SOL18: Assisting a Local Journalist: Future Story About Coping with Obstacles to Success Faced by Locals

I received a Facebook message from our star local newspaper’s photojournalist that she was in the process of co-authoring an article about obstacles to success faced by locals: poverty, medical/mental disabilities, incarceration, and lack of housing. I was flattered that she wanted my input; she’s been a favorite acquaintance and neighbor for a few years. You’ll notice that I added “coping” to this article.

I’m a former teacher who is disabled with COPD and asthma. To get on SSDI, I went for tests at a local hospital–East Texas Medical Center. Later I got on Medicare and became connected with the East Texas Council for independent Living (ETCIL) and entered a nursing home for eight months. I got two overdue surgeries while I was there. However, I couldn’t get discharged until I got on Medicaid and was turned down the first time. So I went to the Records Department of ETMC and got a complete list of my Emergency Room visits for the previous four years. Most of y’all have probably heard that Texas is the largest state not to have Medicaid expansion. It’s so wonderful to have Cigna health care. I get maintenance medicine, have a pulmonologist and a G.P. that are really great and nice, and discovered what else was wrong with me health-wise. I study my Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome and have a binder and a couple of folders on the illness; some articles are by me on my Word Press.

I mentioned that I went to the City of Tyler Neighborhood Services to get an apartment rental discount through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The local center for independent living relocation specialist facilitated the process. Later when I moved across town, I did it all myself. Before I got on Meals on Wheels and SNAP Food Stamps, I went to a couple of local food pantries once per month.

Besides specifically telling her to call Neighborhood Services and ETCIL, I told her about my main volunteer activity: East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN). We have five committees: Education, Employment, Healthcare, Housing, & Transportation. Transportation is my main focus because I ride the bus regularly, as I quit driving several years ago. I’ve arranged field trips with lunch for all five lines. We went to both shopping centers, two grocery stores, and Neighborhood Services. I also attend Education and Healthcare committee meetings.If more people rode the bus, we’d have less traffic, pollution, and more bus routes.

Just between us for now, I’ve really been trying to advertise the importance of finding a match between personality and college major choice/vocation. The local university wants to improve its graduation rate, so I sent my article on the topic to a couple of friends who work there. Furthermore, career counseling centers should advertise the free online Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) instruments.

To conclude for now, I told the photojournalist that I may not make much money, but I don’t spend much either. Just because one may be a retired teacher (prematurely, in my case), a teacher never quits teaching.


SOL18: Recent Highlights: Supporting the Dreamers, Pulmonologist Visit Followed by Long Walk, and Reaction to Resilience Talk, by JD Meyer

After writing a lengthy description of the first part of the Transportation Works Conference in Waco on Thursday, March 1st, I’ve missed doing blogs since then.

This afternoon, I went to a DACA Dreamers event downtown and held up a beautiful sign for the cause that had a picture of a big butterfly. Apparently, butterflies are symbols for the cause since they don’t have to worry about national boundaries. I’d gone shopping at La Michoacana on my way there, and bought two jars of pickled nopalitos (cactus), spicy tamarind candy, granola, and more. A photographer took a picture of my groceries and outfit—a red T-shirt with a Maya pyramid, a cap with a flag of Mexico, and a long-sleeved shirt with a Mexican design. She talked into her fancy cell phone too. Watch for me on a Mexican TV station! I met the principal of one of one of Tyler’s two high schools at the event–quite a pleasant surprise.

Yesterday, I read and commented on three SOL blogs. One was about how multicultural education is needed to reflect the composition of your class. Another was a response to the prompt, “If you really knew me, then…” The other was about a mom taking care of her baby.

Earlier that day, I got a pulmonology exam and showed improvement since October. Since I moved in February and started going to three committee meetings instead of one for my favorite non-profit, I’ve missed pulmonology rehabilitation meetings, so I was told to go get a new evaluation. Not only had I improved in the past four or five months, but I’m better than when I first started going to a pulmonologist in 2012! I brought a backpack full of folders and binders on my research of asthma and COPD: original articles, journal articles, drug descriptions, and illness descriptions from the hospital emergency room.

Ironically, I missed my bus transfer on the way home, so I took a less direct bus (straight south) and walked several blocks to the southeast in one hour and 12 minutes! I finally used a $25 gift card to buy a book at a store on the way—something on urban studies. Aren’t we supposed to be vague and not try to sell the book nor the store? On my walk, I found some artificial flowers too—white, yellow, and red. I wash out fancy beverage cans and convert them into industrial art vases.

I heard a fine talk on resilience on Sunday at church. References were made to plants by the speaker, a biology professor. That got me thinking about the concept. Resilience is the opposite of being fragile or showing withdrawn shame and a lack of assertiveness. I feel more resilient since my move across town.

SOL18: Report on TX SILC Transportation Works Summit to ETHNN Transportation Cmte, Part 1 by JD Meyer

I attended the 2nd annual Transportation Works Summit in Waco, TX “Collaboration & Connectivity” on Thursday, January 25 through Friday, January 26th in Waco. Last year’s conference was in Austin, and the theme was “Identifying & Removing Barriers through Innovation.” Major topics included city transit, paratransit, Uber and Lyft, violation of parking for the handicapped, and sidewalk concerns. If there was less dependence on cars, there would be increased efficiency and safety because there would be fewer cars on the road.

The first speakers were from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. Their topic was “Emerging Issues & Advances in Accessible Transportation.” Low-vision people can be helped through Smart Cane Assistive Navigation (SCAN). Pathway Solutions for wheelchairs examines sidewalk conditions and curb cuts. Carnegie Mellon developed smart phones with traffic signals.
Houston METRO has 12 routes with 2400 stops and aspires to have 9600 stops. Plus, they’re being funded by Google! Houston also has a paratransit feeder service pilot program. It serves an area within a ¾ mile area around fixed routes, as well as beyond the required area. Capital Metro of Austin’s grant application, Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP IDEA), integrates transit and pedestrian planning. The technology is Open Source, so anyone can use it. San Antonio has a bunch of bond initiatives, including sidewalks.

The speaker hoped that someday sidewalks would be viewed as important as roads. Later we heard from Brian East, that sidewalks built after 1-27-92 must have curb ramps. Brian East works for Disability Rights Texas.
As for other states, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has a paratransit agreement with Uber and Lyft. Washington Metro Area has an on-demand paratransit that’s partly subsidized and allows service animals. Some places are experimenting with autonomous vehicles; that means they can drive themselves without a driver. Texas A&M has low-speed autonomous vehicles that are golf cart look-alikes for its giant campus. Automated Vehicle proving grounds are in seven Texas cities: Arlington, Austin, Bryan-College Station, Corpus Christi, Huston, and San Antonio.

Wheelchair passengers riding planes is a concern as a staggering 98% of them don’t travel by plane. However, more children would survive a plane wreck than a car wreck. Qstraint is the leader of wheelchair tie down services, and it’s passed a 20G crash test—doubled in eight years! Wheelchair test criteria examines if the rider would be thrown out of a plane, fall over on its side, be ripped away from the floor, and if the straps were adequate. Partnerships have developed between airlines, plane manufacturers, wheelchair manufacturers, and universities. Recall that Collaboration & Connectivity was the theme of the 2018 transportation summit.

At the Lunch Panel, we found out that Texas is a leader in accessible buildings. There have been efforts to move into rural areas with Uber and Lyft because the drivers would have their own vehicles. Public transport is stronger when cities are bigger. It’s expensive for transit to run paratransit.

Upon hearing that paratransit can be hampered by a lack of funds, when I returned to Tyler, I proposed that we look for the for-profit businesses that would have a vested interest in paratransit and get a tax deduction for donations! “Eds and Meds” place like East Texas Medical Center (ETMC) and UT Health-NE are the most obvious. But how about banks? Tyler has a bunch, and it could be really good public relations. Then a lawyer friend suggested looking for businesses that have a large percentage of employees using Tyler Transit as possible donors.

#SOL My New Apartment, by JD Meyer

I moved to a new and improved apartment at the start of February 2018. It’s my fourth neighborhood in Tyler: South, North, East-Central (Midtown/Hospital District), and now Southeast. My new place is almost double the size of my previous efficiency! It’s a one-bedroom with a dining room, dishwasher, and balcony.

I still receive a HUD discount and received a lot of help from Neighborhood Services when I was trying to move. I’m a retired teacher on SSDI with COPD among other issues. My major teaching fields were Developmental English/Writing, the pre-College Composition remedial education course, and ESOL. I at least subbed in all grades from PK-12.

Choosing a good location isn’t easy–especially if you ride the bus or walk and no longer drive. For example, there are a couple of apartment complexes in Far North Tyler that are on the other side of a river and a few miles away from any stores. Another time, I hiked a couple of blocks east to find an apartment complex that cost less than average but nowhere near a HUD discount. Now I live close to a giant WalMart and a few convenience stores with plenty of beer. I’m close to a bus stop, though not as many as before.

Importantly, I’m quite near East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN)–the non-profit organization where I’ve volunteered for several years. We have five committees: Education, Employment, Healthcare, Housing, and Transportation. Transportation has been my major focus, but I’ve also gone to Education and Healthcare meetings too. I’ve organized Tyler Transit field trips with lunch for each of the five lines–going to both malls, two grocery stores, and Neighborhood Services. Now I’m going to more meetings than ever and doing more research too. They helped me with the move financially, and a neighbor non-profit donated some wide metal file cabinets to me! All this excitement occurred a week after my all-expense paid trip to Waco for my second Transportation Works conference for Texas Society of Independent Living Councils (TX SILC). Last year, my Cigna representative nominated me as a Consumer Advocate for Transportation(CAT), one of 30 in Texas and the only CAT in Tyler. Our Transportation conference was in Austin last year.

I just called the two Neighborhood Services ladies, and they got my note under one of their department’s cars that was in my complex’s parking lot a week or so ago. I went two weeks without TV, phone, and Internet. Glad to have seen a rerun of the Super Bowl last Sunday night. I’ll return after some more breakfast–anew invention–guacamole dip with cold collard greens, chopped onions, pickled cactus (nopalitos), minced garlic, cilantro, and spices. I’ve been more creative lately.

Just did some editing after the Healthcare Committee meeting; last Tuesday was the Education Committee meeting and next Tuesday is the Transportation Committee meeting. I’ve revived my Bilingual All-Level Academic Vocabulary (BALAV) project, as well as publicizing the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) consortium at UT-Austin again. Much of my motivation, besides the kindness of my movers, is the UT-Tyler President’s plans for university improvement and the upcoming arrival of Chinese businessman, who wants to build condominiums, bring exchange students and retirees, and research East-West medicine. Earlier in the week, I sent my article on the personality type-major-vocation choice link to the UT-Tyler Faculty Senate President. That was my answer to improving the graduation rate.

Hopefully next Tuesday, I’ll describe some of my interior decorating moves–such as hubcaps and a bar stool look great on a balcony. Plus, my review of the Transportation Works conference in Waco will be due. Do you think for-profit businesses with a vested interest in the senior population would donate to local transit to help finance a struggling paratransit service for tax deductions?

Questions to Ask Someone with COPD (2nd Edition), by J.D. Meyer

1. What inhalers do you use? A rescue inhaler, like Pro-Air, was my first. Now, I usually take Combivent.

2. Do you use a nebulizer with albuterol or albuterol-ipratropium? Nebulizer fluid is an extra strength version of rescue inhalers with the same chemicals.

3. Do you use a twice daily inhaled corticosteroid, such as Advair or Symbicort?

4. Do you have a pulmonologist? I go to Pulmonary Specialists of Tyler on Fleishel, behind ETMC. Dr. Luis Destarac is my doctor. I get allergy shots there too. I’m allergic to Bermuda & Johnson grass.

5. Do you have lots of phlegm sometimes? Take Mucinex, and you can get the generic version at Family Dollar that’s cheaper.

6. Have you ever been to the ER for an exacerbation? Have you been there lately? More often or less often over the years?

7. Do you have sleep apnea? Do you have a C-PAP?

8. Do you have an oxygen machine with nasal canula?

9. Do you still smoke cigarettes? I quit a few years ago.

10. Have you ever had asthma? Child asthma can go away, & it’s more common. I developed asthma at age 28 & COPD at age 46. Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome (ACOS) is characterized by more dyspnea (breathlessness), more phlegm, but better response to inhaled corticosteroids (such as Advair). Some COPD inhalers, like Onoro, can be fatal to those with asthma also!! Early COPD. On reducing ER Trips.

The Four Persuasive Strategies, by JD Meyer, Edited and Hosted by Casey Cunningham

The Four Persuasive Strategies, by JD Meyer,
Edited and Hosted by Casey Cunningham
This is the first time I’ve chosen a major section from my textbook of Developmental English/Writing for the main part of a UU service, as opposed to something from Unitarian-Universalism or other compatible liberal religion or concept. I used a couple of short narrative essays as children’s stories previously. But I chose the Four Persuasive Strategies to be the main part of a service because I kept noticing how much they come up in real life as well as academia. Furthermore, it was one of the earliest sections that I adapted in my teaching career. I found the Four Persuasive Strategies in a Silver Burdett-Ginn textbook for middle school before my renaissance at Mountain View Community College in the west Oak Cliff part of Dallas. Naturally, I’ll show the strategies at work in some persuasive essays too.
Persuasive documents seem to have the best chance of influencing the world beyond academia, as opposed to narrative, descriptive, compare-and-contrast and whatnot. I found a couple of great definitions for “intellectual” and “public intellectual,” by Dr. Ali Mazrui, a Ugandan-born scholar who now teaches for the Institute of Global Studies in New York. Dr. Mazrui was cited as one of the world’s Top 100 public intellectuals, according to . First, an intellectual is “a person who has the capacity to be fascinated by ideas and has acquired the skill to handle some of these effectively.” But a public intellectual “communicates ideas and influences debate outside of one’s own field.” Thus a letter to the editor of one’s hometown newspaper represents a modest and common effort to be a public intellectual.

The Four Persuasive Strategies are (1) Give an Example/Call for a Precedent, (2) Predict Results, (3) Prepare for or Respond to Objections, and (4) Demand for Fairness. A Chu Hsi style Neo-Confucian could say that these persuasive strategies allow us to investigate the principles of events or ko-wu. During my revisions of this talk, I recall that I referred to the Demand for Fairness strategy previously when I asserted that the Wiccan Rede, “Harm No One; Do What You Will,” captured the essence of the Golden Rule. Later I remembered that “For Jaded UU’s and Newcomers” implicitly contained a Prepare for Objections theme. This service was based on a blog at Belief Net by Barbara Bonhiver, a third generation UU at All Souls UU of New York City.
By the way, there are other possible persuasive strategy models. A Cal State website points to the writer’s character, logical arguments, and the emotions of the audience as the three ways to persuade.

Part 1: The Four Persuasive Strategies, Literary Criticism, and Fair Use.
Please check your program for the chart of the four persuasive strategies. At Texas College, I divided these four strategies into two categories. Time Orientation for Give an Example and Predict Results and Empathy Orientation for Prepare for Objections and Demand for Fairness. Then I added a focus for all four persuasive strategies. When we give an example, we are drawing upon the past or present. When we predict results, we are looking toward the future. You can make cause-and-effect arguments easily with the time orientation strategies. On the other hand, empathy means we understand how other people feel. Preparing for objections—the “Yes, but…argument”–has a heavy cognitive/justice dimension while the demand for fairness leans toward the affective/mercy dimension. Preparing for, or responding to objections, gives the other guy partial credit while the demand for fairness is the Golden Rule.
One can find persuasive statements that show characteristics of more than one of the four persuasive strategies; real life rarely falls into such neat categories. Moreover, book knowledge can’t be divorced from common sense that much either, particularly when it comes to career success. Writing success didn’t begin for me until a college instructor told me about writing every other line in a rough draft. Seeing the importance of revision came later, particularly with church services—to the point where I now feel like a “terrier with a slipper.”
With these tools, we can not only write a better persuasive essay but better comprehend current events and defend ourselves with words. Yes, successful persuasion includes a lot of common sense. To persuade means to change another person’s beliefs, actions, or some combination of the two. It is one of the three purposes of writing; the others are to inform and entertain, according to John Langan—the godfather of Developmental English and Reading A good way to recommend—a mild form of persuasion—is to use an “if…, then…” statement. I urged students to use such a statement in their conclusion paragraphs. We’re not supposed to give new information in the conclusion, but a recommendation still makes it as legal.

(1) Give an Example or Call for a Precedent is a way to cite something from the past or present in the hopes that something will happen again or won’t happen again. A key to spotting this strategy is seeing a reference from history. I knew that I had to read about James Luther Adams when Tom Stovall told us that Adams was the leading UU theologian of the 20th Century. Building on the past makes the progress of history possible. That remark reminds me of my old hero, Alfred North Whitehead—the founder of process theology. George Washington set a precedent by only serving two terms as president—something that was followed by all presidents until Franklin Roosevelt. Soon after FDR, the two-term limit became law. On the other hand, how many times have you heard that Hitler did the same dumb thing as Napoleon: attack Russia in winter with inadequate clothing?

(2) Predict Results means to offer an opinion of the future based on what’s happening now. This can be the most exciting strategy of all. The preseason football magazine industry is built on such thought, as is the new science of futurism. Here’s an example proofread by our friend Liza Ely about one of her favorite organizations, Pachamama: “I predict the Internet will continue to connect people based on shared interests and it will serve to correct the excesses of multinational capitalism. For example, one of the Pachamama Movement website groups is dedicated to environmental sustainability, social justice, and spiritual fulfillment. This includes preserving the rain forest and educating the industrialized world on the consequences of their choices. Another Pachamama group advertises the work of third world artisans.” Remember the recent service on community building that Liza Ely did
with Dr. Eric Best? Communities can exist on-line when they bring people together for a purpose and promote harmony. I just discovered in an old Nichiren Shoshu/Soka Gakkai booklet that the Chinese word “te” as in Tao Te Ching, not only means “strength” but also “character, leadership, and karma”—aka. cause and effect, you reap what you sow—hmmm.

(3) Prepare for/Respond to Objections is what we do when we anticipate the other guy’s arguments. It’s what a fair teacher does when (s) he gives partial credit. It’s what the quarterback does when he calls an audible at the line of scrimmage if he seems something unexpected. Picture this assertion, “Yes we should get an urban planning team and ask for community input, but if we don’t hire some out-of-state consultants, we could easily return to the same old inbred ideas.” That’s my summary of our Tyler 21 economic development project. I contributed to the Northside Revitalization group frequently. Remember when I called it the “Yes, but” strategy? If you point out some similarities in your critic’s thought, you may be seen in a better light. I remember there was a book series that proclaimed, “Those who don’t know their opponents’ arguments don’t completely understand their own.” Have you heard that Bible verse about the specks in two people’s eyes? I’d like to update that passage by saying, “Don’t make fun of someone’s glasses frames when you need new bifocals.”

(4) Demand for Fairness is the Golden Rule—doing to others because that’s what we want done to us or don’t want it done to us. Here’s an example of Calling for Fairness that I sent to one of the Obama websites: “I would like to see the Afghan people have the chance to develop windmill technology because of their incredible windy season, and so a third World country won’t end up like us—full of air pollution.” Afghanistan’s famed mountains and valleys create a windy land. Part Four of this service will show this strategy in action frequently.

In my seventh edition, I added an extra section after the Four Persuasive Strategies called, “Literary Criticism: Advanced Persuasion,” based on The Crisis of Criticism, an anthology of essays by Maurice Berger. Criticism must evolve or it will atrophy, shriveling due to lack of use or tired re-runs. Berger asserts that the strongest criticism can actually offer hope for that field’s future, as it can “engage, guide, direct, and influence culture.” The criticism can inspire and stimulate new forms of expression.
This spring I encountered a USC website: the Stevens Institute of Innovation, and it taught me about fair use of copyright and proved what Berger predicted. Fair use means the proper use of copyrighted material, not plagiarism. A key trial showed that fair use is transformative—a new form of expression. Two Live Crew successfully defended themselves in a law suit versus the producers of Roy Orbison’s song, “Pretty Woman.” The court declared that despite the rap band borrowing the chorus, the stanzas made a parody or satire of the chorus: a proper transformative work of the older musician’s song. I might add that such modern snickering may have the appearance of a rougher mentality, but it actually provides a moral lesson missing from our naïve would-be “tamer of the shrew. Above all, I was relieved to discover that my pronoun use chapter section was indeed transformative—something that had been in the back of my mind for months.
Returning to Berger, he warns that criticism at its worst is when it sinks into the narrow world of provinciality—a lack of relevance to the world at large or I may add—a watered-down version of it. On the other hand, the “shock jocks” like Imus and Howard Stern mistake freedom of speech for license without responsibility, to paraphrase an assertion from the hip-hop address of 2001. Casey noted that the shock jocks may not even have a desire to use real persuasion but are “playing to the already convinced.” The bad side of conservatism is when they act as censors, telling us who should not be in our gospel of inclusion because our heroes are subhuman or heretics.
Maybe time or good public relations are the only things separating what is considered orthodox or “out there.” We can read in Belief Net about the spiritual nature of the late Beatle, George Harrison, and how he popularized yoga. But did you know that a singer named Bruce Dickinson also flies jets for a British airline? Bruce also has a BBC radio talk show, was a leading fencer, wrote two novels, and narrated science programs for Discovery UK—despite being the lead vocalist for Iron Maiden, a leading British heavy metal band. Don’t worry, I wrote a brief biographical sketch of this intelligent musician in the appendix of my textbook and put it among my nearly twenty articles at –giant freelance journalism website. The ad hominem argument was the only logical fallacy that I defined in my developmental textbook because logical fallacies traditionally are covered in College Composition, the next English class. Ad hominem arguments attack the person rather than the action itself.

Part 2: Unitarian-Universalist Views of Evil
This would be a great time and place to endorse my current favorite UU brochure. It’s “Unitarian-Universalist Views of Evil.” I’ve been highlighting and making notes from this flyer. Sure I’m familiar with our Seven Principles, like upholding the dignity of the individual. But I really wanted to learn some of our officially sanctioned views of badness, so that I can understand and deal with people more effectively. I found myself coming up with some rather medieval reasons for human badness that didn’t do me any good in an absence of knowing some views on this topic by UU ministers. I saw the results, so I wanted some examples to follow.
One statement by Victoria Safford really sunk-in: Evil is “the degree of heartbreak…a sense that something has been blasted apart the collapse of what we thought was true about the world and human nature.” She sees this heartbreak more than the magnitude or cold-heartedness of the event as her main criteria for assessing evil. Of course, the other two are important as well. Paul Razor, the editor of the pamphlet stated that evil is “a reality to respond to and confront” and includes “unnecessary human suffering, not inevitable.” “Our choices matter: We can either enable or ignore the evil around us, or we can help overcome it.”
Patrick O’Neill observes that UU theological starting point is the dignity of the individual and liberating the human spirit from narrow thought and lifeless creed–not the degradation of a fallen species. But people are only inclined to do good roughly “three-out-of-five times on the average, but those few degrees are the difference between peace and Armageddon. Press down for good,” proclaims O’Neill. Elizabeth Lerner brings up the Greek views on order versus chaos. Change can prevent stagnation. “But too much chaos keeps any system from the ability to nurture, protect, or cherish. Chaos attacks or debases goodness and meaning,” according to Lerner.

Part 3: Persuasive Essays, the Strategies Within, and Pleasant Surprises
My textbook has been a long-term ongoing project. The first edition was a tiny 47 pages in ’97. The seventh edition of ‘08 reached 275 pages; 100 pages were added after leaving TC in ’06. The Persuasive chapter has model essays to go along with the persuasive strategies, essay prompts, and test-taking skills, as one would expect. Let’s look at examples of persuasive statements from some essays and the strategies behind them.
Some of the essays have extensive footnoting, like “Get Out of the Gutter, Wilonsky,” a letter to the editor of the Dallas Observer that was never published. I wrote a fiery letter to the editor because Robert Wilonsky wrote a destructive criticism on heavy metal and its fans. Let’s look at a few of my critiques. Metal introduced “good soldier, not war criminal” lyrics to popular music—quite a precedent. Wilonsky seemed angry that Aska, a local glam metal band, had a contract to play at military bases. He even surmised that the only thing metal fans hated worse than their life was yours. Wilonsky makes himself into the raging sociopath that he can’t stand—way beyond unfair. Now that’s a good statement to remember if you’re about to throw a fit of righteous indignation! Then he claimed that all music is a cheap knock-off of what preceded them. I countered with a perspective from Alfred North Whitehead that the idea of evolution or concrescence would bewilder or turnoff Wilonsky; furthermore, alternative rock wouldn’t show such frequent resemblances to HR/HM if the latter were indeed dead. Those two statements resemble the time-oriented persuasive strategies.
On the other hand, my letter to the Tyler paper was accepted back in Spring ’07—a rebuttal of English immersion being the answer for limited English speakers’ language learning. The Tyler, Texas newspaper editorial board apparently wanted to see ESOL and Bilingual Education programs destroyed. My essay concluded on a kindly, fair note: “Maybe one way to assess an argument in education is to see if its proponents have something joyful to say about teaching and being with students.” I moved this essay to the compare-and-contrast chapter next to a similar essay written a decade earlier. The only statement that the two essays had in common was a reference to the high rate of functional illiteracy among native-born Americans. Some folks claim that book knowledge and common sense have nothing in common, as if teaching subject-verb agreement is no different from staking your career hopes on the mastery of ancient Sanskrit. Choosing effective topics for study involves common sense.
About 10% of my textbook is edited student essays, and they all have the subtitle, “The Students Take Over.” The only student essay in the persuasive chapter is “My Favorite Music: Chopped, Screwed Dirty South Rap.” I concluded that the chopped innovation; that is, taking a famous chorus from a non-rap genre and writing rap stanzas around it, could be one of the greatest musical innovations of modern times. Once in a therapeutic moment, I wrote a bilingual song in which I lifted the chorus from “Y Todo Para Que” (And All for What) by mega norteno-tejano band, Intocable, and wrapped some rap stanzas in English to create the song, “You Try to Make Me English Only.” Sometimes it’s good to proclaim a precedent in a different friendly audience from the other choir you’ve been preaching to.
And now, let’s look at some pleasant surprises from my post-TC days. I used to feel that I wouldn’t be comfortable teaching a predominantly literature English class in high school since I was so adjusted to the grammar-composition focus of Developmental English. Furthermore, I still believe that the top-heavy literature component of high school English has created weak skills in grammar and composition. Nevertheless, I had a great time subbing in two classes when two Roman works were being studied. I alerted these classes to the four persuasive strategies inherent in Marc Antony’s eulogy of Julius Caesar and Medea by Archimedes—the latter a long-term assignment. Casey suggested that I look at these texts for a follow-up service, or maybe this one.

Part 4: Street Frustrations
However, my latest revision of the post-chapter quiz omitted questions best classified as revealing “street frustrations,” not something we should have in a textbook, unlike a narcocorrido. But maybe we should talk about one of them in church. For example, “charge it to the game,” includes accepting the sad reality that some associates will steal from you and lie to you and probably do the same to anybody else. So my former question asked, “If you think ‘charge it to the game’ is nothing but a rationalization for lying and stealing, then your persuasive strategy is…Fill in the Blank. Demand for Fairness.” On the other hand, ‘charge it to the game’ addresses that you put yourself or been put in harm’s way. Thus we face a statement that unites an “anti-fairness” strategy with a response to objections strategy. Analyzing that one was pure induction!
Here’s a demand for fairness that I kept, and it’s from the Keynote Address of the 2001 Hip-Hop Summit in New York City, convened by Russell Simmons: “Every time you use your rap song against another rapper and the magazines publish your words, the people you love then turn on the people you have spoken against. (With) leadership comes responsibility. You did not ask for it, it is imposed on you, but now you have to accept responsibility that you have never accepted.” There were a few feuds between rival rappers several years ago that got quite ugly.
How do I cope with the concept, “People will take your kindness for weakness,” in light of the Golden Rule? It sounds purely devilish at first glance. However Confucius wrote, “Goodness without a love of learning leads to simplemindedness.” For me, this means visiting with whomever shows up first instead of making the plans or effort to see the friends that you like the most. Extroversion has its drawbacks. I admitted to that difficulty in my textbook.
I find it intriguing that my potentially controversial examples were mostly representatives of the Demand for Fairness strategy, or what we UU’s would label as the dignity of the individual.

One weekday morning on C-Span, they had a hearing on the trade with Cuba issue. On the Call for a Precedent side, someone mentioned that all the big countries trade with Cuba like China, Japan, Brazil, the European Union, and more—so why shouldn’t we? On the other hand, Cuba is weak on the human rights issues to the point where they have stolen copyrights! So the Predict Results camp says that we need to withhold some goodies from Cuba, so they will change. We don’t have to do what everybody else does.
Next time besides those two Roman stories, I’d like to do a follow-up that examines the definition of “soft power,” by Harvard political science professor, Dr. Joseph Nye. Soft power is non-coercive persuasion that can be used by people and nations, and it reminds me of one of Adams’s Soft Stones of Liberalism. I discovered soft power in the Great Decisions book for 2009.
You can tell that those four persuasive strategies are ever-present in my brain—just waiting to tackle data from the outside world and make sense of it. To close, “If you enjoyed hearing about Meyer’s revamped Silver Burdett Ginn’s Four Persuasive Strategies, then use them yourself in your quest to make sense of the world, see the sacred in the secular, and the deceiver at the gathering.” Let’s have a feedback question-and-answer period, so the conclusion really doesn’t happen until you in the congregation have your chance for clarification. Thank you.

Budget ACA: 3-10 Essential Benefits, 2nd Edition, by J.D. Meyer

1. Ambulatory patient services. [Outpatient care]
2. Emergency services.
3. Hospitalization. [Inpatient care]
4. Maternity and newborn care
5.Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment.
6. Prescription drugs.
7. Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices.
8. Laboratory services
9. Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management;
10. Pediatric services, including oral and vision care.

Health insurance plans must cover these benefits

Right now, it’s all ten or none. Pay a fine if you choose none……. How about a budget version: (2) Emergency Services, (6) Prescription Drugs, & (1) Ambulatory patient services [Outpatient care]? Limit eligible clients to those who make $20K/year or less.

Let’s change the paradigm from younger healthy people would rather pay a fine than go for all ten. My new proposed paradigm is let the poor choose the three most important!

I know what it’s like to work over 40 hours/week with three part-time jobs and no insurance: adjunct instructor at a community college, construction assistant, and substitute teacher. This was my career from 1994-1999. I’d developed asthma in 1987. Trust me, summer is construction asst. only, and that faded out of the picture after I got a full-time teaching job (2001-2006), followed by COPD (2005).

Why did I choose those three benefits? Emergency Room visits are very expensive, and in the USA, we let the sickly get help and hopefully pay later. I got on Medicaid by showing my record of ER visits from 2008-2012 to social workers, despite living in Texas—the largest state not to expand Medicaid.

I could afford an inhaler and nebulizer fluid, but not Advair. Fortunately, I learned about botanicas from living in a predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood and got gordolobo (mullein leaves) and eucalyptus.

I went to clinics that generally served the poorer part of the population. Through “Ambulatory patient care [Outpatient care],” more would be able to afford the office visits themselves and have a regular doctor.

I hope my “Budget ACA: 3-10” brings a helpful new angle to American Health Care. It’s such a hotly debated topic, and we seem to have more difficulties than most OECD nations. My first edition was mistaken in choosing 9. Preventive and Wellness Services and Chronic Disease Management over 1. Ambulatory Patient Services [Outpatient care]. Outpatient care is more basic.I bet plenty of poor people would rather buy “Budget ACA: 3-10” than pay a fine–looking forward to feedback.

#SOL17: Coal, Bees, & Apprenticeships

I love social media–especially Twitter and Facebook. I’m a retired teacher, whose volunteering includes political activism. My most re-posted article on Facebook was “Coal miners are refusing to learn new skills because of faith in Trump,” by Kali Holloway at Raw Story. It focused on troubles in southern Pennsylvania getting people to show up for training, as they’re less than 20% full. Reuters reports the Appalachian Regional Commissioner states the area has 33K less mining jobs than 2011. Robert Murray, CEO of the largest US private coal mine, advised Trump before and after the election to tone down promises of coal industry resurgence. Even Trump’s chief economic adviser and director of the National Economic Council, Gary Cohen, has spoken about the superiority of other forms of energy over coal. Cohn asserted that solar and win power is a powerhouse and environmentally friendly. Trump’s platform lamented that the USA’s greatness was in the past and is now on decline, probably due to the rise of non-white populations. Down-and-out coal towns can’t attract new businesses with workers with outdated skills.

I found this sad article about the neglect of retraining soon after reading that some out-of-work West Virginia coal miners are getting retrained in bee keeping. My retweet caught the attention of a rapper from Puerto Rico, which made me happy. Furthermore, I told a guitarist acquaintance of mine from West Virginia about the new job training.

An apprenticeship program by four senators, including Tim Kaine, the 2016 running mate of Hillary Clinton, looked like an ideal plan for for preparing young people for skilled jobs after high school. The apprentices would make some money while they learned a trade, and their employers would receive tax breaks.

Here’s a more recent plan by Tim Kaine and his colleagues to boost vocational training in high school.

As you can see, I’m looking to endorse specific plans to advance employment prospects in careers that are in demand and don’t require lots of time and money to achieve it.

Final Exam for Developmental English/Writing, by Mr. J.D. Meyer: Spring 2005… Edited by Mentor, Lew Sayers

8 Rules of Subject-Verb Agreement: Circle the correct answer

1. Present Tense Verbs
a. The penguin squawks at the bulldogs.
b. The dogs barks at the penguins.

2. Words/Phrases between Subject and Verb
a. Some students who quit coming to class need to be ignored
and not tracked down by me.
b. That instructor with the Acura and the Mustang have a second job

3. Subject after the Verb
a. There are too many students “chillin” in their rooms.
b. Where is the keys of the reading instructor?

4. Compound Subjects
a. LaTonya and Adelia are on the honor roll.
b. Barnes and Noble have a bookstore in south Tyler.

5. Indefinite Pronouns
a. Everyone were watching the basketball playoffs in the dorm.
b. Almost everyone eats rice daily in China.

6. Agreement with Nearest Subject when Joined by “or.”
a. Either the cats or the dog attack unwanted, rude visitors on my command.
b. Either asphalt shingles or metal is used for roof construction in East Texas.

7. Collective Nouns
a. Our team has a new coach.
b. The squadron have certified airplane mechanics for maintenance.

8. Special Cases
a. Her glasses need adjusting immediately.
b. My black trousers has a tear on the side.

1 Between Items in a Series: Single and Multiple items.
2 Between Compound Sentence
3 After an Intro. Word, Phrase, or Clause
4 Two Commas around Interrupters.
5 To Separate Quotes from a Sentence
6 Before a Non-Essential Phrase
7 To Prevent Confusion

Comma Exercise: Just list the rule used, and each rule is used once. I provided the commas this time.

9. We went to the zoo and saw cheetahs, elephants, and quetzals
10. Joe asked, “Have you finished writing the final yet?”
11. Texas A&M and the Dallas Cowboys, two teams who’ve struggled lately, have new head football coaches
12. She wants to go to the biker club, but he wants to watch interior decorating shows.
13. Where is the cat, Willie?
14. The student is borrowing my stapler, which is purple and very modern-looking
15. After I finish writing this test, I’m going to work on my wonderful website.

Paragraphs: Match the synonyms; write your answer in the middle column. The answer is the letter next to the definition.

16. Unity……………… a. Relevance
17. Support……………. b. Sufficient
18. Coherence……………c. General statement giving the essay’s structure
19. Sentence Skills ……..d. General statement about a paragraph.
20. Topic Sentence……….e. Clear links between ideas
21. Thesis Statement……..f. Grammar

Irregular Verbs: Is the underlined word(s) used correctly? True or False

22. He drank too much Dr. Pepper after payday.
23. I have wrote my essay.
24. Where have the students hidden from me today?
25. He driven to his favorite place in the country.
26. Somebody stolen some tests, so I changed the order of the answers—ha, ha!!!
27. Have you did your essays?
28. They wrote a three-paragraph essay and flunked.

Run-Ons and Fragments: Match the Definition to the Term.

29. Comma splice…………A…….A run-on when only a comma is used …………………………………. instead of end punctuation or a comma …………………………………..and coordinating conjunction
30. Fused Sentence……… B…… A fragment with a subject and verb that ………………………………….is an incomplete thought without an ………………………………….independent clause because it starts ………………………………….with a subordinator.
31. Added Detail Fragment…C……. A run-on in which two or more
…………………………….sentences are stuck together with no
32. -“Ing” or “to” + Fragment… D…A fragment that could have been a
…………………………….non-essential phrase at the end of the
…………………………….sentence, often a “grocery list” of ……………………………………items without a subject or verb.
33. Dependent Word Fragment…. E……A fragment without a main verb.
……………………………..Instead there is just a gerund or …………………………………….infinitive.

Quotation Marks: Circle the right answer.

34. What is my “southwest to northeast” rule of quotation marks?
a. It’s a blatant take-off of a Cary Grant movie.
b. These directions mean that the comma goes after the quotation marks at all times
c. The comma goes in the southwest, and the quotation marks go in the northeast. Or the period goes in the southwest, and the quotation marks go in the northeast.

35. Which is a paraphrased statement?
a. Mother said, “You sure look pretty today.”
b. Mother said that I sure look pretty today.

Which types of words need an apostrophe? True or False. Clue: Three are true.

36. Plural nouns: The cat’s have a bowl.
37. Singular nouns showing possession: The comma chapter thrilled Mr. Mason’s classes.
38. Contractions: It’s very humid today.
39. Singular pronouns that show possession: It’s roof needs to be fixed.
40. 3rd Person Singular Verbs: Ricky run’s pass patterns
41. Plural nouns showing possession: The puppies’ owner wants to give them away.

Writing: Prewriting, Introductions, Thesis Statements, and Conclusions

42. What is something we see in introductions that we don’t see in conclusions?
a. attention-grabber and thesis statement.
b. categories for the essay topic
c. recommendations.

43. What is something we see in conclusions that we don’t see in introductions?
a. attention-grabber and thesis statement
b. categories for the essay topic.
c. recommendations.

44. When is prewriting most important?
a. when you have lots of time for an essay or report.
b. when you are uncertain about your choice of topic or find a topic difficult.
c. if it’s for extra credit.

45. An attention grabber is mainly___________ while a recommendation is chiefly________
a. persuasive…………..entertaining
b. entertaining…………persuasive
c. informative………….entertaining
d. entertaining…………informative

Match the part of speech with the examples
Part of Speech Examples
46. a, an, the…………………… . a adverbial conjunctions
47. at, beside, from, of………………..b articles
48. “FABSONY” like—and, but, so, or…….c subordinators
49. if, until, while, though…………….d prepositions
50. furthermore, however, indeed…………e coordinating conjunctions

Answer Key for Developmental English/Writing Final, by J.D. Meyer

8 Rules of Subject-Verb Agreement
1. a…………………. 5. b
2. a……………………6. b
3. a……………………7. a
4. a……………………8. a

7 Comma Rules
9. 1………………….13. 7
10. 5………………… 14. 6
11. 4………………….15. 3
12. 2

16. a………………..19. f
17. b………………..20. d
18. e ……………….21. c

Irregular Verbs
22. T………………….26. F
23. F………………….27. F
24. T………………….28. T
25. F

Run-Ons & Fragments: Match the Definition to the Term
29. A………………..32. E
30. C………………..33. B
31. D

Quotation Marks
34. c…………………35. b

Which types of words need an apostrophe?
36. F………………….39. F
37. T………………….40. F
38. T………………….41. T

Prewriting, Introductions, Thesis Statements, & Conclusions

42. a…………….. 44. b
43. c…………….. 45. b

Match the part of speech with the examples

46. b…………….. 49. c
47. d…………….. 50. a
48. e