Tonawanda News

Breaking News


September 6, 2013

ADAMCZYK: The walls behind the ivy are shaking

Tonawanda News — Status symbols exist for the benefit of people we want to make jealous, or at least those we want to make aware of what we’ve got going on. For that, the Jaguar in the driveway or the pearls around one’s neck is as valid as a Channel 17 coffee cup or a T-shirt with the Goo Goo Dolls’ tour schedule on the back.

New college freshmen (hi, kids) should be aware they are entering, descending actually, into a labyrinth of social coding with their presumed education. Harvard? Buffalo State? Dorm room? Mom’s basement? Honor societies? Some really disreputable and dishonorable societies?

These are a part of the so-called “permanent record” of which we once heard and feared, and yes, they are status symbols, symbols of the puzzle that is one’s life, that follow you “from the rocking of the cradle to the rolling of the hearse,” as songwriter Kris Kristofferson (Pomona College, Rhodes scholarship) once wrote.

The college go-getters should know about another status symbol: a table composed of somewhat self-satisfied older men, guys with the commonality of achieving their idea of success in life without the benefit of advanced educations. They worked hard, got lucky, worked harder and now sit around restaurant tables or country clubs or seniors’ places and comment on things. 

College. Going to college. Part-timing one’s way through college. Having a son or daughter in college. A good college. Or maybe no college at all. Each is something to brag about, to someone.

I thought of this when I recently read an excerpt from a new book by Tyler Cowan (an economics professor at George Mason University, which is a college), “Average is Over.” Dig this:

“Within five years we are likely to have the world’s best education, or close to it, free and online. But not everyone will sit down and go through the material without a professor pushing them to do the work.”

Text Only
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg A stunning scandal in Mississippi-voting|DUVALL: A stunning scandal in Mississippi We don't tend to talk a whole lot about Mississippi on this paper's editorial page and for good reason. It's a long way away in both distance and temperament. But I swear this will be worth it.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo