Posted in Bandora, Protection

Becoming a Gun Educated Hippie

I hope that you all had a great Yule/ Christmas/ Hannukah/ Kwanzaa/ Festivus/ whatever you celebrate. If you exchanged gifts, what was your favorite present?

I was on the Nice List this year
I was on the Nice List this year

Hubby got me a great gift this Yule. I got a gift card for a shooting range and I can’t wait to use it! I am stereotypical hippie and have never shot a real gun in my life so why would I want this gift? Because I read the news, because I have prepper/survivalist tendencies and know that I can’t rely on authorities to have my back when the $hit hits the fan.

Being prepared to do something is not the same thing as wanting to do it. My goal is to have the knowledge and skill while hoping that I never have a need to use it beyond having fun at a shooting range. I wear a seatbelt in my car, but I am not trying to be in an accident. I am still as much of a pacifist as I was before.

In hindsight, I wish that I would have taken this step 15 years ago. It’s easy to imagine how differently things may have turned out if I had means of defending myself instead of being the victim of a crime that I still suffer PTSD from.

I toured the range on the day after Christmas and was very happy to see how family friendly it is. There were plenty of children shooting with their families. We plan to teach our children gun safety, while taking the logical safety measures and precautions when we do bring a firearm to the home. When they are a little older they can have the option of learning as well.

I am now enrolled for the next NRA Basic Pistol course in a few weeks and after that I plan to apply for a concealed carry permit. I don’t own a firearm yet and it will be a while before I do as I will need to save $$$ for one but in the meantime I want to make sure that I dot my i’s and cross my t’s by getting the education, paperwork and practice components taken care of. The gift card from my husband was generous enough that I will also be able to have plenty of practice time at the range with a rental gun.

Best case scenario: I will have a new hobby.

Worst case scenario: I will be prepared to defend myself and my family. It’s a win-win in my book.

Who knows, maybe in the future I’ll learn to shoot rifles. I’ve never been interested in hunting but it would be a good prepper skill to have. It’s too soon to tell what will happen. In the meantime, I am very excited and eager to get started.

Posted in Bandora

Media Typos

I used to consider traditional mass media (newspapers and TV news) to be good role models for spelling and grammar. That is no longer the case. I am sure that the deterioration has been gradually going on for years but since I neither read newspapers nor watch the the TV news I was missing it the transition.

It is terribly easy to transpose a couple of letters when typing quickly, and to fail to notice one’s mistake. Who hasn’t done that? But some of the errors I see go way beyond that to using words completely out of context.

Now I see so many spelling errors, grammatical errors, slang and even incorrect use of words that it makes me sad about the state of education in this country that editors are missing such big mistakes so often.

media typo

If you type “media typos” into Google you’ll see a lot of examples that will have you shaking your head and making you wonder if nobody ever proofreads anymore.

Is this a reflection on the state of our educational system? I wouldn’t be surprised given how rarely do I see quality writing at work, and even with a lot of the Kindle books that I read from the Amazon store. It seems that those able to write decent sentences seem to be of an older generation and a lot of people seem to rely on auto-correct instead of a real editor.

While English has been my primary language for 15 years, it was my second language for the first half of my life so seeing errors like these always confuse me at first and make me question myself.  It amazes me how many people read the example above and don’t catch the error.   As a homeschooler, this is something that I will need to keep in mind with my children to ensure that they don’t have the same level of confusion once they are older and start to have more media exposure.

Posted in Homeschooling

Summer Home Schoolers

Ever since I became a parent I notice things that I used to be oblivious to. One of the things that I am noticing now is the mass number of “Summer homes choolers” These are families whose children attend private and public school during the year but are being given homework during the summer and parents homeschool almost every day during the summer break until school starts again. I see workbooks and curriculum sets designed specifically for these type of people so it must be a growing and profitable industry.

summer schooling
Barnes & Noble’s section for summer home schooling

Whatever happened to the “break” part of the term Summer Break? I don’t remember any of this when I was growing up. From the last day of school until the first day of school I had no homework, projects and didn’t have to do anything remotely academic. I read because I wanted to not because some summer program was bribing me with promises of free pizza.

I am not saying that these new (at least to me) approaches are wrong, I am just taking a while to get used to the concept. I see the merits in making sure that kids don’t forget what they learned during the school year. As a bookaholic I am all in favor of encouraging children to read but I see few kids reading for the love of it and they treat it as a job they are doing for a reward instead. This approach of quantity versus quality makes me wonder if the parent’s time, money and effort would be better spent in more customized and targeted approaches to their child’s learning.

I guess that what bothers me the most is how the pressure on parents and children seems to be always increasing. Now parents feel like they have to spend money on summer workbooks, they have to make sure that little Johnny remembers to pack that book he has to read for school during vacation so he can write the paper that is due on the first day of school. It seems like some kids are not getting much of a break as a result. I feel bad for these families and hope that they are able to find the balance between allowing their kids a chance to relax and be children and promoting learning and a love for reading.