Are You Ready for the Chill?

Zoiks!  It’s going down to about 27 degrees tonight.  That is awful!  Well, it’s awful for me.  I hate cold weather.  I hate it when the tip of my nose freezes.  I hate when my fingers get chilly.  I hate having icy earlobes.

Guess it doesn’t matter one whit.  The cold is coming and we’d better warm up to the idea!

I hope you all have lovely warm places to cuddle up in this evening.  Tomorrow it looks like we’ll be back up in the 40’s which isn’t great, but it isn’t all that bad.

27!

Stay warm.

love,

mo

I’m Guessing You Can Read!

I was pretty surprised the other day when I read some statistics about the reading ability of folks in the United States.  If you are interested in the details, send me a message and I’ll pass along what I learned, but here, I want to you readers to think about all the people in your life who aren’t skilled at reading.  The stats suggest there are a lot of adults out there with a 5th grade reading ability.

The funny thing is, folks who can’t quite get the reading thing down learn other skills to hide their inability to read.  They might search for important words they know and then they make assumptions about what they need to know.  People who aren’t comfortable reading aren’t comfortable following lengthy directions.  They aren’t comfortable figuring out maps, or schedules.  And remember, they aren’t going to tell anyone that their problem is their inability to read!  They’ll pretend they’ve forgotten their glasses, or that they’ve got a headache, or they just don’t have the time to go through and read something.

It’s sort of sad to think that people aren’t comfortable saying ” Hey, I can’t read!”  It’s sad because it isn’t as if it’s their fault!  Most likely they missed a couple of pretty important steps in decoding information.  Sheesh.

I wish there was something I could do to help. And I don’t wish that because I want acclaim.  I just want people to be able to access information for themselves.  I want them to enjoy a good book.  I want them to feel confident recognizing words.

I have made several attempts to help people read…but I don’t feel quite satisfied that I’ve done all I could.

Here I’m singing to the choir!  This blog is almost 100 percent text.  The internet is almost entirely text!

Well, I was just thinking about it and I wanted to put it out there.  If anyone has any ideas…feel free to shout out here.

There has to be an answer.  People are really smart!  And when I say that, I mean all of us!  Readers and Non-readers alike.

Think about it…

love,

mo

Busy At My Book Store :)

I’m busy these days, well, I’m not always busy working at the book store, but I do spend some time every week there and I’d love to say hi to those of you in the area who feel like stopping by.

We are located in the Morgantown Crossing Shopping Center and we are open every day from 10 until 8 except for Sundays when we are open from 11 till 5.

If anyone is interested in a particular book or maybe you are looking for suggestions on what you might pick up for someone else, send me a note :)

Happy Reading!

love,

mo

Little Baby Clinton!

Congratulations to the Clinton family on the new arrival of Baby Charlotte!

I wish all the best to your brand new expanded family and I’m so glad that Chelsea is doing well.

I was lucky enough to have three beautiful baby girls…and they well know that I’m an old softy, me seeing a baby makes me want to talk in baby talk!

My best wishes again to the Clinton Mezvinksy family.

love,

mo

Smithsonian’s Free Museum Day Tomorrow!

We’ve talked about this in past years so I thought I’d remind my readers that it is free museum time again!!!

Here is what the Smithsonian has to say about their free event–

The Museum Day Live! ticket provides free admission for two people.

In the spirit of the Smithsonian Museums, which offer free admission every day, Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket… for free.

Click here to view the list of 2014 participating museums.

Go on, sign up for your    two free tickets and have a blast!

love,

mo

Althouse Arboretum in Upper Pottsgrove!

Isn’t this the best time of year to be outdoors?  Well, if you feel like visiting what sounds like a wonderful place right here at home then head  over to  Gilbertsville Road and stop in at the new Althouse Arboretum.  I heard from Nancy Baker that they quite a lot to offer there.  For example she said that there are over 2,000 feet of walking trails and there are future plans for an educational center, a zen garden and a children’s forest that might be offering children night hikes sometime soon.

Upper Pottsgrove is making a wonderful investment in their community in purchasing and opening these green areas.  I applaud them and all of the people who have worked to make the open space welcoming to neighbors.

By the way, if you are the kind of person who loves open spaces and you’d like to help by volunteering yourself, then please head on over there tomorrow for their Volunteer Day!

This photo is from the Mercury

Honor the 97th Infantry!

I got this message from Senator Dinniman’s office so I’m passing it along…

Dear Friends –

I want to let you know about a special event I am holding to remember and honor our area’s most notable and perhaps most decorated Civil War unit – the 97th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

The 97th Regiment was formed in what is now Everhart Park in West Chester and fought in numerous battles along the southern Atlantic Coast from 1861 to 1865. Through that service, five of its members received the Medal of Honor. Following the war, in October 1887, a monument to the men of the 97th was erected in Marshall Square Park in West Chester.

I have worked with West Chester Borough’s Department of Parks and Recreation to hold an event to recognize and honor the men of the 97th Regiment on Sunday, October 5 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Marshall Square Park.

The day will feature reenactment activities by the current 97th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry and the Sons of the Union Veterans. There will be tables of historical memorabilia and education opportunities, a Civil War encampment, a drilling session and a memorial ceremony with guest speakers.

The event is free and open to the public. It will be held rain or shine.

Please join me to remember the heroes of the 97th Infantry and ensure that their sacrifice is never forgotten.

Respiratory Virus Reminder!

I know we talked about the Enterovirus the other day, but it doesn’t seem to be going away and I thought it  might be important to remind readers that we all should take the precautions necessary to try to stave off the virus.  Also, there are some indicators that children need to get medical attention right away so I thought I’d share what I read with you from over at the NY Times…

“… signs that a child requires immediate medical care: rapid or labored breathing that involves neck muscles, wheezing, complaining of chest pain or not being able to catch one’s breath, and blue lips. A baby who has to stop drinking from a bottle to breathe should be seen by a doctor. A fever need not be present.

Belabored breathing should be obvious. “Parents aren’t going to miss this,” Dr. Jackson said.

She said many school-aged patients told their parents, “I need to go to the E.R. because I can’t breathe.”

Children with asthma or underlying lung disease are more often sent to intensive-care units, but severe symptoms are “not limited to them,” said Dr. Meg Fisher, medical director at Unterberg Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, N.J.

Dr. Fisher added: “You can’t totally say: ‘My child doesn’t have asthma. I don’t need to worry.’ ” Monitor children who have colds closely, she said, but “let’s not panic.”

She and others urged parents to take standard precautions to avoid spreading enterovirus: Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Disinfect toys. Avoid sharing cups or utensils with sick child

How Should We Teach History?

I’m not a history teacher!  However, I’m a citizen of the United States and I care about what our kids learn because I get that they are our future.

The other day I heard about those kids in Colorado who were practicing their version of free speech in walking out of classes so they could protest their school board deciding to change their curriculum when it came to History.

Now it isn’t shocking to imagine teenagers wanting to protest something so that wasn’t the part of the story that bothered me.  What did bother me was why they were protesting. Was it possible that the people on their school board were using their own political ideology to influence how students were taught?

I know, what kind of idiot am I to be surprised by that kind of thing!!!

The point is I wondered and that made me explore it a little and while I’m not a genius, at least I kicked the idea around a bit so if anyone wants my information here goes:

While it is absolutely true that one of the board members brought up the idea of changing the school’s history “framework”. It’s also true that this wouldn’t be the first school considering such a move.

So why would schools want to change the way history is taught?

Would you believe some historian’s think we are teaching history all wrong?

In other posts I’ve talked about Common Core.  The idea has been that teachers can teach what they want…they just have to teach some common threads.   Right?  Well, the bad news about that great plan is that tests are modeled on what teachers are supposed to teach according to the Common Core framework.  Teachers wind up feeling compelled to teach to the test.

Now let’s get back to Colorado.  The conversation there developed  out of a concern that students were learning a history of America as part of a larger whole.  America from a  global perspective isn’t the same as learning about America as a list of facts and dates that define the country and it’s “exceptionalism”.

In short, you can teach kids to be “nationalists” or you can teach them both the negative aspects and the positive aspects of their shared history.

Conservatives probably want to teach children to love their country!  And I would imagine they’d have no shame in doing such a thing.  Children should feel proud to be American citizens.  I am 100% behind that idea.

But what if students are being cheated by not getting to work with the genuine facts?  What if they are missing out on learning about connections to the larger world?

The question for school boards wrestling with this is, “Are we teaching children what we think will make them good citizens?”

Or “Are we teaching them leftist liberal ideas that will corrupt their brains?”  ( Okay, maybe that isn’t exactly what the school board members were thinking but I’m betting it’s close!)

My takeaway question is are we teaching students enough to simply pass a test?  If that is our goal great, but um,  who is designing the tests?

Remember, we are teaching these kids and then we are sending them to college where they will be coming face to face with students who have learned a “different” history.  They’ll all pretty much be using the same math, and the same English….but their histories will be markedly different.

What do you think?  Maybe we should toss history in the elementary grades entirely and replace it with civics classes.  Maybe there is too much sociology built into teaching history in the early grades!  Won’t it be too darn complicated to explain to children what was good about historical decisions as well as what was bad about them?

I don’t have the answers.  I’m just thinking about them which reminds me of something I picked up in an early English class from Hamlet, ” nothing is either good or bad, only thinking makes it so”.

love,

mo

Eric Frein Imitating Eric Rudolph?

Let me start off by saying I think you have to be a pure half-wit to think it’s okay to kill another human being because you don’t like who they are, or what they do, or well, God knows what gets into the minds of fools who think cold blooded murder is a choice???

Despite all of that, we know Eric Frein seems to have taken it into his head that he needed to shoot some PA police officers.  We believe that he left his Jeep behind.  We have been told that he left personal identifying information in the Jeep. We have also been told that searchers thought they might have found him last Friday?  There was some gunfire, but to this day we still don’t have Frein in custody.  He’s missing.

That reminds folks of Eric Rudolph who was a killer and who then went into hiding in the Appalachians.  He hid for 5 years. He was captured by a “rookie officer” who saw him trying to scavenge food from a supermarket dumpster.  Apparently Rudolph kept in touch with his mother.  He told her about his exploits.  He stole things from local householders to keep himself fed and clothed.

If Frein is still alive…won’t he need to steal to sustain himself?

In an article I just read about him, I noticed that he seems to have left some soiled items and some cigarette trash behind.  He wasn’t a very big fella, I can’t imagine he’d keep his mohawk hair  cut.  That means he’s probably going to shave his head entirely…and if I were him, and I was trying to put off  a trail, I might pretend I was ill…I might lose my eyebrows.  Who stares at people who are going through chemo?

I hope they catch him.  I hate the thought of a mental sniper on the loose in the Poconos.

What do you think?

love,

mo