Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hello on Wednesday

Dear Friends,

It is official; Linda and I will be celebrating her birthday on Sunday at the 1 PM Patriots vs Bills game in Buffalo, New York. The bus leaves Pittsfield at 9 AM on Saturday morning from the transportation center in downtown Pittsfield. By 1 PM we should be at our Motel 6 in a place called Amherst, New York. The plan right now is to check into the motel, and take a cab to Niagara Falls which neither of has been to.
In casual conversation while playing Mah Jongg on Tuesday, Linda announces our plans. One of the players asked if she could "tag along" with the Curley's for our weekend adventure. Since we are both friends with the lady, Linda couldn't say "No". During a break at Mah Jongg, the lady called up, and made her reservation.
Even though the advertisement for the trip said that there are single, double, and triple rooms available, we all won't be staying in the same room.
This is actually a trial run because this lady and Linda are going to a Mah Jongg tournament in Atlantic City during November. I will not be "tagging along."

I was listening to the radio talk show yesterday that is hosted by one of my email recipients. My friend and one of the callers watched a John Stossel program on Charter Schools in the New Orleans area. They were impressed with the students wearing school uniforms, the discipline that took place in the Charter Schools, and the supposed education that is so much better than in the Public School setting. I wanted to called and interrupt the love fest that was taking place between my friend and the caller, but I didn't have the energy to do so. We have a Charter School in Berkshire County, and it is not cracked up to what it is supposed to be. They do not test any better than the students who attend the Public school setting. When a student is "kicked out" of the Charter School, where do you think he or she ends up.
Charter Schools don't receive special funds to run that school. They just take money from the same "pool" of money designated for education in that town.
If you have Special Needs Children, who do you think has the best programs to deal with these children?
The love fest also continued on when they heard that Charter Schools are not bound totally by Union rules. They loved it when they heard that these schools have longer school hours. A longer school day doesn't mean a great increase in student knowledge. The longer school day means less of a hassle for the parents. The students can do (or at least start) homework in school instead of bothering the parents when they come home from a long day at work. Instead of parents trying to juggle their work schedule when the kids are normally home at 3:30 PM, they can pick them up on the way home from work. Am I implying that Charter Schools have become more like baby sitting institutions instead of educational ones? You bet I am!
While at the birthday party last evening, the daughter of the birthday woman told us how her 5th grade class was going in a town (about 40 miles from
Pittsfield) after about a month into the school year. She said that her 5th grade class was "The Class from Hell!" She has trouble when she starts off by telling her students to open their books, and turn to a certain page. All the trouble she has from these students begun in the home, and not in the classroom. When there is no setting the tone (good old fashioned discipline) in the home, how do you think that the kids are going to act in school? When television and electronic games become the babysitters for their children, the children think that school should be entertaining too.
I have witnessed first hand what goes on in the homes of our grandchildren, and the interaction which takes place between the parents and the children.
As an example, there are books in the family room / play area, and in the children's bedrooms. One morning, while baby sitting Max in Tewksbury, I heard some noise coming from his bedroom. I peeked in, and there he was sitting in a laundry basket reading a book or at least thumbing through the pages (he can't quite read right now since he just turned 2 years old).
Where do you think that he learned the importance of book reading? Did the "Classroom from Hell" students ever have their parents read to them, play with them, etc.?
I am a firm believer that the family unit has become more dysfunctional over the past 40 or 50 years. Fix the family, and we wouldn't have so many societal problems. Parents are the first teachers of their children. If they do what they are supposed to do as parents, then teachers can do what they are supposed to do as educators. If we can fix what goes on from birth to when our students enter our schools, there would be no "Classes from Hell."

The birthday party at Patrick's Pub went well. There was much food, fun, and merriment before the Curley's departed. I went up the bedroom to watch the last few innings of the Red Sox Game. I didn't go to sleep a happy man. The two best closers for the Red Sox couldn't hold a one run lead, and the Sox eventually lost the game. Luckily the Yankees beat the team which is fighting the Red Sox for a playoff spot.
Even if the Red Sox make the playoffs, my confidence level that the Red Sox could win any games is at the lowest point ever.

I do have the Patriots football team to lift my spirits.

Politics -- I see where Palestine might be getting close to forming their own State? Could the tension between Israel and the Palestinians be easing?
Let us hope so!

I see where an Afghan leader who was trying to get together to discuss peace with the Taliban was killed by a suicide bomber. The bomber hid the bomb in his Turban. We might have to make some policy changes in what people are allowed to wear. Does every person who wears a Turban or women who wear veils have to be banned from doing so? Am I going to be leery of sitting next to someone on an airplane who is wearing a Turban?

Social Calendar -- I have a bunch of errands to do before I take my afternoon nap. I might be having a "Chicken Novena" for supper this evening.
The weather should be okay for me to cook the chicken on the grill. I think the Red sox are playing again this evening too.
Linda doesn't have to move her body until her 6 PM Knitting group meets at 6 PM at Panera Bread. She gave me strict orders not to bug her today. That is almost impossible for me to do that.

Have a great Wednesday!

Talk to you soon. The Curley Lad

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