gurdonark

Meadows,Testing and Memories

Yesterday featured one bit of news that  gave me 701 reasons to be pleased. The story feels to be too mundane  and nuts-and-bolts-ish to share.

After Noon, I went for a walk in  our neighborhood. As I headed to Glendover Park, I noticed that Kerr  Elementary School next to the park contained a kind of celebration. A long  line of cars snaked into and out of its parking lot. I soon realized  that some kind of car-based elementary school graduation or other  celebration was on. School was cancelled for the remainder of the school  year some time ago, with digital learning taking place on-line. But the  ritual of elementary school graduation may be intact.

I see that the ACT and SAT are  taking another step toward irrelevance this year. My own preferred  solution lies in improving those tests to eliminate cultural bias rather  than dispensing with them. My solutiion posits the importance, though,  of fixing school inequality and the digital divide. Thsi pandemic  brought those two factors sharply into view this year. I think that the  world will somehow survive without the ACT and SAT, but the idea of aptitude testing, if fairly created, still seems like a reasonable idea to me.

I went  for a walk after work at Connemara Meadow Preserve, after little Green  Park was admirably full of parents and kids social distancing from one  another. I thought last night how many families faced shelter in place in extended family settings. I mistakenly  thought most families tended to be smaller and nuclear in this  disjointed time. I theorize that parents who grew up as the children of  baby boomers tend to be more about extended families than the  nuclear-family-with-one-or-more workaholic-parents in which they  grew  up. On the other hand, all of this attribution of broad categories to  folks in recent generations may miss the mark. My father's parents ran a  small train stop and general store and worked each day for 12 hours a  day. Their family went into extended family mode when all the relatives  moved back to their small town after the depression took away folks'  ability to earn a living.

Usually at Connemara Meadow I see  species I do not see in my neighborhood park. I hoped that I would see  my first Indigo Bunting and Painted Bunting of the year. But the 9  species I saw in an hour (a rather low mark) included mostly prairie  birds on the open field, and a curious Carolina Wren.

The new backyard bird feeder, by the way, appears to be Carolina Chickadee approved.

Beatrice  is responding well to a new medicine, and is growing fur on the large  bare patches with which the veterinarian has been helping us. I hope she gets back to normal soon. She clearly is feeling better. She is a quite elderly dog now.

On  a whim, I looked up what a law school classmate was doing now. Then I  looked up what her sister, two years behind us in school, was doing.   Her sister had become a public defender and advocate of abolishing the  death penalty. I remember a 20something person I did not know either her  or my classmate (her sister) well, who seemed nice. I like the idea  that she moved on to do good work. I was sad to see that she died a  couple of years ago, only 56 years old.

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