Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Problems with Our Schools?

I just read a report that talked about the "problems with our schools" and the "problems with kids today." All the problems listed probably won't go away very fast, if at all, until we as a nation, quit making excuses. Diagnosing every kid who shows dislike for school as having some kind of genetic or medical problem, and immediately putting him on a "control" drug just isn't the answer. The answwers aren't going to be found by:
1. Trying to solve the problem with a pill. This response might make the kid more passive, but it does little to teach him to relate to others in a meaningful way. He no longer has any responsibility for his actions
2. Blaming the teacher. Almost everyone who works with children, wants to do it. It doesn't take them long to realize that for every failure, they will be blamed, regardless of the circumstances.
3. Reverting to law suits against teachers and school systems. For the most part, the legal system should stay out of the schools. I attended a beginning of the school year set of meetings in which the whole tone of the conference was talking about the many ways that a teacher can leave herself open for a law suit. Most teachers avoid even mild forms of discipline these days.
4. Making parents the scape goat. Parents shouldn't have to take all of the blame, either. Many are tired, and overworked in todays society, and really have very little idea of how they can help their children. When a lawyer tells them that they "have rights," they are likely to jump on the band wagon. The parents and the teachers end up on opposite sides of the fence, pointing fingers at one another. Parents need to remember that if they find it difficult to control one child, that it must be especially difficult to handle 20 or more kids effectively at one time, and then perhaps they will be more capable of relating to the teacher.
5. Talking about classes being too large. Fairly large classes can be delightful if you've got the kids with you. A sense of humor and the ability to laugh and joke with the kids will often diffuse other problems.
6. Eliminating music, art, home ec., shop, and gym. This will never solve the educational problem. It will only make future societies more limited. As Edwin Markham said, "Why build these cities glorious if man unbuilded goes."
One thing is certain. Discipline is not a dirty word. It's one of the human characteristics that make it possible for each of us to complete projects and effectively contribute to the future of our kind.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Too Much Campaigning

A long time ago, there wasn't instant communication, but people who ran for offices in this country reached most of the people in the country if they campaigned for one year.

Today, campaigning starts the minute that the election is over. I don't know about you, but for me, this gets to be little much. There's so much campaigning that I've started to avoid the notices that are sent to me everyday, and believe you me, I get a lot of them. If you were to look at my "slow mail" when I bring it in each day, you'ld think, "Wow! She either has a lot of bills, or she has a lot of friends." Hillary and Obama seem to think that I need reminders to remember them every day. Frankly, this battery against my senses has made me look a little more closely at John Edwards, and Joe Biden. Either they don't have as much money as H. and O., or they are using more sense in how they spend their money. Some of the others who're running are getting my attention now, too.

I've had e-mail communications numbering into forty or fifty a day, from the various candidates. At first I tried to read them because I wanted to make an informed decision when it came to voting. Today, I'm quite delighted to have access to a delete button. At least, trees aren't being wasted when a candidate uses e-mail!

There's not doubt about it. We desperately need some campaign reform. Limitations should be set regarding the amount of money that's spent, where the money comes from, and how much time can be used to sell yourself and your ideas to the people. It would be nice to know if there is a jewel of a person out there running for office that he hasn't already been purchased by big business.

Health Care in the Good Ole USA

I wonder if there is any way to get our legistators to put the people of this country ahead of party. Everyone in a country this rich should be able to have health care. It's beyond my comprehension. This should not be a partison issue. This is something that's concerned with just plain old fashioned decency. What have the republican party compassionate conservatives done to immunize themselves against the suffering of little children. Sickness at any age is so debilitating and when someone is down, these people seem to take delight in stepping on them. For those who are standing in the way of lending a helping hand to deprived and suffering citizens in this country, I wonder if they realize that their mirror is reflecting back a Dorian Grey image. May their "God" help them.