Seventh Grade Virginia History, 1963

I used that history book.
The teacher wasn't a Virginian,
Her accent was deeper South.

Every 12 year old in every public school
statewide
used that book.

3 chapters on Jamestown and settlers.
3 chapters on Washington, Jefferson, Mason,
  Madison, Henry, Lee Sr., and the Revolution.
3 chapters on Lee, Jr., and 
  the War between the States.
(my book fair buy was controversially titled
  "The Civil War")
1 chapter on Reconstruction.
1 chapter on the 20th Century.

Our class discussed the Confederate flags
(there were a half dozen to choose from)
and picked their favorite.

That summer, across the river in DC,
Dr. King had a dream.

Shared Household Contact List on iCloud

Lena Shore's logoSomeone on Apple’s support discussion group claimed “this can’t be done.” Apple explicitly supports shared calendars, but not shared contacts. They probably haven’t figured out how to deal with two people updating things at the same time.

Then I found this terrific article by Lena Shore. Most of us have our contacts saved in a “personal” iCloud account. Shore’s approach is to set up a “household” iCloud account. You save the shared contact list to the household account. Then you enable Contacts under both accounts. Everyone who does this will see both their personal list and the household list.

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Six Thoughts on Merit Badge Requirements and Learning Challenges

Merit Badges, Douglas Murth/Wikimedia Commons

I was recently asked for guidance from a merit badge counselor  working with a Scout whose learning abilities are severely affected by Down syndrome. The Scout could master the physical aspects of the badge but struggled with the “discuss” and “explain” requirements.

Here are my thoughts. They are not anyone’s gospel. I’d love to hear what guidelines other people use.

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Gerda Tero

 

Woman soldier shooting pistol during Spanish Civil WarToday, Google celebrates Gerda Tero’s 108th birthday. I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t remember her name. I’ve been a fan of Robert Capa since seeing an exhibit of his war photography as a teenager. I knew he had a “girl friend” photographer who was killed in the  Spanish Civil War. I didn’t realize that she played a similar role to Einstein’s first wife in shaping his now-celebrated work.

Both have similar war styles, but Tero seemed to have a lot more photos of women at war. And I mean at war. Women armed, women shooting in battle, etc. Her iconic photo appears above.

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How Boys with Down Syndrome Become Eagle Scouts

Eagle Scout AwardA rumor says children with Down syndrome can’t earn the Eagle Scout award.

This is nonsense. See stories about Coleman and Brandt, Adam, Zach and Mike, Elliott, another Zach,  Max, Daniel, and a third Zach.

Not every Scout can hike and swim, and not every Scout advances as fast as every other. If a Scout has a bona fide medical condition, like Down Syndrome, the Scout can still take the trail to Eagle.

Some Scouts follow their own, customized trail. Alternate requirements need special approval. Scouts can get time extensions in special circumstances.

Caveat: I’m speaking as someone with a lot of experience with Scouting and special needs, and not in any official capacity within Boy Scouts.

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Rail Travel Fail

Riding a train instead of an airplane always seemsrailroad crossing sign with big X like a great idea. But railroad travel remains a half-century behind all other forms of passenger travel.

I’m going to the Boy Scout Jamboree this summer, and Amtrak stops at the Prince, West Virginia, station. This is within driving distance of Mt. Hope, site of the Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. But I can’t quite make it work.

The rail industry assumes that train riders are either traveling locally or are willing to do a lot of research and planning. Train travel also requires a super-flexible schedule and creative baggage management.

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The Exodus

Dave Barnhart's Blog

Frans Francken I. Hans skola: Den rike mannen och Lazarus. NM 429
I have seen your religion, and I hate it.
I have heard your doctrine, and I loathe it.
Take away your empty praise songs,
your vacuous worshiptainment.
Your mouth is full of religious words,
but your proverbs are salted manure.

“The sick deserve to be sick.
The poor deserve to be poor.
The rich deserve to be rich.
The imprisoned deserve to be imprisoned.”
Because you never saw him sick, or poor, or in prison.

“If he had followed police instructions,
if he had minded the company he keeps,
he would not have been killed,”
You say in the hearing
of a man hanging on a cross
between two thieves.

“People who live good lives
do not have pre-existing conditions,” you say,
carving these words over the hospital door:
“Who sinned, this man or his parents,
that he was born blind?”

“It is the church’s job, not the government’s,”
say…

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