Questions, comments or concerns

You’ve been to a professional or team or school meeting at least once in your life, I imagine. At one such meeting, you’ve probably been presented with an opportunity to share any “questions, comments or concerns” about the materials covered or the topics shared. 

If you’re anything like me, you might have saved your questions, comments or concerns because you’d already exhausted your ability to sit still and now need to move on to the next of your life’s activities.* Instead of posing your question, making a comment or sharing your concern, you might have filed it away for another day as you held your breath and hoped that the one person who always delayed the adjournment of a meeting, because they lacked the same level of containment, didn’t raise their hand. 

My own vague, personal “questions, comments or concerns” have morphed recently into a more serious “questions and comments and concerns” situation. As I took a moment yesterday, post-brunch on the deck, to enjoy the sun on my back and the gorgeous breeze on my face, it felt like the right time to gather and express some of the questions, comments and concerns I’m having these days. 

I’m deeply concerned about the gun violence, particularly in public places like schools, grocery stores, churches, hospitals, synagogues and subway stations. How many more innocent people will be executed in their classrooms and places of worship before we, as a country, say enough? Last week multiple local school districts had their schedules impeded because of safety concerns. Literally, thousands of students, faculty, staff and their families had their days interrupted due to the threat of violence.

This is not normal. 

This doesn’t happen in other countries.

Are you concerned about gun violence?

I’m also worried about today’s kids and how to help them to foster connections during a time which has demanded so much isolation. While I haven’t done research or read much about this topic, I’ve been in education for 27 years and a parent every single day for the last 25 years. Let’s just say, I’ve got some experience working with kids.

The students I work with have never experienced a “normal” year of middle school. While I’m a big believer in developing resistance and students adapting to changing circumstances, these are times when I believe young people are responding to the world’s instabilities by cultivating their own insecurities, instead of building upon their strengths. 

I think what they really need is a sense of safety, community and connection. That’s my opinion, at least. I wish the Covid pandemic had disabled the internet, instead of people’s respiratory systems. Rather than work remotely in isolation, people would have been forced to be outside, together, communicating face to face. 

Do you have young people in your life?

How are they doing? 

A much more minor issue I have is completely local. There are a couple of roads from the suburbs into Albany that have weird and incongruous speed limits.  The first is 9W between Glenmont (north of Cumberland Farms basically) and Albany. The speed limit, as you’re driving down a decent hill, drops from 45 to 30 mph.

No one, other than me, drives 30 mph on that road. Why make a difficult to adhere speed limit that everyone ultimately ignores and then not enforce it? It seems dumb. 

It’s a similar situation driving the Delmar Bypass between New Scotland Ave and Kenwood. The speed limit there was previously 55, but has been 45 mph for a couple of years now. 

No one, other than me, drives 45 mph on that road. On both of the roads, I feel vaguely menaced by the cars riding my ass as I attempt to adhere to the speed limit. 

I don’t exceed the speed limit, other than when driving on a highway. Communities, to me, should be about pedestrians, not cars.  I suppose that’s why I have been passed, while I’m driving the speed limit, on both Whitehall Road and Delaware Avenue.

Can we better align speed limits and enforcement?

Perhaps we share some of the same questions and concerns. Or, maybe you’d care to divulge your own? Leave a comment. 🙂

*Especially, these days when the activities are so very pleasant. 

3 thoughts on “Questions, comments or concerns

  1. Concerned about gun violence? How can anyone say no??? Do I think that 18 year olds should be allowed to buy guns…um nope. Do I think that there is a reason that even a law abiding, responsible person who wants to buy a gun should be able to buy assault style weapons (AR-15 etc), – nope, there is no reason that type of gun is needed for hunting, personal protection etc. I don’t allow guns in my home, nor do I ever want to fire one unless I was in imminent danger and there was no other alternative. It’s time to stop all this craziness….

    On a whole other subject that is bugging me this week….why do people invite me to speak at a meeting without checking my calendar to see if I’m free at that time? The same person scheduled and rescheduled when I was either busy or out of office.

    Oh and last rant for today….how embarrassing is this article I saw on the TU??? An error on the Science 8 state test was not discovered until the test began Monday. Students had multiple choice answers labeled A through D, but answer sheet bubbles were labeled 1 through 4.

    1. I’m not surprised we’re in accord about common sense gun legislation. It’s insane in this country when it comes to gun ownership being more of a right than the personal safety of the population in public spaces. Your two other points also land with me! How ridiculous that no one in State Ed noticed the discrepancy. Just shaking my head here…

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