News roundup 08/03/13 – Home-schooled = Un-schooled? etc.

Links within this post, to the headlines:
Home-schooled = Un-schooled?
Baltimore City Schools’ BELL program
Exclusive: 4 in 5 in US face near-poverty, no work
Sexting: How typical is Anthony Weiner’s behavior?
2 ‘Real Housewives of NJ’ stars charged with fraud


Student’s home-schooling highlights debate over Va. religious exemption law

“By the time he was 16, [Josh Powell] had never written an essay. He didn’t know South Africa was a country. He couldn’t solve basic algebra problems.”

He took three years of remedial courses at a community college before obtaining admission to Georgetown at age 21.

“Most of all, he worries about his siblings: There are 11. One, old enough to be well into middle school, can’t read, Josh Powell said.”

City’s summer school program sees results

This is at the diametric pole from the just-previous item. See also the previous post, D.C. to implement 9th-grade rescue plan.

Exclusive: 4 in 5 in US face near-poverty, no work

I don’t need to comment on that.

Sexting: How typical is Anthony Weiner’s behavior?

This quote struck me:

” ‘ In the case of Anthony Weiner, and other partnered people who sext with non-partners, it strikes me as a kind of pornography, where the drive is toward excited, impersonal sex rather than true intimacy.

” ‘ With Weiner, it’s a case of pornography meets narcissism. ‘ ”

Some folk may be incapable of “true intimacy,” but I don’t see how a life of strictly “excited, impersonal sex” can bring real gratification.

2 ‘Real Housewives of NJ’ stars charged with fraud

As little as I know about Joe and Teresa Giudice, it seems to me this could not have happened to a more deserving couple.

I take some gratification from this news, in that rarely in this life do I really feel I see justice done.

I anticipate having a lot to say about this in the future.

To redeem it, you have to go there.

To redeem it, you have to go there.

This is a thread at the Messiah Truth Discussion Forum, where my username is Proteus.

The thread is closed, and I respect the moderators’ reasons for doing so.  But the questions are still so intensely present to me, that I’ve decided to re-open the discussion — here — and invite others’ participation. IOW, your participation. We can do this via Comments. Here, I am the moderator.

If you visit that thread, be forewarned that I catch all kinds of hostility there.

Midway through the thread, UriYosef linked me to this article, which I found highly informative; I’m posting the link now to save you time:

Kelipot and Sitra Achra

* A simple lesson

My normal day runs as follows.  After breakfast at the mission, at 5:45 I head for McDonald’s, where I drink coffee ($1.06) and do my prayer routines.  Around 9:15, I head for the library, stopping at a convenience store en route to buy smokes ($2.75) and a soda ($1.69).  From 10:00 to 2:00 I’m online at the library.  When my time’s up, I go to the Wi-Fi café, write in my diary and have another cup of coffee ($1.00).  Then it’s back to the mission, where I have to pay admission ($3.00).

Sunday mornings, I am normally left with bus fare to church ($1.60) and pennies.  I meet my patrons at church and obtain an allowance for the next week.

Without rehearsing the arithmetic now, as of bedtime last night I had enough cash to cover McDonald’s, the afternoon coffee, rent for tonight, and bus fare for tomorrow.  I have about $3 left on my debit card, and could use that to buy smokes.  I would have to go without a soda today completely.  Things are already looking skinny for next week, as I know one of my patrons will be out of town tomorrow, and I need to pick up a prescription ($2.50).

When I got to the convenience store, the EFT system was down, so I could not use my card.  The clerk offered to let me take a pack of smokes today and pay tomorrow.  I took it.  As I walked away, it occurred to me that I could probably stop in at Fresh & Greens and buy a soda there using my debit card.
Continue reading

* Jacob’s ladder 06/19/13

Prayer for myself often takes the form of imagining myself climbing up a ladder out of a pit, the pit being my current circumstances of poverty and homelessness.  Getting out at the top represents a return to the normal life of the American mainstream.  I didn’t start with a ladder in there, but I decided to add one to symbolize the various structures and tools that others have made available to me — and eliminate the possibility of clawing at loose earth.

Here begins a list of “rungs” on the ladder that I’ve become aware I need to “overcome.”  Each one takes effort, exertion, to get over. I will update this list from time to time as I learn of others.

  1. Fear of the unknown.  See From my diary: Learning to pray.
  2. Jealousy of others who seem to be prospering more quickly than I am.  In particular, at the shelter in recent months have been several guys who just “came home” from doing “hard time,” and within days had found jobs.
  3. Times of despair.  I guess, from time to time, they’ll happen.  The question isn’t whether I fall down, but whether I’ll get back up.  A moment of despair doesn’t rule out faith long-term.  It can be OK for me to lie there and have a little pity party, as long as it’s reasonably brief.
  4. Incidents of utter selfishness.  (I may rename this if I think of a better name.)  Several weeks ago after church, I became impatient waiting for the person who had promised me a ride downtown, and waiting also for my principal patron, who was tied up in conversation with others.  I became disgusted with myself over feeling that way; and disgusted that I was hanging out there long after I would otherwise have left, having feelings all about obtaining favors for me, me, me.

That’s not a pretty way to end this just now, but in the long run I do think I need to be candid in admitting what it takes to climb one’s way out of poverty.

on air talent, talk show host, radio talk show, the homeless blogger

* This guy is a career criminal, and other news

3 Years Is Just Desserts for Man Who Refused to Pay Dinner Bill

No comment.  Read the story.

Fatherhood programs teach men to be dads

This is a good thing.  Many young men are eager to step up to the plate and, in these circumstances, overcome the disadvantages of their own background.

Give ’em a chance.

With exposure to babies, rodent dads’ brains, like moms’, become wired for nurture

We mammals aren’t reptiles.

(Reblogged 06/18/14.)

Hiring discrimination and “backgrounds”

EEOC sues over criminal background checks

This affects me.

In August ’10 I became the first member of my family in three generations ever to be arrested, let alone jailed.  It was the only time I have ever been arrested.  I was locked up for 40 days before being sentenced to “time served” on one misdemeanor charge.  I have no other convictions.

In the months following, I applied to all kinds of jobs, including at each of the half dozen major hospitals located in downtown Baltimore.  I was applying for secretarial jobs, janitorial jobs, groundskeeping — anything I could possibly do, as remains so today.

Each of those hospitals has its own online application system, and they’re all very similar, so I don’t recall which specific hospital this story involves.  You enter a “profile” into their database, that includes all your employment information, history, references, etc.; this takes 90 minutes to two hours.  That information is kept in their database, and thereafter you can apply to any job listing with just a handful of clicks.  You can also access a listing of the jobs you’ve applied to, and each application’s status.

One Saturday I was at the public library submitting applications online.  Click, click, click, submit.  Check out the next listing; decide “go” or “no go;” click, click, submit.  I did a bunch of those, and then went to check the list of applications’ status.

A number of the applications I’d submitted in the previous half hour had already been turned down.

I really don’t think anyone was working in the HR office on a Saturday screening applications.  Clearly, they had some automatic software set up to pre-screen applications and reject anyone who admitted a criminal record.

The question is whether reformed criminals can find honest work.

Subsequent post: My record cannot be expunged
 

Reasons for Attending College Affect Students’ Academic Success, Study Finds

Reasons for Attending College Affect Students’ Academic Success, Study Finds

Study is First to Look at Outcomes of Students Driven by Relationship Motivation

I had a real hard time in college.  I read the article principally for insight as to how motivations may affect or effect my chances for success now.  Some of the results seem predictable — Students who enroll in college principally to socialize with others don’t do as well academically as others. — but there are a number of twists along gender and color lines.  “Students of color” are more likely than others to be motivated by a desire to “give back” to one’s community or to improve one’s own financial circumstances.