One of Betsy DeVos’s first tweets on her first day as Secretary of Education was this gem:
Now, this tweet is either:
(1) An incredibly out-of-touch joke, or
(2) A calculated jab at public education
I think it is likely both.
It is well known that many public school teachers find themselves constantly having to fund supplies for their classrooms out of their own pockets. Such a ‘joke’ isn’t funny in that context, when delivered by someone outside that context.
It is the sort of pathetic characture of a teacher that you’d find on a cookie-cutter sitcom written by people unfamiliar with education. Or the sort of ‘joke’ an out-of-touch boss would make to their employees, either having never experienced the situations they are going through, or too far removed from those situations to truly empathize anymore.
My cousin has just started a new blog focused on food allergies. She has had to become quite the expert on this subject over the past few years, as both of her two young children have life threatening allergies. To make matters more interesting, they aren’t even allergic to the same things! I don’t know how she does it, but she manages to navigate the scary and confusing world of food allergies for her children. And now she’s sharing her knowledge and experiences with the rest of the world!
What Can They Eat?
We never taught our daughter to believe in Santa.
No telling her that Santa would know if she had been good or bad.
No going to the mall to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what she wanted.
No Christmas list sent to Santa.
No milk and cookies left out on Christmas Eve.
No gifts from Santa under the tree on Christmas morning.
Originally we made the decision because we felt that teaching a child to believe in something that is obviously not true was confusing to the child. And rather silly. How would that affect their belief in other things that can’t be seen, like God? (Side note: Over the years I’ve seen my own belief in God diminish to such a point that I now consider myself a firm Atheist). How can you expect a child to trust you on other matters when you have lied for years about something?
I don’t believe that in most cases deep lasting harm is done from having a child believe in Santa. Hey, I turned out fine! (Okay, maybe the jury is still out on that.) But, I also just don’t really see the point in it. Especially when people get to a point of ridiculousness where they argue that other parents shouldn’t give their children expensive gifts from Santa just so there doesn’t need to be an explanation for why Santa discriminates against children from families with less money (or who just choose to spend less on Christmas gifts). Just tell the truth — it is much easier. Life is just as wonderful.
My daughter enjoys Christmas just as much as the next child. We still watch and enjoy the many Christmas stories and movies that depend on Santa being real as a major plot point. It’s fantasy. She understands that.
She has not had her imagination taken from her — I think nearly anybody who knows her would agree that she is highly imaginative… just listen to the stories she is constantly coming up with. Just because you know that dragons and magic aren’t real doesn’t mean that you don’t love them just the same.
She hasn’t grown up too fast — at ten years old she is right where she should be. A perfect mix of childlike wonder and growing intellectual and emotional maturity. With a dash of tween irrationality just to keep things interesting!
This is yet another example of a great app, that provides a great deal of utility to many, many users, being pulled from the App Store without adequate communication from Apple.
I use Dash every day as part of my job as a software developer and find it frustrating that quality apps/developers like this are treated so poorly by Apple. There needs to be a formal process by which developers can appeal decisions like this.
From 9to5Mac: Apple inexplicably terminates developer account for popular developer app Dash, apps removed from App Store
You need to read John Pavlovitz’s open letter to Brock Turner’s father in full. He responds to this horrible outcome much better than I could possibly:
I need you to understand something, and I say this as a father who dearly loves my son as much as you must love yours:
Brock is not the victim here.
His victim is the victim.
She is the wounded one.
He is the damager.
If his life has been “deeply altered” it is because he has horribly altered another human being; because he made a reprehensible choice to take advantage of someone for his own pleasure. This young woman will be dealing with this for far longer than the embarrassingly short six months your son is being penalized. She will endure the unthinkable trauma of his “20 minutes of action” for the duration of her lifetime, and the fact that you seem unaware of this fact is exactly why we have a problem.