SOL 17: Publicizing my Developmental English/ Writing textbook through Open Source on Academia.edu, by JD Meyer

In response to “What summer writing are you doing now that will inspire your future students?”

I wrote, copyrighted, and illustrated a Developmental English/Writing textbook for my students. I taught this course for ten of the years from 1994-2006 with my textbook for seven of those years as the primary textbook.

For many years, I’ve published some chapter sections as free samples to interest publishers in my textbook and gain fans along the way. I have a website at Academia.edu https://independent.academia.edu/JDMeyer I used to have a Pageout website at McGraw-Hill before it was discontinued. A few of my chapter sections are at Open Stax of Rice University, formerly known as Connexions. My Subject-Verb Agreement Module is one of the top articles for both Academia.edu & Open Stax.
However, I’m on SSDI for asthma & COPD–not to mention other issues that were revealed later when I got on Medicare, Medicaid, and Cigna Health Springs. If I make more than an extra $120/month, I’ll lose some life-saving medicine and no telling what else. A big money August could really mess me up!

Then I learned of the Paul Quinn College turnaround success story. This HBCU in the SE Oak Cliff was in severe danger of closing until PQC got a new president, Dr. Michael Sorrell. Dr. Sorrell’s major reforms were to build the “We Over Me” Farm in the former football stadium, and have students do some of their work-study there to ease the cost of a private college. Furthermore, he required instructors to use free Open Source materials for textbooks. My textbook may have been cheaper than the rest, but it wasn’t free.

Recently, I added “The Four Persuasive Strategies for English/Writing,” “Promo-Pack for Descriptive Essay Section,” “Subjects, Verbs, & Other Parts of Speech with Prepositions Chart (89),” and “College Retention: Vocational Counseling & Publicizing Psychological Type Theory– The Personality-Vocation Match” to my Academia.edu site.

My motivation to add these chapter sections and essay was based primarily on two factors: commitment to the Open Source paradigm advanced by Dr. Michael Sorrell and finding out that a young cashier at the nearby Family Dollar is trying to get a GED. I almost did cartwheels when long-time Internet honcho-friend, Angela Maiers, like my Four Persuasive Strategies chapter section. She’s the originator of the You Matter paradigm.

To conclude, teachers don’t always go away after retirement if they keep writing and interacting with others—especially if the writing includes a textbook in a critical need area.

Booker T. Washington: Neglected Exemplar of Practical Education

By Mr. J.D. Meyer…Juneteenth 2005/Revised: Juneteenth 2008

Introduction
First, it’s very doubtful that I would have discovered Booker T. Washington if it wasn’t for primary resources on the Internet. In other words, third-rate historians who pass judgment while withholding evidence from the reader have obscured the real writings of BTW. Thus BTW is “ a figure more often caricatured than understood,” to quote Thomas Sowell et al’s article, “Up from Slavery,” based on Washington’s autobiography with the same name. BTW has been unfairly and illogically labeled as an Uncle Tom for emphasizing vocational education near the turn of the 20th Century. Yet in “The Awakening of the Negro,” Washington stated that if a Black owned the mortgage on a White’s house, then that White couldn’t prevent the Black from voting. In his autobiography, Up From Slavery, Washington admitted, “How often I have wanted to say to white students that they lift themselves up in proportion as they help to lift others, and the more unfortunate the race, and the lower in the scale of civilization, the more does one raise one’s self by giving the assistance.”

Washington’s greatest speech (1895) was praised by many but maligned by some
as the Atlanta Compromise rather than the Atlanta Exposition address. It was the first speech by an African-American before an integrated audience in this country. This was a time when 100 Blacks/year were being lynched. Reconstruction was long over, having only lasted from 1865-1877. Furthermore, a conquering army had imposed Reconstruction.

In his later years, Mr. Washington admitted that if his Atlanta Exposition had been unsuccessful, it could have shattered the cause for Black advancement for years. Instead, the governor of Georgia ran across the room to shake BTW’s hand and offer congratulation. President Grover Cleveland mailed a letter of praise to BTW. The climate around the turn of the 20th Century was so tense that President Theodore Roosevelt was criticized for having lunch with Mr. Washington. It was even the topic of cruel newspaper cartoons. If you think that a call for crossbow manufacturing was overlooked, then you forgot what happened to the Black Panthers for their assertion of their American right to bear arms.

This presentation will examine the Atlanta Exposition Address, a talk that is a
component of Washington’s autobiography, Up From Slavery. Then we’ll have an
overview of “The Awakening of the Negro.” Our first reading is from “Black Race, Red Race,” reflections on Washington’s early career as the dorm supervisor of Native Americans at his alma mater, Hampton College. We will end with the article that significantly shaped my views on African-American history, “Keeping the Spotlight on Failure,” by Elizabeth Wright, and a chilling indictment of how many teach Black history to be little more than slavery, freedom, civil rights movement, and integration. There were plenty of great economic and institutional success stories individual and group, before the civil right movement and desegregation. Wright and many like her are philosophical heirs to Booker T. Washington, and their work can be found at websites like Issues-Views.com and Booker Rising.com

Excerpt from “Black Race and Red Race”—BTW
Six years after graduating from Hampton Institute, General Armstrong, the
President of Hampton, invited Booker T. Washington to be the dorm director for a
group of Native American males. Hampton is still one of the leading HBCU’s
today.
“There was a general feeling that the attempt to educate and civilize the red men at Hampton would be a failure. All this makes me proceed very cautiously, for I felt the keen responsibility. But I was determined to succeed. It was not long before I had the complete confidence of the Indians, and not only this, but I think I am safe in saying that I had their love and respect. I found that they were about like any other human beings; that they responded to kind treatment and resented ill treatment. They were continually planning to do something that would add to my happiness and comfort. The things that they disliked most, I think, were to have their long hair cut, to give up wearing their blankets, and to cease smoking; but no white American ever thinks that any other race is wholly civilized until he wears the white man’s clothes, eats the white man’s food, speaks the white man’s language, and professes the white man’s religion.”

The Atlanta Exposition Address
Why did BTW feel that vocational education was so important? First, because the
Talented Tenth that WEB DuBois wanted to nurture was just that—the 10% of any
population that can become doctors, lawyers, and the like. BTW chose to reach the black masses. As the first president of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, Washington seized the opportunity to do just that. The practical education movement at Tuskegee was paralleled at white colleges like my alma mater, Texas A&M University, because of the Morrill Act of 1862. This act provided for state funding for universities in each state to specialize in the sciences of agriculture, engineering, and more.
Thus, there is nothing demeaning in not gambling on replacing one’s archeology professor. For as, Booker T. Washington contended in Atlanta at the Exposition Address, “No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.”BTW opened the Atlanta Exposition Address by stating that the event was the greatest thing to happen between the races in the thirty years since the end of slavery. Then he admitted that the awkwardness of Reconstruction. The newly freed slaves began at the top instead of the bottom and blacks sought a political position rather than “real estate or industrial skills” or “starting a dairy farm or truck garden.”

On the other hand, subsequent research revealed to me that at least some to those African-Americans who ascended to political power truly were competent—like Matthew Gaines of Brenham, Texas. Mr. Gaines was instrumental in the founding of Texas A&M to the extent that a movement led by Aggie Republicans like my former philosophy professor, Richard Stadelmann, wanted to have a statue of Gaines erected on the campus.

Washington’s bold call to both races was “Cast your buckets down where you
are.” At that time, it meant for blacks not to give up on America and sail back to Africa. For whites, it meant not to expect foreign immigrants to be the answer to economic expansion because of the loyalty shown by African-Americans over the centuries. Suggesting anything to whites back then was quite bold. Yet perhaps the latter was one of Washington’s most peculiar contentions as there had been brutal slave uprisings, sometimes with white abolitionist assistance, as noted in WEB DuBois’s critiques of BTW. Perhaps Mr. Washington was hinting that black uprisings could have been a lot more frequent or worse in an off-hand (even clever passive aggressive) way.

Let’s jump back to the Back to Africa movement. It was extremely influential at
the turn of the century until 1920. Marcus Garvey was its most famous proponent and the leader of the largest black movement in history. Martin Delany, the first African-American field officer and a medical doctor, was another key figure. However, Delany changed his mind about the Back to Africa movement and leaned toward South America before his change as well. Dr. Delany has the peculiar distinction of almost being lynched by a white mob in a Northern border state before the Civil War; then he was almost lynched by an angry black mob because he supported an ex-Confederate officer who supported vocational education for African-Americans.
One of the most surprising aspects of this twisted by emotion era in American history for me is that some of the finest men fighting for black rights were the slave masters’ sons, as opposed to uneducated white competing for jobs open to ex-slaves apart from the BTW or DuBois game plan. Always looking at both sides of any issue, Washington admonished blacks not to sink into resentment over the atrocities of slavery because that would bog down progress.

Thus, the central theme of the Atlanta Exposition Address was that “there is no defense or security for any of us except in the development of the highest intelligence of all.” He waved aside already lost causes for his generation such as racial integration offering his example of as being “separate like fingers yet one in the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.” He never renounced equal rights under the law but noted, “The ability to earn a dollar in a factory was more important than the right to spend it at an opera house.” BTW observed that as one-third of the population of the South, blacks could be a force for progress or stagnation, depending on whether blacks took the opportunities that were given, or had opportunities denied them, or simply blundered away chances. Thus,
BTW was able to link the fate of both races by connecting rights and responsibilities.

So how different were Washington and DuBois? Less than what it is popularly
assumed today, and at one time, they were close allies. DuBois did view the Atlanta Exposition as something of a sell-out. DuBois proved to be right in noting that without political rights, African-Americans could not protect what they had earned. Yet DuBois failed to see that part of Washington’s program of vocational education proved to be the beginning of the modern science of agriculture. Building construction was another area of training in all phases from bricklaying to carpentry to architecture.
After Washington’s death, it was discovered that he secretly donated to civil rights causes. Ultimately, Washington praised whites of good will while DuBois verbally attacked whites of ill will. Washington received substantial financial contributions for Tuskegee Institute as its president. DuBois lived to be 95 (1868-1963) while Washington didn’t make it to 60 (1858-1915). Admittedly, the savagery of white backlash over black success and BTW’s relentless speaking and work schedule may have driven him to an early grave. On the other hand, poor DuBois was subjected to an FBI investigation for his socialist leanings, and he moved to Ghana to spend the last years of his life with Kwame Nkrumah, its first president and a Pan-African giant.

Yet DuBois shared the fears of Washington that if whites lost their prejudices
overnight, much of the ignorant masses of blacks would stay down through using
prejudice as an excuse or drift into “indifferent listlessness or reckless bravado.” In short, you could not imagine a more effective early leader for African-Americans than BTW. His ability to point toward quiet economic success as a prerequisite for the achievements of later generations was essential and tragically unappreciated. There wouldn’t have been a Civil Rights’ Movement if some African-Americans hadn’t risen to middle-class stature. Likewise, my new T-shirt says Martin Luther King’s dream is being realized in Barack Obama’s message of change.

The Awakening of the Negro
Washington’s vision of practical education included witnessing the opposite. Once he saw a young man studying French grammar in a run-down shack, and another time, BTW saw a young lady playing a rented piano in a run-down shack. Washington responded to the objections that would surface later anyway: a young black has the right to study French or the piano. But in those troubled poverty-stricken days right after slavery, a more practical alternative was needed. Washington earned his degree at Hampton College—a model for Tuskegee. Washington was “surrounded by an atmosphere of business, Christian influence, and a spirit of self-help that seemed to have awakened every faculty in me, and cause me for the first time to realize what it meant to be a man instead of a piece of property.”

Washington saw the cardinal needs for African American as, “food, clothing,
shelter, education, proper habits, and a settlement of race relations,” a list that reminds me of the basic needs according to Abraham Maslow. Furthermore, Washington believed that training of strong young people in the “head, hand, and heart” would lift up the race from within better than missionary efforts launched from afar. By learning industrial or hand training, the young African-American could move up from their status at that time. Three other factors stood out: (1) the student could pay for some of his tuition; (2) the school called for a job that required skill; (3) the industrial system teaches “economy, thrift, the dignity of labor” and gives “moral backbone” to students. Such a student gains a “certain confidence and moral independence” when he is “conscious of his power to build a house or wagon or to make a harness.”

It is easy to update these practical suggestions for our century. Obviously,
residential and business construction is still leading fields, and the automobile or truck has replaced the wagon and the harness for the horse. But we need to add computer skills to our list of confidence-imparting practical skills. I am one of many who have the power to search the Internet, type rapidly and save the information on a computer or on a disc, insert tables, dabble with contrasting fonts, and make a Power Point. I could get off-task and ramble indefinitely about the new practical professions that exist today but were not present at the time of BTW.
Mr. Washington’s vision of industrial education was “how to put brains into every process of labor… (Therefore) much of the toil is eliminated and labor is dignified.” Tuskegee had a staggering total of 650 acres of land for agriculture: cattle and vegetables. At this time, 85% of African-Americans in the South worked in agriculture. Furthermore, Tuskegee graduates taught rural blacks how to save money, get out of debt, and buy their own house. Keeping isolated schools open more often was another typical goal. Older adults organized local clubs or conferences, and the Tuskegee Negro Conference was held every February, bringing 800 people together from all over the Black Belt. Besides the Tuskegee Negro Conference for the masses, BTW started a simultaneous gathering called The Workers’ Conference. The Workers’ Conference brought together instructors and administrators from the leading black schools of the South. By having these conferences at the same time, the laborers and educators were able to learn from each other.

What was the strategy behind Washington’s focus on industrial education? It was
to improve race relations through empowering blacks to produces something the white “wants or respects in the commercial world.” Furthermore, the white would become partly dependent on the black and less able to deny his political rights.
One of the greatest evils of the slave system is that it warped the work ethic. The white master did not work but was the ideal—the idle rich. Another evil was that slavery discouraged labor-saving machinery. Blacks worked but under protest. All of these strange quirks led to the Southern habit of putting off repairs until tomorrow. Thus the Tuskegee influence bettered all society—not just black. The South evolved from exporting its cash crop—cotton—in exchange for food supplies, to a society with diversified agriculture.

Keeping the Spotlight on Failure
Elizabeth Wright refutes the notion that blacks achieved little before integration in this fine article. The result of conditioning blacks into such thinking leads them to having a negative opinion of black businessmen and institutions while accepting the guidance of the elite without question. The perpetrators of this view are the black elite and white liberals. She cites no less than nine successful African-American entrepreneurs who lived between 1840—1930; some even lived before the Civil War.

Wright notes that during Booker T. Washington’s heyday, blacks had a better spirit of entrepreneurship, optimism, and pragmatism. It was accepted that economic change would precede changes in the laws. Getting bogged down theory or dwelling on victimization would divert one from making money. Furthermore, the Tuskegee Movement provided moral encouragement as well as technical assistance. Frequently, Washington and his colleagues would go into the rural areas and show poor blacks how to get out of debt, save their money, keep grade schools open more often, and become homeowners.

After the end of BTW’s influence, progress was no longer due to the individual’s effort and enterprise but the result of a group of civil rights leaders. The title that Ms. Wright chose for this article was actually borrowed from Mr. Washington himself. He noted that there were already black leaders in his time that wanted to remind their followers of sad stuff to keep them loyal but depressed and good whites feeling guilty. Nevertheless, I’d like to interject that it’s essential to examine each view in order to have a balanced view of African-American social/intellectual history. Without legal protection, successful black communities like Tulsa suffered wholesale destruction with no recourse, and lynchings got worse when African-Americans became more successful in the first two decades of the Twentieth Century. Ironically, the Tuskegee machine was far from democratic and often crushed opposition from other black scholars.

Overall, I still endorse Ms. Wright’s view of African-American history with its
endorsement of Booker T. Washington as the more valid model. For example, the GI bill enabled many black World War II veterans to go to college, become more successful economically, and influence legal change. Perhaps the current young hustlers carry on some of that BTW style attitude concerning the importance of “make money first”; however, there’s all too often a spirit of Machiavellianism and a frequent idolization of gangsters. Obviously, black-on-black crime has never been worse, especially violent crime. John McWhorter observes a counterproductive anti-intellectual spirit in today’s youth also. Washington endorsed putting scientific skill into trades like agriculture, and he never negated that a “talented tenth” would go into professions like medicine and the law. But BTW did note that it’s more important to be able to make a dollar than spend it
in the theater of your choice.

Let’s look at some of those entrepreneurs cited in Ms. Wright’s article. First, she mentions Martin Delany (1812-1885) of West Virginia, hailed as the “Malcolm X of the 19th Century.” I mentioned a bit of history earlier in this essay. Dr. Delany was the first black field officer and medical doctor. He also was a book and magazine author who wrote non-fiction and fiction. Dr. Delany wrote for Frederick Douglass’s journal, the North Star. Charles and Ana Spaulding founded the Mutual Life Insurance Company of Durham, North Carolina at the turn of the 20th Century, and the company still exists today. William Powell was an ex-slave who opened a repair shop and invented or improved tools. George Downing owned a hotel in Rhode Island and was a caterer before the Civil War. Robert Reed Church was a Memphis businessman who built a park for summer festivities, graduations, and held Thanksgiving dinners for the poor.

To conclude my summary/analysis of “Keeping the Spotlight on Failure,” we
need an inclusive attitude toward information on history, especially something as twisted by dogmatic paradigms as African-American history. I certainly didn’t want to read depressing Black History essays, and I received tons of them until I wrote a guide to writing a Black History essay for my class. It was their one chance to do an essay on this topic, so be happy. Undoubtedly, Ms. Wright could have predicted that young blacks would generally focus on the dreariest aspects of their history unless urged not to do so.

Conclusion
To conclude this talk, I hope you have a better understanding of Booker T.
Washington’s achievements in the cause of African-American advancement and the business-oriented movement that not only succeeded him but preceded him too. It is too easy to judge somebody in the distant past by today’s standards. Maybe history can teach us to develop empathy and understand cause-and-effect. Furthermore, it is a victory for an entire country when any disadvantaged group can improve their status, not just the disadvantaged group.

Follow-Up to the 2015 Smith County 2015 Education Report, by JD Meyer

The Smith County 2015 Education Report by Tyler Partnership for Education http://www.tylerareapartnership4education.org/ was held on Tuesday, October 20 at the Rose Garden–starting with an address by Mayor Martin Heines. This unprecedented collaboration between various groups–including all local school districts–has the goal to increase post-secondary education credentials in this part of East Texas. Unfortunately, poverty reduces chances for success and Tyler, the county seat, and Chapel Hill are doing the worst for childhood poverty in Smith County. As a former teacher, who taught in all grades at least as a substitute, a Developmental English instructor at the college level for ten years, and an ESOL teacher of all ages, I’m in a unique position to share my observations. Most of this article analyzes the dominant occupation clusters of Smith County/Tyler, such as the College/Hospital industry, in an effort to find pathways to build the middle-class.

A Proposal for Industry Growth Initiative (IGI) Strategy #1

My initial reaction was to recycle my publication about Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) at the University of Texas at Austin from 2010 as a solution to Tyler’s Industry Growth Initiative (IGI) Strategy #1: Increase money generated per college student. The IE program has special popularity with minorities and first-generation college students. Moreover, Tyler has a branch of the University of Texas and a global education program–GATE. http://www.creativeclass.com/rfcgdb/articles/Intellectual%20Entrepreneurship%20at%20The%20University%20of%20Texas.pdf As you’ll notice from the URL, my article found a home at the University of Toronto’s Creative Class website, directed by Dr. Richard and Rana Florida.

Apprenticeships: Not Just Degrees & Certifications

Post-secondary education isn’t limited to degrees or certifications; apprenticeships are a time-honored alternative. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed an executive order in 2013 for state agencies to consider contractors that participate in accredited apprenticeship programs or hire in high-unemployment areas. https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/marylands-procurement-process-aiming-to-create-more-stable-employment

Furthermore, I suspect most apprenticeships are more hands-on and shorter to complete than certifications and degrees, so teens from poverty may be more likely to complete them. Upon reading this article, Dr. Bich-May Nguyen, M.D. (and Harvard Master’s in Public Health Policy) messaged me through Twitter, “I think supporting apprenticeships can help some young adults into occupations that can’t be outsourced and without as much debt.”

The Education & Medicine (“Eds & Meds”) Economy: Colleges & Hospitals: Pros & Cons

Lately, I’ve been investigating the “Eds & Meds” (Education & Medicine) concept of economic development–the hallmark of Tyler, Texas. Sure enough, the results for this model are mixed, as it’s not a panacea, particularly in mid-sized cities without much research.

But let’s start on a positive note: the new physical therapy assistant program at Tyler Junior College. http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-News+Local/225926/tjc-offers-new-physical-therapy-assistant-courses “Texas is the second largest employer of physical therapy assistants in the nation. There is a large utilization of physical therapy assistants in the area and definitely job opportunity,” Dr. Christine Melius, TJC department chair and program director, said.

In “Where Eds and Meds Could Become a Liability,” by Richard Florida http://www.citylab.com/work/2013/11/where-reliance-eds-and-meds-industries-could-become-liability/7661/, Dr. Florida notes the rise of the MOOC on-line college courses, as well as cost-efficient big hospitals in larger cities being a draw for Wal-Mart as a place to send its sick employees.

In an earlier article, “Why Eds and Meds Alone Can’t Revitalize Cities,” http://www.citylab.com/work/2012/09/eds-and-meds-alone-cant-revitalize-cities/3292/ Richard Florida warns about the skyrocketing costs of health care and education. Furthermore, regions with larger population of the elderly have a greater demand for health care, so there are more health care occupations and less workforce in other productive activities. Isn’t Tyler a Senior Welcoming City? Dr. Florida cites Charlotta Mellander whose studies showed the fields associated with greater economic prosperity: (1) business and management, (2) science and technology, and (3) arts, design, media, and entertainment. Could this indicate that there are lots of CNA’s cleaning house for the elderly at minimum wage in some cities?

On the other hand, Dr. Florida points out big cities that can thrive with Eds & Meds: Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Boston (biotech firms), and Houston–home of the world’s largest medical center. The shift to education and medicine was understandable with de-industrialization, suburbanization, and the aging American population.

Aaron M. Renn goes further on the downside in http://www.newgeography.com/content/003076-the-end-road-eds-and-meds “The End of the Road for Eds and Meds” by pointing out that hospitals are typically non-profits that don’t contribute to a city’s tax base while he also notes that college prices are spiraling upward out-of-control.

I saved the best “Eds and Meds” efforts for last! The Cleveland Foundation is an initiative that helps local residents “become owners of new businesses that serve a cluster of hospitals, universities, and cultural institutions on the city’s struggling East Side, including the famed Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University.” The Cleveland Foundation collaborates with Ted Howard of Democracy Collaboration at the University of Maryland to create the Evergreen Cooperatives: (1) Cooperative Laundry (environmentally friendly), (2) Green City Grower Cooperatives (giant greenhouse for vegetables/fruit), and (3) Evergreen Energy Solutions (photo-voltaic panels and weathering improvements). https://www.guernicamag.com/daily/jay-walljasper-how-to-revive-low-income-neighborhoods/. I should recycle an article of mine on Urban Gardens (relevant to Cleveland #2), and it has lots of links https://www.academia.edu/1084754/Urban_Gardens Plus, I’m sentimental about this article because it began with my interview of a middle school teacher who was visiting a sick relative, also in intensive care like me. I had an extra bad COPD exacerbation before my Medicare/Medicaid era.

Furthermore, the University of Maryland Democracy Collaborative has developed the Anchor Dashboard http://community-wealth.org/content/anchor-dashboard-aligning-institutional-practice-meet-low-income-community-needs. It identifies twelve areas where anchor institutions can help low-income areas. Hospitals and universities spend more than $1 trillion/year and employ 8% of the population, but risk leading to “gentrification and subsequent displacement.” https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/a-guide-for-your-local-eds-and-meds-to-become-better-neighbors

Oil & Gas Production

However, let’s not oversimplify the Smith County economy as just “Eds & Meds,” for oil and gas production is a significant employer too, according to “Counties with Highest Concentration of Employment in Oil and Gas Extraction.” http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2015/counties-with-highest-concentration-of-employment-in-oil-and-gas-extraction-june-2014.htm Only 21 states have counties with twice the location quotient (over 1), an industry’s share of employment in the oil/gas industry. Five of the ten biggest counties are in Texas. Washington County, Oklahoma is in first place with 139.8 while Upton County, Texas at 126.9 is in second place. Both Smith County, Texas and neighboring Gregg County (Longview–county seat) have a 5.1 quotient–solid if not spectacular.

Hospitality Industry (Restaurants & Hotels)

The hospitality industry–restaurants and hotels–is really strong in Tyler too. http://www.tylertexasonline.com/tyler-texas-hospitality-jobs.htm Restaurants seem to follow an “Eds & Meds” economy. Moreover, restaurants are getting more popular as a national trend. http://www.kltv.com/story/30311898/report-shows-americans-spending-more-at-restaurants-than-on-groceries#.VilW8SET4DA.facebook Fewer people know how to cook, and home economics courses have been discontinued, observes a chef at The Cork. Tom Mullins, Director of Tyler Economic Development Council, notes that restaurants do especially well in Tyler. Nationwide in the past year, restaurant sales have increased 8.5% while grocery sales have gone up only 2.8%.

When Tyler finally went damp in December 2012, the beer and wine sales helped the economy and many local businesses, while bringing and estimated $440,000/year in sales tax revenues. http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-News+Local/220812/beer-wine-sales-boon-to-tyler-bust-to-outlying-areas  Moreover, DWI charges plummeted 46% in two years with fewer people driving to Winona, Kilgore, and Coffee City. Tom Mullins observed that the new southermost shopping center–The Villages at Cumberland Park–probably wouldn’t have been built because the World Market is its anchor, a beer/wine seller. It was tougher to attract businesses and entrpreneurs to a dry city. Attracting conventions and conferences is also easier because special permits for a hospitality room are no longer required.

Few Tyler businesses, if any, hit the jackpot like Stanley’s Famous Bar-B-Q. Already highly regarded for its food, alcohol sales with live bands in a much larger building led to an increase in sales of 145% in 2013 over the previous year–a total of $2.5 million. Owner Nick Pencis was named the Small Business Association (SBA) Dallas-Fort Worth District Small Business Person of the Year in 2014 https://www.sba.gov/content/sba-dfw-district-office-announces-2014-small-business-award-winners

Home Construction

Tyler and Smith County is enjoying a home construction boom, despite the national dip, ever since 2008 when the economic recession ended, according to Tom Mullins—Director of Economic Development. Texas overall is issuing thousands more building permits than California and Florida. It’s a situation that brings in high-skill jobs. Prices for land and homes are less expensive as well. Nevertheless, there’s less development in local rural areas. http://www.kltv.com/story/28527392/home-construction-booming-in-e-texas .

“Demand is on the rise—especially for high-end homes ($300K +)–but housing inventory is dwindling, creating a tremendous opportunity for builders in East Texas.” The average new house in Tyler sells for $238K. The median days for a new house on the market is only 42 days, the lowest in 20 years and under half the ten-year median average of 90 days. http://blog.hbweekly.com/tyler-prepares-for-a-building-boom/. Thanks go to Wes Hart for alerting me to the home construction boom.

Bilingual All-Level Academic Vocabulary (BALAV): Improving in English through Cognates Awareness

On a more controversial note, I sent a summary of my research on Bilingual All-Level Academic Vocabulary to some civic leaders. Spanish subtitles for Limited English Proficiency (LEP), aka. ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) children after elementary school is normally considered a damnable heresy in education–even though most secondary textbooks contain Spanish and English glossaries. Simply, the major roots of English are as follows: Informal-German, Technical-Latin, and Formal-French. The latter two are in the Romance languages with Spanish, so we could do a search for cognates with our students! This link branches into three, including the outline at my WordPress site. https://www.academia.edu/1744169/Bilingual_All-Level_Academic_Vocabulary If the newcomers have just learned how to ask where the cafeteria is located or lament, “Mr. Meyer is complaining again,” then they need cognate awareness for science and social studies. Just imagine, “inundacion” is the Spanish word for “flood,” and “inundated” is a really advanced English word! The booklet from the 2015 Smith County Education Report (pg. 13) observes that the Hispanic child population is larger than the total Hispanic population here (29% vs. 19%) while the Caucasian percentage is declining (60% vs. 48%) and African-Americans are remaining constant (18% vs. 19%).

College Student Retention

College readiness, retention, and completion are the thrust of the Smith County 2015 Report on Education. Catch the Next was one of three winners in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Academic Advising Challenge (2013). It’s “a non-profit organization focusing on college readiness and completion.” Catch the Next is based on the Puente Project of University of California at Berkeley–an interdisciplinary program–focusing on Language Arts, Counseling, Mentoring, and Professional Development. CTN has several partners in Texas–including four colleges and the University of Texas at Austin’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, a group affiliated with their Intellectual Entrepreneurship program! A staggering 83% of developmental education students complete their remedial classes with help from CTN. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/texas-college-success-program-a-winner-in-gates-foundation-competition-for-educational-innovation-225263752.html

Conclusion

Well, I’ve written enough for now. We’ve examined the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program at University of Texas at Austin, some pros and cons about the “Eds and Meds” economy model, other Smith County industries (oil/gas, restaurants/hotels, home construction)and Bilingual All-Level Academic Vocabulary (BALAV), and the CTN retention program. By the way, I bet a major reason for Developmental English/Writing courses in community colleges and open-admissions colleges is the over-emphasis on literature in high school. Let’s end for now with my review for the Developmental English/Writing exit exam. It’s based on the actual THEA Practice Exam. https://www.academia.edu/18726274/THEA_Study_Guide_for_Developmental_English_Writing_Exit_Exam  Stay tuned.

References for Follow-Up to 2015 Smith County Education Report

1. http://www.tylerareapartnership4education.org/ Tyler Area Partnership 4 Education “Did you know that the single greatest indicator of economic prosperity and quality of life is the percentage of the population with a post-secondary credential or degree?”

2. http://www.creativeclass.com/rfcgdb/articles/Intellectual%20Entrepreneurship%20at%20The%20University%20of%20Texas.pdf “Intellectual Entrepreneurship at The University of Texas: An Answer to Industry Growth Initiative Strategy #1: Higher Education Consortium,” by J.D. Meyer. Originally in The Daily You. June 15, 2010.

3. https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/marylands-procurement-process-aiming-to-create-more-stable-employment “Maryland Procurement Gets More In Line With Stable, In-State Employment,” by Bill Bradley. Sept. 24, 2013.

4. http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-News+Local/225926/tjc-offers-new-physical-therapy-assistant-courses “TJC Offers New Physical Therapy Assistant Courses,” by Betty Waters. Oct. 27, 2015.

5. http://www.citylab.com/work/2013/11/where-reliance-eds-and-meds-industries-could-become-liability/7661/ “Where Reliance on ‘Eds and Meds’ Can Become a Liability,” by Dr. Richard Florida. Nov. 26, 2013.

6. http://www.citylab.com/work/2012/09/eds-and-meds-alone-cant-revitalize-cities/3292/ “Why Eds and Meds Alone Can’t Revitalize Cities,” by Dr. Richard Florida. Sept. 18, 2012.

7. http://www.newgeography.com/content/003076-the-end-road-eds-and-meds “The End of the Road for Eds and Meds,” by Aaron Penn. Sept. 9, 2012.

8. https://www.guernicamag.com/daily/jay-walljasper-how-to-revive-low-income-neighborhoods/ “Jay Walljasper: How to Revive Low-Income Neighborhoods,” by Jay Walljasper. April 9, 2014.

9. https://www.academia.edu/1084754/Urban_Gardens “Urban Gardens: Interview with Ray Cook–Middle School Science Teacher for Athens (TX)
ISD.,” by J.D. Meyer 14 Links. (Once at KLTV in your community).

10. http://community-wealth.org/content/anchor-dashboard-aligning-institutional-practice-meet-low-income-community-needs “The Anchor Dashboard: Aligning Institutional Practice to Meet Low Income Community Needs,” by Steve Dubb, Sarah McKinley, & Ted Howard August 2013. 52-page PDF from the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland.

11. https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/a-guide-for-your-local-eds-and-meds-to-become-better-neighbors “A Guide for Your Local Eds and Meds to Become Better Neighbors,” by Bill Bradley. Sept. 25, 2013.

12. http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2015/counties-with-highest-concentration-of-employment-in-oil-and-gas-extraction-june-2014.htm Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Counties with the Highest Concentration of Employment in Oil and Gas.” Jan. 9, 2015.

13. http://www.tylertexasonline.com/tyler-texas-hospitality-jobs.htm “Tyler Texas Jobs in the Hospitality Employment Sector.”

14. http://www.kltv.com/story/30311898/report-shows-americans-spending-more-at-restaurants-than-on-groceries#.VilW8SET4DA.facebook “Report shows Americans spending more at restaurants than on groceries,” by Kim Leoffer. Oct. 21, 2015.

15. http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-News+Local/220812/beer-wine-sales-boon-to-tyler-bust-to-outlying-areas “Beer, Wine Sales Boon to Tyler, Bust to Outlying Areas,” by Ron Maynard. June 15, 2015.

16. https://www.sba.gov/content/sba-dfw-district-office-announces-2014-small-business-award-winners “SBA Announces 2014 Small Business Award Winners,” by Ahmad Goree. April 20, 2014. {Nick Pencis, Owner of Stanley’s Famous Bar-B-Q: SBA Buisness Person of the Year for DFW District}.

17. http://www.kltv.com/story/28527392/home-construction-booming-in-e-texas “Home construction booming in E.Texas,”by Alex Osiadaez. March 16, 2015.

18. http://blog.hbweekly.com/tyler-prepares-for-a-building-boom/ “Tyler Prepares for a Building Boom,” by Wendy Wilkerson. May 19, 2015.

19. https://www.academia.edu/1744169/Bilingual_All-Level_Academic_Vocabulary “Bilingual All-Level Academic Vocabulary (BALAV),” by J.D. Meyer (Academia.edu link goes to 3 articles. WordPress outline article April 19, 2014).

20. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/texas-college-success-program-a-winner-in-gates-foundation-competition-for-educational-innovation-225263752.html “Texas college success program a winner in Gates Foundation Competition for Educational Innovation,” by Maria Chavez. Sept. 25, 2013.

21. https://www.academia.edu/18726274/THEA_Study_Guide_for_Developmental_English_Writing_Exit_Exam “Study Guide for the Developmental English/Writing Exit Exam,” by JD Meyer )In copyrighted textbook 2008).

Utilizing the #You Matter Paradigm by Angela Maiers in Composition Textbooks, by Joffre (“JD”) Meyer

On Utilizing the #You Matter Model by Angela Maiers
for Sustainability in English Composition & Developmental English/Writing Textbooks,
by Joffre (“JD”) Meyer

The “You Matter” educational model developed by Angela Maiers looks like an ideal complement for the sustainability in composition theories of Derek Owens. Whereas sustainability vindicates the validity of one’s neighborhood and career goals as source material, “you matter” brings an articulate method for affirming the individual.
Let’s start with highlights from the You Matter Manifesto. (1) You have influence through solving problems by contributing your genius in a new way. (2) Your insight can find original solutions if you have enough passion and don’t surrender to indulgence. (3) Your actions define your impact; you have a gift that others need. (4) Our presence is important, for we can realize that we matter in small encounters.
In concluding, Angela Maiers defines to matter as to be significant and relevant, as well as consequential and important—perhaps not locally, but elsewhere. Through the Internet, I was able to discover the persuasive and uplifting work of Angela Maiers and renew the defense of my philosophy of writing textbooks.
In “12 Ways to Let People Know They Matter,” Angela Maiers begins with a quote from the late Jackie Robinson, the baseball star. Robinson proclaimed, The measure of a life is its impact on others, rather than one’s accomplishments.” Maiers notes that those who simply believed in her made the biggest impact on her, not necessarily raved about her expertise or accomplishments. Once again, my analysis of her article will attempt to apply “you matter” to sustainability in composition.
Angela Maiers reveals that we ask, “Do I matter to you?” For the classroom, this implies we should allow a wide range of essay prompts and model essays for our students in our textbooks and assignments. In that we way, teachers show they really care about what the students are saying.
A great mattering question for the writer is, “What rocked your world (not necessarily today)?” Young kids ask out loud, “Is this okay?” Developing writers have the same feeling inside; they need encouragement. Cynicism sucks the life out of work, business, and people, according to Angela Maiers. For years, I have acquiesced to the cynic-supported fear that I should settle for only submitting my grammar chapter to a textbook publisher.
An open teacher/writer could be so inspired by his students’ wide ranging essays to include some as edited student essays in his/her textbook. Edited student essays turned chapter sections received the subtitle, “The Students Take Over,” in my textbook. It’s like talking nicely about the other in conversation shows what has been shared. Offering hope is as contagious as its opposite. Teachers can lift students above their circumstances or send them into a tailspin, cautions Mrs. Maiers.