Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/9/2011 (3076 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Re: Why our kids fall behind in math (Sept. 16). Student achievement issues require consideration at two levels: curricular and individual student. Anna Stokke's advocacy of including memorization within math curricula is certainly laudable.
However, one must remember that any curriculum is actualized by real students with unique learning patterns. For those who experience short-term memory deficits (based on thorough clinical assessments), memorization of math facts and algorithms can present significant obstacles.
If these very real difficulties are not handled sensitively, students can develop a highly negative orientation towards math learning in general.
In my experience as a school clinician, I have known many students whose average or above-average math conceptualization and problem-solving abilities were obscured by issues at the lower rote-learning levels.
The good news is that such students can do well in math through the implementation of relatively simple adaptations.
I am a teacher of 10 years and feel anxiety around teaching some of the deeper math concepts, having been raised on repetition and not true understanding.
Less focus on how to read a curriculum guide in my four-year University of Manitoba program and more focus on deepening my understanding of things would have been much more worthwhile — and a solution to this problem.
Thank you for Gerald Flood's informative article on Bipole 3 (Strung out on bipole line, Sept. 17). I believe it should be required reading for every voter in Manitoba.
Re: CWB plebiscite less than it seems (Sept. 15). Sidney Green discredits the Canadian Wheat Board plebiscite by suggesting, when the math is done right, that actually only 34 per cent of wheat growers voted to retain the CWB monopoly.
He then asks whether such a small percentage of wheat growers should limit the freedom of other wheat growers who wish to sell on the open market.
In the May 2011 federal election, the Conservative party got 5,832,401 votes, 39.1 per cent of the total votes cast. The total of eligible voters in Canada was 24,257,592.
So the Conservative party received only 24 per cent of eligible Canadian votes. Using Green's logic, should the Conservative government, with such a meagre support base, impose its will on all Canadians and all wheat farmers?
Promising the world
Re: Pop goes their world (Sept. 17). Why hasn't anyone asked the leaders some tough political questions? I hear about health care and privatization of Hydro. All politicians promise the world, but do they keep their promises?
These are the questions that should be asked the party leaders, not what kind of car they drive:
— Are you in favour of the harmonized sales tax?
— Will you privatize (in any way) Manitoba Hydro?
— Should politicians who don't keep their promises be forced to leave?
Re: NDP's 'power' plays (Sept. 17). Many of your readers may not fully understand the Manitoba Liberal complaint to Elections Manitoba regarding our claim that the NDP violated the law with a government announcement. A program can only be promised as part of a campaign, and this is a program that is fully underway, which is the primary difference.
Additionally, if it was only a campaign announcement, as the NDP maintains, then they need to explain how corporate logos, corporate resources and the corporate involvement of True North were involved, which constitutes an entirely different violation of the Elections Finances Act about prohibited donations.
Either way you look at it, there are serious violations in question, and Manitobans have a right to be concerned.
Blame big head
Re: Men and the 'yech factor' (Sept. 14). Christie Blatchford is always an engaging columnist. Her reference, however, to the male member as the power source responsible for boorish male behaviour is unfair to penis-wielding gentlemen everywhere.
There do exist, after all, aggressive and ill-mannered women. And she is aiding and abetting those men who excuse loutish behaviour as something beyond their control.
If Blatchford were granted her friend's wish of a penis for a day, she would learn it's not that appendage that dictates male behaviour, but the one attached to the top of their necks.
It is interesting to note that subsequent to the release of the UN Palmer Report, Israel's detractors such as Martina Lauer (Illegal and shameful, Letters, Sept. 17) look high and low for a source, anything, to allow them to continue assaulting Israel's legal blockade of Gaza, though the report confirmed the legality of it and the fact that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
In the same way, these same detractors continue to call Gaza "occupied," though Israel completely pulled out of Gaza in 2005, leaving it free of Jews (save for hostage Gilad Shalit).
Why doesn't Lauer just say clearly what she implies? That it is all right for more than 10,000 rockets to savage the Israeli civilian population and the Israel government should abdicate its obligation to protect its citizens. In other words, if Israel has to choose, its priority should be Gaza's citizens, not its own.
Never mind that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, if Lauer cared about Gazans, she would bring attention to the terrorist regime Hamas which governs Gaza and which is outlawed by Canada, the U.S., the European Union and all other countries of good conscience. Voices like hers could help, since Gazans criticizing Hamas end up incarcerated or dead. Unfortunately, Lauer shows she cares less about Gazans and more about vilifying Israel.
Fraught with excess
Re: The Forks lands 'rock star' architect (Sept. 15). In a world gone mad with celebrity chefs and rock-star architects, The Forks design competition, attracting high-profile architects internationally to construct a winter river-trail hut, appears to be fraught with excess (in an era of high debt and financial turmoil). It is tantamount to commissioning Frank Lloyd Wright, if he were alive, to design a pricey public latrine for the corner of Portage and Main.
On the bright side, however, considering last season's suspected arson of the existing warming hut, there should be no danger of fire with the Gehry-designed structure, as it will be delivered pre-melted.
We have intelligence agencies that plead ignorance, Mounties that use Tasers on 11-year-old boys, a news agency that thinks a frequently flying chief of defence staff constitutes a news story, and fiscal conservatives who can't balance a chequebook.
Like Timbuk 3 sang, "The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades."