1484 Magical Mystery School.

Perocial school is the word I think Thomas is searching for. I honestly can’t remember for sure and haven’t bothered to look it up, although that’s more down to my memory than my education. I actually learned more from random books than from going to school. Studying I did on my own put me ahead much more than most of the teaching I experienced. I think learning in your own way is the best way to learn, on balance, but a lot of people just wouldn’t bother if they weren’t forced to. I like learning stuff. As much now as ever really. I feel like things have more purpose if I’m learning new things. I used to listen to a lot more podcasts and things when I started doing the comic because it took me so long to do it. Now I have to cram a lot of other stuff in around making it and I’m not as focused as back then. I think I’d like to get to some happy medium between the two states.

Do you guys know of any good stuff to watch with real facts and stuff, or podcasts? I listened to a whole course just about Tolkien’s writing. I know I talked about it. I know way too much about the mythos of the Hobbit, but I also got some good stuff about worldbuilding, so it all sort of worked out.

A friend and his wife sent me a box of Japanese food this weekend. I tried to share it with my family but it did not go well. My dad was the only one who didn’t gag over anything. I’m keeping the rest of it to myself. I have miso and curry yet to try. I don’t think I’ve ever had curry. This is bagged mix, but still. there’s also cold noodles, which every part of my brain tells me should be eaten hot. I’m going to try and do them properly, but if I can’t I’m totally going to microwave them a little. There aren’t a lot of savory foods I can tolerate cold.

The Teen went with mom to help grandma take down her xmas decorations. Under protest, which I’m sure made the whole ordeal that much more enjoyable. The kid loves a celebration but hates cleaning it up. They came home early, but I don’t think the task was actually finished. I think the parties involved got tired of her endless bitching, although no one has actually said those exact words.

My weekend was quiet and productive because of this event. I got a little closer to being caught up on things. There’s an update to the patreon story if you’re a patron. I’m also trying to commission some special drawings for Patreon. I’ll keep you informed. I had a really hard time finding anyone who wanted to do anything. I think a friend will be able to though. His schedule permitting.

I’ve felt relatively well this last week. No major times of having to lie down for hours at a stretch. I’ve been able to do a lot more than I was last month. Maybe things are finally starting to really trend up again. I certainly hope they are.


I find it fascinating to talk to friends about Catholic School vs “real school”. Ours was a writing intensive college prep scool. I was so diappointed to get to our cheap local college and find out I had to do more reading and writing in high school.

I don’t post very often because I tend to come by once or twice a month to read a bunch of strips at once. I’m sorry you’ve been having such bad health problems, Jackie, and I hope things improve. Happy new year — may this year be better than the last, and may every year from here on be better than the one before it!

On which subject are you looking to learn. Because there are plenty of MOOCs on the internet.
You can for example find plenty of them on mooc-list.com, mooc.ca, khanacademy.org

If you haven’t checked it out yet, I’d look up radiolab. It’s a really good podcast about unusual experiments and what they yell us about the world and life.

Considering they are both working dead-end minimum-wage retail jobs and don’t appear to have any higher qualifications, I’m not sure than bickering about who had the better education is all that relevant..

In this generation, a degree gives you maybe a 50% chance of getting a job that pays more than minimum wage. Pretty much all my friends have degrees, but half of us work in retail. One of my friends went through years and years of culinary training to work at 4 different high end resort as a cook… that paid 50 cents more than minimum wage.

It’s good to hear that you’re feeling better, Jackie! I’ll have to check out the story update later today.

Went to a private school up until roughly 10th grade. Went to a public school after that. Essentially (with the aforementioned difference in theology based classes) the material covered was the same. The real difference came in what was expected of you. In public school normal classes were taught so that the lowest level student could keep up. In private school the classes were taught at a certain level and all students were expected to meet it.

You can decide for yourself which style is better. The caveat to this is what is called Advanced Placement classes (at least were I come from) in public school. They were taught on a level equivalent to what the private school taught.

Also the big advantage of the public school was the funding allowed it to have a wider variety of class offerings like metal or wood shop. The private school had to keep it to just the required curriculum.

Commenting 2 years late:

I went to a Catholic high school, and we also had AP classes, as well as International Baccalaureate (IB) classes. I can’t say for certain that every private school has those classes, but from my experience, they don’t seem to be exclusively offered at only public schools.

a podcast i started listening to recently is Stuff You Should Know
it’s by the guys who do the How Stuff Works tv show
each episode they give you a rundown of a different topic
they also go on tangents every now and then
but it’s like being in a room with people having an good conversation

A number of people have mentioned over the years (a former neighbor and a previous girlfriend, for example) that Latin as one of the primary obstacles they experienced Parochial School. @Sorreah reminded me of it here. Both of my friends used the ALM System book, which was actually written by a teacher at my Public High School. Of course, it wasn’t a requirement at my school.

I’m glad you’re feeling better, Jackie. My brother and I have been fighting off the Cold from Hell since New Year’s Eve. Coughing, sneezing and all the gross stuff associated, but it just won’t die! Just sayin’, don’t come over here.

I went to a public Catholic school, and I agree-I got a far better education those three years than I did the one I got from the regular school. They offered Religion classes, but it wasn’t mandatory, and from what I hear, they offer many more courses now than they did. The focus was more on academics and tech than trades, and so that’s likely why I did better. But the secular school does excel in the trades, so horses for courses and what not.

For the cold noodles, I would not recommend eating them lukewarm. If your not keen on them cold, cook them to be hot, to avoid bacterial growth. I’ve never heard of Japanese curry..I am intrigued.

Constantly learning new things is your best defense against Alzheimer’s. If you’re looking for some random learning, TheGreatCourses.com offers college-level DVDs and CDs of courses ranging from math to philosophy, science to history, and everything in-between (philosophy of math? They’ve got it!)

And the cold noodles are supposed to be eaten during the summer. I’ve even had them with the ice cubes still in them. But then it was 110F in the shade that day…

Attended Catholic school from 3rd to 8th grade, back in the last days of the nuns in late medieval dress, with the wimples and commando boots, armed with steel rulers and the rosary around the waist that could be used in martial arts. They liked to tell us how soft we had it, because when they were kids, the nuns could beat the kids and made them kneel on a pole laid on the floor in front of the class.

I didn’t like it a whole lot, but I was an obnoxious, poorly socialized little twerp, and it probably did do me some good.

The public schools have to educate all kids who reside in the district. Private schools can reject the troublemakers or clamp down on them extra hard, depending on the parents’ consent and the schools mission. Public schools don’t really have that option.

Seems to me that a lot of the people who complain about the failures of public education do not care a rat’s ass about education of all for the good of the populace as a whole–they just want special treatment (and less future competition for good jobs) for their own special snowflakes. Real education is subversive, because good teachers challenge kids to question everything they believe.

Anyhow, Jackie, let us know what you think of the miso. I like it in soup with noodles and mushrooms and vegetables in winter, but it may seem quite odd if you’ve never tasted it before. It’s salty but has a good bit of protein and not too much fat. Probably healthier than bouillon for soup, but it doesn’t work as a broth for risotto and things like that.

Sadly – you have it dead on Typeminer. Public schools have to take everyone and can’t really kick anyone out. It’s nearly impossible even to suspend major trouble makers – unless they happen to bring some fingernail clippers to class (snarking about misplaced priorities there in case you didn’t catch it). I was fortunate enough to go to a public school that offered nearly all the available AP classes and actually prepared the students to pass them. The parents expected their kids to actually behave and those who flunked classes were lower on the social scale than those who hung out in the parking lot smoking (although there was some overlap there). In a class of 400+ we had 2 dropouts – a girl who got knocked up and a kid who went to night school and graduated from that about the same time as the rest of us. It was just a fairly ordinary community otherwise with a mixture of middle class and farmers. No upper-class or extremely poor people (unless you count the struggling farmers).
Of course now the same school has a much higher drop out rate. Lower parental and community expectations I guess.
It takes both good teachers and high expectations from parents and peers to produce an environment where quality education occurs. One of my kids went to a school that had lots of AP classes but the pass rate on the exam was only 10-15% compared to the 80%+ when I was attending the school. For some reason they think that just having the class and filling it with kids makes for a great school. My thought is that if the kids can’t pass the AP exam at the end of the class they might as well fill the class with cats and dogs.

I listen to podcasts when I’m out walking the dog or doing chores around the house, mostly. My favorite ones educationally are Planet Money, which is investigating and explaining things in economics for the benefit of the layperson, and Invisibilia, which is about the invisible forces that shape our world, which mostly turns out to be human psychology related. One of my favorite podcasts is The Nerdist podcast, which is hour long interviews with mostly entertainment industry people. The interesting thing is that they are really hour long conversations, and while he gives them a few minutes of that hour to plug their projects, it mostly drifts into things like the creative process, how do you stay sane under the pressures of the industry or how to maintain a stable relationship under the same. And it is surprising how much you can learn about your own psychology from hearing other people explain their own, and how much you can be inspired by hearing about other people’s perseverance in the face of failure. And it is also fun when some comedian is the guest and it turns into one big riff session too.

Glad to hear you’re feeling better! I’ll chime in with another podcast recommendation – actually they do two, depending on where your interest lies. The Week in Virology and The Week in Parasitology, both by the same group of people. As you can likely figure out, they are about viruses (‘the kind that make you ill’ is their tagline) and parasites, respectively.

One of my favorite things to listen to is the BBC/British Museum’s History of the World in 100 Objects (it’s a podcast I downloaded for free from NPR, or maybe directly from the BBC). How It’s Made is an entrancing manufacturing show.

If you’re looking for a good factual podcast, I would suggest “In Our Time” with Melvyn Bragg. It’s a BBC radio show that does 30-minute panel discussions about a topic (in science, history, philosophy, etc.) with experts in the field, and they have years worth of the show available as podcasts. The format is a little rushed, so they never get very deep into a topic, but it does keep it from ever dragging.

There’s an asian dish that is usually an appetizer called cold noodle with seaseme sauce. Once I got my mind around it, I fell in love with it.

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