On Mar 17, 2014, at 6:36 PM, Joe Niederberger <email@example.com> wrote:
> I can't really see separating out parenting from extended family, from social circle and even reading and entertainment habits regarding rearing children. (Milieu is not "neighborhood" either.) They all go together, and even in less than desirable neighborhoods you'll find some families that keep apart from the bad or idle influences around them. And in some well to do neighborhoods drugs and other bad stuff creeps in.
Milieu is your social environment which would include all of the people you interact with. So yes, that would include immediate and extended family. I guess I was making a distinction between the sources of milieu then. I would list these sources by order of influence as -
1. Parents - Your parents (or guardians) are your primary contacts. 2. Peers - These are the people of your own age that you hang with. 3. Other Adults - These are all of the other adults that you interact, including teachers. 4. Extended Family - This can vary depending on how distant, involved or desirable your extended family is. 5. Random - Rape, Muggings, Assaults, Crime, etc. To you, in front of you, to someone you know/knew, on your street, etc.
This is just a first draft and we can discuss the order. And the degree of influence can change over time, a good example being peers v parents.
a. Being a good parent is the path to (1), and influences (b) and (c) below. b. If (4) works out in your case then great, if not, then you limit your contact with extended family. c. Choosing a good neighborhood to live in is generally, by far, the easiest way to control for (2), (3) and (5).
(c) can be accomplished in bad neighborhoods (as I stated with respect to the trailer park) but it is very difficult. As a child, limiting your involvement with the locals (as I tried to do) is only partially doable. You still have to walk to the school bus stop and you still have to deal with them in school. My ultimate resolution was to become very adept at defending myself. Even as a parent, it is very difficult, for pretty much the same reasons. Establishing a good social environment, for your children, separate of your immediate vicinity involves a lot of commuting, and you still have the issue of school. Yes, you can build a *social circle* distinct from your local neighborhood, but it is very hard. And keeping that social circle intact month to month and year to year is even harder. It is much easier, if at all possible to follow good milieu and move.
Growing up, I went to 6 different schools in my county, 3 of them were bad, 2 in particular. Schools so bad that I can?t remember anything about the curriculum because going to school was a matter of survival. And the most determining factor of how bad or good a school was, was how bad or good the kids that attended the school were. Whatever factor was second was so insignificant to that factor, that no one even cared what was second. Somewhere in the later 80?s and through the 90?s, they instituted the zero-tolorence laws. I cannot tell you what a difference that made. It didn?t fix everything, but it fixed the most harrowing issues of those days. I don?t know why they didn?t do it sooner! Yes, when I read that someone was suspended for a butter knife I get upset like everyone else. ?What kind of idiot suspends someone over a butter knife?? But when I read the following, I get very concerned and sad -
I am watching as this develops, but with regard to public school in general, this worries me more than mathematics education. It worries me more than anything else. That is how high I hold milieu. Granted, my son has schooling options I never had, and I can easily insulate him from this possibly bad change in policy. But my heart is still with those students going to those schools that I went to. It comes out in any school meeting when the talk turns to *redistricting* and the net result is ANY kid being sent back to *those* schools. And don?t tell me ?This is just to address racial prejudice?. We know what racial prejudice is. If that is what you are doing then fine, just tell me you are going to keep punks out of our schools, all of our schools, no matter what color they happen to be. I don?t see that written in there, anywhere, and that scares me. What I see is a lot of double-talk that sounds a lot like saying that schools must be more accepting of punks. I am just being! straight here.
To be fair, *those* schools have improved greatly from when I went there. First and foremost, the zero tolerance policies removed the most grievous elements, and secondly, they instituted a magnate program. Nothing special, they did this all over the country to fix what happened to schools in the 70?s. Also, my son and many of his friends are zoned for one of those schools, a middle school. But we have a choice school and a charter school that they can also get into, and if those two contingencies fall through (they are by lottery) then we have a really good private school option available. Like any parent, I have been weighing the pros and cons of all these options. I love the choice school, it is as good as the private school, and I am not quite the private school type. But given the direction these policies seem to be headed, if the choice school option falls through, then I am pretty sure that I will learn how to be the private school type. At least for two years. After ! that we have a great high school.