Holyoke High students are “encouraged. . . to express reflections on their racial, ethnic and gender identities. I hope “encouraged” doesn’t mean under pressure, much less necessary. Some high school students may value their emotional intimacy too much to want to discuss their personal feelings. When San Francisco teacher David Ko asks his students to “create their own life slides to introduce themselves and write oral histories,” is this exercise optional or required? The article also discusses the conflict over how to teach about Israel and the Palestinians. Why not organize a debate between two guest speakers, one from each side, to promote the objective of making students “responsible citizens, participants and able to form their own opinion”?
Felicia Nimue Ackerman
What is the purpose of this? What brings us together is so much more important than our superficial differences.
R&S / posted on bostonglobe.com
The idea that courses like this engage students seems to me to be true. I work with high school students as a college consultant and have noticed that students of all academic levels and from various ethnic backgrounds who have taken social justice courses (which cover topics similar to ethnic studies) are enthusiastic about what they learn in transformative ways. . They can relate to content. These students also have a lot more to write in their college applications and seem more enthusiastic about learning.
posted on bostonglobe.com
When they are finished, will they be able to teach mathematics?
Federalist / posted on bostonglobe.com
Connections author Francie Lin and her family should be applauded for keeping and loving Rose, the hard-to-love cat, according to the wishes of her former owner, who could no longer keep her (“And Then There Is Rose” , February 20). It’s disappointing when we don’t get the love, entertainment, or whatever we want from a pet, but it’s so nice to see when people love these pets and never give up on them.
In my experience, cats are rarely as sociable as dogs. Also, some cats prefer a kind man to any cat woman, no matter how well-meaning. I guess the little tabby would be less stressed and happier as a single pet in a quiet home with a male again. I hope the writer will work with an adoption counselor to find such a match – and another loving commitment.
The touching, beautiful and heartwarming story of a cat who needed a home, time, patience and love to thrive! I also had a “Rose”—three families brought her back to the shelter because she wasn’t cuddly and couldn’t adapt. After six weeks of being patient, calm and having her own secure room with a baby gate at the door, she slowly settled in and acclimated, jumping over the door to join my other cat. Now, two years later, they still live happily ever after!
I brought my cat home six years ago. Autumn isn’t friendly and hates being picked up – and don’t pat her on the back or tail. She used to bite and scratch. She doesn’t do those things anymore. I let her come to me for what I call “loves and hugs”. She goes to sit on my lap while I caress her on the top of her head, under her chin and behind her ears. I’m happy to have it, but I don’t think anyone could stand it, especially children. I won’t give it up. She and Rose have a happy and warm home with loves and hugs.
I totally understand loving an “unlovable” cat. Our toughest cat was Trapper, whom we found cuddled up next to our warm car engine like a kitten. Fortunately, we heard his meows before starting the car! He had many problems. We had him in his grumpy old age. I still miss him and all his quirks.
I loved Francie Lin’s brief musing on her cat Rose so much that I subscribed. Now living so far from my old home north of Boston, in a place where feral cats run amok (despite attempts by coyotes and the occasional pack of dogs to wipe them out), I’ve taken in too many abandoned kittens. As my daughter has observed, crazy cat ladies are made when a generous heart fulfills an unmet feline need. There are so many who take in animals, which we should all recognize as a decade-plus liability, only to abandon them when things get messy or stressful. It felt good to read about another human being who understands that taking an animal into your home means acting in love, until death do you part, even though you may not feel it.
Pamela Jane Leman
Las Cruces, New Mexico
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