Dystopia- Education

Many have issues with the educational system…students aren’t taught the same nationwide- things are unfair….

Would this work any better?

All students would be required to attend the same school system- no private, charter, religious or homeschooling would be allowed.

School would be year round, except for having the months of August and December off (there will be no holidays the rest of the year- only occasional days off to showcase outstanding achievement in any area whether it be science or athletics or performing arts or whatever. School day would be from 8am to 5pm. This would include a half hour for lunch and two fifteen minute breaks. There are two five minute bathroom breaks. Children would be required to sit at desks, and would have a tablet for their books and a laptop for writing assignments. Worksheets/paper would be distributed as required. There are  no lockers for storage, only hooks for outerwear.

All students would be required to wear the exact same brand of black pants, white shirt, black loafers and black socks. Students would get same brand cardigans, but each grade would be assigned a different color- first graders are pale blue, ninth graders are yellow, etc. Gym uniform would be black shorts, white tee shirt, white socks and white sneakers. again- all would be exactly the same so that no child would feel different. Each child would receive a black backpack.   They would also be required to wear the same weather appropriate outerwear, rain boots, hat, scarf and gloves where applicable. No one is allowed to accessorize their outfit.

School buildings would have large auditorium style rooms, one per grade. A maximum of 100 students would be in each room. Lessons would be projected onto a screen in the front of the room. Lectures would be a half hour in length per subject. Every child in the country of the same grade would see the exact same lesson- (ie Teacher A would deliver a lesson in addition. Every kindergarten  child would see this same teacher deliver the same lesson) Every day a different teacher would deliver the prerecorded lesson so that  there is a balance of perspective and style as well as practical description of work.

After each half hour subject lesson, there would be a half hour of practical application- like 100 math problems of what was just taught. There would be five teachers in attendance per room to give hands on guidance to students that might need help with the lesson. Only today’s lesson would be discussed though- no going back to go over something, no going forward with harder things. As with onscreen teachers, these hands on teachers would rotate weekly (the hands on teachers would be routinely shipped off to another area each week so that every child in the country has the ability to have the same teacher)

There would be some homework to reinforce things the student had trouble with that day. Children would also be required to read a book a week (their choice from list of grade level books) and write a paper or project that would be due on Mondays.

The subjects that would be taught would be:  grade level appropriate Literature, Composition, History, Math, Science, Mandarin, Spanish, Home Economics (including basic home maintenance), Chess, Athletics, Music, art, culture/comportment and hobbies/games. Not all subjects would be taught every day.

Children in preschool to third grade would be exposed to a variety of music, art and physical things. At the end of third grade each child will be tested for their aptitude and assigned extras based on where their strengths lie. For example- child A excels at piano, needlework and golf. After third grade, this child will be tutored in these area so that they could become a master in them. Every child must have three areas in which to master.

At the end of eighth grade students would be given an aptitude test for academic subjects. The subject that they score highest in will allow them to take an extra period of that subject. Whatever they do worst in will be dropped- Our piano playing, needleworking golfer will get an extra period of math and one less of composition.

At the end of twelfth grade students are tested on all things learned in school and given the next path. Our math, golf, piano, needlework student  has been deemed as an accountant intern. They will spend the next seven years learning the trade and putting it into practical application. They will also be allowed to compete in amateur golf outings.


Every student gets the exact same opportunity to experience all subjects and areas, from a variety of teachers. They will have been taught by different races, nationalities, genders. They are given a chance to thrive in an area that they have aptitude for. They each have the exact same things…

Is this really a dystopian universe?

Are there merits to this?

Are there detriments?

I edited this from the way it first appeared this morning. I rarely use notes and after I published I realized that I had forgotten to add things…oh well…

Dystopia- Day One

This year has been….different. So I figured in honor of this year that was anything but normal, I’d play a little dystopia…

Cue the twilight zone music….

Imagine if you will…

What if…

Two adult household. Man/woman- woman/woman-man/man-

Only one of the adults is allowed to work. One adult can’t have a job that pays. The “non-working” person would be expected to volunteer in the community.

One adult in the household would be required  to work- at any time the adults in the household would be allowed to switch positions- whereas the person working outside the home would be the new stay at home.

In cases of single family households, that person would be allowed to work, and childcare would be provided by  “non working” neighbors (it takes a village). The expectation would be that single would not remain single for long. Residences with one adult are taxed at twice the rate of doubles.

Young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 would be expected to work part time as an apprentice (half salary) and would be required to live in dormitory type residences. The expectation would be that they partner up by the time they are 25.

25 is the new age of majority.

Retirement would be at age 75.

No one is allowed to have more than one child.

In this dystopian universe, how do you think life plays out?

Highlights 7/19

I saw this at a Barnes and Noble….on one of the days I wrote about judging. Coincidence? FYI…if anyone wants to get me a gift….there you go…
As I now live my life by random quotes scattered around my apartment…peppermint oil in the diffuser this week
Lemon, cucumber, mint and ginger
I love brunch more than any other meal. Croque Madame is at top of the list for favorite foods
This is a bistro in my neighborhood. With tables in the street, I almost felt like I was in Paris having a leisurely meal.
This weeks flowers…

Gratitude Saturday July 18

Let’s see…

I am grateful for roof decks, the one on my building as well as others. Roof decks have allowed me to spend socially distant outside time with my friends and neighbors, and has allowed my daughter the opportunity to hang out with friends. We all need to be able to talk to others during these challenging times…

Friday Favorites July 17

Ok- I know I made some brains hurt earlier in the week, so I went easier on you the latter part…Alas…next week is fry your brain week, so come to my posts with the intents to be….confused….

But for today…Friday faves….join in any way you like!!

  1. Favorite Baseball Team: NY Mets (who I just want to say are undefeated on July 17…)
  2. Favorite Thing About School: When my daughter is actually at school
  3. Favorite Shoes: My black suede puma sneakers…if sneakers are not shoes, then my knee high black boots….if neither boots nor sneakers are shoes then my black ballet flats
  4. Favorite way to communicate: email/text (I hate talking on the phone)
  5. Favorite Asian Dish: Anyone that knows me knows that I love all Asian food except sushi. So favorite dish is tough…but I will say the meal I most crave from my favorite Chinese place. Han Dynasty (when you look at their website it reads handy nasty) is what they call Dry Pepper Style chicken and Dan Dan noodles…
  6. Favorite Scary Movie: I don’t love the genre- but I’ll go with Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein, followed up by the original Frankenstein
  7. Favorite Disco Song: I Will Survive
  8. Favorite Place to go with Family: hmmmm- As I’ve seen too much of family lately I’d like to say no where…but…I do love our family vacations, so I’ll say anywhere we are discovering for the first time
  9. Favorite Reptile: Geico Gecko
  10. Favorite Funny Movie: The Producers (the original version with Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder- loved Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane on stage but their cinematic version just did not cut it) Some Like it Hot a very close second

PSA- Amazon Alexa and You

I have a confession to make.

While I know it has not been in vogue this quarantine season, but….I have been wearing a bra every day….

Shhhh…don’t let that out. I don’t want to have my independent woman card taken away….

But I will admit to you that I have been fully underclothed since March…

But eventually, when you wear a bra every day you need to buy new ones…

OK- I hate bra shopping. I especially hate online bra shopping because I really like to try on about 20 different ones so that I can find the right fit….But since my favorite bra buying place closed, and we are in the middle of pandemic and I am not going to Macy’s…

Online it is…

So I ordered bras through Amazon….

They got delivered…

Do any of you have the Amazon virtual assistant Alexa?

Well, Alexa will light up when you get a package.

So, the other day I saw Alexa flashing…

Me: Alexa, what’s the notification?

Alexa:  50ZZZ BRA HAS ARRIVED!!!!!!!!!!

Yes- Alexa started out by reading the size…and I swear, she read this louder than ever before. Or maybe it was the fact that my bra size could be heard throughout all the land. And somewhere, someone knows exactly what bra size I wear…


If you order any sort of unmentionable on Amazon, and you have an Alexa…

when you order it- say it’s a gift…

How Low Can You Go?

When I did Friday favorites a few weeks ago, I mentioned that my favorite way to travel is as light as possible. This got me thinking: how few things could I pack for a week away?

Now, as I live in a four season climate, I always think about clothing with an eye towards the weather. For this exercise, I will assume that the weather is high sixties, low seventies, low humidity with fairly sunny skies. The clothes listed would include traveling outfit. Also, this would be an urban sightseeing type vacation- activities do dictate clothing choices.


  1. 2 black dresses
  2. black legging
  3. 2 shirts
  4. long cardigan
  5. long jacket/blazer (lightish weight material)
  6. pajamas
  7. undies (enough for every day- I don’t scrimp here)
  8. 2 bras
  9. 7 socks
  10. pajamas


  1. sneakers or canvas flats (but I mean pretty ones like converse or superga, not the sneakers I wear to the gym)
  2. boots- either knee high or mid calf


  1. face wash
  2. 2 moisturizer ( tinted day and night- travel can wreak havoc on skin)
  3. eye cream (I am obsessed with keeping my eye area good- it’s my vanity thing)
  4. duo eye shadow
  5. eye liner
  6. mascara
  7. tinted lip balm
  8. blush
  9. under eye depuffer
  10. 2 make up brushes
  11. 1 hair brush
  12. 2 pony tail holder
  13. allergy pills (I have some bug bite allergies, so I always travel with Benadryl)
  14.  bandaids

I tend to stay in hotels, and almost every hotel now offers shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion, so I do not bring these. I also don’t tend to “do” my hair when I’m on vacation- so no product.

extras (packed in tote/medium sized purse)

  1. camera
  2. ipad (loaded with at least five books)
  3. phone
  4. wallet
  5. hand sanitizer
  6. tissues
  7. small hand lotion
  8. large scarf (I mean a pashmina type thing, that could almost be a lightweight blanket. It’s probably the first thing I throw in my bag after phone and wallet, because I tend to get cold)-can also be folded to put behind my neck
  9. 2 pairs glasses with transition lenses so they become sunglasses
  10. I haven’t traveled with masks, but I now will always have a few masks with me
  11. reusable water bottle
  12. breath mints
  13. headphones
  14. 1 apple based charger/1 all other thing charger
  15. notepad and pen
  16. envelope or folder to keep all paper based things organized
  17. fitbit
  18.  1 pair earrings
  19. 1 necklace
  20. 1 bracelet
  21. 1 ring
  22. computer- this is a tough one- I tend to like to upload and organize my photos each night of vacation- but I realize that this doesn’t really make things light…
  23. small umbrella

Now, I realize that I won’t fit this all in a backpack so I can traipse around Europe, I’m probably never traveling like that anyway. I know the above easily fits into my carryon and tote- and to be honest- the stuff I list as extras are often things I carry in my bag on a normal day- much of it fits in a small case.

I am not a souvenir girl- we buy shotglasses from cities/states that we visit, and these are small and don’t take up much room. I tend not to go into stores when I am vacationing except when it’s local and artisan. If I do buy stuff, it’s small like maybe cool jewelry or a book if I happen upon a non chain bookstore

So that’s my minimum- it might seem like a lot to some, but very little to others…

What’s the lightest you can pack?


Born To Judge?

We all judge people. As George commented yesterday, if you say you don’t judge, you’re lying to yourself and others.

So: We all judge.

Were we born to judge, or did we pick it up along the way?

I mean, little kids can be harsh- they have no tact and little kids just tell it like it is. They might cry when they see a guy with a beard. They might tell you that you smell. They might ask why you’re wearing something that they’ve never seen before. Now you can argue that it’s often a sense of being curious, but are we just born to see which one of these things is not like the other? Are we born with certain preferences?

Right now I know some of you are rolling your eyes and judging me.  Another nature/nurture post from LA? Tsk tsk tsk… Here we go again…

In a comment a few weeks ago I asked sociologist Deb if judging wasn’t hardwired into us…She responded there is no way judging is hardwired. She stated that judging is learned behavior.

But then we go back to my nature/nurture thing… How do we really know what is caused by environment?

If we all judge, can’t you think that maybe we are born with a need for self preservation, and our of this need to survive, maybe we judge things that are unfamiliar or different?

KE said yesterday that maybe we judge our of fear….Can’t that be considered a survival mechanism?

So, maybe we are born with a need to make ourselves feel better about ourselves….

I say maybe- because I really have no idea…I’m just thinking out loud…

Maybe the need to judge is nature.


The things we judge on are nurture.

A blogger commented yesterday that she sometimes opened up food bags at the grocery store while shopping because she had a blood sugar issue, or simply wanted to keep her kids quiet. She always paid for the items, putting the empty packaging on the conveyor belt. I stated that I judged pre eaters. Why did I judge them? Well, my Dad had a store when I was growing up. He had to be careful with the candy section because it’s real easy to take candy, and quickly destroy the evidence… I can’t help but think of shopkeepers who lose money because of this.

I judge people who do this. Am I justified in judging them?




Who cares?

So working under the assumption that we judge out of survival…that we as humans can’t help but judge…

What do we do with that information?

We judge, then ________________

We figure out why we judge certain people, actions etc… When we know the why, we work on figuring out just how bad a thing is that we are judging…

I mentioned that I judge people who walk around in heels all day, out in the streets (or the boardwalk for that matter). Why should I care what others wear on their feet?

  1. Heels are really bad for your feet. Ask any podiatrist. Eventually you will end up with some sort of foot issue
  2. Heels are uncomfortable when worn for a prolonged period of time. Have you ever gone sightseeing with a friend who wore impractical shoes for walking around?
  3. I admit high heels make someone’s legs look longer and more attractive. Calves become more defined, ankles look slimmer, you look taller. People will stop to look at you. While I think everyone should have the ability to look their best, I don’t like the thought that physical appearance trumps safety, comfort and practicality.
  4. Shoe designers are masochists.

Again, am I wrong to judge these street stilt wearers?

I mean, it probably doesn’t make me a nice person…

Yet, I do have friends that wear heels when out and about. I may judge their choice of footwear, but it doesn’t mean I don’t like and respect them in other ways…

I judge people who don’t read, yet only half of my closest friends are readers. My college has started an online book club. (you know I joined) Out of my three college besties, only one other has joined with me. I still adore the other two even though I did tell them that they were philistines….

I judge men who wear jewelry other tan wedding rings and watches because of the stereotype of Italians being in the mob, and all mob guys wear flashy gold linked things and pinky rings…I don’t like the Sopranos effect…


762 words later and I still don’t know anything…

Is it bad to judge in general? (several people mentioned admonishing themselves when they found they were being judgmental)

Or should we just evaluate WHAT we judge and WHY?




I Judge

I judge people.

I remember the first time I judged someone. I was maybe four years old, perhaps three. We lived in an apartment complex that was about fifteen two story buildings with a courtyard in the middle. During the day all the Moms used to bring our their lawn chairs, and the kids would all play.

I was a shy kid, not known for playing with other kids. I would bring something down, usually jacks, and play by myself. There was a little boy who constantly stole my jacks and was mean to me. I decided he was the most horrible person ever. I totally judged him by his actions…

Now I know most of you are saying that I wasn’t judging- that I was reacting to much evidence that this kid wasn’t nice.


But let’s go a step further…

This kid had a birthmark on his face.

I began to treat people with birthmarks as if they had the plague… I assumed his mean behavior was caused by the birthmark. (now before you say anything, this was more of a dark freckle on his cheek and not something that covered his entire face which might have soured his outlook)

So before I even went to school, I had already judged someone…

So when is the first time that you remember judging someone?

When did you last judge someone?

For the purposes of today, we are going to say that judging is an adapted or learned trait- nurture so to speak…

So, assuming that my environment causes me to judge, let’s think about things that people do that make me judge them:

  1. men  wearing jewelry other than a wedding ring or watch (I would have kicked out Mr. Darcy based on his pinky ring- even though I know the origins of those pieces…)
  2. wearing heels when they walk around the streets
  3. not eating cheese
  4. talking about how they only eat “clean” as I’m about to bite into a cheeseburger
  5. asking why you’re not married, or when you’re having a baby
  6. blindly sharing things on social media yet never having content of your own to share
  7. opening up food in the market before you’ve paid, and this includes trying a grape
  8. not reading
  9. watching reality tv where people pull hair, trash tables and reveal who the baby daddy really is
  10. talking the talk without walking the walk

I could go on, but you get the idea. People do certain things- I make judgements.

People do things, we all make judgements…

So- what do you judge people on? What little peccadillos really get under your skin? Which qualities that others have really make you judge them?

You don’t need to answer here, but think about it to yourself.

Then decide if judging is really a bad thing…

Highlights….July 12

Pedicure…2020 style
Haircut…I’m so not good at this selfie thing
You can’t really tell, but she’s using a tape measure to measure distance between tables
Pina Colada Day
My daughter took this picture…somewhere in the west village…