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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

March 12, 2006

no lawyer left behind (no corned beef, either)

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 4:06 pm

The Washington Post has a major article today about the 200+ area

schools that did not meet the No Child Left Behind standards this

year. WaPo asks principals Why Is Your School On This List?,

March 12, 2006). As an important public service, there is a sidebar

piece entitled “No Reader Left Behind: A Guide to the Law,” by Jay

Matthews. Since I learned a lot (and have already forgotten a lot) from

the column, I’m posting a link here for my future reference, and for the

edification of other readers and lawyers who have no idea of the intri-

cacies of this legislation (and the resultant regulations, state-by-state)

graphClimb According to Matthews, the three key letters in any

dicussion of NCLB are AYP: adequate yearly progress.



tiny check Envy has never been part of my personal make-up (I don’t think). So, the

many achievements of my many talented friends do not evoke the green-

eye monster in me. Nonetheless, occasionally, I see what Larry Rohter

gets to do for a living, and wish I had headed for journalism school instead

of law school, after we left Georgetown in 1971. See, e.g., New York Times,

Chile Inaugurates First Woman to Serve as Its President, March 12, 2006.


tiny check On the other hand, I hate work-related travel, and am functionally mono-lingual.


leprechan Catholic Bishops are apparently easing the consciences of a lot of the

faithful this week, so that St. Patrick’s revelers can have guiltless corned beef on

Friday, March 17, despite it being Lent. My local Sunday paper (The [Schen-

ectady, NY] Gazette, March 12, 2006, $ub. only) has one theologist, Tom

Dickens at Siena College, explaining:

“More theologically, Catholics believe God is not legalistic.

God does not insist on strict obervance of rules strictly for

the sake of observing rules. The point of fasting and doing

without is to make room in our hearts for the love of God and

the love of neighbor.”



Note, though, that not all bishops are being so flexible. According to The

Saginaw [MI] News, March 11, 2006:

“No such luck, however, in Brownsville, Texas. Bishop Raymundo

Pena, who heads the diocese, which is 85 percent Hispanic, is

sticking with the penitence.


“In Portland, Maine, Bishop Richard J. Malone, has given the OK

but is requiring parishioners to fast the Wednesday prior to the

holiday if they consume meat, says diocese spokeswoman Sue

Bernard, director of communications.”

As an ex-Catholic and born skeptic, I really don’t believe that a large per-

centage of American Catholics would have skipped their corned beef, if

the local bishop failed to offer his [not, or her] dispensation. I’m also a

little bemused by the statement from Siena’s Dickens. After noting that

abstaining from meat should be seen by Catholics as serving a larger

end, Dickens says:

“It ought not be onerous; it should be a joy to fulfill.”

In my experience, watching some very serious Catholics close-up,

abstaining from meat on certain prescribed days has very often been

done with much joy — resulting in some of the most savory fish, sea

food and vegan meals I have ever shared.

Back to envy. If I ever were to get caught up

in the cardinal sin of envy, it would probably happen after

seeing that Andrew Riutta can achieve so much haiku

excellence on just one page of Simply Haiku:




a soldier’s burial—
the first leaves to fall
still green

the slow ferment
of a darker beer—
summer solstice


countless stars—
my daughter paints herself

infinite stars—
a brown toad rests
at the doorstep

fall colors—
the distant asylum
black and white

andrew riutta

Simply Haiku 3:4 (Winter 2005)

“blackboard ABCN”

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