Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Glow of the Fire

against_the_windThose kept warm by the glow of synaptic fires

from behind dilated Pupils

know the worth of the light

of consciousness

walk in the face of the blasting wind

of ignorance

that comes in little pay, or politics,

or any of the social morays

and other eels of society

and strive anyway

to pass on the flame.

 

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Proposed Education Change

Dear Legislators,

First of all, thank you for your service.  There is no doubt sacrifice on your part to do what is right for the people you represent and toward that idea of a more perfect union.

It is for this purpose I ask you to change the structure of education in New Mexico.  Over a decade ago, we replaced a State Board of Education because of the gridlock of representatives arguing over their constituents’ best interests, and who may have missed the broader view of education in New Mexico, for a streamlined “Secretary of Education,”  whose implementation of policy has not yielded the promised results across the state.  Graduation rates are down, test results are down, class sizes are bigger, higher education enrollment is down, teachers are leaving the state, so the state is creating waivers for teachers to teach other subjects, and many other people are leaving the state, too.   Feedback about the negative effects of the implementation and policy have been met with threats to the democratically elected school boards rather than discourse, in Las Cruces, Deming, and in Albuquerque.  There is no indication that the “Secretary of Education” approach has improved education in New Mexico.  There is also a strong possibility that this model will represent constant political swing, as different governors are elected, rather than a more stable foundation of policy.

We need a revised democratically elected State School Board System, whose backgrounds are k-12 education, which represent different geographical areas of the state, which keeps in check the currently unchecked position of Secretary of Education, which has the power to advise, veto, repeal, and override the Secretary of Education.

Please consider legislation to improve the accountability in our government.  Thank you,

Jeff Tuttle …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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At the first of everything…

 

Unknown“Everywhere I go, I’m the first. It’s a strange feeling.  Step outside the rover? First guy to be there.  Climb that hill? First guy to do that. Four and a half billion years, nobody here, and now… me.”

As part of a lazy post-Christmas, Kristin and I watched The Martian this morning.  Which is a very optimistic work, and I like it, very much for that.  To channel my dad, at the beginning of a new year, we are all that explorer.  Each of us is unique in our own circumstance.  Our eyes offer their own unique perspective for this, a brand new moment in all of the universe.  This is the first time of this moment, even though we wrap ourselves in the illusion of routine and cycles, nonetheless, this is the first of it all.  We are the luckiest bits of matter, envy of all the matter in the universe, if it could do such a thing as envy.   We get to smithy into the fabric of the universe the sensation, for better and worse, and the wonder of it all.   Four and a half billion years, and nobody has ever been, or ever will be… me, or you, and these moments we have.  Happy New Year.  It is indeed all new, and it is ours to discover.

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Watching Mary Poppins

Tonight as we watch Mary Poppins these lines poppin to my head:
mpMr. Banks:
The children must be molded, shaped and taught
That life’s a looming battle to be faced and fought

If they must go on outings
These outings ought to be
Fraught with purpose, yes and practicality!
These silly words like superca…
Superca… superca…

I will go again to the school board again, this time to ask them to change their policy about field trips.  I think as it currently stands I may not be allowed this year to take our student council to our state capital in Santa Fe.  Every year we go, representatives and senators come out to greet us, and we are alway the guest of Senator McSorley, who generously greets the students and briefs them on the goings on.  Two years ago, Justice Daniels greeted us with his Winnie-the-Pooh tie on, and said his daughter went to Monte Vista.  It is refreshing for the politicians to have grade school visitors, I’ve been told time and again.  I also think it is politically savvy to keep the path well worn between public education and the public.  But mostly I’m an impractical person who believes that just getting the students out is reason enough to get them out.   I think it is necessary to teach the joy of life as a staple of the school day, it is the only place some students have an opportunity to learn it.   The work of life needs to be infused with joy.  Or, as Bert would have it:

You’ve got to grind, grind, grind
At that grindstone
Though child’ood slips like sand through a sieve
And all too soon they’ve up grown
And then they’ve flown
And it’s too late for you to give
Just that spoonful of sugar
To ‘elp the medicine go down
The medicine go down, the medicine go down.

So much misdirection comes from this idea that learning is a means to an end.  That we must drive and test our children, like we adults know what its all for, when I think that really children balance that notion with the means as the ends; that this is the moment we have now, and we don’t know where it goes to, but maybe we can go and fly a kite anyway, and balance work with the enjoyment of the moment and each other.

 

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