Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Joe L. Kincheloe

Joe Kincheloe left his tenured position at LSU-S in 1989. I was enrolled in his and Joe Green's doctoral program in curriculum theory, given in connection with LSU, Baton Rouge. Though I often thought about him these past 19 years, I wasn't in touch with him, but did proudly note and sometimes read his many publications: books, journal articles, book-chapters re education and curriculum theory. He was in the CUNY system (NYC) from 1998-2005...I know he added to the luster of my alma mater. Today Dr. Joe Green phoned to tell me that Dr. Kincheloe had died of a massive heart attack while at a conference in Kingston, Jamaica. He was 58 years old.
Its difficult to imagine a world without him, without his passionate support of an educational system that was intellectually exciting and socially just. I know that my semesters with him changed for the better the way I view the world, how I read, listen and work. He was one of the few teachers I've ever had who made academia an adventure. His classroom was alive and challenging with informed debate, with imagination, with constructive ideas, with a magnifying glass of what is. I wish for every student a teacher like Joe Kincheloe. My condolences to Shirley Steinberg, his wife and partner of the past 19 years.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Voices from the Past

A familiar voice as I answered the phone, but no face to it until he said, "This is George." How great to hear from George and Arline Mascarich, now residing in Salisbury, Maryland.
I cant remember how many years since they left Shreveport for the West Coast, and now they're back on the East coast, but we've exchanged annual holiday cards. George was part of that A.T.& T. group that included the Butterfields, Smolenskis, Martinas and Fosters. Arline has usually included a newsletter so I got some news re Dorio, Serena and Tanya, but its never as good as a long chat. I have good memories of attending Serena's wedding, of enjoying teenage Tanya as house guest when we experienced our "empty nest", of fun partying at East Ridge CC and at the Cunninghams. What a delight to hear from old friends at this holiday season and to hear that all is comparably well.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Making a Choice

Do voters get the kind of candidates they deserve? I attended the debate at LSU-S; it was broadcast on NPR, Red River Radio. The 4 candidates answered questions from the public, from the moderators, summary talks, and I was astounded that I could not work up any enthusiasm for a single one.
Mr. Bowen needed to do some homework; his replies were personal reflections of his philosophy. Mr. Kelley made some good points and was passionate, but his support of the regressive Fair Tax nixed my vote for him. I was surprised that he didn't espouse a Flat Tax (it isn't regressive). Mr. Fleming, whose ads and robo calls I despise, had been coached well and sounded statesmanlike. But his pejorative use of the word "liberal" as well as his support of the Fair Tax backed up my decision not to vote for him. And so there was Democrat Paul Carmouche...his ads weren't great either and he is pro-gun, pro-choice; says he'll caucus w. the Blue Dog Democrats. As a former D.A., I really expected a dynamic speaker who projected a big presence; he spoke softly, sans drama. So he'll get my vote, but how I wish there was a "none of the above" button to press.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A page from the Karl Rove Playbook

I am so tired of the mudslinging in the Carmouche and Fleming campaign ads. Neither has any national political record to run on, but the voters of Caddo have not voiced any doubts re Carmouche's time as D.A., and I haven't heard anything negative re Fleming's medical or business practice. So why can't each just tell us how he'd represent us in Congress? what they think about the urgent issues that this country faces, et al?
As a professed and stalwart liberal, I find neither represents my perspective. I will attend the debate at LSU-S tomorrow evening though yesterday's Fleming campaign robo-call has me swearing that I won't vote for Fleming or any Republican until they burn the Karl Rove Playbook. The caller said she was taking a poll, just one question..so I listened to the supposed long, detailed supposed question that smeared Carmouche as a defender of child rapists. I was so angry, not only at the slander and the way it was delivered, but also at the insinuation that we voters are stupid and would fall for such a ploy. I hope that when Paul Carmouche is elected, that he'll grow in the job, and truly represent people like me as well as the NRA and pro-choice groups; that he'll support stem cell research, education reforms, etc..the Obama platform.