A Catalogue of Play Equipment 1918


Original Scans at HathiTrust
University of Michigan Library


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Lyme is an epidemic

It’s very upsetting to me that there seems to be little acknowledgement that there is a Lyme epidemic going on in the US.

Instead, in 2016, we hear about the few cases of Zika virus [update… Zika causes an autoimmune disease! http://scientificamerican.com/article/scientists-find-zika-increases-risk-of-rare-neurological-illness/%5D. And yes, this can and will continue to get worse too, but meanwhile there are millions of cases of Lyme each year. Many will get caught soon enough (typically within a month) to treat successfully with a single 20-or-so day round of antibiotics. But many won’t. Here in Massachusetts, I personally know probably 10 people who have had Lyme and treated OK, and another 3 who are having ongoing long-term effects and still under treatment.

Some other comments:

1. The IDSA (from 2006!) guidelines probably need updating.

2. It’s been my experience that most people who have gotten to the bottom of their Lyme has been a result of SELF DIAGNOSIS. Doctors for the most part are misdiagnosing Lyme, which is shameful.

3. I am assuming it’s a combination of 1) healthcare professionals (doctors, dentists) not knowing 2) concern for antibiotic overuse 3) insurance companies concerned about costly treatments for people with chronic lyme (or “post-lyme disease syndrome”)

4. There is also a huge explosion in autoimmune diseases in the last 20+ years. Many of these are difficult to diagnose vs Lyme. In many cases, a differential diagnosis is VERY difficult to make and you can find Pubmed articles discussing the fact that many cases of Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, etc. are actually Lyme.

5. At some level, it doesn’t really matter — both Lyme AND autoimmune diseases are 1) not well understood, 2) no easy treatment, 3) underdiagnosed.


“1,500,000 fresh infected Borrelia patients each year in Germany.”
CDC increased the number of annual diagnoses by ten fold, from 30-thousand to 300-thousand. (and this is probably very low as well)
New front in the Lyme wars

“The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) estimates that as many as fifty million Americans suffer from autoimmunity, which makes it one of the most prevalent categories of disease, ahead of cancer. It is a leading cause of illness in young women. (Three-quarters of autoimmune patients are women.) “

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Filed under experts, health, Lyme disease and ticks

Sea Levels

Did you know?

Not an unusual event, now just a regular occurrence:

“The city of Miami Beach floods on such a predictable basis that if, out of curiosity or sheer perversity, a person wants to she can plan a visit to coincide with an inundation…. Knowing the tides would be high around the time of the “super blood moon,” in late September, I arranged to meet up with Hal Wanless, the chairman of the University of Miami’s geological-sciences department. …Water gushed down the road and into an underground garage. We stopped in front of a four-story apartment building, which was surrounded by a groomed lawn. Water seemed to be bubbling out of the turf.” 


and generally…
“Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries”

Good luck to us!

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Filed under climate change, person: Elizabeth Kolbert

Why history and not botany?

“Why school subjects ever came to be standardized I cannot guess.  Why history and not botany?  Geography and not geology?  Maths and not civics?  I think the lesson may lie in the words of the old public-school headmaster: ‘It doesn’t matter what you teach a boy so long as he dislikes it.’  — A.S. Neill from p104 of Summerhill School: A New View of Childhood

“All that any child needs is the three Rs; the rest should be tools and clay and sports and theatre and paint and freedom. … I am not decrying learning.  But learning should only come after play.  And learning should not be deliberately seasoned with play to make it palatable.” p102

“Creators learn what they want to learn in order to have the tools that their originality and genius demand.  We do not know how much creation is killed in the classroom with its emphasis on learning.” p108

Summerhill School: A New View of Childhood by A. S. Neill

SEE ALSO: Guest Post by Jess
“…I’d just like to point out that the subjects that are chosen are, well, chosen…why biology and not botany, why algebra and not agriculture…”

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Woohoo! Yeah!

“Woohoo! Yeah!” (yelled at the top of his lungs)

This is my (newly) 8-year-old son’s reaction to his realization that tomorrow is Monday and there is school (Sudbury Valley School).

What joy this joy brings to his dad’s heart!

Not that he is always this totally pumped for school… he’s a home-body kinda kid, so “transition-time” can be difficult for him even, but he’s never particularly fussed once he gets in the mood and gathers his gear and projects he’s working on. And there’s never really been “Sunday-night-blues” (in anticipation of the coming week) to speak of with either of our kids.

But turning 8 means a few new “big kid” privileges and responsibilities at school, and he is excited and ready for them!

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Causes of Students’ Emotional Fragility: Five Perspectives

“I am not interested in blaming students, or parents, or teachers, or anyone else. I am interested in understanding what is happening, and why, and what we as individuals and as a society can do to improve the situation.”

Peter Gray

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Filed under person: Peter Gray, structural, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

School for entrepreneurs?

Our family loves SVS, but I am not sure I buy the argument that there are (FOR SURE) a higher percentage of graduates who are entrepreneurs than there are at other schools.

At least not BECAUSE OF Sudbury Valley. Well, maybe. But… here’s what I think:

1. Many students who attend SVS or other Sudbury schools probably are correlated with types of people who go on to be entrepreneurs. So it’s not SVS… it’s the people.

2. Also, many of the parents who choose to have their young kids attend SVS even before they have an inkling of their personalities, but rather based on the ideals of the school only (like my wife and I who knew we wanted SVS for our kids even before it existed) are probably also skewed toward entrepreneurial dispositions, so their kids inherit some of that.

I say “probably” in 1 and 2 above, but who knows. Switch that with “maybe” if you wish. Point is, we don’t know.

If you look at Table 14.7 on page 241 of “Legacy of Trust: Life After The Sudbury Valley School Experience”, 7 of 27 of the “SVS ONLY” category are classified as “Entrepreneurial Occupations (Any Category)”. That’s 26%. That’s probably still high (no way are 26% of the population entrepreneurs**…), but is it high among kids whose parents who are similarly entrepreneurial and able to afford private school but attend other schools? (SVS is very inexpensive as private schools go… ~$8,000, but not free).

Anyway, I guess my point is that this is an unknown as far as I am concerned, but this doesn’t concern me. What I *do* care is that my kids ARE FREE. AND HAPPY. RIGHT NOW. At ages 4-18. Not waiting for age 18.

So for me, SVS has some huge “every day, right now” positives, which will also certainly pay benefits for my kids in later happiness as well. And sure, it might have some “some day in the future, maybe” negatives. But for me the positives FAR outweigh any potential negatives, especially because they are completely uncertain.


10,000 Hours

Hal Sadofsky — Sudbury vs traditional school — the risky choice

**NOTE: I am also not sure what the definition anyone is using of entrepreneur.  To me it’s not simply being self-employed.  It has to (for me) include a business venture where one is taking on more risk with most of the work being delegated to employees and such.)  See discussion: LINK

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Filed under entrepreneurs, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, SVS alumni