Open House & Neil Postman
Open House night at our children's school. The new school seems filled with life as teachers and students spruce up the place with drawings and sounds of learning and laughter. The cafe-torium was busting at the seams with parents wanting to see what this new school was going to be about. Jill and I, of course, enjoy hearing the teachers praise our children and say how much they enjoy having them in class. We try not to look incredulous when they say they are so well-behaved and instead beam and enjoy the moment. I like the philosophy of our principal of Shayne Elementary, Mrs. Brown, who is averse to getting computers for the classrooms just for the sake of having technology. I guess I'm a Luddite in some ways, influenced heavily by the thought of Neil Postman. Mrs. Brown views computers as a learning tool that should be used sparingly and with discretion in the early grades in particular. I agree with her, though my children enjoy playing computer games at home and we certainly don't discourage them developing a healthy understanding of this computer reality in our lives.
Ran into a guy at Open House who I went to school with in Oklahoma--he is the age of my brother, Toby. I saw him across the cafe-torium as the principal spoke (then the PTA president, then the treasurer...someone yell food fight and let's get out of here!). I thought for a while about his name and it came to me. After the meeting I walked over and said, "Danny Zolar!" He said, "Toby?" Wrong brother. They have just moved here from Richmond, Virginia. I was also reminded at Open House how teachers are some of the best people you can meet. They love and care and work tirelessly, and anyone who cares for my child endears herself or himself to Jill and me.