Rainbow over Galileo Lane, Tucson

Sunday, January 1, 2012

So another year

We will all be saying "Happy New Year" many times as we did last night if we were watching "the ball" drop or just did this morning when we awoke. Is that a wistful wish? A hopeful prediction? Or just formulaic language- something we say on certain occasions with no meaning other than a response to the occasion.

Perhaps there is the hope that if we say it often enough it will somehow come true like the Chassidic Jews belief in collective mitzvoh- if enough people say it it will gain power and become real.

Or maybe it has the immediate purpose of expressing the pleasure of being together to greet the new year - "we're happy that we made it to another year." Having just achieved my 84th birthday there is certainly some of that in my greeting. Just having survived to  greet another year is a happy surprise

In my case I said Happy New Yeat at a gathering of family and friends in Los Angeles at my nephew's home at the end of a weekend celebrating his sister's second marriage. LA is a happy place for Yetta and me. We met and married here. Our three daughters were born here. We left here so many years ago thinking we would return in a few years and live out our lives here. But then came Reagan and doors closed and we wound up instead in Arizona after productive happy years in Detroit. Arizona has provided some happy has provided some happy years

Certainly it is not a happy prospect to greet an election year- a whole long election year in which -is it possible- one of the idiots trying to become the next Republican President could actually be elected?
I'm only half joking when I tell my daughter Karen who has forty acres outside of Edmonton Alberta to make room for all of us just in case,

And it doesn't look like it will be a happy year for education. I'm pulling together papers  from  a series of symposia sponsored by the Reading Hall of Fame on the topic "Whose knowledge counts in education policy." It isn't just the US that is sufferieng from the Pedagogy of the Absurd.. All the major European  countries are experiencing the same dumb political imposition of mandating synthetic phonics.
And Dibels aka Egra is being forced on to developing nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Yet I remain optimistic that in the long run sanity will return. After all this year teachers found their voices, unions began to support teachers and Save Our Schools started something that is sure to grow.
So in that spirit HAPPY NEW YEAR.

May we all rejoice at small victories,
May we continue to fight for kids and teachers
and may we survive to say happy new year again next year.

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful to know that I have kicked off 2012 finding you readily accessible with your wisdom, wit, and authenticity! You could not possibly know how much I value the work you and your wife, Yetta have done across the decades. Your research not only transformed my literacy practices as an elementary teacher many, many years ago, but has also been the underpinnings of what I teach at the higher education level. Children's literate lives are at stake now more than ever before. You are absolutely correct when you discuss the pedagogy of the absurd! It just gets curiouser and curiouser (Alice in Wonderland) with each passing year and yet, I hold onto hope that those who know better will do better...regardless of the insanity. I trust 2012 is a wonderful year for you. Thank you for your willingness to continue to fight the good fight and press on-you are a literacy warrior and I applaud you!!!! Your words will be those that energize and inspire me each day to keep pressing on too!!