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Columns

  • It’s becoming an ennui time of year

    Ennui: I have loved the word since my 11th-grade English class with Mr. Laurence. He was a stickler for vocabulary and was one of the teachers who stirred my imagination most when it comes to language.
    I notice now, especially while doing crossword puzzles, my vocabulary recall slipping. Old age? Or perhaps lack of use? Perhaps both, but for some reason, ennui remains fresh.

  • Elect pragmatic leaders to office

    If you’ve been reading my columns over the past several weeks, you might’ve noted one consistent refrain or mantra: “principled, pragmatic, problem-solving leadership.” One might call it the 3PRs.
    3PR is a philosophical approach to dealing with our societal great issues: economic, environmental, social justice, et al.

  • Udall works tirelessly for Colorado

    The 2014 election is shaping up as a referendum on the Colorado electorate: Do we mean what we say when we claim we want pragmatic, principled, problem-solving leadership or are we just paying lip-service to that notion?

  • Gardner is a political chameleon

    Ploy. Ruse. Each, particularly when advanced by a public servant, indicates conniving underhandedness unworthy of serious consideration and provides the observer insight into the true character of the individual.

    Describe it as one will, the latest proposal put forth by Senate candidate Cory Gardner to allow over-the-counter birth-control pills is hardly an expression of genuine concern for women’s health and for protection of their right to privacy by controlling their reproductive systems.

  • Testing hurts innovation, creativity

    In last week’s column, I wrote about the need for parents to embrace their role as their child’s primary teacher. An essential truth is that for a child to live up to and meet his/her academic potential, education must be valued in the home by parents and reinforced each day through modeling — reading, reviewing their child’s homework, doing their own homework — for in the end, teachers are not miracle workers.

  • Parents should embrace educator role

    In my book, Neil Zeron was one of the greats. As a rookie teacher struggling to hold my head above water in a sea of 13-year-olds whose last desire was to sit in an eighth-grade American history class, Neil was a font of wisdom. He became my mentor, a trusted guide into and through the byzantine labyrinth of teaching.
    During one conversation at happy hour, which became our debriefing sessions, I reflectively mused what it would be like to see how “my kids” turned out later in their lives.

  • Blaming victims, victimizing blameless

    Behind every personal and/or group interaction, what Herman Melville calls the “living act, the undoubted deed,” is a message intended to communicate a psychological construct or emotion ranging from caring and compassion to contempt and anger.

  • Americans’ views seem contradictory

    A few recent news items, each powerfully pointing a finger at us and to our system, disconcertingly indicate why things are askew.

    The first deals with the wealth gap. According to an Associated Press story, a University of Michigan study shows the Great Recession and consequential slow recovery have widened the chasm between the über-wealthy and the rest of Americans.

    In 2007, the top 5 percent boasted 16.5 times the wealth as the bottom 95 percent collectively, but by 2013 it soared by nearly 50 percent, to 24 times.

  • Time for school board to come clean

    “A little water clears us of this deed.”
     — Lady Macbeth

    Let’s pick up where I left off last week: with the untimely decapitation of Todd Lancaster, our erstwhile superintendent.
    I e-mailed Peter Monson, an old friend, colleague and longtime member of the Board of Education, inviting the board and “interim” superintendent Roslin Marshall to my KYGT-FM show to give them the opportunity “to clear the air regarding ‘Toddgate.’ ”

  • Life lessons can be rude awakening

    The other day, a friend asked me how I come up with ideas about what to write, and I told her the problem isn’t coming up with them as much as deciding upon one. That’s my pleasant problem this week, so to wit: