Another 'Mr. Happy'

I feel a real kinship with Theris Lee, the 78-year-old who smiles and waves to motorists while on his morning walks in Antioch (Times, Dec. 27). Maggie, my little dachshund/Yorkie mix (would that make her a 'dorkie?') and I have been walking/jogging up and down Reliez Valley Road in Lafayette at 6:30 a.m. six days a week for the past four years; I always happily smile and wave to every car that goes by. I figure this is a win, win, win, win -- I get good exercise, Maggie gets exercised, my happiness gets a boost and the drivers, seeing this silly old guy and his funny little dog smiling and waving, start their day with a smile.

Theris and I are both about the same age, as I'll be 80 in October. Since retiring from medicine in 1999, I've taught happiness at the Lafayette Senior Center.

Dr. Bob Nozik

Lafayette

Common Core harms our young people

Watching a video on Common Core, I became apprehensive and upset.

A young student speaking to his high school audience: " I miss learning history, our own American history, literature, the arts, sciences. I miss the interaction I had with my teachers who I loved like my family."

Another student struggling with Common Core skills exclaimed, "The stress of having to learn about software, upset him emotionally. I feel like a robot."


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A teacher told her students, "I love you, and I believe in you, but I can't teach this way."

She left.

So what is Common Core? An agenda dictated by the federal government to the states. Some states, for whatever reason, are not fighting it.

Its agenda: Self-directed learning, group thinking, engineering globalization, environmental extremism. Rather than focusing on factual learning and independent thinking, it is instead a one-size-fits-all curriculum. Christianity and Judaism take a back seat to a whitewashed Islam. Our American values are watered down.

I don't blame our young people for not accepting this agenda. They need all the support we can give them.

Selma Soss

Walnut Creek