Why is bullying so openly tolerated in schools? Don’t they realize when you let a kid be a bully, the little s*** grows up into an adult bully?

Answered Dec 29, 2019

Just look at the priorities, both individual and institutional.

  • A school is, by definition, dealing with children and adolescents. The adults that they become are irrelevant. Because those adults are long gone from the school.
  • The individual staff are there primarily to collect a paycheque for a job. The money may be fixed, with them wanting to minimise the effort and stress involved.
  • Some staff may, themselves be bullies. Against their colleagues, their acquaintances, their spouses, and their own children. They think bullying is cool.
  • Some staff may be the target of bullies. Such as their colleagues, their acquaintances, their spouses, and their own children.
  • Some staff are also the target of those school bullies. And aren’t empowered by their employer to do anything about it.
  • Generally, empathy is severely lacking in all parts of society.

What are some ways to end child abuse?

Answered Dec 26, 1019

I will list individual methods, and then general methods.

Individual

  • Turn eighteen years old, and walk right on out the door. And zero further in-person interactions with the abuser. Or better yet, no interactions of any kind.
  • Some abusers will continue after the “child” is of legal age, so it becomes adult abuse. The sense of entitlement never stops.
  • The child becomes old enough to notify police, child protective services, schoolteachers, doctors, etc. Although some do so, and still don’t receive help.
  • The child becomes physically larger and stronger than the abuser. Either actually defending themselves, or at least putting the abuser in fear. That is all some people comprehend.
  • In a two-parent family, the other parent needs to stop looking the other way, and protect their children. The same applies to other relatives.
  • A neighbour can call police or child protection agency. Although this doesn’t guarantee anything will be done.

General

  • Sex education. Teach teenagers (starting from maybe age twelve) how babies are made. And how to avoid making them. Include discussion of the heavy consequences of having unplanned children.
  • Teach teenagers (starting from maybe age twelve) that, they should NOT have dating/partner relationships with abusers. Many children are abused by baby-daddies, stepfathers, or random guys that the mother allows into the home. Many abusive relationshits result in unplanned children.
  • Contraception. Either single-use, long-term, or permanent. Universally available. With sliding scale cost, down to free. If the person is on welfare, offer them a payment to get an implant or sterilisation.
  • Stop the societal assumption and pressure that everyone “must” have children.
  • School monitoring could improve. Start with a default assumption that, any random child IS being abused.
  • All child emergency department presentations should have strong focus on abuse. Did she really fall down the stairs, or was her mother beating her?
  • A big, big issue is to stop the pervasive denial that, mothers are magically sweet and innocent. Maternal abuse and neglect is actually the biggest problem. Stop with the idea that “mommy” is pure and innocent. This would require females to cut their own umbilical cord to their mothers.
  • Monitoring of reported abusers. There are mothers who have already had their children taken away, and the pop out another one, to abuse.
  • Monitoring of home-schooling. This is an efficient way to isolate children, and get away with abuse.
  • Stop blaming child abuse survivors, and treating them like liars, or like they provoked the abuse.
  • Stop minimising abuse. And stop with the plausible deniability that, a parent hitting a child is just good loving discipline for bad behaviour by the child.
  • A large-scale comparison of how, a man punching his wife in the face is horrible, but a woman punching her child is somehow acceptable.
  • If you don’t want your children taken away, then quit beating your children.

None of these general points will ever happen.

And child abuse will continue. And the denial, and victim-blaming, and mommy-worship, will continue.

How do I control a classroom full of adults?

Answered Dec 15, 2019

This comes from the perspective of student who has seen a wide range of classroom behaviours.

The need for control depends on the particular circumstances.

If it is ten postgraduate students, then they have already been heavily filtered for acting civilised.

If it is 20 or 30 students in some type of low-level (pre-degree, foundation, developmental, remedial, etc) type of course, with zero intake filter, then you may face serious challenges. I previously described the horrific classroom conditions at a place that I call, Low Rent Polytechnic…

Victoria Campbell’s answer to What are your biggest classroom management issues?

Some ideas on how to avoid that kind of Students Gone Wild situation…

Be as organised and prepared as possible.

Pacing is important, to keep their attention, without going too fast.

If possible, arrive early, and arrange all of the tables and seats in rows facing forward. Avoid the “U” shape arrangement.

Clearly lay out behavioural expectations right from the start, during the first class session. Emphasise that, it is in their own best interest to meet these expectations. Also have a section about this at the beginning of your printed syllabus or study guide.

Emphasise that they are paying, in money and time, to have you teach them, while they learn. And that, it is a two-way contract. Mention that, everybody should respect the fact that, their classmates are paying, and may be making large sacrifices for this opportunity.

Ban the use of laptops. If there is a clearly articulated disability issue, then there might be grounds for an individual exemption. Otherwise, clearly and firmly state that, the teaching won’t start until all computers are turned off, and preferably placed in bags.

If a student gets bored, and pulls out their computer during the session, calmly go over, and remind them of the rule. If they don’t immediately comply, clearly and firmly state that, the teaching is now on hold, and will resume after the computer is turned off and put away. Make sure the entire room hears this.

If your institution doesn’t give you the authority to ban laptops, then try requiring all users to sit in the back row. Tell them that, this is for courtesy to others who don’t want to be distracted by the screen, regardless of what is on it.

Have a small supply of paper and pens ready, if they neglected to bring them. Mention that, tests and exams will require hours of writing by hand, so they will benefit from getting accustomed to it.

Mobile phones need to be turned to silent/vibrate mode. Demonstrate that you are doing the same with yours. Phones should preferably be in their pocket or bag. Tell them that you are OK with them responding to an emergency, or update on a sick relative. But emphasise that, people aren’t as good at multitasking as they think, and that, phone use will reduce their ability to pass the course.

It is important to deal with disruptors rapidly. Just ignoring one individual sends everyone else the message that, they too can disrupt without consequence.

If someone keeps talking inappropriately, you might call on them. Ask if they have a question about the material. Or ask if they had something to offer or share with the class.

A common problem seems to be what I call Disruptive Duos. The pair always sit together, and talk. Sometimes loudly and incessantly. There may be multiple Disruptive Duos in the room. If they keep doing it, then start the next session by shuffling the seating. Perhaps say that, they need to get accustomed to sitting with new people, since jobs will eventually require that. In severe, repeated cases, you might resort to assigning seats to separate the Disruptive Duos. Perhaps best to assign all of the students to avoid the perception of being harsher only on certain people.

Some subjects can be punctuated with, “Are there any questions about that part?” before moving on. Reassure them that, any question they have is probably on other people’s minds, as well.

If it is a regular classroom (i.e. not a large lecture theatre), move around the room a bit.

Attendance rolls and requirements can be a problem. There may be a legitimate need. But sometimes, they encourage people to show up just to be marked as physically present, when they don’t want to be mentally present.

Never, ever get visibly angry. That makes the out-of-control situation worse.

If anyone gets an attitude of, “This isn’t high school, and we are adults, so we will do what we want”, then calmly explain two things. They are choosing to be there and learn. Also, adults are expected to behave in an adult manner.

How are laptops used by students for studies during lectures?

Answered Dec 14, 2019

Note that this question appears to have changed since previous answers, and now specifies “during lectures”.

One time, I noticed a significant change in the way that computers were being used.

In first year, I sat near the back, and could see many of the other students’ screens.

Some were taking notes or scrolling though the PDF of the lecture (which was often available for download ahead of time).

However, a good percentage of students were scrolling through FaceBook, playing games, shopping, and doing other irrelevant web surfing. Some also seemed to be writing email.

That second category of computer use was at least more subtle than the blatant playing with phones.

In a certain second year class (which had first year prerequisites that had to have been passed), I also sat in the back, and could see the laptop screens.

At that point, every screen had the PDF of the slides for the lecture.

Also, nobody was playing with their phone.

Honestly, I don’t believe that, all of the people who were distracting themselves before, had magically improved to be more focused and serious.

Rather, my guess is that, the change was a matter of filtering. In which many of the self-distracting people simply weren’t there anymore.

Should students in college be allowed to talk and act however they want within the classroom as long as it’s not disruptive?

Answered Dec 14, 2019

This question contains a very misguided assumption, or excuse. Which suggests that, it may have been asked by a student who feels entitled to talk and act inappropriately in class.

As a student, I paid in money and time to show up for classes. The function of the classes was to listen to a qualified teacher explain the material. This function did not involve listening to classmates talking about irrelevant things, socialising with each other, etc.

When I talked in class, it was generally to engage the teacher, to ask or answer a question about the material. And did so in a polite, respectful way.

The way I acted involved watching and listening attentively, taking notes. I always used pen and paper. I left my computer at home, and my phone in my bag.

In labs, there might be some waiting time, while something boils or incubates, and I occasionally made very brief conversation during that. But mainly focused on the tasks going on.

I suppose you could view that as talking and acting however I wanted, without being disruptive.

Showing a pattern of being diligent, serious, and respectful, helps in cultivating positive relations with teachers and classmates. This has proven very valuable for me in dealing with them outside of classrooms.

However, if you are in a classroom, while the teacher is talking, then your irrelevant talking and socialising is, by definition, disruptive. It is also disrespectful, to the teacher, and to the other students.

I had one lecturer openly state that, as a general principle, if people weren’t interested in listening and learning, then he wanted them to just stay away. And I also witnessed a couple of other lecturers say a very specific, individual, “If you don’t want to be here, I’m going to ask you to leave the room”.

Also, when you are talking and socialising, you cannot be listening to the teacher. So you cannot be learning, or benefiting from the class. So you might ask yourself why you paid in money and time to show up and sit in that room?

Lastly, you are preparing to eventually move forward from your present situation. You may want a personal recommendation or approval for postgraduate study, or for a job. What effect do you think your classroom behaviour might have on that?

How do people in different countries remember which direction to change their clocks for Daylight Saving Time?

Answered Nov 17, 2019

The idea is, “Spring forward, Fall back”. On whatever Sunday night is designated. This applies to both northern and southern hemispheres.

Personally, my only clocks are on the computer and the phone. So I set them to update the time automatically.

(Non-UK) In Northern England we tend to say “thank you” to the driver when we get off a bus, however Southerners seem to think this strange. What is the bus exiting etiquette in your country?

In New Zealand, we generally thank the driver.

When I leave from the back door, I lightly call, “Thank you.”

Leaving from the front door, I lightly say, “Cheers.”

I live in a small city, so the drivers and I sometimes recognise each other, and they may even know where I am going.

I do this thanks/cheers for both local buses, and for intercity buses.

This habit might be waived if there is a big crowd getting on or off.

This is normal in Palmy and Welly, and probably the rest of New Zealand.

Why do Canadian and American law officials only use North American vehicles? Why don’t they drive foreign cars?

Updated Nov 20, 2019

Back in the early 90s, I asked a Southern California police officer why all of their new cars were the goofy-looking Chevrolet Caprice. Previously, there was a mix of earlier, boxy-looking Caprice, and also the Ford Crown Victoria.

He said that, by that point, the Chevy was the only model available with a “police package”. This meant a certain engine, plus a stronger wheel suspension, and stronger electrical system. There might have been a different automatic transmission system.

He called it the, “Shamu-mobile”.

What’s something you can’t believe you had to explain to another adult?

Updated Fri, Dec 27, 2019

So many things I have found myself explaining to (alleged) adults…

  • It is possible for an adult to live someplace that is a long distance from the town where they were born, or from anywhere they lived as a child. Actually living in that place, not merely a brief, temporary vacation.
  • Extended from the previous item, it is possible for an adult to pack up and move to a new town, city, state/province, or even country. To actually live, not a vacation.
  • The US military has a pervasive practice of requiring servicemembers (and, by extension, their children) to pack up and move to new places, long distances, repeatedly. It is normal within the context.
  • There are other job fields involving high rates of geographic mobility. Which results in children becoming accustomed to the concept of relocation.
  • When an adult relocates to another country, she will generally continue speaking with an accent from her original country. It doesn’t instantly change, and she isn’t obligated to change it. She gets tired of hearing, “You have an accent” over and over. Also, claiming that, native-born New Zealanders don’t speak with any accent is totally ignorant.
  • Some people’s parents don’t live together. Or anywhere near each other.
  • If you are eighteen, and your mother is moving to rural NothingTown, with very poor job prospects, it is reasonable and legitimate to move a long distance to your father, who lives in a city with much better job prospects. There is nothing wrong with this, and it is the mature, responsible thing for some people to do.
  • There are eighteen-year-olds who are mature and responsible enough to be living completely independently of their parents, voluntarily. Working, paying the rent, etc. And, being eighteen, they are legally adults, and within their rights to act like it. Some people have to start supporting themselves younger than that.
  • It is possible for an adult to live a long distance from her mother, and to be quite satisfied with that situation.
  • Extended from previous item, it is possible for an adult to permanently refuse any contact of any kind with her mother. And to be quite satisfied with that situation.
  • There are mothers who don’t love their children. There are mothers who physically beat their children in a manner that constitutes a crime. Denial and victim-blaming are completely inappropriate, and make you into a moral accomplice to the abuse.
  • It is possible to travel to an unfamiliar area, whether across town, or to a new city. And to navigate one’s self, without another person giving directions. This involves the use of a thing called a map, which some people actually possess the basic skill to use.
  • Rubbish and recycling pickup may be scheduled for very early in the morning (so the truck is no longer blocking the street by the time people are driving to work). A neighbour knew this, since she stated that, she had attempted to put her rubbish out on the way to work, but the truck had already been past. It happened at least twice. She saw me placing my rubbish out on the evening before pickup day, and said, “That’s a really good idea”. She hadn’t bothered to read the printing on the official council bags that said you could put them out starting 5PM the evening before. She was in her 40s, and my guess had been dependent on her now-former husband for this simple task and knowledge.
  • When at a retail store, you may need to wait your turn in line to checkout. Barging up to the counter, demanding that the cashier stop in the middle of a transaction with the person ahead of you, and let you proceed first, is unrealistic.
  • There are jobs that pay more than minimum wage. Often in exchange for more than minimum effort, skills, and attitude.
  • There are jobs that pay for more than 8 hours x 5 days/week of work. This is perfectly legal (with some safety limitations, e.g. transportation), and there are employees who are actually willing to do this. The fact that you aren’t willing to do so is irrelevant.
  • There are jobs (e.g. courier services) that involve physically going to different locations throughout the day. Including on-demand orders, without any fixed route or pre-set itinerary. The worker may even go to locations that she has never been to previously (see item regarding maps). The fact that you cannot psychologically handle such a job is irrelevant.
  • There are jobs that pay on productivity (commission, piecework, etc), without any hourly wage. And, with some of these jobs, it is possible to earn enough money to support one’s self. The fact that you don’t feel willing or able to do so is irrelevant.
  • Even on an hourly wage, it is reasonable that an employer will expect you get a commensurate dollar-value worth of work done. There isn’t any rule requiring them to pay you to just show up and sit around all day long.
  • There are jobs that involve working at night, so the person must sleep during the day. Calling them on the phone in the daytime, and being informed that you woke them from sleep, does not somehow indicate that they are lazy.
  • Generally, a telephone is not a leash for you to randomly jerk. If you call an acquaintance, or your “booty-call” person, without prior agreement, you might receive the voicemail, for a variety of reasons. Acting offended or victimsed is inappropriate.
  • Depending on income and expenses, it is possible to put a portion of one’s income into a savings account, and leave it there. Then gradually build up savings over time. Without just compulsively spending every dollar between paycheques.
  • When someone requires her car to get to work, or during the workday, she should prioritise finances to keep it running. Saving aside money for the next possible repair does not mean she “wants” the car to break down. It also does not mean she chooses to be constantly miserable.
  • Buying lottery tickets is a very poor strategy for attempting to improve one’s finances, or to pursue financial goals. Claiming that it is the only viable strategy, and denigrating someone who doesn’t buy lottery tickets is inappropriate.
  • Some people live in bad neighbourhoods because they are working poor with a low income. Not because they are somehow bad people who enjoy the atmosphere. Not everyone can afford to live in a nice, middle-class neighbourhood.
  • There are adults who can not simply call the Bank Of Mommy And Daddy for a withdrawal anytime they are short on cash. And this does not automatically make them bad people.
  • There are people who don’t use any recreational/addictive drugs, and don’t drink alcohol to excess.
  • When you openly throw large numbers of cigarette butts around the outside of a small apartment building, your neighbours have the right to react negatively. This includes when your butts keep landing in your neighbour’s vegetable garden. When you flick still-burning butts onto the grass, you are creating a fire hazard. Don’t lie and claim that they aren’t your butts, when you do it openly, are the only person in the building who smokes, and there is a trail from your parking space to your door.
  • Some people have views on religion that are different to yours. For example, some don’t believe in any god or afterlife. And that doesn’t automatically make them evil or dangerous.
  • People have the right to refuse to have sex with you. In a specific manner, on a specific occasion, or at all. They have the right to assert boundaries (sexual or otherwise) within a sexual relationship, including the right to unilaterally terminate the relationship. I once explained this to a middle-aged woman, who still refused to understand.
  • Within a relationship, a person has the right to respond negatively when you attempt sexual coercion or assault. Including dumping you to prevent a repeat.
  • Ordering your sex partner (“booty-call”) to barge into her doctor’s office, and coerce a prescription for magical breast-enlargement pills is inappropriate. She isn’t somehow victimsing you by refusing to comply with this demand.
  • There are some females who sexually abuse and assault (sexually and/or non-sexually) their female partners. Denial and victim-blaming are completely inappropriate, and make you into a moral accomplice to the abuse.
  • There are people who socialise and try to meet new people for platonic friendships, and not necessarily for sexual relationships.
  • People have the right to refuse to be friends with someone they don’t like.
  • If you want to establish or maintain a friendship or relationship, it is reasonable that you will be required to contribute positively to the other person’s life. And required to not use or abuse them. See previous items.
  • When meeting a new person socially, immediately saying, “I can only talk to you if you promise that, anytime I tell you to do something, you will do it”, is a very poor strategy for making new friends.
  • Empathy, kindness, openness, and generosity are not a deliberate invitation to use and abuse the person. Those things are also limited, and may be exhausted or withdrawn.
  • It is reasonable to pay one’s credit card and other bills, in order to maintain a positive credit history, which is a valuable thing to have.
  • In a classroom full of adult students, it is reasonable to expect them to behave in a civilised, respectful manner. Such a not continuously carrying on irrelevant conversations at the top of their lungs. A more civilised student has the right to respond negatively to out-of-control classmates who degrade the education for which she is paying in money/time/stress.
  • There are people who don’t attend any formal schooling as children, and who still learn the same amounts and types of skills and information. Such as partly being taught (e.g. a parent teaching the child to read), and also by independently reading and studying.
  • Don’t physically touch an acquaintance, classmate, coworker, etc, without their consent. They have the right to respond negatively if you do this.
  • There are women who have never done sexual activity in exchange for money.
  • There are women who never have any children, and are quite satisfied with being childfree. And this is not a deliberate affront against you. There is zero obligation to have unplanned children just because somebody else did.
  • There are women who remain single (not married or partnered), without just desperately marrying/partnering with any random available person.
  • It isn’t reasonable or realistic to expect people to just hand you resources, merely because you believe that they possess those resources.
  • The fact that a person has a job does not automatically mean that they can afford to, or are obligated to, hand you any amount of cash you feel entitled to.
  • The fact that another person possesses a car does not automatically make them your personal, on-demand, free limousine.
  • When you are a passenger in a moving car, it is highly inappropriate to suddenly waive your hand in the driver’s face, so that she has to quickly jerk her head back to avoid being hit. When I was a teenager, I had to explain this to my middle-aged mother.
  • When you are living on someone else’s couch, openly abusing and threatening them is conducive to being thrown out on the street. If you don’t like the conditions, rules, or host, your recourse is to go out and find a living situation that you feel is more satisfactory.
  • When you threaten to commit a violent crime against someone, it is reasonable to expect that they will take steps to avoid that. Which may include contacting the police.
  • Physically beating someone is still a crime, even if you don’t put them in the hospital.
  • There exist people who actually will start an unprovoked confrontation with a stranger on the street, which may escalate to an unprovoked physical assault. Denial and victim-blaming are completely inappropriate.
  • If you want to reduce your future chances of arrest and incarceration, you should consider reducing the amount of idiotic crimes that you commit.
  • Your manner of dress and hairstyle will affect your chances of being hired for a job. Deliberately wearing dirty clothes, refusing to bathe daily (despite access to facilities), and stinking up the area will affect many people’s willingness to interact with you in any way.
  • If you walk into a store and attempt to steal something, the employees and owner have a reasonable position to prevent you from doing so, or to otherwise respond negatively.
  • Your drug problem is just that – yours. Other people don’t just exist to enable you.
  • If you approach a taxicab driver, wanting a free ride, it is reasonable that s/he will refuse. If you take a cab ride and then evade payment, it is reasonable for the driver to respond negatively. If s/he suspects that you are likely to do this, there are regulations stating that s/he may require an estimated payment before the trip starts.
  • There are passengers who take taxicab rides to score drugs. And, no, driving them to the police station isn’t a smart idea. And some other passengers will rob and/or assault the driver, who has the right to be paranoid.
  • It is possible and allowable for a middle-aged person to go to university.
  • It is possible for a person to learn new skills and procedures, for a new job.
  • It is viable to live in an apartment that consists of a single room plus bathroom. It is possible to sleep and to prepare food in the same room. And no, this is not somehow equivalent to living in a cardboard box on the street.
  • Stealth camping on public land, for an extended period, is a viable option for some people.
  • It is possible to resign from a job for legitimate reasons, and is not automatically lazy or irresponsible. For example, moving to another city, enrolling at university, or just getting a better job.
  • If your employer is having lowered profits, and shrinking (e.g. a retail chain that shuts down some store locations), it is perfectly legal for them to make you redundant/laid-off, and no longer employed there. You can lose your job without personally doing anything wrong, and you have zero recourse.
  • The fact that someone else feels stuck in a job they hate, or a location they don’t like, or other miserable life situation, does not obligate everyone else to set their lives up that way.
  • Openly insulting someone you just met is not a good way to make friends and receive admiration.
  • Demanding financial information, medical information, or similar private information from someone you just met socially is inappropriate.
  • A person’s money is theirs, to use in the manner that they choose, without being dictated to by some random acquaintance, such as you.
  • A person’s time, physical body (including medical care), sexuality, physical appearance, and tastes/preferences belong entirely to them, without being dictated to by some random acquaintance, such as you.
  • People have the right to walk down a public street, minding their own business. The fact that you don’t like their physical appearance is irrelevant.
  • It is viable to live without owning a television set. Including long before the World Wide Web or video streaming were invented. Even with a computer, it is viable to simply not watch mass-market television shows. There are actually other activities that can be done in one’s leisure time.
  • There are adults who voluntarily read books, nonfiction, adult-level. Some people actually enjoy reading.
  • When you blatantly lie to someone, it is reasonable that they will never trust you on that issue, or anything else.
  • The limits of your life are yours. What you have or haven’t experienced or witnessed, what you feel capable of, etc, are not the universal limits of everyone else’s life.
  • There is only one guarantee in life – that it will eventually end. Everything else involves some level of ambiguity. And that fact is not a personal vicitimisation against you.
  • Different behaviours are conducive to different results. Things don’t just “happen”.

In some cases, multiple different items above were explained to one person. Some items were explained to multiple different people.

Even when explaining these principles, some people still didn’t comprehend. Some adamantly argued, and insisted that I was the ignorant one.

Are violent people mentally sick?

Answered Oct 24, 2019

It depends on the sex of the violent person.

If a man beats his wife, then he is automatically, 100% sane, and responsible for his actions. He is an evil thug.

If a woman beats her child, then she is automatically an innocent victim, of anything and everything. Such as being labeled mentally ill. Although that is a distant third, after denial and victim-blaming.

This extends to any and all other situations where, either a man or a woman, commits physical violence.