Friday, May 29, 2009

Board Members Must Be Useful Occasionally to Families

Grandpa and Christophe at New College for his TIP medal

Ms. Olson, you are board member of our grandson Christophe's area of town.

Find some way to let him know unobtrusively that the school system applauds his achievement. My impression is that this school system does not nurture and value intellectual achievement nearly as much as it should.

The children who are in trouble seem to get all the attention. But the bright children are the ones who grow up to lead and inspire.

New College president,Dr. Michaelson, who is a smart fellow, says the key to getting admitted to New College is to take the toughest courses in the advanced areas that one's school offers. Christophe will go to Plant. I see the principal at the board meetings. I will interrogate him on Plant's honors program.

Dr. Michaelson said something I have always believed in: read, read, read.

Mind that you are kind to my grandson. If not, I have the resources of the Professional Standards committee to take corrective action.

Lee Drury De Cesare, granny of Christophe Jean

Dr. Michalelson:

His granny and grandpa were proud to see grandson Christophe Jean receive the Duke TIP medal yesterday among other young people from around Florida. I think he was the only recipient in the Tampa Bay Area. He goes to Coleman, where our four children and one other grandchild attended.

New College's protocol sounds like Oxford's: private tutoring with oral exams at the end.

Newton hated the oral exams he had to give at Cambridge before the authorities excused him from teaching. He went to Cambridge from his little hamlet not knowing a lick of geometry and learned it on his own, making himself supreme master in that area for all of Europe in short order.

It would be hard for me to see young candidates squirm under committee questioning in their orals.

My husband said that when New College gets a PBK chapter that all the 700 or so students will become automatic members. I don't know how you will negotiate the detail of no grades, but my guess is you will get a chapter.

The PBK nationals are snobs. They prefer small, elite colleges to big blue-collar ones like USF. This attitude explains how Eckerd has a chapter of PBK while USF is still on its knees begging. I lit into the president of PBK recently for this torture of USF. I have two grandsons there. I attacked him through his grammar-punctuation insecurities. The current president of PBK national is a philosophy teacher, so you and he speak the same language. He won't be able to befuddle you with syllogisms as his usual gambit to gain the upper hand.

Your field is philosophy. Nobody could have made me major in philosophy. I read it from time to time because I figure one must suffer to be learned. I recently finished Thomas Huxley's commentary on Hume's philosophy. I hurt all the way through. I had Dr. Thomas Altizer for a course in religion one time at Stony Brook. He was an impressive, magisterial teacher, who affected my attitude toward religion. I am Episcopal, and my people have always been anti-authority. So we clap when somebody announces that God is dead. Episcopalians enjoy a liberal environment thanks to Henry VIII's marital misadventures.

Your being a Kant authority does not endear you to me. Next to Spinoza, he is the worst. And Berkeley beats them all for squinting obscurity.

You have a lively wit and would have been a teacher whose class was fun. We have few of those as we go through our education. I had my share of droning pedants.

My grandson Christophe has the gift of wit as well. He got it from his witty mother, our baby child. And from his granny, of course. And his grandpa is a slick-tongued New Yorker.

Thank you and New College for giving two grandparents a proud family day. We were proud of Christophe.

Lee Drury De Cesare

granny of Christophe Jean

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are barking up the wrong tree. Ms. Olson does not help children or anyone. She's only after herself. If it doesn't help her look good she could care less. Listen to how fake she sounds when a student appears at a board meeting. They each try to outdo each other about how much caring and compassion they send to the students, and it all sounds so fake. She is the fakest of all. Fake hypocrites only fawn over children on tv and could care less about them in real life.