thinkerToday, (due the rush of life and interesting circumstances) not only am I a day late in posting, but I have little of major import to offer you, only some minor observations. So here they are, such as they are.

There seems to be a trend in movies these days towards scripts which feature characters who are approaching, or have actually reached, their golden years. (Red, Red 2, The ExpendiblesGrudge Match, Las Vegas and etc.) It makes me wonder if America’s love affair with youth, much touted in academia and occasionally in the media, is on the wane as the majority of the money spending population gathers years. I rather doubt it, but the recognition that there is life after thirty and there are stories worth telling about that life, is an interesting change from the previous hard curve towards youth and all things angsty. Of course, it could also be that certain of Hollywood’s heaviest  hitters have reached a certain age and still have the clout to, ahem, encourage, projects that they can play a major part in. But let’s not be cynical.

I read this morning in a post by Chris Hamilton that the ongoing battle between authors and reviewers is still raging on Goodreads, along with the new and rather discouraging news that Amazon (recent purchaser of said site) has allowed itself to be hauled into the mix. I don’t have anything original to add. I’m just shaking my head over the weirdness of those who enjoy being mean for the sake of being mean (though I’m quite certain that none of those involved see their actions as such). To be fair, I’m just as bewildered by those who waste their time responding to such nonsense. Of course, as Chris pointed out, it all comes down to money, and everyone has a tendency to get a bit testy when public discourse, or anything else really, threatens that.

This week, the odd thought processes of those who run what passes for public education in the state of Florida struck me anew. At the beginning of the school year, teachers in my county were given the joyous news that there would be fewer standardized tests; the admirable goal being to provide more instructional time and lower test anxiety among students. Imagine our chagrin when we discovered that this promise statement was actually a bit of a non-starter. Instead of three benchmarks, we now have five. Oddly enough, the higher ups are touting this as a victory for all, since each test is ostensibly shorter than the previous benchmarks, so we supposedly have fewer minutes spent testing. Of course, the fact that each test still takes an entire class period, teaches nothing and is harder than earlier versions is nowhere addressed in the literature. And don’t even get me started on the ludicrous concept of testing a student with a no-stakes test to assess the performance of the teacher. It makes me wonder if perhaps we shouldn’t be assessing legislators on the number of people found breaking the laws Tallahassee passes. The pseudo-logic is about the same.

These are a few of my thoughts for the week. What are you thinking about?


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