Educational Articles

WWII -The Battle for Okinawa 1945

From the book, “Autumn Winds Over Okinawa 1945,” by Dr. Pelham Mead; It was August 30, 1945 and the USS Aircraft Carrier Antietam had just docked at Haku bay on Okinawa. The signing of the Treaty was to be Sept. 6, 1945, but the Antietam broke down and had to drop out of the 3rd Fleet headed to Japan for the signing. My father, Chief Petty Officer of Aviation Mechanics had been on the Antietam since she was put in the water back in Philadelphia Naval yards in August 1944. Now it was time for him to leave the USS Antietam air craft carrier and return to Hawaii and then home to New York. He and three other sailors were taken ashore that day and left on the beach in Haku bay. Several days later the USS Antietam left for China where Russia had invaded the Manchurian peninsula.  My father and three other sailors were left on Okinawa not knowing that there were hundreds of Japanese snipers still on the island and the Marines and Navy had left the Island for the 10th Army division to mop up. When the sailors got to the Army tents further down the beach they were refused rations because they were Navy and not Army. They had to gamble to win food from the soldiers. Two major typhoons struct the island and killed hundreds of civilians and sunk over 100 ships. The three sailors had to fight to survive. Jungle diseases attacked them causing skin rashes and digestion problems. Life was hell on Okinawa and no US ships were in sight to take them back to Hawaii.


Educational Articles

NY City Mayor wants to do away with the NYC high school entrance exams to limit Asian students.

As I was having my morning coffee and reading the news online, AOL, and NY Times I came across an article about the NY City major wanting to drop the NY city high school entrance exams which it seems Asian students dominate. Imagine penalizing an ethnic group for excellence?  It is no secret that ethnic groups in New York city that support and emphasize schooling and learning at home tend to excel on entrance tests. Why? Because the social pressure from their community does not allow for failure. An Asian or Indian student must succeed for his or her community, not just for themselves. When an Asian student gets into a high rated New York city high school they bring honor to their family and community. At family, religion and community functions these brilliant students are honored for their success.

How about the rest of New York? Well the families are more dysfunctional than ever before. Black families and minority families suffer from economic plight; lack of jobs, discrimination, hatred, crime, violence, gangs and poverty. Compare an average white family to a Chinese family. In the average white family the children learn that anything free is good and to cut corners and try to get to the top anyway possible. In the Chinese family succeeding brings honor to the ancestors of the family. Chinese children are told that they must study harder and longer to beat the white students that dominate the majority of NY city High schools. Chinese families have rules about study time an discourage play on electronic toys.  Chinese families often have their children work in the family business at an early age. They learn accounting and numbers and the importance of working hard.

Sorry to say it the average white American family is lazy. They want everything handed to them. In the Jewish families the cliche’ “my son the Doctor,” points out the influence of the overbearing and motivating Jewish mother. In the Italian family having family is most important above education. Italian families have many traditions, but excellence in academics is not one of them. How about the Irish families? Why is it that so many Irish became Police and Firemen at the turn of the century? Because after the potato famine and the Irish invasion to the USA, Irish were hated and discriminated against, much the same as blacks are today. What ever ethnic group that is on the bottom of the ladder in American society, the harder it is to climb upward and succeed. Again the Chinese family or Indian family are strong because they treat girls as equals with boys in terms of academic success. Doing well in school is as important as being wealthy for Chinese and Indian families.  Especially in New York city, the melting pot of the East coast. The Chinese immigrants whether legal or illegal must struggle from day one when they come to America. First there is the language barrier and the cultural barriers, and then there is the level of poverty. The Chinese overcome these barriers by working harder than their natural born American families. An average American wants to work a short day of 6 hours and get paid for 8 hours. The immigrant Chinese family works from sun up to 11:00 p.m. at night. Chinese food places open at 6 or 7 in the morning to chop vegetables and cook the meats and seafood. At 10:00 or 11:00 they open for retail business and work all day with almost no breaks until 11:00 at night. They do this seven days a week. Chinese children learn that hard work helps them to succeed. American children learn the weekends are for play and relaxation. I don’t think the word relaxation exists in the Chinese mind. It is all work and more work and work rewards. The Japanese children spend 6 days a week in school including Saturday. They all work toward the exam to gain entry to College. Tutors are hired, parents pressure their children to succeed in school or else. Failure is not an option.

In the American society if you fail at College, you become a carpenter, a builder, a framer, a plumber, an electrician, all trades working with your hands because you cannot understand calculus. For a Chinese, Asian or Indian student failure is not an option. The pressure from the parents and the ethnic community is so great that Chinese students study 7 days a week. They do not go out and play or waste time doing nothing. Every day leads to excelling on the New York city high school entrance exams.

If the Mayor of New York city wants to drop the entrance exams for the high end high schools like Bronx School of Science, Brooklyn Tech, Stuyvesant High school and others, then he needs to change the family culture in New York City not drop the entrance exams. If the entrance exams are dropped, what criteria will be used to determine the best students get into the elite High Schools?  If you shut out the Asian students they will form their own charter high schools and ignore the public school system.  Because they study 24/7 they are going to succeed and eventually many will become politicians and change the system bak to entrance exams.

The Mayor of New York City cannot prevent Asian students from entering elite high schools no matter what. What he will allow is students that are destined to fail in these elite high schools with very high academic standards. The Bronx School of Science wins the various Science awards every year in New York State because they have a culture of excellence and they are proud of it.  Students wear sports jackets with the Bronx school of Science patch on it and they are proud they are part of the school. Pride can go a long way toward academic excellence.

Let’s talk about the faculty. Good teachers tend to work at excellent schools where the rewards for helping a brilliant student are better than the salary. Students that are accepted to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stamford, and other high standard universities bring honor to their teachers and school.  Success breeds success. Smart students help one another. At Bronx School of Science in the depressed Bronx borough they excel at Science because they have great Science teachers that are brilliant and because their students are allowed academic freedoms to research and try new medical or technical methods in Sciences.

Drop the entrance exams and the quality of the elite New York city high schools will drop over time. Drop-out rates which previously did not exist, will become a problem. Quality teachers will transfer to other high schools and charter schools to get out of the dying elite high schools. Chinese parents and Indian parents will form their own Charter schools and seek additional funding from the State, private corporations and the US. Dept. of Education. Eventually, the Elite high schools will not longer be elite and they will suffer from a poor reputation and a lack of success in placing it’s students in high level Universities.

So go ahead Mr. Mayor and see what happens when you try to level the field with Chinese and Indian families regarding academic excellence. It will backfire and take down a system in New York city that has flourished for over hundreds of years. You cannot change the culture of the Asian and Indian families. It is what they are bred for, success at all costs, especially time and community support.

chinese teacher



Educational Articles

The Chinese Crystal ball by Dr. Pelham Mead




GoodluckThe Chinese Crystal Ball

Dr. Pelham K. Mead III

Softcover: 6×9 | 9781477265062 | $13.95

Hardcover: 6×9 | 9781477265055 | $23.99

Ebook: 9781477265253 | $3.99

Pages: 102

John Cardomen acquires an ancient Chinese crystal ball. The

merchant warns John that the crystal ball had magical properties, but

John doesn’t believe him. Soon the crystal ball brings John wealth, but

with wealth comes danger…


Educational Articles

Teacher Training

Iconcastleblackboard Over ten years ago in 2001 I began a five year job as the Director of the Teacher Learning Center at The College of Mount Saint Vincent. The photo above is the castle, now Admissions center right in the middle of the campus. Here on 75 acres of prime Realestate  on the Hudson River on the Bronx county line and Westchester county line lies the Sisters of Charity campus and the College of Mount Saint Vincent a coed Catholic private college.

When I arrived at the College of Mount Saint Vincent on May 1, 2001 it was a hot humid day and I had to park at the bottom of the hill and walk up the hill to the Administration building. A friendly Dean showed me the five floors of the administrative building where most of the classrooms were and the President and other officers on the first floor level. My office was a storage room on the fourth floor of the administration building facing the Hudson River. It was quite a view.

After I was allowed to hire my secretary Mrs. Py Liv Sun who was in one of my computer training classes at BOCES in Nyack previously, I began to clean out the storage room. Five giant file cabinets had to be pushed out into the hallway for facilities to pick up and put in storage. As I found out that anything put in the hallway was up for grabs among other academic departments that needed file cabinets or thrown out furniture. I was told there was surplus furniture in the attic of the building, so Py Liv and I went looking for office chairs and tables we could use for the Teacher learning Center.

My job was paid for by a Title V Hispanic serving institution grant from the U.S. Department of Education for 1.1 million over five years to teach the entire faculty educational technology and to install 25 smart classrooms around the campus including labs. Each semester I had 10-14 faculty selected by the Faculty council. What their criteria was I have no clue. I took everyone they assigned to me. For taking the course of Instructional technology with me each Professor received a stipend of $1800. for a semester (14) weeks. At first I tried to do a group approach to Powerpoint but the Professors were so competitive and different in their technology skills that I had to switch to individual tutoring. I was allowed to hire a teaching assistant to help me with tutoring and tailoring each session to meet the individual Professor’s needs. If the Professor did not have a laptop, I loaned them one for the entire semester so long as they were enrolled in the Teacher learner Center program.  I taught 85 professors in 4 1/2 years and managed to keep 60% of them as Graduate students. I had monthly meetings after the first class of Professors graduated to keep everyone informed as to the progress of the Federal Grant and to enlist their cooperation in recommending new professors for the TLC. Meanwhile, I had to train my secretary how to use Excel to keep track of our financial records. At the end of each Federal year we had to report all our financial expenditures to the U. S. Department of Education and the expenditures had to use all of the funding with only 10% carry-over from Calendar year. My teaching assistant had to be taught advanced Powerpoint skills and special software programs I discovered that were useful. Some Professors were able to learn Adobe Powerpoint, but not all because it was so difficult. I had to introduce easier software drawing and photo programs for Professors to us in their Powerpoint slide shows.

The lap top loaned program eventually replaced the out of date Desk Top computers provided by a private technology company which charged the College five million dollars for five years of technology, desktop computers and LAN access. Each summer I had all the laptops returned and my two assistants and I cleaned off all the junk and viruses on the Lap tops so that we could loan them out the next semester.

The first year game to an end the end of September 2001 and no smart classrooms were installed yet because the Director of Facilities would not cooperate. I had to go to the President and tell him I could not install any smart classrooms and that the grant would default because the Director of Facilities would not allow me to move forward. The President blew his top and told me to do what ever was necessary at all costs to complete five classrooms in the one weekend left. On classroom was a large lecture hall in the Biology building. I had a plumber friend climb into the ceiling crawlspace and remove an old fashion tri-color projector that weighed hundreds of pounds. We installed new compact $5,000 HD projectors that weighed 20 pounds into the ceiling. An electric screen was installed on the stage and a LAN wire connection was connected to the computer server in the building. By Monday it was completed. In the four remaining classrooms, all on the 3rd and 4th floor had the same HD projectors installed by an outside contractor for $25,000 total including projector and labor installation costs. LAN systems were installed and each room got a 37 inch TV hung on the wall with a CD player underneath. A remote controlled the projector and a Laptop on a cart was available on loan for every classroom. We finished on time and the Director of Facilities was fired.

Personalizing tutoring was the secret to success in the program and keeping professors active in the program with monthly dinner-meetings and an online WEB SITE with mini-courses made all the difference. I showed Professors that we cared for them. I even attended their lectures to help them with class motivation and creating exciting Powerpoint slides. When Professors graduated we gave them an award  and recognition among their peers. Our newsletter was always about positive success stories of Professors that went though our program.

I reached out to the Fine Art Department, Communications Department and the Nursing Departments by helping them write Federal grants and remodeling their labs. With the Nurses I helped write two Nursing Grants and assisted other grants that were won. In the Communications department I completely redesigned and equipped two new Computer Labs with 20 new computers and HD projectors and electronic projector screens in each lab. Writing tablets and wireless mouses were also installed. In the Fine Art department I taught the faculty how to digitize their program and move away from chemicals. I taught them to use digital cameras and Adobe Photoshop to work with the photos. Years later they are forced out of their basement photo lab by the Fire department and forced to adopt a Digital course photo program for the students instead of a chemical developing lab. This saved money and was a lot safer for the students. In time the College of Mount Saint Vincent joined the modern world in Technology and after five years I accomplished all the goals set in the grant and balanced the budget to the penny.  It was a great experience.