Archive for September, 2010

Just how far is far enough

Just how far is far enough?

The red circle represents the location of Park51

The building of Park51, the controversial mosque and community center two blocks from  Ground Zero in lower Manhattan, has raised furor over the last couple of months from two groups – these who don’t want to see a mosque built so close to the WTC site, and those who believe that every religious group has the right to practice their religion freely.

There are a lot of other factors involved in this, and I’m not going to repeat them all here. You can Google them yourself, but there is one simple point I want to make here.

Just how far is far enough to build a mosque in Manhattan?

Did you know that the center is being built by a private organization on land it legally owns. Twenty-nine out of 30 lower Manhattan community-board members voted to approve it. By every legal standard, the case for allowing Park51 to be built is, in the words of conservative UCLA constitutional-law professor Eugene Volokh, “open and shut.”

Did you know that the location is not even close to the 16-blocks that the WTC once occupied?

Did you know there is a mosque 12 blocks from the WTC site?

And, there is a mosque, Masjid Manhattan, three blocks from Ground Zero.

Tell me, how far is far enough?

This whole thing is ridiculous.


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What do teachers make?

I got this from a colleague today and being an educator myself, I related with this experience about the noble profession of being a teacher. Please read this story and pass it on as you see fit.


What Do Teachers Make?

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.

One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, “What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?”

To stress his point he said to another guest; “You’re a teacher, Bonnie.  Be honest. What do you make?” 

Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, “You want to know what I make? (She paused for a second, then began…)

“Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor winner.
I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time, when their parents can’t make them sit for 5, without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.”

“You want to know what I make?” (She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table)

“I make kids wonder.
I make them question.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.
I teach them to write and then I make them write. Keyboarding isn’t everything.
I make them read, read, read.
I make them show all their work in math. They use their God given brain, not the man-made calculator.”

“I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know about English, while preserving their unique cultural identity.
I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.
I make my students stand, placing their hand over their heart to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, One Nation Under God, because we live in the United States of America.”

“Finally, I make them understand that, if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life.” (Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.)

“Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money isn’t everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention, because they are ignorant. You want to know what I make? I MAKE A DIFFERENCE.”

“What do you make, Mr. CEO?” His jaw dropped, he went silent. 

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