Monthly Archives: June 2015

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Ah, nature

Pacu Fish
News Headline: “Rare Amazonian fish that eats men’s testicles found in New Jersey.”
News Headline: “No, this fish found in New Jersey probably won’t bite your testicles.”
So to those who have worried that a fish might bite off their testicles in New Jersey:
Rest easy.
Now as to all the other reasons to stay out of New Jersey. . . .

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language

Home Intruder

News Headline: “Police: Homeowner kills intruder for the second time in four months.”
T.C., a Des Moines, Ia., reader, says he’s heard of tough intruders in his time, but
this one. . . .
And can it be time for QT’s annual reminder that the “lion’s share” of something is not
most of it, but all of it?
Evidently.

WRITE TO QT:  qt@zaysmith.com

As the word spreads. . . .

Supreme Court
News Headline: “Same-sex marriage opponents react: ‘This is a travesty.’ “
News Headline:
“Mike Huckabee: ‘I will not acquiesce to an imperial court.’ ”
News Headline: “Bobby Jindal: Gay marriage ruling an assault on Christians.”
This is the day the Lord hath made.
All the right people are unhappy.

Marva Collins and blackboard magic

Marva Collins
News Headline: “Marva Collins, ‘a natural force in inner city education,’ dies at 78.”
Nearly 40 years ago, this reporter, newly hired at the Chicago Sun-Times, arranged for essays to be written by an average English class at an average suburban high school.
It was for Shakespeare’s birthday.
The students were asked to tell who Shakespeare was and why we should remember him.
One of the students vaguely recalled that Shakespeare was the guy who made the fishing rods and reels. Other students didn’t do much better than that.
A story ran in the day’s editions.
A letter arrived in a couple of days.
It was from someone named Marva Collins.
She said she was a teacher at a one-room school she had started in “the allegedly fetid ghetto” of Garfield Park.
She said her young students not only knew who Shakespeare was but could recite passages and tell the stories.
There was a knock on her door the next day.
And then came another story.
The headline was: “BLACKBOARD MAGIC: Teacher works wonders in inner city.”
The wires and other newspapers picked it up. So did TV, including, after a while,
“60 Minutes.”
Offers of support came in. Prince, before he was the artist formerly known as Prince, sent $500,000.
Collins moved the Westside Preparatory School to a building on Chicago Avenue with a number of classrooms and teachers–all teachers trained in her ways.
What were the ways at Westside Prep?
Marva Collins simply taught as teachers had taught a century before. Nothing fancy, no audio-visual equipment. Or as she put it:
“This is all you need for teaching: books, a blackboard and a pair of legs that will last through the day.”
Collins taught pride of accomplishment. And she taught reading–nothing, at first, but reading.
Other studies could wait until the reading skills were there. And when the other studies came, the children were taught at levels far more challenging than the norm.
Or as she put it:
“If you can read, everything else follows. If you can’t read, nothing else follows.”
And the word continued to spread.
Teachers and administrators came from all over the nation–everywhere but the Chicago Public Schools–to study her school.
A TV movie was made–“Welcome to Success: The Marva Collins Story”–starring Cicely Tyson and Morgan Freeman.
President Reagan offered her the post of secretary of education. She politely declined. She was too busy in the classroom.
She finally retired–if a natural force can be said to retire–to South Carolina.
She died this week at 78.
The time finally comes.
You rest now, Marva Collins.

The case for the separation of church and everything

Todd Starnes
Fox News host Todd Starnes announced that if the Supreme Court rules in favor the right to same-sex marriage, the necessary response would be for God “send a swarm of hornets” against it.

This just in. . . .

Colonoscopy
News Headline:
“Virginia man wins $500,000 in court after he records anesthesiologist mocking him during colonoscopy.”
Your day may not be going well, but at least you aren’t being mocked during a colonoscopy.

Repeal and replace. . . .

Obamacare
President Obama regarding Obamacare after the Supreme Court upheld its subsidies:
“This has never been a government takeover of health care.”
It isn’t often we hear a politician state so clearly what still needs to be accomplished.

We have seen the present, and it does not work

Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton Attends Community Meeting In Florissant, MO
Hillary Clinton, talking about race relations at a historic black church in Missouri, at one point noted, “All lives matter.”
The media are now analyzing the “backlash” to this “misstep.”

QT Exploding Cell Phone Worldwide Pinpoint Locator

Cell PhoneSaturday, June 20, while driving on MG Road in Gurgaon, India.

Don’t know much about history. . . .

Threat Level
News Headline: “House Intel Committee chair: U.S. is at ‘the highest threat level we have ever faced in the country.’ ”
Kids, go get grandpa, who grew up during World War II and then spent many years knowing the Soviets could vaporize us on a half-hour’s notice, and show him this story.
Grandpa can always use a good laugh.