Sunday, July 28, 2013

CCR: Jan's Red Pen

the   Controversial  Committee   Report
“We don’t raise sacred cows...we just butcher them.”

      Dear Readers:

      This report represents an out of the ordinary wordsmithing departure from the CCRs usual cat kicking affairs.  However, the report is one that the CCR staff and family of Jan Dickson believe is noteworthy and should be shared with you and Jan’s many friends and associates.

     A significant number of CCR readers know Jan Dickson, retired Irving ISD Junior High English teacher.  What most may not know is that Jan was an integral part of the CCR reports for many, many years.  When the reports went on-line and were sent by e-mail to readers and then posted to the CCRs blog, Jan “retired” from editing, correcting grammar and straightening any dangling participles that managed to creep into the report text.  (Thus accounting for all the grammar and syntax errors found in the reports today!)  

     She was terrific and eagle-eye sharp at her editing task and often offered suggested changes or substitute words that didn’t bruise the cat as bad when it was kicked by the CCR staff.  Later, Jan even penned her own opinions (definitely non-cat kicking) for the CCR relative to school issues and how to assist every kid in reaching their full potential.  Her writing was as inspirational and motivating as was her dedication to students, parents and other educators.  Her passion for education was even used by the Irving ISD to assist new teachers entering the field.

     For all her zeal, attention to details, tirelessness and non-compensated review of reports dropped off at 6:30 a.m. on her front porch, the CCR staff will always be grateful.

     We are sadden to note that Jan is now in an assisted living facility being treated for Alzheimer’s.  Contemplation of this only leads to the greater question of ‘why‘ Jan.  And to our knowledge and way of thinking, no one is able to answer that question on her behalf, or for anyone else that might be suffering from a debilitating or tragic disease.

     The following represents a few genuine words from the staff of the CCR that certainly fall short of conveying the essence of the gracious lady that is Jan Dickson...and how grateful we are to have had her presence, knowledge and friendship over the years.

Ode to Jan’s Red Pen
Mark Holbrook

Red corrections and witty edit notes,
Readied the CCR for mostly literate folks.

If the cat was kicked as well it should be,
Verbiage was toned down for us to see.

A brilliant mind and sharp repartee´
Reports now made politicos jittery. 

Friend, co-conspirator and wordsmithing genie,
Contributions evoked gratitude profusely.

Our time is short as locked memories fade,
We question why unlocking keys not made.