Friday, September 23, 2011

The Czech is in the Male: And other mispellings

A recent Associated Press article indicated that red ink is "out" with parents and educators concerned that papers corrected in red ink causes undue stress in children.  Well, each of us in Generation X and Y should sue our respective school districts for the trauma we experienced when we received our papers back from our teachers over the years!! (sarcasm)

Leatrice Eiseman, a color specialist with a background in psychology who has written several books on the ties between colors and communication says that “The human eye is notoriously fickle and is always searching for something new to look at it,” she said. “If you use a color that has long been used in a traditional way, you can lose people’s attention, especially if they have a history of a lot of red marks on their papers.”  The article continues by saying that purple may be rising in popularity because teachers know it is a mix of blue and red. As she put it: “You still have that element of the danger aspect — the red — but it’s kind of subtle, subliminal. It’s in the color, rather than being in your face.”  I say "Hmmm."

Traditionalists are condemning these new anti-red pen policies sweeping classrooms as "absolutely barmy", "politically correct" and "trendy". Rather they insist that red ink makes it easier for children to spot errors and ultimately improve.  Teachers in Queensland Australia warn that red ink can actually lead to psychological damage and have been banning red since 2008.  Some schools in Britain and the US are also pitching out the red for hot pink, green and "more fun colors."

Crofton Junior School in Orpington, Kent has adopted a "Marking Code of Practice" for their pupils who are aged 7 to 11 years old.  "Work is generally marked in pen - not red - but on occasion it may be appropriate to indicate errors in pencil so that they may be corrected. Teachers must be sensitive about writing directly onto pupils' final work."

"Red pen can be quite de-motivating for children," said Head teacher Richard Sammonds.  "It has negative, old school connotations of 'See me' and 'Not good enough'.

Well, by contrast  I've opened myself up for tons of psychological damage as I just submitted some of my ramblings for editing--the base of either a newspaper opinion-editorial or a magazine.    I have been collecting stories from some wonderful people and for awhile now have been compiling then into a book I'm calling "Creative Peacemakers: Noble Ventures in Community Healing" that will profile some of the wonderful people who have nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize over the years, and some that have won.  Their stories of extraordinary boldness and their very creative variety of peacekeeping methods is worthy of documentation. Hopefully the reader will be inspired by stories of everyday people who created enough hope to curb violence and the tools that made it possible.

Today I received the ISBN number, the Library of Congress Number and the bar code that goes on the back side of the cover. I know -- can you feel our excitement all the way from Minnesota?!  :-)  And now I wait for the infamous red pen from some loving editors who are graciously helping to ensure I am using well grammar (ha!) and gude spelling (ha ha!) as they clarifying the things I thought were already clear and keep me from run-on sentences that never end or stop and get readduclously readunant.  I'm so thankful for true friends who love me enough to tell me the truth (which is much more compassionate than simply giving me "ear candy"). 

Although the book is still far from being ready for distribution, it simply feels good to be telling these wonderful stories and getting closer to the day that students will have a resource that highlights these great role models. Thanks for sharing my joy in getting things sent off for editing and achieving some milestones along the way today.  And I must publicly say thanks to my unofficial editor --Mom-- who has been reading my stuff since Kindergarten.  (The Czech is in the male, Mom!)