05 March, 2011


Hooray, it is officially Spring, the first day of the year so far that has been warm and dry enough for me to get into the garden, so I have started work again on the path that I've been planning in my front garden. Homebase tomorrow!

Had to go into town today to get Larry a white leotard as the only dancewear shop in south London said the Fancy Footwork hordes had already descended on their shop and stripped it bare of white leotards. Found just the thing in Capezio in Endell Street, so now we know where to go for all our dancewear emergencies. Lunch at Cafe de Hong Kong - belly pork and perserved mustard - yum!

Had an altercation with a security guard in the Boots on Trafalgar Square. Should probably not go in there again for a year or so, which since I've avoided going into that Boots for the first 46 years of my life, should not be too difficult.

Am looking for a heavy duty loo brush - the kind with wire wool on the end. Do they exist or is it just in my fervid imaginings?

Just started watching Big Bang Theory. I really empathise with Sheldon.

Working my way through the Everyman PG Wodehouse - currently on A Gentleman of Leisure.

Hitting the kids with 16 minute blasts of maths. I'm trying to rewire their brains into maths brains while they're still young and pliable.

Nighty night!


Blogger Sir Compton said...

Bloody cold here. Just been down to rain-soaked Greenwich for a film. Brrrr!

Get the kids a tutor. Best money I ever spent and it took away all the fear of maths for them.

10:32 pm  
Blogger FBT said...

They did have a tutor, but it wasn't having any effect. They understand the concepts, it's just that they're amazingly slow, easily distracted and make loads of careless mistakes. What they need is tons and tons of practice until it becomes second nature to them. At the moment, they just get confused, panic and start randomly multiplying every number in sight in the vain hope of arriving at the answer.

7:45 am  
Blogger Sir Compton said...

What I found helpful with The Blonde and Lucifer was to get them interested in the subject as a means to an end, IE sneak up on it as a way of explaining things about science, the fun and mind-boggling concepts of which are easier to get hold of. An outing to the Science Museum, perhaps, or a day with Mum at the office seeing hard sums in action? It seems to have worked: The B is doing A level maths and L A level maths and further maths, though I can't get either of them interested in being actuaries, or hedgies...they want to be dirt-poor research scientists. Gah!

6:28 pm  
Blogger dgny said...

I love Sheldon.

10:28 pm  
Blogger FBT said...

silly idealistic girls. By the time you get to my age, you're wishing that you hadn't wasted all that time getting qualifications when you could have been nabbing yourself a billionaire.

11:23 pm  
Blogger mango said...

Why don't you try bribery?

From an article in The Economist http://www.economist.com/node/17420321?story_id=17420321

Broadway tried a brave and novel approach: giving each homeless person hundreds of pounds to be spent as they wished. According to a new report on the project by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a think-tank, it worked—a success that might offer broader lessons for public-service reform and efficiency.

The charity targeted the longest-term rough sleepers in the City, who had been on the streets for between four and 45 years (no mean achievement when average life expectancy for the long-term homeless is 42). Instead of the usual offers of hostel places, they were simply asked what they needed to change their lives.

One asked for a new pair of trainers and a television; another for a caravan on a travellers’ site in Suffolk, which was duly bought for him. Of the 13 people who engaged with the scheme, 11 have moved off the streets. The outlay averaged £794 ($1,277) per person (on top of the project’s staff costs). None wanted their money spent on drink, drugs or bets. Several said they co-operated because they were offered control over their lives rather than being “bullied” into hostels. Howard Sinclair of Broadway explains: “We just said, ‘It’s your life and up to you to do what you want with it, but we are here to help if you want.’”

A similar experiment was tried with school students:

Roland Fryer, a Harvard economist, has invested more than $6m to test the proposition that paying pupils can improve poor schools. The most successful method was the simplest, in which children in Dallas were rewarded for reading books. Similar schemes are proliferating in the developing world. In Malawi, the World Bank recently gave a trial to the idea of paying adolescent girls to stay in school. That worked, too. Researchers also found that rates of HIV infection were much lower among girls paid to stay in classrooms: one more lesson in the power of responsibility and self-control.

4:42 am  
Blogger gilamonster said...

The relentless repetition should set them in good stead for working as an administrator in later life...

6:32 am  
Blogger mango said...

What happened to my comment?

2:12 am  
Blogger FBT said...

i don,t know. what DID happen to it?

6:32 am  
Blogger FBT said...

Larry got 10 out of 10 in her maths test this week - hooray!

6:33 am  
Blogger mango said...

Oh well then, you don't need my comment.

Well done to Larry!

2:24 am  
Blogger Sir Compton said...

horray indeed. The Blonde stumbled a bit in her a level chemistry and maths modules but should be ok if she works hard until the summer. Spent weekend talking her off the ceiling.

10:33 pm  

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