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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
  • Sharing conspiracy theories on Main Having traversed the village a number of times now, we have come to the conclusion that there is very little reason to mention the current crop of potholes. It seems they are quite able to speak for themselves. In fact, they seem to do so loud and clear.

    April 10, 2014

  • Recovering with family and friends We must say we were somewhat overwhelmed by the telephone calls and emails that we received regarding last week's column. From what we were told it greatly brightened the day for a number of people. In fact, several of our callers told us they were going to cut it out and send it to friends around the country. And just as the column brightened the day for a number of our readers, their responses absolutely made our day. In fact, we are tempted to think it made not only our day, but our week, our month and perhaps even our year.

    April 3, 2014

  • Back to the present Much as we have enjoyed our recent trip through the archives of 1984, we fear we must return to 2014. If nothing else, we were reminded during our journey that the column today is not the column of 1984. But then, we suspect the greater Cooperstown community today is not the community of 1984. And while it is nice to reminisce about yesteryear, it is also important to recognize where we are today. And when we do that, we tend to focus on the one thing that has always made this column seem to work, namely the input of our readers.

    March 27, 2014

  • '84 carnival didn't go as planned This week we begin with one more of our favorite column items from 1984 concerning Winter Carnival which didn't go exactly as planned. We wrote:

    March 20, 2014

  • DAR column sends us down memory lane Of all the scripts we found in our cleaning of the basement, the one that intrigued us the most is one that we had completely forgotten we had written. It was done for a program we presented quite a while ago at a meeting of the Cooperstown DAR. As we recall, Lona Smith had asked us to talk about our experiences with writing this column. And since that could be a rather lengthy presentation, we decided to limit ourselves to talking about our first year of writing the column.

    March 13, 2014

  • Remembering a CCS vote that failed| We note that the next meeting of the Literary Discussion Group, sponsored by the Women's Club of Cooperstown, will be held on Thursday, March 27 at 2:30 p.m. at the Village of Cooperstown Library. Jane Anne Russell will lead a discussion on the book "North to the Orient" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The meeting is open to the public.

    March 6, 2014

  • Cookies make a better valentine than MRI We had originally thought that our entire Valentine's Day celebration would be a trip to Bassett healthcare to get a MRI of our lower back. Thus we were most pleasantly surprised when a friend dropped in on us with a bag of heart shaped, frosted sugar cookies for us.

    February 27, 2014

  • Swing and a miss on PumpkinFest We must admit that we are probably not as caught up in sports as some people are.

    February 20, 2014

  • Keeping busy as winter creeps From all that we hear, any number of people are sick of the winter weather. And, given what it has been, it is not difficult to understand why, especially if one is not particularly taken by winter weather in the first place. However, we do suspect that, unlike some years, the weather worked out well for Cooperstown's annual Winter Carnival. We must admit that we have not participated in the Winter Carnival for a number of years for the simple fact that it is held in the winter. And we are simply not devotees of the winter. But, should the decision ever be made, which we find highly unlikely, to hold the Winter Carnival in the spring or the fall, we might be more inclined to participate

    February 13, 2014

  • Looking around into this and that This past week seems to have offered all sorts of information which might well give one pause.

    February 6, 2014