A weird random "news in brief" item I saw in the Metro New York newspaper yesterday:
"AUSTRALIA: Fourth-graders in Australia will no longer participate in an assignment asking children which ethnic groups they'd save, if required to choose, in the case of emergency. The education minister ordered the cancellation following parent complaints, reports CBC News."
Um -- huh? Is the sun baking their brains in the Land Down Under?? Bizarre.
I had all-day training on Thursday and Friday for a part-time Early Intervention job doing ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) one-on-one with 2-year-olds. It was excellent training, but the job itself scares me a little. Two-year-olds can be cute, but they can also hit, kick, bite, scratch, etc. -- especially if they're "on the autism spectrum," as many children in Early Intervention are. Also, ABA is a great program, but it requires the teacher to be so organized and track the child's progress by collecting data clearly and consistently -- and I can't quite figure out how you do that while simultaneously doing the actual teaching. But, if I can keep both my tutoring job and my part-time resource room teaching job through June, and get the unemployment extension, I can survive financially without a third job. It's good to have a back-up plan, though.
Since I didn't have tutoring Thursday night and I was in Manhattan anyway for the training, I went to St. Bart's "Sunday on Thursday" church service at 6:00 PM. It was really nice -- I barely fidgeted! (It helped that the service was only 40 minutes long.) The priest was female, which reminded me how refreshing it is to go to a church that doesn't insist that all of its priests be unmarried men. The Gospel readng was Mark 8:27-33, where Jesus explains to the disciples that he is going to have to endure great suffering, get killed, and then rise from the dead. When Peter took Jesus aside and tried to rebuke him, Jesus said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things, but on human things."
So during her sermon, the priest told a funny story about a man whose wife had one bad habit of buying dresses they couldn't afford. No matter what he said to her, she couldn't stop herself from buying expensive dresses. Finally he told her, "The next time you go shopping and want to buy a pricey dress, say to yourself, 'Get behind me, Satan!' and that will help you resist the temptation." The wife agreed to try this. One week went by -- no dresses. Two weeks went by -- no dresses. The husband was so happy, thinking what he had said to her had worked -- until one day, she came home with the most expensive dress she had ever bought! Aghast, he asked, "What happened!? Why didn't you say, 'Get behind me, Satan'?"
"Oh, I did," his wife said. "And Satan said, 'Wow! It looks even better from the back!'"