Letters, Camden Herald
The following addresses the guest column in the Jan. 24 issue of The Camden Herald: "Virtual Schools" by Ms. Kathreen Harrison. It is in no way intended to comment on Ms. Harrison’s views of Gov. LePage. Rather it goes directly to the lady’s statements on education.
First off, I admire the lady’s earnestness and dedication to our profession. I shall remain her steadfast partner in her attempts and aspiration to improve the profession, but there are points on which we differ.
I taught my first physics class in 1949 as a junior in college. Though I didn’t know it at the time, the profession was already in decline, so much so that I’d resolved to switch professions to engineering. As if by karma a relocation of the work place induced my return to the classroom. Since then I’ve taught all the physical and earth sciences as well as some of the maths and other odd programs. I’ve taught all grades from first to college, including teachers (Who I need add don’t always make the best students). I shudder to think of the many lecture halls, laboratories and classrooms that have felt my footprints. Despite the negative trend of the profession, I enjoyed all my classes and miss them even now in retirement (though I still teach the Coast Guard course for the Captain’s license).
Before pointing to any one individual or item in education, I think Ms. Harrison needs look at the overall picture. Having won World War II and saved the planet, we Americans had assumed a thumbs in the vest chesty attitude that we were preeminent in all things including, if not especially, education. That’s when I came to the profession. Then Sputnik happened and our educational bubble burst. Having to face abysmal statistics our profession found itself in need of a defense. As anyone knows, the best defense is an offense, so it was that in those early years, the profession ascribed our poor production to a lack of funds to purchase much needed equipment. In effect putting a guilt trip on the taxpayer. The tactic worked admirably. The guilt ridden public dug deep and sat back for improvements — which never came. Since it worked so well the first time the guilt thing was used again. This time for more teachers to use all that new equipment. Again, the taxpayers dug deep, and again sat back waiting for improvements which never came. Then the guilt trip routine was used to buy new and larger schools and still no improvements. In fact things worsened. Lastly came the seemingly never ending guilt trip for higher salaries. Yet while the money curve flowed upward the production curve flowed downward. So where are we now? Of the 34 industrialized nations on the planet, the USA stands near second from the top in per pupil spending, yet at last count, we were about 22 or 23 in math and science. In effect we are giving the public about a quarters worth for each dollar paid.
If we were a patient in a hospital, paying increasing fees while our condition worsened our first move would, and indeed should be to change hospitals. I submit to my good colleague that the public is not at all out of order in seeking changes, hence the activity of our governor despite his being somewhat abrasive. Not necessarily in defense of Governor LePage, but he is amongst an increasing number of forward looking governors to do so.
The painful facts are that in clinging to the exclusive monopoly granted our profession we have failed and are continuing to fail the public that is paying dearly not only in dollars but in the futures of the young entrust to us. We are failing because, we have disdained and precluded change that might induce competition, which in turn induces quality. I submit that its time to change pedagogical doctors or hospitals be the agent for that change a governor or anyone else capable of bringing it about.
More assistance needed
I received a call Jan. 29 from Pinny Bebee-Center, the director of Penquis, that all of the LIHEAP funds allocated for Knox County for the 2012/2013 years have been distributed to those families and individuals that qualified. The funds Penquis will have available to distribute to those in need for the remainder of winter will come from funds that we raise or that others may donate to Penquis for this purpose.
With that grim news, I ask that each and all that please consider whatever that you feel you can afford to give to please do so. Please make out your checks to Penquis with Help Heat Homes in the reference line and mail them to me at P.O. Box 867, Rockport, 04856.
We all know that February and March are generally our toughest months of winter so please help all you can. If you have any questions, please contact me at 236-8625, 593-2223 or firstname.lastname@example.org
America has a morals problem
“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine, Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” — II Tim. 4:3
The media tells us that America’s No. 1 problem is the economy.
But I happen to believe, with my limited wisdom, that our the No. 1 problem is a morals problem.
I also believe that if, as a nation, we continue to ignore the real issue of morality, we are in deeper trouble than what appears on the outside. This problem is so evident all around us, it seems that we have deliberately thrown the “moral compass” under the bus.
Americans, this is a terrible mistake!
With all the information at our disposal, we are without excuse to not be well informed of our early Christian heritage, here in this great Republic.
If you’ll take the time to read the actual documents/letters written by our founders, you will find out the truth. To get started, go to Google, search for David Barton’s Wallbuilders and you will begin the process of educating yourself to the real facts of the Christian faith of our founding fathers. They were not just a bunch of illiterate country bumpkins, as some would lead you to believe. And if you search even further you will find that most of them had a college degree.
It seems that our school systems and colleges have either purposefully omitted or deleted from their textbooks the true facts surrounding the faith of early America.
Were most of our Christian founders something less than wise to believe in a God so orderly and awesome?
Were they the fools — or are we the fools?
Is our Constitution written by geniuses to free people or did that just come about by man’s feeble knowledge?
Think about it!
Isn’t America’s morality the No. 1 problem of our day?
Whatever you come up with that‘s fine, but in my opinion, this is the only solution.
“If my people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will answer their prayer and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” — II Chronicles 7:14
They say that these little towns like Camden and Rockport are close-knit communities, where people care about each other, help each other, protect their own.
I wondered about that as I stood out in the rain last Wednesday night and watched the Frye house be torn down piece by piece. Where was the community, the outraged majority, the reporter, photographer, the witnesses to this final devastation? Where was the "Community That Cares?"
The crane guy had no idea what the issue was, and why should he, he was from some other town. He was saying it was taking longer than he thought, that the framework was post and beam and wasn't giving in so easily. Someone suggested that he could get the thing down much easier with some kind of winch that you just tie around the midsection and give a great big tug.
I asked if I could go inside and take some shots from there. He said no, that he wouldn't be afraid to go in, it was still strong even with half it's beams down, but no, insurance stuff wouldn't let him let me.
The contractors came by. A lady asked what kind of condominium was going up. Oh no, he said. That was rumors. It's going to be a little house, set back from the street he said.
I wondered, maybe the condo is going to be built in front of that. The house directly next to and the one across from the condo-to-be will not be able to sell their houses. Who wants to live next to an oversized bunk bed when you can find a better house down the block? So those people will be forced to sell to whoever will buy, and that would be the condo people.
Meanwhile, the rest of you in that area better get looking for a new place to put your houses, dig them up and move them. Then all you have to do now is wait and see and wonder- "Who's Next?