Kudos to Roman Genn for his depiction of Salvador Dalí (“Master of the Surreal,” June 12). I have discovered that if turned upside down and viewed at a distance of seven feet, the picture becomes that of Nemo in Disney’s Finding Nemo. No doubt this is a subtle comment on the fishiness of some Dalí art commentary. Or perhaps a warning that after a few more centuries of anthropogenic warming, the museum itself may be under water?
DECA Opens Doors
Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA), which Jay Nordlinger praised in one of your recent issues (“Owning Their Future,” May 29), is a program that does a lot of good for students who are both college-bound and non-college-bound. Sadly, DECA numbers are declining because the public schools are eliminating career and technical-ed (CTE) programs at a rapid rate. Take my home state of North Carolina. In the 1960s, our state had 17 collegiate CTE programs to train those in the skilled trades to become CTE teachers. Now we’re down to one (Appalachian State University). ASU has a fine program, but it’s doing the work that used to be shared by 16 other colleges and universities.
We have lots of programs and money for the gifted students and the at-risk students, but we don’t seem to do much for the average public-school students at all. These are the students who will be selling homes, starting small businesses, repairing our leaky faucets, fixing our cars, and preparing our food.
Our solution for average students, if you can call it a solution, is to saddle them with $100,000 in college debt so that they can work as Starbucks baristas with bachelor’s degrees. There used to be a better way — and it was called DECA. It didn’t preclude students from pursuing a postsecondary degree. And it gave them valuable job skills in case they had to work through college (maybe as baristas who don’t get fired because they learned good job skills in DECA).
In my own case, DECA and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) helped immediately after high school when I joined the Army. The drill sergeant asked, “Who here can type a letter?” I raised my hand. I got the job as platoon mouse, typing all non-classified documents. I earned a promotion to E3 (private first class) for that — all because of DECA and FBLA. I made E4 (specialist) in six months. And that led to three college degrees. Because of DECA (and the GI Bill), I graduated debt-free. By the time I was 50, I had my house paid for in full. And it started with DECA. It’s a pity that others cannot see the benefits of DECA and other CTE programs.