TLCs (Scattered) Thoughts

Location: Gilbert, AZ

I am a writer, a photographer, and a Dork Chop FO-tog. I can be found on FB at and also on Flickr at Mostly I capture what I see from my perspective.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mental Health care in AZ

Why does Loughner have to travel to Missouri to get a quality comprehensive complete evaluation? Because Arizona's system is nonexistent...

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Judge in Arizona: mental health care evaluation moved out of state

According to NPR,  a federal judge has ordered Jared Lee Loughner, the suspect in the January shooting rampage in Tucson, to undergo a mental evaluation at a specialized facility in Missouri as soon as possible.

Could this serve as yet another peek inside mental health services in Arizona?  What does it say about Arizona when a judge agrees that a quality, trustworthy evaluation is not possible here in Arizona?  Why does Loughner have to travel to Missouri to get a quality comprehensive complete evaluation?


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nuclear power plant trouble in Japan

Most people are uncomfortable when the words "nuclear" and "meltdown" are used as a noun and a verb in the same sentence.

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Understand nuclear energy? News from Japan requires lessons in energy production

People may not understand exactly how nuclear energy works, some may not be able to master the pronunciation of the word "nuclear", but the majority of people on our planet do understand enough to become uncomfortable when they hear the words "nuclear" and "meltdown" used as a noun and a verb in the same sentence.

Instead of pretending a picture book version of "Nuclear Power Plants for Dummies" was not absolutely required reading before writing this article, I will tell you that if you visit the sites I have shared, you will at least be able to understand the gist of news reports that will be coming out of Japan over the next week or two.


Friday, March 11, 2011

#tsunami education in news coverage

To answer the kids who ask "why do I need to know this?" turn on the news coverage today - studying tsunamis and earthquakes may become real with the pictures and videos in the news today.

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Science education: News coverage of tsunami offers students 'real life' lesson

Science teachers, and home-school students who pay attention to current events could easily benefit from news coverage of an earthquake in Japan and the resulting tsunami.  There is no better way to demonstrate the significance of science, and the relevance of an education, than by watching news coverage of the tsunami in Japan, and the pictures and videos of the resulting devastation.  

For students who ask the universal question students always ask, "Why do I need to know this?" - news coverage of events like today could answer that question for them.  Who knows?  The next great scientists may be motivated to learn by watching the tsunami news coverage today. 


Sunday, March 6, 2011

teaching kids to use their resources

If allowing kids to utilize a calculator will keep them engaged in math lessons...why not?!?

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Smart phones, calculators -tools create kids who like math

Parents who try to help their children with math homework may be noticing changes in the way their students are learning math. 

There is less of an emphasis placed on the "nitty gritty" aspects of math with wider acceptance of the use of calculators.  Of course this makes sense for the fact that students can spend less time on the actual calculation and more time learning the logistics of complex algebraic functions.  

If the use of calculators is all it takes to keep kids engaged and enthusiastic about math - why not? 

Tracy Lynn Cook is a writer in Gilbert, Arizona.  To read more, please visit her blog at, and follow her on twitter @TLCsThoughts.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Politicians: Please report back for a needed review in kindergarten problem solving.

"Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school."
Everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten.

Most politicians could use a review course in kindergarten diplomacy. There are many valuable rules of diplomacy children are expected to learn and follow when they enter kindergarten.

The average 5 year old is the first to tell anyone within earshot-what is and is not fair. Fairness is a huge issue for very young people and should any type of injustice take place around them, most children can (and will) tell you exactly how, when, to whom, and to what extent any unfair act occurred. Justice is a simple right or wrong - either it is or it aint.

The justification of wrong, degrees of wrongness, and the provocation for the wrong are not quite fully formed beyond, "He started it!".

Think I'm wrong? Just try to divide anything ''equally" between children. Even the slightest speck of inequality is noticed and justice is sought. I'm telling you-children know fairness when they see it-they are experts.

When grown men (who also just happen to be elected leaders in Wisconsin) run away from their "grown up" job while chanting "La La La I can't hear you!"...kindergartners across America are ashamed. If asked, American children would most likely agree... they should have to turn their behavior card to double red.

The politicians need to go back to work. They may not like the rules or the other kids at the party, but that doesn't mean a stalk off and pout are going to solve any problems - as any reasonably behaved five year old would tell you.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

States Rights vs Free speech - are Funeral Protection Laws constitutional?

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States rights-funeral protection laws vs freedom of speech in Snyder v. Phelps

Do states have the right to pass laws restricting protesters at funerals? 

While it seems very wrong, this hate group/church group are from Kansas...which makes them citizens of America.  Americans have the right to spout off illogical, hateful and disturbing words.  Under this same protection comes the right of Sarah Palin to post pictures of Senators (including Gabby Giffords) depicted through the scope of a rifle along with a photo caption "Target these people for their support of the health care overhaul" prior to the shooting of Giffords in Tucson. 

Free speech at it's finest. 

The new question is how many of the laws meant to shield funerals from picketing hate groups are found to be stepping on free speech.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

#Bodyworlds exhibit at Arizona Science Center is amazing

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Teacher braves science exhibit - Sports Medicine class visits "BODYWORLDS"

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of escorting David Hayward's Highland High School sports medicine class to the BODYWORLDS science exhibit in downtown Phoenix.

Mr. David Hayward teaches sports medicine classes at Highland, and my daughter is taking his class.  When the fieldtrip was announced along with the usual plea for parent volunteers to accompany approximately 100 high school students to a science museum where there were "naked skinned people", I couldn't resist.  An added bonus was the always fun opportunity to mortify my daughter with my mere existence. 

The exhibition by anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens gives visitors a view of the brain's development throughout life. This limited engagement features more than 200 specimens, including entire bodies and individual organs.