[Discuss-sudbury-model] RE: Discuss-sudbury-model digest, Vol 1 #320 - 6 msgs

From: B&C <bcrn_at_012.net.il>
Date: Mon Dec 5 13:43:00 2005

My son is 6 years old, and attending a Democratic school in Israel. We
became concerned recently that he was watching excessive amounts of TV.
We discussed with him and came to the following agreement.
He gets 4 half hour coupons each day. Each is good for that length of TV
viewing. He does not know how to determine time that accurately yet, but
each program is around 1/2 hour long, so he knows that he gets to watch
4 kids programs a day.
We cut the cardboard for him and he created the coupon with an
illustration of a TV and 1/2 symbol (which was also a learning
experience) He takes the pile of coupons in the \morning and after each
program he places a coupon on a side table so he can keep track.
Sometime he turns off the TV and asks for assistance to remember when a
show he elected to watch begins. It turns out that he was watching
"fillers" between programs he wanted to see out of concern that he would
miss his favorite shows. He is actually pleased not to have to watch
"junk" or repeats in order to not miss his preferred shows.
Naturally he needs supporting encouragement from time to time, but in
general he is proud to be making the call and to limit himself.
He is now watching stuff that we also consider, for the most part, to be
better quality.
Just our experience.

-----Original Message-----
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Subject: Discuss-sudbury-model digest, Vol 1 #320 - 6 msgs

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Today's Topics:

   1. Re: Learning piano? (Lif Strand)
   2. Toddlers and TV (Mercer Carlin)
   3. Re: Toddlers and TV (Tay Arrow Sherman)
   4. Matt's question (Dr. Evan Hughes)
   5. Re: Learning piano? (Tay Arrow Sherman)
   6. Re: Toddlers and TV (Madeleine Hesselink)

--__--__--

Message: 1
Date: Mon, 05 Dec 2005 10:21:24 -0700
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
From: Lif Strand <lif.strand_at_gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Learning piano?
Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org

Quoted from Matt Schick's message at 09:29 AM 12/5/2005:
>Here's the real question I think I want to ask: If you have 8-year
>old kids and you make them
>practice piano 30 minutes a day ...

I will be very happy to read any responses to this. I, too, am a
person who was forced to practice, and although I don't play any
instruments regularly these days, I can if I want to (not very well,
because I don't practice!). I am glad my parents made me learn, but
I too recall really hating it.

I do have one thought on this, though, and that is that in my
sister's family, her husband plays and practices with the kids, and
they are all very into music. As a kid, my siblings and I practiced
alone, my parents were not musical, or at least they weren't to our
knowledge, and weren't involved. Maybe that's all it is: Most kids
who are forced to practice must play their music alone. If there was
music being played all around them - and with them - maybe it would
be different.

------------------------
Lif Strand, Research Associate
Southwest Center for Resource Analysis
Western New Mexico University
(505) 773-4897
(505) 212-0108 FAX

--__--__--

Message: 2
Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2005 09:28:49 -0800 (PST)
From: Mercer Carlin <mercerfcarlin_at_yahoo.com>
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Toddlers and TV
Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org

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Hello everyone,
   
  I have been on this email list for a few months now and loving it.
Thank you to all who have shared their thoughts and insights!
   
  I have been a big fan of the SVS world since reading Free At Last a
bunch of years ago and have read more from the SVS library since. I am
also in the process of putting together a group of like minded folks in
NYC who are interested in starting a school. My son is 2 and I will
either unschool him or send him to a democratic free school when the
time comes.
   
  My post today is about TV. My spouse and I had always thought that if
we did not watch a lot of TV, he would not be interested in it until he
got older. He learned about Dora and a few other shows at friends'
houses. So when he asked to watch them at home, I said yes since I
have always let him guide his world as much as possible. He is now
watching about 2 shows a day (sometimes more). On the one hand, I
totally trust him to determine what works for him and he seems to know
when he is done and ready to do something else. On the other hand, I am
concerned that I am allowing him to do something that is not good for
his brain development and should be curtailed to some extent until he is
a little older.
   
  Any thoughts?
   
  Thanks in advance.
   
  Mercer Carlin
  Mother of 2 year old Timothy
   
   

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<DIV id=RTEContent>Hello everyone,</DIV> <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV>I have
been on this email list for a few months now and loving it.&nbsp; Thank
you to all who have shared their thoughts and insights!</DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV>I have been a big fan of the SVS world since
reading Free At Last a bunch of years ago and have read more from the
SVS library&nbsp;since.&nbsp; I am also in the process of putting
together a group of like minded folks in NYC who are interested in
starting a school.&nbsp; My son is 2 and I will either unschool him or
send him to a democratic free school when the time comes.&nbsp; </DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV>My post today is about TV.&nbsp; My spouse and I
had always thought that if we did not watch a lot of TV, he would not be
interested in it until he got older.&nbsp;&nbsp;He learned about Dora
and a few other shows at friends' houses.&nbsp;&nbsp; So when he asked
to watch them at home, I said yes since I have always let him guide his
world a! s much as possible.&nbsp; He is now watching about 2 shows a
day (sometimes more).&nbsp; On the one hand, I totally trust him to
determine what works for him and he seems to know when he is done and
ready to do something else.&nbsp; On the other hand, I am concerned that
I am allowing him to do something that is not good for his brain
development and should be curtailed to some extent until he is a little
older.&nbsp; </DIV> <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV>Any thoughts?&nbsp; </DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV>Thanks in advance.</DIV> <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>Mercer Carlin</DIV> <DIV>Mother of 2 year old Timothy&nbsp;&nbsp;
</DIV> <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
--0-1801061282-1133803729=:54494--

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Message: 3
From: Tay Arrow Sherman <tay_at_anatomyofhope.net>
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Toddlers and TV
Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2005 12:40:31 -0500
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org

When I was a kid my parents seriously curtailed my TV watching. In
retrospect, I am grateful. But I dunno if I would curtail my own kid's
TV watching. Maybe.

One alternative I can think of is that you watch the shows yourself and
ask him about what he gets from the shows. Does he like the characters?
You might suggest playing with friends more, or you could suggest that
you can read him stories that have interesting characters in them.

Or, for example, I know Dora is always going on little adventures.
Maybe he'd like to go on some adventures in the world-- hikes, or trips
to places you don't usually go?

I think I'd probably take the persuasive "isnt this more interesting"
method over the "nonono" method. My brother does that with his son
Darrow, and it seems to work really well for their family. Then, if
Darrow puts his foot down, they consistently respect his wishes.

Cheers!
Tay

On 5 Dec, 2005, at 12.28, Mercer Carlin wrote:

> Hello everyone,
>
> I have been on this email list for a few months now and loving it.
> Thank you to all who have shared their thoughts and insights!
>
> I have been a big fan of the SVS world since reading Free At Last a
> bunch of years ago and have read more from the SVS librarysince. I
> am also in the process of putting together a group of like minded
> folks in NYC who are interested in starting a school. My son is 2 and

> I will either unschool him or send him to a democratic free school
> when the time comes.
>
> My post today is about TV. My spouse and I had always thought that if
> we did not watch a lot of TV, he would not be interested in it until
> he got older.He learned about Dora and a few other shows at friends'

> houses. So when he asked to watch them at home, I said yes since I
> have always let him guide his world a! s much as possible. He is now
> watching about 2 shows a day (sometimes more). On the one hand, I
> totally trust him to determine what works for him and he seems to know

> when he is done and ready to do something else. On the other hand, I
> am concerned that I am allowing him to do something that is not good
> for his brain development and should be curtailed to some extent until

> he is a little older.
>
> Any thoughts?
>
> Thanks in advance.
>
> Mercer Carlin
> Mother of 2 year old Timothy
>
>
-Tay

---------------------------------------------------

http://www.tayarrowsherman.com/
http://www.olio-academy.com/

---------------------------------------------------

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Message: 4
From: "Dr. Evan Hughes" <evanhughes_at_juno.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2005 17:48:25 GMT
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Matt's question
Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org

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     Dear Matt,
     One way children learn about mastery and the time it takes to get
t= here is by being around other children who have mastered something
them = self. I just watched my sister in a dance performance and the
emotion th= at came up was about me becoming a better chiropractor and
practicing mo= re kung-fu. I'm sure when she's getting adjusted, or
watching me do kung= -fu she is thinking about practicing dance moves-we
inspire each other.
      I feel that something is only difficult if 1-You're worried about
= looking foolish and 2-if your not having fun/you haven't found the joy
i= n it. When you find something that is your passion and you've been
inspi= red to it, the difficulty becomes a reason to practice more, not
the oth= er way around-this is only true however when the desire is
found from th= e inside out.
      The "price to pay" of forcing the energy of a child in to
practice= something according to an authority's will can be seen by
looking out y= our window-depression runs rampant, people are scared of
losing their jo= bs because they can't see learning anything else, how
many people hate t= heir jobs for that matter!? Broken homes because the
parents where doing= what they thought they where suppose to do for
years-had kids-then figu= red out that they need to live their truth,
and how many people do you k= now that have a master level of any skill
other then their career(If the= y even have that?)
      Now, lets look at the alternative; If our children are allowed to
= find along the way that thing inside them which can not be taught,
that = thing that says "I can be anything I WANT to be, all it takes is
time." = Poof. They start the path. No, it's not a perfect path, but
what a chanc= e they have! These are the Einsteins, these are the Ludwig
van Beethoven= s, these are the Gandis. Being without passion and doing
what your told = is always an option-and you don't need to start this
option early in lif= e. =

"Or destroy a child's sense of his or her own power in life?" I think
th= at's the key Matt! I've never seen ANY student fail out of college
becau= se of stupidity. I've seen a number people fail out college
because thei= r emotions got the better of them-they wanted out on a
sub-conscious lev= el and didn't have the personal power to say no! The
same is true of bus= iness/careers. Now are there some children who will
find it within them = regardless of the crap we try and pull as
educators? of course. Human be= ings always find a way. It's what we do.
The point of SVS is do as littl= e interference as possible to an
already perfect system (self discovery)= and watch what happens. What
happens if you enforce a practice regiment from the outside in, is= the
child/student will do what is required and nothing more. What if yo= ur
child was allowed to play video games for as long as they liked? How =
long would they play? 3 hours? 4 hours? 5 hours Straight, no breaks,
ru= nning to the bathroom and getting back as fast as possible and no
food/w= ater... "Are you tired honey?" "No Mom, I'm playing." Now, if
you will, = take that inspiration, intensity, focus and passion and add
it to a skil= l or ability of CHOICE. THAT, is the power of freedom-of
the mind that i= s.
    Hey, if you don't want your kids to play so many video games and
put= their focus in to other things, tell them Dr. Hughes says you need
to p= ractice the same game *every day* for 1 hour to develop hand-eye
coordin= ation and mental focus to avoid the affects of ADD. If it's the
same gam= e for a month, they'll want to throw the whole system away...
just you w= atch. Please don't use my first name however so I can walk
the SVS campu= s without being killed : ) Evan (SVS alumni) =

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<html><P>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Dear Matt,</P>
<P>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; One way children learn about mastery and
the= time it takes to get there is by being around other children who
have m= astered something them self. I just watched my sister in a dance
perform= ance and the emotion that came up was about me becoming a
better chiropr= actor and&nbsp;practicing more kung-fu. I'm sure when
she's getting adju= sted, or watching me do kung-fu&nbsp;she is thinking
about practicing da= nce moves-we inspire each other.</P>
<P>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I feel that something is only
dif= ficult if 1-You're worried about looking foolish and 2-if your not
havin= g fun/you haven't found the joy in it. When you find something
that is y= our passion and you've been inspired to it, the difficulty
becomes a rea= son to practice more, not the other way around-this is
only true however= when the desire is found from the inside out.</P>
<P>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The "price to pay" of forcing the
ener= gy of a child in to practice something according to an authority's
will = can be seen by looking out your window-depression runs rampant,
people a= re scared of losing their jobs because they can't see learning
anything = else, how many people hate their jobs for that matter!?
Broken homes bec= ause the parents where doing what they thought they
where suppose to do = for years-had kids-then figured out that they need
to&nbsp;live their tr= uth, and how many people do you know that have a
master level of any ski= ll other then their career(If they even have
that?)</P> <P>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Now, lets look at the
alternative; If = our children&nbsp;are allowed to&nbsp;find along the
way that thing insi= de them which can not be taught, that thing that
says "I can be anything= I WANT to be, all it takes is time." Poof.
They start the path. No, it'= s not a perfect path, but what a chance
they have! These are the Einstei= ns, these are the Ludwig van
Beethovens, these are the Gandis. Being wit= hout passion&nbsp;and doing
what your told is always an option-and you d= on't need to start this
option early in life. </P>
<P>"Or&nbsp;destroy&nbsp;a&nbsp;child's&nbsp;sense&nbsp;of&nbsp;his&nbsp
=
;or&nbsp;her&nbsp;own&nbsp;power&nbsp;in&nbsp;life?" I think that's the
= key Matt! I've never seen ANY student fail out of college because of
stu= pidity. I've seen a number&nbsp;people fail out college because
their em= otions got the better of them-they wanted out on a
sub-conscious level a= nd didn't have the personal power to say no! The
same is true of busines= s/careers. Now are there some children who will
find it within them rega= rdless of the crap we try and pull as
educators? of course. Human beings= always find a way. It's what we do.
The point of SVS is&nbsp;do as litt= le interference as possible to an
already perfect system (self discovery=
) and watch what happens.</P>
<P>&nbsp;What happens if you enforce a practice regiment from the
outsid= e in, is the child/student will do what is required and nothing
more. Wh= at if your child&nbsp;was allowed to play video games for as
long as the= y liked? How long would they play?&nbsp; 3 hours? 4
hours?&nbsp;5 hours&= nbsp;Straight, no breaks, running to the bathroom
and getting back as fa= st as possible and no food/water... "Are you
tired honey?" "No Mom, I'm = playing." Now, if you will, take that
inspiration, intensity, focus and = passion and add it to a skill or
ability of CHOICE. THAT, is the power o= f freedom-of the mind that
is.</P> <P>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Hey, if you don't want your kids to play
so many v= ideo games and put their focus in to other things, tell them
Dr.&nbsp;Hu= ghes says you need to practice the same game *every day*
for 1 hour to d= evelop hand-eye coordination and mental focus to avoid
the affects of AD= D. If it's the same game for a month, they'll want to
throw&nbsp;the who= le system&nbsp;away... just you watch. Please don't
use my first name ho= wever so I can walk the SVS campus without being
killed : )</P> <P>Evan (SVS alumni)</P> <P>&nbsp;</P></html>

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Message: 5
From: Tay Arrow Sherman <tay_at_anatomyofhope.net>
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Learning piano?
Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2005 12:56:24 -0500
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org

Hi, Matt--

Languages seem to be an ongoing issue. I have various thoughts about
this.

Part of why it's so hard to learn languages without intensive lessons
is the artificiality with which we have come to teach languages. It's
hard to stick with French (etc) lessons if nobody is pushing you but
yourself, because the payoff is so slooooow. But what if you went to
France for a while, and did some immersion? Nobody learns their first
language through lessons. You learn it because your parents speak it,
because you need to know it to get food and use the bathroom. It is
exactly so in any form of immersion learning.

How many people do you know, who took language classes in college or
high school, became fluent in that language through those lessons,
without immersion? How many people do you know who could even carry on
the simplest first-day-of-class conversation in that language?

To me, immersion is the only real way to learn a language. It's how I
learned English and though I took French for four years in college, it
was the immersion program I did halfway through college that actually
taught me French.

Another thing I have noticed is that this goes to any level. I've got a
Master's in English, but it was not until last year when I got an iBook
where the chat client spellchecks and underlines automatically as you
type that I learned how to spell words like "weird", "field", and
"conscious". Of course, this obviously has not done much for my
sentence structure.

Right now, although I know of no such schools already in existence, I
do know of some people who are interested in opening bilingual Sudbury
schools. This would offer some free-form language learning, which is
after all the most natural way to learn a language. My personal fantasy
is that we would end up with many bilingual schools, and schools in
many countries, and that a coherent exchange program could be
implemented. I love the idea that becoming bilingual would be
incidental in such a school.

Music is similar in some ways. I think if one plays around with
instruments for a while, doing improv and making sounds, eventually
technical issues become more interesting. It was this way for me with
certain aspects of writing-- I liked to journal, and eventually I
became interested in free verse. Then I liked free verse, and
eventually I became interested in form. Now I write in whatever format
I feel is appropriate, which can certainly include the terzanelle or
the sestina. I can see a similar flow chart for sound improv, to
melodies and harmonies, to sight reading, et cetera.

Some of these things we learn in school, well, it's hard to imagine
learning them freely. I think a lot of this has to do with the
extremely artificial way in which we learn these things. Nothing has to
be learned artificially.

I dunno the answer to your REAL question. I don't think there is
anything that I know how to do that I hated learning at the time, but I
could just be having Idealistic Memory Of Childhood Syndrome. Maybe
mathematics? I think it constitutes some harm to feel unhappy, but I
think it would be less unhappy-making to be able to get an answer when
you ask questions like, "what good is it to me to learn this stuff?"
Kids get ignored on that question, and I think it is a pretty important
one. I also think that the biggest hurdle for kids is patience. But I
mean, good lord, I learned patience from video games and commuting. You
get it somewhere, sooner or later, because feeling impatient sucks!
Finally, I do think that instant gratification is less appealing to
Sudbury kids than to kids in traditional schools. Sudbury kids have to
develop a level of understanding of their subjects that suits them,
rather than merely gather enough globs of information and memorised
phrases to pass the next test before they forget it all. Having
actually learned something is always super rewarding.

Cheers!
-Tay

On 5 Dec, 2005, at 11.29, Matt Schick wrote:

> Hi. I'm new to this forum (and to the Sudbury model in general). A
> question:
>
> In my experience, there are things that I have learned (musical
> instruments and foreign languages
> jump to mind as the best examples) where, after an initial period of
> interest/excitement when
> starting out, things get really difficult - you're working uphill
> towards a goal that's way off in
> the future somewhere, there's very little benefit in the present (just

> the opposite, actually - a
> whole lot of dull repetetive practice), and it's VERY tempting to give

> up. But after a while (a
> year or two? more or less?), once you start getting good, it becomes
> enjoyable in and of itself.
> In a Sudbury school, how do kids come to recognize that hill and what
> it takes to get over it? I
> know that I would have given up flute within the first year if my
> parents hadn't pushed me to keep
> practicing - but in the long run, I'm VERY happy they did.
>
> You know, that's not actually my question. I think I already have a
> feel for how you'd answer that
> one. Here's the real question I think I want to ask: If you have
> 8-year old kids and you make them
> practice piano 30 minutes a day (despite any resistance they may put
> up), the kids may hate it at
> the time, but by the time they're 16 they'll almost surely be REALLY
> happy that they can play the
> piano pretty well. What would you say about that? Where's the harm? I
> know that it goes COMPLETELY
> against the Sudbury model, but still... Small price to pay, maybe? Or
> does it completely ruin the
> adult/child relationship? Or destroy a child's sense of his or her own

> power in life? (And not to
> mention that trying to get a kid, or anyone else for that matter, to
> do something that he/she
> doesn't want to do is NO fun at ALL...) I don't doubt that there IS
> harm done, I just can't seem
> to find it myself. So I'm asking you.
>
> [When I was 16, I would REALLY liked to have been able to play piano
> (both of my parents can play)
> and speak French (my mother's bilingual). Of course, I can learn these

> things now (and am in the
> process of doing so), but...]
>
> Thanks.
>
> - Matt
>
>
>
>
>
> __________________________________________
> Yahoo! DSL Something to write home about.
> Just $16.99/mo. or less.
> dsl.yahoo.com
>
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss-sudbury-model mailing list Discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
> http://www.sudval.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/discuss-sudbury-model
>
>
-Tay

---------------------------------------------------

http://www.tayarrowsherman.com/
http://www.olio-academy.com/

---------------------------------------------------

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Message: 6
Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2005 10:05:14 -0800 (PST)
From: Madeleine Hesselink <madociel_at_yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Toddlers and TV
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org

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We did not have a tv in the house while I was growing up. This is
another case of--I really wanted one when I was a kid, but now I am glad
that my parents did not have one. I spent a lot more time reading and
playing outside than many of my peers and I beleive that this has helped
me in many ways, which I don't have time to go into now.
 
 Now with my daughter (age 3) we also don't have a tv. I don't limit
her when she goes to friends' houses, but it is not available to her on
a daily basis. I do have a computer that plays dvds and ocassionally we
get movies, but I borrow and don't own them. Whenever I have one for
any length of time, I notice that she begins to ask for it incessantly
and if I let her watch it as much as she wants she gets very grumpy and
it is no fun for me to be around her. So my self-defense is to just get
movies maybe twice a month or so. She really appreciates them when she
gets them, but we don't have to struggle over it. Of course this may
change as she gets older and starts pestering me to rent them... But for
now it is a nice balance.

m

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<div id="RTEContent">We did not have a tv in the house while I was
growing up.&nbsp; This is another case of--I really wanted one when I
was a kid, but now I am glad that my parents did not have one.&nbsp; I
spent a lot more time reading and playing outside than many of my peers
and I beleive that this has helped me in many ways, which I don't have
time to go into now.&nbsp; <br> <br> Now with my daughter (age 3) we
also don't have a tv.&nbsp; I don't limit her when she goes to friends'
houses, but it is not available to her on a daily basis.&nbsp; I do have
a computer that plays dvds and ocassionally we get movies, but I borrow
and don't own them.&nbsp; Whenever I have one for any length of time, I
notice that she begins to ask for it incessantly and if I let her watch
it as much as she wants she gets very grumpy and it is no fun for me to
be around her.&nbsp; So my self-defense is to just get movies maybe
twice a month or so. She really appreciates them when she gets them,!
 but we
 don't have to struggle over it.&nbsp; Of course this may change as she
gets older and starts pestering me to rent them... But for now it is a
nice balance.<br><br><span style="font-style: italic;"><span
style="font-weight: bold;">m</span></span><br></div>
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Received on Mon Dec 05 2005 - 13:42:52 EST

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