All but a half school-day stand before us and winter break, which represent the last few hours of the 2020 school year. Remember school and life before 11 March 2020? Difficult to believe that this painful ordeal began only 10-months ago?
During a recent drive to school, a song came on the radio and one of my daughters asked to change the station because it reminded her of March, and the feelings elicited were intense enough to warrant a change of song.
For my daughter, the song was a reminder of the pandemic's beginning, a reminder about as gentile as winter in Fairbanks, Alaska. What a stark juxtaposition between our daily life and the look and feel of school before the onset of COVID-19 and now.
Thankfully, there is light emerging from afar. The arrival of a vaccine is the best holiday gift I can imagine. Operation Warp Speed is a public-private partnership initiated by the U.S. government to facilitate and accelerate the development of COVID-19 vaccines.
The announcement of this project promised deliverables by January 2021. Considering the quickest vaccine to market was for the mumps, which required four years, it was natural for people to be skeptical, and count me among the skeptics. The welcome news of a vaccine is a win for science. Further proof that humanity is particularly adept at solving difficult problems threatening our species.
The CCHS COVID Task Force met for the first time in May. A fantastic group who worked diligently to help create the conditions for a safe return to in-person learning. Further, this group remained committed to salvaging extracurriculars in some form of fashion. As we near break, I want to thank them again for their efforts and the Superintendent and the entire team members of CPS and CCHS. A team effort made it possible, and never has the adage "it takes a village...." proven to be more appropriate at characterizing the team effort of the community, students, staff, etc. to make this work.
During the summer months of planning, it is doubtful you could convince even the most ardent optimists to commit to a wager of in-person learning in December 2020, but we remain open and it is a testament to all involved.
In closing, I tend to speak incessantly about a book I am reading or a podcast I am enjoying, so at the expense of an eye roll of those closest to me, I offer a few suggestions. This is but one of my annoying qualities, and much to the chagrin of those closest to me, I possess annoying qualities in lavish measure.
Malcolm Gladwell's Obscure Virus Club highlights humanity's temptation to point to a singular event or individual to celebrate monumental achievements, but it is often the small contributions of many individuals compounding over time.
People I (Mostly) Admire is the newest podcast from the Freakonomics Radio Network. Moncef Slaoui: “It’s Unfortunate That It Takes a Crisis for This to Happen”
"Born in Morocco and raised mostly by a single mother, Moncef Slaoui is now one of the world’s most influential scientists. As the head of Operation Warp Speed — the U.S. government’s Covid-19 vaccine program — Slaoui has overseen the development and distribution of a new vaccine at a pace once deemed impossible."
For anyone interested, I am reading Ben Macintyre's Agent Sonya. (cue the eye roll) I have read all his books, and they are fantastic. One point of clarification, by read I mean consume a few pages before falling asleep.
I wish everyone a happy, healthy, and safe winter break. It is a homework free break for all students and staff, so please take the time to rest, relax, reflect, and be grateful. Please read on for an important announcement for seniors, and some work from an amazing, multi-talented student, Dallas Jackson. The assignment was for one of Mr. Chris Gauthier's classes. His abilities and past achievements are exceptional, and I know he is quite proud of Dallas.
Michael J. Mastrullo, Principal
A Message From the Chair of Guidance, Dr. Alison Nowicki
Can you believe that we are almost to January?? I'm sure everyone is looking forward to some rest and relaxation over the vacation week! That being said, there are some upcoming college deadlines that will happen over break. Please make sure to check your SCOIR Applying list to make sure that it is accurate and that each college you want to apply to has been acknowledged. If the college is not listed there, or if it is not acknowledged, your materials will not be sent.
Remember - there are two steps you need to take: 1) Add a college to the Applying list, and 2) complete a transcript request form for each college. Once both of those steps have been taken, you will be all set.
Please make sure to look everything over tonight! We will not be sending materials after the end of the day tomorrow for those early January deadlines. Thanks so much for your help! You are almost there!!
This assignment is designed to get to start thinking about your McDonalization project.
In your proposal please do the following:
1. Describe what you are going to focus on and how you are going to apply Ritzer's theory (in other words, what points are you planning to make about your chosen subject?)
2. Describe how you are going to create your project (see the project description below for ideas)
In the tradition of great sociologists, George Ritzer’s notion of “McDonaldization” calls into question the assumption that efficiency and uniformity for profit is progress. Ritzer sees a McDonaldized world as a place where relations between people break apart and creativity is destroyed. This may be gloomy, but we should credit Ritzer for neatly summarizing the down side of something many of us take for granted and questioning something that many of us believe we have to accept.
Ritzer's article was written in 1993 and a lot has changed since then--your job is to update it. In the spirit of Ritzer, this assignment attempts to give you the creativity to express that you have learned and can update his theory in whatever way makes sense to you. In other words, human creativity and expression is encouraged. You can either write the paper described below or you can show that you have learned the material in another way (music, art, dance, graphic design etc.).
If you write the paper, please make it at least three pages. If you opt for a different expression please make sure to include a written description of what you have done.
Please address one of the following (or one of your own):
1. How the Internet is leading to the McDonaldization of art: consider music, visual art, writing, film etc.
2. How the cell phone has McDonaldized our lives.
3. How Facebook, Instagram or other social media has McDonaldized our lives.
4. The McDonaldization of Concord Carlisle High School (in other words are there things that we do for the sake of efficiency that get in the way of your learning or dehumanize students and teachers?).