Monday, September 17, 2012

Honors Forum 9/17

Yeah, I know, original title. ANYWAY.

Tonight's speaker was Emily Baker, the Director of Success by 6 at United Way. I have had the hardest time writing and typing, "Success by 6," and not, "Success by Six." I know it works better for their graphics, but a rule I learned said that if the number is under ten, you write the word and not the numeral.

Now that I have recovered from that minor grammatical tangent I meandered down, Mrs. Baker proved quite the moving speaker. Success by 6 targets young children of underprivileged families in order to stimulate their intellectual and mental growth so that they will be more accomplished young men and women in the future. Success by 6 in Northwest Alabama seems mainly focused on promoting literacy by giving away books, etc.

I am all for literacy. I am not so sure, however, about a couple of the statistics she threw at us in her PowerPoint. Half of kindergarteners are behind? What standard is that measured against? I am sort of suspicious about standardized testing. I don't think a test can adequately measure an individual's intellect. Intelligence comes in so many specialities. And seven out of ten fourth-graders cannot read at a basic level? I dunno... Maybe my perception is clouded by the fact that I was always reading far and above my own reading level. I'm the type who zipped through The Lord of the Rings in 36 hours, so... yeah, my judgment is probably a bit biased.

See what I mean about people being too close to themselves to analyze themselves? I was not being just overly philosophical in my introduction speech. I honestly find it hard to analyze myself.

Regardless, I understand completely about the Success by 6 premise. Studies have also shown (and here I am not citing sources, either... Two semesters of Composition have made me citation-happy. I apologize in advance for my PowerPoint tomorrow to the rest of the computer class. I have two slides solely of citations...) that children who take some sort of music lesson are generally more intellectually advanced. As a matter of fact, that is why my mom always wanted us to be musically involved. One of my brothers has dropped piano; the other wants to. It's a chore to get him to practice, unfortunately. Elaine and I have stuck with it, however. I've been taking piano for 13 years. I suppose I can't lay the responsibility for my mind solely at the feet of a baby grand, but... it's food for thought.

What Color Is Your Parachute? That is a book I may have to check out...

I am not sure what else I should say, so I should probably sign out here.

In Pace Christi,


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