vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
I have a son now.

This is mostly good. Except for the poop, puke, and pee. And the lack of language. And the lack of sleep. So maybe... it's good in a few years... And mostly potential today? Yes. That feels right.

But that's not what I'm posting about. I'm trying to find books to read to my boy - name of M - that weren't written in the 1920-1960 era. It can be picture books or chapter books; we read news to him, or textbooks, or essays, or the Wind in the Willows. He's quite young, so we've not gotten too fiddly about Age Appropriate Books.
 

I don't want my boy growing up to be locked into early 20th century norms
 Things like mom staying home. Things like boys and girls needing to fight. Things like everyone everywhere being white. Things like idolizing That Real Country Life. I grew up with that, and by and large I've had to break out of that. It's got its place, but it needs to be locates in the past where it belongs. Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn aren't good to read anymore when too young, because black people were treated real bad. M doesn't need to absorb those prejudices before he can question the text.

M should be reading - or have read to - books where brown people are heros. Where girls are fierce fighters.  Where Mom works. Where urban life is fun and enjoyable.  We will hit the racist ruralist ideolgies soon enough, and that's something I hope we can work through in literature before we do in real life.


I don't want to build a baby activist - that's on M to choose - but I want his early books to reflect the world we live in - Seattle 2017. Or NYC. Or Boston. Or Portland, OR. Or San Francisco.

Book recommendations requested!
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
Just got hit up for money by my alma mater.

Unfortunately, the caller couldn't actually describe where the money would go. I've had this problem before - I don't want to give money which gets dumped into programs which don't return education for money. "Return on Investment" we call it in business - call it "Education on Investment"

- I don't want money poured into administration costs.

- I don't want money poured into technology "toys" which will be EOL'd in 3-5 years. Universities should be looking at the 15 - 100 year term.

- I don't want money poured into sports beyond intramurals. I *vehemently* dislike collegiate sports - it's my observation and opinion that they are a blight on the education system.

- I do want money given broadly to people who need it. My family was, loosely stated, too financially well off to really get need-based scholarships, but not actually wealthy enough to put us through college. So that left student loans. I don't really think that's appropriate. I'd rather see college be free (or extremely low cost) for anyone who needs it.

- I do want to prioritize certain academic pursuits and areas. The library can add to their collection on my dime; if there's a "researcher" fund which supports lazy grad students & their travels to conferences that's great; if there's a broad need or merit based scholarship, that's excellent as well. But I have limited interest in funding, e.g., business majors.

- I am torn about majors - the fine arts are financially nil, but provide great and lasting meaning to society; "liberal arts" provides the reflection of free people but don't help in the short term, and STEM provides money, short term success (ie within your lifetime), and can be really hard to get through. I don't know which I'd support.

Anyway.

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