You’re welcome, America


Shawn Magrath

It looks like a busy weekend ahead, with a cruise-in at the Howard Johnson Hotel tonight, the Norwich Merchants Association Spring Crafts Festival on Saturday and of course, Mother’s Day on Sunday (and me without a special Mother’s Day gift idea. I refrain from the customary macaroni necklace and Popsicle stick picture frame).

Kudos to the teachers at the Sherburne-Earlville Central School District for their respectful protest on Tuesday. I’m one who believes testing is a good thing, so long as there’s a clear goal in mind. However, when teachers are testing only to get ambiguous results, not knowing what steps to take next; and not knowing where to go, yet still expected to know when they get there… well to me, it sounds an awful lot like building a plane in the air. I admire any effort to change education for the better, but it’s only appropriate to diligently scrutinize any changes made. Perhaps this new method of statewide assessment isn’t the best alternative. Perhaps it’s time to learn from mistakes, adjust accordingly, and move forward.

Avid readers of The Evening Sun are surely familiar with the weekly “Thumbs” section. Thumbs, for those who don’t know, is a brief opinion piece written by reporters. My “Thumbs Down” this week went to obnoxiously long receipts that have only grown longer in recent years – namely, the 30-foot receipts I get after buying a single pack of gum at the grocery store. When Thumbs was published in today’s paper and I thought I could put it behind me for another week, I received a phone call from a reader who told me receipt paper may also contain trace amounts of the glycogen BPA, which can be absorbed in the skin (a claim backed by a 2011 study reported by the New York Times). I read in the report that BPA can disrupt hormones, cause neurological damage, and even stimulate obesity… and then it clicked. Longer receipts equals fatter, crazier people! I just solved our nation’s most pressing health-related issues and crippling diplomatic affairs: we need shorter receipts! You’re welcome, America.