Sunday, December 8, 2013
(Continued from page 1)
The Loring facilities manager looks out at the empty tarmac at the former Air Force base in 2005.
Associated Press file photo
All this talk lately about unions and tenure and how mediocre teachers are rewarded because of the length of time they have taught is a crock if you ask me.
What's a good teacher, anyway? Students are driven by internal combustion and parental encouragement. The dumb ones learn nothing regardless of how great the teacher is, and the smart ones learn what they want when they're good and ready and not a moment before.
I have been a teacher twice in my life. I taught a sixth-grade art class in Salt Lake City and a design course at an art college in Washington, D.C. I gave it my all, but I doubt anyone remembers a thing I said.
Besides the one or two male teachers I had crushes on, none of my high school teachers made an impact. In college I had an entire semester with the highly esteemed Conor Cruise O'Brien. The Irish writer, politician, historian and academic taught something called Humanities. I recall nothing at all about the class or the man, and no, I did not smoke pot in college.
The only teacher I do remember from my NYU days was a very wild painting professor named Robert Kaupelis, who was given to wearing Hawaiian shirts. He invited me to attend a Greenwich Village "happening" to be held in a small theater and warned me to sit in the back.
I did as he suggested and was glad of it since the proceedings on stage included the slaughter of a live pig, splattering blood on the occupants of the first three rows.
Now that was good advice.
Strikes against meters should rule them out
Usually, it's three strikes and you're out. Here are three strikes against smart meters.
1. WiFi interference: This was an early concern when I learned about smart meters. Sure enough, a recent letter writer said that installation of his smart meter has forced him to keep his WiFi router right next to his computer to maintain connectivity. That's not the purpose of WiFi.
2. Health issues: Cellphone makers, like tobacco companies, told us for many years not to worry. Suddenly, large scientific studies are showing that frequent cellphone use may indeed lead to brain tumors. I'd call that something to worry about. Can adding more waves to the air be any safer?
3. Employment: Do we really need more good jobs (meter readers) cut on top of the many this economy has shed? I don't see the money saved by these layoffs going into any pockets except those of already overpaid executives and large stockholders (often the same folks).
If this were baseball, we'd all say, "Yer out!"
Pamela B. Blake