Use recipe for creativity in classroomIn The Evening Sun...

The Forum

June 13, 1995

Use recipe for creativity in classroom

In The Evening Sun June 1, I was pleasantly surprised to come across the small highlight, cleverly entitled "Paddling for an 'A' ." This brief described the project in which two high school students constructed a boat to demonstrate a principle learned in their physics class in lieu of a final exam.

The inside workings of high schools, while maybe not as newsworthy as the occurrences in Bosnia or the O. J. Simpson trial, are indeed important aspects of our community.

I'm glad that you noted Arizona's Coconino High School's innovative alternative for final exams. It would be beneficial for other local schools to observe this active learning tool and expand upon it.

Ask most teen-agers what they think of everyday classes, and the most likely response will be, "Boring!" While it is difficult to make certain subjects interesting to adolescents, small alterations in the day, such as those of the school in Flagstaff, Ariz., would be appealing to students.

A short excursion onto the campus to learn new French vocabulary or the presentation of a chapter in history under the guise of a skit from "Saturday Night Live" . . . These would be minor changes in the schedule, yet they would enhance the education of children of all ages.

Not only would classes be more interesting, but the exciting difference is more likely to be remembered, therefore strengthening the ability to learn.

As the computer age has been ushered in, many classrooms are now graced by the popular Apple computer. This is an example of learning that appeals to youngsters.

The integration of subjects, tying history in with parallel literature and math with chemistry, are further ways to make education more relevant.

One of my favorite recent discoveries was a presentation concerning Shakespeare, in which select scenes were updated to relate to everyday situations.

So, if a teacher reads this letter: First, congratulations on the terrific job you have done with today's kids, and keep up the good work.

But when the classroom seems to echo with a chorus of yawns, consider a small surprise for the students. It will be appreciated.

It doesn't require money to make education fun, just an ounce of creativity and a -- of energy -- the recipe for higher learning.

Angela Huppman


Insurance? Me?

The May 23 Evening Sun article "Living Dangerously," by Patricia Meisol, brings to light an extremely serious risk that new graduates are taking.

I am a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins University, having completed my studies in December. My parents wanted me to take out health insurance on myself since I would no longer be covered by my mother's policy.

I didn't really understand the importance of having my own insurance, and I asked them many times, "Why do I need insurance? What's going to happen to me?"

I, of course, thought nothing would happen to me, but my parents prevailed and I got my own insurance policy.

It turned out to be the best investment we've ever made. My policy went into effect in February. On April 1, I was involved in a very serious automobile accident.

I was in the hospital for two weeks, followed by one week as an outpatient for rehabilitation for a traumatic brain injury. My medical bills total between $30,000 and $35,000 already, and we haven't received many of my bills yet.

I am still under the care of several doctors. I shudder to think that I might not have been insured if it had been left to me.

I really can't stress enough the importance of health insurance. I hope that maybe some people will reconsider their decision to take the risk of being uninsured.

I know as a recent graduate that there is no way I could have afforded the medical care that I needed without insurance, since I am already in debt for my education.

The feelings of the recent grads cited in the article are understandable. They feel how I felt before my accident. I felt invincible, but I wasn't.

Robin Ballard

Bel Air

Polish heritage

Readers of the May 13 article "A Taste of Baltimore's Polish Heritage" by Rafael Alvarez should also be introduced to the Polish Heritage Association of Maryland, Inc., which was established in 1974.

Organized to preserve and promote an understanding of Polish culture, the association has presented lectures, concerts and exhibits by prominent Polish and Polish-American scholars and artists. Many of the association's programs have had international connections.

After martial law was declared in Poland, the association was the main force in the creation and operation of "Maryland Action for Poland," which in 1982-83 collected thousands of dollars and food packages for Polish Relief.

Several years ago, a videotape of the Polish community in Baltimore was taken to Poland by the crew of the first Pride of Baltimore and was viewed by many in Gydnia.

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