Constellation's role as tool for learning adds to its...


September 26, 1998

Constellation's role as tool for learning adds to its longevity

I read with interest the article concerning the future of the Constellation ("Famed Constellation to get new life as teaching tool," Sept. 19).

The article made it clear that some people felt that a fun and education venue was inappropriate as the ship's primary function, and only a strict historic interpretation was acceptable.

Constellation's long survival has been only because of her montage of occupations, the very least of which was naval warship. She served as a delivery vessel, providing safe passage for naval personnel. She took food to a starving Ireland. She was a command ship, tied to the pier, during World War II. The list of varied duties, tailored to the time and needs at hand, is what has allowed her to survive to this day.

Another famous ship, the cast iron Elissa of Texas, of which Louis F. Linden is very familiar, was allowed to survive only because she could smuggle contraband to the Dalmatian Coast as a power vessel, denuded of masts and sails. So much for a strict interpretation of acceptable uses of an historic ship.

These, and dozens ore historic ships afloat today because they were able to find new roles that reflected the need and realities of their times.

The Living Classrooms Foundation is truly the most talented and capable resource that we have to care for her. When managing director Scott Raymond referred to the Constellation's abilities to teach the laws of physics, however, it was not Newtonian physics, but Einsteinian physics. That is because wooden ships, like the rest of us, must face the factor of time. In modern times, wooden ships must work or die.

Michael D. Storey


Celebrate teaching success prominently in newspaper

I read with pleasure, the article "Longtime city teacher is surprised with $25,000 award" (Sept. 19). I do not know Stephanie Terry, the first-grade teacher at Ashburton Elementary School in Baltimore City, but I am proud of her.

It is significant to note that her National Educator Award from the Milken Family Foundation recognizes her professional competency and effectiveness in teaching her students to read.

I would think that The Sun would have devoted a more prominent space in its publication to such a worthy accomplishment, particularly in light of the emphasis placed on reading in the Reading by 9 series. The valid and valuable successes of Ms. Terry and other teachers need to be celebrated.

Maxine J. Wood


American has no right to intervene in Kosovo

It is hypocritical for the United States to criticize Serbia for suppressing an armed revolt by the Kosovo Liberation Army. When the Confederate States of America tried to secede from the Union, the United States fought its bloodiest war to preserve that union.

How fortunate the United States was that no superpower intervened in what was a purely internal matter. How doubly fortunate that no multinational force existed to launch air strikes and deploy ground troops to assist the secession.

If the ethnic Albanians who live in Kosovo wish Albanian rule, let them simply cross the border into Albania. Kosovo is a province in Serbia. Serbia has a right to preserve its union and to suppress by force any attempted secession.

The United States has no of national interest in Kosovo, and there is no reason to risk American lives or expend resources there.

Harris James George


Surgery cost outside state an eye-opening experience

Jo Bremer's revealing experience with the remarkable Lasik eye surgery ("Seeing is believing," Sept. 20) is shared by my wife, perhaps even more dramatically. Before surgery, she could not see the big "E" on the eye chart. After the surgery, she has 20/20 vision, something she previously was never able to have with the best correction through glasses and contact lenses. It was truly remarkable.

However, there the similarity ends. Ms. Bremer paid more than $5,000 for her surgery, whereas my wife paid little more than $2,000 for the same surgery. After my wife decided to have this procedure performed, I discovered that everyone I contacted in this area charged the same: $5,000 for both eyes.

We traveled to another state, where my wife's Lasik surgery was performed by a well-known and very experienced ophthalmologist in a 10-minute procedure that cost less than half the local fee. The results could not have been more perfect.

Frederick Everhart


Perspective section not what it used to be

After reading the Perspective section of The Sun over the years, it would seem best to drop the section altogether. Space has become more and more limited. Now we have large print and unnecessary photos. Ads, puzzles and bridge notes add to the further constriction of information.

Most important, The Sun has not bred a stable of columnists who raise the paper's reputation and its quality. It relies on outside names such as George Will, Carl Rowan and Ellen Goodman.

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