Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

In These Otsego Hills

January 16, 2014

Catching up with education

We read with some interest the recent article in The Daily Star regarding the demise of the GED in NYS. We were some relieved when we discovered, upon reading beyond the headline, that the GED was being replaced with a new high school equivalency test called the Test Assessment Secondary Completion or TASC. 

Now we must admit that we really knew little, if anything, about questions asked for the GED. But now, with all the changes in the focus of education associated with the Common Core curriculum, we were curious about the new testing system. And thus we went online to see what we might discover.

Much to our delight we found, on the TASC website, www.tascteat.com, sample questions for the testing program. We discovered the test seems to be divided into five sections, mathematics, science, social studies, reading and writing. Since it was listed first, we dove directly into the section on mathematics.

 The first question read: “When a spherical balloon is filled with air, it has a diameter of 6 inches. Which of the following gives the best estimate for the volume of air in the balloon in cubic inches? A. 63.6 B. 108.0 C. 113.1 D. 150.8”

Now we suspect, if one knows the formula for finding the volume of the sphere, this is not a particularly difficult question. We also suspect that at some point in our life, perhaps even in high school, we knew the formula for finding the volume of a sphere. However, since graduating from high school close to 50 years ago, we must confess that we have never encountered the need to compute the volume of a sphere. Of course, we cannot speak for anyone else’s need to calculate the volume of a sphere as our lifetime experience with the problem may be unique. For all we know, others have been figuring the volume of spheres on a regular basis. And since it is the first sample question given we can but conclude it is an important exercise for today’s students.

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In These Otsego Hills
  • Reflecting on the noon whistle Over the years we have been taken to task by readers who do not agree with our thinking. And we have never thought that to be a problem. Opinions differ and it is always good to hear all points of view on an issue. However, for what we think is perhaps the first time, we have been taken to task by a complaint that while we had taken what was an obviously unpopular position on buses within the village, we had been negligent in commenting on another issue, namely the noon whistle. In the writer’s opinion, the current issue, which we now think we understand to be the elimination of heavy traffic on residential streets, is just like the issue of the noon whistle.

    August 14, 2014

  • Summer heading toward destination We were pleased to learn that general reaction to the Hall of Fame Induction Weekend was most positive. From what we read in newspaper reports as well as what we heard from people who attended various events, the crowds really enjoyed themselves. The parade on Saturday got rave reviews from everybody who talked with us about it. Plus, in spite of what we thought when the rain hit Sunday morning, the weather overall seemed to be cooperative. And we gather that the merchants were pleased with the weekend. So we have to think it is probably safe to say it was a win-win for everyone who partook of the weekend's activities.

    August 7, 2014

  • Bringing up a matter of poetic license Since we seem to spend time each week both reading and writing, we have always found the English language interesting to say the least. It seems that it always follows the rules until it doesn't follow the rules. Thus we found Jim Atwell's column "From word to phrase to sentence," which appeared in last week's paper, to be most delightful. But more importantly, it gives us something about which to write this week.

    July 31, 2014

  • Visitings with the Widge, Mare Bear This past week we found ourselves enjoying a delightful visit from the Ohio Ellsworths. And while our daughter-in-law Annie had to attend a conference at Hamilton College during part of the visit here, we greatly enjoyed our time with them. We were, of course, quite surprised to realize how much the granddaughters, The Widge and Mare Bear, had grown since we last saw them at Christmas. Obviously, their parents had not put bricks on their heads to retard their growth.

    July 24, 2014

  • Thoughts on traffic and roads We recently enjoyed a brief visit from Jon Battle, one of our late husband's college buddies, who always enjoys visiting Cooperstown and passing howdy on the front porch. And while the front porch is not as welcoming as it used to be since there are no chairs on it, we were able to pass howdy from the comfort of our family room. And during the many subjects that we covered in our conversation, the topic of potholes came up.

    July 17, 2014

  • Potholes and oversights bring bumps We have received a number of comments regarding our discussion on potholes in last week’s column. And most of them were in agreement that the potholes are indeed a problem.

    July 10, 2014

  • Potholes need place on village agenda We have long thought that the concepts of perspective and priorities have the ability to present problems for people. As we are inclined to say, getting one's ducks all in a row is often difficult. And as we have learned about issues currently under consideration by the Village of Coopertown it does make us wonder about their ducks.

    July 3, 2014

  • Summer unofficially begins with ice cream Although summer officially arrived this past weekend, we have long thought that the kick off event for the summer season in Cooperstown is the annual Ice Cream Social sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church on Pioneer Street.

    June 26, 2014

  • Splitting logs gives splitting headache We are happy to report that Woodside Hall is continuing with its presentation of programs which are open to the public. This evening at 6:30 p.m., they are hosting Glimmerglass Festival designers Troy Hourie and Erik Teague who will discuss their role in the company's summer production of Strauss' opera, "Ariadne in Naxos: Unplugged."

    June 19, 2014

  • Summer right for driving in the streets We have realized, having consulted our trusty calendar, that next Sunday is Father's Day. And thus this past weekend we were online looking for an appropriate printable Father's Day greeting card which we might send to the wee-we. Since we have been somewhat housebound this year, we have discovered the convenience of printable holiday cards. We used them rather successfully, we thought, when we sent them to the granddaughters for both Valentine's Day and Easter.

    June 12, 2014