Yep, while our troops are getting maimed and killed (3 more yesterday) in Iraq, I've been bird watching. When you live in an unincorporated "burb," you don't have to worry about cluttered junk around the yard or my tin building, which is full of old computers; and outside of it, I have gutted Macintoshes and various other digital peripherials. A couple of iron, lead-painted file cabinets, as well. On one of them, I have put up a small bird feeder, and set up my old Yashica with a zoom lense, to see what pictures I can get.
I think our cats have been taken advantage of the smorgusbord that "fly-in" to the fast-food joint. Unfortunately, I filled the feeder up yesterday, and by evening the Texas wind, did a number on my bird feeder. I'll put it up again.
In the bird world, there are no tests to see which one is smarter or dumber. I can't tell any of them apart, as they "beak and peak." Soon, a big red bird flies in, like a 747, and the smaller sparrows fly up and make room for their bigger species. Bird's for some reason seem to prefer like-feathers, than spawning different variations of birds by cohabitation. Must be Democrats. It must be written in the DNA, or something. Like us, a sparrow doesn't have a choice of which type of bird it wants to become.
I'm sure, ... no I'm not sure if some sparrows have greater brain power or physical abilities than any other sparrow. I suppose that we must lump them all together and forget about testing them for biological superiority compared to their brothers and sisters. Not true with us humanoids. By the time our youngsters graduate from high school, they have been tested at least once a year with a normed referenced test, while some are tested twice in a year with the normed variety, plus critterion referenced tests, verbal tests, writing tests, along with periodic tests by their teachers. The top students start taking the ACT or SAT their freshman year. The universities will only look at their highest score.
Though normed tests claim to be accurate, they are not. Assuming that every test is a snapshot of the child taking it on that particular day is a hoot! Teachers cannot force students to do their best on a test. Fact of life. If a kid decides he hates school, his class grades and his test scores will show it. We know one thing for sure is that students who miss a lot of school are simply not going to do well in school. Tulsa schools take dead beat parents to court, because their child is not coming to school. I took the initiative, in my younger days, to award perfect attendance per semester, with a semester award, redeemable at 6 of our fast food businesses. It continues on without me.
We had a juvenile delinquent, who was really a foster child, for several days - not more than three, when she was moved to a girls' home in OKC. Her father was into an incestuous relationship with her older sister. Once they left our house, we generally, never had input on how they were treated or where they went.
After about 3 weeks into this girl's school in the city, she was allowed to come and spend the weekend with us as her parents. Amazing what three days and an open house will do. She brought with her a paper assignment from her English class. Her title was "Schools And Capitol Punishment." Back then I had a TRS-80 Model 4P and was using Allwrite and Dot Writer.
Obviously, her title needed to be changed, so I let her sit at the computer and type her article in. Once done, I pulled up a chair and sat beside her to help her edit the article. My closeness to her left her a bit panicky, since the most important male in her life happened to be a rapist. Together, we cleaned her article up and made a cover-page for it, and she was ready to go. A sure A+.
One day we were in the city, so we decided to go by her school, the same one that Vince Gill graduated from, where we went in and sat down with the counselor.
"We were just wondering how our girl was doing?"
"What's her name?" We shared her name with her, and the counselor was puzzled.
"We don't have a girl by that name, attending our school. Let me do some research." So she left the office for about 15 minutes and came back. I was boiling mad. This child was a ward of the state and the counselor, the same job as mine, did not know this child was in-need-of guidance. The counselor came back.
"I'm sorry. Yes, we did have a girl by that name, but she left school about 2 weeks ago, so we have dropped her."
"What?!" We were burned.
Now, we knew she was still in the group home because the week before, we went to the "Chick Fillet" in one of the malls in the city, where she worked. We drove to her group home. A plump, single lady had the group home. I noticed that she had a PC-Jr on a table that was covered up. Hmm???? What's going on here?
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