Post by Andrew Plotkin Post by David Goldfarb Post by Andrew Plotkin Post by Jonathan Schattke Post by Michael Stemper
- If you slice the tendon in the web of flesh between your thumb
and forefinger, it's inevitably fatal.
Um, that web has a muscle in it, not tendons.
The book doesn't say "tendon". It's *any* cut in that area, including
a paper cut. Cut the skin, you die.
If that were true, I'd be dead hundreds of times over. (I've worked
in a photocopy shop for the last two decades.)
Once again, it's because we grownups are always around pumping our
kids full of what we laughingly call facts. ...
I was in a situation unusual for the late 20th and early 21st century
American family. My parents had 9 children, within 9 years. I have
siblings who are fraternal twins. In one year, my baby sister was
in kindergarten, and there was one Robinson sibling in each year of
our 8-grade elementary school except 4th. But the twins were in 2nd
years, so we had 8 in that school. "Not having anyone to play with"
was a foreign concept, especially when we went to our summer cottage,
about this time of year, and were joined by my Dad's sister's kids -
all 10 of them. Their youngest was my age, and I'm a middle child,
so some of them were teenagers well before our oldest was, but they
were still awesome to have around for beach touch football or
volleyball, general swimming-related horseplay (diving off Cousin
Tom's 16-year-old running back shoulders, fr'instance,) messing
around with dinghies and small power boats plus bonuses like learning
swear words popular in Queens, NY.
At our "year-round" home, neighborhood kids who were bored showed up
at our house, because there was usually an age-appropriate members of
my family to hang around with, plus critical mass for team sports,
even if it were only 2-on-2 basketball.
My folks made sure we all had bikes, even if they were used, and not
the fanciest models. But when one was old enough to ride alone, or
accompanied by an older sibling who would chaperone you, trips to the
library were common. You just had to let Mom or Dad know, and give
them a chance to exercise their veto power. ["After you make your
bed and take out the trash, please."] Just getting off you duff and
getting exercise was approved of by my Dad. He was a coach and physical
education teacher, and complaints that "there's nothing to DOOOOOOoooooo!"
would be met, at least, by, "why don't you take a walk, or ride your bike?"
When my two older sisters reached their teenage years they started to let
their bikes rust in the shed we kept them in. This infuriated my Dad.
Perhaps, after puberty hit, they were a bad fit, and they might have
experienced other problems I didn't. Of course, I saved enough money
from presents and jobs I did for cash to buy a new, full-size bike when
I was 12, that served me through college, and unless the weather was
horrible or my destination very far, I preferred self-propulsion to
being driven everywhere. When you ride home, you can stop and pick
up embargoed comics and SF mags, and smuggle them into the house!
As high schoolers we were kept busy with homework, extracurricular
activities, and sometimes jobs. Who had time to be bored? There
was, perhaps, too much of what we now call "screen time," but we
managed to get good grades and into college, often with merit-based
I wonder what Home School kids think of TFTH? I know many home school
parents put together networks of kids so that they can have the common
experiences of a traditional school that take place outside of the
classroom: sports and other extracurriculars, especially. Or, they
sign the kid up for one minimum coursework at a local school, like an
AP Calculus class, so the school can inflate its headcount for state aid
and the parent doesn't have to teach something they may not know even
a little bit. The child becomes eligible to join the debate team or
the school musical.
Of course, at Chez Kevrob, books were everywhere: school books, reference
books from our families compact library, and an ever-changing array of
library books. Added to that were newspapers and magazines, and at
breakfast The Chex Press! I don't walk around with my face in a movile
phone screen, but I used to get yelled at for reading while walking,
and not looking out where I was going. ("I glance up every few lines,