Stuck in a senioritis rut? Would a class on “Downton Abbey” make you stop texting during a lecture? Camden County College in New Jersey is now offering a course called “Downton Abbey: Life In A Country House.” At first I wanted to laugh, but it actually sounds really interesting. The course covers things like “The Inheritance Problem: Marriage, Women And Property” and “Technology Intrudes: Lights, Phones And Cars.” Surprisingly, this isn’t the only “Downton”-focused college class available: Oakland University in Michigan also offers a course which meets at Meadow Brook Hall, a country-style house built in 1928. Students taking “The World of Downton Abbey: Revolution, Rebellion And Re-Creation” get to snack on scones and tea during class. But one important question: will they learn how to give a well-timed withering insult a la the Dowager Countess? [Vanity Fair; Detroit Free Press]
This week, many kids, including my own, are headed back to school. And, like anything parenting-related, school brings along with it its own heaping pile of judgement. What school do you send your child to? Public? Private? Charter? Or do you homeschool or unschool? Regardless of what might work best for your own child and family, there is plenty of public opinion that will tell you that whatever you’ve decided is inherently wrong.
Slate.com decided to take the helm with a piece by Allison Benedikt called “If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person.” We’re not even into the article and the judgements are flying. Clearly we’re off to a great start. But at least Benedikt acknowledges it:
“I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve.”
I am a former public high school social studies teacher. I am a product and proponent of the public school system, and do my best to support to support local public schools (especially when it comes to music and arts programs) whenever possible. I also send my son to a local private elementary school. And I totally understand Benedikt’s line of thinking.
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Can we talk about high school sports uniforms for a second? Specifically the uniforms for teenage girls? A community in Florida is in a tizzy at the moment after the school banned cheerleaders from wearing their uniforms to class — because they don’t meet the dress code.
Turns out it’s perfectly OK for the girls to shake their hind ends in the short skirts and sleeveless tops in front of fans at a Countryside High School football game, but the school has put the kibosh on actually letting them into class. Read more at The Stir…
Ah, college. I remember the first day like it happened yesterday. The smell of new paint covering beer-stained dorm room walls. The RAs’ stale greetings in matching neon shirts and Sharpie’d name tags. Awkward, passing smiles from strange hallmates trailed by nervous parents. Hellish name games and forced social bonding. Little did I know that I was about to embark on four of the best and life-changing years of my life … none of which would prepare me for the real world. Like, at all. Don’t get me wrong, I got an amazing education and grew as a human and all that shit, but being in college is like being ensconced under some cushioned, wonderland bubble, where nothing you do affects the real world (except maybe flunking out) and your real goal is just … to be. Here are some of the good (and bad) things that only happen in those four freak years:
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When you’re in college, it’s easy to forget that it’s not perfectly acceptable to wear your pajamas everywhere. People are doing it, so it must be okay, right?
Wrong. So, so, wrong.
You’re a semi-adult. Get your life together and put on a regular pair of pants, with an actual waist. College classes do count as “out in public.”
Case in point: For the love of “Dawson’s Creek,” don’t go to class in the clothes you wore last night. They’re going to smell like smoke, booze or (likely) something worse. Not a good look. So choose something like, say, this TSL Tahari dress ($67), not the faux leather dress you wore to the club last night.
Click onward for seven more fashion rules to follow when you’re headed to class…
UPDATE, 4:45p.m.: Via Jezebel, Horizon Science Academy has posted an apology on their web site and said it will “correct the information” in its dress code, as well as send out an updated version. [HorizonLorain.org]
School dress codes are generally a great thing for kids. The mission statement of the new dress code at The Horizon Science Academy in Lorain, Ohio is a very promising one; the goal is to decrease the pressure on students to fit in with their clothing. It diminishes socioeconomic differences between students and creates a sense of unity at school. All good ideas, but this dress code in particular has a very strange and racist stipulation: it inexplicably bans afro-puffs and small twisted braids. Keep reading »