Thanks for nothing NW Boychoir

We recently moved back to Seattle after spending a few years in Europe. We’re trying to get our kids back into school and activities. And we keep hit ridiculous roadblocks. We had one school administrator tell us that since our son had “been out of school for three years”… um no, he wasn’t out of school, he was going to school in a different country you small-minded parochial fool. Yes, he doesn’t know US history very well but he can speak three languages and can navigate any city in the world.

Our latest is trying to get our son into the NW Boychoir or Vocalpoint. I get it that since he didn’t attend throughout that he isn’t going to automatically get in. If you don’t play college football going to the NFL is harder. I understand some preferential treatment for kids who have slogged through the entire system makes sense.

But this is the worst kind of elitism. This is the stupid, narrow-minded elitism that says that simply by virtue of not living here long enough you can’t do something. And it’s forever. And it has nothing to do with the child. Imagine that the greatest young singer in all the world outside of Seattle (given, I know many Seattleites cannot fathom that there is a world outside) moved here. That kid would not be able to join this choir simply because he had lived somewhere else.

Below is the response we got from Northwest Boychoir, an organization we will of course no longer sponsor or attend in any way (which is meaningless to them since our financial impact is tiny). I love the chipper “best in his music endeavors” coupled with flipping us the bird at the same time.

Thank you so much for your interest in Vocalpoint! Seattle. Unfortunately we only accept boys to Vocalpoint as graduates of the Northwest Boychoir. The group is very popular so we must limit membership to our alumni.

 

I hope your son finds a wonderful group to sing in and we wish him the best in his music endeavors.

Diet cheat day reaction

Yesterday was diet cheat day (and Earth Day, yippee). In addition to the healthy breakfast I had a sandwich, a beer, some potato chips, a hamburger, a few fries (really didn’t do much for me) and a few more beers. Oh and a sandwich.

And my stomach hurts this morning. The fries I could have skipped. The chips were tasty but I could have stopped after the first handful. I enjoyed the burger but could have also done that with a lettuce wrap…. maybe. There is something really enjoyable about picking up a burger.

I wonder if I shouldn’t make this simply diet cheat dinner in May

fitnow:

This week’s diet cheat day started with… a bowl of blueberries with yogurt. Wait, that’s not a diet cheat day food. But I was craving yogurt with blueberries so I went for it. I guess the fun food will need to wait for later, we’ll see. I am not craving much this week, maybe a cheeseburger. Or pizza is always a favorite.

Kodu Cup, very cool

A teammate of mine is looking to get more kids into programming via Kodu. There is a US-wide competition going on right now!

Calling all US kids!

In case you hadn’t heard already, Microsoft has launched a US national Kodu competition, where kids aged 9-17 can submit their best Kodu games for a chance to win great prizes, a trip and $5000.00 cash!

The winning entrant will also win $5000 for his or her school!  Our hope is that this money would go toward helping fund the lab with upgraded equipment, and give more kids learning opportunities related to technology literacy.

The contest is completely free to enter, and is split into two categories: 9-12 and 13-17.  There are full grand prize awards for each category, so two schools will each receive a $5000 prize.  Full details can be found at http://koducup.us.

Deadline for game submissions is end of day, May 10th, 2011, so please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Best regards,

Brad Gibson  |  Program Manager
Microsoft Research FUSELABS 

Office:  425.722.4451  |  bradleyg@microsoft.com

Earth Day… Fail!

One is supposed to celebrate Earth Day by walking, running, biking, planting a tree, the usual suspects. For a variety of very good reasons I am not doing those things. In fairness and paying off my Earth Day debt I rode my bike to work three times this week.

But I am celebrating today by buying a new car. Oops.

Do you need college? And if so, how much can it cost?

Do you need college? And if so, how much can it cost?


American coffee. Mug, refills. We ate breakfast at the Harley Davidson cafe this morning as it was sunny and they have a patio. Eggs, ham steak, fruit. The bloody Mary was probably unwarranted.

Las Vegas is definitely not kind to my fitness. Pudge is coming back in droves. Yuck.