Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Southern Problem

I was working on schoolwork for the fall and watching a marathon on the Civil War Untold Stories. And then an episode on "Death and the Civil War: American Experience" came on, talking about the sheer volume of dead in the battles and how death was suddenly different - instead of dying in the home with your family around you, you died thousands of miles from home with strangers, sometimes not identified on your grave.

OK, it sounds like a gruesome topic, but that wasn't the takeaway I had from this.

To paraphrase what one professor said: The South did not go into the war for the care of the dead. They went into the war to create a confederate states of America. Would things be different now if the North had treated the Southern dead with respect? We don't know.

He was talking about how the North created Arlington to honor the Union dead but would do nothing for the Confederate dead.

He quoted Frederick Douglass ". . . whatever else I may forget, I shall never forget the difference between those who fought for liberty and those who fought for slavery, between those who fought to save the Republic and those who fought to destroy it." Decoration Day, 1894

And they talked about how the Southern economy was annihilated in a way no place else in the US has ever had happen to it. (That's Atlanta in 1865)

We all know that holding on to anger festers. And this is somewhat oversimplified. I know that when my family moved into the South, people still talked about when "we lost the War" - and they were serious 100 years after Appomatox.

But I have been thinking about this a lot this week.

The idiot/evil/moron who gunned down people in the Church had nothing to do with the Confederate flag (actually Lee's Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia - And my great great great grandfather was there.). It had everything to do with mental illness.

But, in knee jerk reaction, everyone bans the sale of the flag. Well, I am offended by all the paraphernalia with Che Guevera's likeness and the rap music with the N word, B word, C word, etc. But I don't expect everyone to ban things so that I am not bothered.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Summer fun!

An adult friend of my husband's - actually someone he knows casually or alittle better than that, called me a couple of weeks back saying he wanted me to tutor his 6th grade daughter in math. She wasn't wild about it but he and her mother felt she could benefit from some extra help.

Then I didn't hear from him and I thought I got my summer back.

Well, she came today. Very polite. I asked her point blank if she wanted to be here - she said no - it didn't sound like fun. So I talked about what I had been thinking.

She did well in math, it was just starting to get harder

I told her I would go over any questions she had about 6th grade math then preview 7th grade math and maybe go into some beginning algebra, give her notes (which will help her and allow me to set the foundation in my head for pre-algebra (which is on my schedule for next year).

Then I showed her why middle school math is so important.

Proportions to right triangle trig to trig with sines and cosines to law of sines.....

She loves long division - so long division of polynomials to synthetic division....

She had a couple of questions. There was a problem with <3 and a picture of a line cut by another line with 3 angles listed by number and one 73 degrees. I told her the <3 was supposed to be angle-symbol 3 and explained about supplementary angles and vertical angles.

The other said what shape would you have if you cut a cylinder vertically and horizontally. I explained, drew a picture - and she could see it!

This is going to be fun!

Even Sadie said it was going to be neat - as long as we could do some long division for fun!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Graduations in the south - and probably everywhere

Is arresting those who cannot follow the rules the answer? I have been to several graduations lately - a couple of college ones, three high school ones. They are not like my own graduations.

People feel compelled to yell. Great. It probably makes your own child feel good but it makes it difficult to hear the next names.

Once their own graduate has graduated, people are incredible. They take phone calls and hold conversations. Loud conversations.

They talk amongst themselves.

They let their children (and I mean anyone under the age of 18) run amok.

They treat it like a football game.

Or the movie theater.

I think people no longer consider where they are or what is happening around them.