Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

“26, Unmarried, and Childless” [via Converge]

“23 Things You Should Never Say To A Childfree Woman” [via HuffPo]

“In defense of romantic failure” [via Salon]

“Age Is No Obstacle to Love, or Adventure” [via NYTimes]

“If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person” [via Slate]

The Smaller the Balls, The Better the Dad [via BBC]

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to [email protected] and if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

You can follow me on Facebook here and sign up for my weekly newsletter here.

71 comments… add one
  • avatar

    kerrycontrary September 13, 2013, 1:10 pm

    I’m curious of everyone’s thoughts on the private school article. On the one hand I understand the importance of preserving our public education, but on the other hand I can’t see any parent justifying the thought “It’s OK if my kid gets a shitty education because their children’s children will have a better one”.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest September 13, 2013, 1:17 pm

      I sent that in! And then read a reply to it on xojane maybe? that totally refuted the original writer’s point.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 13, 2013, 1:19 pm

        Also, if you own a home, you’re paying school taxes regardless of where your kid goes to school. So there’s that too.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 13, 2013, 1:54 pm

        Plus, public schools wouldn’t be getting the money that was sent to a private school, so its not the financial aspect. Plus, overcrowding would commence. And I think dabbler raised a great point. Anyway, those are my thoughts.
        Obviously, I send Lil to a private school, but I’m not against public. She likely will go to a public high school (which is the same track I was on in school-private K-8, public 9-12). You get the benefit of both that way.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 13, 2013, 1:32 pm

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    • katie

      katie September 13, 2013, 1:27 pm

      I mean, you can really argue with the logic.

      And, honestly, part of the reason that higher education is becomg a privilege for the wealthy is because of this exact reason.

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      • katie

        katie September 13, 2013, 1:31 pm

        Cant* argue with the logic

        Also, I think that the point about going to school/growing up with many different classes/races/sexual orientation/ect of people is much more important. I experienced that in my own life.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 13, 2013, 1:35 pm

        Obviously there are many different types of private schools, but the one I send Lil to has huge differences in classes and races. Can’t speak to sexual orientation because the kids are still pretty young so not vocal about that yet. Basically, some people can easily afford to send their kids to her school, and some scrap together everything they’ve got to send their kids there. Its one of the things I love about her school.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow September 13, 2013, 6:42 pm

        Oh, jeez, not mine. It was ALL WHITE. But then again, my cousin went to high school in a small town and when I went to his graduation, it was also all white – except for the one Asian foreign exchange student.

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      • katie

        katie September 13, 2013, 9:40 pm

        me too- all white, and a good chunk of the people were all related too. fucking weird.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl September 13, 2013, 2:54 pm

        My public school district has less diversity than the private school I attended for high school. In my 8th grade class of 300 there was exactly one black girl. My 9th grade class was 25% minority and 13% international. Was also had a large population of scholarship students from NYC and DC.

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      • avatar

        Jodee September 13, 2013, 3:34 pm

        Seconded. My private school had a number of people on partial or full scholarships from around the world. It was an incredibly diverse mix of students from all backgrounds/races/religions/socio-economic classes – far more than the predominately white, lower-middle-class public schools in the area.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray September 13, 2013, 10:22 pm

        I agree with Katie. I loved that article and think its hard to argue with that logic! I read that article first on I think it was Christy’s FB page – absolutely loved it.

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    • dabbler

      dabbler September 13, 2013, 1:42 pm

      I thought it was interesting, even in the semi antagonistic way it was written.
      It’s got some very valid points, but it’s a complete over simplification of the problem and/or solution.
      Part of the reason schools are as bad as try are these days is because of (some) shitty/absent/non-involved parents. (Some) Kids are crazy and out of control assholes because their parents are non-parents, and sending all kids into the same environment isn’t going to do much for those kids that have crappy* home lives, and parents that aren’t willing/able to go to bat for them.

      *by crappy I don’t mean where you live, or what brand your jeans are. I mean real, supportive families that are invested in making their kids worthwhile adults.

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl September 13, 2013, 2:50 pm

      I think it’s bullshit. For one, even if you do send your kids to private school, you have to pay the local public school taxes anyways. Hand in hand with that, the area I grew up in a lot of people go to private school. If all of us up and went to the local public school in a year it would be too small and the quality of education would undoubtedly change because they’d have to higher more teachers and have more facilities for this huge influx in students.

      I’m also against it because I think sending your kid to private school is a right we have. Sure, it’s a privilege to be able to afford it, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

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      • dabbler

        dabbler September 13, 2013, 3:11 pm

        Yeah, but I think to an extent, it was meant to be tongue in cheek. If public school was the only option available, our public schools would be in better shape than they are. At least in theory. It’s not about the tax money, so much as parents being involved and reforming the system.
        I still don’t think this is the answer, but I do see the point.

        But anyway, are private schools really that much better these days? When I was in high school, the private school kids just had better drugs. Haha.
        It’s just like any other group of people, they all have good and bad and everything in between.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl September 13, 2013, 3:19 pm

        See our public school kids had the better drugs! So to speak. We where barely trying weed by graduation and the public school kids where all coked up by 9th grade and moving on to harder stuff.

        As a whole though, taking away the right to choose your education seems a little…communist? to me.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 13, 2013, 3:25 pm

        There’s gonna be great parents in all schools and shitty parents too. I don’t think that would make a big difference at all to be honest.

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      • dabbler

        dabbler September 13, 2013, 4:22 pm

        I agree with both of you, that’s why I think it’s just too simplistic.
        The idea of trying to force a reform by putting everyone in the same boat still relies on a group of people making that happen.
        And where does the budget come from to make all these improvements? More/better teachers, sports equipment, textbooks, art programs all cost money. Will public schools charge tuition? Or just collect more in taxes?
        What about the shitty parents and kids? Cause lets face it, they’re not going away. Do they segregate troublemakers in their own classes, or does everyone suffer?
        I think our bigger problems as a society fall in a basic lack of respect for each other, and a devaluing of education. It’s just not cool to be smart and study hard.
        And let’s not forget how much we’ve dumbed down our school systems. I recent saw some article (maybe on DW? I can’t remember) showing what tests were like in the 50s. I failed the test, and honestly don’t even remember being taught many of the thing that middle schoolers were responsible for knowing.
        Nothing in life happens in a vaccum, everything is related. There’s just no single, simple solution to a problem so large.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow September 13, 2013, 6:44 pm

        hahaha in my private school, a boy got caught with weed in 7th grade. The thing is, it ended up being FAKE. My mom said, “What was it? Pot?” And I said, “No, Mom. It was marijuana.”

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 13, 2013, 3:24 pm

        The whole privilege thing: meh, there are just as many people scraping their pennies together and really sacrificing to send their kids there as there are wealthy people who easily pay for it. In my experience, at least.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl September 13, 2013, 3:26 pm

        I agree. I guess what I mean is that it’s not accessible to EVERYONE. My family isn’t wealthy by a lot of standards, but we made it work to get all 3 of us through private school.

        We also chose religious based education because of the different values promoted but.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 13, 2013, 3:28 pm

        Obviously there are some private schools that are just out of reach no matter how many pennies you scrap together, but I think the avg. private is do-able for most.

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    • Nicolasa

      Nicolasa September 13, 2013, 7:25 pm

      I went to both private, public, and boarding schools throughout my K- 12 career, same with my SO. We would without a question send any potential children to public schools. My perspective is to look beyond just the personal well-being of my own children and to the greater long-term good of the community.

      I am very proactive and hands-on, as is my SO, and we would get involved in the school and community- PTAs, School Board, etc etc- therefore enriching the quality of the school- especially if other parents aren’t so involved. The benefit would not occur right away, but over time. Even if my offspring were to receive mediocre instruction at the school, we would be hands-on with educating them at home, get them involved in extracurricular activities, and even pay for tutoring.

      I honestly don’t feel private education was worth the cost. Also, there is a much greater sense of entitlement in private schools that I would not want to expose my children too. Additionally, I feel I received a better academic & social education at public secondary schools & public universities than in private schools.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest September 13, 2013, 1:19 pm

    Balls story – Do they mean the balls inside the sack are big, or just a big sack?

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    • avatar

      lemongrass September 13, 2013, 2:08 pm

      Good question. Mr. Grass doesn’t have small balls but he’s a good dad so that doesn’t work in our case.

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  • muchachaenlaventana

    muchachaenlaventana September 13, 2013, 1:19 pm

    Obsessed with the first article as it literally could have been written by me. AH I love so much “don’t ask me whats next ask me whats now”. Although 26 is young for the kind of scrutiny she faces regarding children/marriage (maybe she is from the south or I think its a religious thing too after looking at the website a bit more), I feel this about my career/job path/ life goals ALL THE TIME (because where I live this is seen as the #1).

    Instead of people asking “what do you do” as the first question when they meet you or depending on location are you married or do you have kids, I wish they would ask “how do you live.” Sometimes I ask people this to see how they respond, especially guys at bars who are hitting on me, extremely interesting to note reactions ha.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle September 13, 2013, 2:18 pm

      Yeah, I also thought 26 was a little young for the questions/assumptions she’s facing, but you’re right— it does seem to be a religiously-based website, so maybe 26 is the age for “settling down” in her community? Her message still applies though; I also loved the “don’t ask me what’s next, ask me what’s now” bit.

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      • Nicolasa

        Nicolasa September 13, 2013, 7:07 pm

        Man, this article reminds me of my mom. She’s desperate for grand-babies. She keeps making little comments, such as this gem yesterday, “when I was your age, I had a baby.”

        I kindly remind her that I would prefer to be married first and out of Los Angeles before throwing that kind of bomb in my life. 🙂

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    • Lady_Red

      Red_Lady September 14, 2013, 1:14 am

      Ohhh, I’m gonna steal that “how do you live”! Love it!!

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  • avatar

    lemongrass September 13, 2013, 1:34 pm

    I think the author of the first article needs to realize that the grass is always greener on the other side. It doesn’t matter what path your life takes it will always be different than someone else’s and that is okay.

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    • muchachaenlaventana

      muchachaenlaventana September 13, 2013, 1:43 pm

      I think she does realize that, but the point I took away is that honestly when you are mid-late 20s, single, childless, and without a ‘career’ people are really annoying. I don’t think she was saying either way is better, just that people shouldn’t put so much emphasis on those things being what defines a life as important/worth living, which a lot of people do.

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      • avatar

        lemongrass September 13, 2013, 2:01 pm

        I think she is putting too much importance on those life event. If she doesn’t make them so important to her than it wouldn’t bother her that people ask her those questions. It’s touching a nerve with her and investigating why she feels that way and accepting how to deal with that is way more effective than saying “nobody ask me questions about my future.” You can’t change other people, you can only change how you react to other people.

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      • muchachaenlaventana

        muchachaenlaventana September 13, 2013, 2:15 pm

        I think that may apply to her position particularly, but the larger issue she is speaking to is something that definitely happens and is an extremely prevalent mindset among a large portion of american society. coming from someone who is in a similar position, and literally puts no stock in the fact that i am not married or don’t have kids, or even a boyfriend, by 26 it gets really old to be constantly judged by strangers for not meeting certain milestones that are for some reason arbitrarily set for women to have reached by a certain age. i face it with the career thing which really stuck out to me in her essay, but honestly it gets old defending my choices in life to strangers. my reaction is that i don’t particularly care, but over time e it just wears on you to the point where you start to question if you are doing something wrong that you don’t have all the things people and society tell you you should. its not as easy as just change how you react to people, imo.

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      • avatar

        lemongrass September 13, 2013, 2:32 pm

        We are all judged by strangers no matter what we do. I’m judged for having kids young, getting married too young, for changing my name, for being a stay at home mom and not a “productive member of society.” Other’s are judged for working too much, for caring too much/ not enough about the environment, for spending too much on clothes/ not caring about their appearance. For being too fat/ too skinny. For having no kids/ too many. We are all judged and learning to not care what others think may not be easy but it is surely easier than to expect others to stop judging- it’s human nature.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 13, 2013, 3:31 pm

        Love it!

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      • katie

        katie September 13, 2013, 9:36 pm

        yes….. but even then, the point of the article still stands. “ask me about the now” is the best way to connect with another human. ever.

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  • avatar

    rachel September 13, 2013, 2:44 pm

    I know a guy who was in the ball study!

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    • avatar

      lemongrass September 13, 2013, 3:06 pm

      Is he a good father? Haha

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    • katie

      katie September 13, 2013, 3:14 pm

      That’s so amazing. I hope you brag about that all the time from now on.

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  • avatar

    HmC September 13, 2013, 2:56 pm

    That defense of relationship failure article made me tear up. I feel like personal vows are too intimate for me to be read at a wedding reception (I’d rather write him a letter the night before or something) but if I was going to write my own vows, I’d totally steal much of what that author wrote for the contract. Really beautiful.

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  • Lyra

    Lyra September 13, 2013, 3:24 pm

    Haven’t read the comments, but the private school article seriously pissed me off. It’s total bs. (I have a pretty extensive background in private schools — I attended a Catholic K-8 school and I currently am employed in all private schools.) If you live in the district you pay taxes for the school anyway, so it’s not like enrolling your student in public school is going to make any financial difference. Yes, parents have a huge influence, but why would a parent want to send a kid to public school just so that it will improve later on?

    There are plenty of reasons to send your kid to private school: smaller class sizes, more personalized attention, religious beliefs, etc. I’m glad I went to a private school when I was a kid. It helped me academically because the academic standards were set higher. For example, a 95% at my school was a B where as in the public school a 90% was a B. A 76% was an F at my school (not sure how I remember that), at the public school a 50% was an F. It also was a very tight knit community. Some of my teachers still are there to this day and I went back to work as a substitute teacher a couple of times. Every teacher that I had when I was there remembered me and gave me a huge hug. Obviously private schools have their own issues, but my experience was overall very positive.

    I don’t have the answer to fixing the education system in our country, but the first thing we should do is not allow politicians who have ZERO educational background to make important decisions about how school districts should operate.

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    • Lyra

      Lyra September 13, 2013, 3:27 pm

      Not to mention there are plenty of regular middle class families who choose to send their kids to private school. Not all families are super rich. This was the case both when I was in elementary school and I see it now with my own students. There are definitely some kids whose parents are NOT extremely wealthy but for whatever reason decided to send their kids to a private school.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 13, 2013, 3:30 pm

        I wish I had this speech printed, but a girl at Lil’s school whose mom was apparently very, very poor and did what she could to send her daughter to this private school and the girl read a speech about it at graduation and I got all sortsa teary. It was beautiful. I wish they handed out printed copies.

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      • avatar

        kriskros September 13, 2013, 5:08 pm

        I just can’t help but imagine how many more advantages this child would have if they had this great education as well as a family that didn’t have to throw every extra penny they made at it. The amount of stress placed on children in low income environments is already impacting them greatly. Shouldn’t we strive to make education great for all children so that their families don’t have to go through these experiences just so that their kids can be on an even playing field with those from wealthy families? By refocusing our attention on public schools, pumping more money into public education and having communities have more of a say in the way that they are run, we would be affording all of those children who’s parents either can’t or don’t care to pursue a private education. What about all of those kids out there that just don’t have good parents that see this as a priority? Its the kids suffering. It all just makes me so sad.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 13, 2013, 5:14 pm

        I totally agree with your first part, however, I will say that growing up poor myself, and seeing my parents sacrifice to send us to the school we went to was a good experience also. I learned a lot from that.
        Of course, I do still wish all kids had the same opportunities.
        I just don’t think people realize that if everyone went to public school, the private school money wouldn’t be getting pumped into public schools. The only thing that might change would be school taxes going up (hopefully!), which everyone pays now anyway regardless of what school their kid is in, or if they even have kids.

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      • avatar

        kriskros September 13, 2013, 7:12 pm

        Maybe this is wishful thinking, but if private schooling wasn’t an option, then I think everyone in the community would be much more likely to re-evaluate the amount of funding that goes to education. The existence of private schools takes away from the public ones because those who have power and influence (ie. those with money) don’t feel the need to advocate for increased school funding. They have the option of taking their kids somewhere else. Many people don’t. Their kids really don’t have the option. They are at the mercy of their parents decision. Not all parents are as invested in education as yours were. You were taught a great lesson and that’s great, but what about the kids who don’t have that?

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    • avatar

      rachel September 13, 2013, 3:52 pm

      Maybe your school was awesome, but I don’t think you can say that private schools are ALL awesome.

      And all of my high school teachers would totally remember me if I went back – and I’ve been gone forever. I had a great experience in public school.

      I don’t think either is better – I think some public schools are great, and some suck, and the same for private.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 13, 2013, 3:57 pm

        I totally agree. They are pros and cons to both. I couldn’t say one is better. I wish I could, haha, would’ve made my decision easier!

        ps I’ve never heard of this scale thing really. I like grades to just be normal. 90 and up=A, 80 and up= B, etc.

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      • avatar

        rachel September 13, 2013, 3:59 pm

        My school was 93-100 A, 85-92 B, …I think below 72 was failing. I was totally thrown off when I went to college and there were plusses and minuses.

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      • Copa

        Copa September 13, 2013, 4:14 pm

        I went to two high schools, one private (international) and one public. I don’t think it’s fair to judge a school based on the grading scale, honestly. Both my private and public school followed the “traditional” grading scale. My private school was more difficult in terms of academics, but it had nothing to do with the grading scale.

        One of my best friends was at a private high school while I was at the public high school. My public high school offered only one curriculum/program (International Baccalaureate) for all students. My graduating class was ~100. Meanwhile, at my friend’s highly-regarded private school, they offered the same curriculum as an alternative to honors and AP classes, but VERY few students there enrolled because of the difficulty. (It wasn’t THAT difficult, btw.) Her school also had a lenient grading scale — 87 and up was an A.

        I don’t think it’s fair to say private is better than public (or public is better than private). If I ever have kids and happen to live in an area like where I went to high school, I think I’d be wasting money to opt for private school.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 13, 2013, 4:19 pm

        I don’t get how the grading scale even matters. You will either leave school smart or not. Like, your “A” might be better than mine because mine could only be a 90 while yours could be a 96 or whatever, but who would even know that once you leave your school?

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      • Copa

        Copa September 13, 2013, 4:26 pm

        My friend from my useless anecdote above STILL talks about how hard her private high school was. And its grading scale. And I’m like, “Uh, we graduated 8+ years ago. We went to the same university. We’re both gainfully employed now with comparable salaries in different fields. Who cares? Plus, my public school was better!” Kidding about the last part. But for some reason a lot of people I know who went to private schools still talk about how much more rigorous their school was than the “lowly” public schools. But I also come from an area full of snobs, which might be why?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 13, 2013, 4:40 pm

        She sounds like a blast! haha

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow September 13, 2013, 4:26 pm

        I, too, had the experience of going to both private and public school. When I was in private school, everyone mentioned the things Lyra said as reasons why we were getting a “better” education… I was probably the smartest kid in my grade school but when I went to public school, I was behind in content because the curricula were different. I still felt challenged in public school, and there were still TONS of people smarter than me. Also, my private school was SO small that in junior high we just… all took all the same classes, so it’s not like I had the choice to take algebra or a foreign language even if I was more “advanced” than my classmates. The other thing I liked about public school? DIVERSITY, and the fact that I actually got comprehensive sex education. In private school they showed us a CARTOON in theology class (NOT health), and said this is what married people do. I’m talking about 9th grade here. High school.

        Another thing? Grading scales just vary among schools. I know my grading scale now is anything below 76 is failing, my cousin’s was the same at his public high school, and I can’t remember my own (public) high school but I think it was similar? Anyway. Just because it’s harder to earn an A doesn’t mean you’re learning more or the content is different.

        Copa, when you were in private school did you hear all the dumb rumors about public school? We were always told that kids had sex and did drugs in the hallways and shot at each other all the time. (This was pre-Columbine, so the gun thing wasn’t really a big fear back then).

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 13, 2013, 4:42 pm

        Sex ed is one of the reasons I plan to send Lil to public high school.

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      • Copa

        Copa September 13, 2013, 4:44 pm

        My private school was overseas, so the stereotypes/rumors about American public high schools were a bit extreme, haha. Many (probably 50%+) of us were American, but few of us had ever attended a high school in the U.S., so the “obvious” assumption was that high school in America was basically straight out of a movie (the kind where 27-year-olds play the handsome jock).

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      • Lyra

        Lyra September 13, 2013, 4:47 pm

        Not saying that a grading scale is the sole reason why a school is more rigorous academically, but that sure as hell made me work harder. My teachers kept things pretty much in line with the public school curriculum so I didn’t feel behind. We also had the means to split up our reading classes based on ability which definitely helped as well.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 13, 2013, 4:51 pm

        But for the kid that isn’t going to work harder for an A, the grading scale doesn’t do shit. I assume that you would’ve done as well regardless of the grading scale. Its not like you studied or retained more knowledge simply because your A was a 96 rather than a 92, ya know?

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      • Lyra

        Lyra September 13, 2013, 6:36 pm

        I get that, but I know it wasn’t just me. Obviously I was more motivated than others, but when we got to high school lots of my classmates from my elementary school made the A and B honor roll consistently. I’m not saying that was just because of the grading scale, but I think it had a factor.

        To clarify, I’m not all “private schools are the best!” because there are PLENTY of awesome public schools. For me personally though, I know it helped me academically.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow September 13, 2013, 4:54 pm

        Yeah, all I’m saying is that all the “advantages” of private schools you listed aren’t always necessarily true, just as all the “disadvantages” of public schools aren’t always true.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra September 13, 2013, 6:37 pm

        Agreed. There are LOTS of factors.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra September 13, 2013, 4:38 pm

        I completely agree! I’ve seen crappy public schools and I’ve seen crappy private schools. I’ve also had good experiences in both; my public high school experience was just as great as my elementary private school experience. I just think the article is pretty extreme and stupid.

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      • Copa

        Copa September 13, 2013, 4:40 pm

        I agree on the “that was a dumb article” point. I’m basically on board with what dabbler (I think?) said above about how there are valid points (at least in theory), but the problem/solution is oversimplified.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow September 13, 2013, 4:59 pm

        Yeah, I don’t necessarily agree with the article either. I do think that educational standards should be pretty uniform across the board, though, as far as what kids learn and when. And I think that kids should have similar advantages and opportunities based on ability rather than how much money their parents have.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow September 13, 2013, 5:01 pm

        But as far as how that can be accomplished? I have no idea.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest September 13, 2013, 4:43 pm

    Anyone watch David Tutera? Did you hear about him breaking up with his partner while a surrogate was carrying their twins? They each kept one! Pretty wild story.
    http://celebritybabies.people.com/2013/09/13/david-tutera-ryan-jurica-twins-raised-separately/

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle September 13, 2013, 4:45 pm

      What the fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. I think that’s really weird to separate siblings (twins, especially!) like that, but I know nothing else about these people or the story & didn’t even read the link, so maybe the arrangement is different than I’m thinking?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 13, 2013, 4:48 pm

        Its sorta weird though, because technically, one was fertilized with his sperm and the other was his partner’s (or that’s how it sounded) so they are twins, but aren’t twins. Idk.
        The surrogate carried both at the same time, but they each contributed to only one, so they each took “their” twin.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow September 13, 2013, 5:00 pm

        Do the twins have the same mom? I know surrogates don’t always carry their “own.”

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 13, 2013, 5:06 pm

        Not sure, don’t think the article said. Good question.

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