Friday, December 27, 2013

Testing Our Patience

December 27, 2013


This one has me so aggravated that I don’t even know if I can be coherent (which is why it took me so long to write it):

A new twist on standardized testing for grade school: Having kids type the answers.

Raise your hand if you think this is a good idea.

From someone whose fine-motor control stinks to this day, I can tell you that this is a terrible idea. Some kids won’t have a problem with it, but for others, it really is unfair. The tests are timed, remember, so if you have to go back and fix your typing mistakes, you won’t get as far, or you’ll get answers marked as incorrect because you didn’t fix your typing.

(I could have proved my point by not correcting any of my typing for this entry—but then you wouldn’t have been able to read it.)

AND: Now teachers will have to teach kids to type instead of teaching them content. GAAA!!!

Please, please stop this nonsense. Test the kids on what they know. If testing is so important to you, take the time to read written answers—no filling in bubbles, no typing, just have kids write down the answers. Hire qualified people to read the answers instead of sending the tests through the machines—just think of the jobs you’ll be creating.

And remember: The quick brown foz jusmped over the lzy dog.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Farewell to Eleanor Parker

December 10, 2013

When I see women nominated for Best Actress these days, it’s kind of tough to root for any of them. So many of them play—Themselves. This one uses her signature hair flip, that one her killer smile, another one her ice-cold delivery—no matter what the situation.

But Eleanor Parker was an actress.

Most of us know Eleanor Parker as The Baroness from “The Sound of Music.” But in fact, she was in a number of films, and was nominated for Best Actress three times. I don’t know why she never won. I do know that she never, ever played herself. She became the role; she didn’t make the role adapt to her. And maybe that was why she never became familiar to the public—she was never the same person twice. She really, truly acted.

And that was why I admired her so much.

Goodbye, Ms. Parker. No one will be able to fill your shoes for a long, long time.

They’re Not Letting the Grass Grow Under Their Feet

December 19, 2013

Six days before Christmas I got a flyer hawking a Valentine’s Day sale.

Marketing At Its Finest

December 18, 2013

Back in the old days, TV shows would discreetly take a break between Christmas and New Year’s, on the grounds that people would be too busy to watch. The station would either show reruns or plop in a Christmas special to take up the space.

Now they have some cliffhanger-type episode and bill it as the MID-SEASON FINALE.

Ya gotta love it.

Is It Sad or Fortunate?

December 17, 2013

I’ve frequently thought that PG-13 movies showed a little more than they ought to. So when I accidentally took my teen to an R-rated movie (“Rush”—who knew that race car drivers had such a wild lifestyle, right?),

I wasn’t sure if it was sad or fortunate that it really wasn’t much worse than a PG-13.