Category Archives: Fashion

Edith – always in style! THE FINAL DEBATE🇺🇸🍿🇺🇸🍿

October 22 – the Final Presidential Debate🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

By Edith Morgan

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Edith

So, who won this debate? That seems to be the question. But how do we decide? Was it a win that the microphones were muted when the other candidate was talking? Was it a win that Joe Biden could speak uninterrupted when it was his turn? Was it a win that Donald Trump stayed throughout the 90 minutes? Was it a win that moderator Kristen Welker maintained control most of the time, and was able to move the entire debate along so all subjects could at least be mentioned, even if they were often not answered.

It would have been a great win for the American people if there had been a lot of new and truthful information in the answers. And if we had the technology in place for immediate fact checks to be run alongside the screen, probably fewer viewers would be misled by the fantastic figures pulled out of thin air by Donald Trump. But that will take time to unravel and, unfortunately, our attention spans are too short to wait and check.

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The debate was held at Belmont University auditorium, in Nashville, Tennessee. The format was basically the same as for the first debate: 90 minutes, divided into six sections, with a two-minute answer by one o the two, and response, then some discussion back and forth. Subjects covered were the corona virus, with differing views on the cost, in lives, the economy, and whom to blame; national security, healthcare, race in America and climate change. I was surprised that Trump still claims that windmills kill birds and solar is very expensive. And while he seemed very concerned about the birds, he was not bothered by the disease and respiratory problems and the cancers afflicting people, mostly minorities and poor people, living in the shadow of fracking operations or air pollution from coal and oil production. They were getting bigger pay checks there, he said.

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🇺🇸file pic: Bill Coleman

Throughout the debate it was clear that the main concerns of the two presidential candidates were diametrically opposed: Trump’s main concern was opening up the economy, our schools, our businesses, while Biden wanted to lick the virus first, save lives and increase the minimum wage so that every working person could earn a living wage. For Trump, the stock market is vital, while not so much for Biden – as most middle- and lower-class Americans really have not much invested there.

On the question of the vaccine, Trump named the American companies working on the accelerated program, and claimed we would have 100 million vaccines available!!! But he was vague on the exact time, promising, as usual, that it would be soon. On further questioning, he still could not, or would not, give any details as to what his health plan would be.

I am surprised Trump is still getting away with this – after all, there have been 70 attempts to kill the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) and, surely, it would not take 10 years to come up with a new and better plan!! Where’s the plan, Donald?

Kudos to moderator Kristen Welker for keeping things moving and civilized. My condolences once again to the American people, who were denied truth, facts and in-depth understanding of the problems we as a country are facing.

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New Rose Column: SPENCER VOTES?🍎🍎

Hard Times in My Old Spencer Town

By Rosalie Tirella

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SPENCER during this Election Season: I’m thinking of the sweet people I used to live next to in the poor part of this town: Elm, Mechanic, Main streets. Old row houses built for the factory workers – Spencer was once a French town known for its sheet metal workers, blue collar thru and thru. Then the SAAD factories, the mills down the road in Dudley and Douglas closed, like all our factories and mills here in Worcester, then 1, 2, 3! Spencer became poor. Spencer in many places looks like my part of Blackstone River Road …

But except for one creepy neighbor – like the creeps here who CREEP me out! – I liked the people of Spencer. The poorer folks in this big, sprawling Central Massachusetts town – my Elm and Maple street neighbors, tenants living in the long row houses, were unfailingly polite, modest … a quiet friendliness suffused their “hello”‘s, “have a nice day”‘s. And everyone was a builder/crafter: they fixed their porches, weaved beautiful fake flower wreaths for their front doors, added bits and pieces of wood to their little garden fences …

I saw their poverty and, unlike the hustlers here in my buildings, they did lots of improvisation when it came to surviving poverty: the old guys carved their own crooked walking canes, the ladies had shopping carts just like my late Mom did when we lived in Green Island, and they pulled their shopping wagons up the hill to the supermarket to grocery shop – and pulled it home. In all kinds of weather. Sometimes I’d offer an old woman a ride – proud and quietly determined, she always declined. I was nice but I wasn’t a Spencer girl. New in town.

Often I’d go to Spencer Town Hall, pictured here, to talk with Laura the Town Clerk and try to make an appointment with the Town Manager (ha!). Laura was polite but, my advocacy for the poor people fell on deaf ears. Laura, I’d say, WHY NOT HAVE A TOWN COMMUNITY GARDEN IN THAT BIG TOWN LOT NEAR MY HOUSE? The people need free fresh veggies and … What about a FOOD HUB like they have in Northern Worcester County?

My suggestions were met with a Laura smile, condescending, stubborn as a mule …

So WHEN I SAW ALL THESE POOR SPENCER FOLKS WALKING IN THE SLUSH, A WET SNOW FALLING ON A DARK NOVEMBER NIGHT TO TOWN HALL – ELECTION NIGHT IN SPENCER – I WAS APPALLED. Some folks were in their motorized wheelchairs driving along with traffic! Most were drenched, a few weren’t wearing boots …

The old Republican middle classers of Spencer had their big old Caddies and Buicks parked in the town hall parking lot and voted with ease. They came out in droves to re-validate old ways, the same old same old pols …

I voted – and asked a poll worker: IS THIS THE ONLY PLACE TO VOTE? TOWN HALL? WHY NOT A POLLING SITE AT THE PUBLIC HOUSING, IN THE COMMUNITY ROOM, OVER WHERE I LIVE? Why have the poor from my area walk in snowstorms and the cold?

The old woman poll worker replied: WE DON’T EVEN HAVE ONE IN OUR SENIOR HOUSING! WE NEED ONE THERE!

Laura and all the Spencer movers and shakers were practicing their own version of voter suppression. With their small town smiles… So many people/voters living on Elm, Mechanic, Maple, Main streets and more probably looked out their windows on that election night and …left their canes by their doors…and stayed home that Election Night.

Next day I drove down to Congressman McGovern’s office off of Shrewsbury Street – Spencer is part of his Congressional District. He is supposed to represent the people of Spencer. Upset I told Chief of Staff Gladys Rodriguez Parker and other McGovern staffers what I witnessed the night before. WE NEED MORE POLLING SITES! IT’S NOT FAIR!!!

Comfy cats. Entitled cats. They gave me the same look that the Spencer movers and shakers had given me!! …and did nothing.

❤Love to all my Spencer neighbors who vote despite the voter disenfranchisement in Spencer, courtesy of Congressman Jim McGovern, oblivious Town Clerk Laura, the Boneheaded Spencer selectmen and pointless Spencer town administrator.

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FYI:

President Donald J. Trump has COVID 19

By Edith Morgan

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Edith

The COVID 19 virus is truly an equal opportunity invader – and seems finally to have reached the supposedly safest house in America -the Trump White House.

After Trump called the virus a “Democrats’ hoax” and saying it would just disappear and telling reporter Bob Woodward that he knew how deadly it was but did not tell the public because he did not want to panic us … and leading millions of Americans to avoid wearing face masks … now has come home to Trumpland. Trump and wife Melania are at Walter Reed Hospital, under quarantine, and for all practical purposes out of mainstream life for a couple of weeks.

This is so close to the November election! Trump is – of course – in a Presidential Suite in the hospital, getting the best medical care in the world … and he claims he will carry on his presidential duties from Walter Reed. He does not look well …

Meanwhile, Trump has exposed so many people around him: not just family members, but staff, military personnel, Secret Service men and women and all those tasked with guarding and transporting him, not to mention the thousands packed together in his rallies.


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Most of us have continued to listen to Dr. Anthony Fauci and our doctors and the research scientists who have continuously reminded us to wash our hands, wear facial masks and keep our distance.

Let us all hope that the very professional staff at Walter Reed, who have in the past performed so many near-miracles, will be on top of this problem and that Trump will quickly recover, without the really bad time that Boris Johnson of the UK experienced.

Do you all recall the story of “The boy who cried wolf”? After so many lies, misinformation, flip-flops, and incessant tweets, my first instinct was that this news was just another diversion caused by Trump because of his plummeting poll figures to provide an excuse to delay the election – or to say it was all rigged. When you have been lied to often enough, you begin to question everything.

I will assume for the time being, that this is the real thing: apparently the Trump tweets that used to come in the middle of the night, by the dozens, seem to have stopped – a sign that Trump is not up to doing that!

There are so many questions, but this White House is so secretive that we can only speculate.
So, stay tuned, wear your masks, wash your hands, stay 6 feet apart and keep healthy – flu season is just around the corner.

EDITH🌺🌸 – ALWAYS IN STYLE! … WHAT PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE??

By Edith Morgan

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Edith – our political reporter! Our former scribe, Steve Maher, is struggling … his Parkinson’s disease has worsened. We pray for Steve.

What I watched on TV – Tuesday night’s presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump – could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be called a debate. The rules, clearly enunciated by moderator Chris Wallace and agreed to by both debaters, were totally violated and ignored by Donald Trump. That was surely no surprise from Trump, an acolyte of the infamous Roy Cohn, the evil brains behind the late divisive US Senator Joe McCarthy. We saw, in full application, that technique being used on us at that show. Call it that! As that it was!!


Trump incites American hate groups to disrupt the November 3 election, intimidating ALL voters.

I recall the McCarthy era well – and recognize the technique, a set of experiences perfected by Hitler’s propaganda minister, Goebbels. Name-calling, lying, blaming everyone else, deflecting and out shouting your adversary. And never taking responsibility. Changing the subject whenever incontrovertible facts get in the way.


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So how do I summarize this circus? Questioner Wallace did his best to ask the questions on six topics he had prepared, trying to give equal time to each speaker, and allowing for comments and /or rebuttals. Trump interrupted incessantly, so it was really difficult to hear what Joe Biden had to say on any subject, despite constant attempts by Wallace to re-enforce the rules.

The audience, sparse due to the threat of the novel coronavirus/COVID 19, obeyed the rule that they were to abstain from clapping, commenting, etc. They did observe absolute silence all through the show. Some were wearing masks (Notably, the First Lady was masked, though not most of the Trump side.)


Trump – indecent. He slammed Beau, the dead son of Joe Biden – and he called Hunter Biden a drug addict. Hunter is in recovery.

The event took place on the campus of Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio. Had the rules been followed, the program was to be divided into six 15-minute segments with a topic for each segment. Neither candidate had seen the questions ahead of time. Among subjects of questions were the major issues facing our country: the Supreme Court, COVID 19, our economy, race in America, “law and order” and climate change.

There had been a lot of discussion on media as to how each candidate was preparing for the debate. Clearly, Trump had no need to prepare, as he failed to adhere to the format, did not answer with any but invented facts, and simply veered to personal attacks. Trump described a U.S. economy that is so great I hardly recognized that he might have been talking about America – unless you think that the greed-ridden Dow Jones is the real picture.

After decades of attempts to kill the Affordable Care Act, Trump still had no plan in place – after almost FOUR years in office! He continued to blame the huge California fires on “poor forest management,” ignoring the fact that the Federal Government owns most of the forests that are on fire! Hence, they were under Trump’s control!! Whose “poor forest management” was that?! That was only one example, but you get the drift. Fact checkers will have a field day with all the other Trump lies and distortions.


❤ historian Jon Meacham – who’s voted for Dems and Republicans.

I am concerned that this fiasco will have been widely viewed overseas, with obvious repercussions for America’s reputation, so badly damaged already by the Trump administration. But I believe that the good, common sense of much of the American public, will, after watching three of these “debate” spectacles, will finally reel and turn from Donald Trump in disgust and clean house. Those of us who are teachers know that you have to hear something three times before it takes.

In the famous words of U.S. Army lawyer Welch (our own Massachusetts-ian): Have you no shame, sir?”

Of course the answer was, and is, NO.

Chef Joey – always fashionable!!🍁🍁🍁

Bonjour from Beautiful France!

By Chef Joey

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Joey’ daughter Gigi accompanied Joey to France – Vinny stayed home.

Bonjour from beautiful France! On Monday Gigi and I had to return to France to bring my mother back to finish up a few things since my father’s passing last year. Air travel is no longer the same thing, airports are empty and so is the flight. We were on a brand new “Airbus” that holds 300 passengers, there were 42 of us and 21 crew members. There was a dinner service and a breakfast snack and a great crew on board. The flight was so smooth and extra fast – what normally is a 6 ½ hour flight was now 5 hours and maybe 40 minutes. The ground crew in Paris was not even there yet, we were so early.

The best part is one of the flight attendants who took a liking to Gigi was on the next flight to Nice and was super helpful getting us to the next terminal.

We had all sorts of new “Covid” travel upon arrival – after baggage we called an Uber – 3 minutes later we were on our 14 kilometer ride to our house. Everyone wearing masks and a bit exhausted from the travel but we were in good spirits. Gigi was especially pumped because she had a hot chocolate in Paris, and the sugar kicked in the whole 1 hour flight from Paris. The cat nap in the car was not sufficient to calm a five year old on chocolate.

At home we quickly unpacked and had the “mandatory” nap for Gigi. Five hours later we were off to the market – snacks and dinner were part of our mission! What I immediately noticed as I entered the grocery store was the difference of being bombarded with “junk food” at the entrance of American stores to entice you to load up before procuring real food. Most French markets start you off in the wine department. Not too shabby. The produce is usually near the cash registers, so freshness is the last thing you see is veggies. Of course, there’s the fresh bread and pastries.

The other great thing about French food is it is all GMO-free and pretty much all organic, too. Italy is even better with the veggies all grown locally in green houses on the terraced cliffs, a marvel just to see them function year round.

Mask wearing, like the states is mandatory. However, here you get a fine$, and the whole south of France is under video surveillance. So there really is no way to escape the law, and it is a good thing. It used to be no shoes, no shirt, no service or entry…now it is no mask no way!

We plan on going to an open market this weekend, so I have pictures and more story line to report. We just got here and Gigi started school today and had a nifty organic lunch for her first day. Four courses even at a cost of $1 a day – and as of December, most schools are leaning to all vegan meals for kids to curb eating disorders.

The French government monitors all foods and literally will pull products if they have too much fat, calories or even sugars. Nestle lost a whole summer of purchases a few years ago because there was too much sugar in their chocolate! Anyways, like all things, moderation is key – and smart eating decisions are the way to go!

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Chef Joey. Mask up in France – or “face” a fine!

The Worcester Public Schools – always in style! New column from John + more🍁🍁

AVOID, THE PANDEMIC SLIDE! KEEP YOUR CHILD READING!

By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee

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Kids need to READ!

As a former Worcester elementary school principal (Belmont Community School) and, now as a Worcester School Committee member, I continue to talk to parents about the importance of reading. I have spent endless hours talking about the “summer slide” that takes place during school vacation time due to children not engaged in learning activities. Please remember that the summer slide is real, for our schools see the decline in reading and math achievement just from being away from school.

I have seen many articles on the “Pandemic Slide” or the “Covid Slide.” Many researchers using existing data on learning loss typically seen during school summer vacation predict that summer loss and the loss in the COVID 19 spring could potentially cause academic setbacks for many students. In the worst case, they may retain only 70% of the gains they had made in reading and only 50% of gains made in math.

Thus, parents, who are the child’s first and most important teachers, need to do all that they can to offset any educational loss. I would encourage parents to tell their child that reading activities will be an important part of their lives during this coming school year.

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Reading … recipes, directions, comic books, magazines, short stories, novels, biographies …

Let’s focus on reading. Reading aloud. For parents of toddlers let me emphasize that reading aloud to young children is the most important way to get them started on the road to being a successful reader. Read to and with your child as often as possible. This is a way to spend time with your child and, if it’s convenient, read at bedtime. Twenty minutes of reading aloud will accomplish more than you can ever measure.

“The more I read,

“The more I know

“20 minutes a day will help me grow.”

Consider reading books of interest to your child and for the real young ones consider: Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes, Harold and the Purple Crayon, Curious George Books, Bob book set by Scholastic and cardboard books like The Little Blue Truck. Outstanding authors to be considered include Tomie DePaola, Jan Brett, Patricia Polacco, Eric Carle and Laura Nameroff just to name a few.

Books in the primary grades: Look for book series. I love the Magic Tree House books, for they are high interest and very entertaining. Your 6- to 10-year-old reader can join time-traveling duo Jack and Annie in their magic tree house, as they adventure through history. Young readers can travel through history without leaving the comfort of home with Mary Pope Osbourne’s award-winning series, The Magic Tree House!

Other series for this grade level: the Junie B. Jones series, which is a set of 27 books. The series’ is about a young girl, Junie, who has a friendly, bright, funny and spirited personality. Junie B. lives with her parents, Robert and Susan, and her baby brother, Ollie. She does get into many very funny situations.

In the grade 4-6 series for the sports-minded kid: the Matt Christopher series is outstanding. Matt Christopher wrote more than 100 novels featuring a variety of sports. Very entertaining, and the sports-minded student will love them. Another outstanding writer is Lois Lowery. She has written a variety of fictional books from Number the Stars to the fantastical The Giver.

Other books that I recommend are the Harry Potter series, the Mary Poppins series, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series. There so many more! The important takeaway is get books into the hands of your child!!

Another great activity during the Pandemic: having a Family Night on the Weekend. Bring out the popcorn and read a book! Once in awhile get a movie based on a book that the family has read. Show the movie and compare/contrast. Many of these movies can be obtained at your local public library.

You can also gather activity books. Give children their own activity book with crossword puzzles or number games customized for their specific age group. Set a “due date” to keep them on track – but let them work at their own pace.

Going right along with reading please consider having your child at any age have a diary. Have your child write the highlights of his/her day each evening before going to bed. How about your child’s thoughts on this pandemic? Other writing activities can be writing a letter to a friend that due to the pandemic they may not have seen, or writing to a relative. They could write to their classroom teacher, for many students will not see their teachers for awhile if they are on a remote learning schedule. Be sure your child writes about their favorite book and parents send me their essay: John Monfredo, 8 Cherokee Road Worcester, Ma. 01606. I’ll be selecting the best report by grade level and will award the winner a new book!

I hope that I have raised interest in more reading during the COVID crisis and shown how parents can support their child. It’s so important to have “all hands-on deck” during this global health crisis. I am confident that you will make a difference in the life of your child. Need additional tips, parents? Write to me!

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Farewell to Trump’s Kellyanne!

Farewell, Kellyanne Conway!

By Edith Morgan

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Edith🇺🇸

I have always wanted to be a fly on the wall at the Conways’ home: George and Kelleyanne, both devout Catholics and conservative Republicans with what appear to be very similar religious and political beliefs – yet seemingly on such completely opposing paths to how they express them. Kellyanne has been a totally faithful defender and spokesperson for President Donald Trump and, I believe, the brains behind a witless, unprincipled and ever lying presidency – and the coiner of some really interesting new “concepts” in political doublespeak.

She has uniquely survived the many purges and sudden replacements in the Oval Office and has consistently flown above the name-calling, labeling and misogyny of President Trump. And then there is her husband, George Conway, still a true conservative Republican but one of Trump’s most vocal and vociferous and perhaps most effective critics. George is co-founder of the Lincoln Project and behind the group’s – made up of all anti-Trump Republicans – scathing anti-Trump political ads:

He has trumpeted psychologists’ assessment of Trump’s mental health: dangerous narcissist:

His wife, Kellyanne, originated, among others, the concept of “alternative facts” – as though we have two realities and it is just a matter of opinion as to what is “real.”

Interesting that husband and wife should both decide at this time that their family needs them at home now. Perhaps precipitated by the Conways’ teenaged daughter’s rebellion and open criticism? Or do they smell an oncoming defeat and are fleeing the sinking Trump ship?

That gives us time to ponder the interesting similarities that my father used to comment about in 1933 about the degradation of the German language under Hitler and the uses of distortion and propaganda to pull the wool over eyes of even educated German citizens.

I am sure there will be more on this topic – the news has been overshadowed by the RNC “convention” and the oncoming nasty weather about to hit the Gulf Coast. Stay tuned …

New column by Joey! 🍎Memories around foods and people I love

Text and photos by Chef Joey

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Chef Joey has a HUGE side-yard garden!

Summertime is for fun, frolics and fresh, local veggies. We always hear of the best farm stand for corn, have our favorite farmers markets, or even our own potted herbs and plants for the extra fresh taste available at our fingertips.

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Joey’s tomatoes …

The funny part is those of us who have gardens know that it is an explosion of whatever matures first. At my house, it was lettuce then zucchini, followed by squash and cucumbers. We are now on the tomato boom – cherries being the number one producer.

The beets are maturing nicely, as is the cabbage, and this is the time of year to keep an eye on these slower growing items because friends like squirrels woodchucks and chipmunks that had no interest due to other delicious woodland snacks are all of a sudden thinking: wow!! how did I miss this?! … So that not no secure door has to be corrected and the small gaps fixed to endure the final stages of the growing season …

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In Joey’s garden …

Of course, with gardens and veggies come traditions, too: stuffed squash comes to mind, sautéed eggplant, basil soup – it’s really a veggie soup with carrots potatoes and green beans with a whole lot of basil – in French it’s called “Soupe au Pistou.”

My grandmother used to make an Italian Frittata that had more than 8 eggs in it! Then it dawned on me she grew up on a farm and they had to use all those chickens’s eggs up!

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Chef Joey has a green thumb!

Another time I had a friend who cut a tiny slice on the end of her roast. I asked her why. She said her grandmother did it, so she did. The grandmother was arriving a little later that day … She said triumphantly, “I remember that day. I was entertaining a larger number of guests, and I did not have a pan big enough to hold the roast. So I had to cut the end off and cook it next to the roast!” That was one tradition that got cancelled fast.

It is not about the preparation. I know some people who only enjoy “julienne” style carrots (cut in even matchstick pieces for uniform cooking). Potatoes cut this way are called fries – who knew?! Bottom line is: Cook things the way you want and eat healthy. My mother always said when we complained hunger pains as kids, would you find that in the forest? So berries, fruits and large doses of water generally cured our hunger pains. I do the same thing with my 5-year-old now – that tradition is a keeper.

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Joey’s Gigi!

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Edith! Always in Style! 🍃🍃Here’s a column from her! + more🇺🇸

Education – Not Just Schooling!

By Edith Morgan

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Edith, yesterday, tending her tender flora. pics: Rose T.

The novel coronavirus has given us the great gift of time – time to think, time to plan, time to do something better.

Before we open our school buildings, let us ask some pertinent questions. Let us put on the table ALL our assumptions about public education: Why do we do what we do? Are those reasons still valid in the 21st century?

🖋Let us create an idealized goal – what kind of human being do we want to graduate after 12 year with us in our schools? If we do not have a clear destination, how will we know when we are there?

📘Are paper and pencil tests really a valid accountability measure for accomplishing our stated goals?

📙Does our curriculum at all levels reflect what we want a full-fledged adult American citizen to know, be able to do, and pass on to descendants?

🌊If we are all going to live to a healthy, productive, nine-decade life, how do we prepare our graduates for their 30-to-40 years of retirement?!

These are some of the more basic questions we should be asking ourselves. Right now, our emphasis is almost entirely on getting our children back into our old school buildings and trying to figure out how to pay for these new groupings.

📚We have not addressed the pressing problem of pre-school education, lack of affordable day care or any kind of affordable child care – and application of all that is known about how children learn, develop, and thrive. While individual teachers try to encourage and enhance individual talents and skills and interests, we pay little attention to these things as systems. We are still wedded to the factory model of education, teaching to the middle, and creating a few special places for all those who are not ”average.”

🌺What if each teacher really knew what the total curriculum goals were and was given no more than 10 students, to be their assigned group, and be responsible for the full development of those 10 students for one school year – or more?

🍃They would not be limited to the school building – but would use the facilities of the entire city – its parks, streets, museums, stores and eateries, etc. The group would be responsible for each other and spend a full day together so that parents would be able to work knowing their young were in good hands all day, developing at their own rate, and not being herded about to the sound of bells.

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Gigi works on her puzzles. pic: Chef Joey

We should also remember that languages are most easily acquired at early ages, not after puberty, when for most of it becomes more difficult. The early elementary times should be given over to enriching vocabulary, developing good sentence structure and comfort with many forms of expression (prose and poetry). Once children have a good command of the language, there is plenty of time to go over the rudiments of phonics by grade 3. English basic words are generally not phonetic.

Every American child should master more than one language – there are so many ideas and nuances that can not be expressed in one language but exist in another.

And, above all, our young must, from sixth grade on, be able to think critically, analyze propaganda and know when they are being used to become mere consumers. We are now so immersed in advertising everywhere we look that we no longer even question the right
of moneymaking to occupy every inch of space around us!

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A portion of Edith’s garden – Edith espouses TEACHING/LEARNING outdoors, in nature.

By the time we graduate seniors from our high schools, we should expect that they can navigate various forms/applications, and the tiny print designed to mislead that is found in contracts, credit card statements, etc. Years ago there was a test, the SHARP test (senior high assessment of reading proficiency) which simply tested whether students could use and understand the most common forms they would encounter in adult life: Tax forms, W-2, driver’s license, credit card monthly reports, bank forms or whatever is current now. Too many of our high school graduates are constantly taken advantage of because of their lack of education in these areas. And as part of any civics curriculum, senior high students should have a thorough understanding of how various economic systems work and how they affect our students’ lives and futures.

Let’s start questioning – NOW!!

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FYI:

Edith, always in style: … Hey, Fellow Americans! We’ve been robbed!! + more🎶

By Edith Morgan

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Edith!🌿🌻🌾🌺🌸🌹🌷🍎

Once upon a time (last century, actually) we Americans were all very rich. Of course, most of us did not know that, so let me tell you:

We,the people, owned so much public property, so many publuc buildings, so many public facilities, so many great American services … Actually, I had an old inventor friend who, when the national debt ballooned, suggested that we could wipe it out by mortgaging our public properties to ourselves – and pay it all off.

What did we own? Millions of acres of beautiful parklands, canyons, lakes, forests, natural wonders.

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Save the planet – EAT LESS MEAT!

We built libraries, federal buildings, bridges, interstate highways, cross-country railroads and wonderful national services (the U.S. Postal Service is one).

We, the American public, also owned the airwaves, which we rented out in three-year terms to providers, to be renewed after they had proved that they were serving the public good: education and entertainment.

Much of this public wealth was acquired after the Great Depression of 1929 – as the Roosevelt administration saved the capitalist system by implementing “the New Deal.” Millions of Americans were put to work, building up America: we built – for much needed paychecks – libraries, bridges, public buildings, parks, schools, playgrounds – and services. By mid-20th-century, we had a postal services that went daily to EVERY city, town, suburb, village and rural address in America – and to our troops overseas! And connected us to every other nation with such a system.

Many of us took these great assets for granted, and used them, and sometimes abused them. But they were equally available to all – and our taxes maintained them. So we have the Grand Canyon and all the surrounding gorgeous parkland, Mount Rushmore, all our great national parks throughout our states, and many of the schools and other buildings still standing from that time.

But for several decades now there has been a concerted effort (a plot, really) to “privaaaaaaaaaaatize” our assets, to take them out of our hands and put them into the hands of profiteers who will keep us out, or charge us to use them – or destroy them in a hundred ways for short-term profit, while destroying them for future use.

What has happened to our airwaves is especially disturbing: we no longer have any criteria about service. Now the only criterion is: do you have enough money to run programs on the frequency assigned to you? And so this noble property now runs 24 hours a day, filling the space with mostly advertising and reruns in summer, with a rare space given to quality, artistry, and education. And every year the time soaked up by interminable ads, one following upon the other, without pause.

There are, out of the hundreds of channels, two or three still supported by a small amount of public funding and donations. But increasingly making money dominates the airwaves, leaving us, the American public, with only the choice of changing channels, or turning it off.

Our public lands are under attack: deforestation, grazing in our parks, mining fracking, selling off huge pieces of land, over-use by an ever-growing population – polluting rivers, lakes, and even the ocean.

And, of course, lest we get wise and vote in a government that will preserve these great bounties for us and future generations, there is now a concerted effort to wreck our postal service, so that not enough of us can vote comfortably by mail! President Trump is the tip of the sledge hammer …

WHEN WILL WE WAKE UP????

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FYI! Love PBS’s FRONTLINE:

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Still haven’t bought SHOOT OUT THE LIGHTS! Must own this classic! – Rose