Readers write: Eco-construction, ring salad and education for democracy

Eco-construction that saves

Kudos to those looking for practical ways to build in harmony with the environment, as seen in the September 26 cover story, “Back to Nature for Cooler Buildings.”

As a retired home builder, most of these solutions are “one-off”. It’s hard to convince a bank, appraiser, zoning commission, building inspector, or neighbors that this approach will work. That said, I hope some of the innovative ideas will gradually make their way into the system. Not so long ago, plywood construction was a novel idea. Ditto for the use of prefabricated parts like roof and floor trusses and high-tech windows.

If you can show how these ideas save money and can be produced in volume, owners and production builders will take notice.

Paul Sedan
San Francisco

A summer of ring salad

Summer is coming to an end and for the most part so is outdoor entertainment. The same goes for my favorite, most complimented and requested recipe of all time – the Wunder ring salad, printed August 2021. Finding these little round noodles proved to be a challenge, but I finally got them. found online. I follow the recipe down to the last ingredient.

I want to thank Sue Wunder for sharing her family recipe with all of us Monitor readers. She’s right – you can’t improve on perfection!

Cecilia Miller
Pittsburgh

Educate for democracy

I’m so glad you’re publishing a long overdue series of articles on public education and democracy.

An image from the August 29 cover story, “Public Education, Democracy, and America’s Future,” shows one of the problems with our education system. We have what seems like an unchanging story of students sitting passively for 18 years in rows of desks. They face a teacher who dominates and transmits knowledge, using tools such as pencils, paper and books, supporting singular learning styles, mainly verbal.

For years I worked with the School Zone Institute in New Mexico, where we tried to transform the American classroom into a production studio, empowering students through collaborative and creative projects, exhibitions their work, public speaking, presentations, and a more democratic way of running the classroom. Educators must facilitate the acquisition of knowledge through the learning style of students (visual, musical, art, architecture, history, etc.).

Students should identify with the subject matter that interests them. The classroom or studio itself should be a model of democracy. As the founder of the Christian Science Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, once said, “The time for thinkers has come.

Anne Taylor
Albuquerque, New Mexico

phew of joy

When I finished reading the August 29 cover story on public education, I let out an audible cry of joy. Why? Because of my personal focus right now: prison reform and education!

I don’t believe there’s another publication that does what the Monitor does when it comes to covering today’s world scene – go deeper into outer space.

And knowing that there would be three more parts in this series indeed filled my cup of gratitude to overflowing.

Caroline A. Hill
Portland, OR