Tulsa: November 2003 Archives

Four-Oh, continued


A dear friend and regular reader of this blog thought I needed to lighten up, so she baked me a cake, a cut-up cake just like the one I had when I turned three -- a hobby horse, complete with coconut frosting for fur and Life Savers polka dots. (Baker's Coconut published a booklet of cut-up cake plans -- very popular in the early 60s.)

The earlier entry was a bit gloomy, I suppose. Really, life is pretty good, and I have plenty of blessings to count, two of whom you see in the above photo, and another one is holding the camera.

Taxpayer abuse down the 'pike


Charles at dustbury.com has notice of a rally to protest the opening of Bass Pro Shops in Oklahoma City, a facility built with $17 million in public money. Mayor Kirk Humphreys, a candidate to replace Don Nickles in the U.S. Senate, strongly supported the subsidy plan as a way to build an attraction that would bring tourists and revenue to the city.

Moshe Tal, who has sued the city over the Bass Pro Shops deal, had his canal front property -- property he planned to develop -- taken from him, ostensibly for public purposes, but later sold to another private developer.

It could happen here, and in some instances already has.

Caffé Bona


Had lunch at Kim Long's today and as we were driving away I noticed a newly opened Internet cafe on the north side of 81st, east of Memorial, advertising free wireless Internet access. It's called Caffe Bona. I didn't stop in today, but will be interested to check it out at some point. It's hard to imagine an Internet coffee shop working as a place you reach by car -- perhaps they'll draw clientele from the apartment complex within walking distance.

With a name like Caffe Bona, I'm guessing the place is run by Julian and his friend Sandy, filling in between acting engagements.

(I'd be interested in knowing how many Tulsa readers have any idea what that last paragraph is all about.)

UPDATE: Since no one e-mailed to say, "I get it! Ha, ha!", I'll explain myself in the extended entry below.

Despite the wonder about a wireless internet cafe in a suburban context, I am thrilled that someone is opening such an establishment in Tulsa, and I wish them all the best. I really enjoyed the Internet cafe I frequented in Savannah, and I hope the idea spreads quickly to Midtown and Downtown.

Once upon a time, Tulsa schools taught foreign language by actually teaching it. A reader writes:

Dear Mr. Bates:

I found your October 8 essay, "How to Teach French without Actually Teaching It," funny but depressing.

I'm writing because I hope you can help me figure out how to get some information on past language instruction in Tulsa. I attended Fulton Grade School and Skelly Junior High in the sixties. We were the first class to go all the way through Skelly, and I got excellent language instruction there. I studied French and, when I moved on to Palo Alto, California, for high school, I was so far ahead of my class there that the teacher gave me an independent study.

I wondered if you knew what the Tulsa system in the sixties was called, or if you knew anything that had been written about it. We approached language in multiple ways that my child's teachers seem to find very implausible, and I'd like to be able to show them some literature on it. I seem to remember reading in the Tulsa papers that foreign languages were a bit of a showpiece in the school system.

Briefly, we did it all. From the very beginning, we spoke the language in the classroom. We practiced saying "dialogues" with one another, and wrote and practiced our own dialogues using the words we were learning. We also read simple texts from the very beginning. We took "dictation" from the teacher, writing down what she said. In addition, we went to language lab once a week. By our second year, we were writing and performing plays in French. It made the memorizing a thousand times easier because we internalized the structure of the language, its connotations, its pitch, etc.

If you know how I could find written information about the Tulsa schools' language instruction in the sixties, I'd appreciate your help very much.

Can anyone who was around back then help this reader? Drop me a line at blog at batesline dot com, and I'll pass it along to her. Thanks.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa category from November 2003.

Tulsa: October 2003 is the previous archive.

Tulsa: December 2003 is the next archive.

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