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Leftovers

July 6, 2011
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

Everybody knows leftovers for lots of us, they are a diet staple. For some, a curse. For others, a way to fill a refrigerator and job security for cleaning out said refrigerator.

Actually, I'm not writing about food (surprise) it's just that I found a few things in a folder that I'd run across at one time or another and thought might make good column fodder.

Let's take on the Internet first you realize that the Internet, as we know it, began back in 1977 as a project funded by the Defense Department. The idea was to create a way to transmit messages and information over a world-wide network.

At that time, the group developing the project, had to take a guess at just how many Internet addresses would be needed for this little experiment. The whiz kids thought about it, and pulled the number of 4.3 billion out of a hat. Supposedly, each address represents a device connected to the Internet.

Very soon, in the next few months, those addresses will be all used up 34 years after the creation of this thing we both love and curse at the same time The Internet.

So what happens next? Well, the whiz kids are now working on a new protocol, and for the sake of burying this in technical doody, suffice it to say all will turn out well. Just keep on "dot com-ing and you'll probably never notice the difference.

The second course: A proposal was floated earlier this Spring about changing up the school year.

Currently, Iowa kids must attend school for a minimum of 180 days per school year. One educational consultant is suggesting changing that requirement of 1,170 hours of instruction by a certified teacher between July 1 and June 30 of each school year.

The idea behind switching to hours of instruction revolves around a 6 and a half hour school day that would not count lunch hour or recess time only actual classroom time.

What brings this up? Simple Mother Nature. Every winter, schools all over the state end up dismissing classes early due to storms, or start school late due to road conditions, and on those partial days, a whole day is counted towards the 180 day total, when actually, kids may be in school less than five and a half hours, which is considered a full day.

But wait! There's a second reason why this hourly idea is being touted. Right now, districts may apply to the state to start classes before September 1 each year, so that they can finish their 180 days by the end of May. Most times, doing that puts students into buildings that are not air conditioned, and as we all know, with this global warming everyone mentions, the last couple of weeks of August can be a real bear in terms of humidity and temperature.

By going with the hourly school year, the early start dates may just wither away and die, which would actually be supported by state officials, who cite tourism concerns as a reason they dislike early starting dates for school.

Anyhow, supporters of the hourly school year idea claim that going to an hourly format will ensure that each student receives the full amount of educational hours and experience that they are entitled to receive.

So, I've emptied out the refrigerator for nowI'll see how long I can hold on to a couple slices of leftover pizza and a hamburger before they either (A) grow fur on them or (B) get up and break out of the refrigerator on their own.

 
 
 

 

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