Should kids teach themselves, what’s the deal with your salary, breakfast and a hug in Barnum, in search of the real Wisconsin, and the games we all play that we don’t realize we’re playing.
What if kids were allowed to learn on their own, rather than in a school. Would they? The Fargo Forum has a fascinating article today on “unschooling,” in which the child “self learns.”
The main difference between traditional homeschooling and unschooling is the lack of curriculum. Unschoolers don’t follow a curriculum based on age or grade, and all traditional subject areas – such as reading, writing, math, science, social science, physical education – aren’t necessarily covered in depth by the parent and child.
“The more we trusted our children’s innate desires to learn, the more the knowledge they were gaining seemed to stick,” a mother in Pelican Rapids says.
Related: The hot new toy for kids — duct tape.
Employees who earn less money than they feel they’re worth are more likely to share salary information with friends, family and co-workers, Marketplace reports. Those on the higher end of the pay scale are more likely to keep quiet about it.
The Minnesota Legislature may hold its special session soon to figure out what help to provide the people of the Northland, flooded out of their homes and businesses earlier this summer.
Some people can’t wait. In Barnum, for example, Lou’s Rustic Diner is open again.
While the flood was wiping out their business, the owners were busy helping other people. Then, other people helped them.
Meanwhile, at the lower end of the state, nature has “rebuilt itself” following the devastating flood of 2007… with a little help. The Winona Daily News looks at how parks and trails recovered from the destruction.
NPR dropped in on the Winnebago County Fair — Oshkosh — to profile what it says is a “swing district.” It couldn’t find — or at least didn’t present — any voters who supported the administration. It tried to challenge a farmer who complained about welfare while accepting government support, but it didn’t point out that one of the big remaining employers in the city is Oshkosh truck, which makes plenty of money off war.The theme of the story was “someone’s getting something I’m not.” The farmer, for example, doesn’t see his subsidy as “a handout” because he’s not getting much of one.
The story was reminiscent of what the New York Times found earlier this year when it visited Chisago County, people decrying government programs, while taking advantage of government programs.
How are we able to apply different definitions? According to Firmin DeBrabander, an associate professor of philosophy at the Maryland Institute College of Art, it’s “deluded individualism.”
There are many counties across the nation that, like Chisago County, might feel insulated from the trials of the destitute. Perhaps this is because they are able to ignore the poverty in their midst, or because they are rather homogeneous and geographically removed from concentrations of poverty, like urban ghettos. But the fate of the middle class counties and urban ghettos is entwined. When the poor are left to rot in their misery, the misery does not stay contained. It harms us all. The crime radiates, the misery offends, it debases the whole. Individuals, much less communities, cannot be insulated from it.
Thanks to a decades-long safety net, we have forgotten the trials of living without it. This is why, the historian Tony Judt argued, it’s easy for some to speak fondly of a world without government: we can’t fully imagine or recall what it’s like. We can’t really appreciate the horrors Upton Sinclair witnessed in the Chicago slaughterhouses before regulation, or the burden of living without Social Security and Medicare to look forward to. Thus, we can entertain nostalgia for a time when everyone pulled his own weight, bore his own risk, and was the master of his destiny. That time was a myth. But the notion of self-reliance is also a fallacy.
We play games with ourselves without even knowing it.
Bonus I: Prepare to feel old. Beloit College is out with its annual “mindset list.” Items the class of 2016 never knew. On the list: They have never seen an airplane “ticket.” On TV and in films, the ditzy dumb blonde female generally has been replaced by a couple of Dumb and Dumber males. For most of their lives, maintaining relations between the U.S. and the rest of the world has been a woman’s job in the State Department. Here’s the list.
Bonus II: Rep. Todd Akin released a video today, apologizing for his comments over the weekend about rape…
Did that sound familiar?
Bonus III: PBS is auto-tuning again. Following up on its viral Mr. Rogers video a few months ago, it’s released one with Julia Child.
What’s behind this? The Boston Herald interviewed the person doing the work at PBS’ behest. “My hope is that they remind people that PBS has been producing some amazing content for decades now, and they certainly still are and deserve to be well-funded,” he said.
Hubert Joly has been named CEO of Best Buy Co., the consumer electronics giant. Best Buy has been struggling to regain its footing in a retail market increasingly dominated by online shopping. Today’s Question: As consumers’ shopping habits change, what retailer seems to be getting it right?
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Aggressive debt collection practices.
Second hour: A study released yesterday by the Chronical of Philanthropy shows how neighborhoods, cities, and states rank in generosity. We talk with Peter Panepento who oversaw the project.
Third hour: You’re probably all aware that you’ve got a credit score – you may or may not know yours but you surely know how it’s used – especially if you’ve ever tried to buy a house. But there’s another score out there that you probably don’t even know about – nor will you likely ever know what it is.
MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): A Chautauqua Lecture by journalist Peter Maass about the problems OIL causes for the countries that have it. His new book is titled, “Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil.”
Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – Navigating the medical maze. Health care jumped back to political issue number one. Republicans warn that the president will drive Medicare into the ground. Democrats insist a Romney-Ryan win in November would mean the end of Medicare as we know it.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – TBA