Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/8/2012 (1825 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
All about the money
Let's not kid ourselves that mandatory laptops for every student is about student learning. As your Aug. 16 editorial, Develop computer policies, states, there is no evidence to prove this increases learning.
As with all decisions, this one is about money: The parents pay for laptops and the school subscribes to a few websites and doesn't have to buy textbooks anymore.
Some schools have no regard for family finances and operate on the wide assumption that they merely have to send a note home demanding money and it will be paid, regardless of reasonability.
On top of education taxes, parents pay for school supplies, classroom supplies, field trips, extra-curricular activities, lunch programs, fundraisers, travel, band instruments, bus passes, school fees and, now, a laptop that is going to be used only a few hours a day. Where does it end?
Re: Develop computer policies (Aug. 16). As a computer tech for a school division myself, I do see a growing need and use for portable devices in the schools. But as a parent, I cringe at the thought of having to buy portable devices for all three of my children.
However, I have another concern. An average laptop battery, when new, has a life of three to five hours. What happens when a battery dies? Or when a battery doesn't hold a charge for more than an hour and has to be plugged in to work?
Are these schools going to add a power outlet to every student desk? Or will there be wires and extension cords run across the classrooms? What happens when someone trips and hurts themselves?
Is the school division liable for this? Will the school division's insurance policies cover such accidents when they occur? Because I am certain it's a matter of when, not if.
Talking for animals
Re: Get tough to protect animals (Editorials, Aug. 21). Thank you for raising the profile of this serious issue and for speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Sometimes we refuse to look at the most despicable acts of society and conveniently bury them in our collective shame -- because it's easier to ignore the issue than to make it right.
East St. Paul
Taking pride in beauty
I cannot believe what a pathetic attempt Charlotte Duggan makes at trying to stir the pot when she insinuates there is a double meaning in the headline "Bronze beauty" (Belittling her success, Aug. 20). Degrading? I am sure Desiree Scott is very proud of her physical appearance.
It isn't lucky chance that she is physically beautiful. She has worked very hard to be so physically fit. Duggan is the one who has degraded and belittled her achievement when she wrote this letter. And yet she did it! Why?
Charlotte Duggan misses the whole meaning to your headline "Bronze beauty." It was a bronze medal win and a beauty of a win. It just so happens that Desiree Scott is attractive also, but I think Duggan in her hastily worded letter thought you were exploiting the win by Scott and her team.
Read the article again, Ms. Duggan, and really... relax.
A sensible change
The change in the $100 bill (Caucasian replaces Asian on banknote, Aug. 18) makes total sense. Considering principal investigators of research projects spend the majority of their time writing grant proposals, overseeing the analysis of data and otherwise orchestrating the direction of research, they would not be spending extensive amounts of time "at the microscope."
That work would be relegated to trained technicians, many of whom do not even have undergraduate degrees. So by depicting a Caucasian in the somewhat menial role of a technician, they were implying that the principal investigator could very well be a member of a visible minority. Their racism has evidently backfired.
A pacifist's lament
In regard to your Aug. 18 article Weighing Dieppe, what can one say? "Those poor, poor soldiers" comes to mind (in the war's long run, both sides, of course).
One Canadian soldier's tombstone my wife and I saw at an Allied military cemetery at Becklingen, Germany, has this prayer on it: "Show us your light, O God/ That we may fight/ for peace with peace/ and not with war." That is my prayer, too.