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MONTEBELLO E-NEWS

 February 22, 2007

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious”.

 Albert Einstein, US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

 

In This Issue

 1.     Do We Dare Tread on Taboo Territory?
2.     Is Everyone “LOCO”?, Part 2
3.     Announcements
4.     Fun Fact
5.     About Montebello E-News and “My Montebello” 

 

Online Community Lesson

 DO WE DARE TREAD ON TABOO TERRITORY?

Is this a taboo question:  why do high schoolers and college students take courses for which they will have no use in their adult lives?  Yes, we understand that we would like them to be well-rounded individuals, but how do certain courses contribute to well-roundedness when high schoolers know so little about, and interact so little with, their surrounding community Said in a different way, given that there are essential subjects which are excluded from the already-too-full school day, why should certain other subjects be included? 

          Which subjects are essential but excluded presently?   

1.     Every student should have a course in surviving in a capitalist society, given the profusion of advertising leading to hyperconsumerism, debt, and spending too much physical and psychic energy paying off debt.  It would be worthwhile for students to learn to say “no!” far more often than they do now, to find meaning in life in ways other than their dress and devices. 

2.     Students should learn to be as self-reliant as possible, with regard to filling forms, preventive health practices, income for themselves and their families, and finding useful information. 

3.     Students need a much better “inoculation” to the political propaganda which assaults our society all too often; such an inoculation might put an end to the insidious propaganda and the money behind it, which undermine democracy and give reason for those in other countries to reject our model of democracy.

4.     Finally, every student should have a course in “community”, learning who is who in their community, how to accomplish tasks in a way which would garner the respect of adults, whom to see for advice or solutions to particular issues, cross-cultural understanding, and pride in the appearance of their community, supplemented by community activities.   It is disheartening to see that college-bound high schoolers know little about, and interact so little with, their community.  If one were to argue that students took social studies, the question would still remain as to why the students knew so little about, and interacted so little with, their community.  Perhaps part of the answer would lie in the community lesson, “Madam, Do You Know, Where Is the Montebello Archipelago?”, which can be found in the February 8 E-News, at www.mymontebello.com. 

If you answer the multiple-choice questions below and e-mail to lessonanswers@mymontebello.com with “Lesson answers” in the subject field, you will be credited toward a “certificate of recognition in community affairs” to be awarded in 2007 by a local nonprofit organization. 

1, Which subjects, in your experience, generally have not been useful in your adult life, either at work, in the home or during recreation?  Do not include helping children with homework.

(a)  Computer skills.                                

(b) Mathematics.                                     

(c)  Literature.                                          

(d) Music, singing, art.                            

(e) Physical education and health.

(f) Speaking and writing English.

(g) Foreign languages.

(h) Sciences. 

2. The graduation requirements start in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento.  If we wish for students to make better use of their school time and to connect with the community, what should we do first? 

(a)  Lobby for a change.                                         

(b) Look into setting up a charter school.                

(c)  Have a community meeting.                              

(d) Conduct a survey about essential courses.                  

(e) Find colleges with different graduation requirements and  encourage students to attend those colleges.

  

 

Is Everyone “LOCO”?, Part 2

Now that we have exceeded so many of our limits -- personal, emotional, relational, physical, financial -- we have no margin at all.  Yet because we don't even know what margin is, we don't realize it is gone. We know that something is not right, but we can't solve the puzzle beyond that.  Our pain is palpable, but our assailant remains unnamed."

-- Richard A. Swenson, M.D., American physician, author, educator

   In part 1 about “LOCO”, “Limits on Constructive Output”, it was said that our lives were too complex for us to make the right decisions all the time.  We left off with questions:  are we taking the wrong action?  Are we punishing and rewarding idealistically, as our Constitution and laws would have it, or, realistically, as LOCO would have it?  Is there a better way to deal with LOCO than what we have been doing?

   Perhaps a lesson from a different field would be illuminating.  I turn the clock back to Economics 101 at Cal State Fullerton, the spring of 1978.  Our professor stated that, as employee pay increased, employee productivity did not increase proportionately.  In other words, we should not think that an increase in pay would lead to an equal increase in productivity.

   The point?  If we look to professional training for teachers and police officers, we have to ask ourselves at which point such training would become unproductive, regardless of any pay bonus which might be attached to the completion of such training.  To assume that we humans have unlimited capacity to absorb, retain, and apply new information in order to successfully handle ever diverse situations is to assume too much, is to contradict science and human experience.  We let our idealism and optimism overwhelm reason and logic.

   If we agree that LOCO does exist, that there is a limit to human capacity, then a logical conclusion is that, when a police department be sued for over $100,000,000, as happened in the late Nineties during the Rampart division scandal of the Los Angeles Police Department, the city attorney should defend the department on the basis of LOCO and the judge and jury should accept such a defense as valid.  This is not to say that victims should not receive restitution in that and other cases.  They should.  However, LOCO says that punitive damages would be ineffectual and, also, would be diverting funds from municipal priorities.

   Occasionally, a teacher does something which we consider unacceptable, bizarre or even shocking.  More than once a teacher has been chastised for taping the mouth of an unruly pupil.  Many teachers go in the other direction, internalizing their frustration or detaching themselves from the pupils.  For us to think that, by increasing teacher pay or training, we would draw highly qualified individuals away from other industries is not just wishful thinking, but illogical, as LOCO would tell us that the diversity of pupils in the classroom would be forever challenging, such that a solution other than increased teacher pay or additional professional training should be considered if our intent is to better prepare youth academically for college, career, and community.

   The challenges of law enforcement and pedagogy are but the tip of the iceberg with regard to LOCO.  LOCO permeates and pervades civilization, which means that each of us is affected. As Dr. Swenson notes in the above quote, we have not been able to identify the culprit, that is, the causes of LOCO.  Without identification, we cannot find an effective solution.

   Who or what is the culprit?  When we learn that, what might the solution be? 

 

Announcements

FOR FAMILIES.  YMCA Healthy Kids Day is Saturday, April 14th.  The Montebello-Commerce YMCA invites you and the whole family to come out and put play in your day with free family fun.  A YMCA giveaway with tips on raising healthy, active  kids will be available while supplies last.  Ask for Julian Losoya or Desiree Ocampo for more information at (323) 887-9622.

The Montebello-Commerce YMCA is currently taking sign-ups for swimming lessons, karate, aikido, basketball, and dance. For more information, call (323) 887-9622.

FOR EVERYONE.  Sign up today for facility membership at the Montebello-Commerce YMCA.  Membership includes access to over-40 group exercise classes, personalized-fitness routines, and preferred registration. Receive a gift bag while supplies last.  For more information, call (323) 887-9622.

FOR EVERYONE.  Free to the public.  The Montebello Town Center will be hosting a wedding and quinceañera show in Spanish and English, Saturday and Sunday, March 3 and 4, 2007.

We are inviting party specialists and vendors who are interested in booths and in guest speaking to email us for information at weddingplanner@msn.com .

Local vendors are being given first priority for best booth locations. Over fifty booths, fashion show, live music, seminars and drawings. The Town Center gets about sixty thousand shoppers per weekend.

Our show is open to performers, disc jockeys, limousine services, custom-dress shops, bakeries, photographers, florists and consultants who would like to get booked. Montebello has some of the best party services in Southern California.  For further information, contact the show producer, Denise Hagopian, at Heavenly Choice Events, (323) 346-8575, fax (323) 722-1313.  Web Site is www.heavenlychoice.com .

 

 

Fun Fact

Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups.  When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.

 

About Montebello E-News and “My Montebello”

To learn about this newsletter, Montebello E-News, and the accompanying, growing Web site, “My Montebello”, visit www.mymontebello.com.  Also, you will find instructions and contact information for submitting announcements for publication in this newsletter.

            
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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