Monday, September 24, 2012
Cindy Nemser 718-857-9456 firstname.lastname@example.org Access A Ride Should Be More Accessible As much as I appreciate Access A Ride as an incredibly inexpensive means of travel for a person who cannot use public transportation, I must register a complaint about the way it is run. First of all the person to be transported must wait up to 30 minutes for the vehicle, while the transporting van or car will only wait five minutes. This puts a heavy burden on an individual, like me, who is suffering from various serious ailments and cannot always move that quickly. (I have chronic pain in my feet and cannot stand for more that a few minutes without unbearable suffering.). And then what if that disabled person is forced to wait in the street for up to thirty minutes in rain, snow or excessively hot or cold weather? AAR is really not a viable option especially if the vehicle is does not arrive after the designated time and a private service must be called or the person is denied care or needed recreation? New York’s super wealthy disabled population can call their personal limousines, the rest of us do not have that privilege. There is a solution to this problem, but officially drivers are forbidden to use it. (Some kind-hearted souls do it anyway). All these drivers have the disabled persons’ home and (if they supply it) cell phone telephone numbers. They can easily get in touch with their scheduled passengers. A call would be the most efficient and compassionately means of alerting clients that their rides are ready to pick them up, and they must get to the vehicle and be ready to depart. There are other problems as well that I have encountered while attempting to use this service. It very difficult to schedule a return trip when one doesn’t know how long the appointment will take. For example, it is impossible to know when one will be finished with doctors’ visits. One can only guess a return time, but more than likely it won’t be the correct one. Then it is necessary to call and cancel the return ride, reschedule a new one, and again have to face the possibility of a long wait that can also include the half hour waiting period... This is most not being kind to sick people. Often a patient is forced to spend the greater part of the day waiting for an AAR vehicle. Again the driver could make a better use of cell phones, the patients could call “Assess A Ride, let them know when they are finished, and a driver in the vicinity could call the patients back and quickly pick them up. I must add that although I abhor the lack of efficiency that went into the planning of the AAR program, I am grateful to the parts of it that I can use. I am lucky enough to live in a house that has a large picture looking out on the street and in front of it is a large soft couch on which I can stretch out as I wait for my ride. I can be outside in a few minutes. So I use ARR for one-way trips only, and for the return I take an authorized car service or a taxi for which I have to put up the money. Before I discovered how to do the authorized care trip and found an realizable and relatively inexpensive service, I once paid $55 for a return trip from Manhattan to Brooklyn from midtown because it was impossible to flag down a taxi at 4:00PM .--that’s expensive and it shouldn’t be necessary. It was certainly a waste of the taxpayer’s money. I tried the ARR car service, but they were one half an hour late, so I missed my doctor’s appointment. Now I have found another car service which is reliable and reasonable. However it is difficult at times to find the money to pay for round trips to Manhattan where most of my doctors are located as I don’t have all those many extra dollars to spend. I do get reimbursed mines the $2:50, for the trips, but it take over a month. Fortunately, my husband is able to take to doctor’s appointment in our family car if I make them later in the afternoon. (He is still working as an independent sales representative, at the age of 78, and needs the car in the mornings for his business appointments.). But many other people do not have even limited source of private travel than AAR. It seems unconscionable that the MTA keeps complaining that they have no money, and need to raise subway fares, yet they allow Access A Ride to be run in this wasteful and inconsiderate fashion.
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Sunday, May 06, 2012
May3, 2012 My unpublished letter to The Editor at the New York Times This letter is a response to To Mr. Greenberg’s rejoinder letter about the value of a Liberal Arts Education No matter what profession one chooses, I do not believe it is possible to be really educated without a solid grounding in the liberal arts. However, schools can offer their students a compromise between study of the liberal arts and training for the hardscrabble world that awaits them. When I went to Brooklyn College, in 1955 everyone was required to study subjects which were part of the “core curriculum.” This dictum insured that for two years I had the opportunity to imbibe heady samplings of ancient Greek wisdom, English and European literature, Western European history, influential economic theories, great works of art, and much more. Unfortunately, for me, after my cultural days ended, I had to declare a major and ordered to take courses that would ready me for gainful employment. Not knowing there was a field called art history; I opted to be an elementary teacher. (It was one of the few choices open to women in my insular environment-- I was at Brooklyn College, not Vassar.) During the next two years, I had to endure theoretical lectures from teachers who had only taught in silk stocking environs. These courses ill prepared me for my first job in a poverty stricken neighborhood where I was totally frustrated because I couldn’t find a way to teach my pupils to read and write. These children frequently entered first grade lacking the kind of preparation that ready more privileged kids to succeed academically. I couldn’t even get them to memorize the alphabet. With the exception of the single time I was given the “1” class, I was miserable. During the six years, I spent there, I saw myself as a failure and a prisoner of a system from which there was no exit. However my early taste of the liberal arts kept my mind alert and open to new learning. I decided to pay for a Master’s degree in English and American literature at Brooklyn College’s graduate night school. It was there, basically, for high school English teachers wishing to earn more money by obtaining a higher degree. I these courses as a way of making up for the wasted years of listening to education jargon... I felt .I had not been fully educated. When I attained that degree, I could go not further at Brooklyn College. I, who had majored in art in high school, but receiving no encouragement, I gave up the idea of being a fine artist. However, I remembered the deep joy I had experienced from the single art appreciation course that was offered by the gifted Professor Milton Brown during my early college years. I began to attend lectures at the Metropolitan Museum during my free summers and I ached to learn more about the art installed there... A random request for a graduate catalog from NYU provided just the kind of learning I was looking for. But they wanted full times students, who had to pass written exams in French and German and take a comprehensive exam as well as write a thesis. They also required that I take an extra preparatory undergraduate course about art of the Renaissance. I knew I couldn’t do the work and keep on teaching. A course about the influence of Transcendentalism on American Literature had lead me to read Emerson’s essay “Self Reliance.” Emerson gave me license to leave. I remembered that he said (to paraphrase) that no one had the right to keep one from developing into the person they were meant to be. (“I shun father, mother, wife or brother when my genius calls.”) That dictum gave me the courage to change my life. I relinquished my hard won teaching license which guaranteed a steady salary and became a full time student at the world-renown Institute of Fine Arts where I earned an MA in art history. This degree was the beginning of an exhilarating career as an established art critic and ardent feminist who published and edited a revolutionary magazine, The Feminist Art Journal and a ground breaking book, Art Talk: Conversations with 15 Woman Artists that has been translated into many languages. I also wrote several other books and many articles in prestigious magazines and newspaper. Later on I even became a published novelist and then a theater critic as well as a writer on the other arts. During my career I met famous personages including Chuck Close, Louise Nevelson, Barbara Hepworth, Lee Krasner, as well as the great opera start Marilyn Horne and the playwright Charles Bush and other theater notables. It is due to grounding in the liberal arts I was able to make a meaningful contribution to society and live an exhilarating life. Cindy Nemser 41 Montgomery Place Brooklyn NY 11215 Cell phone 917—755-7257 Home Phone 718-857-9567 This is an expanded version of a letter sent to the April 29th New York Times Week in Review Section. I was disappointed not to have my letter printed, but I just couldn’t manage to say what I wanted to in 150 words. As Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Adams, I am sorry to write such a long letter. didn’t have time to write a short one.”
Monday, April 23, 2012
“Ann Romney Never Worked a Day in Her Life” Letter to the New York Times To the Editor What Maureen Dowd did not point out in “Phony Mommy Wars” was that Hilery Rosen’s claim that Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life” was an indictment of the lack of concern manifested by Romney and his superrich cohorts for the plight of those on a lower economic plane. I would be the first to deny that being a wife and mother with five boys would call for mammoth stamina if she were wedded to a man who brings home say $40,000. However Ann is has zillionaire Mitt, so I don’t believe she ever went a day without maids, baby nurses governesses, tutors, chauffeurs, cooks, etc. Therefore Rosen was absolutely right when she claimed that the governor’s wife had always lived on easy street. I would wager that Ann never experienced the misery of doing menial work for a desperately needed paycheck or of lacking time to forge a self fulfilling career. She never had to worry abut the lack of decent daycare when she was forced into the job market to experience as Mitt says “the dignity of work.” Cindy Nemser 41 Montgomery Place Brooklyn New York 1215 (718) 857-9456(day and evening numbers Editor publisher of The Feminist Art Journal and author of Art Talk: Conversations with15 Women Artists. Novelist, journalists, editor, curator