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3rd Grade 'Science'
Illinois public schools | 3-8-06 | BSD

Posted on 03/08/2006 7:04:56 AM PST by BlueStateDepression

Ok, so, I am looking at my son's 'study guide' from his 3rd grade 'science' class and I was really rubbed the wrong the way by some of its contents. I decided to ask my fellow FReepers for your take on this 'study guide' and what it contains.

Maybe I am making something out of nothing or maybe I have cause to be struck the way I am by the body of this thing, I hope you folks can help me decide.

1. Yes or No - People harm the environment when they build large buildings.

2. Yes or No - People harm the environment when they plant trees.

3. Yes or No - People harm the environment when they drain wetlands.

4. Yes or No - People harm the environment when they build skyscrapers.

5. How do beavers change the environment?

6. People ____________ or sweat to help them survive in a desert environment.

7.Circle the animal that hibernates: Black bear, Kangaroo rat, Beave, Arctic tern.

8. __________ is an area of grasses and home of the Buffalo.

9. _________ is land soaked with water.

10. __________________ is deep sleep.

11. ____________ is an environment with little water.

12. _________________ means to move to a new area as the seasons change.

13. Think about what a rain forest is like. Draw a picture of the rain forest.

14. How does cutting down trees in the rain forest change the environment?

15. How do these animals deal with the environment? Goose ________________________________________ Kangaroo rat _________________________________ ground squirrel ______________________________

Now, this is written here as it is printed on the 'study guide. The kids 'answered' these questions together in class and will be tested on the answers at the end of this week.

Why do beavers CHANGE the environment when they cut down trees but humans HARM the environment when they do the very same thing? Four questions leading off with "people harm the environment" and the fifth questions says beavers 'CHANGE' it!

A question about large buildings and then another about skyscrapers......can you say indoctrination anyone?

I teach my children that all animals shape their environments to better suit their lives. A survival of the fittest kind of thing. Some animals build dens and some build skyscrapers!

This 'study guide' screams "PEOPLE BAD", construction is harmful, people are different (bad) than animals, blah blah blah.

I told my son to ask his teacher if the buildings the EPA occupies are bad for the environment. ;)~ I also told him that I disagree with some of the answers that he is being taught. I also told him why.

I think that where this guide says "harm", it Should say "change". Funny how it does when referring to beavers but not when describing humans.


TOPICS: Education
KEYWORDS: environment
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This is the whole global warming, humans bad, ban the SUV and construction theme and it is very much at odds at what I am teaching my children about the world around us and our part to play in it. Should I complain about this to the school? Should I just offer him my teachings about this issue that differ from what he is being taught in school? I am really torn about how to handle this and my bet is that some FReepers will have some great ideas to help me deal with this.
1 posted on 03/08/2006 7:04:57 AM PST by BlueStateDepression
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To: BlueStateDepression
I told my son to ask his teacher if the buildings the EPA occupies are bad for the environment.

LOL! Please let us know if your son does ask and what his NEA preacher teacher says.

2 posted on 03/08/2006 7:13:57 AM PST by jigsaw (God Bless Our Troops.)
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To: jigsaw

After I said that to him, I was a bit worried that he might find himself in trouble when he asks that. I decided to let it go and see what happens after school today. Maybe I will get a call about him disrupting class with that comment or something. ;)

Your reaction seems very similar to what I thought about this deal.....preaching......and I don't much care for that being done to my kids.


3 posted on 03/08/2006 7:21:05 AM PST by BlueStateDepression
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To: BlueStateDepression
There are hidden contradictions in the minds of people who "love Nature" while deploring the "artificialities" with which "Man has spoiled 'Nature.'
" The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that Man and his artifacts are not part of "Nature", but beavers and their dams are.
But the contradictions go deeper than this prima-facie absurdity.
In declaring his love for a beaver dam (erected by beavers for beavers' purposes) and his hatred for dams erected by men (for the purposes of men) the "Naturist" reveals his hatred for his own race, i.e. his own self-hatred.
In the case,of "Naturists" such self-hatred is understandable; they are such a sorry lot.
But hatred is too strong an emotion to feel toward them; pity and contempt are the most they rate.
As for me, willy-nilly I am a man, not a beaver, and H. sapiens is the only race I have or can have.
Fortunately for me, I like being part of a race made up of men and women, it strikes me as a fine arrangement and perfectly "natural."
ROBERT HEINLEIN
4 posted on 03/08/2006 7:21:07 AM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (“Don't approach a Bull from the front, a Horse from the rear, or a Fool from any side.”)
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran

That is abso-smurfly perfect, thanks alot. My kid will be reading that so we can discuss it.


5 posted on 03/08/2006 7:24:53 AM PST by BlueStateDepression
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To: BlueStateDepression
Both my wife and I have taken great pains to refute, with facts, the crap that our kids were given in 'science' classes. All ours go to parochial schools, but we use the same garbage textbooks as the local public schools. My HS freshman is taking environmental science this year (required) and told me that he really has pissed off the teacher when he gave her the irrefutable facts I showed him about DDT, its replacements, and the information about pesticide uses in general. Ditto for my youngest in his 7th grade science class.

I read ALL their textbooks cover-to-cover each year and make sure I or my wife counters every fallacy in each book.
6 posted on 03/08/2006 7:36:25 AM PST by nuke rocketeer
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To: BlueStateDepression
I think the whole problem lies in the word environment and using subjective terms such as harm, benefit, etc. The environment is a neutral force.. what benefits one organism, might harm another. The is no universal "good" environment. While every other species does whatever provides them with the most benefit, we seem to hold our selves to a higher standard. The greatest good for the greatest amount of people....err creatures.

This is somewhat (I stress the somewhat) justified as our 'changes' to the environment have occurred rapidly while beavers have been building dams for thousands of years (allowing time for other species to adapt to those changes).

7 posted on 03/08/2006 7:46:23 AM PST by GreenFreeper (Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress)
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To: BlueStateDepression
1. Yes or No - People harm the environment when they build large buildings.

2. Yes or No - People harm the environment when they plant trees.

3. Yes or No - People harm the environment when they drain wetlands.

4. Yes or No - People harm the environment when they build skyscrapers.

Building cities definitely harms the ecosystem--destroys habitat, increases pollution, and disturbs water drainage by diverting rainfall to runoff instead of returning to the water table. Planting trees may harm the ecosystem as well, though! Norway maples are an invasive species, for example.

Yes, beavers cut down trees and change the environment, but they change it from one type of habitat with diverse lifeforms to another type of environment with many other lifeforms. When we build cities the resulting habitat really only suits humans, rats, cockroaches, feral cats and dogs, and sometimes coyotes. Plus there are about 6.5 billion of us!

However, we can recognize these valid concerns without turning into rabid PETA tree-huggers. Perhaps you could have a meeting with the teacher and see why he is presenting this material and what he is trying to teach the children.

8 posted on 03/08/2006 7:47:11 AM PST by ahayes
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To: BlueStateDepression
I am really torn about how to handle this and my bet is that some FReepers will have some great ideas to help me deal with this.

You're where I was at a few years ago.

My solution was to have my own version of summer school, covering subjects 'taught' over the last year as well as touching on things for the next year.

We stick to basics. Math, geography, history, English, etc. Things that have been sacrificed in the schoolroom for entertainment and indoctrination.

Most schools have their curriculums online, so you know what will be covered.

You can also request any and all materials from the school so you can examine them.

I've opted my girls out of numerous 'do-nothing' activities, and requested that the school give them alternate academic assignments.

If you think science is bad look at history textbooks. To say that they lie would be an understatement.

Above all, I've taught my girls that
1) A teachers word is not gospel, but you have to put what the teacher wants on the test
2) Printed material should be taken with a grain of salt unless corroborated by another source.
3) If they ever have any questions about what they've heard in school, let me know and we'll research for the truth together.

It's worked out pretty well. They get A's and B's in school and many teachers have told me in private that they are much more mature than most of their contemporaries.

9 posted on 03/08/2006 7:50:38 AM PST by MamaTexan (I am NOT a 'legal entity', nor am I a *person* as created by law.)
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To: BlueStateDepression
13. Think about what a rain forest is like. Draw a picture of the rain forest.

This sounds like the 'mental mapping' classes being taught in schools that Rush was talking about yesterday.

OBE - Outcome Based Education

Get your kid home schooled or in a private school as quickly as possible.

10 posted on 03/08/2006 8:02:38 AM PST by cowboyway (My heroes have always been cowboys.)
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To: nuke rocketeer

Thanks for the encouragement. I am relatively new at dealing with school issues and it makes me feel good that I am not alone in thinking this is a bunch of bologna!


11 posted on 03/08/2006 8:04:34 AM PST by BlueStateDepression
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To: GreenFreeper

I take it that your point would be something along the lines of "harm" being relative? I think I could agree with that if that is your point.


12 posted on 03/08/2006 8:06:14 AM PST by BlueStateDepression
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To: ahayes
Yes, beavers cut down trees and change the environment, but they change it from one type of habitat with diverse lifeforms to another type of environment with many other lifeforms. When we build cities the resulting habitat really only suits humans, rats, cockroaches, feral cats and dogs, and sometimes coyotes.

I'm guessing you don't see your own internal irony.

Unless you don't consider, man, rats, cockroaches, etc. to be "diverse lifeforms."

SD

13 posted on 03/08/2006 8:09:23 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: ahayes

I agree all animals change their environment to the extent they can to provide them with a benefit. I just happen to think humans do it the best. That may be a bad thing for other lifeforms and we should take note to be mindful of our actions.

I would just like to point out that not building a fence to stop illegals crossing our border based on a bird's habitat is an abuse of this principal.

I think a meeting with the teacher sits atop the short list of actions to take.


14 posted on 03/08/2006 8:09:56 AM PST by BlueStateDepression
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To: MamaTexan
If they ever have any questions about what they've heard in school, let me know and we'll research for the truth together.

That sounds like a winner. I think my boy will like that.
15 posted on 03/08/2006 8:12:31 AM PST by BlueStateDepression
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To: SoothingDave

Diversity refers to type as well as number. A habitat that supports only six species is woefully lacking in diversity.


16 posted on 03/08/2006 8:18:40 AM PST by ahayes
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To: ahayes
Diversity refers to type as well as number. A habitat that supports only six species is woefully lacking in diversity.

You honestly think there are only 6 species living in any given city?

SD

17 posted on 03/08/2006 8:20:36 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: cowboyway

While homeschooling is an option I have considered I must also take into account the idea of social interaction. I live in a small village where my kids classes are under 20 kids per class.

I have chosen to show my kids not to run from a bully. This applies to teachers and public schools as well.
I suppose I would call it a fair and balanced kind of thing. They say things to him and I say things to him. They show him things and I show him things. I do not want to do the very indoctrination to my kids that I oppose others doing to them.

I seek to teach them how to ferret out the crap and decide on the truth based on the facts. I do not think removing them from the school environment would be beneficial when the overall picture is considered.


18 posted on 03/08/2006 8:20:39 AM PST by BlueStateDepression
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To: ahayes
... lacking in diversity

Does Unity and harmony come when total diversity is accomplished?
19 posted on 03/08/2006 8:22:17 AM PST by BlueStateDepression
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To: BlueStateDepression
I do not think removing them from the school environment would be beneficial when the overall picture is considered.

I understand but, the problem with the public schools is that the kids don't get a traditional education. It's more of a liberal indoctrination and a complete waste of time.

20 posted on 03/08/2006 8:26:45 AM PST by cowboyway (My heroes have always been cowboys.)
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To: BlueStateDepression

No question that the first 4 are evident of a left-wing environmentalist mentality. I think I would have a little conversation with said Science teacher and inform him/her that you child will be taught at home, the TRUTH about those statements. Sickening.


21 posted on 03/08/2006 8:34:26 AM PST by conservativebabe
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To: cowboyway

Well that is the very thing I am trying to balance out by keeping an eye on the things he is being taught. I feel that this way I can spot some things like this example and offer him a realistic view about what it means.

Sometimes it is best to keep enemies close so you can keep an eye on them, that is kind of how I treat public schools today. I moved to a small village outside of the capitol in attempt to head off things like this. For the most part it has been a good decision. This is really the first time I have had a conflict with them of this magnatude.


22 posted on 03/08/2006 8:42:51 AM PST by BlueStateDepression
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To: conservativebabe

I agree, the more I think about it and listen to other freepers and their take on it, a meeting with the teacher is in order.


23 posted on 03/08/2006 8:43:46 AM PST by BlueStateDepression
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To: SoothingDave

Do you honestly think a city can approach the biodiversity of a wetlands, rain forest, or barrier island?

Most of the organisms in cities will fall into just a handful of species. By contrast, normal habitats have high biodiversity with significant numbers of many different species represented.

Let's see, in West Virginia in relatively undisturbed mixed forests and meadows you can find the following mammals plus one marsupial (a by no means exhaustive list, and completely ignoring birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish):

white-tailed deer
coyote
black bear
eastern gray squirrel
fox squirrel
flying squirrel
eastern cottontail
snowshoe hare (some places in the mountains)
mink
fisher (rare)
several species of moles
several species of voles
several species of mice
raccoon
red fox
gray fox
bobcat
opossum
striped skunk
spotted skunk (less common)
beaver
muskrat
otter (recovering populations)
several species of weasel

In downtown Charleston, WV, you might find scrounging in the dumpster:

coyote
raccoon
opossum (occasional)
red fox (occasional)
eastern gray squirrel (yes, they're dumpster divers!)

You honestly think the biodiversity of downtown Charleston compares to the surrounding mountains?


24 posted on 03/08/2006 8:49:51 AM PST by ahayes
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To: BlueStateDepression
Does Unity and harmony come when total diversity is accomplished?

No, that only happens when we succeed in our mission to eradicate every other species but us and handful of nuisance species. Spotted owl's yummy, you know.

25 posted on 03/08/2006 8:50:59 AM PST by ahayes
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To: ahayes
Do you honestly think a city can approach the biodiversity of a wetlands, rain forest, or barrier island?

I never said that, just questioned your claim that only a handful of species exist in the typical urban environment.

I still do.

I suppose you would find it idyllic if there were no humans to muck up "nature." Unfortunately, we exist and deserve out own habitats as well.

We need not be callous or cruel, but neither must we devolve to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Cities only "harm" the environment if you consider humans to not be part of the environment. And if you discount the right to habitat for those other species capable of thriving among human activity.

SD

26 posted on 03/08/2006 8:59:41 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: SoothingDave
We need not be callous or cruel, but neither must we devolve to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Cities only "harm" the environment if you consider humans to not be part of the environment. And if you discount the right to habitat for those other species capable of thriving among human activity.

Now you're seeming more sensible. You should have started out with this instead.

I am not in favor of judicious development because I feel sorry for the poor little animals; it is a purely selfish, speciesist thing. I think high biodiversity/low pollution is good for people by improving physical and mental health and providing aesthetic and recreational pleasure. Additionally, I'm in chemistry and habitats like rainforests and coral reefs are under heavy scrutiny by chemists searching for new lead compounds for drug development.

The fact is that if you think evolution is true, if we eradicate a wide range of species now, new species will not evolve to replace them for perhaps millions of years. If you believe in a one-time creation event, this will never happen. It's just stupid to cut off our nose to spite our face by squandering our natural resources just because we don't want to seem to yield to those darn tree-huggers.

Oh, and I don't think that any species has any more "right" to exist than any other (no, we should not build more cities because the rats have a right to flourish!) My position is that I may not have a "right" to exist, but since I do I'm certainly going to look after my wellbeing. I just realize that my wellbeing may be tied to the wellbeing of other species as well.

27 posted on 03/08/2006 9:14:41 AM PST by ahayes
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To: ahayes

Well I do not subscribe to the idea that we have a goal or a mission to destroy other species. I am steadfast in my belief that the USA has the most developed system in the world pointed at monitoring our actions towards our environment and acting accordingly to things found.

If it is wrong for humans to shape the environment to suit their lives then it is equally as wrong for animals to do so. I offer that it is wrong in neither case.

P.S. can you hook me up with an omlette before you roast the bird?


28 posted on 03/08/2006 9:31:48 AM PST by BlueStateDepression
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To: BlueStateDepression

See my post 26 and perhaps you will understand my point of view better.


29 posted on 03/08/2006 9:35:42 AM PST by ahayes
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To: ahayes
I don't think we're do far apart on the principles. I believe we are to be wise stewards of what we have been given. This is neither an anti-development nor a pro-development position. The answer is in the middle.

SD

30 posted on 03/08/2006 9:42:39 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: ahayes
The fact is that if you think evolution is true, if we eradicate a wide range of species now, new species will not evolve to replace them for perhaps millions of years.

I think that if something in 'nature' goes extinct for any reason that 'nature' will handle it. Yes all things add up together to form the ecosystem and that changes, sometimes for the worse, when some are removed from the fold. I understand that human action can impact the earth environment in a negative way, but I also see that we impact it in proper ways also. I simply rest on the idea that if humans push to far, 'mother nature' will put us in our place. SARS, HIV and bird flu come to mind. Global warming?? Is this humans driving SUV's or building skyscrapers and using natural gas or coal for energy? Or is this the regular order of things in the universal environment? I stick with the sun over human action causing the changes. Humans are but one spec of life on this planet and we hold no designs on controlling it the way some would like to see it controlled.
31 posted on 03/08/2006 9:48:56 AM PST by BlueStateDepression
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To: SoothingDave
The answer is in the middle.

I can agree with that and really that is why I posted this to begin with. I don't feel like my kid is getting a middle of the road lesson at school the way this paper was set up.
32 posted on 03/08/2006 9:50:30 AM PST by BlueStateDepression
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To: SoothingDave
Fire ant cities (nests) are amenable only to fire ants. These critters are a bigger threat to wildlife diversity than humans any day. Does this also disqualify them as not "natural". Think of all the other ant species, ground nesting birds, ground insects, newborn fawns, calves, lambs, and reptiles they push out of a place they invade.
33 posted on 03/08/2006 10:09:57 AM PST by nuke rocketeer
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To: BlueStateDepression

Have your son ask the teacher for the scientific definition of "harm", and for the reproducible, experimental evidence to support her scientific definition. Have him explain that he can't answer the question without the definition.


34 posted on 03/08/2006 10:12:08 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: BlueStateDepression
I take it that your point would be something along the lines of "harm" being relative? I think I could agree with that if that is your point.

Exactly. Its all relative to what your primary concern is. You can essentially apply economics principals to the discussion- cost-benefit analysis. Building a bridge is not a unviersally bad thing..nor is planting a tree universally good. It all depends on priorites.

35 posted on 03/08/2006 11:20:59 AM PST by GreenFreeper (Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress)
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To: BlueStateDepression

When my oldest son was in 3rd grade, his class did a Earth Day unit on overpopulation. His teacher told the class that "normal" families now only have 1 child and that large families are like having a toxic waste dump in your neighborhood. I had to tell him, "No, your sisters aren't pollution". He had been asking me to homeschool him, and after that I was very happy to. I'm still homeschooling my three younger kids.


36 posted on 03/08/2006 11:29:04 AM PST by happymom (Cry out to Jesus!)
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To: BlueStateDepression
When my son was about your son's age, we watched NBC many
nights and I very slowly, patiently, politely used Brokaw and
his buddies to show my son how the press in particular and
people in general lie.

When he reached high school and had a liberal history teacher,
my son spotted the same tricks and saw through him. He felt
sorry for the rest of the kids in the class as he felt they were
buying everything this teacher said as gospel truth.

Teaching him this stuff when he was young was one of the
best things I ever did for him.

37 posted on 03/08/2006 11:53:56 AM PST by jigsaw (God Bless Our Troops.)
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To: jigsaw

SCIENCE!!!


38 posted on 03/08/2006 11:54:52 AM PST by freedomlover (The only reason you are still conscious is because I don't want to carry you. - Jack)
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To: GovernmentShrinker

I like that, yes a defenition of harm....very good, thanks!


39 posted on 03/08/2006 12:04:09 PM PST by BlueStateDepression
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To: happymom

Wow, I thought I had a rough situation. I think I might find myself in trouble in a situation like that. I can understand why you homeschool.


40 posted on 03/08/2006 12:05:21 PM PST by BlueStateDepression
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To: jigsaw

That is what I am trying to do, show him that you cannot just buy into things hook line and sinker.

I am soooooo sory that you had to endure brokaw to accomplish that....I hope I can find a bit less painful solution.


41 posted on 03/08/2006 12:07:28 PM PST by BlueStateDepression
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To: freedomlover
Science!!!

Actually, he became an engineer and was always delighted during university that his professors had to be honest. LOL!

42 posted on 03/08/2006 12:12:49 PM PST by jigsaw (God Bless Our Troops.)
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To: BlueStateDepression
I am soooooo sory that you had to endure brokaw to accomplish that....I hope I can find a bit less painful solution.

In fact I enjoyed doing it!   It was almost like a game.

I should point out that in explaining the lies, I was able to tell him about history, social studies, government, psychology, religion, math, etc.

For several years, he just listened. Then, he began to point out possible lies, and over time he got better and better at it.

Eventually, he was spotting lies I missed which always thrilled him (and me too!)

I miss those days, although when we get together or talk on the phone we still play.

43 posted on 03/08/2006 12:20:38 PM PST by jigsaw (God Bless Our Troops.)
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To: BlueStateDepression
1. Yes or No - People harm the environment when they build large buildings.

That's a YES, if it happens to be one of those massive sprawling government school building served by fleets of toxic spewing buses and who's interior environment has proven to cause learning disabilities among otherwise bright and curious children.

44 posted on 03/08/2006 12:30:14 PM PST by Ditto
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To: ahayes

The 'yes or no' questions are fallacious since they aren't yes or no questions. This is poor training for third-graders, and, unfortunately, the training will stick for most all the way through adulthood.


45 posted on 03/08/2006 12:33:54 PM PST by RightWhale (pas de lieu, Rhone que nous)
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To: ahayes
You honestly think the biodiversity of downtown Charleston compares to the surrounding mountains?

Thankfully not. People and most of those animals are not at all compatible neighbors.

The bio diversity inside my house is even more lopsided in favor of humans.

46 posted on 03/08/2006 12:52:24 PM PST by Ditto
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To: Ditto

BWAA HAHAHAHAHA hilarious...and its a keeper for my discussion with the teacher LMAO thanks, I needed that!


47 posted on 03/08/2006 12:53:04 PM PST by BlueStateDepression
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To: RightWhale
This is poor training for third-graders

I am so grateful to find that I was not being silly when this paper took hold of me the way it did. I appreciate the input and I feel much better about pressing forward with this issue to see where it takes me.
48 posted on 03/08/2006 12:54:30 PM PST by BlueStateDepression
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To: BlueStateDepression
No joking. See if you can find out how many acres your kid's school covers and then add in the additional acres of paved grounds around the building. In many communities, you will find that the schools are the largest buildings by far, which is why they often double as emergency shelters. So if "big is automatically bad" then schools are the worst of the worst.
49 posted on 03/08/2006 1:08:15 PM PST by Ditto
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To: Ditto
The bio diversity inside my house is even more lopsided in favor of humans.

I highly doubt that. You'd be surprised what you could find living in your house if you look close enough.

50 posted on 03/08/2006 1:10:31 PM PST by GreenFreeper (Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress)
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