Sunday, July 19, 2009

Class divide

From an article in the Guardian UK: "Revealed: the hidden benefits of a private-school education."

...fee-paying pupils benefit from an emphasis on "soft skills" such as teamwork and communication, which are imparted through sport, music and drama. With more pupils now getting the academic grades needed for university, private pupils get ahead because of their more rounded CVs and confident presentation.

That's been my observation as well. Shows how stupid it is for public schools to cut sports, music, drama, and other arts in favor of class after class of reading and math focusing almost exclusively on test prep. Yet another area in which conservatives get it totally wrong.

Brooklyn summer

As regular readers know, I hate New York like any animal hates its cage. The noise, blah blah, the grime, blah blah, the godawful noise, blah blah, blah blah.

But it's not all bad. Last night I agreed to take John Bob to see the new Harry Potter movie. The weather was perfect. Warm, not too humid with a nice breeze. We walked through Prospect Park to get to the theater. We had an hour and a half to kill after buying the tickets so we walked across the street, back into the park to the bandshell, bought a glass of wine and caught the end of the (free) King Sunny Adé concert. By pure happenstance, we sat down on the lawn by some friends, so we sat around and had a nice chat after the concert.

The Potter movie wasn't as bad as I feared. I've read all the books because of the kids. I enjoy them. Not great literature, but page turners with a small amount of emotional impact here and there. I don't like any of the movies though. And I didn't like this one that much either, but it was significantly different than the rest. It was mostly about the awkwardness of teen sexuality and actually did a fairly good job of portraying it. There was some beautiful nature shots as well. All the wizarding mumbo jumbo seemed incidental.

Anyway, the movie got out about 11:30. We popped in a little restaurant for some sushi and I had a large Sapporo, then we hopped on the Subway for a couple stops to get back home. All in all, a nice urban experience.