The Treasure Hunter

A blog by Joanne Yatvin

A Hard Time is Here Again

This morning I turned on the television as I usually do, watched for several minutes and then turned it of for today and some time to come. Why? Because our country is in bad shape and dangerous. And we can’t do anything to calm things down right now.

Even though most of us have friends and family members nearby, we are not in a position to tangle with an army or a gang with guns. Our only smart choice is to stay away from angry groups or anyone carrying a gun. Because the United States is neither united or a state right now, our only choice is to take care of ourselves. In other words we should stay at home, in the neighborhood, or visit places thatbecauseyou know are safe.

Because time always changes over our lives, I hope that will happen soon and for the best. But at present, we are in danger among angry and frightened people carrying guns. Our only choice is to keep our distance from them. I believe that good times will return when the virus is gone and we are all safe again. Now, just be careful and hope that peace will come back to us soon and be sweat once more.


My Personal Opinion

The first thing that needs to be cleaned up today is Donald Trump. And I would like to see that done with a big broom. Many times he has told everyone to get back to work without bothering to wear their masks, when he knew very well that the virus would kill many of them. And ofcourse it did just that for hundreds of people over only a few days. 

Did trump know what would happen when he told people to come out without protection? Of course he did. But he didn’t care. He speaks and acts for only his own benefit.

So what should we do in response to his bad actions? Vote for someone else who you think is the best candidate, even if he or she is a moron.  Our job is to save our country, and if possible, the rest of the world. Don’t blink or hesitate. Just vote intelligently, and the world may turn clean again.


Let’s Try To Save Our Lives

How long has it been for us to be in danger from the virus?  I think it feels like a year, but it has been less than six months. Danger has spread across the country and around the world, but we haven’t learned how to beat the virus.  I think we need more information than the daily news reports about the number of people who have died.  If some areas are more dangerous than others, we also need to know which ones they are.  How should we act in such places, and is there any protection there for us ?

There are many questions that need to be answered for our safety.  Do we need to wear masks outside our homes every day or just stay inside?  I think we should adjust to reality, even though it stinks. We don’t have a better choice. We need lightweight materials like the ones workers use for safety.  Although I can’t name them, I see them in pictures.  How expensive are they, and how long do they last?  I don’t know the answers, but I think we should look into them and find out.

I think we already need lightweight materials like the ones workers use for safety.  Although I can’t name them, I have seen them in pictures. How expensive are they, and how long will they last?  I don’t know the answers, but I think we should look for them and find out.

Clearly I am not an expert, but I believe there are good things we can buy for reasonable prices and use well.  Please let me know if you think I’m wrong.

Many smart people have good ideas about the things I mentioned. It looks like the virus is here to stay and so are we.  Our experts should be investigating the affordable things we need, and also making them available. Since the virus will be here for a long time, we must make sure that all of us adults and our children will be safe forever.

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Schools Need More Vigor Than Rigor

Although my years in the classroom are long past, I am still a cranky English teacher who bristles at some of the words that have crept into our language. I never tack “ly” onto number words, or say “myself” when I mean “me.” I won’t use “access” or “impact” as verbs because I consider them to be only nouns. I remain quiet when others commit grammatical transgressions.  But there is one word I dislike intensely when it’s used in connection with education, and that word is “rigor”.

One part of my reaction to the word “rigor” is emotional, because I often hear it paired with “mortis’. The other part is logical, stemming from the  meanings of rigor, harshness, severity, strictness and inflexibility.  None of those things are what I want for students, and although I cant believe  politicians, scholars and media commentators really want them either,  I still reproach them for using  wrong words and concepts to characterize education excellence.

Rigor has been used recently to promote the idea that American students need advanced courses, complex texts, and longer school days in order to be ready for college. But so far, rigorous practices under the federal “No Child Left Behind” act”, the “Common Core Standards”, and the school reform plans havent raised test scores or improved the graduation rates.

Since I think it’s time for a better word and concept to drive American education, I recommend “vigor”, which my dictionary says means physical force, healthy growth, or greater energy. And my mental association is to the Latin-based words related to life. How much better our schools would be if they had classroom activities throbbing with energy and growth

Although schools have walls, there should be no separation of students from vigorous learning. To learn they need experience with knowledge from multiple sources rather than just textbooks, but they also need to talk with people of different ages and backgrounds, learn traditional school skills, and taste the skills of farmers, craftsmen, athletes, and business managers.

Instead of aiming for higher test scores, schools should give more attention to what students have been taught. All grade level schools should encourage students to demonstrate their learning, which is serving meals in school lunchrooms, checking out books in the school library, organizing playground games, making items to sell in stores, planting vegetables in school gardens, painting murals in school halls, or adopting a nearby road. Schools should also encourage students to write poetry, post political cartoons,  and work with adults on community projects.

As a result of the vigor those activities represent, there will come intellectual intensity, precision, alertness, expertise and integrity that the critics of education call for. Those habits of mind, body, and spirit are the true heart of education excellence. When education has ben well taught, it also becomes the hart of life, while rigor remains to be the sign of early death.


How Should We Deal With the Virus Now?

When I woke up this morning the first thing I did was to turn on the television and watch people in bathingsuits head toward the beach. Most of them looked like they were having fun, but others with masks over there faces seemed to be wandering without any goal.

Later I watched people outside my home and many seemed confident that the virus was no longer dangerous. Most of them were not wearing masks anymore, but I’m with people who choose safety over freedom.

The only information we get about the virus comes from television and I find it very helpful.  If I have learned anything about the coronavirus pandemic it’s that we should pay attention to scientists and follow there suggestions. But because television has many different speakers I’m not sure who to follow. We need good advice about when and where it’s safe to be outside.  If any of you can suggest good speakers, I wan’t to hear abought them. I have already heard and seen too much foolishness and its bad results

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