Letters To The Editor
Edmund Janko's Commentary, "Notes on the Saturnalia of Hallway Life'' (Education Week, Jan. 12, 1983), was accurate, articulate, and entertaining--in the same way a Racine or Corneille or Shakespeare tragedy is "entertaining."
Two useful strategies for dealing with the problems of narcissism and sleeping in the classroom are the following:
In the case of mirror gazing, you simply say to the infatuated one, ''You've already passed the test. You don't have to change a thing." And when the mesmerized child inquires as to what you mean, you add, "The Beauty Test!" (Full credit for this technique should go to another New York City teacher of English.)
The second problem is handled by having a gentle soul in the class stir the unconscious one back into a state of wakefulness, after which the teacher very quickly, before the potted one falls back into a stupor, says, "Please sleep with your head up and your eyes open, so that if anyone goes by the room and looks in, I won't be embarrassed."
Neither solution is guaranteed to do anything but make the teacher feel better. But nowadays, feeling good as a teacher is worth its weight in gold.
Paul Siegel Assistant Principal-Supervision Foreign Languages Department Seward Park High School New York, N.Y.
Your recent article on state sex-equity legislation, "States Draft Laws Against Sex Bias in Education" (Education Week, Jan. 19, 1983), was informative and generally accurate. I am quoted in the article to the effect that state courts are notoriously more conservative than federal courts. Whether this is true or not I cannot say. I did not say anything resembling the printed quotation precisely because I have no data on which to base a judgment on the "conservative" or "liberal" orientation of state judicial systems relative to sex discrimination in education issues.
Susan Bailey Council of Chief State School Officers Resource Center on Sex Equity Washington, D.C.
Editor's Note: The remark in question was actually made by Tracy Huling, chairman of the Full Access and Rights to Education Coalition, located in New York. Our apologies.