The Treasure Hunter

A blog by Joanne Yatvin

A Message To My Family

on April 10, 2020

Dear  Family Members,

I wan’t all of you to know that I am still healthy and able to respond.  Nothing interesting is happening in our building, but some illnesses have been reported. We  received a message today from the new manager here—someone I have never met—that reported  three people here have become ill, but all of them are alive and being cared fore in a hospital. If I understand that message correctly, the rest of us are safe and healthy. We are receiving food regularly and responses to our questions and needs.  The big problem we all have is loneliness.

I also want you who live far away to know that Alan and his wife Laura have ben working hard to provide everything I need.  My problems are loneliness and confusion. (The biggest one is forgetting how to spell words.) Unfortunately, much of the information from television and the people in charge here at the Watermark is not clear to me.

Please continue to contact me when you can, and send me good news. My biggest problems is forgetting how to spell words correctly, so send me the wright spellings of any words I have misspelled. ( I wan’t my youngest grandchild to do that because he is the smartest person in my family.)

Love to all of you, and excuse any wrongly spelled words.



8 responses to “A Message To My Family

  1. doctorsam7 says:

    I have always been the world’s worst speller. That really got in the way of my blog writing (still does to some degree). However, I uploaded a program called Grammarly. Works on everything I write. There is a free version. I finally bit the bullet and got the paid version. It really has helped!!! BTW my blog this weekend takes a break from academic issues. I sing and play an Easter song. It will come out on Saturday morning. Do have a look! Be well. Sam from St. Louis.


  2. Michelle Newsum says:

    Dear Ms.Yatvin,

    I first saw you at the week-long Richard C. Owen’s Literacy Learning in the Classroom institute at Linfield College. You made me, and my fine colleagues, take notice.

    We were smitten.

    As the only educator on the National Reading Panel, and later, the only knowledgeable and dissenting voice in their report, you were so well-informed and well-spoken.
    A pompous suit from ODE interrupted your talk. We were angry and saddened that we never heard the rest of your brilliant speech.

    On another occasion I crammed into your session at the Oregon Reading Association conference. There I learned, to my embarrassment, that your name was pronounced Joan, not Jo-Anne, as I had been (proudly and embarrassingly) spewing it. But again, I was lifted and inspired by your wise words.

    Yet later, I attended the first SOS March on Washington. I participated in an informational session in which my (equally star-struck) friend and I were seated next to you. I didn’t have the nerve to snap a picture, but I quietly texted my jealous colleagues about our good luck.

    Still later, in the continuing age of corporate education ‘reform,’ I reached out for help about the ‘Walk-To-Read’ style of large scale, achievement-group tracking being rolled out for primary students in my (previously) beloved school district.

    You shared the following insightful statement,

    “The original reasoning behind keeping elementary age children with one teacher and one set of classmates was continuity: One teacher gets to know the abilities, behavior, and feelings of a group of kids really well and so can best meet their needs, plus the kids feel comfortable with that teacher in that classroom. Young kids should not be tossed around from one teacher to another and be separated from the rules, materials, and teaching style they have become familiar with. More recently, the concept of community has been emphasized: it is important for children to work in a heterogeneous group where they can help and learn from each other; that’s what the real world is like. Besides, putting children of the same ability altogether encourages one-size-fits-all instruction and treats them as if they were objects rather than human beings.”

    Oh my.

    When I wrote a failed and ineffectual plea to my superiors, you sent a tiny and joyful response about the timeliness and helpfulness of my words. My heart, and hopes, soared.

    So, as someone you never knew, I want you to know what a powerful impact you have had over my life, as well as the lives of my many revered friends and associates.
    We wish you well.

    I hope I live to influence others as you have influenced us.

    Michelle Newsum


  3. Judy Marantz-Herzberg says:

    Hi Joan, Glad to hear that you are safe and healthy. I can understand how it must be lonely to be shut in! I wonder what Milton would have said about this pandemic and how our president has responded to it!
    Bill, Harry, and Bea and I are all well. We get to go on walks, but that’s about it for our outside time. I’m spending lots of time weeding in the garden.
    Myra and Marvin are find in NJ, but a bit lonely and bored.
    Take care, and hope to see you when I visit my parents in NJ.


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