Happy as a Clam

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A few comments on news items of note this week. Some serious, some less so.

In response to Dan Brown’s op-ed in today’s Boston Globe: I love it – just love it – when people who have been teaching all of a year or two feel emboldened to speak with authority about education policy. (I’m reminded of Boston’s old pal Rick Pitino, who had the gall to publish Born to Coach when he’d only been one for about five minutes. But more on him later.)

I also always appreciate it when people believe they speak for all teachers, as if teachers and their views of standardized testing and No Child Left Behind were one giant monolith. Psst, there are some of us – both current and former teachers alike – who believe accountability’s a good thing.

2) Speaking of Rick Pitino, whose tenure with the Celtics disclaimed the catchy title of his memoir, it’s good to have the Green back. They may not be Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish, but Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen appear, at least after one game, to be the next best thing.

3) From the too strange to be made up file – having on only 15 minutes notice called a press conference to which no one came, FEMA this week had staffers pose as reporters and lob softball questions at deputy chief Harvey Johnson. All for the sake of the cameras. I wonder what George Orwell would have made of this little incident.

4) And, finally, far from the Commonwealth and of no political importance whatsoever – but, nonetheless, the referent for my post’s title – marine biologists this week dredged up a 405 year old clam off the coast of Iceland. This as reported in The Week, which, if you aren’t familiar with it, is easily one of the best magazines on the market.

Think about it; the clam was born five years before Jamestown was founded.