Sunday, April 13, 2008


Tryon Lewis won the runoff with Buddy West. Tryon came out with a big television ad and mail-out campaign addressing the bills Buddy West had voted for, including giving drivers' licenses and in-state tuition for illegals and what Buddy called essentially a state income tax. There was a bunch of flack that Tryon was not playing fair. I never could figure out how discussing the issues was "unfair." But Buddy wouldn't even debate Tryon. Tryon gave me a good belly laugh when he announced a debate anyway and stated at the end of the article that he might even invite Buddy. Buddy didn't show. Some people discussed the you tube video of Buddy casting votes for non-present legislators. They didn't like it. Nor did I. You can view it in archives over to the left. Something's very wrong when our lawmakers don't have time to vote on our laws. And did you notice the salary? $7,000 something and $17,000 for expenses. Finding that out and reading about the corruption in Austin makes one sit back and contemplate.

Lewis Can't Wait

I hope he can help get rid of this education system that teaches the kids to take tests instead of teaching them reading, writing, and math. When I left Odessa in 1963 to join the Navy we had the SRA reading system. That system taught how to read, how to compose, grammar, speed reading, comprehension. I appreciated it even as a student and applied it not only in my higher education but also in my daily life. I even brought my kids back here to the school system I remembered after having them suffer through some of the worst school systems in the nation... like Pascagoula, Mississippi and Vallejo, California, only to find Odessa's school system changed and SRA gone. I also noted my coworkers' handwriting and composition skills, shook my head while remembering Mrs. Cross, my first grade teacher at Travis Elementary. She always wore a dark A-line skirt and a white blouse with a high collar and long sleeves. She had a brooch she wore at the neck of her blouse and she always wore either black or navy blue pumps and nylons. Her hair was salt and pepper and she wore it back in a bun. A very prim and proper lady who loved her class and instilled the joy of learning in them. We didn't get away with anything. But I don't remember thinking I was being constrained at any time. We had the Big Chief writing tablets and our handwriting had to be just so. She'd make us take it back to correct until we had it right. She said, "If I can't read it, it's a waste of your time to write it and of my time to try to read it." And, she said, "Learn to write the correct way now. Later, you can develop your own writing characteristics, but now you'll write like you should," and "You can't do math later on unless you can read." Memorable woman. People still compliment me on my handwriting and wonder how I read so many books so fast. It was my teachers and my school system. Mrs. Worley and Mrs. Gustafson were also good teachers at Travis. That's over 50 years ago and I still remember what they looked like and even their names.

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