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I'm on vacation

Today, Buzz and I met to work on a proposal to study mongooses. We worked for a couple of hours in the morning and then had lunch at ABC. Good productive work. Then I had meetings all afternoon.

I was so disgusted to see recently that 1 in 4 teen girls have STDs. Last year, the research came out that showed the abstinence-only "education" was completely ineffective. Now we connect the dots and see the outcome: the Republicans are so mean-spirited they believe that teen-aged girls who have sex deserve to get cancer and die. They really make me sick.

This evening, we went for curriculum night at the high school. I am struck by the rigor of the academic program being presented to parents -- when I look at the work they claim students will do, the expectations are not substantively lower than most advanced undergraduate classes. The parents seemed really aggressive about wanting rigor, rigor, and more rigor. The principal make a comment that I thought was very welcome, about balancing quality of life with challenge. Being at a university, I see the preparation that students come in with and the level of work they're expected to achieve -- it seems relatively pointless, to me, to aim much higher than that for kids in high school. Maybe its natural for people to want their kids to "get ahead". My own take is to strive for a balanced life: kids should make themselves ready for college and for life. Academic excellence is only a very small part of what's important in life: leave plenty of room for the other stuff. I think the other parents would have eaten me alive, if I'd said that there.