Comments by eastlaker

Hey, Chula Vista Elementary School District, test this

There are many things wrong with Common Core. Some of them could potentially be fixable. But what is so very wrong is the gathering of information on these students from a young age. The "permanent record" used to be a joke at school--when teachers would say that something would end up on your permanent record, it was usually meant to get students to settle down and behave themselves. Now it is no longer a joke--it is looking like these students will have permanent records, and those records will be further mined for data, which will be sold to other corporations. Those corporations will in turn do their very best to sell products to school children, based upon all the data than has been gathered. This is turning children into commodities, as I have said before. Fodder for corporate exploitation. Preyed-upon and targeted while still in school, and vulnerable. If--and again I say, if--the Common Core curriculum had been developed by teachers in reasonable formats, rolled out with all the books, workbooks, etc. first; then taught; then some testing started after a couple of years of the materials being out there, I might be able to say it was a good idea. But none of that was done. The whole process was backwards and half-hearted and bizarre. And then the testing is made into the most important part of it. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I have never heard of such a debacle being presented as a requirement. Testing should have absolutely no connection to the selling of data and the further merchandising of our children. If donating blood would suddenly be a requirement, and then testing be done on the blood of our children, and then products sold to them based upon DNA, wouldn't that be seen as horrific? Well, this is using the products of their minds, only to be taken away and used against them.
— April 19, 2014 8:21 p.m.

Opera operative advised no discussion of fat checks

Last night I attended the Minnesota Opera at the Ordway Center; they have put together a very unique production of "The Magic Flute", done in German Expressionist style with a touch of Edward Gorey and the flying monkeys from "The Wizard of Oz". Animation is projected onto the stage, with various doors opening at various levels and some action still taking place on the stage in front of the flat backdrop with doors. I was struck by several things. To begin, the audience was a much younger group than is seen in San Diego. Maybe that was because the production had the animation component which served to fill in some story elements so that the whole thing was a bit easier to follow. Still, I did hear one young man say when walking out, "I was lost...who is Isis?" And his companion started to explain Egyptian gods but not really getting to why they would figure in this plot. There was a pre-opera talk that was excellent: a lively speaker who was also fantastic on the piano, explaining some of what was behind the story and the music of "The Magic Flute". The back-up singer for Poppagano sang the 'suicide' song, just after we had heard how Mozart had amazingly been able to write this work while his life and health were in terrible shape. Of course I am only clumsily putting down what was expressed very well. It was a very lively night, the performances were strong, although the Queen of the Night had some problems in a few places. My opinion is that the lamenting of opera's decline needs to come to an end. We need more arts and music in schools, so all children can be exposed to what is out there. Opera shouldn't be merely or mostly for the evening gown and tux crowd. Everyone benefits from hearing these voices! Perhaps some of you haven't heard the story of Gustavo Romero, pianist. When he was in elementary school in Chula Vista, in maybe 2nd grade, he heard a piano being played in the room next to his. He was transfixed, needed to know more, asked and asked to get the chance to play, and the school figured out a way. He showed so much talent, that he and his family ended up getting sponsorship and moving (I think) to LaJolla, where he had the opportunity for first-rate training and development. He is now a concert pianist and professor of music at a school in Texas.
— April 19, 2014 9:33 a.m.