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_refugee_  ·  3433 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I Challenge You to Stop Reading White, Straight, Cis Male Authors for One Year  ·  x 3


kleinbl00  ·  3478 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hi hubski! Any home-schoolers there? How is it? How do you do it?  ·  

So "school" is a temporary condition while "disability" is not. It sounds like you're going to be dealing with a condition that curtails your social involvement for the foreseeable future. Which sucks. I'm sorry.

Cautionary tale: a cousin of mine home-schooled her kid. She was more than qualified - she had her teaching certificate and made most of her family's money tutoring school-age kids that weren't getting what they needed at public or private school. Then some rippin' aren't-we-clever academy full of like-minded kids opened up and they moved to go do it. And then it turned out to be a scam so the parents banded together and did like this home-school academy. Think there's like 50 of them. Anyway. Bright kid, in a semi-social environment, about as best as you could imagine from a "home schooling" environment. Yet the kid lasted exactly two quarters at college, developed substance abuse problems and bombed out. Not a great school, either.

You've already figured out the pluses and minuses: you're the master of your domain... but you're the master of your domain. That means you will have to challenge yourself or risk entombing yourself in a complacent cocoon of you-ness. It also means that you will have to seek out social interaction because none is coming to you... and if you don't want to live your life as a shut-in on disability, you'll need to interface with the outside world at every opportunity.

My cousin's kid was convinced he was brilliant because everyone always told him so. He did not, however, have the first clue how to talk to girls, how to get help on a homework assignment or what it meant to fail because he always did the comfortable shit. He never challenged himself so the first time he faced an external challenge he crumpled. From this point forth you are your own taskmaster. Trust me: you'd rather beat the shit out of yourself and discover the outside world isn't so nasty than take it the other way 'round.

There is very little reward for comfortably defeating easy challenges. The benefits of failing against things beyond your comfort zone are beyond count. Your reach should always exceed your grasp; that's the only way to grow. If you're comfortable you aren't trying hard enough.

My immediate advice: find a social group of people your own age that you must see in person at least once a week. Once you've got that figured out, find another. You're going to find your days filled with lonely stretches where it will be so easy to assume these words on a screen are people, and what they say to you counts as human interaction. It doesn't. It doesn't come close. None of this shit will ever make you truly happy, it will just trick you into thinking mild bemusement is enough.

My next immediate advice is to set yourself an outrageous goal that you might reasonably accomplish in six months to a year. Maybe you'll release an iPhone app. Maybe you'll self-publish a book of photographs. Maybe you'll paint a watercolor a day for six months. Do something with your time that will teach you something and give you something to show for it and be ruthless on yourself.

I graduated high school half a year early, and then got rejected by two colleges I'd been admitted to because they were shocked at my lack of rigor. It meant I spent 18 months at home instead of going off to college, and a grim 18 months it was. However, I had a car I hadn't quite finished and those 18 months took me from raw frame rails with a Triumph sitting on them to a 425 HP 4x4 on mud tires that I drove a thousand miles to college. I've forgotten more about cars than most people will ever know, and knowing that I took two frame rails and a pair of axles to "working car" between the ages of 17 and 19 did more to give me confidence and competence than anything else I've ever done. When my 300-level materials science class got to the subject of welding, the instructor turned the class over to me.

This is not a "home-schooling" question. This is a self-determination question. The stakes are bigger than you imagine, but so are the opportunities. Choose wisely and hold yourself to account.

_refugee_  ·  3573 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Would Marriage Ruin Our Happiness? - NYTimes.com  ·  

Yeah that's not a good argument for it.

I would want to get married if I met someone who I sincerely believed I would be with for the rest of my life? I'm willing to believe that person exists somewhere out there probably. I'm not like, crazy on the hunt for him or her though. I've never had a relationship that lasted more than two years and I usually feel that, based on my own relationship habits and personality, I probably ain't gonna. (This is all coming up in the attachment styles thread.) If I do, great, and then I'd get married. Because I wanted to. I don't really care about the institution or the taxes or whatever. If I found someone I really wanted to be with ad infinitum, I would want to get married (I think - emphasis on "really wanted" and "ad infinitum" aka I'd have to be REALLY sure).

I think marriage can be a beautiful thing and so can the trust that is formed by such a relationship. When you marry someone they become your family, even if you don't have kids. There's no one on this earth that I care about more, or would do more for, than my siblings, followed by my mom and dad. They are my top emotional priority.

With marriage, a second-tier[1] (below family) relationship would become first-tier for me. It would represent a huge shift and huge commitment. It really would mean, not leaving, committing to working through problems, being there for each other even when you sometimes hate each other, taking all the good with the bad, etc.

So anyway that's how, when and why I would get married I guess. I view marriage as more commitment than a long-term relationship. I don't mean to disparage against those who don't plan to get married and view a long-term relationship as equally committed - but for me, there is a difference. It might be small and subtle (cuz if I'm in an LTR with you hopefully you're at the top of the "friends" tier anyway) but it would be there.

[1] A long time ago when I realized that I allowed myself to drown in relationships and lose myself, I got single and developed a tier system of, I guess, "importance" or "priority." It's as follows:

  1. You, because no one else is going to make you their #1, and if they do, they are probably not properly taking care of themselves. You gotta make sure you're washed, clothed, fed, exercised, watered, whatever. You gotta put your fulfillment first. 
  2. Family. Not everyone shares this. I have a crappy family. But it's important to me to be there for them for every occasion, and whenever they need help (within reason) I'll come and I'll help. 
  3. Friends. I have two friends who, if they're in trouble, I'll do whatever I can that's reasonable in my power to help them. I show them I care by being there for them when they need it. Everyone else falls behind. 
  4. All the rest you fuckers. 
I actually find this really helpful to keep in mind when determining plans/last minute stuff comes up. Last minute family stuff? Generally trumps plans with friends. Last minute booty text when you're out with your friends? Fuck no, you're with your friends, they trump.
Shitty_Physics  ·  3943 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Feynman Lectures - Complete Transcripts Of Volume One  ·  

Sure! Simply put, they do not require enough of the reader. This is true for two reasons. First, the Red Books fail to dive deep enough into the science. Now, they're certainly a great overview (and on the spectrum from most basic to most intricate, they're certainly closer to most intricate than Asimov's work), but their depth is quite different from what a physics student would study. Second, it's impossible to understand physics in the same way that a physics student would if you're not actually doing physics. In other words, you need to do "homework," i.e. exercises; with pretty much any STEM subject, and especially physics/math, you need to get your hands dirty! This is usually done by reading a textbook. So, the Red Books and Understanding Physics are great for enrichment, but by themselves cannot satisfy the level of the understanding that a physics student would have. In fact, the Red Books are so good that I've seen a few upper-level physics classes list them under the recommended reading of the course syllabus.

Note: If you've gone through a physics program, or know a lot about it, then just skip this. Fortunately for any aspiring autodidact, the physics curriculum at most schools follows a similar path. First, the student will begin with engineering physics and calculus (unless he/she places out of them via AP credit; also note that the curriculum I describe is for USA programs only). There's a standard calculus text that most schools use nowadays, and that is James Stewart's Calculus. The engineering physics book is usually titled something like "Physics for Scientists and Engineers." There's like four or five of these books that most schools will pick from. My favorite is Haliday/Resnick's or Giancoli's. After calculus, the student will usually take three additional math classes (generally more if they wish to go to graduate school). The two obvious ones are linear algebra and differential equations. The third one is a course that applies mathematics to physics specifically. This course exists mainly to prepare students for the physics classes that come after engineering physics. Two pretty common books used for this are Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences by Boas and Shankar's book. After that, the student will generally take six courses: 2 classical mechanics courses, 2 EM courses, and 2 quantum mechanics courses. The rest of the student's program will be filled in with electives (and some required labs, which you obviously cannot really do outside of school, and probably a thermal/stat. mech course). Now, there's two really cool things about those courses. The first is that most universities use the same textbooks for each respective course sequence. Those textbooks are: Taylor's Classical Mechanics, Griffiths Introduction to Electrodynamics, and Griffith's Introduction to Quantum Mechanics. The second cool thing is that those books don't really presuppose any knowledge of physics. When it says introductory, it means introductory. Of course, they presuppose that the reader has knowledge of linear algebra, differential equations, and a lot of the stuff learned in the math of physicists class (like vector calculus). The two course course-sequences will generally cover the entirety of each book.

So, as you can see, there's a lot of material that a physics student will know by graduation. It's quite clear, then, that the Red Books couldn't possible cover all of that material, yet they remain a great tool for enrichment and exploration of physics.

Now time for one of my favorite Feynman stories, a story that, like most Feynman stories, nobody really knows is true or not:

| Caltech uses an honor system and the exams are take-home exams. The instructions for the exam read “You have three hours. You may use your class notes and Feynman [referring to the Red Books; it's customary to call textbooks by the author's last name rather than the title].” The student took the exam to Feynman’s office, and he agreed that the instructions included him as a valid resource. Feynman completed the exam in half an hour and the student got a perfect score.