Monday, February 25, 2013

1) I didn't watch the Academy Awards last night, but Bob put it on for about 15 seconds. It happened to be right when the cast of Les Mis was singing. Even he thought it sounded atrocious and I think he was afraid it might cause me to have a seizure so he quickly turned it off.

Weeks ago, when we were discussing Lincoln, my nephew emailed me that Hollywood loves Ben Affleck and especially George Clooney so he predicted an Argo win. Somewhat less annoying, Hollywood also loves Ang Lee, so the best director nod isn't a shock either.

I saw several nominated films this year, but I did not see either winning movie, for very different reasons. Having lived through the Iran hostage crisis as a teenager, I have zero interest in Hollywood's take. And I don't care for most adventure / fantasy movies so was sure I couldn't sit through Life of Pi. (Now, Life of Pie, that's a different story.)

Something that came to mind this morning when I saw the results on AOL's headline was that I've heard movie buffs discuss the irony of a best picture win with no actor or director awards. How can that be? It's certainly a good question.

2) Now, for a totally unrelated subject...the latest development for the La Grange Inn. It's essentially the same proposal put forth by Walgreen's in 2008, just switch the mega drugstore to CVS, and there you go. Allegedly they will move and restore the original structure, but unless the town makes that a requirement and monitors the situation, I have my doubts.

Bob grew up on the street behind La Grange. Only a fence separated his backyard from the parking lot and the building. As a kid, he made a model of it for a school project. We took Bob's Oma there for lunch not too many years before she died, and his mother had a dinner there to celebrate the marriage of his brother and sister-in-law.

Sadly, Long Island -- maybe suburbia generally -- does not especially value historic preservation. Why couldn't this place remain viable? I think destination or banquet hall extravaganzas are favored by today's bride- and groom- zillas, national chains have cut into the routine dinner trade for privately owned establishments, and the abysmal economy is hurting every business -- and us all, fancy eating out being a luxury, restaurants in particular.

3) still more unrelated news, this is outrageous! Really, I'm shocked. Talk about board of education and administrative overstep into teacher autonomy. What's next? Micromanaging every lesson plan, all grades, and handing out scripts for teachers to deliver in the classroom?

James Coleman (1981) argued that private schools outperform public schools because they enforced more rigorous academic standards, were more intellectual, and gave teachers more autonomy. Little (1995) found that the development of autonomy in learners is related to teacher autonomy. Pearson (2005) demonstrated that teacher autonomy decreased on-the-job stress, and increased empowerment and professionalism.

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