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Special Education Today newsletter 3(16)
Can you survive another version of the SET weekly drivel?
Howdy, dear readers. This issue has to be the 100-somethingth version of the newsletter for Special Education Today. I realize that sometimes I’ve capitalized the n in the word “newsletter” in the titles of them… and sometimes I haven’t. Aargh (as the pirates say). But, I’m not going back through all the titles and making them consistent. Nope. Not.
One day this past week, I took a deep dive beneath our kitchen sink. Its drain was stopped. I plunged and plunged on it, but to no avail. So I had to open the pipes and drain the stopped-up water; there was a lot—more than two buckets. Then I removed the pipes back to the wall and ran my (rarely used…hooray!) “snake” through into the pipes as far as I could get it, which was the better part of 1.5 meters. I managed to dislodge some detritus, but not enough. Once I reconnected the pipes, the drain was still not flowing any better than it had before I took everything apart (while banging my head on the cabinet sill a couple of times). My next approach, once I was pretty sure the pipes would not leak, was to dump gallons of boiling water down the drain. No immediate improvement, even with more plunging. So, I went to lie down for a few minutes.
When I got back to the sink, lo and behold, the thing was empty. Pat said she’d heard a noice and noticed steam coming out of the drain. I thought, “well, dang! I did all that work and then missed the big event.” Sure enough, the drain was open and the water was flowing readily through the pipes.
Success is counted sweetest By those who ne'er succeed. To comprehend a nectar Requires sorest need. —Emily Dickinson, "Success is Counted Sweetest" =-=-=-=-=-=- She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die; And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh, Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips: Ay, in the very temple of Delight Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine, Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine; His soul shalt taste the sadness of her might, And be among her cloudy trophies hung. —John Keats, "Ode on Melancholy"
Leaving aside the larger messages of those poems, I just note that my adventures with the local plumbing reminded me reminded me how, if one does not know what failure and sadness, there’s little way to experience success and joy. That plumbing accomplishment felt pretty joyous. I had experienced the comparison condition and that experience made the outcome a happy one—even if I wasn’t there to see the sink suddenly drain,
The past week’s posts
I won’t torture that point about joy and success by straining to find an analogy to the writing of SET posts. Instead, let me simply list the posts.
Special Education Today Newsletter 3(15): Has anyone kept up with all these posts?
"Sold a Story" received a Murrow award: Isn't it well-deserved and especially appropriate for "Dyslexia Month?"
School attendance problems: What's happening and what's to be done?
Halloween '23 #2: Decoration remnant: Whose relative is this?
People with disabilities and birding: Could those two topics come together here?
US data show decline in proportion of students with ID: Are we curing intellectual disabilities?
Comments & commentary
As I have mentioned previously, I hope that SET will grow into a place where people with diverse interests in special education and disabilities can learn about and discuss topics of interest. Every now and again, there’s a little flash of activity that makes me think that my hopes will be realized. So it has been with the post about the US ED data about the proportion of students identified as having intellectual disabilities. As of this writing three readers (none of whom is I or a bot that I have programmed) have dropped cogent and intriguing comments on that post. Thanks to them, the door is open for additional comments. I encourage folks to wade into the discussion!
Whether you, dear readers, do or do not join in the discussion, I hope you are well and happy. I also hope that you are keeping effective instruction as the focus of your efforts in special education.
John Wills Lloyd, Ph.D.
Editor and founder, Special Education Today
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