Goshen News, Goshen, IN


September 1, 2013

WHOLE FAMILY: Keep your minds and those No. 2 pencils sharp

Nothing quite like a newly-sharpened No. 2 pencil, is there? Some 30 years ago, on test day, we students would each get two brand-new pencils, school-bus-yellow pencils with fat, pink, unmarred erasers. I liked the pencils’ smell — woody, clean, schoolish. I liked their feel — light, solid, sharp. More so, I liked how they made me feel – hopeful, confident, smart.

It was test day, remember? So the pencils weren’t just new pencils. They were new No. 2 pencils for meticulously filling in bubbles on Scantron© answer sheets. You’d want your lead sharp — but not so sharp it snapped — so you could fill in those test answer bubbles neatly.

And if you did not fill them in neatly … Well, it was the first time in my life I learned about “the machine” judging my work. If you did not fill in the bubbles correctly, “the machine” would count your answers wrong. Three decades later, I heard the same spiel in a college course: Fill out the boxes — rectangles, this time — correctly or else. And I should note NO yellow No. 2 pencil made me feel hopeful, confident or smart enough to ace my college anatomy tests. Those days I wished I was back in sixth grade identifying parts of a sentence.

So ... TESTS! Do you like them? Hate them? Ace them? Always bomb them? How do you feel about your children taking them? Have you read some of the controversies about standardized achievement tests? Do you find tests useful?

And do you realize — we all take tests every single day? We do. Might as well consider them.

As a nursing student, my life revolves, in many ways, around achievement tests. Each lecture class has several tests, and for many classes, those tests are the only measures for my entire class grade. (When I’m a nursing instructor, we’re having more papers, I swear.) For clinical skills, we had to be tests — or “validated,” it’s called. Then, after graduating, all would-be nurses must take and pass the BIG TEST, called the NCLEX, for a license to practice nursing. So, much of what we do in school is prepping us for that one, big, eventual test.

An “achievement” test like the NCLEX assesses what you know, what you’ve learned. Achievement tests are the ones most common in academics. You learn something — likely by lecture or reading — then you take a test to see if you learned the content.

Or, at least, if you can regurgitate the content.

That’s one complaint some people have about using achievement tests to measure academic success. Ever taken a test, or know someone who has, then promptly forgotten nearly everything once you got your good grade? I’d like to tell you I’ve never done that. Alas, I have.

Other tests assess not so much achievement but just your “status” for any given issue. Think of an eye exam, the test where you read the letters on the wall. There’s no “achievement” to it; instead, it’s simply an assessment of how great or poor your eyes are. I like tests like that — ones for which there’s no right or wrong answers. For my eye tests and urinalysis drug tests, I often joke, “Now, those are tests I’m sure to ace.”

Text Only
  • GN140728 FAIR Presidents Baked Items multiberry crisp.jpg Multi-berry crisp claims fair president's award President Tim Yoder’s Baked Item this year was fruit crisp.Of the 20 entries, first place went to Sally Kyle of Goshen with her Multi-berry Crisp. FIRST PLACEMulti-berry CrispSally Kyle, Goshen1-1/2 cups flour3/4 cup brown sugar, packed1 stick cold b

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140728 FAIR Anything Goes with Cabbage.jpg May Beane wins Anything Goes with Cabbage May Beane of Elkhart won the Anything Goes with Locally Grown Cabbage contest, sponsored by Sweet Corn Charlie Produce, Wednesday at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.Twelve exhibitors entere 12 cabbage recipes.FIRST PLACEChicken Cabbage SaladMay Beane, El

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140728 FAIR blueberries.jpg Bread pudding takes Bursting with Blueberries prize Former Goshen resident and current Gainesville, Texas, resident Diana Julien Sims’ recipe for Blueberry White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Amaretto Cream Sauce won the Bursting with Blueberries top prize at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.The contest too

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Briefly GOSHENCripe reunion set for Aug. 16Anyone with an ancestor who was a Cripe is invited to attend the Cripe reunion Aug. 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at West Goshen Church of the Brethren, 1200 Berkey Ave. in Goshen.At 10 a.m., speaker Jerry Cripe will giv

    July 28, 2014

  • stephanie price column sig WHOLE FAMILY: Adapting a pledge I can truly honor “I solemnly pledge myself … in the presence of this assembly to practice my profession faithfully. I will safeguard my clients and the public when health care and safety are at stake. I vow to adhere to the legal and ethical principles of the profess

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • THE NATURALIZED MID-AMERICAN: Master wood craftsman shows the inner beauty of trees I am still surprised by the beauty I see in these lengths of wood, and suppose I always will be. They are testament to the carefully-wrought, intricate, and deep craft of creation. They are testament to Don’s generous craftsmanship, too — for which I am very grateful — which was an expression of the joyful Craft that created him. He and those beautiful boards were cut from the same living tree.

    July 27, 2014

  • Briefly ELKHART‘Dog Daze of Summer’ Aug. 2The Pillars of Elkhart will host the fourth annual Dog Daze of SummerAug. 2 from 5 to 11 p.m. at the Civic Plaza in downtown Elkhart. Dog Daze will feature two local bands, High Gravity and MR Z Band. Hot Dog vendors

    July 27, 2014

  • GN140726 Queen Kaahumanu GLOBAL FAITHS: Hawaiians' conversion to Christianity helped women A recent trip to Hawaii to visit family drew my attention again to Hawaiian religion. Original Hawaiians are Polynesians who came to Hawaii from Tahiti, Samoa, Easter Island and other Pacific islands between 500 and 1300 A.D. These Hawaiians were polytheists who worshiped and built shrines to various nature deities. But on the big island of Hawaii they came to revere especially Pele, the fierce and violent goddess of volcanoes.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Briefly SYRACUSEThe Book of Job presentation Aug. 1The public is invited to experience the Book of Job at a one-man dramatization by the Rev. Dave Marty Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. The event will take place in the auditorium of the Oakwood Resort Event Center, 702 E. L

    July 26, 2014

  • THE PLAIN SIDE: A hunter finds his delight in God's nature with deer There, in the grass, lies a 12-point buck that the neighbor hit with his van. You quickly estimate the deer at 170 or better. No way. You ask a few tight-lipped questions and yes, the driver affirms the direction the deer was going. He points a still

    July 26, 2014


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results