• Changing Times... 1B.

    From Ardith Hinton@1:153/716 to Richard Webb on Sat Aug 6 22:56:26 2011
    Hi again, Richard! This is a continuation of my previous message to you:

    they discouraged the use of braille and encouraged
    use of magnification even though it would handicap a
    student later in life, because we couldn't get enough
    braille conversant instructors into the classroom.

    ... and no doubt they'd convinced themselves that they were doing it solely for the benefit of the students. In Canada, we tend to adopt new ideas long after the Americans and/or the Brits have already tried them & found they don't work as advertised... my time line may be somewhat different from yours. But luckily for me, my grade two teacher kept saying "Sound it out!" in an era when basal readers (e.g. Dick & Jane) were in vogue & the study of phonics was thought to be outdated. You may not want to get me started on *that*.... ;-)

    THey almost pigeonholed me into that one, but my mother
    fought them successfully. <beware of experts>.

    As a mother, I can relate. I admire this gal already! Mothers have unique insights WRT the offspring of their womb. And parents of either gender may also have the marginally insane devotion which enabled me, for example, to learn everything you probably never wanted to hear about leukemia & explain it to our GP although I was not a brilliant student in high school biology class. The experts know stuff I don't know... but I know my kid, and if necessary I'd move mountains for her. Dissecting clams was a lot less inspiring AFAIC. :-)

    OTOH the experts don't always know as much as they'd like to believe they do. When Nora was in grade one & had recently finished her treatment for leukemia, she couldn't always muster the energy to walk a quarter of a mile to school. Sometimes I dragged her... sometimes I carried her. The principal of the school got bent out of shape because the mother of some other kid, who was in grade five & had very different issues to deal with, had been seen carrying her son up & down the stairs. He felt he had to pacify certain members of the staff who were afraid they'd be expected to do the same. Within a year I told Nora she'd exceeded my load limit & she'd have to walk now. By then she could do it. My long term goal was to help her reach a point where she could get to where she wanted to go independently of me. I realized that neither I nor the old clunker I was driving would last forever. The principal's solution was to urge me to drive Nora to school, which I'd thus far refused to do. He thought she'd "fit in" that way... but he'd never actually seen my car! It would have stuck out like a sore thumb amidst the gaggle of spiffy new SUV's which we saw parked near the entrance we used because it was closest to home... (sigh).

    I respect people who, like the aforementioned kindergarten teacher & GP, are willing to admit to what they don't know. One of the great lessons my parents taught me is that you don't have to know everything if you know how to look it up or you know who to ask. And nowadays, when I ask how to get from A to B in a wheelchair, I have more confidence in those who say "I'm not sure... let me go take a look!" than in those who assure me it won't be any problem at all. Chances are the latter have overlooked some important detail(s).... ;-)

    --- timEd/386 1.10.y2k+
    * Origin: Wits' End, Vancouver CANADA (1:153/716)