Re: More collective wisdom.....3 questions
Cheryl Singhal (csinghal@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Tue, 15 Oct 1996 16:06:57 -0400
On Tue, 15 Oct 1996, Rick Neff wrote:
> At 12:42 PM 10/11/96 -0400, you wrote:
> >On Thu, 10 Oct 1996, Ned Jacklin wrote:
> >> On an Eagle application, (and merit badges with writing requirements)
> >> how picky should I be getting about grammar, spelling, penmanship, and
> >> so on? I realize these things are all very important in life, and you
> >> can see from my posts that I can write and spell. I don't really
> >> think I should be rejecting Scouts' work as though I'm their high
> >> school English teacher. I've only reviewed one Eagle application so
> >> far, and made suggestions on how to improve it and the cover letter to
> >> the District Advancement Chairman. I did not require it to be perfect
> >> before sending it on.
> >( Cheryl Singhal wrote:
> >It seems to me that if a boy is trying to earn Eagle, we have a right to
> >expect coherence and literacy. Perhaps not perfection (hey, you wouldn't
> >believe the kinds of errors a grammarian can find in any paragraph!), but
> >subject-verb agreements, correct usage of pronouns, vocabulary with at
> >least two alternatives to "said", and the ability to know when to use
> >here or hear should certainly be evident in what will become an archival
> >The Scout should be made aware (painfully, if necessary) that throughout
> >life he will be judged on his writing, spelling, and penmanship. It is
> >undeniably unfair, but equally true, that ALL of us have a bias toward
> >the memo that is legible, concise, and clear. If necessary, you might
> >pass the Scout a note in a fair approximation of his own handwriting and
> >style. They fairly quickly see the point.
> I see a problem with Cheryl's policy or interpretation of requirement.
> The individual scouts age and ability needs to be taken into account
> when determining if an Eagle project is big enough, or if the scouts written
> material is acceptable. Is the scout doing his best? A 13 year old "B"
> student, 15 year old "C" student, and a 17 year old "A" student have
> different ability levels. Expecting college level writing from Junior High
> boys is not correct in most cases.
I am not accustomed to Jr. High boys becoming Eagles. In the troops I'm
most familiar with 15 to 18 is the norm. If these boys are headed off to
college applications and job applications (and the interviews that go
with both) coherency and literacy are essential.
With even elementary school kids doing their homework with computerized
word processing, using spell-checkers and grammar-checkers, it shouldn't
be impossible for a Jr. High student to do likewise. (Again, this may be
influenced by my locale, but I know small schools in a rural county in WV
where they have computers for the students to use for homework.)
> Encouraging the boys to push to limits of their ability is fair
> Expecting them to do their best,and convincing them to accept nothing less
> from themselves is proper. A relatively neat, and coherent report is a
> reasonable expectation. If the boy needs help to achieve that, then advice
> or help should be given.
Then I don't see exactly where we disagree.
> For example: My troop has an Eagle candidate who is mentally handicapped.
> We have received permission for him to do his "write up" orally on video tape
No problem with me.
> I have also witnessed scouts suffer a half dozen re-writes at the
> direction of over critical college professor scout leaders.
It is no favor to the Scout to allow him to believe too firmly in "Good
Enough for Who It's For." While that attitude is suitable for the daily
reports many of you must make, it is distinctly --IMHO-- less so for
once-in-a-lifetime occasions, such as the Eagle Project booklet. Don't
denigrate his achievement by allowing him to believe it doesn't merit his
best efforts at composition.
> ps. As some can see. I am grammatically "challenged". If you can,
You shudda seen what the grammar checker did with a recent article of
mine! <G> It wasn't pretty, I can assure you!
|firstname.lastname@example.org * "You are my son. It was not*
*email@example.com * an effort." Sarek, ST-IV |
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City