ruminations about architecture and design

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

the delta

I don't know why the hell I have a picture of this. Oh wait, now I remember--it's the mud nests of some sort of crab that occupies Louisiana. Not a special crab, but then that's my point of view. The crab doesn't have enough of a nervous system to feel special.

I have a slightly more nuanced view of Louisiana after my latest visit. I went on a swamp tour with a Cajun who knew a lot about his home state. He gave an effective description of the causes and effects of salt water intrusion and seemed to harbor no illusions about its long term consequences. He also pointed out how the infrastructure of the waterways in the region is managed with some rather sophisticated technology.

Meanwhile, in back home, a high school in Western Mass. is proposing a four day school week so they can save $400,000 a year on busing costs. I take a rather dim view of this. That amount of money is not large, but it points to the dire state of finances in that educational district--and the mean cheapness of its residents. According to some research, the academic effects are a wash, but that's because they don't teach much in schools these days. All the critical standardized tests could be administered online and we could eliminate physical classrooms altogether. No more money wasted on school building, teacher training and salaries--lavish as they are. A core group of private testing companies could run everything from outer space and we could have a glorious community of well-tested young adults roaming the land with bright eyes and soft smiles.

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