Archive for September, 2010

Can admitted prostitute be a teacher?

An arts teacher in the Bronx has been put on administrative duties after revealing on stage and in The Huffington Post that she was a stripper and a sex worker.

From The New York Daily News:

Melissa Petro, 30, an art teacher at Public School 70 in Mount Eden, recently revealed her dark side at the Bowery Poetry Club on the lower East Side.

“My memoir that I’m working on now is about my experiences in the sex industry starting when I was 19 years old and living as a student abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico,” Petro said at the event, videotaped by an audience member and obtained Monday night by the Daily News….

The city Education Department learned of Petro’s past from a post this month on TheHuffingtonPost.com, in which she claimed she was also a craigslist.org hooker from October 2006 to January 2007….

“A former colleague at PS 70 called Petro a “star” in the classroom.”

“ ‘If you want to be a teacher and that’s your goal, it’s stupid,’ she said of Petro’s openness about her past. …

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Are we raising a generation of nincompoops?

Can your kids tie their shoes? Can they zip their jackets? Can they use a can opener?

Many kids across American cannot do basic mechanical chores and Associated Press writer Beth Harpaz wonders if we’re raising a generation of incapable kids.

From The Associated Press:

“Second-graders who can’t tie shoes or zip jackets. Four-year-olds in Pull-Ups diapers. Five-year-olds in strollers. Teens and preteens befuddled by can openers and ice-cube trays. College kids who’ve never done laundry, taken a bus alone or addressed an envelope.”

“Are we raising a generation of nincompoops? And do we have only ourselves to blame? Or are some of these things simply the result of kids growing up with push-button technology in an era when mechanical devices are gradually being replaced by electronics?”

“Susan Maushart, a mother of three, says her teenage daughter ‘literally does not know how to use a can opener. Most cans come with pull-tops these days. I see her reaching for a can that requires …

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Mom book club update: Let’s move our discussion to Oct. 8

I am behind on reading “The Help” so we need to move our discussion to Friday, Oct. 8.

I had been trying to check the book out through the library to save money, and it was taking way too long so I finally bought it this weekend. (I was No. 51 on the list but they had a lot of copies. Didn’t this book come out a long time ago? How could I be No. 51?)

I am sorry if anyone stressed out to finish reading it for this week.

If you have questions or discussion points you want us to hit email them to me and I can use them in the blog post. You can email me at ajcmomania@gmail.com. Put Book Club in the header so I can keep them organized.

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Do new math techniques actually make math harder?

We all know I am simply awful at math. However, I think they are teaching it differently now and it is actually making it harder to understand.

For example, I had never in my life heard or seen “lattice multiplication” until my daughter started doing it last year at school. They are doing it again this year. It takes up a heck of a lot of space and Rose now seems to have a hard time working a regular multiplication problem where the numbers are just placed on top of each other.  (I’m talking about double and triple digit multiplication.)

Simple rounding has also had a makeover – apparently if it’s on 5 you don’t necessarily round up any more. They now do something slightly different called front-end estimation. I have no idea what this is but it doesn’t follow the same rules as rounding.  (I found this math forum where another mom was frustrated by the new rules of front-end estimation. ) I’m just grateful they are out of that chapter because I am tired of fighting with Rose …

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Depressed? Have some unprotected sex!

I’ve been a little depressed lately and Michael had a solution for me. He left me  on the computer three news stories about a study claiming women who had unprotected sex were happier than those who used condoms or who didn’t have sex.

Apparently it’s not the act of sex that makes the women happier, it’s the actual chemicals in the man’s semen. (Oh Lord, every husband will be using this as an excuse to get some now. “It’s all for you baby! It will make you happy.”)

From Psychology Today:

“The finding that women who do not use condoms during sex are less depressed and less likely to attempt suicide than are women who have sex with condoms and women who are not sexually active, leads one researcher to conclude that semen contains powerful—and potentially addictive—mood-altering chemicals.”

“Study author Gordon G. Gallup, Ph.D., a psychologist at the State University of New York in Albany, also found that women who routinely had intercourse without condoms became increasingly …

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Have you postponed pregnancy due to the economy?


AJC reporter Craid Schneider is working on a story about families who have postponed having a child for economic reasons. If you have chosen to wait to get pregnant because of the recession and would like to be included in a story, please contact Craig at at 404-526-5463 or cschneider@ajc.com.

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Moms: Please don’t bake for the Cake Walk!

Aunt Bea and Martha Stewart need to turn off their ovens and hold onto their baking mitts!

We’ve heard for several years that schools don’t want moms baking for class parties or for birthdays, but now I’ve heard of a school that doesn’t want the parents to bake for the cake walk! They just want you to buy it at the grocery store and hand it over. I don’t think you’re even supposed to repackage it to look festive.

Isn’t the point of cake walks and bake sales to get a really yummy, gooey dessert that only can be made at home? Also it’s a heck of a lot cheaper for me to buy ingredients and make 24 cupcakes to donate than to buy them.

I guess they want labeled store-bought goodies to protect themselves from lawsuits about food allergies. But I also think it’s about hygiene. But really, are the lazy or gross parents going to cook for the cake walk?

If your school will let you actually bake for the cake walk and bake sale, The Cake Mix Doctor, one of my favorite easy cookbooks, …

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Are parents the only ones who care about Katy Perry’s boobs on Sesame Street?

The AJC posted yesterday a viral video from Katy Perry and the good people at Sesame Street. Perry recreated her song “Hot N Cold” to make it very appropriate for kids. The song is rewritten to highlight opposites – in and out, hot and cold. She and Elmo were supposed to play dress up but then Elmo changes his mind. The lyrics are adorable and Katy and Elmo are precious together.

However, she should have taken about five more minutes to work on her costume.

The very first thing I thought yesterday when I watched the video was holy cow, her dress is showing too much cleavage for this show. Now if you look closely you can see the dress is sheer mesh and extends up to her neck but that doesn’t really matter. The cups are molded and low cut and you can definitely see cleavage.

So now AP and TMZ (because I always read quality news) is reporting that Sesame Street will not air it as it planned because of the cleavage controversy.

TMZ reports:

“ Among the parental comments:

– ‘You …

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Should kids have homework during the weekend?

My fourth grader’s regular classroom teacher doesn’t believe in homework on the weekend. She says the kids work hard enough during the week and should enjoy their two days off. However, my child’s gifted teacher who instructs her in math and language arts does believe in homework over the weekend.

So last weekend my child did three pages of math, wrote the final draft of a paper, finished reading the last of several assigned chapters in a book and answered a page of questions about what she had read and then read several chapters from another book that they will eventually use for a project. She spent about four hours on Saturday and about an hour and a half on Sunday doing work.

It felt like a lot of homework for a 9-year-old, especially for a weekend. You can’t exactly take a weekend trip with that kind of work hanging over your head.

I will say that this week’s homework has seemed lighter. I’m not sure if it’s because we did so much over the weekend and are actually ahead …

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Is your car seat installed correctly?

Step forward if you think your child’s car seat is installed correctly.

Not so fast hot stuff!

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 75 percent of parents are installing the seats incorrectly.

This week, Sept. 19 to 25, is National Child Passenger Safety Week, an annual NHTSA-driven initiative to “bring public attention to the importance of properly securing all children in appropriate child safety seats, booster seats or seat belts – every trip, every time.”

Michael said he’s not surprised at all that 75 percent of families have incorrectly installed seats. He said he would have half-a@@@ it for the last nine years if he didn’t know that I was going to come up behind him pulling and tugging and making sure the seat had no give.

I have gotten very good at installing my kids’ seats in my minivan but it is harder with seats you don’t know and a car you don’t know. My mechanical engineer father had installed a seat in my mother’s car this summer that was …

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