Following up with more thoughts about that study I mentioned in Monday's blog:
The study conclusion was that children are harmed when they read those little books that have talking monkeys or things like that.
The underlying premise seems to be that kids are harmed when presented fiction.
So ... what should we do about zoos -- where animals do very unnatural things?
Or places like Sea World?
There's just something a little wacky about this study:
Patricia Ganea, a Canadian psychologist, has concluded that toddlers who look at books containing cartoon-like depictions of animals doing all kinds of things that their counterparts in the real world would not do hamper the kids' ability to learn.
Her study is written up in the Sunday New York Times magazine.
Tell me what kids learned after reading "The Giving Tree." Did they come to believe that trees talk and express empathy?
What did kids who watched "Bambi" learn about deer?
I probably need to see who Ganea used for a control group, among other things.
But, I'm thinking that her conclusions are so far off the rational mark that I'd be wasting my time.
We're having a discussion in the building about whether teens read the "classics," whatever those might be.
When I think of "classic" books, I think of Austen, Dickens, Shakespeare, and even Hemingway and Faulkner. And I think that's what the discussion is about.
It appears some folks believe teens don't read those classical works any more because their teachers don't make them. But, I have also been reading some blog strands elsewhere that suggest that there is a lot of good YA literature out there for kids to read, and they don't really need to be exposed to what I think of as classical literature.
I'm not sure young people have ever read classical literature unless they were required to do so by teachers. I mean, did any teenager ever voluntarily pick up "Great Expectations" or "Wuthering Heights" or even "The Sound and the Fury" just to consume for pleasure?
Why do public institutions in Texas make it so hard for people to apply for jobs with them?
A man who grew up and lived most of his life in Louisiana moved here recently, and he has been coming to the library every day to use one of our public-access computers.
I struck up a conversation with him some time back and discovered that he was a coach and teacher in Louisiana and is trying to find a coaching and/or teaching job in this area. To do so, he must find an opening and then apply online to every individual school or district. Each resume-building websiste is different, so there is no cutting and pasting. In his home state, he told me, there is a central repository for his resume and it can be uploaded from there to any district because they all accept a single style and type.
Why can't Texas have something like that?
When I "retired" back in 2007, I started looking for a job in the Austin area in state government. Every agency had its own resume requirements, and every one of them I talked to said they would not take a paper resume. The job application had to be filled out onliine.
At that point I was in my early 60s, and I had a work history dating back to age 12. To be thorough, I wanted to include all those jobs, and there were a ton. For example, I worked in four restaurants during high school alone.
So, why can't state agencies use one resume or application form, and why can't a job-seeker cut and paste?
Why are Texans making it so hard?
Forget the views, I could live in the Baccarat Hotel & Residences on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan just because of those fabulous floor-to-ceiling book casees.
See for yourself: Turn to the inside front cover of yesterday's New York Times Magazine.
Actually, if someone gave me enough money to live at the Baccarat I woiuld also have to make a substantial investment in books.
I have two small bookshelves in our bedroom. And not every shelf has books on it.
It's not always been this way, of course. For years and years I lugged dozens of boxes full of books from one house to another to another. I had huge shelves full of books -- after the boxes were unloaded.
Then as we contemplated a move from Wichita Falls to Temple in 2007, I wondered why I would want to put all those books back into boxes and put them in a dusty garage, which is where they were going to have to go in our new Temple house because of a lack of wall space.
Now, some of these books were classics I had bought and read in college back in the 1960s. Some were textbooks I had to buy back then, too.
Crazy, I thought. Truly, I told myself, I will never read any of those books again. And truly I would not and will not.
So I gave almost all away to a charitable enterprise and moved a few boxes of stuff I just could not give up.
Just one more reason I won't be moving into the Baccarat with those glorious book shelves.
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