Book Review of "My Beloved World"

The memoir of Sonia Sotomayor in “My Beloved World” was a refreshing reminder that character is a building block of success.

Sonia’s parents were from Puerto Rico, where they had very humble beginnings on each side of the family. This appreciation formed Sonia’s character from a young age. Although she was naturally smart and determined, it was her character that got her where she is today. I suspect that God has also had His hand over her life.

Sonia had juvenile diabetes and gave herself the insulin injections from the age of eight. She attended Parochial schools which her mother worked long hours to afford, while raising children as a widow, living in the projects. Sonia’s father had been an alcoholic and died when she was in grade school.

Sonia had a marriage for a few years that ended in divorce. She never remarried or had children.

Although discrimination could be a part of life, Sonia never let it get to her. She focused on her education and achieved a college degree, law school, becoming a District Attorney, judge and United States Supreme Court Justice.

I have never paid much attention to or understood politics and the news. I don’t know her stance on various topics. I can tell from her memoir, that she seems to be cool, calm and collected under pressure, which is a characteristic we could all improve on. Even when being discriminated against or insulted by a person with prejudice, she has been the better person by not returning those words. Instead, she uses wisdom to discern the right words to address the situation.

Without knowing her, from this memoir, I respect the grace with which she has used in the course of her life. She is a role model to anyone who is willing to take the road of wisdom, rather than folly. She learned to listen and choose her words wisely. Although she encountered the obstacles of discrimination, she got the attention of people along the way who saw something in her.

You never know who is watching you. You can seek the trappings of material wealth and fame by taking shortcuts, or you can stay steady and focused, grateful for your blessings and work hard and stand for something. Those who seek temporary gratification may get what they are seeking, without even considering that there may be something better out there. Those who appreciate and respect life may be pleasantly surprised when that once in a lifetime opportunity comes along, like being appointed to the Supreme Court. Good for you Sonia. Well deserved.

A Book Review: Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Miles Seroussi’s development began normally, but abruptly came to a halt. Early diagnosis of autism sent his mother, Karyn Seroussi, on a journey of research and recovery. She found some researchers that believed autism to be a biologically based condition.

Among these researchers she learned from Bernard Rimland, PhD, Director of Autism Research Institute. He wrote the forward for this book saying that while it reads like a detective story, it accurately chronicles her family’s journey. Rimland’s book Infantile Autism published in 1964 laid to rest the pernicious theory that unloving “refrigerator” mothers caused autism. In spite of studies related to vaccinations in general and the MMR in particular, the medical establishment fails to confirm the connection in at least some situations. Further, studies regarding the benefit of Vitamin B6 for many children with autism are scoffed at or ignored by poorly informed physicians.

Karyn also learned that Paul Shattock and Karl Reichelt had identified neuropeptides. Her husband, Alan a researcher for Ortho, a division of Johnson and Johnson began a study to confirm that these neuropeptides were casomorphin and apha-gliadin with the idea of developing a routine neonatal or postnatal diagnostic test to identify autism much earlier.

In addition to these and other researchers, Karyn was doing her own work with other families, like theirs, that were doing home-based behavioral programs. Through the official research and her case studies, she found a number of factors that were true of many or some of these children in about ten families.

1. Gluten – by using an elimination diet they discovered that in most cases their children did better without gluten.

2. Dairy – they observed that many of the children had difficulty with dairy – especially casein, but some with lactose.

3. Other food allergies.

4. Yeast – many of these children had suffered from many ear / other infections and received many antibiotics – thus encouraging candida. Nystatan and / or probiotics deal with this.

5. “Leaky gut” – all of this results in a condition that prevents nutritional absorption.

6. Vaccinations – while Karyn did not begin with this belief she later realized that this was a factor for many.

7. Genetics – a predisposition to a weak immune system may cause the assaults listed above to overwhelm the system and lead to autistic behaviors.

Part of what brought Seroussi to the conclusion of the genetic factor was her own health. When she listed her symptoms, she realized that they matched the symptoms of food allergy and yeast overgrowth: extreme fatigue, disorientation and “brain fog”, diarrhea and bloating, joint pain and morning-stiffness, always feel cold, sleep disorder, intolerance to pain, difficulty exercising, sugar cravings, caffeine intolerance, back pain, frequent muscle spasms, clothes and shoes feel uncomfortable and restrictive.

In the second part of her book, the author presents the diet that has helped so many. Others have achieved results from different diets, however, Seroussi has produced a work that brings to light many of the factors that contribute to the condition we call autism and pervasive developmental disorder.

Confirming this journey of research and recovery led to the disqualification / discontinuing of special services before Miles went to school. As he entered kindergarten, his mother only told the teacher of his food allergies. Later, when she mentioned it to the teacher, he was amazed. Also, what every mother loves to hear, “I love you mommy,” has brought joy to this mother’s heart.

Book Review: 925 Ideas To Help You Save Money By Devin D. Thorpe

Devin D. Thorpe wrote the book 925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire a Millionaire. I was skeptical about this book at first. I mean, come on, 925 ideas? That’s a lot, and the book definitely delivers on its promises. Some of the topics Thorpe covers include:

  • How to live frugally, and how to get others to work with you on this.
  • How your car is just transportation, and ways get more worth out of your car.
  • How your home is crucial to your family’s financial future, and whether or not to buy.
  • Managing your career whether you’ve been laid off or are thinking about a career move.
  • How to increase your savings, including how to kick off your savings plan.
  • How to get out of debt, including how to manage your credit and what do to with your credit card debt.
  • How to save for your children’s college education, including why and how to save.
  • How to plan for your ideal retirement, including determining how much you will need to retire.
  • How to get the most out of your money when investing it, and how to invest it.
  • He gives a few thoughts on entrepreneurship, including a few tips for family friendly entrepreneurs.
  • How to leave your mark on the world, including ways, steps, and examples to make the world a better place.

I really don’t think that he’s left anything out. My recommendation would be to find a few (or several) of these suggestions and use them, or even try a few at a time to see what does and doesn’t work for you and your situation. I don’t see how anyone could feasibly do all of these suggestions unless they are making close to seven figures.

Many of the suggestions are common sense, to may anyway, which is what I like about this book. While I know I should be doing most of these, I really just don’t. I know I won’t have millions when I retire (unless I play the lotto… and win… which is not one of the suggestions in this book). I also know that my kids will have to pay for their own education (I’ll be paying for mine until I retire). I really like his idea about how a car is just transportation and I’d like to think I could put that plan into place.

If you’re struggling with finances at all, if you want to increase your savings, if you want to get rid of your car payment, or if you want to know that you’re financially secure for retirement, then I would recommend this free e-book that is available on Amazon Kindle.

Diversity in Education and Curriculum Concepts – Book Review

Are you interested in a future in teaching, education administration, or becoming a social worker, or school psychologist, then there is a book, which I’d like to recommend that your read, and then I’d like to give you a more than fair assessment of this work.

“Multicultural Education in a Pluralistic Society,” by Donna M. Gollnick and Philip C. Chinn, Pearson Merrill a Prentice Hall Company, Upper Saddle River, NJ, (2006), pp. 404, ISBN: 0-13-119719-3.

This book was quite interesting to me, and its first publishing was in 1983 and it has been upgraded and republished every few years since. I felt as if the book was very hard to use because it has the Preface prior to the table of contents, which makes navigating very tough. The preface is quite good and explains how the book is formatted.

Once into the book it is very easy to follow along, even the most blithering idiot could use this book and understand it, perhaps, that is their target reader; at least this is the impression I got, and speaking of impression, I believe this book is trying to brainwash the “education student” who has an impressionable mind, this is my opinion based on reading it.

Indeed, as a coordinator for a think tank online I was really worried that such books are indeed being used to train and teach new teachers and college professionals, and students who will go into the educational profession as administrators, professors, psychologists, etc. There are chapters on social classes, race, homosexuality, diversity, gender, religion, and age. There are sub-chapters such as; Hate Groups

Racial Identification

Bullying

Self Esteem

Sexual Harassment

Anyway, you get the idea of what this wonderful book is all about, unfortunately after reading through it all, I decided I really didn’t have room on my many book shelves for it. And I chose not to donate it to a Thrift Store, and I failed to put it into the recycle bin – it has gone straight into the trash. But, I think this is a great book for a neo-liberal-socialist. And I recommend that you read this book so you can understand how all this political correctness has permeated in our society and how it started in academia.

This book also had everything reiterated and duplicated on a CD ROM with videos, and roll-playing on each chapter. I suppose this is for those in academia who cannot read well, and yet, might still be teaching our children and kids. Look, anyone who is serious about teaching needs to understand how it all works, and what it’s all about, even if you disagree with every single aspect of it. This is why I read the book, and duly discharged to where I believe it belongs. Please consider this.

What Should Be Taught to Forth Graders – A Book Review

It is amazing the on-going debate on how to make sure our kids learn to read, and have the education they need. If they hit junior high without a good working knowledge, it can spell disaster to their integration into teen-hood and their academic years in high school. Luckily, there are resources to insure our students are on the right track prior to this.

So, let’s start in the fourth grade. In fact, let me recommend a very good book to you on this very topic, one which I actually own in my own library. The book is;

“What Your 4 TH Grader Needs to Know – Fundamentals of a Good Fourth-Grade Education” (part of The Core Knowledge Series), Edited by E.D. Hirsh Jr., published by Delta Trade Paperbacks a division of Double Day Dell and Bantam Books, (1992), pp. 395, ISBN: 0-385-31260-1.

The editor is well-known in education circles and previously wrote “Cultural Literacy” which has been widely used. This book is so very easy to use and starts out with a section; “How to Use This Book – for Parents and Teachers. This completely helps for anyone who is a Homeschooling Parent, or any new teacher at the fourth grade level. I read through the entire book and felt right at home and even learned some interesting things myself, probably re-learned it from back in the fourth grade.

Okay so, what sorts of topics are in this book anyway, well, I am certainly glad you asked me. This book has chapters on Poetry, Short Stories, Language, and Speech in the first section. In the second section are Geography, Civilizations, History.

The third section is about Fine Arts, Visual Arts, Sketching, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, and Digital Arts. The Fourth section is about Mathematics – addition, subtraction, division, linear charts, shapes, Roman numerals, decimals, multiplication, fractions, and points on a grid.

The fifth section is all about natural sciences, life sciences, earth sciences, continental drift, volcanoes, earthquakes, forests, and the ocean. If you have this book and are teaching a fourth grade level student you will never be lost. But perhaps more importantly your student won’t be either, and you will be giving them the knowledge they need to move forward. It’s truly amazing how we’ve fallen down in the USA with our education.

It is truly books like this which guarantee our next generation’s progress and education – and we are only as good as our educational system and work in teaching 20-years the prior. Please consider all this.