As a student in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools with a sister in the Chinese Dual Language Program, I find the district’s recommendations for the program distressing (CHN, April 1, http://bit.ly/HdbXG1
). I have watched my sister go through the program at Glenwood Elementary School from kindergarten through fifth grade, and she was planning on continuing in the program in middle school.
For a long time, I have been jealous of the opportunities my sister has had in the Dual Language Program. She has had half a day immersed in Chinese for the past six years, and now has a high level of comprehension of the language. She is fairly fluent in Mandarin, and as I have gotten older, I have realized what a powerful thing that is. Since she began learning the language at a very young age, she has a wonderful accent. This ease of pronunciation is something that is more easily developed at an earlier age, when children are able to mimic intonation very well. Being fluent in any language is important in our diverse world, but Chinese will be especially useful as China continues to grow as a world power. My sister will have many opportunities for colleges and careers later on in her life due to her fluency.
However, if the Chinese program is phased out, she may not be able to continue her study of the language. Many of the opportunities she could have had may be lost. And other children will lose the chance to have this wonderful cultural and linguistic experience that will benefit them in later life. Speaking as someone who would have loved to be in the program, I am highly disappointed by the plans for the Chinese Dual Language Program.Simone Speizer Smith Middle SchoolKeep Chinese II
I am writing as the concerned grandparent of a child currently enrolled in the Chinese Dual Language program at Glenwood Elementary. My daughter has told us that this program is being considered for elimination, and I want to express my concern.
I work at the US Patent and Trademark Office, and I encounter, on a daily basis, contentious issues of intellectual property involving the People’s Republic of China. It is challenging, at best, to negotiate these conflicts, and I often wish that I had a better linguistic and cultural foundation in Chinese from which to argue our position.
When my grandson was accepted into CHCCS’ Mandarin program I was thrilled at the opportunity this offered. This is exactly the kind of program that our schools need to be offering if we are to remain competitive in the future. China has been the No. 1 on-English-speaking trading partner for years. Educating our children proactively to be able to interact with confidence and understanding of the next rising superpower is an obvious, definite benefit, whether that was the original intent of the Dual Language Program or not.
I am speaking only as a private citizen, albeit one with some insight into international issues by virtue of my occupation. We have to be expansive in educating our children, if we are to compete and excel in the global marketplace, and the Dual Language Program is exactly the kind of approach we should be taking.
I urge the CHCCS board to very closely examine the costs of the Mandarin program, versus the prospective benefits (potentially establishing CH/Carborro as a culturally-friendly place to do business, an international reputation, etc.).
In closing, I simply want to state that I feel it would be very shortsighted to eliminate the Mandarin immersion program.Dan Lindsey Chapel Hill Not the answer
Yes, we all understand that drivers can be distracted while using their cell phones.
Banning usage of cells while driving is not the answer. Even the exceptions offered makes it incumbent upon the driver to prove his innocence rather than on the state to prove his guilt. I find that objectionable and un-American.
Everyone on the Town Council has been around long enough to know that most drivers view a $25 ticket as a nuisance but not a reason to alter behavior. From what I have been able to discover, the penalty for running a red light is $75, and that has certainly not kept anyone from running a red light. No penalty is appropriate if it has no value as a deterrent.
This proposal will require potentially expensive educational campaigns every single year as new freshmen enroll at UNC. And the town and the university host a number of events throughout the year which draw guests from all over the country, not counting the UNC football and basketball games or the regional high school sporting events that take place on the grounds of the university. There are summer camp programs that draw parent drivers from many neighboring states. All of these people will come to town unaware of this ordinance. They will be caught unawares and end up resentful of the town.
This ordinance is well intentioned but inappropriate at this time. Unless the town can institute an ordinance creating an automatic fine for those who cause an accident while on the phone (or changing a CD, or eating, putting on lip stick, reading, or as I saw once many years ago, eating soup with a spoon from a bowl ... I kid you not.) and can make that fine large enough to really make drivers take notice, say $5,000, it is best to let it go for the time being. I understand that loss of life has resulted from cell-phone caused accidents, and I do not make light of this – as a parent who lost a child, I never want anyone to suffer grief. But this proposal will not solve the problem and will, ultimately, cause a loss of reputation for the town.Vicki Boyer CarrboroWaste of time, money
Let’s get this straight – if I am talking to my wife on my cell phone while driving the police will let it go, but if I am talking to my sister, then I get a ticket? That makes a lot of sense. I’m sure this will make our streets a lot safer.
Pass a real ordinance, petition the state, or throw your hands up, but don’t waste our time and money on ridiculous endeavors like this one.Hans Weber Chapel Hill Roundball elegy
What is it about this game
that each year brings us back
back to this place
back to the edge of our seats
back to “Hark the Sound”
Is it the whap of leather against
hardwood or the ping
of ball against rim,
the swish of the net?
Is it the boisterous bands
or the special shade of blue?
It is these things, but more
it’s the Michaels and the Jameses
the Walters. It’s the Tylers and
the Tys and the Johns,
the Harrisons, Kendalls and Reggies
and the Stillmans making us proud.Joan White Chapel Hill
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