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Showing posts from July, 2010

At the End of the Day

The end of summer is quickly approaching, and school will start in just a couple of weeks. When I was a boy, we had an extra month over the kids today, with school starting the first week of September. That's no longer feasible as the U.S. drops farther-and-farther behind the rest of the industrialized world in education.

Keila went to Italy as a part of her education at Berry College. While there, she was required to observe in a number of Italian primary schools. She was inspired by what she saw, and horrified at how far our schools miss the mark.

Using modified Montessori models, Italian schoolrooms are places where busy groups of children cooperatively learn. They are busy, conversational, hands-on places. Here, steril classroom settings with neat rows of chairs greet children. They sit silently while information is imparted, and work endless worksheets of problems. If it sounds boring, it is because it is.

It is obvious that, for all our knowledge about how children lear…

July Heat, Remembrances, and Regrets?

I seem to have come to that point in life at which one ruminates over the past while in the midst of the simplest things.

I sat with an African-American friend on our porch the other day and a sudden image flashed into my mental view. It was the image of a document I have stored away. My dad bought a couple of shares of stock in the Westside Development Corporation...or some such innane title. It was really a racist entity developed to purchase houses in our community to keep black people from buying them during the turbulent 1960's. It happened anyway, and the community changed. I keep it as a mark of shameful remembrance of a time my dad came to regret as he accepted that we are all God's beautiful children no matter what our color.

I've spent some time looking at old family photos...well, some are actually even tintypes...my family recollection is beginning to span back nearly two centuries. I look at the faces of those gone and remember how short our lives really a…