Ok, I’ve been passing by the bold new sign, in six-foot letters, on a converted factory or something, and after the first couple views, it piqued my curiosity, as a ‘student’ of pedagology since 1954 at least.
What the hell could ‘no-tare‘ mean? For a school?
We all know(?) about ‘tare’. It’s the weight of the dish you sit the chicken in, which you then, one hopes, subtract from the ‘gross’ to arrive at the ‘net’. (Weight before cooking, but that’s not our problem here.)
And so I was laden with heavy expectations, yet light-hearted, when I met last week with the school’s principal during a bit of her down-time.
An attractive 40-something once-dark-haired woman, every bit the ‘career-educator’ in demeanor, Mary-Ellen Meady-Ochre greeted me warmly enough in her office. I wisely banished any thoughts of simply ‘grabbing her without asking’, in part out of a desire to ‘fit in’; (kids under her watch raise their hands respectfully before asking to go pee), and, no less, because I still hope to run for public office someday.
But you are reading this in order to learn, like I did,(fortunately?) what in the world ‘No-Tare’ schooling is all about:

‘Look at these test results’, she tells me, after the initial formalities.
‘These were 7th graders’, she continued, and I could clearly see that more than half (’61 per cent’, she stressed) had colored in Mexico with the red crayon and Canada green.
I did my best to exhibit admiration; after all, I was her guest.
And this ‘computer printout’ from the 12th graders..” she continued, obviously proud of her place in the digital age, ‘… “shows ‘no degradation-over-time‘ of the students’ grasp of geography.” And indeed, total ‘Likes’ for ‘Mexico’ as the US’s ‘southern’ neighbor, contrasted with ‘Share’s for Canada demonstrated ‘internalization’ of the ‘up there’-ness of Canadians…pretty much made her point. A whopping 63% of her graduates had correctly ID-ed the two foreign countries.
Perhaps feeling righteous for my self-control evidenced by not grabbing anything, I pressed her on the obvious question:
“But isn’t the goal of learning, excuse me if I’m old-fashioned, to facilitate a ‘growth’, so to speak, in the child’s grasp of the larger world?”
As it turns out, that innocent query was the perfect catalyst to open the pedagogical flood-gates, and inspired the following:
“Look, what’d you say you name was, we’re not here to corrode the next generation’s delicate self-esteem. As you may or not be aware, a kid with a plain-brown-wrapper I-phone these days can order a lasso from El Paso or Burkina-Fasso in milly-seconds. Who gives a flying fuck what they know, ‘netto’ without the net?”
And, not yet recognizing defeat, that was my cue to bring up the ‘gross’ minus ‘tare’ equals ‘net’ I mentioned at the top of this report:
So they’re not to be required, or expected, to ‘gain weight’ in the 7 years they spend here?” I asked, invoking the ‘chicken’ metaphor. “Their test results, for example, on, say, knowing the planets in our Solar system, are fine if they ID four out of nine, for seven years running?”
“Eight!”, she scolded me, “and no; they can look it up, if it’s important.”
I was by then deep in thought, musing on the recent sights I’d seen with my own nekkid eyes, ‘looking up’ at the skies, sans Google, to behold most of our planets, live, and in person, above my very ‘real-life’ head.
I looked at my watch. Mary-Ellen brushed her hair over her right shoulder, in a move I may one day need to testify as ‘provocative’. Our interview was at a close, yet the business card she offered, along with ‘Be in touch’ seemed to need a penned-in cell-phone number on the ‘obverse’, at the last minute.
I was too busy with mental -math, extracting her net weight from the total including a dish large enough to hold her to ‘grade-point’ her by her own ‘progressive’ standards. Yeah, she was no less an existential threat to ‘culture-as-we-knew-it‘ than she’d likely been 7 years ago.
No-tare. I’m getting used to it.
Wu: Oy, not another PAL. And such a long ‘tail’ for a such a small dog!


15 thoughts on “SHERATON- A ‘NO-TARE’ H.S.

    1. solberg73 Post author

      Absolutely, dear! (Note: I didn’t say ‘yes, dear’, even ironically. In fact you always make my day by reading and reacting. And from PA, a battle-ground state: I collect them!
      I’d say by now that, although palindromes are not the ‘divine Da-vinci-Code’ I enjoy pretending to believe, they are indeed catalysts for deep musing. Never yet ‘discovered’ one which was, like, totally pointless. And this ‘dumbing-down’ (I like that phrase) is kinda a repeating theme here. These days, ha.
      Thanks for your comment; now I can go to sleep happy.

      1. promisesunshine

        and with that allusion to one of my little posts, I will wonder aloud if you did comment directly, since I haven’t seen any yet. not to beg for such or expect such, but just as a wonder. aloud.
        sleep happy. in your dreams, there is no dumbing down of anyone.

  1. happierheathen

    Kids these days… A kid today happens upon a freshly downed mammoth, he can’t even cut it up unless someone else already made an iron edge for him and he just happens to be carrying it. Carrying iron around when rocks are everywhere already… and they’re the idiots who’ll be running the world when we’re old. We’re just frotzed already, man.

    1. solberg73 Post author

      Aha: my Luddite bent didn’t encompass meat-cutting, but the point is valid. My impact-driver failed me mid-job this AM, probably the bronze-age bushings, but I’ll likely not even try to disassemble and repair it. This ‘no user-serviceable-parts inside’ pox has grown on us like a slow fungus. I remember walking to town, to the drug-store for a 12AX7 tube for the Philco radio out in the cow stable on the window. Today a toaster has an AM/FM radio as a forgettable ‘aside’. And Air_France 447? went down because the pilots couldn’t think of using a rock, metaphorically speaking.
      It’ll only be after the script-kiddie army of toaster-zombies take down the entire net that my point will be seen as prophetic, not alarmist.

      1. happierheathen

        Oh, heck, I’m too old to disagree — BUT, if I’m going to be stranded on a deserted island I want a satellite phone with a solar charger and not my Super Skyrider. Knowhuddamean?

        The script kiddies don’t matter to anyone smarter than them. 😉

        1. solberg73 Post author

          Ah, but my points remain; what availeth Rob Carusoe when the sats are BSOD-ed?
          And the ethics-challenged scripties are exactly the mosquitoes who beat the French Panama Canal dream into submission, while only wanting blood-meals.
          Perhaps our tech-based human culture *is* robust enough to survive unfore-seen catastrophies? We’ll know when we get there. But just in case, I keep my CW speed up to the task. From a washed ashore and lashed-together Flotsam&Jetsam transceiver.

          1. happierheathen

            Given what would be required to knock out the sat-phones, far away from the modern civilization that’s not going to search for you anyway is a very good place to be. Some of the possibilities would make a distant hospitable planet an even better place to be.

            Script kiddies have been attacking all of “my” servers and all of my internet-facing software for as long as I’ve had those things. Ain’t afraid of ’em. Or their cracker buddies. Botnet operators are a pain in the ass, but not omnipotent. So far, anyway, I’m aware of no professionally managed network failing to mitigate an ongoing DDoS within 48 hours of the start of it — I handled one all by myself for a client two or three years ago, even blogged about it. Mainly because the client didn’t have money enough to pay me and I didn’t find out until he offered monthly installment payments, but also to laugh at the feeb who came at me with too small an army.

            Ya know how 90% of the news originates in PR departments? The news media is painting big scary pictures so we won’t question the meaning of the term Information Security as we would if we were an intelligent species. Munchies fer ponderin’ there, perhaps.

  2. eleanorio

    Why red for Mexico and green for Canada? All the maps I ever saw had Canada coloured in red as part of the British Commonwealth. When I saw “no-tare”, I read it as notaire, the French equivalent of a solicitor (the legal kind, not the one you’re thinking of ~ get your mind out of the gutter, JS) but I see that you are commenting on the fact that there is no need to remember anything anymore. Didn’t Aristotle bemoan this fact, as well, when students were issued slates to write on as they sat at Sophocles’ feet under the olive trees? I agree with happierheathen in that kids these days are all helpless when it comes to survival skills in the wilderness. Take away their cellphones and proximity to pizza delivery, and they’re doomed.

  3. solberg73 Post author

    Well. long live the Queen.. but: jalapenos are red… and all that map-area comprising Canada is green.. for a few months each summer. For me it was a no-brainer. Netanya, near here, speaks lots of French these days, and with a lawyer on every corner, I learned ‘notaire’ just waiting for a bus. But ‘PALs are unforgiving.
    I do sympathize with Aristotle on this. The use of ‘external memory’ has a long tradition; yet I call this latest chapter ‘a cloud too far’.
    Gotta quit here; my slate is full.

  4. somewittyhandle

    The one subject where the school really excels is genetic engineering, with many kids developng new species for their graduation projects. Few schools are given the status of neo-rat H.S.

    1. solberg73 Post author

      And don’t think for a second that I failed to notice that moonless-night re-arrangement project/challenge. The letters, frustratingly, are fixed to the wall with some odd-ball ‘voice-crying-out-in das-Wilderness’ screw-head: ‘Torques’, Torkemada’? With limited linguistic-anarchist time on my hands. I had to put the rats on the ‘Ah… some day’ list.
      (I’ll have more to say on Ratus horribilus.and your own mein kampf soon as I congeal an effective eye-for-an-eye stategy to recommend.
      Meanwhile ‘No-TAR E-SCHOOL’ was considered; a ban on smoking within 10 kilometers of the grounds, and an emphasis on’ the ecology’, which today is a somewhat ‘whatevah’ grab-bag.

  5. Roadkill Spatula

    Any kid who grew up reading the KJV knows that a no-tare school is an all-wheat school, what we will have at the end of the age when God sends the angels to separate the wheat from the tares.

    I see you reacted against my analysis of your discourse style and moved the punchline to the front.

    1. solberg73 Post author

      I always heard ‘wheat-from-the-chaff’. And later, popularly, ‘sheep from the goats.
      And thanks for the meta-advice. Here the palindrome was so short viz the story that it madeth no sense to hide it near the final act. I do a sort of balancing act.


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