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Use recipe for creativity in classroomIn The...


Use recipe for creativity in classroom

In The Evening Sun June 1, I was pleasantly surprised to come across the small highlight, cleverly entitled "Paddling for an 'A' ." This brief described the project in which two high school students constructed a boat to demonstrate a principle learned in their physics class in lieu of a final exam.

The inside workings of high schools, while maybe not as newsworthy as the occurrences in Bosnia or the O. J. Simpson trial, are indeed important aspects of our community.

I'm glad that you noted Arizona's Coconino High School's innovative alternative for final exams. It would be beneficial for other local schools to observe this active learning tool and expand upon it.

Ask most teen-agers what they think of everyday classes, and the most likely response will be, "Boring!" While it is difficult to make certain subjects interesting to adolescents, small alterations in the day, such as those of the school in Flagstaff, Ariz., would be appealing to students.

A short excursion onto the campus to learn new French vocabulary or the presentation of a chapter in history under the guise of a skit from "Saturday Night Live" . . . These would be minor changes in the schedule, yet they would enhance the education of children of all ages.

Not only would classes be more interesting, but the exciting difference is more likely to be remembered, therefore strengthening the ability to learn.

As the computer age has been ushered in, many classrooms are now graced by the popular Apple computer. This is an example of learning that appeals to youngsters.

The integration of subjects, tying history in with parallel literature and math with chemistry, are further ways to make education more relevant.

One of my favorite recent discoveries was a presentation concerning Shakespeare, in which select scenes were updated to relate to everyday situations.

So, if a teacher reads this letter: First, congratulations on the terrific job you have done with today's kids, and keep up the good work.

But when the classroom seems to echo with a chorus of yawns, consider a small surprise for the students. It will be appreciated.

It doesn't require money to make education fun, just an ounce of creativity and a -- of energy -- the recipe for higher learning.

Angela Huppman


Insurance? Me?

The May 23 Evening Sun article "Living Dangerously," by Patricia Meisol, brings to light an extremely serious risk that new graduates are taking.

I am a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins University, having completed my studies in December. My parents wanted me to take out health insurance on myself since I would no longer be covered by my mother's policy.

I didn't really understand the importance of having my own insurance, and I asked them many times, "Why do I need insurance? What's going to happen to me?"

I, of course, thought nothing would happen to me, but my parents prevailed and I got my own insurance policy.

It turned out to be the best investment we've ever made. My policy went into effect in February. On April 1, I was involved in a very serious automobile accident.

I was in the hospital for two weeks, followed by one week as an outpatient for rehabilitation for a traumatic brain injury. My medical bills total between $30,000 and $35,000 already, and we haven't received many of my bills yet.

I am still under the care of several doctors. I shudder to think that I might not have been insured if it had been left to me.

I really can't stress enough the importance of health insurance. I hope that maybe some people will reconsider their decision to take the risk of being uninsured.

I know as a recent graduate that there is no way I could have afforded the medical care that I needed without insurance, since I am already in debt for my education.

The feelings of the recent grads cited in the article are understandable. They feel how I felt before my accident. I felt invincible, but I wasn't.

Robin Ballard

Bel Air

Polish heritage

Readers of the May 13 article "A Taste of Baltimore's Polish Heritage" by Rafael Alvarez should also be introduced to the Polish Heritage Association of Maryland, Inc., which was established in 1974.

Organized to preserve and promote an understanding of Polish culture, the association has presented lectures, concerts and exhibits by prominent Polish and Polish-American scholars and artists. Many of the association's programs have had international connections.

After martial law was declared in Poland, the association was the main force in the creation and operation of "Maryland Action for Poland," which in 1982-83 collected thousands of dollars and food packages for Polish Relief.

Several years ago, a videotape of the Polish community in Baltimore was taken to Poland by the crew of the first Pride of Baltimore and was viewed by many in Gydnia.

The most recent successful project, with the cooperation of the AmeriCares Foundation, was the collection of needed medical supplies valued at $300,000 which were shipped in late May to the Maryland sister city of Lodz.

The association's committee under President Stanley Ciesielski has concentrated on this activity since 1993, working to respond to the needs of eight hospitals in the Lodz region.

One of the long-standing programs established with the founding of the association has been the awarding of $1,000 scholarships to college undergraduates and students entering high school. Over $50,000 has been awarded to those who qualified.

The association provides information on Polish and Polish-American affairs to all those who are interested.

Julia Losinski


Poke in the eye

I have been following the saga of Polk Audio Inc., which manufactures speakers, moving from Baltimore to Mexico.

The price of these speakers, ranging from $150 to $1,750, are not cheap. We know where his market is. I don't think that many Mexicans are buying speakers.

The sad part is the buy-off of American workers in the name of profit. Mr. Polk borrowed a large part of the company's start-up money from the state at low interest rates and probably paid low rent, too. I'm certain that the monies have been paid back.

But one of the obligations of the low interest loans was to provide jobs to American people. After all, our tax dollars, the dollars of the working citizens, paid for the low interest loans and tax breaks that Polk received.

Polk and others like it are showing no loyalty to the American worker, to the state and to the country by moving their operations to Mexico and other foreign countries.

Carl Carlsen


Human touch

Re the letter by Kenneth A. Stevens of Savage in the June 3 Mail Box page -- I congratulate him on having more success than I have achieved in designating my race as human.

When I turned 16 years of age and applied for a Social Security card (so I could go to work), not knowing any better I wrote in my race as "human."

I had not yet left the area when I was called back by the clerk and told that as my parents had both came over from Spain and I "looked" white that was my race.

Many years later, on a census form, I tried again. Human.

Would you believe that 4 years later I received a notice from the U.S. Census Bureau that "human" was not acceptable as a race, and I would have to choose one of the "races" listed next time?

The good Lord willing, I will be 73 in November and I am still listing myself as and, trying to get away with, being a human.

Sometimes I make it. Sometimes I don't.

Aurora Fernandez Hagegeorge


Leave Booth alone

The supposed remains of John Wilkes Booth should stay intact until sufficient evidence of the necessity of an exhumation is presented.

Judge Joseph Kaplan did the right thing in denying the petition. The evidence against the request unfortunately outweighed the support.

Usually people do not disturb a deceased person's right to peace simply to maintain a theory or to support a book.

As stated in the article, an exhumation of this type would go against the policies of an archaeological dig.

Just because Booth was the assassin of President Lincoln does not justify the need to clear up the curiosity of his grave. It seems as if this was just an attempt to uncover a governmental "cover-up." The "escape" of Johns Wilkes Booth should remain nothing more than a story.

Megan McDonnell


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