A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Problems with Math?

Many kids and adults struggle with math to a greater or lesser degree and most of us by the time we are out in the working world find strategy’s to work around such difficulties. Some kids who struggle in junior school seem to suddenly 'get it' once in High School but some continue to not be able to perform even simple math functions, like making change, through to adulthood. In many cases the use of a calculator or computerized till hides this problem until the power goes out or the batteries go flat, others may even struggle even with that 'accommodation'.

I have recently become aware that the inability to understand or perform math functions is not necessarily due to failure to learn the basics, poor memory function, laziness or other general leaning or intelligence ability’s. There is in fact a recognized 'disability' that specifically reduces an individuals ability to understand and perform math functions even though they may otherwise be highly intelligent, fully functioning individuals. As with a similar and related 'disability' dyslexia, it varies in one individual from another and often goes undiagnosed with the individual being classed as unintelligent or unable to learn or worse mentally deficient. Unfortunately here in SW Ontario this now well documented problem is largely unknown and unrecognized, particularly in the school system, to the point where that despite there being formal processes to recognize and test such kids in both the U.S. and the U.K. No such accommodations appear to exist in Ontario. In point of fact a researcher of brain functions at the UWO in London, Ontario, a Professor Ansari says that “I do not know of any place in Ontario where you can get a formal diagnosis of Dyscalculia”, this being the scientific name for this affliction.

Once a parent realizes that this may be the problem there is much information available on line as regards the symptoms and ramifications and even resources for “on line” testing to confirm your suspicions. Some such sites as with all such things online may need be approached with care however the most reliable sources appears to be via various university studies in the U.K, a search of such sites will guide you to such 'tests' one being http://www.dyscalculia.me.uk/testing.html where you will also find links to more information about this 'affliction'.

I will not try and explain the reason for this difficulty except to say that is is a glitch in the right hemisphere of the brain which makes numbers and math seem like a foreign language to those afflicted and there seems to be no 'cure' although there may be some ways to reduce the impact and increase the understanding of this math impediment.

If you or your child has exceptional difficulty in understanding or performing simple math look up the word “Dyscalculia” it may well be an “ahhh” moment, just dont expect any assistance or recognition of the problem by your local school board. (at least in the Avon Maitland board and as far as I can see most other Ontario boards!)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lost my Poppy

Remembrance Day.....

Lost my new poppy..was pinned on fast

Seems them soldiers have the last laugh
Reminding us,  they are still proud
Looking for "My Poppy"...their jokes allowed.

I pinned it firm over my heart
Taped it, bent it, not we to part
Low and behold...Poppies Gone...
Good name, for a Remembrance Song...!!

I feel bad if my Poppy not seen
This special memory, lost boyhood dreams
Gave their lives for us we know
But Poppies are sold...wherever we go.

So I purchase another..smile goes with
No my friend not really a twit
I accept the game,  old soldiers play
Re-pin "this one" proudly..."it's Remembrance Day."

I am sure poppies don't just fall from clothing, I feel they are letting us know
the gesture sure is appreciated by they that gave it their all on the fields of freedom battles.
So if you lose your Poppy...a soldier is saying "Thanks" for remembering them.
Purchase another....their price paid was greater than a few coins dropped in a box.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Rural Youth Engagement Showcase

Today through November 29, 2015, rural communities across Ontario have the opportunity to nominate young leaders for recognition in the Youth Engagement Showcase, the most recent initiative of the Rural Ontario Institute (ROI).
The showcase will profile compelling stories of youth taking charge and tackling important issues, highlight the impact youth can have in their communities and demonstrate how different types of rural communities can successfully involve youth in addressing local challenges.
Up to eight final nominees will be profiled through individual video documentaries, each being filmed in their respective hometown. These documentaries will showcase involvements and accomplishments as well as community programs and organizations that are successfully engaging youth.   
Nomination information is available here. Please support the Youth Engagement Showcase by sharing this information within your networks. 

ROI is probably the best and in some cases the only resource for all thing 'rural' in Ontario, I highly recommend their site as an information source and am pleased that they are including our rural youth in their programs.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

That #^*$%* Time Change!

The time change is archaic and disruptive, especially for people who have sensitive internal clocks, such as seniors and children. There are also studies that have found an increase in workplace and road accidents in the weeks following time changes.'
"It's crazy when you look at the impact this has,' There's so many reasons that we shouldn't do it but I don't think there are many reasons why we should.''
So says some in BC who are petitioning for the whole thing to be dropped the same as in Saskatchewan, which is on central standard time year-round. As one of those seniors who's internal clock refuses to reset to the 'new' time I could not agree more, we have no need to save candle power anymore and almost all workplaces are lit up irregardless of daylight hours so hydro saving are minimal at best, particularly with shift work and extended shopping hours.

Lets settle on one setting or the other and then leave the bloody clocks alone!