Pour water into a glass until there is as much glass above the water line as below. An optimist tells you it's half full. A pessimist says, "Half empty." Only the engineer gets it right: "This glass is improperly sized."
There's a lesson here for the management of our expectations.
Back in 1996, the library district planned to build a (roughly) 40,000 square foot building in Highlands Ranch by the year 2000. But based on financial projections, we thought we'd only be able to "finish" 20,000 to 30,000 square feet of it.
I hate to admit this so soon after Washington's birthday, but I've decided that I cannot tell the truth.
It started when I got three "survey" phone calls in two days. The first was at work. Someone was calling to ask for the name of the person who orders our computer supplies. It wasn't a sales call, he explained. He was just updating his company's database.
Recently I spent most of an afternoon sitting in a Colorado House Committee hearing.
I get irritated by the assertion of some schools that their job is to teach kids how to think. I'm quite certain that I was thinking before I attended school. The real surprise is that even after almost 2 decades of schooling, I can STILL muster a thought, if I work at it.
But the purpose of this week's column isn't to say what America's schools should or should not be doing. It's to focus on just four things YOU can do to help your kids grow up literate.