Saturday, May 27, 2006

Video Game Addiction - Centered in South Korea

Washington Post had an article today (I'd give you the link but you need to register with about the growing addiction of South Koreans to video games. In part, this is a reaction to the academic pressures teens face in a hotly competitive educational environment, but the addiction is creeping into the adult population, as well.

Tragically, kids are dying. They won't eat, won't go to the bathroom, and some have died from sitting in a single position for several days.

I think about the extreme pressure on these kids in Korea compared to my work hard, live passionately attitude with my own children. I expect genuine effort but not perfection. College not in a child's future? No problem, you still have to find your meaning and you still have to work. Use your brains, don't forget your heart.

My laissez faire attitude runs a little counter to the community where we live, as well. Very competitive for grades, sports, etc and some kids have committed suicide over the pressure.

I tell my oldest there's nothing wrong with doing your first two years of college at the local community college and work part-time. Chances are you'll be taught by a full professor rather than a Teaching Assistant. Save your $$ (and mine) and be more thoughtful about what you want to do and where you want to go.

(A business friend of mine had his daughter at a top 20 university. She majored in Creative Writing. $150,000 for a degree in creative writing. CREATIVE WRITING! I have no problem if one of my kids decides to go into the trades. G-d knows, the world needs plumbers.)

I think about my youngest kids and wonder if the Korean educational system might have crushed their exuberant spirit.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Another "Make More Babies, Please" Article

Now Russia, also facing low birth and high death rates, is bribing its women to have second babies.

From The Christian Science Monitor:

A second baby? Russia's mothers aren't persuaded.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Wishing Everyone a Happy Mother's Day

Nothing much or profound to share tosay. Today I think about my own mom who passed away 6 years ago in body, but left me orphaned in spirit many years prior ... I think about my youngest children's birthmoms who may or may not know today we celebrate Mother's Day ... I think about the speed in which the years pass, me tired and distracted by the details of daily life, and find myself confronted with children who grew by stealth in my haze and daze ...

My next door neighbor just had her 3rd child - her second child now age 13, her first born 14. The dad tells me how much harder it is to raise babies in your 40s. He fails to realize hubby and I had 2 babies in our 40s, practically back to back. I just smile and nod in agreement.

I think how nice it might be to have a fourth child, but at 51, wonder how fair that would be to him/her or to my family in its current five-ness. (I have close high school friends who are awaiting their first grandchild.)

I wish I were 43 again :=)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Korean Law Maker Wants to Ban International Adoption

From the Korean Herald

Lawmaker pushes ban on overseas adoption

I think the Korean Government specifically and Korean society in general should do more about helping families - meaning single moms - stay intact with financial and program support. Promoting domestic adoption is a great thing, but banning international adoption won't stem the plunging birthrate.

Monday, May 08, 2006

My homegrown baby turns 14

How did it happen that my first born beauty turns 14 today? Of course that makes me, um, somewhat older.

For perspective, my eldest daughter was entering kindergarten when we began the adoption process in 1997. She's getting ready for high school this fall.

Okay, maybe I've grown a little more older than "somewhat." I'm easy to spot, tho. I'm the mom -- feeling nostalgic who sniffled and choked down my high-fiber, oaty-fruity-flaxy, tastes-like-twigs cereal this morning, hoping regularity will keep me going strong for the day I'll be writing about my youngest daughter turning 14 ... and that's just 7 years away.

:: sniff ::

Monday, May 01, 2006

Fewer adoptions in the Bay State

From the Boston Globe:

Lots of factors mentioned -- including the aging out of Baby Boomers (I hadn't considered that)

China's policies lead to drop in Bay State adoptions

Only thing glaringly wrong is the mention of Korea tightening rules because of child trafficking. Korea has long been on the record that it would like to end international adoption of Korean children within the next 10-15 years.

Okay, I know I'm old

I found this concept icky and somewhat hilarious. On the other hand, if I were 25, I'd probably think this was too fun.

Pregnancy Piercings