Wednesday, April 25, 2007

High Stakes

25 APR 07

In this case, I’m referring to high stakes testing. My 9 year old is taking the WASL this week. It’s supposedly a must-pass test for all 4th graders, although the Washington State legislature has once again succumbed to the pressures of the lowest common denominator. Some parents were able to convince the lawmakers that the test is too hard and unfair, so, rather than test and adjust scores appropriately, they have cut the legs out from under it and basically said it counts, but not really.

I’m annoyed at this culture of "everyone is an A student." Nonsense. My son is exceptionally bright, but I have no illusions that he’s a prodigy. Nor is he in danger of failing, so maybe that gives me a comfort zone. Perhaps I would be less critical if I thought he was in danger of failing, but I like to think I have courage in my convictions.

You will indulge me a moment of pride, though. When I asked him how it went on Day 1, he said, “That was a lot easier than I thought. I was done way early.”

He takes after Dad it seems. We all know that Mom is smarter, but no one was faster at test taking than Dr. Chako. In fact, they used to have the “Dr. Chako Factor” on the blackboard in my medical school. It was an informal pool about how long it would take for me to finish a test. I think money changed hands a few times. My best was a 100 question Pediatrics final that I finished in 9 minutes. Got 100%, too.


Quick gear change. I played in my racquetball league again last night. I’m less sore today than last week. Played 7 games; won 6. Not too shabby.


Final gear change. Thanks to all who chimed in on my rules question. I posted my response in the comments section of my last post, but I’ll bring it up here so you don’t have to search for it.

Thanks everyone. I totally agree with Karen's ruling - I had to put in $40 more. Since there was only one opinion, it's all the information she had. If I had suggested a different amount, she might have compromised. To be honest, my bet was so big anyway that I was pot committed. It actually helped me to put more into the pot, because I really didn't want to see a turn. It's a stupid rule that is not uniformly enforced, but I knew the rule and had even violated it in the past. You are always safe by announcing the EXACT amount of the raise. You can even say, "RAISE," put out the amount of the initial bet, and then go back for more.

Don’t put more in your hand than you intend to bet, or better yet, announce the exact raise amount before your hand crosses the line. There is the added benefit that anyone paying attention may be giving you credit for coming up with the raise number after careful consideration (as opposed to blind guessing – the usual case), and fold just because they can’t figure you out.

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