Testing one, two, three

Back to business. I still have two weeks of Tribs to read and I’ve got to see if my “trading cards” are ready yet. And this morning my nephew paid us a call ending a seven year estrangement between our families. He’s a new Dad and that means new leaves being turned over. I’m delighted.

But like I began – back to business. I read this story in the Minneapolis paper last night and its in the DNT today. This will have implications for Duluth which I can not yet thoroughly discern. Second paragraph:

The new plan would take full effect in the 2018-19 school year. It replaces the ratings and labels given to public schools based on their performance with one that focuses on the lowest-performing 5 percent of Title 1-funded schools. It also would identify high schools with a graduation rate below 67 percent or where any student group — black, Asian, Latino or low-income, for example — falls below a 67 percent graduation rate.

This story screams “EQUITY!”

Good. That’s one of the three legs of my campaign and you can find it on the back of my trading cards. “EQUITY-HONESTY-EXPERIENCE” I better go pick them up if they are ready and begin passing them out at Spirit Mountain Days. Tomorrow though. Its too wet today.

I might even need to spend some time working on my clunky campaign webpage: http://www.weltyforschoolboard.com/

China in the rear view mirror – Post 1

China may block Facebook but Facebook is pretty stingy about letting people easily share the posts they’ve put together. Last night after picking out several dozen of the 500 or so pictures I took with my cell phone I took a dozen from our first two days in China into a short Facebook “slideshow.” It is much quicker than browsing through a dozen photos and if you really want to see one you can pause the video. This is what I posted to Facebook about the first of several slideshows to come:

Sites from Beijing – view from our hotel and bus window, Tianamin Square and Forbidden City and the Dowager Empresses’ Compound. The Dowager is said to have brewed poisoned tea for one of her court rivals. Ever since Chinese have joked that the tea was “mama hoo hoo.” In English that means, so so.

https://www.facebook.com/harry.welty/videos/10154528702981394/

It took me ages to edit and upload what otherwise would have been simple posts had I been doing my work on my computer here in Duluth. I often did it in the middle of the night in the bathroom of our hotel or river ship’s state room. More of my fellow travelers were asleep then giving me more bandwidth and less wait time.

Half way through our trip I discovered one Internet necessity that the Chinese did not block – Wikipedia. That was a godsend and it was explained in a news story I read while abroad that said the authors of Wikipedia were particularly faithful to the notion of journalistic impartiality in their work. I guess even the People’s Republic could live with that although they probably have a small army of checkers who edit critical Wiki posts so that they comport with the Chinese view of the world.

In my video you will see some shots of Chinese that I did not ask permission to take. I hope they can remain as anonymous here as they were to me when I snapped them. I must stress that whatever international disagreements exist between our two nations the Chinese I met were very friendly. As my little tour group went around to various Chinese hot spots we were constantly being asked by more rural visitors to their nation’s iconic destinations to pose with them for pictures they could show to friends back home to prove they had actually seen exotic foreigners. Our guide told us that we are often referred to as “dabizi” (Dah-BEE-zee) meaning “big nose.” That and mama hoo hoo are part of the paltry Chinese lingo I acquired while traveling. The Chinese I met spoke English with a great diversity of competence.

Twixt China and Duluth

I’m not quite through pontificating about China. Heck, I haven’t even posted any pictures but now that I’m back home I have work to do. I’m running again for the School Board among other things.

Behind the Bamboo Internet Curtain I was unable to answer email or see “notifications” of Facebook messages. I looked forward to having this afternoon for that but we slept late at a park and ride motel and then our Toyota’s brakes were gummed up and we had to kill three hours to have the problem fixed before driving home. We didn’t get back till about 4 PM and grandchildren were waiting for us and the treats we might bring them. For my part that included a couple pounds of strange wrapped Chinese candies. I bought them at a Walmart in Shanghai and promptly left the building without seeing the live chickens, frogs, fish and chickens that Walmart sells in their Chinese stores. I didn’t bother to go see them with the rest of our tour but I heard they smelled a little ripe even for being alive.

One of the emails sent to me came from the Duluth Federation of Teachers. It was an invitation to interview with them next week but as I could not open it I had to wait until today to reply. Here’s their invite:


Sent: 27-Jul-2017 21:05:27 +0000
From: “Dzuck, Terry [MN]”
To: AJohnston2@charter.net , HarryWelty@charter.net , VoteKurtKuehn@gmail.com , SallyForSchoolBoard@gmail.com , BogdanaForSchools@gmail.com , GorhamForDuluthSchools@gmail.com , Lofald.Jill@gmail.com , RosieForSchoolBoard@gmail.com , LMartell343@gmail.com
Subject: Duluth Federation of Teachers School Board Candidates Screening

Greetings Duluth School Board candidates. Attached please see a letter inviting you to participate in the Duluth Federation of Teachers Screening event taking place on Tuesday, August 8, 2017.

and here’s my acceptance:

Terry,

I apologize for my tardy reply. I just returned from a trip to the People’s Republic of China last night and they block email. I saw that you had sent it but couldn’t open it.

I look forward to my interview and plan to attend.

Best regards,

Harry Welty

2 minutes of random Shanghai traffic

Shot from the 11th floor of the Westin “Lotus” Hotel.

It’s being uploaded to YouTube. Will explain after our drive to Duluth this afternoon.

Best I can do while on my cell phone waiting to have my tires checked in Inver Grove Hts is share the link:

https://youtu.be/uCz4HW3tNUg

As I explained on Facebook:

“This is not a dramatic picture of the Great Wall or the Terracotta warriors but a mundane 2 minute video taken from our last day in China from the 11th floor of the Westin “Lotus” Hotel. Gov. Christie is defending President Trump on CNN in the background.

American street traffic is much more orderly but Chinese Internet and television traffic is even more orderly. No troubling news….unless it’s about the USA.”

On our first day in China, in Beijing, I found a startling sign in the 5 star Kerry Hotel that I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. I took a picture of what I found in the top drawer of the bedside table. It wasn’t a Gideon’s Bible.

Not a Gideon's Bible

It was a pair of free prophylactics.