Monday, January 15, 2024

Similarities between mosquito exterminators and many educators


Here is a comment dated Sunday October 17, 2010 in one of my blog posts Dyslexia - Spelling Bee

Here is the comment which is hilarious/ outrageous but at the same time exactly depicting what is going on today. 


I believe that the best solution to many problems ends up being rather elegant.

To be a little outrageous let me use the analogy of how to kill a mosquito. Many years ago people were bothered by mosquitoes. Nobody knew what to do. At one point a council was called of the elders. The wise gathered around the campfire and discussions went on all night. As dawn was nearing one man said he once dropped a bolder and found it had crushed a mosquito. That day the elders got together and started dropping boulders on unsuspecting mosquitoes. It seemed to work and so it became the procedure that some big guy in every village was designated as mosquito exterminator and it was his job to go and kill mosquitoes. Well unfortunately there were a lot of bruises, some crushed limbs, and the occasional death. Hey, they did have a solution. One day someone was particularly bothered but there was no mosquito exterminator nearby so she grabbed a nearby rock and crushed the mosquitoes. This was reported to the council. They visited the woman and scolded her. She showed others what she did; some took up rocks and did the same. Well, they were well-paid mosquito exterminators and councillors that had reputations to preserve. Resistance to the new idea was strong but some people practiced the new technique. Eventually, the elders died off and people with crushed limbs hated the exterminators. So another council was called. The small rock was adopted and before you knew it exterminators were equipped with their own personalized and monographed hand-held mosquito crushers. Now there were no more deaths, the occasional fractures, and lots of small bruises. One day someone found that a simple smack of the hand resolved the problem and nobody had to know. The masses adopted this. For years the mosquito crushers carried on their work. But some years later the last mosquito crusher died quietly in his sleep. Today we all just smack the mosquitoes and the grand history of the original mosquito exterminators and grand council is lost.


Well, folks we have survived the first generation of dyslexia exterminators. The second generation, the “phonological unaware” generation, and their great councils are now in power. I wait for that generation to leave the stage.

(My note: The ‘phonological unaware’ generation is also solved)

I strongly believe that the “elastic brain” is where the ultimate answer lies. Within the circuitry of the brain, the very brain that is dyslexic lay a solution. Somewhere along the line research will show that a few carefully designed exercises will set up a cascade of events that will rewire the brain. I believe that your work and your exercises (Luqman’s work and exercises) hint at it.


I hope that someday public pressure and intelligence will lead to a rationalization of English and French.


Thank you, thank you, and thank you, my friend.



I guess that the only way to reduce illiteracy is to wait for our current educators, who are against everything that can improve reading proficiency, to die.



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