“Academics of the right sort…”

This is a comment regarding the blog of April 27 by Karen Molenaar Terrell…

“Academics of the right sort…”.

As is often the case with specialized industries, the nomenclature either becomes overblown, impossible to understand, or descends into jargon. I, too, was appalled at the stated opposition to “Knowledge-based education”on the surface until I went further and read, “…and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.” In other words, the way I read this, because of the parenthetical defining, is that the Republican Party opposes those programs in which the actual substance of the skill programs are not what is specified by their labeling. Unfortunately, if this was the intent, the platform plank was poorly worded.

I  am not a teacher, but I am pretty intelligent, having gone to school (in Iowa)  in  the days when we were actually taught the basics…the foundations and how to think, not just memorize, regurgitate, pass the test, forget.

I do know, I too, oppose programs that teach values and beliefs as if the the schools have a monopoly on what those should be, behavior modification (for those who do not conform), and teaching to the test. OBE is a new swing of the educational pendulum. In practice, OBE generally promotes curricula (read textbook publishers) and assessment based on constructivist methods and discourages traditional education approaches based on direct instruction of facts and foundational material. HOTS is a program for a given student core with unproven beneficial results.

Twenty-five years ago we decried the state of education in CA. Twenty years ago I cried for the state of education in Texas. My granddaughter in first grade brought home a binder with specific instructions how to add pages, where to put them, how to label sections, etc. Every child in the school had one of these and was expected to abide by the “rules.” Two of my brothers are no longer in teaching because they were expected to do everything except teach.


Why the Blogger Cometh.

There is a passage in the Bible about men praying so “that they may be seen of men.” There is also one much the same about alms giving.
How much of what we do is for ourselves and how much is for show…for others to see? I’m talking motive here.
I was at a restaurant for lunch one day and I saw an older couple (obviously Catholic) praying before they started eating. Neither of them seemed self-conscious about this. I’ve seen a lot of this grace-saying lately at hotel breakfast rooms, restaurants and fast food joints. None of them I’ve seen seem to be doing this for anyone but themselves.

An inveterate people watcher, I have also lately watched a lot of, um, let’s say females because all of them are not young enough to be girls, nor old enough to be women…walking (I use the term loosely) around on tall shoes. Every time, I wonder, “what is the motive?” Attention? Fashion? Peer pressure? Whether you call them stilettos, wedges, espadrilles, I cannot, for the life of me figure out why anyone would punish themselves that way.

And then on FaceBook I read a comment about the garbage, inspiration, etc. that is posted and reposted on FB. I think it was tongue in cheek (read re-posted), but it, too, poses the questions, how much do we do for our own gratification, how much for others to see how smart, in, beautiful, with it, we are, and how much to REALLY help someone else, prompt some real thinking or get some helpful, honest answers to one’s questions? 

There’s some really good stuff “out there.” I’m going to concentrate on making my posts part of that really good community. I want them to be thoughtful on my part and hopefully thought provoking on your part.



The Colors of Suggestion

I find it remarkable that we humans are so easily manipulated by suggestion. Take for instance, color. Do you have any idea why you wear the colors you do? Or why you paint your house a certain color? (Given that you are not in a community that decides for you what color you can use.) Why your once Harvest Gold stove is now stainless steel? Why your car is Midnight and your towels Seafoam?


I remember years ago being taught about the Pantone Color Institute when I was into greeting card design. This research group shares its “color expertise” with industry, fashion, graphic artists, interior designers, moviemakers, and on and on. It sets the tone for what colors are going to be “in” in any given year. Now don’t get me wrong. If you are color clueless and need to know that Christmas red and Parisian chartreuse probably don’t play well together, you can be thankful that someone else has done the hard work. If you are just too busy to mull over color, you are of this century and also grateful for experts. If, however, you are perfervidly independent and wish to make your own, uninfluenced choices, you may have to hunt for the color you want to drive around in.

Here is a list of past colors: (italics mine)

Tangerine Tango (2012)

Honeysuckle (real honeysuckle is two colors, usually white and yellow and or orange. And there is a coral (…which was called “watermelon by the fashion mavens in 2011)

Turquoise (2010)

Mimosa (yellow) (2009)

Blue Iris (2008)

Chili Pepper (2007)

Sand Dollar (brown, ivory, blue, purple) (2006)

Blue Turquoise (2005)

Tigerlily (orange) (2004)

Aqua Sky (2003)

True Red (2002)

Fuchsia Rose (2001) (This one gets me…fuchsia is a purple, and rose, well, usually pose means pink, but it can in reality be anything from red to black and everything in between!)

Cerulean (a deep blue) (2000)


Do you see an unimaginative pattern of rotation here? So, isn’t it nice that 2013’s color is a total departure? May we present Emerald Green?


Pantone is pretty blatant about it: “Sharing a strong passion for how color can transform a face, mood or even an attitude, Sephora and Pantone continue to change how consumers wear, feel and think about color through the second annual radiant and modern Color of the Year beauty collection.” They’re predicting emerald green eye shadow and “luxurious” interiors. Finally, a great year for the Irish, I am suggesting.

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