Thursday, August 11, 2011
Letter 1 is from a guy who had a period of Walter Middying (out loud). He knows the truth will come out after his death, and is prospectively embarrassed. Prudie says he's worried about his impending death, and to come clean in a light-hearted fashion. I say, sure.
Video letter is from a student (HS? college? It would be good to know) whose otherwise delightful and dedicated math teacher gets easily lead off topic by some mean girls. And let me go into the example given: teacher was illustrating something or other with the subject of the national debt. And a student interjected that if the US stopped foreign aid, there would be no deficit spending. This reminds me of a Larry King interview with Hulk Hogan on his political aspirations (this was in the days of Jesse Ventura as governor of Minnesota, so it wasn't all that strange a notion... well it was a strange notion, but, alas, not unheard of... in fact, it may have been Ventura on Larry King, but I have a recollection it was Hogan). Anyway, he made the point that the US should cut off all foreign aid until there were no hungry Americans. So he wants the government to pay Americans to eat. Right. Has he looked out his limo lately?
Back to the topic: Now why did it take the teacher ONE HOUR to set this Tea Party bimbo straight? Say "foreign aid, most of which goes for military and economic support of US allies, represents less than 1% of the federal budget. The total amount represents less than half of what American spend on soda pop each year. Now STFU and let's get back to the lesson."
Prudie's advice is to go with other students and kindly ask the teach to keep to the subject. Was that so hard?
Letter 2 is from an adult whose 50ish parents want to adopt a special needs child. His siblings have said nice things to the case worker who interviewed them as part of the process, but he wants to tell the "truth", which is that mom "is bipolar" and was emotionally abusive, and that dad let her do it. He manages to get along his parents now, but fears that if he tells the truth, it will get back to mom and destroy their barely civil relationship. He has reason to fear the case worker will blab, because they already have about other matters relating to the case. Prudie says to speak to the case worker's supervisor and demand confidentiality. She questions the fitness of such an elderly couple to deal with a child who may need demanding care, possibly for their entire life.
I have some questions about npn professionals diagnosing mental illness. But let's say he's right, and right about the abuse. If so, he has to speak up, and Prudie's way is probably the best of a bad lot. I don't know how the information would not get back to the case worker, who has proven themself to be a failure. And I share Prudie's concerns about an older couple taking on such a trying job.
Letter 3 is from a person whose building's swimming pool has no lifeguard, and who is concerned about poorly monitored or unmonitored use by children. Should she speak out to parents who are less than careful about their children's safety? Prudie says to get the building manager to provide firmer notices, and to intervene individually if she sees a dangerous situation. And to tell people that she is a certified lifeguard when doing so. I agree with all but the last point. Let's say a child dies in her presence. She might find herself sued or something. Why bother bringing up her training? It doens't take certification to know that leaving a child unattended in a pool is risky.
Letter 4 is from a person who acquired a huge dog with unusual markings and is now annoyed that people notice. Before reading Prudie's response, I will say: STFU. Prudie says something along those lines, but in a lower key way.
Here's a story for you from David Sedaris: http://www.esquire.com/features/three-stories-sedaris-0300