Ask a Bastard: Super Productive Edition

Today I’m not just answering your questions. Today I am also completing my intakes AND mailing out letters to clients who need to attended group on Saturday. I rule.

Lets get to the questions:

AG asks: Given the state of the union,the 2008 Presidential election should be a run away train. Why haven’t the Dems pulled away from the pack yet?

This could be an entire post. If American’s paid attention to the news and to politics the way the did to sports and TV, this election would already be over. We don’t–and we won’t–because our lives have become overly complicated and stressful. The bias for conflict in the 24 hour news cycle doesn’t help either. The media focus on, and analyze, stories that dwell on conflict between the parties. They do not analyze the stories in terms of truth or fiction.

I also believe that there is a certain amount of deep seated, almost unconscious, racism affecting our society. Talking about race in our country isn’t easy, and to a certain extent, I do not believe it should be easy. It needs to be a deep conversation where all the sides engage in self-analysis–not just knee-jerk reactions.

We also have a fascination with War Hero’s and the Vietnam war. This adds to McCain’s mystique for a number of people.

At the same time, there is also the issue of polling. Some of the polling data appears to be skewed in that they are not polling the youth vote. Gallup has stated that they use Cell Phones and target 18-35 year olds, and to my knowledge they are the only big pollster that does so.

Then there is the issue of the poll’s methodology. Because the polls ask, “If you the election were held today…” undecided/independent /key demographic are pushed for an answer. When pushed to answer a question, most people answer with the name off the top of their head. Please note I said most. Not everyone.

So, tl;dr version: American’s don’t pay attention. The media is all over the place. Polls may not be accurate.

Aerin asked two questions: What do you do if you feel you’re coming down with a cold?


Was there even a global relations class/teacher at our high school? That sounds vaguely familiar. What did they talk about??!?

There was indeed a Global Relations class. We talked about current events and had to debate current topics. The teacher was the great Ms. Widing. I ended up writing and debating the Northern Irish Question…

When I am getting sick, I do complain for a while. Sometimes a few days, sometimes a week. I try to drink more fluids, rest more and eat healthier. I also avoid my coworkers, and if I have a fever, I call off work and work from home.

At a certain point, I say, “I’m done with being sick,” and I either go to work or go to the store and buy items high in vitamin C. I did this last year when I had strep throat. That was a bad idea. I almost passed out on the way back from the grocery store.

Seth asked: What do you do to interest a kid who simply doesn’t care why they’re in school?

Remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? Without the basics of food and shelter, you can kiss anything else goodbye. That being said, schools can do somethings to alleviate those basic needs.

1) Breakfast and hot lunch for the kid.
2) Find out what the kid likes and tailor individual lessons to said kid.
3) Work with the school social worker to help provide services for the family.

I remember a feature I heard on NPR eight years ago about an educator who was struggling with the low reading ability of kids in her Texas classroom. She found that most of the kids in her classroom loved cowboys. She then based her lessons on cowboys–including Louis L’Amour’s series. This principle can be applied to this kid as well. Find out what this child does like and tie it into school.

A lot of psychiatrists may push for medication, arguing that they are demonstrating signs of clinical childhood depression, especially if the child is irritable. This is a piss poor idea. The kid needs social work services, not medication.

So, first focus on the fundamentals, then tailor his or her education based on their outside interests.

That’s what I got this week. Turn in next week when I answer more of your questions.

4 thoughts on “Ask a Bastard: Super Productive Edition

  1. I wouldn’t do it. I don’t pray and I don’t believe in god. Hell, I work in a school and I refuse to say the pledge of allegiance. If I won’t do that I’m certainly not about to start praying.

  2. Vitamin C doesn’t really work that way. Drinking orange juice only when you are sick doesn’t do much. It helps your immune system over time, taken consistently.

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