A New Twist on Bigger is Better?

Dec 10, 2021 | 1 comment

I’ve never been an advocate of the “bigger is better” point of view.  After all, my maiden name was Little and until I was well into my thirties I was lucky to carry 105 pounds on my 5’2″ frame.  And I knew, unequivocally, that the lyrics to “Has Anybody Seen My Gal?” were meant for me — my eyes were, indeed, blue.  Besides which, when I had a bout of political fever and ran for office (several times) in high school, I always won with the slogan “Good Things Come In Little Packages.”  So, clearly, I wasn’t the only one who thought so.

When the latest idea for a “unified campus” for the Ocean Beach School District came up recently, I was not overly enthusiastic.  I must admit, though, that the movers and shakers have found a new spin to put on things — now a primary concern is about “two of its schools that are located in tsunami inundation zones.”   When going for a big bond it’s always wise to get a hot-button topic at the forefront, you betcha.

At first glance, it does, indeed, make sense to have all the District’s kids on the highest ground possible — not easy on this low-lying series of sand dunes we call home.  But… wait a minute.  Do we know for a fact that the tsunami will come during school hours — some time between the first week in September and the third week in June and, for sure, between 7:00 in the morning and 4:00 in the afternoon, and not on a Saturday or Sunday?  I haven’t done the math, but I don’t think that’s even one-fourth of the time in a year for those kids.   And what if The Big One did come then and the kids were safe on their campus island? Where would their folks be?  And how would they know?  And do cell phones really work under water?

The Oysterville School – Under OCC Stewardship since 1957

I think I’d much rather see us go for a big bond that would substantially reduce class sizes — maybe no more than ten kids to a classroom.  Maybe even some one-on-one situations for those who could benefit by soaring ahead with a tutor in math or philosophy — perhaps a with a modern-day Socrates for guidance.  Could we imagine investing the bond money in kids, not buildings, and work toward a world of thinking, caring individuals?  Clearly, bigger has not proved to be better thus far.  I wonder what it would take to try it another way.

1 Comment

  1. Cousin David

    Completely right. The poor math education we have provided to date makes us open to misunderstanding proportion. Your analysis is right on mark especially when set in the context of when such an event might occur. Some time in the next 10s to 50 of years.

    Your suggestions improves the chances of surviving a tsunami there solution offers a best the chance of emotionally disabled kids trying to survive after devastation.


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