TO THE EDITOR: Chinese or Spanish: Oh dear!
Which tongue shall I study this year?
The former will own us,
(A heartbreaking onus!),
And the latter are already here.
LEON S. HARDING
Hiding from past
TO THE EDITOR: Is there a reason we “hide” from past until we’re old?
I grew up in Ellenburg, went to Ellenburg Central (not NACS); our mascot was an eagle. I graduated in 1964, went to college and for some reason, I lost or “cut” all contact with my past. I didn’t care and neither did any of my classmates to continue even a remote contact. I’ve been back to the school once, to watch my nephews play baseball.
Obviously, we weren’t a close class nor was Ellenburg a close community. There were farmers and the others. It isn’t as if we who lived on farms didn’t know we were the second-class citizens of Ellenburg.
At the same time, we, the children of farmers, also knew Ellenburg had no reason to exist except for farmers. I would like to point out that when I was in school, there was a cattle auction barn (Neverettes), three cattle-feed stores, three farm-machinery dealers, a milk plant, three car dealerships, three grocery stores, a sporting-goods store (now the Ellenburg Inn), department store, two restaurants/taverns in Ellenburg and one in Ellenburg Center. Even Churubusco had a grocery store and restaurant/tavern.
We also knew there was a wide world in front of us that did not include Ellenburg or David, Gail, Edgar (Jerry), Bill, Bonnie, Cindy, Diane. Joe, Judy, Linda. Marilda, Patsy, Phyllis and 13 others whose names I can’t even remember. Sad, isn’t it?
Maybe there is a reason we hide from our past. We don’t belong. Or don’t want to belong. Or maybe we simply try to hide from our past until we’re old and realize that we miss our past.
TO THE EDITOR: We were deeply moved by the care and compassion shown to our mother, Minerva Mousseau, while she was a resident of CVPH Skilled Nursing Facility.
She always used to say how much she loved her “cozy little place,” which was very reassuring for all the family.
Minerva’s children would like to take this opportunity to thank all members of the staff, including Dr. Guile, the nurses, her personal caregivers, cleaners, caterers, activity organizers and administrators for all the kindness and support provided to our mother.
She was shown respect and dignity at all times, making her final years as comfortable as possible.
Each time we stopped by, we felt welcome; there was always someone available to talk to whenever we needed information or support. It is clear to us that there is a culture of genuine warmth at this facility where everyone is treated with kindness and affection. That culture is very special, providing a wonderful service to our loved ones and to our community.
A special thanks goes out to all the caregivers who came by on Mom’s last day to say their private goodbyes. Some shared cute stories with our family, some brought doughnuts, and all had hugs for us as well as for mom.
Our family not only appreciates the love and concern these individuals regularly gave our mother but also the generosity and consideration they bestowed on us all.
Thank you for tenderly looking after mom when we were unable; our most sincere gratitude.
TO THE EDITOR: I believe, as my grandfather always said, “It’s simple. You do what is right.”
Yet, according to our new frame of reference for evaluation and assessment, I’m not doing it right. I am only “developing” and, in areas, “ineffective.” My students aren’t doing it right, either.
We need standardized testing, and we need better equality in curriculum expectations. But we do not need either at the expense of learning.
I work hard. I play hard. I laugh with abandon. I cry with gut-wrenching sobs. I struggle to find the right words, hoping it is something, even if not quite enough. I try every day to live my grandfather’s words to do what’s right.
Sometimes the students, too, are able to laugh, cry, struggle, celebrate and do what’s right.
But those who do not live in my world, those who are not privileged to share significant moments in the daily life of teenagers, require that I now do things in a new way. I embrace the improvements, skim over the nondescript and challenge the inane.
When we arrive at a place where those of us who daily strive to do what is right can no longer challenge the new ways but must blindly accept and implement them, we will have achieved irrevocable damage, both to those who need teachers and those who need students.
We must reconsider the new way of student assessment and teacher evaluation. We are not and cannot become data-driven machines with quantitative results. We must maintain our ability to laugh, play, work and challenge.
KATHRYN D. BROWN
Attraction to guns
TO THE EDITOR: Guns are highly attractive to children and permanently immature persons.
From Wikipedia: “Attractive Nuisances: The Attractive Nuisance doctrine states that a landowner may be held liable for injuries to children trespassing on the land if the injury is caused by a hazardous object or condition on the land that is likely to attract children who are unable to appreciate the risk posed by the object or condition.”
The doctrine has been applied to hold landowners liable for injuries caused by abandoned cars, piles of lumber or sand, trampolines and swimming pools. However, it can be applied to virtually anything on the property of the landowner.
According to the Restatement of Torts standard, which is followed in many jurisdictions, five conditions must be met for a land owner to be liable for tort damages to a child trespasser as a result of artificial hazards.
The five conditions are: The place where the condition exists is one on which the possessor knows or has reason to know that children are likely to trespass; the condition is one of which the possessor knows or has reason to know and which he realizes or should realize will involve an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to such children; the children, because of their youth, do not discover the condition or realize the risk involved in inter-meddling with it or in coming within the area made dangerous by it; the utility to the possessor of maintaining the condition and the burden of eliminating the danger are slight as compared with the risk to children involved; and the possessor fails to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the danger or otherwise to protect the children.
We should apply that to guns and parents of children who are not trespassing.