A note of hope
I read Anna Carvlin’s interviews on the consequences of addiction with great interest [cover, March 27: “End of the Night”]. Missing from those stories, however, is a note of hope: well-evidenced forms of medically supported sobriety—the use of medications like buprenorphine (Suboxone) for opioids and naltrexone for alcohol—can help break the cycles of cravings and relapse, while reducing the social harms of addiction. Understanding addiction within the bio-psycho-social model—rather than as a moral failing—allows us to grapple with addiction the same way we grapple with diabetes or heart disease: as a condition that can be treated with combined medical, psychological and social modalities in order to reduce individual and societal harm. Addiction is part of the human condition, but every person suffering from it should be offered state-of-the-art treatment that offers a real hope of recovery.
Julie Craig, MD
I wish there actually was a reason to be optimistic about Santa Fe Public Schools “secondary school reform” [School Re-formed, March 20: “The Dream School”]. A posse of overpaid administrators all of the same political stripe does not make a “dream team.” None of [SFPS Superintendent Joel] Boyd’s plans came from our community; SFPS teachers were not consulted in any meaningful way.
Boyd and his overpaid, bloated administration are well-schooled in politics and completely out of touch with the classroom. They stage “community forums” so that they can say they have “buy in” from “stakeholders”—not because they care.
Their options for secondary school reform were presented to our community in multiple-choice test format (surprise!): choose option a, b, c or d. All of these options are canned corporate products that will bring big profits to Boyd’s corporate education cronies and no benefits to our kids. Boyd and his pet [SFPS board member] Steve Carrillo talk about “world-class schools” ad nauseum. Whatever world-class schools are, they aren’t going to happen in a district that can never “find” the money to pay teachers a living wage.
It’s not like we don’t have a wealth of local talent and creativity. Some great middle/high school proposals have been put forth by SFPS teachers—and soundly quashed.
Only when we succeed in ejecting the politicians from our public schools will we see meaningful change.
On the ranch
I went up to the [DH Lawrence] Ranch three times between 2007 and ‘09 while I was in grad school at St. John’s College [cover, March 20: “Ghost Ranch”]. I poked around on my own and even had some lively chats with a female caretaker. It wasn’t until the summer of 2009 that the property was closed off to the public. The property really is in bad shape, and it’s shameful the way the University of New Mexico has let it go. It is a piece of American and Brit-lit heritage. I don’t think they should turn it into a pseudo-intellectual Disneyland, but they should definitely stabilize the property and make it somewhat productive while protecting its authenticity.
On the other side
GT [George Koumantaros] was not only a teacher of music, but he taught me how to stay sober and live life [music, Feb. 20: “Posthumous George”]. He was a very close friend of mine and I have a huge love for GT. I will always smile when I think of the wonderful time we shared on this planet. May your soul rest in peace, GT, and I will see you on the other side someday...
So happy to see someone who has a blog about New Mexican food [big picture, March 27: “Santa Fe Vile”]! Keep it up, Warren [Langford]—and you can stock up on Hatch green chile (even if it is frozen) when you are visiting!
My daughters would most likely slam the door in my face if I visited them and forgot to bring some green chile!
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