Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My DS9...

was looking at an "Events of 2008" pictorial review (which is available here, click on "year in news").  He saw a picture of our favorite Russian leader, and read the caption out loud, until...

"...Vla-duh-meer....POOTIN!  Ha!  Hey, Mom, he's POOTIN'!  POOTIN' POOTIN'!  What kind of stupid name is that?!  POOTIN' POOTIN' POOTIN'!"

Sometimes it takes a nine-year-old to put scary world leaders in perspective.

(Updated:  I changed DD to DS.  Sorry, buddy.)

I got one!

Do you remember this ad:

I got one!!  Yes, I'm now the proud owner of a part of history, "commemorating the day the world changed forever."  (I'm not sure if that is threatening or merely creepy.)  Thanks, Steve!  I'm displaying it in a prominent place for as long as I can stomach it.  And when I find my **)#$% camera, then I'll share with the rest of the world.

I'm a College Drop-out

It's official...I withdrew from school today.  Technically that means that I'm just not taking classes next semester, but I doubt I go back.  Wow--I just realized that what it really means is that I may have taken my Last. Final. Ever.  Awesome.

I have mixed feelings, really.  I believed when I started the application process that I was being called to the "next thing" in my life, and now I wonder...did I hear wrong?  Or maybe this is just leading me somewhere else?  Because the further I get from school the more relieved I feel! 

The classes I took this fall were great, some of the most useful classes I've ever been a part of. But the more I learned about the counseling profession, the less it felt right or natural for me.  So many things that I love and that are important to me can't enter into a counselor-client relationship, and I don't think I can check that much of myself at the door.  God gave me this weird combination of gifts for a purpose, I suppose, and so I can only have faith that He knows what He's doing.  And I have to keep asking, "Is this right?  Or this?"  I like to think that one of the challenges that I took on in the last year was just to step out in faith and try something completely different, and to do it without a grim focus on the outcome.  I feel really good about that.

So, for now, my winter and spring are wide open, ready to fill with field-trip-chaperoning, after-school activities, reading for fun, and maybe a little sewing or gardening.  And blogging. Lots of blogging.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday Round-Up

Isn't that a lovely picture?  It's the sixth day of Christmas, after all, and so instead of geese a-laying I'm giving you Mary and Eve.  It's from the Anchoress, and drawn by Sister Grace Remington.

On to progressively more worldly matters...

Apparently, religious people have more self-discipline than those who are spiritual but don't subscribe to one particular set of beliefs.  I think the researcher who did this work is right in his conclusion that religion can imbue our daily lives with a sense of the sacred, but his solution is way off the mark:
“People can have sacred values that aren’t religious values,” he said. “Self-reliance might be a sacred value to you that’s relevant to saving money. Concern for others might be a sacred value that’s relevant to taking time to do volunteer work. You can spend time thinking about what values are sacred to you and making New Year’s resolutions that are consistent with them.”
So if I decide a value is sacred to me then it makes it easier to act in a way consistent with that value.  Which is a great idea except that the sacred doesn't emerge from within me, or from within you.  (I hope I'm not the first to tell you that.) God alone is holy, as the Psalms tell us repeatedly, and our religious practices are just an imperfect but worthy way to share in that holiness.

Hey!  Look at this!  Chrysler just wanted to say thanks...I think we know a little of why they're in financial difficulty.  Our tax dollars at work, ugh.  Apparently these add purchases cost in excess of a million dollars.  I know, compared with the $4 billion they'll soon receive it doesn't seem like much, but it seems to reflect the same attitude that led the CEOs to take their private jets to beg for bail-out money.

Congressional watch:  Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee is coming under increasing fire for being a Friend of Angelo.  Good.  He looks dirty and this matter needs to be made clear.  Charlie Rangel, of New York, is already in hot water (we hope) over his tax evasion problems; now it's come out that he even is using campaign funds to pay parking tickets.  (via Instapundit, Rangel's fate apparently hangs in the balance right now...good)  And Franken, who's not in the Senate yet, looks poised to take the seat in Minnesota.  I was born in Minnesota, but thankfully left before the lake-water craziness could overtake me. What are they thinking up there??!!

Let's see, what else?  Oh, the Flight 93 families are encouraging the federal government to just confiscate the land where their loved ones' remains lay.  I understand their wanting the memorial, and I think it should be treated as the cemetery that it is.  But the land is owned by a quarry and the owners should be compensated.  If they don't want to deal with the Feds, then pressure them buy publicizing the process, or by trying to buy the land yourself and then donating it to the government.  I'm reading Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism right now; what these families are proposing is using the muscle (and guns) of the government to further their goals.  I don't want to throw the term around the term, but this looks like fascism to me.

This was a long post!  Lots to look at.  Don't forget to post what you got for Christmas...see below!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Belated Christmas!

Well, I took an unintentionally long break!  We headed down to the lake right after Christmas, for a long weekend.  Part of the appeal of our lake house is the peace, and maintaining the peace means NO INTERNET.  So, no blogging.

Our Christmas was wonderful...DH and I had agreed to cut back (hot tubs not selling like they have in the past, you know, and stupid government officials not helping matters), but I really don't think the kids noticed one bit.  That's a lesson we are going to hold on to, I think. We decorated a lot less, too, which I kind of missed during the month but now that I'm thinking of the clean-up seems pretty awesome.

Ann over at Gorgeous Things' blog asked the question, "What'd you get?" So here are my answers: A Wii Fit Board!!  It is so much fun, and we have all had a good time playing with that.  I also got Aquaglobes (DD5 can recite the commercial by heart), some Georgia Tech paraphenalia, this cute dress from my mom (Thanks!), and a couple of cool books.  Wow, listing it makes it look like a lot!

So what did you get?  Did you do anything different to celebrate?  Post your link in the comments, or just list it there!  Lots to blog about, as usual.  Sometimes the hardest part is choosing good topics.  More later, I hope.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's not one individual post, so much...

more like the accumulated hilarity of all of them.

By the time I got to Ritalin kitty I couldn't breathe.  Better now, thanks.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Music, seasonal and not so much

I just discovered the Smoking Popes from a video over at Chicago Boyz...check it out:

I was thinking how cool it was to find a young group but then according to Wiki these guys are about my age!  I must not be that old.

On a more seasonal note, here is DS10's favorite song of the season:


Smelly things

I just ran across this article in the Economist about why we pick the scents or perfumes that we do.  Three basic messages there:  first, scent makes a guy ACT differently, in a way that is apparently more attractive to women--so it's the way he acts, not really the scent, that gets the girl.  Second, we pick each other based on scent, and we look for people whose scents are different than our own.  Third, DO NOT BUY your significant other a new scent unless you aren't getting along.

This makes me remember this research, though:  birth control pills alter women's sense of smell.  So if your best girl is on the Pill, go ahead and buy her the perfume.  But if she quits taking them, she'll quit liking it and you!

And this seems like a questionable idea.  Really, I can't think of too many women, Pill or no, who would go for this.  

Friday, December 19, 2008

Government Intervention

The story I'm going to tell you is a little "inside baseball," but it's important for a couple of reasons:  its a small but powerful example of the power of unaccountable government; it illustrates the havoc an arrogant organization can wreak; its another instance of government telling private business what to do.  On with my tale...

DH makes parts that move water, specifically all kinds of plastic jets, filters, drains, for pools, spas, tubs and, significantly, the portable spa industry.  (That's what you probably think of as a "hot tub."  Cue wonky 70s music.)  Their parts are subject to regulation by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and to standards promulgated by industry.  (Loads of money gets spent at various testing labs proving the parts' safety.)  

A couple of years ago, James Baker's granddaughter Virginia was tragically killed in a spa accident.  Her hair became entangled in the drain of the outdoor spa that was attached to the swimming pool, and she drowned despite several men trying to pull her out.  This led to the Virginia Graeme Baker Act, which strengthened requirements for drains in all of these types of pools and spas.  The CPSC mandated this without an understanding of the different flow rates and designs of pools vs. hot tubs vs. in-ground spas.  (Incidentally, the drain of the pool where little Virginia drowned was incorrectly installed in the first place.)

The industry association APSA immediately saw the problem...applying pool requirements to a portable spa would be impossible.  There is virtually no way to comply.  Additionally, compliance doesn't actually make the portable spas safer!  Every single spa, including those sitting on showroom floors, must comply with the new standard.  That's unheard of in product safety for something that big.  Hot tub manufacturers are looking at their warehouses and seeing a bunch of unsellable merchandise.  And it can't be made sellable because there are no parts available to retrofit the spas with.  No part manufacturer can pass the tests.

So, hot tub companies have hired lobbyists (natch) and everyone is holding their breath...the requirements go into effect today.  There are no parts that satisfy the requirement.  

The CPSC is well aware of this situation...they've been told since the law came out.  Why won't they change the regulation?  They don't want to admit they've made a mistake.  The CPSC doesn't want to even give the impression of making things less safe.  Instead, they prefer to put an entire industry out of business.  The problem is that this industry is small, too small for a bailout.  No one will notice if a bunch of $50 million or $100 million companies go out of business.  As I write this I am so angry--powerful bureaucrats who have no sense of scale, fearful only of looking bad while an entire industry looks on and holds its breath.

How can we possibly believe that turning anything over to this entity is a good thing?  We want them to run mortgage houses, car companies, health insurance?  Really?  For that matter, why would we even want this mindset involved in our children's education?  

If the story changes, and it probably will quickly, I'll keep you posted.  Meanwhile, I hold my breath, too.

If at first you don't succeed...

go ask the President.

I'm disgusted.  And disenfranchised.  


There has been so much in the news lately, and it's so overwhelming that I'm not sure where to I'll just jump in.

The Blago thing just looks dirtier and dirtier.  But do you remember the sit-in staged by workers at Republic Windows in Illinois?  They did it earlier this year; the company had closed when BoA said "no more money." Blagojevich strong-armed BoA, saying he'd take away state business if BoA didn't loan Republic more money.  At the time I thought it was an astonishing threat--how dare he interfere in the private sector like that?  Apparently, though, interfering is the name of the game for this governor.

It also continues a disturbing trend of government officials telling private companies what to do.  Think about what we are seeing at all levels:  Fannie and Freddie collapsed under the weight of subprime loans they were ordered to make by Congress; an auto bailout will subject those companies to the oversight of a "car czar;" incentives and threats to locate new plants in locations (less egregious but still). I have another story that I'll tell in a second post about something going on in DH's industry, threatening to put the entire industry out of business.  (Where's their bailout?) 

But I want to stay on this for a moment...I didn't realize until yesterday that Rahm Emanuel worked at Freddie Mac for a while, riding the gravy train.  Who else?  Gov. Tom Vilsak has just been named Ag Secretary.  He was responsible for taking away local control of hog farms in Iowa, among other things.  That has been terrible for the water quality in several communities.  He's also tied in tight to Monsanto and ADM...neither party will take on these guys, but it looks like were in for, at the best, more of the same.  Both of those companies are also big into food-based biofuels, which are responsible for driving up food prices with no comparable benefit in the fuel department.  

Arne Duncan will be Secretary of Education.  He's from Chicago, of course, and Bill Ayers has spoken highly of him (yes, I know they've gotten crossways with each other, too).  Mostly, that one is that he is from Chicago.  Really?  Another Chicago guy?  We are seeing the unwinding of a dirty, Byzantine political machine and I cannot believe that there are too many clean guys up there.  

It occurs to me that if someone from that pool really is clean, as it appears Obama is, then there were other people working very hard to make sure he stayed clean.  I wonder what the real story is there.  None of this feels very hopey or changey.

I'll try to check on some more cabinet members later.  I want to do that other post and also need to make some cookies.  Tis the season!

UPDATE:  Here is some information on Holdren, Obama's science advisor.  And here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A night out

I know, you can't see who that is beyond the sound board there.  It's Harry Connick, Jr., last night at the Cobb Energy Center.  Wow!  What a fabulous show...two solid hours of Christmas music and New Orleans jazz.  My sister and I took our mom for her birthday (Happy Birthday, Mom!) and we were all just blown away.

Harry is a great showman...he started off and I thought, "oh, no, he seems tired, like he's been doing this too many nights." But after the first song he seemed to wake up and get a lot of energy from the crowd, joking about the usual (drunk) crowd at Chastain compared to this group, bantering with a couple of little girls in the front two rows, sharing stories about his chickens and the roosters Obama and McCain.  One got eaten.  Guess which?  And the music!  His whole band is really first rate.

If you get a chance to see him live, by all means go.  I'm looking forward to seeing him again.  Hopefully with less spray tan, but from a distance you can't really see that!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Well, that was 20 minutes I'll never get back.

But it was worth it.

Bush's Goodbyes

Say what you will, and I've said plenty, but George Bush is a good man.  He showed up in Iraq this weekend, and you can just see how much he loves the troops and how much they love him (via Instapundit):

And then there was the shoe-throwing know, calling Bush a dog isn't quite the insult the guy intended.  (See above.) Most Americans think more highly of their dogs than their next-door-neighbors.  

He also showed up in Afghanistan, which was a surprise on top of the Iraq surprise.  Again, he loves these troops, and it shows.  It's one of my favorite things about him.  

I think Bush's failing is that he didn't have a guiding philosophy beyond keeping us safe.  Admittedly, that was a tough job thrust upon him in the early days of his presidency.  But economically, WOW.  When he was elected I thought, "oh, good, he has an MBA and he gets finance, how to motivate people, how to run things."  I was wrong.  Our President needs to have a vision of liberty beyond not being attacked on our land, and I prefer a president who has a guiding vision of government (small) and the role of taxes and government spending in the country.  Reagan is a great example of that, someone who had developed an over-arching vision of smaller government, lower taxes, and staying out of people's lives.  Anyway.  Back to Bush...what a modest, humble man.  Hopefully you saw this interview, but he said this when asked about the Bible:  "I'm just a simple president."  That is humility.  Jay Nordlinger has a long interview with Bush over here. Here is a different view, from Bush himself:
Chew over this, too: “The real challenge will be for a president to never substitute pragmatism for an idealistic vision, because if you do, you have delayed the capacity to marginalize and ultimately defeat the ideology of the extremists.” You and I know that pragmatism is often necessary and called for, and the president knows it too. (That’s why so many “freedom agenda” people are disappointed in him, particularly given the policies, or non-policies, of the second term.) But I know what he means, and I suspect you do, too.
I think he was amazingly clear-headed on defending us.  Did anyone really think that we would go seven years without another attack after 9/11/2001?  I didn't.  But I wish he'd been so clear with economics.  

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Church Arson

I read about this on Team Sarah this morning...arson at Sarah Palin's home church.  Oh, how sad.  I love my church, and I can't imagine how it would feel to know that someone hated me SO MUCH that they would torch my place of worship.  Devastating, really.  Churches seem to be a target of arsonists, but this act has so much wrapped up in one member.

Of course, it's only a suspicious fire right now, since I want to be fair.  (Shocker!) But I think the whole congregation at Wasilla Bible Church and the Palin family would be glad to know they are in our prayers this weekend. 

Oh, and if you haven't yet, join Team Sarah!  Sixty-one thousand members and doesn't mean you have sold your vote out yet.  I look at it as a commitment to the up-and-coming conservatives who are spread across the nation learning the executive position by running their states and running them well:  Palin, Pawlenty, Jindal, Otter...plenty more to keep our eyes on!

School is finished

Yes, I turned in my last paper last week.  If you've never written a five-to-seven page self-exploration using racial identity models by Cross and Helms, well, you just haven't lived. Sarcasm?  Why, yes. Yes, it is.  

Now that I've gotten to the end of the semester I can take a longer view, step back and see if this counseling gig is what I want.  And I'm not so sure.  What I thought I wanted out of counseling was the opportunity to help people find their way.  I believe that God created us all for something uniquely special to each of us, and to be able to help another person find that something special--I look at this as such a privilege.  But it might not be one I'm cut out for.

The counseling relationship is inherently limiting--so private that a counselor can't ethically say "hi" when bumping into a client at the grocery store.  And it can also be kind of artificial in other invitations to dear clients' weddings, no shared cups of coffee and conversation, always a power differential, no matter how you try to overcome it.  I think I knew this going in but now I find myself chafing at the idea of inhabiting that world all the time.

And I do have another it a mid-life crisis or utter confusion, whatever.  I might open a store, the kind of place customers can come and hang out and learn things and form friendships.  A spot that would appeal to people of lots of different ages--I love the idea of inter-generational activities and friendships.  And the kind of place I can be creative with windows and displays and ordering...there is a certain appeal.  So I'm looking into that.  I might post some more about this later.  DH is on board, bless his heart.  So we'll see.  That's what I'm going to use this school break for.  Oh, and blogging.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Shhh...don't tell Biscuit

I think I've figured out what my dog (Biscuit) is getting for Christmas...a new collar!  Check out these Survival collars.  (That picture looks just like my Biscuit.) Althouse had linked to the bracelets, which are also extremely cool, especially the ones with the stainless clasp.  And, hey, if you ever need to use it, they'll rewind it for free!  Great for the MacGyvers in your life:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Back with some links

I'm turning my last paper in this afternoon, which explains the dead air around here.  Meanwhile, can you guess who that cute guy is?  You'll have to go here to find out.  Yeah, I was really surprised, too!

And have you seen the coffee commercial with Ozzy?  Wait, it's not a coffee commercial, but it should be, because I can't remember what they are really advertising.  Anyway, DH remembered this little bit and it is worth resurrecting:

I think we needed some levity.  I've only been paying a little attention to the news lately. I'll catch up today, but I have to say it is scary.  Nationalization--that was the headline on Drudge.  What makes Nancy Pelosi think she can run a bank, a car company, or an insurer better than people who have spent their lives doing it?  (Although I have to say they haven't exactly been doing a stellar job, either.) I don't know about you, but I'm feeling pretty powerless right now.  And I'm wondering again, Where's MY Bailout?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sorry so quiet!

Christmas stuff and the conclusion of school have gotten in the way.  I haven't even been able to get to pay as much attention as I'd like to the bailout baloney, although my general impression is that the senators are unimpressed, just not to the same extent as the rest of us.

Financial news continues to worry...but there are a lot of good sources of basic information.  I've started getting John Mauldin's financial newsletter, available here.  You have to register for it, but there's no detectable spam associated with it.  

School stuff?  I'm not done yet?!  Nope, one more paper, due Tuesday.  I have to write about myself, my cultural background, and how I look at people of backgrounds different than mine.  I've learned some things this semester, definitely.  But I have to say that if you approach another person as Jesus instructed us to, it is a lot easier to get your head around.  Unconditional positive regard (a wonderful concept originated by Rogers) is at the heart of Christian love.  It doesn't mean condoning a person's actions; instead, it is having a positive attitude to the person you are with.  For me, it's the same as looking at every person as someone God loves.  If you really try to look at people that way it can change you.  I don't quite know how a person who doesn't believe this summons the fortitude to feel positive towards people without any help at all.  Just a thought.

DD5 and I are going to inventory the baking supplies, too, to get started on some cookies.  Tis the season.

Finally, out of the mouths of babes...DD7 is taking art lessons.  A professional artist friend of my dad's saw her paintings and was suitably impressed.  When I told DD7, she sighed and said, "Well, I guess I can be an artist.  But then I'll have to give up my dream."  "What's your dream, baby?" "To be an actress." *sigh* I hate that she'll have to give up her dream of being an actress to be an artist.  I want to live in her world.

And DD5 just started taking horseback riding lessons this week.  She's been obsessed with cowgirls and (inexplicably) Texas for a long time.  She just informed me, "I'm going to grow up and be a famous horseback rider in Texas.  And I'll throw everyone two-handed kisses." I'd live in her world, too.

Have a good day!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hey, that's me!

Over here at the Corner.  Which is what I was doing instead of blogging.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Teenagers and Ethics

Here's the headline:  "American teens lie, steal, cheat at 'alarming' rates."  A study by Josephson Institute surveyed a bunch of kids from all kinds of backgrounds, and found that the already-high rates of unethical behavior are even higher today than two years ago.  *sigh*

If you read through the article, it talks about increasing numbers of kids lying to parents.  That number, well, kids have been lying to their parents for millenia.  But more alarming is the finding that 30% of kids reported stealing from a store within the past year.  Nearly one-in-three.  To me that speaks to a huge sense of entitlement.  Also, my parents would have KILLED me and then died of mortification themselves had I been caught doing something like this.  So there seems to be no fear, no respect for boundaries or rules, from a very large minority.

Finally, cheating in school.  I used to do my friends' French homework because I really enjoyed French.  But I only have one experience with test cheating (in college), and I was being cheated from...the girl next to me kept trying to look at my paper.  I got so mad that I went and told the professor.  Anyway.  There seems to be no fear, and a sense that as long as everything looks fine (like a good grade) it doesn't really matter if the look reflects reality.

The end of the article tells the rest of the story:
Some 93 percent of students indicated satisfaction with their own character and ethics, with 77 percent saying that "when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know."
All of the proponents of self-esteem education have gotten their wish:  an entire population who thinks very highly of themselves.  It also sounds like they have a low view of their peers--"I might be bad but most people I know are worse." 

I think we need to give our kids more opportunities to fail, to pick themselves up and become resilient.  Having some experience with low grades, getting caught, getting in trouble...these aren't the end of the world.  If a person can't deal with these things, how in the world will they deal with the life events that truly are bad?

Monday, December 1, 2008

And, quick!

Just saw this, it is for real, it is hilarious, but I have to run:

About Education...

Rarely do I read something in the Wall Street Journal that I disagree so much with, but today's the day.  So, while I should be doing some last minute studying, I feel compelled to make some comments about it.

This article is written by a former IBM CEO who is now very involved in School Reform (Alert! Danger Will Robinson!).  First, I'll say that he has a couple of points...first, that school class size isn't as much of an issue as you might think.  I like my kids' classes of 15, but research has shown that they aren't critical to excellent education.  However, he has some terrible ideas about improving things:
Abolish all local school districts, save 70 (50 states; 20 largest cities). Some states may choose to leave some of the rest as community service organizations, but they would have no direct involvement in the critical task of establishing standards, selecting teachers, and developing curricula.
What?  NO WAY.  Local control is very important, and I say that knowing what a bunch of igmos we have in our local school board.  Bigger bureaucracies just mean more layers for incompetence or fiefdoms to develop.  The best system we've ever been a part of is the smallest, consisting of exactly two elementary schools, one middle, and one high.  Yes, it's private, but it's lean and mean, educates kids for less than the local school board (NOT including special education services), and I believe in it.  Next idea...
Establish a National Skills Day on which every third, sixth, ninth and 12th-grader would be tested against the national standards. Results would be published nationwide for every school in America.
Um, no.  No, no, no.  What good does this do?  It attaches our leadership even more to high test scores (not to mention taking yet another instructional day away from the teachers).  In our area, of very high scores, the school board and principals have such a death grip on high scores (did you know high scoring schools--GASP!--affect property values?) that they are unwilling to try new approaches which might serve their students better.  In my opinion, if you are going to publish scores, it's either "Pass" or "Fail," no more.  That leaves passing systems free to try magnets, single-sex, other ideas which may suit their population better than the one-size-fits-all approach recommended by this guy.
Establish national standards for teacher certification and require regular re-evaluations of teacher skills. Increase teacher compensation to permit the best teachers (as measured by advances in student learning) to earn well in excess of $100,000 per year, and allow school leaders to remove underperforming teachers.
Pay teachers, fine.  But what kind of corporate job lets you have at least three weeks off in 10 months, plus another two month? I've worked in corporate America, and as far as I know the answer is "none." Teaching is a calling for the best teachers, but not every teacher can be a best teacher (by definition).  I can buy trying to improve the education departments in colleges--unfortunately they usually have the lowest standards for entry in the university.  But I have too many friends and family who work or have worked in public education to believe that these "best" teachers wouldn't really be the best at kowtowing to the leadership.  

The problem in both of these is that the emphasis is on the teachers looking UP, at their bosses, not DOWN, at the children they are supposed to be educating.  Even my language there is wrong--the process should be driven by the children and their best interests.

It's interesting to me that nowhere does Gerstner mention parents.  Does that tell you something?  Just turn your little darlings over to the state, they'll be WELL cared for.  Contrast that with this article, written by a college student.  I don't agree with everything there, either, but even without kids and reams of "educational leadership," he gets it.  Hope for the future, if it will wait for us!
I feel strongly that we have a lot wrong with our school organizations, in particular too much bureaucracy or administration and too much emphasis on the next new curriculum.