Are We Cheating Our Boys Out Of An Education?

Let’s explore the dysfunction of our education system.

The Last Psychiatrist writes about the lengthening of childhood and the damage it is causing our children and our society. The Last Psychiatrist specifically addresses the phenomenon of “Redshirting Kindergartners” which means starting them at 6 instead of 5. This gives them advantages in sports and in academics. It is especially popular with upper income white parents. “Kindergarten Redshirting” happens far more often with boys than girls.

I’m glad The Last Psychiatrist writes anonymously, she speaks heresy. From the post:

Why boys?

It’s obvious to anyone who has ever seen a boy that they appear, as compared to a similarly aged girl, completely retarded.  So it makes sense that affluent parents– any parents– who have the option, will redshirt their five year old boy and hope he gets another year of maturity under his belt so that– and this is my point– he can keep up with the girls. So the problem isn’t simply that boys mature slower than girls, it is that they are required to perform the same exact skills at the same exact time.  Any surprise boys hate school more, “ADHD” is more prevalent, etc?

What’s interesting and upsetting about the discussion of redshirting is that it is phrased in terms of class differences, which are the consequence; and not gender differences, which are a source.  The problem isn’t redshirting, the problem is the school.

Why else are parents doing it? Athletics and…

you have the problem of the parents themselves who are looking for every advantage to give their kids because they don’t know what else to do, they can’t judge what’s valuable or not.  So they look around at other kids and parents, and compete.  They don’t know what the point of an education is, so they say “get into a good college.”  That’s the goal of 18+ years of education.  That single outcome.

For what? They pretend that they have to do these things because the other kids do have these advantages, but they have no faith in the kids themselves– that their outcome will be largely independent of what college they go to or even if they go to college.

College is, in a word, a scam; everything that promotes that goal is therefore doubly so.

I’m a doctor– no one has ever asked where I went to college; no one has ever asked how I did in high school chemistry.   You can argue these things were important then, to get into medical school, but they really weren’t.  Getting Bs instead of As may have meant I went to a different school, but not that I wouldn’t have been a doctor, or a good one, or a bad one.  And since my real education didn’t come from the schools anyway, it’s moot.

Ah! A doctor who speaks the truth. Read the entire post here.

Seven Things You Should Know About Computer Use and Vision

You spend too much time in front of a screen. We all do. Here are some things you need to know (stolen from Carrie Schmitz at the Ergotron blog). First I am going to give you the list of things you need to know followed by a list of things you can do to prevent damage to your vision.


Seven Things You Should Know About Computer Use and Vision

1. Staring at a computer screen results in nearly 60% reduction in blink rate leading to dry, irritated eyes blurred vision and headaches.

2. Computers are particularly hard on the eyes of contact lens users.

3. Myopic (near-sighted people who can’t see distant objects as clearly as close ones) who spend more than eight hours a day in front of a computer are 82% more likely to develop glaucoma along with symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

4. Increased fluid pressure within the eye can compress optic nerves, which causes glaucoma leading to blindness if not treated. One of the major symptoms of glaucoma is blurred vision.

5. Research shows that computer use increases near-sightedness (myopia).

6. As you age, the ability of your eyes to focus and stay lubricated diminishes, putting you at higher risk for CVS.

7. Children generally tend to be less self-aware than adults and will often ignore feelings of discomfort when using a computer.


Seven Ways to Protect Your Vision (and the vision of the children in your life) While Using a Computer

1. Position your monitor to minimize eye and body strain:

· Distance: at least an arm’s length away from face.

· Height: the middle of the screen should be 20-30 degrees below eye level.

· Angle: tilt the screen to prevent glare from strong light or surrounding surfaces.

· Orientation: monitor should be directly in front you.

2. Practice Dr. Anshel’s 20/20/20 rule: every twenty minutes turn your eyes away from the computer and focus on an object about 20 feet away for about 20 seconds.

3. You can install software that regulates blinking and keeps eye muscles fit.

4. Use over-the-counter tear substitutes to lubricate eyes.

5. Get your eyes examined every year.

6. Consider computer glasses – some are tinted to counteract florescent light; some increase the humidity on the ocular surface to increase comfort and prevent long-term damage.

7. Full color monitors are preferable; a display setting with black letters on white background is most comfortable; increase font size on computer screen to fight squinting.

Minnesota's Most Endagered Place – the Upper Post of Fort Snelling

This is Minnesota’s Most Endangered Place – the Upper Post of Fort Snelling. It was abandoned years ago. And today, in the shadow of the Minneapolis International Airport control tower, it stands as a monument to waste and neglect. Several weeks ago, me and my brother Paul E. Olson took these pictures. Check ’em out. We found a little surprise about halfway through the evening.


An aerial map


The Hospital



The entrance to the hospital. Note the stonework and the granite steps.



The barracks



This building was open until 2006. It contained a pool hall, a three lane bowling alley, and a ballroom upstairs for concerts. In the late eighties I was doing PT with the Marine Corps in the polo grounds across the street, and a bunch of weekend warriors set up an M-60 (that’s a belt fed machine gun) on the steps and fired blanks at us. They were trying to scare the green guys shitless, and it worked.



As we were shooting the building next to the gym, Paul pointed in front of us and said, “Look at that! Right in front of you!” I was clueless. “What? A bunch of grass and weeds.” He said, “No, look at it. Look close. It’s marijuana.” No kidding, we were standing in a marijuana field.



I don’t know how it got there, but I’d guess either kids used to go back here and party and they tossed their seeds on the ground or it is left over industrial hemp from the First World War. I assume this is federal land so I don’t know who’s responsible for growing the illegal plant. Maybe they should arrest the land owner ;-).



The gas lamps outside the barracks.



Officer’s row comprises about a dozen brick Victorian homes.



It’s a shame to see these handcrafted homes wither away with time.



The married officers lived in these Victorian homes with their families.



The bachelor officers lived in this barracks.


To see more high quality photography like this…

please visit pauleolson.com. Prints available.

Personal Freedom is a State of Mind

This post is for all of you. I don’t care if you’re here for self-improvement, education, or other information. I don’t care if you’re a Democrat, Republican, or Independent. This message is for you.

This message is for your spirit

In the best post of the week, tells us to Stop Worrying about the Election. Freedom isn’t political, it isn’t granted, it is your natural state of being.

Keep this in mind as America’s government changes with each election. Remember this when you see government expanding its reach into your life. Rather than looking to political leaders to protect or expand our freedom we should cultivate the seeds of freedom in our own spirits, and inspire others to do the same. Nothing government can do can take away our freedom; and if we are a people who are truly free, the government will have to follow.

In spite of everything happening right now, be yourself, live free, and fear nothing.