Editorial cartoon, Oct. 17, 2021

Early childhood education

It’s no question we must be doing more for our students, particularly in the Antelope Valley. Transforming our education system starts with turning more of our attention to early childhood education.

As a former preschool teacher and someone who has worked with young kids my entire life, I have seen firsthand the immense value of a quality early childhood education. When we invest in our children before they enter kindergarten, we set them up for social, emotional and cognitive success; and lay the foundation for their future educational experiences. In fact, studies suggest those who receive early childhood education are more likely to complete college.

California has underfunded early childhood education, and the Antelope Valley experiences further neglect. We need more free preschools, Head Start programs and child care resource centers. Not only do they get our kids ready for school and set them up for success; they also nourish our young ones with free, nutritious meals that some do not otherwise have access to.

Fortunately, there are many policy decisions at the state level that are pushing early childhood education forward. This year, Governor Gavin Newsom and lawmakers championed universal transitional kindergarten, which will be a game-changer for many families that cannot afford childcare as it is gradually phased in over the next five years.

It’s absolutely paramount that an early childhood specialist has a seat at the table when decisions about our children’s future are being made, particularly as universal pre-K is rolled out in California.

Andrea Rosenthal

Palmdale

Speaking in tongues

I was always fascinated by the concept of “speaking in tongues”, which is often associated with religious prophecy, or extreme intoxication.     

I was raised Lutheran and in middle school had a relatively decent pastor who told some amazing stories.

One day in religion class he told us of his journey to learn to “speak in tongues”.  

He said he immersed himself in study and prayer and after several months wound up on top of Diamond Head crater in the middle of a stormy Honolulu night.

He hiked to the highest point of the crater wall and began uncontrollably babbling in a language he said was a mutation of French, Portuguese and Latin.  

He said he didn’t understand what he was saying or what it all meant, but was frightened by his inability to control what was happening to him.

That was the end of his quest to speak in tongues.

He advised all of us to never attempt such an endeavor.

I did respect him for his candor and his ability to whistle in harmony.

He could actually whistle two different tones, ascending and descending counterpoint, at the same time.

I don’t know how he did it, but it always impressed me.

He also accepted the possibility of extraterrestrial life and said it didn’t cheapen anyone’s faith in God to believe that God’s creations are indeed Universal.

Maybe he was an alien? Pastor Mania. Not a pastor, but an incredible simulation.  

He did leave the school suddenly in 1977 and none of the other faculty would discuss it.

I asked if they checked out Diamond Head crater. Maybe he hopped on board the space ship to purgatory?

Speaking in tongues was his boarding pass.  

They failed to see the humor.  

Mitchell Seyfer

Palmdale

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