January 2004

4 articles in January 2004

Ii am a dinosaur!

I know it and many of my colleagues whom I’ve spent decades teaching with also clearly understand this.

We are being replaced by the concepts of multiple intelligences and brain-based learning. Our philosophies of disciplined teaching styles are said to be obsolete and ineffective. In other words, the mammals are taking over. Let me explain. I’ve been teaching high school science since the early part of the 1980’s. I have many colleagues at Newmarket Jr. / Sr. High School in Newmarket, New Hampshire who have taught for well over three decades. In fact, some have taught for so long that they are now teaching the children of the students they taught many years before.

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Ppresident Bush once stated that war with Iraq was inevitable. The debate over going to war with other nation has been raging in our Congress and our newspapers for many years now.  I wonder if President Bush understood what the word ‘inevitable’ meant?

Going to my favorite Webster’s Dictionary, that is now being held together by duct tape, I looked up the traditional definition of the word ‘inevitable’. It states that inevitable is: “incapable of being avoided or evaded and an instance that is bound to happen.” I started to think about things in my life that I considered ‘inevitable’.

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Aabout 90 percent of the 258 York citizens voted against the development of a casino at a straw poll sponsored by the York’s Chamber of Commerce. In fact, businesses were encouraged to vote separately and of the twenty-nine voting, 75 percent voted against casino development.

According to printed reports, Cathy Goodwin, who is executive director of the chamber, stated that many voters noted on ballots specific areas of concern including traffic congestion, loss of quality of life in the region, and the belief a casino would present the wrong image for the State. As I sat in my car waiting for the traffic to let me enter onto Route One, I remembered a time when I barely saw a car on the road.

During this time of year few people ventured out because few people lived here all year long. I remember one time about 35 years ago when I drove out on Broadway from my home on Iris Avenue. Back then I never looked for traffic and because of this I almost ran into the only other car on the road. The accident scene would have looked like a bowling ball hitting a ten-pin. I took the time to reminisce about some of my experiences with the wonderful world of gambling. The first time I had ever walked into a casino happened about 20 years ago when my wife and I decided to vacation in Las Vegas. Actually it was just a two-day stopover because the bulk of our vacation was in Hawaii.

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Ffor as long as I have known my niece and her husband they have yearned to have a summer home in York. Last spring they finally had the opportunity to buy a summer cottage on Norton Avenue, near the beach. They were thrilled, even though the cottage needed a lot of work.

They bought it with everything included: furniture, rugs, beds and a massive amount of junk. My wife and I shared their excitement by taking a bottle of champagne over to crack amidst the cobwebs. Despite the mess, my niece Kelly was thrilled with her new summer home. We shared her awe as she sifted through the massive amount of junk that included everything from 1950’s vintage cat ornaments to books that hadn’t been opened since the Eisenhower administration.

An old box in the corner of the den caught my wife’s eye and as she rummaged through it she picked out a set of cream colored ginger jars. The reason she called them ginger jars was that each one bore a picture of a ginger plant. They must have been 50 years old and were in odd sizes, ranging from the size of a peanut butter jar to a big cookie jar. My wife asked Kelly if she wanted to get rid of them and Kelly told her the sooner they got rid of all the accumulated junk, the faster they could move in. Plus, who would want a bunch of old jars anyway? Apparently she’d been trying to give them away for days, without success.

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