Slaves of Happiness Island | VICE United States

Pregnancy is a war between mother and child – Suzanne Sadedin – Aeon

This fact sits uncomfortably with some enduring cultural ideas about motherhood. Even today, it is common to hear doctors talking about the uterine lining as the ‘optimal environment’ for nurturing the embryo. But physiology has long cast doubt on this romantic view.

The cells of the human endometrium are tightly aligned, creating a fortress-like wall around the inside of the uterus. That barrier is packed with lethal immune cells. As far back as 1903, researchers observed embryos ‘invading’ and ‘digesting’ their way into the uterine lining. In 1914, R W Johnstone described the implantation zone as ‘the fighting line where the conflict between the maternal cells and the invading trophoderm takes place’. It was a battlefield ‘strewn with… the dead on both sides’.

When scientists tried to gestate mice outside the womb, they expected the embryos to wither, deprived of the surface that had evolved to nurture them. To their shock they found instead that – implanted in the brain, testis or eye of a mouse – the embryo went wild. Placental cells rampaged through surrounding tissues, slaughtering everything in their path as they hunted for arteries to sate their thirst for nutrients. It’s no accident that many of the same genes active in embryonic development have been implicated in cancer. Pregnancy is a lot more like war than we might care to admit.

Why teachers have a tougher job than doctors

LN: The one place you found a similar system in the US was at charter schools.

EG: They have a system of watching each other teach, sharing ideas about what they’ve seen. They have time dedicated just for learning about teaching. It’s really simple, basic things, but they make a huge difference, and they don’t exist inside the traditional US school system.

I think we take the wrong lessons from charter schools. I think a lot of policymakers have looked at the successful charter schools, and they’ve said the lesson here is they operate in a free-market system where they can fire and hire whomever they please. And students choose to go there.

When I asked the charter school leaders, they don’t credit their success with market models. In fact they talk about the limits of those models. Instead, they credit their success to the “build it, don’t buy it” approach. You can’t buy talent; you have to build it. You can’t incentivize your way or fire your way to better schools. You have to give teachers opportunities to learn.

Why Do Americans Stink at Math?

American institutions charged with training teachers in new approaches to math have proved largely unable to do it. At most education schools, the professors with the research budgets and deanships have little interest in the science of teaching. Indeed, when Lampert attended Harvard’s Graduate School of Education in the 1970s, she could find only one listing in the entire course catalog that used the word “teaching” in its title. (Today only 19 out of 231 courses include it.) Methods courses, meanwhile, are usually taught by the lowest ranks of professors — chronically underpaid, overworked and, ultimately, ineffective.

Without the right training, most teachers do not understand math well enough to teach it the way Lampert does. “Remember,” Lampert says, “American teachers are only a subset of Americans.” As graduates of American schools, they are no more likely to display numeracy than the rest of us. “I’m just not a math person,” Lampert says her education students would say with an apologetic shrug.

Consequently, the most powerful influence on teachers is the one most beyond our control. The sociologist Dan Lortie calls the phenomenon the apprenticeship of observation. Teachers learn to teach primarily by recalling their memories of having been taught, an average of 13,000 hours of instruction over a typical childhood. The apprenticeship of observation exacerbates what the education scholar Suzanne Wilson calls education reform’s double bind. The very people who embody the problem — teachers — are also the ones charged with solving it.

We Need a Strong Prison System

How Not to Talk to Your Kids

dangergays:

My boyfriend broke up with me and my 80 year old, 5 foot tall, Indian grandmother told me that “there are lots of men…”

I thought she was then going to say “…in the sea” but she said “…they’re like flies” and made a disgusted face.

She hates flies.

(via bluestockingmoth)

thefuuuucomics:

fuck ur dreams kid

thefuuuucomics:

fuck ur dreams kid

(Source: suprchnk, via nbaoffseason)

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