Posts tagged news
Last Thursday, some special ladies and I had the opportunity to chat with/stutter at Katie Couric and Kathryn Stockett, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Help. You can see me, Vanessa Druckman, Amy Turn Sharp, and Kelley Megehan chatting about the controversial best seller on the CBS web show @Katie Couric below.
I know this interview really has nothing to do with me, but I just want to tell you I thought it would be a great opportunity and lots of fun, but I was extremely nervous and actually wanted to back out a million times. The only reason I did it was so I could be an example to my kids. I am not one of those parents who has concrete goals for her children. All I want is for them to know themselves (so much good in life comes from just that one thing) and I want them to do things that challenge them. So I told them how scared I was and I told them I didn’t want to do it because I was so nervous, but that I was going to do it anyway because I knew it would be fun if I could just get past it. In the days leading up to the interview, the kids gave me encouragement and tips on chatting up celebrities. Lena suggested that I ask Katie and Kathryn what they like to do in their spare time. She said, “Celebrities like it when you ask about their real life instead of just their work,” which is a tip she learned when she met her very favorite voice actor at an anime conference a couple of months ago. I didn’t have a chance to ask that, but maybe next time.
P.S. Mom, my bit starts at about 17:50-something.
I love a study that tells me what I want to hear. Really, I do. And here’s a great one about video games! It shatters-shatters!-stereotypes. Video games are probably one of the most fretted about things in the life of a parent these days. The violence, the time “wasted,” the lack of social interaction, the murderous toddlers, etc. But, lookie:
Major New Study Shatters Stereotypes About Teens and Video Games
Game playing is universal, diverse, often involves social interaction, and can cultivate teen civic engagement
“We need to focus less on how much time kids spend playing video games and pay more attention to the kinds of experiences they have while playing them,” noted Prof. Joseph Kahne, Director of the Civic Engagement Research Group at Mills College, and co-author of the report.
Does this study make me believe that it’s ok for an 8 year old to play Grand Theft Auto? No. Nothing will convince me that that’s ok. I guess I’m just traditional in the sense that I think 8 year olds should learn about bl0w jobs and h00kers the old-fashioned way. You know, by seeing their favorite college football player get arrested for that kind of thing. Check out this post about the GTA issue (and for some great links for parents) and make sure you read the wisdom and whack-jobbery in the comments section.
I’m not huge on controlling the screen time around here, but that’s not to say that I don’t have anxiety about it. If I feel anxious, though, I usually try to engage them in other activities rather than arbitrarily tell them to turn it off. I also feel better when I really look at how they’re playing. Lena and Liberty interact with each other in a pleasant way when they’re sharing a video game. They help each other along the way, and they compete in a fun way instead of in an obnoxious resentful-of-each-other way. I also remind myself that it’s ok if “play” looks different than it did 30 years ago. It’s ok. And if none of that works to take away my anxiety, I just scream, “TURN IT OFF! YOU’RE ROTTING YOUR BRAIN!” until they cry. It’s not a perfect system.
A couple of months ago, there was a Mario Kart DS tournament at a local library. It was for ages 10 and up, but I tried to sneak my 9 year olds in. (I’m a rebel because of all that Atari I played in the 80s.) I tried to sneak them in, but I couldn’t come right out and lie when the library lady asked how old they were. I said very hopefully, “They’re in 4th grade and they’ll be 10 next April,” It didn’t work because she was an educated woman and she very patiently said, “It’s for 10 and UP, not 10 and UNDER.” And then she showed me a number line and demonstrated how 9 is LESS THAN 10. Library workers are so patient with the differently-abled. So Lena and Liberty were allowed to stay and watch, but only their 10-year-old cousin and 11-year-old friend were able to be part of the tournament.
When we walked into the tournament room, I was immediately afraid. Because of the teenagers. There’s something about a bunch of gaming teens that makes me scared. But then a couple of the teens spotted Lena’s Naruto skin on her DS and struck up a conversation with her about all things Naruto and DS. And when the tournament started, the bigger kids proceeded to root for and help out the 11 year old and 10 year old. They weren’t a bunch of murderous douche bags! And now I have a study to help me understand why.
Do I wish Lena and Liberty would play more card games with me? Of course. But they find it booooriiinnngggg *whine, stomp*! On the flip side, do they wish I would play more video games with them? Yes. But there are so many buutttonnnnnss! Do I need to realize that there is no point to family game night if I’m only building bad, boring memories for the children? Um, yeah, that might be good. Do I need to realize that family game night can include family video games? Uh-huh. Do I need a Wii? Yes, please. The study proves it.
Is anyone else being haunted by the ghost of Marion Jones while watching the Olympics this year? All these broken records and whatnot? I was so happy for her and so proud of her 8 years ago in Syndey, and then she got busted for steroids. *sigh* And now, while I’m very happy to see Michael Phelps excelling, I just have a little bit of a trust issue because of Marion. Anybody else?
Here’s a really good reason to start eating at McDonald’s again: They’re being boycotted by the American Family Association because they are committed to the gay and lesbian community. I wonder if they made it official with a commitment ceremony, or if they’re just going around wearing wedding bands? Here’s a link to Wonkette’s commentary on the boycott, complete with the best ever comments. Don’t worry, there’s a link to the actual boycott site on the Wonkette page, but I’m not linking to the boycott because you never know who’s reading my blog and I would hate for someone to click over to the boycott page and actually sign the petition without first reading about how retarded they are for signing the petition.
Disclaimer: I don’t skip McDonald’s because of any philosophical beliefs about the way they treat their meat animals, or because of any health risks that eating there might cause. No, if I still lived in Chesaning, I would still be eating McNuggets. The only reason I don’t eat there anymore is because, why would choose their fast food if I could get fast food at Panera or Chipotle? That would be crazy!
You know what? I know The New Yorker’s cover is supposed to be satirical and all that, but they are not taking into account all of the people who will see the cover and not understand the satire. (“Satire? Is that one of them half-man/half-beast thingies?” No, that’s a satyr. “Satyr? Is that one of them Jew parties?” No, that’s a seder. “Seder? Is that one of them jokes that goes over my head ever’ damn time?”) These are people who would never buy The New Yorker. Instead they’ll just see the cover and say, “See? I told ya. I’ma write a email and send it to all my friends.”
Recently, I expressed to an in-law that I really like that Michelle Obama and he replied, “Well, she doesn’t like you cuz yer a white lady.” Yup, that’s what people think. Smart, powerful black lady is out to get all us white people. Scary! Read smarter people talk about it better here. And other places, but I don’t have time to link every-damn-where.