Monday, December 07, 2009

Let's see.... update...

Okay, sorry I've been gone so long. This is the last week of classes and hopefully I will write lots and lots over break. I've been pretty worn out. I spent most of the weekend sleeping, so now I have to get busy and do the grading I assured my students I would do then.

One reason for not writing is that things have been quiet and easy. Brian and Gary have been getting along. Remember when that was an issue? Aside from the things that were going on before we changed it so that they don't share kitchen duty. They take turns doing the whole job. That gives them one less thing to quarrel about, always good. They play video games together often.

We still don't have a date for the next hearing. Gary's previous CASA worker is no longer working with them, and he doesn't have a new one assigned. We are working on it though. The social workers really want him to go to court himself, and he really doesn't want to. He hasn't protested when I said that I would be pro-active about setting up an appointment for him.

Roland says that Gary's constant changing of plans wears him out. I seem to flow with it. Of course I am the same way, though better than I once was. The blog started out as a way to release some of the obsessive pondering without driving my friends and family crazy. Of course, then Evan admitted to an addiction and the blog started fulfilling a new need altogether. What was I talking about? Oh, yeah. Gary's changing plans. He keeps changing them. I think right now he still wants to be a nurse, but is disheartened to learn that I might really have to brush up on math skills. He is trying to find the right way to get through it all.

We learned that because his juvenile offense was before he was 14 (he was 11), the record is automatically sealed. When he is 18 people can do a background check on him and nothing will come up. Of course, if they ask if he is on probation, he will have to say yes. At this point his PO considers him to be on "unsupervised probation" which is just like not being on probation, except that if you get arrested your PO gets called and you go back to being supervised. The social workers tell us that the PO is trying to get him totally off when he turns 18, but it is my county's practice to keep kids on probation until they are 21. That may be unconstitutional, but there it is.

I just got an email from Carl. He is still living at the retreat center. He is now a paid employee, actually running the place. It really is good for him there.

David is now a manager of the video store where he works. He wasn't able to come over for Thanksgiving because he was working. He is still dating the same man he was a year ago, maybe longer.

We changed our phone number and made it unpublished because of one adult child's on-going fight with creditors. We kept asking for our name to be taken off the file. We would be assured it had, then it would go to a new department and we would be getting calls again. We do business with the company, so we couldn't put them on a no-call list. I have decided I love having an unlisted number. Nobody calls. We haven't quite worked up to just turning off the phone completely. I'm nervous that if we do we will have to give out our cell numbers to people and then we will get calls all day.

Evan is working as a supervisor at the television-content-provider. He told us a story about taking out some of his supervisors and to find out why he didn't get fired for being such a pain. Evan knows he pisses everyone off asking for things to be explained, challenging decisions, and generally being insubordinate. He said they told him that if they fired him they would lose his team. They (the team) might not like him all the time, but they trust him and if he told them to walk through hell they would do it. So that was cool.

Brian is doing really well. Every now and then I remember the anxious kid I was so worried about a few years ago. Now there is this confident fifteen year old, taller than I am and with a voice I don't always recognize.

Last week Brian and Gary had a concert here at the college. They spent most of the day on campus, rehearsing in our facility. On the bus over Brian called to say that he and Gary had not remembered to pack lunch, would I please buy them something? I told him that I was very busy but that if they met me in the student union at 12:30 precisely, I would. When we got there I asked what their classmates were doing for lunch. Brian said, "Well, some of them packed a lunch."

"And the rest had money to buy it on campus?"

"Well, no."

"So what did they eat?"

"Umm ... a boxed lunch from the cafeteria."

"And why didn't you two do that?

Brian gave me a wide-eyed innocent, puppy-dog face, "Because we have YOU."

While we were prepping Thanksgiving, Andrew wanted to ask me some questions about the philosophers in his Analytic class. Evan, wanting to participate, asked what the difference was between Analytic and some other philosophy. I told him that in some ways it was a difference of style, but if we were talking about history, for instance, a Continental philosopher would be more likely to say that there were only competing stories and that it made no sense to talk about what really happened. An Analytic philosopher, on the other hand would be more likely to say that the project of discovering, writing, and evaluating those stories only makes sense if we believe there is a truth about what happened.

We debated that for a while and then he asked if there were other differences. There are of course, but I gave him the one I use to tease my colleague who teaches Continental philosophy. "Yes, Analytic philosophers are committed to writing clearly and making arguments."

Last week I got a text message from Andrew:
"So prof r described analytic philosophy today now that were past the whole examing language as a way of figuring out reality thing. It was pretty much exactly how you described it: people who write clearly and use arguments.
and I smiled."

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