To my embarrassment I sent out a couple of posts mentioning Colombia, but giving the Englished spelling — Columbia rather than the correct Spanish.  Actually I should have caught this from the Spanish pronunciation.  Spanish is nice that way.  There are no ambiguities or idiosyncrasies in spelling or pronunciation such as we have in English — the trash pile language resulting from the migrations in Europe of languages from East to as far West as one could get prior to Greenland and North America.

Teaching philosophy makes one particularly aware how very differently our minds work.  There is not just one standard model, but a variety of species that end each of us up with divers abilities and disabilities. For instance, I happen to be one of the (I assume) minority that spells phonetically rather than visually.  This is helpful with new words, but it can mess one up on occasions with such as Columbia for Colombia.

John Dewey particularly noted that we all have our own particular types of genius.  One of us may be a mechanical genius (I was once so identified and presumably would have been a first class car mechanic).  One of my daughters was talented in fixing things and appropriately starred in high school not only on the stage, but as a theatre technical director (snuck in that British spelling to show how the confusions in English have multiplied with the crossing of the Atlantic) — a talent that she carried on during that time with off Broadway productions and another in our neighborhood.

Some psychologist, I forget which, identified something like 7 different skill areas.  Only the verbal and mathematical are tested by the SATs, so we have built-in biases with our U.S. testing obsessions — a successor of Dewey at Columbia Teachers College, an animal psychologist — came along and displaced Dewey’s democratic vision with his own rat-based interpretation of humanity — most recently pushed by the Bush administration determined to “leave no rat — er child behind.”

I recall hiking down the Rhine with German kids after WW2 — they were students in one of the German technical schools that offered high levels of training in the nuts and bolts of technology as an alternative to university studies — something we do not have, unfortunately, and, thus, must often import from abroad.

Enough rambling here.  I recommend to any who have not studied Spanish taking it up.  It is our second language in the States.  And all should learn it.  Only in Amerika are some obsessed with dumbing us down with English only.  Spanish is really smooth — no tricks with pronunciation which is uniform, as is its tidy grammatical structure.  If you want to think clearly learn it.  I did, but too late in life really to gain command.

Sorry for the Columbia/Colombia goof.  I should have listened more closely to Hugo.

And it does looks as though Bush had a rough 6 hours there after which he has fled on to Guatemala which our CIA un-democratized in 1954:

resulting in chaos and hundreds of thousands of murders since.  Wonder what Bush wants there now?

Then on to Mexico.  Hope he makes it home ok.  Hate to have Cheney launching whatever attacks!

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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