavitt: Had cycling proficiency test at age 10
rjjusu: But HSS-WT shows that you can have that school, in your own home, if you can find someone that will work with you. And schools are getting “VERY” risk averse – even driver’s ed is going away in a lot of places.
SageMerlin has entered the room.
ddavitt: Hi Alan
rjjusu: Hello alan
SageMerlin: I feel I have been on a journey
SageMerlin: Hello everyone
ddavitt: How so?
SageMerlin: Traffic in Boston is not to be believed
rjjusu: Sentimental or otherwise?
AGplusone: Is “typing” a suitable course — outside a vocational school?
ddavitt: My husband goes there sometimes; the big Dig you mean?
SageMerlin: I think typing was the most important course I ever took
AGplusone: [other than the good it does keeping football players eligible]
DenvToday: Typing was far and away the most useful thing I learned in high school. That, and how to unhook a girl’s bra one-handed.
ddavitt: Not available then, probably is now in the form of computer studies
SageMerlin: I took a typing course in the seventh grade. Since then, being able to type fluently has lead me through all the steps of my life
AGplusone: But should schools allow it to be taught in lieu of a major academic course in high school?
SageMerlin: Should schools be allowed to teach adding and subtracting
ddavitt: Depends if a school is there to improve your jib chances
DenvToday: David, you’re under the mistaken impression that most public high schools offer major academic courses.
AGplusone: Lot’s of complaints how we don’t even teach world history … because there’s no room.
rjjusu: Yes, but it is and important skill to acquire, not an educational thing but it facilitates learning, by giving you increased efficiency in interacting with computers and people on the web. However, it may go the way of many other manual skills, when the appropriate software is developed and it works.
SageMerlin: I hope that never happens
DavidWrightSr: Typing has been the most useful course that I ever took, but I don’t think that it should be done in place of academic courses, but as an elective as it was in my case.
ddavitt: What is a school’s purpose?
ddavitt: To educate or train?
SageMerlin: To keep people out of the work force longer
DavidWrightSr: It has been at least important as learning to read.
ddavitt: To make them useful members of society?
AGplusone: Maybe my impression isn’t major. Maybe my impression is the course work should eliminate the ‘electives’ and send them to business school or vocational school or apprenticeship programs ….
ddavitt: Or to foster a pure love of learning/
AGplusone: To keep kids off the street until they’re eighteen
SageMerlin: I wrote a charter school proposal on exactly that basis
ddavitt: Or to give teachers jobs?
SageMerlin: Actually, now that I think of it, that’s a story worth telling
rjjusu: What is a useful member of society – one that doesn’t make messes, or someone that actually contributes, or what?
DavidWrightSr: With the advent of personal computers, I think typing should be taught in elementary school along with reading.
SageMerlin: Because the charter school proposal was based to some degree on my freading of RAH
ddavitt: One that contributes and doesn’t detract
DenvToday: David, if our public schools had one shred of academic rigor left, I would agree with you. But a typing course is preferable to a course in environmental leftism or other similar twaddle.
rjjusu: I took typing in High School. My kids took it in middle school.
SageMerlin: Wait a minute.;…
SageMerlin: Let’s invite a high school expert into this conversation
AGplusone: “Here are some of the subjects he studied in back-country 19th century schools: Latin, Greek, physics (natural philosophy), French, geometry, algebra, 1st year calculus, bookkeeping, American history, World history, chemistry, geology.”
SageMerlin: My son is online….let’s ask him
ddavitt: Little House books all over again; humbling what they learned in half a year
AGplusone: You son went to an unusual school, Alan … but let’s invite him.
SageMerlin: Duh….I don;t know how…would you do it david
SageMerlin: oocadre with letter o not zero
Featherz Dad has entered the room.
Featherz Dad has left the room.
AGplusone: Hi, Will.
DavidWrightSr: Bye Will
rjjusu: bye Will
AGplusone: Okay, be that way!
OOCadre has entered the room.
rjjusu: Welcome, Cadre!
SageMerlin: Everyone knows you’re my son so welcome to the room
DenvToday: Nice to meet you.
SageMerlin: We were talking about whether it was useful to teaching typing in high school
rjjusu: Despite being his son, we don’t hold that against you 🙂
OOCadre: gee, thanks
AGplusone: [and we’ll make allowances for what you say … bearing in mind that you can only do so well with the handicaps]
AGplusone: Would it have been just as useful to teach it after school … or in junior high?
AGplusone: Back with all the wood shop classes …
rjjusu: Actually, a better question might be, what do you think about the classes you have been / are / will be taking. Do you think they are useful, or have your teachers given you any reason to think that they are useful
OOCadre: well, let me first tell you how I had it
OOCadre: i did have a keyboarding class in middle school
SageMerlin: Ace, bold your type for this session
OOCadre: I think it was one period a day, I am not sure though
ddavitt: Kids in RSG did ‘shop’; woodwork and metalwork were for low achievers in my day; intellectual snobbery?
AGplusone: Rocket Ship Galileo
ddavitt: Sorry and hi, Rocket ship
DavidWrightSr: Hey. I took woodwork, mechanical drawing and print shop.
SageMerlin: I took foundry, pattern making, machine shop courses through high school, and loved them
DenvToday: Shop was required when I went to high school in the seventies.
ddavitt: No offence; I don’t think they’re second rate subjects
rjjusu: No doubt – I work on my own cars and have saved thousands of dollars over the years – intellectual snobbery is another name for pay it through the nose
AGplusone: so did I, but not all in high school … I took pattern making and architectural drafting and perspective rendering as well.
ddavitt: But that’s how they were seen. Girl equivalent was cooking and needlework
ddavitt: We didn’t get chance to do technical drwaing or anything like that
SageMerlin: Your loss.
rjjusu: Well, I took the “college prep” courses, but I also took drafting and architectural drawing too. The problem was, my high school was so small, that I had taken all the real courses by the time I was a sophomore.
ddavitt: I thik so too
SAcademy: And I for one, resented that we couldn’t learn those things!!!
SageMerlin: I went to Brooklyn Technical High
SageMerlin: all boys then
SAcademy: Seven bloody years of French, and it was the most useless thing I ever studied.
ddavitt: Me too SA: I was useless at needlework and cooking fairy cakes not vitally important
SageMerlin: Freshman year we took freehand drawing. We have to draw a stepped vee block.
AGplusone: exactly … I was teaching architectural drafting by my senior year … there was no course work I hadn’t done already semesters ago … teacher would put somebody next to me and say: “Ask him questions … he’ll show you.”
SageMerlin: Then, in mechanical drawing we did scaled drawings of the same object. Then in pattern making, we made wood form, cast it in foundry and machined it in machine shop
ddavitt: Let me guess; 7 years and you still couldn’t make a Frencman understand your dinner order?
DenvToday: My grandmother was the only girl in her family to be literate. This was in a small village in Hungary in the early part of this century. She would sneak into the back of the schoolroom and listen as courses were being taught.
SAcademy: The French willfully don’t understand you
rjjusu: But, based upon reading HSSWT, I also studied math on my own, and finished off several classes that our school didn’t offer. I also became a licensed broadcast engineer while I was still in high school, again studying on my own. That’s how I payed for my Bachelor’s degree.
ddavitt: That’s the sort of story children need to be told today; they take education for granted
fgherman has entered the room.
SageMerlin: It took two years to complete this cycle, but by the end of the cycle we understood the entire manufacturing process from start to finish
DenvToday: Jane, I agree.
ddavitt: They are fussy about their language. No one in France said i had a cute accent, which i get all the time here in canada
rjjusu: Welcome, Felicia
ddavitt: Hi again Felicia
DenvToday: We don’t value that which is given to us. We have to earn it. It’s a homily, but it’s true.
fgherman: Hello all
SAcademy: Hello Felicia
ddavitt: Education is a privilege not a right
rjjusu: Jane, the French are a special case
fgherman: Hi Ginny
AGplusone: But do they still have what I ‘described’ as a “comprehensive” high school, offering all these different tracks of courses, or have they all be cut … for ‘senior problems’ or ‘enrichment’ courses.
ddavitt: Or it is a right but one that should be appreciated not treated as torture
AGplusone: all been cut
OOCadre: what do you mean by comprehensive highschool?
SageMerlin: He means a college prep program as well as vocational
OOCadre: i ask because the school I go to is descriebed as such
SageMerlin: with cross over
AGplusone: General Track, Business Track, various Vocational Tracks, College Prep or Academic Tracks …
AGplusone: All in the same school …
OOCadre: some schools have such, but they are not split up as such
rjjusu: Right now, we are facing some of these same issues in engineering – how do we get our students the required background, to be a competent engineer, and do it in the time allowed. More things to cover in electrical engineering, than there was 20 years ago, but the amount of time is the same. What do we cut?
AGplusone: Why not: what do we add to the secondary curriculum that we used to teach in the first two years of college ….
fgherman: Change the amount of time?
AGplusone: They are talking about that out here.
AGplusone: Eliminate all but one month summer’s vacation
DavidWrightSr: Don’t cut. extend the time. If it takes more time to master a specialization , so be it. We don’t quibble about the time it takes to be a doctor or lawyer do (or maybe we should 🙂 )
SageMerlin: No, I think you are barking up the wrong tree
DenvToday: rjj, I think most EE students enter college with far more computer knowledge than students of 20 years ago. They can start at a higher level in college.
SageMerlin: The problem is that we have re-entered the age of apprenticeship
rjjusu: And, the answer is NOT eliminate all the general studies classes – we don’t need to be graduating more highly trained specialists. But I think you are right. The real answer is that we need more time, but no one wants to hear that – they want to get out and make “the big bucks” and pay off those loans.
ddavitt: I have to go eat; 6.30 for me. brb; do you want to break for 5?
SageMerlin: Really, It takes 12 years and half a million bucks to become medical specialist
SageMerlin: Takes three to make a lawyer
rjjusu: I agree Ron, but computer knowledge is really only a part of what it takes to be an EE.
DenvToday: rjj, college is a different animal than in years past. It now takes the place of what high school used to be.
fgherman: Which is wrong
SageMerlin: Except that was true 30 years ago
OOCadre: well, highschool is taught entirely incorrectly
SageMerlin: I learned more in high school than I did in colletge
fgherman: High school is now what elementary school should be
rjjusu: And that is the problem – we have students who are taking classes that they should have had in high school.
SageMerlin: I had all of the required courses for my Chemm
SageMerlin: Chem E done before I ever got to college
DenvToday: My brother was one of the original computer geeks. He got is EE from Case Institute in 1971.
fgherman: I find it distressing that the concept to learning for its own sake seems to have been abandoned
SageMerlin: I beg to differ
SageMerlin: Its just as it has always been
SAcademy: I had two years of chemistry in HS
fgherman: things seem to be geared towards the job market instead
SageMerlin: we take up what interests us….but that doesn’t and shouldn
SageMerlin: t interest anyone else
SageMerlin: I think the essential problem you are all expressing is the idea that people can be taught
SageMerlin: they can learn
OOCadre has left the room.
fgherman: People can be taught if they want to learn
rjjusu: When I went to West Point (sorry Ginny), having graduated with a class size of 58 from a small school in rural Missouri, I tested out of drafting, and was placed in advanced calculus, computers, history, english, and chemistry. And this was in the days where if you wanted your own personal computers, you built the thing yourself.
SageMerlin: But you don’t teach someone to be an artist or writer….they are or they aren’t
OOCadre has entered the room.
fgherman: That is most definitely not true
AGplusone: button worked I assume OO …. ?
OOCadre: nah, it won
OOCadre: won’t let me stop useing aim
DavidWrightSr: I think that you can teach a writer or an artist, but that doesn’t mean they have any talent at it.
SageMerlin: Then they aren’t an artist or a writer
rjjusu: You CAN teach someone to be a writer or an artist, in terms of the technical skills. What is harder is to teach them how to be creative and to use those skills.
SageMerlin: They simply are a student of those subjects.
fgherman: I majored in applied music and the college courses I took made a tremendous difference in my musicianship
SageMerlin: Are you a musician
fgherman: I consider myself one
OOCadre: but you have to have the basic skill
SageMerlin: Is that what you do for a living?
SageMerlin: I rest my case
DenvToday: I was an actor for several years. It can’t be taught, not really. You can teach peripheral skills, but the essential “thing” that makes you good is there when you’re 5 years old.
AGplusone: [no, this is an AIm chatroom, not “on” AOL]
fgherman: No, as an avocation.
rjjusu: Does your cat consider you one? That is the real test. 🙂
fgherman: Yes, all 5 of them
SageMerlin: No` what counts is whether or not you get paid for it
OOCadre: at my school there are a coulpe of kids in my shop, computer programming, that have been taught everything I have about programming, but they have NO skill at it…
fgherman: And I’m a singer
fgherman: Ask any writer whether or not the study of their craft has made a difference
SageMerlin: Hence my point….wasn’t Robert who wrote once that you can’t make a silk purse out of sow’s ear?
SageMerlin: I am and have been for thirty years…and I never took a course that contributed in any way to my ability to write.
fgherman: But silk is just worm excreta without the craft that goes into it
SageMerlin: A writer I mean
DenvToday: Cadre, it’s like that in most disciplines. Unfortunately.
fgherman: But you’ve talked with other writers?
AGplusone: Depends on what you write, I think … you can learn essay, rhetorical techniques …
SageMerlin: Just to ask them to pass the salt
AGplusone: same way you learn to draft elipses
OOCadre: alan, are you saying that from what you were taught in high school you were able to write??
SageMerlin: I am reminded of what Major Dubois says to his class on their last day before graduation
OOCadre: ((sorry, I can’t seem to get bold to stay on for some reason))
SageMerlin: Yes. I took one course, one semester….and I was on my own after that
AGplusone: But you have to learn to “think” before you can write, or play, or research or design bridges.
fgherman: And when you teach to the test, thinking goes out the window
fgherman: It becomes regurgitation
AGplusone: Or even sell, unless you’re Willie Loman …
SageMerlin: (Who was a lousy salesman)
DenvToday: David, good point. Craftsmanlike writing for magazines, academic texts, etc can be taught. But no courses will make an RAH or a Poul Anderson.
rjjusu: I think we are starting to debate the difference between the “craftsman,” and the “apprentice.” There are people who have skills, but they don’t have the ability to transform ( or even have) a vision to a final product. But I truly believe that one can always better him/herself through study and practice.
rjjusu: Leonardo did a lot of practice sketches before he did his “real” work. And few, if any writers do a rough draft = final product.
SageMerlin: I do
SageMerlin: I never so much as read something when I am done writing it.
SageMerlin: Of course I do most of my writing under severe deadlines
rjjusu: Then you are an exception.
DenvToday: rjj, absolutely. But it’s the doing it that teaches you. If a course can impel you to write, then it’s a good thing.
SageMerlin: That is education as recruitment
SAcademy: Robert’s motto was: “Do it right the first time.” He never wrote drafts, just made a few changes here and there to sharpen thing up.
fgherman: Better than what they have now
SageMerlin: Ginny, that’s fascinating
rjjusu: And if it works for you, as a writer, so be it. But there are few writers that can’t improve their work by having it edited, even if done by themselves.
fgherman: He didn’t particularly consider himself and “artist” either
SageMerlin: How many people in this room knew that wht SA just said
DenvToday: SAcademy, I’ve read that, and it never ceases to amaze me. It reminds me of the scene from Amadeus.
DenvToday: Merlin, it’s in Expanded Universe.
SageMerlin: I was a newspaperman in my youth….I learned to get it right the first time because there was no second time
SAcademy: I have a friend who wants very badly to write for publication. She’s written a lot of books, but the only one published is one she published herself–vanity publication
DenvToday: It’s both sad and brave. It’s brave of her to soldier on, despite disappointments. It’s sad that she had to use a Vanity Press.
rjjusu: I know that Robert said that, but in the main, I think that situation occurs in one of two cases – either the person is gifted, which Robert arguably was, despite his protests to the contrary, or they do a lot of craft work mentally, and then transfer the finished product to paper, where only tightening is needed. Take your pick.
SAcademy: But she just goes on writing books. And then there is that V. C. Andrews who wrote a lot of books, and posthumously, they’re being published.
fgherman: or a combination of the two
SageMerlin: Remember Charles Dickens. He was paid by the word and what he wrote today would be in print tomorrow
SageMerlin: His books were all first draft products because he wrote most of his books under serialization agreements
rjjusu: True, Felicia. But if you take Joe/Jane Blow and have them write/compose/create, there has to be a time of learning the fundamentals and practicing the skills before they get “good”.
DenvToday: The common wisdom is that “writing is rewriting.” Shows what common wisdom is worth.
AGplusone: Did Robert compose most of the plot, character development in his head before he sat down, and then added other elements, or what, SA?
fgherman: Exactly what I’m trying to say
SAcademy: Robert didn’t do outlines either.
fgherman: Talent=art, Training=craft
SAcademy: He carried it in his head, I think.
fgherman: Unless you’re Mozart, you need both
DavidWrightSr: I recall the comment that when his characters were talking to themselves, then he could write them down.
AGplusone: But did he know in advance he was going to write multiple ‘arcs’ overlapping and reinforcing each other before he started … or …. ???
rjjusu: I seem to remember that Robert did keep notes and information on notecards, which was used for his stories, or did I misremember that?
fgherman: Joel carries his outline in his head, too, unless Eleanor asks him for a written one
SageMerlin: Nabokov wrote his novels on 5 x 7 index cards
SAcademy: No, he kept cards–3×5 file cards with notes, but mostly those were for other stories–he found that ideas flowed unchecked when he was writing.
SageMerlin: He dropped Lolita on his way to the publisher
SageMerlin: Bob Dylan writes all his songs from scratch in one sitting, almost never changes a word
rjjusu: I know that when I used to do programming, I used to keep hundreds/thousands of lines of code in my head, and often would rewrite/recode mentally. Then, when I sat down at the terminal, I would just write code. And if I got in “the zone”, I might do it for hours straight. But there was always some kind of mental preparation involved, which in turn, was based on wha
SAcademy: Hemingway was supposed to write standing on yellow legal pads, and considered 600 words a day a good day’s work
rjjusu: what I had learned/done before.
SageMerlin: Nabokov wrote standing up also, for the same reason. Both men had bad backs.
DenvToday: I’ve dabbled in writing. So far, I’ve had two screenplays optioned. I always carefully outline the script, making copious notes, making sure to write down interesting character details–and it usually goes out the window. I invariably end up with something quite different.
SAcademy: Robert once said to me that he could finish a novel in three or four days if he could stay awake that long.
DenvToday: rjj, ‘being in the zone’ to me is not messing up my checkbook.
AGplusone: “the characters take over” once they develop as Leonard says …
SAcademy: Yes, Robert said that, too
rjjusu: But I also think we are talking about implementing on paper/screens a creative process that goes on in our heads. At some higher level we can learn the skills and the mechanics of a creative process, but to actually engage in that process requires a certain special something that is not always susceptible to being taught.
AGplusone: Alexander Hergensheimer learns a lesson, but Alex is a hardhead and has to learn it over and over and over and over again, with variations …
rjjusu: I wish I had Felicia’s talent in music, someone else may (or may not) wish they were able to do the math I do. In some sense, we are all students, but only if we have a desire to learn and create. Otherwise we are but consumers and regurgitators of facts.
SageMerlin has left the room.
SageMerlin has entered the room.
SageMerlin: Oh, does that hurt the head
SAcademy: Did you hit the escape key?
DenvToday: rjj, you have a talent I’ve often wished I had. I’m not a dunce, but higher mathematics have never come easily to me.
ddavitt: Isn’t this where we came in?
rjjusu: And one other thing that we must consider is that we are fortunate that we have the time and the ability to pursue these intellectual pursuits. There are many people in the world that probably could contribute great things, but they are very busy doing things like figuring out where their next meal is coming from.
rjjusu: We often don’t appreciate the necessary luxury that a good education is.
ddavitt: I’m back for a minute but I’ll have to go again soon for bathtime. Sorry; Thursday chats are much easier as the girls are in bed
SageMerlin: IF that’s the case, as it is now approaching seven here….
ddavitt: In case I don’t get back..I have one query
rjjusu: This chat certainly has been nonstop
rjjusu: Survey says?
SageMerlin: People who do things never worry about eating….that’s the secret
ddavitt: Was Rico’s dad right about the leading a pig way of teaching H and MP?
fgherman: I’m a classic math-phobe. I discovered I can do the work
DenvToday: rjj, good point.
fgherman: I just need the right teacher
ddavitt: I mean, was Dubois scornful, insulting and implying they’d never make it just to inspire them? Is that a good way of doing it?
ddavitt: Seems a bit chancy to me
fgherman: I certainly worked hard watressing to keep food on mine and Joel’s table
rjjusu: To address both Jane and Felicia’s point, it is very evident that different people have different learning styles. Learning best takes place when the teacher’s style is in resonance with the student’s.
rjjusu: One size does NOT fit all, in education.
rjjusu: Unfortunately, administrators think that one economical style does.
fgherman: And, unfortunately, that is what we are getting today
ddavitt: Agreed but Rico had left school hating Dubois
SAcademy: Nowadays I like to learn thing s on my own.
ddavitt: The letter from him was a complete shock
ddavitt: More satisfying SA?
ddavitt: Sense of accomplishment?
SAcademy: Yes. A sense of accomplishment
ddavitt: Trouble is, you have to want to learn to teach yourself and most people don’t have the energy or determination
SAcademy: And, at 85 I am still learning things.
rjjusu: Jane, what Rico left school with was a lack of perspective, but the facts implanted. What he didn’t do was fully assimilate what he had “learned” until he had a context to put it in.
fgherman: And you already know how to be good student.
ddavitt: Never ends i imagine; unless you get stuck in a rut
ddavitt: Yes, i think that’s right…but I don’t like the idea that Dubois thought that was the best way to do it
fgherman: The real reason I became a reference librarian – it’s a legitimate way to be a perpetual student
ddavitt: Matson didn’t mollycoddle them but I think they liked him; eating grannies without salt comments and all
ddavitt: Dubois seemed genuinely unpopular
AGplusone: … and challenging too, Jane.
ddavitt: Rico seems to have classed him as effete; which shows a lack of reasoning power btw
fgherman: So are most DIs
DenvToday: There is a famous actors’ story, it might be apocryphal. The late Sir Ralph Richardson was in his late seventies when a fellow actor found him learning Romeo’s lines. When the actor asked Sir Ralph why on earth he was learning the role of a juvenile, Richardson replied, “You never know when it might come in handy.”
rjjusu: I tell my students that I’m not there to “teach” them, I’m there so that we can both learn. A very different thing. The same reason I became a “professor” – so I can keep on learning. This fall – time to brush up on my Russian by taking some class work to keep in practice. Not that I couldn’t do it on my own, but it is easier if I have others to practice with.
ddavitt: I like that!
Heinleinsmof has entered the room.
Heinleinsmof: I think I made it!
AGplusone: ‘lo, Bill.
ddavitt: Look at the society Dubois was teaching in too
SAcademy: I have to leave now–haven’t unpacked from the trip yet. Nite all
ddavitt: Hi Bill
fgherman: Hello Bill
AGplusone: Night Ginny
ddavitt: Great to have you back!
Heinleinsmof: Goodnight, Ginny
fgherman: Good night Ginny.
rjjusu: Hi Bill
DenvToday: Good night SA!
SageMerlin: Good night, ma’am
SAcademy has left the room.
KultsiKN: Nite, Ginny.
rjjusu: Dosvedanya, Ginny!
ddavitt: Dubois was teaching nice kids; who couldn’t conceive of JD’s
AGplusone: Rico was a boy for which everything came easy … no one challenged him.
SageMerlin: Truth to tell, I have to log off myself….got some work to do….later gang
SageMerlin has left the room.
Heinleinsmof: vsyvo xoroshova
ddavitt: They weren’t hating school ready to drop out
ddavitt: Why inspire them in such a way? Why not appeal to their sense of civic esponsibility?
AGplusone: No one challenged his own self-esteme … how could they. Dad was going to get him into Harvard …
ddavitt: They had it, far more than kids today did
ddavitt: Rico was an exception as he was of a very wealthy family
ddavitt: He signed up, not because of Dubois but because of Carl and Carmen
ddavitt: He didn’t WANT to be MI
AGplusone: He was as sure of himself and the girl whose mother was sure wars never solved anything
AGplusone: as the girl
ddavitt: Just didn’t qualify for anything else
rjjusu: Because adolescents/young adults usually don’t have any civic responsibility – that haven’t had to demonstrate it.
OOCadre: let me cut in for a second…
OOCadre: first, dubois was teaching a no credit class
ddavitt: Don’t have to ask; just leap in and shout loud:-)
OOCadre: if i remember correctly you did not have to take it right?
AGplusone: excellent point
ddavitt: Yes he was.
ddavitt: I’ll check
AGplusone: so no one felt it necessary to work
OOCadre: okay, for him what he was teaching was probably of overiding importance
Heinleinsmof: I believe you had to take it – but it was not pass-fail
rjjusu: I thought that they did have to take it, but you didn’t have to “pass” it.
ddavitt: That’s it; compulsory but no fails
OOCadre: but the students, and probably the others teachers thought of it as unncesseccarly and something of a joke….
ddavitt: And he signed up because of carl; they did evrything together so when Carl went, he did too
OOCadre: at least that is how it seemed to have been presented to me…
ddavitt: In that society? I don’t agree with that
AGplusone: and Rico was more likely than not to ease off … he felt no need to really work … the only way you could make him work was attack what he felt important, his pride …. he had no need to excel otherwise
ddavitt: Rico’s dad had a skewed way of looking at it; proud that he couldn’t vote
ddavitt: e don’t know if that was universal amongst civilians
rjjusu: Yes, a typical Jock attitude. But don’t you think that his teacher knew that?
ddavitt: He gets mad that the course is an undercover recruiting system; it may well be
OOCadre: right, but teaching a class like that year after, year, not being apreciated wears at a teacher allot
AGplusone: Here, here’s a ribbon for winning the dash … insulted, he felt coming in third had been a minor accomplishment but believed DuBois was making fun of him …
ddavitt: Interesting to look at that angle of it
ddavitt: Yes; he was good at annoying Rico
AGplusone: that made him think about it, because he was mad.
Heinleinsmof: Interesting dynamic — part of the population disvalues the franchise (possibly sour grapes) and the other knows it’s doing something important. Not unlike the Academy imparts to its Naval graduates — the real aristocracy. Easy to see why Heinlein connected this up to Wells’ aristocracy of respon
AGplusone: Nothing else would have impressed him …
ddavitt: Got to go. back in a bit
Heinleinsmof: in New Macchiavelli and Modern Utopia
AGplusone: Isn’t the ‘rich boy’ attitude of ‘easing off to a C average’ so not to get a reputation as a ‘greasy grind’ aka nerd typical of many, not so rich boys?
AGplusone: No, no … he’s a ‘gentleman’s C’ prototype … he knows Daddy will buy him into Harvard
rjjusu: Don’t know, never been a rich boy. I always knew that the only way I was going to get to go to college was on a scholarship or working my way through. No other choices.
fgherman: Kinda like Dubya
AGplusone: that’s true for probably all of us … kinda
rjjusu: Bonehead skull?
fgherman: Speak for yoursel AG
AGplusone: But isn’t the attitude typical? Of high schoolers? Can’t be weird and study …
rjjusu: I think the “typical” Heinlein reader, if such a creature exists, probably is one that recognizes merit and the rewards of hard work and effort.
AGplusone: more important to be liked … have self-esteem … be empowered.
fgherman: One of the hardest lessons I had to learn in graduate school was good enough is okay
Heinleinsmof: I”m not so sure there was a “Heinlein reader” as a type when ST was written.
DenvToday: rjj, I’m impressed by anybody who makes it into a service academy. It was never an option for me–I’ve been myopic since before I was 10.
AGplusone: But what do they concern themselves with teaching today … empowerment, self-esteem …. what’s wrong here?
OOCadre: it is done WRONG
OOCadre: and the basis is totally scewed
Heinleinsmof: (a) those things can’t be taught (though they can be learned)
AGplusone: Why is that?
DenvToday: I’ve often had the conceit that I could have made it into Annapolis if I’d had 20-20 vision…but I’ll never know.
OOCadre: that it is done wrong?
Heinleinsmof: Well, making it IN to Annapolis is not the hard part…
rjjusu: Felicia, a hard lesson to teach the engineering types also. One reason why we should never give up the other areas of study. Economics says, while you might be able to come up with the 100% solution, it will probably cost you 110% of available resources. You have to know when good enough is good enough.
fgherman: It’s tough on us perfectionists
AGplusone: grad school lesson … use minimum effort to get to the point and cut out the non-essentials
DavidWrightSr: I was Civil Air Patrol, AFROTC in college and wanted to be an Air Force Officer the worst way. Knew I couldn’t fly because of my eyes, but was totally shocked to find I couldn’t even be an officer because of my misaligned teeth!
AGplusone: obsessive compulsives go nuts in grad school
fgherman: Tell me about it
Heinleinsmof: And yet they make it through law school
rjjusu: David, you never know when you have to grab the stick with your mouth! 🙂
AGplusone: Yes, because they realize they don’t have the time to fool around … time to move on …
Heinleinsmof: You have to have priorities — as someone once said.
rjjusu: That’s because law school IS about shoving a camel through the eye of a needle in a detailed way….
Heinleinsmof: Whereas a truly accomplished lawyer will make the camel WANT to come through the needle’s eye on its own.
rjjusu: in accordance with the rules and their codicils.
rjjusu: And pay the needle for the privilege.
Heinleinsmof: Yes. Priorities again.
AGplusone: But in secondary and primary education … all the non-essentials are lavished on ….
AGplusone: not music, not art, but feeling good courses or course elements …
OOCadre: what do you mean by feeling good courses?
Heinleinsmof: Gentles, this costs me by the moment, b ut I wanted to make an appearance if it were possible. Glad to join you; I’ll be checking in periodically until I get settled.
fgherman: I’m grateful that my daughters’ school has kept up their arts programs
rjjusu: Bill, is your old address still good for THJ?
fgherman: In spite of the number of interpreter the system needs here.
AGplusone: teachers like to be esteemed to … if you’re nasty and critical with your students, they don’t like you and you don’t feel esteemed … and with what you’re paid, you know you’re not esteemed by anyone else.
AGplusone: esteemed too
Heinleinsmof: Yes — the Glendora address is a permanent mailing address for the Journal.
rjjusu: Thanks. I’m behind on issues, so I need to send you cash for last year and this one. Still $20?
AGplusone: So why try? In the words of the guy in Blackboard Jungle. We’re hired to sit on the lid of the garbage can to keep the garbage out of the street until they’re eighteen
rjjusu: A truly sad observation though.
AGplusone: And that was 1950
Heinleinsmof: That must be an out-of-country rate I worked out for you, so let it stand.
rjjusu: What is the current price/year? I’m happy to pay the full freight if that isn’t right.\
fgherman: different generation, different perspective
AGplusone: what’s different today?
DenvToday: Ivy League schools ring in at about 40 grand per year–just for tuition.
rjjusu: More muzzle velocity in the disagreements?
Heinleinsmof: No, that’s fine; it’s $7.50 per issue domestic US; I can eat the extra postage to Canada usually, but overseas I do ask for more. I should probably come up with a standard rate.
fgherman: Generations, like history, are cyclical
Heinleinsmof: $15 per year domestic; $20 overseas
AGplusone: Boethius, eh?
fgherman: And schools are safer than 10 years ago, statistically
rjjusu: Okay, got it. Although Utah sometimes feels like a different country….
AGplusone: ’tis, ’tis … ask anyone.
Heinleinsmof: Heheh. G’bye all.
Heinleinsmof has left the room.
DenvToday: Bye mof.
OOCadre: well, time to head out, have a good evening all
DenvToday: Cadre, nice seeing you.
rjjusu: Thanks for coming and come back if you want
fgherman: For nstance, my generation would not have wanted to go to the academies
AGplusone: Thanks for coming
OOCadre has left the room.
rjjusu: Your generation? and which one would that be?
fgherman: I’m a boomer, yes I am
AGplusone: no, your generation was washed in the blood and angst of “make love, not war”
rjjusu: Technically, so am I, but it didn’t stop me.
DenvToday: fg, I was always the weird one in my group. I would have killed to qualify for a service academy.
fgherman: My daughters, on the other hand, would be thrilled to go.
DenvToday: Of course, I was a couple of years too young for Vietnam. lol
AGplusone: Why, do they perceive it as a challenging environment academically and personally
fgherman: At ten and 7.5, I don’t think they’ve thought it that far through
AGplusone: their way of standing out from the crowd?
ddavitt: I’m back…
DenvToday: At their age, they probably think the uniforms look cute.
fgherman: If Britney Spears wnet, they’d go
rjjusu: Despite its faults, there are still opportunities for females to rise above the huddled masses yearning to be free of responsibility. My daughter has been debating that or ROTC in her college plans.
ddavitt: No one has mentioned that tourist in space tonight. Very Heinleinian:-)
AGplusone: If Britney Spears went the competition would be fierce all over
ddavitt: maybe we should send her to mars?
DenvToday: Jane, good point.
rjjusu: I suppose they could use another rover….
fgherman: Send N Sync with her
AGplusone: Next multi-millionaire comes along, we’ll talk him into sending her instead of him.
ddavitt: It feels like something harriman would have loved; sell a seat to a rich man, pay for the flight
AGplusone: Doesn’t it?
AGplusone: Who said the Russians were dumb?
ddavitt: Jim Gifford did a post on sff groups with that quote from HSS about it
fgherman: I’m just jealous of him
ddavitt: That;s what he said!
ddavitt: The idea that a rich man could plunk money down for a ticket..
fgherman: I knew I liked Gif
rjjusu: Well, it is very similar – do what you have to do to accomplish your dreams -both the Russians and the tourist. If I had the cash, I’d do it in a heart beat.
AGplusone: If cash had been enough Harriman would have done it
ddavitt: 20 million is expensive but it depends on what it is as a percentage of all you own
AGplusone: they circumvented him that way tho
AGplusone: they thought
ddavitt: To Mr fates, t’s not much, to me it’s impossible
fgherman: It’s dinner time here, so good night
ddavitt: I would not become a pauper to do it..so maybe I’m not harriman material
rjjusu: What are we eating?
ddavitt: Night Felicia
AGplusone: half hour to go …. what’s for dinner, sushi?
fgherman: uh.. salmon
ddavitt: But I would come close to it
AGplusone: slamin’ sushi!
rjjusu: Slammin’ Salmon?
ddavitt: We just had the first barbie of the year
AGplusone: Oh, yuck … destroys the taste.
fgherman: You ate Barbie?
rjjusu: What about Ken?
fgherman: Got any good recipes?
ddavitt: Too many mosquitoes to eat outside tho
AGplusone: So did I yesterday … better Bambi than Barbie
fgherman has left the room.
ddavitt: Don’t take Barbie’s name in vain!!
ddavitt: In this house she is goddess of the pink:-)
AGplusone: I always wished I’d gotten out to the Trailer Park Barbie before they took it down.
rjjusu: Well, as I said in the early part of the chat, it becomes like water – seeking the lowest point. 🙂
ddavitt: Eleanor has 6 or 7…and one Ken. He is severely over worked;-)
rjjusu: Would that be the Brigham Young Ken?
rjjusu: Couldn’t resist.
AGplusone: That boys not on LSD, he’s on LDS!
ddavitt: He looks dishevelled; he is garage sale Ken and someone had given him a strange hair cut
ddavitt: Love the barbie in Toy Story 2
ddavitt: They actually made and marketed her later
AGplusone: so, sadly, did I …
AGplusone: but I still want a Trailer Park Barbie!!!!
ddavitt: But …Eleanor has Astronaut barbie so don’t knock her
ddavitt: Pink jumpsuit and fetching helmet…and stillettos to grip that moon dust
AGplusone: So what of L. Neil Smith do you recommend, Jane? I’ve gotten Pallas, and two others …
ddavitt: Why didn’t NASA want that man to go up?
ddavitt: I still haven’t read one.
rjjusu: Do you remember the scene in Toy Soldiers – taking a golf club to the barbie clones. Classic.
AGplusone: too stuffy ….
jcgsmtop1 has entered the room.
ddavitt: Saw one in the shop but I can’t afford it new
rjjusu: Welcome, Joanne.
ddavitt: Didn’t see that one
ddavitt: Hi Joanne
AGplusone: Figured if somebody else went to the Moon, people might want to go … then they’d have to work
ddavitt: I think we missed each other on the Thursday chat
jcgsmtop1: Hi, everyone … I thought this didn’t start until 8pm central … or is the time different for Sat?
rjjusu: Yes, different for Sat.
ddavitt: It’s 5.00 on Sat to let European people join in
jcgsmtop1: Ah. thanks – 5pm Central?
ddavitt: We get people from UK, Finland and Australia
AGplusone: time different so we can catch Europe and Australia … introduce yourself to the nice lady, Kultsi …
rjjusu: 5pm eastern
jcgsmtop1: So, once again you folks are almost done, right? Grin … I’m late for everything!
AGplusone: getting close to dawn from him I think …
ddavitt: So we are winding down a bit:-(
AGplusone: finish in 20 minutes
rjjusu: or degenerating if you want to use a more precise term.
KultsiKN: Hi, Joanne!
jcgsmtop1: Cool – degeneration can be fun!
jcgsmtop1: Hi, Kultsi – where are you from? I’m from Chicago ..
rjjusu: degenerate degeneration?
ddavitt: Well we’re talking about barbie; you decide a label!
jcgsmtop1: YES! You have a warped sense of humor, Randy … I knew I liked this group!
AGplusone: better to barbie a bambi than a barbie …
ddavitt: Dis generation doesn’t know much…
AGplusone: [you can tell I’ve been reading L. Neil Smith]
KultsiKN: Finland, about 65 k from Helsinki..
jcgsmtop1: Or better to bam a barbie rather barb a bambi?
AGplusone: that’s possibly true too
ddavitt: I’m surprised I can’t find any in the libraries..will keep looking. paperbacks not in the system so they may be there but checked out
rjjusu: Kultsi, now that it is warming up, is Hel sinking?
ddavitt: otherwise i may just turn up and bluff
ddavitt: But it is on my birthday weekend so the Sat chat may not be possible
AGplusone: I think Forge of the Elders, Pallas, and Bretta Martyn are still in print. They’re the ones I’ve found available.
jcgsmtop1: Happy birthday
rjjusu: I think all my L. Neil books are still in Las Cruces. I only brought up my Heinlein, EE “Doc” Smith and Eric Frank Russell books when I ccame up here. I think I have the Probability Broach down there.
jcgsmtop1: Randy, I think that was Atlantis that sank …
DavidWrightSr: I just finished Henry Martyn and The Probability Broach. What comes after TPB
KultsiKN: I’m not at all concerned about all the ice on the North Pole melting…
ddavitt: Thank you; May 7 is the date. Hey, maybe it isn’t going to clash; do i have the dates mixed up?
AGplusone: Bretta Martyn is sequel to Henry Martyn …
jcgsmtop1: May 7 is a Monday …
ddavitt: That looks fun from the Amazon summary AG
ddavitt: Yes, so the chat can’t be the Sat before it
AGplusone: Its beginning looks good
ddavitt: Should be OK then
ddavitt: Query: will the Amazon reviews be sufficient to enable a bluff?
AGplusone: I’m told the alternate early US history ones are nearly impossible to find
AGplusone: nope …
rjjusu: I still have a final to give this coming Thursday. After that, time to read for fun again! Whoo-Hoo!
ddavitt: Hmm…I would feel nervous. darn; i WANT to read them….
ddavitt: BTW David, did you know that story of Joel’s is set in the same town as he uses for the Keepers of the Hidden Ways books?
AGplusone: Yeah! read for fun, only reading I do anymore. The hometown?
AGplusone: In North Dakota?
ddavitt: I am a few chapters in and the names started to sound very familiar; nice, different POV, no Wolves of Fenris
ddavitt: Yes, Hardwood
AGplusone: Wasn’t that a relief from fantasy … ?
ddavitt: Arnie Selmo, Jeff Bjerke
ddavitt: I like both
rjjusu: As opposed to knotty pine?
AGplusone: I liked all the characters with the same last name as the retired sheriff
jcgsmtop1: (I was waiting for that, Randy!)
ddavitt: bad boy randy!!:-)
AGplusone: I figured they must run about five to the square mile up there …
rjjusu: At least it wasn’t keyboard quality.
ddavitt: I don’t drink and type 🙂
ddavitt: Or if I do I swallow fast…
AGplusone: Take it intravenously, do you, Jane?
rjjusu: Then all you have to worry about is keeping kleenex nearby.
jcgsmtop1: Drinking and typing … that can get you in trouble! Typing under the influence … “be wary of strong drink …”
ddavitt: Hmm…cut out the middle man?
ddavitt: No fun that way
rjjusu: middle of the man/woman
ddavitt: OK, I have to finally go for good
jcgsmtop1: It’s better to go for bad … more fun
rjjusu: Your good or ours?
ddavitt: Littlest one is asleep, oldest is in need of bedtime story
AGplusone: miss the bouquet of my Red Mountain plonk, never!
ddavitt: Depends on how much i contribute to the degeneration:-)
rjjusu: Give em a kiss from the extended family.
jcgsmtop1: From what I’ve seen in these few minutes … an admirable contribution!
ddavitt: Red Mountain is a coffee in UK; rip off of Blue mountain i guess
AGplusone: degenerations following us will thank us for all we contribute
AGplusone: It’s the Red Mountain …
ddavitt: Thanks for the chat; enjoyed it. See you all on afh or wherever
rjjusu: that calls for a great amount of tribute….
jcgsmtop1: I thought it was the Red Planet?
ddavitt has left the room.
AGplusone: not that great a moment, please …
rjjusu: Well, now that we have no adult supervision, I’m sure we are in trouble….
jcgsmtop1: Is ‘ddavitt’ the adult supervision?
jcgsmtop1: and, Randy, i think you can get in trouble with or without supervision …
rjjusu: Well, the next best thing to being there….
AGplusone: Well, lemme tell you about Joe Haldeman and the bottle of cognac I gave him to thank him …
rjjusu: So I’ve been told.
AGplusone: basically, there were some difficulties with Jerry’s attending.
AGplusone: Joe came in and smoothed troubled waters in that chat very nicely, so the cognac was the payoff.
AGplusone: Jerry decided to give us what the others (not me) deserved … he was a good guest. Remy, VSOP
DavidWrightSr: I read a post somewhere that said the Pournelle interview was somewhat incoherent.
AGplusone: He was complaining that back under AOL where the buffer you can type into is much smaller that it was incoherent. that complaint’s you read about it being incoherent was echoing Jerry.
AGplusone: and it is true … you could only type about 81 characters at a time in that room … which is why we went to these.
AGplusone: Joe sorta smiled Jerry out of the complaints …
jcgsmtop1: Where we can have more than 81 characters present?
DavidWrightSr: Now if we only had automatic logging :-[
AGplusone: which is what got him the bottle yes, you should be about to go about 250 characters at a time here, Joanne
AGplusone: yes … odd they haven’t put it in, isn’t it, Dave
rjjusu: I’m surprised, because it would so easy.
AGplusone: Anywho … ’tis the hour.
jcgsmtop1: Good to see you all again … Dave, I mailed my membership today …
KultsiKN: ’tis the _early_ hour — 3 a.m….
AGplusone: So I got to meet Joe and his wife Gay. Nice people, and maybe we can have a rerun, since he did finish that sequel to Forever War
AGplusone: Soon the sun …
KultsiKN: dst — not so early
rjjusu: I’m looking for the Spider Robinson one, if you could pull it off. Another possibility might be Yoji Kondo, if anyone knows him.
AGplusone: Ginny does … write and ask for his e mail
DavidWrightSr: BTW, David. If there are more old logs around, let me have them and I’ll put them on the web site.
AGplusone: both of them
AGplusone: David I’ve got nearly two years … are you sure you have room?
jcgsmtop1: I’d sure love to see either Spider or Yoji here …
KultsiKN: I like to see Yoji
DavidWrightSr: I still have 40 mb available and Jon said I could put them on our regular site too.
AGplusone: We need somebody in Eastern Canada … Spider’s laptop is a 520 mac and has really minimal RAM
jcgsmtop1: Tell me where – I have friends everywhere …
AGplusone: Oakily doakily … expect them
rjjusu: Dave, do you want to contact Ginny for the Kondo email address, or do you want me to try?
AGplusone: Why don’t you, Randy. She knows you’re a grownup
rjjusu: I think you’d get some argument about that statement.
jcgsmtop1: Randy, if you need any help writing a nice, professional e-mail request, let me know … grin
AGplusone: copy me and oz so she knows you know us … and may recognize your name
rjjusu: Will do.
KultsiKN: folks, I’m off to bed. Nice seeing you guys, Joanne, g’night!
AGplusone: G’nite Kultsi
jcgsmtop1: G’night, Kultsi – nice meeting you
KultsiKN has left the room.
AGplusone: About Spider … I think your approach might be to explain how he doesn’t have to screw up his Compuserve already loaded, etc.
AGplusone: It’s either a 520 or a 530 Mac laptop he has
rjjusu: David, I about have the PC newsgroup instructions done. I assume you want me to do more than just the Exploder version, so I’m adding some stuff for Nestscrap as well as some general info on Newsgroups. I should have it to you by Monday or Tuesday. Is that soon enough?
AGplusone: That would help mucho …
AGplusone: Then you can read for “fun” right, Sir?
rjjusu: Okay. I was also going to add some stuff for Deja too, or have you already got that covered?
AGplusone: No, whatever you think will help, we’ll probably use.
AGplusone: Give ’em as many ways to find us as we can … I need to find someone on linux too … I think OJ can do it, but more the better
rjjusu: Pretty much. I’m writing my final up on Monday and Tuesday, so after that I’m somewhat free, or at least less expensive.
rjjusu: I think the linux browsers are pretty standard. I’ll check one of the boxes at the office on Monday.
AGplusone: What I really need is someone on Linux that has figuered out how to get into this room with this software or something that works.
AGplusone: But that’s another issue … what you have working may be all we need intitially
rjjusu: Well, I could look into it after I finish classes. I was going to convert one of my PCs to a linux box this summer anyway. Maybe I’ll make that part of the project.
AGplusone: I’m going to yawn and say “Good night, folks … ” that might be fun. I’ve got a couple posts that went up in AFH on the subject while you were gone I’ll send you
jcgsmtop1: G’night Dave
rjjusu: Okay. I need to run too, want to head down to the bookstore and pick up a couple of books.
DavidWrightSr: I am going to officially close the log.
jcgsmtop1: OK, I’ve not seen that one, Dave – what is it?
AGplusone: my parachute
jcgsmtop1: Grin …
jcgsmtop1: Have a good rest of the weekend, folks.
AGplusone: leave the nice stuff about Jerry in …
rjjusu: A Silver parachute instead of a golden one?
DavidWrightSr: Log offically closed at 8:17 P.M. EDT
Final End Of Discussion Log