May 11th, 2005

Illustmaker me

Dentist, more education thoughts

I had to get a filling this morning. I like my new dentist. He told me what he was doing, double-checked my novacaine (a big relief after the last time, when someone just checked her watch and said, "Well, it should have kicked in by now" and started drilling), and made a pest of himself about making follow-up appointments. So even though he's going to make me have a deep, under-gum cleaning (it sounds painful even to think about), I'm definitely sticking with this guy. Good thing, too. I need to get a lot of things done because I ignored my teeth for a really long time. I don't recommend ignoring one's teeth.

Anyway, I've been reading a book by Diane Ravitch called Left Back: A Century of Failed School Reforms, which I've been finding interesting. It's actually less biased than I was expecting--it's clearly a conservative book, but she's fair about pointing out that, within its milieu and with a staff of incredibly talented teachers, Dewey's lab school worked just splendidly. She points out that the same crusaders who wanted to make the schools into Marxist indoctrination centers (literally; the subject of whether or not indoctrination was all right was actually hotly debated in the 1930s) also came out publicly after the purges in the late '30s and repudiated their own thoughts on the subject... and that was before McCarthyism and so on. When you've got a public persona invested in something, it's not easy to say, "This was a mistake."

It's amusing to note that we're always trying to recapture the "good schools" we used to have, and any era we look at was looking at some other era. The truth is that school reform has been around since schooling became common, and all of the pitched battles tend to be about different ideas of what society should ultimately be.

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Illustmaker me

Deadly sins!

From austenrowling, who seems to come up with lots of fun memes:
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Heh. Sounds about right. Pride and sloth are really not a good combination. At my size, you'd think gluttony would be bigger, but the gluttony answers didn't sound tempting.