Wrights’ Law

Usually on the first day of the year, you find a lot of posts concerning resolutions and searches for the perfect sun tan lotion, or how to lose all the weight you have been carrying around with you, or what you are going to try and accomplish in the New Year.

Understandably this is all a good intentioned thrust towards something positive in the year to come.

Recently I came across this piece of video that I found so touching and captivating that I could not walk away from it.  It grabbed my soul, and wrung it out like an old dish rag.  Please take barely twelve minutes of your busy day and devote it to this man and his message … I can assure you, you will be richly rewarded for doing so.

Our regular post will be presented tomorrow, today just watch this and give it some thought.

Thanks.

Wrights’ Law

OOO

Making The Grade In The Big Apple

Here you go, another public indictment against “public education.”  Or as my old friend Brownie used to say …. “Edumaycashun.”  Geographically speaking, you get the drift, dontcha?

This week I am reading where they are telling cab drivers in New York that they will fine them $350 for honking their horns unnecessarily.  Which I agree with completely, we need far less noise in this world we all live in.

Now here is something that is not good news. The powers that be in New York City have decided that grading papers in public is not a good idea.  They are telling teachers that they cannot grade papers in public and that sucks (for lack of a better word).  Which I do NOT agree with at all.

My English teacher in high school was Mrs. McGee, a nice personable, kind woman of great patience.  She deserved much more in life, than the white pasty faced kid who never seemed to get it or could pay attention.  She taught me all the things that my parents didn’t have time to do, she did it cheerfully and often with great reserve.

We had our moments, Mrs. McGee and I.

I am sure if she were around today and could see and read Creative Endeavors she would be proud of where it is that I have come in life.  (We might not be much in the world of publishing and all that … But baby, we are all we got.)  Her influence and her steady hand can be found within the pages of this website just about anywhere you look.  She helped to shape, mold and guide me thru my youth and most importantly … She taught me a thing or two.

New York City for lack of something “important to do” this week sic’ed (sp) cops on teachers grading papers in public and asked them to stop  the practice.  As cops are prone to do when called, they showed up and asked the teachers to move on. Which I find not only personally disturbing but outright disgusting.  With a mountain of problems in this city, this is what they find important and harmful to the public good?  How warped is this?  (comments section is open take a shot at it, three guesses, the first two don’t count).

You can read about it here.

It appears that “public places in New York City” are no longer just that … public.  No matter that they have signs of protest or whatever, we are being overloaded everyday with “so-called societal rules of behavior.”  As quickly as a surgeon with a sharp knife, one more freedom is removed from the fabric of our lives.  This is just another example of it.  Each day in this country, our treasured freedoms seem to be falling by the wayside in the name of security or the common good.  Where it will end is anyone’s guess.

What possible harm could come from a small group of people quietly sitting and grading papers in a public arena.

Grading papers in public isn’t that big of a deal to me, it should be allowed and there should not be a second thought about it.  Now changing out a baby diaper in the booth next to me at Denny’s … That should be addressed quickly and firmly … but this?  I say leave the teachers alone.

One of the things Mrs. McGee taught me was this:  “The more you find out about the world, the more opportunities there are to laugh at it.”  But this, leaning on teachers for nothing more than grading papers in public is just not funny.  If New York City is setting the stage for the rest of the country, then I say it is time to stop the bus … I need to get off.

OOO

Day Dreamer

There is a school of thought that says that “day dreaming is not good for you.”  That it raises false expectations about life and then kicks the door open for depression to move in.  I don’t necessarily subscribe to this theory and often find myself doing just that, day dreaming.

A long time ago, an ocean of time would be closer to the truth; I would sit in Mrs. McGee’s English Class and look out the window, and wonder what was out there?

English sucked and I didn’t want any part of it when I was sixteen years old. I felt that there were more important things in life than a good working knowledge of the language, a command of the written word.

When you are sixteen, expressing the wisdom you posses thru words, is kind of impossible, because when you are sixteen, you are woefully short on wisdom. I had no real knowledge to acquire through words, I had no patience or desire. After all, “I was a teenager, and I knew it all.”

Been there. Done that. Got the diploma. Time to move on.

Youth and that unchaste salute, time for deep inner reflection and strong will. I did not feel the need to collect and arrange words in the form of proverbs, epigrams, pithy sayings. I did not feel any compulsion to communicate truth thru words.  I knew no truth. I had no passion.  So here we now, Mrs. McGee, all these years later, and I find myself sitting in front of a screen, almost daily, doggedly and exhaustively pursing all the worldly ways I know, in the pursuit to make sense of life.  As an educator, you would be so proud.

One by one, almost as if mile markers on the railroad right away, I knock them down. Hedonism. Materialism. Philosophy. Intellectualism. Religion. Most of the time, only to come up on empty. Every now and then I get lucky, one item resonates with the spirit and I get a “good job” …” I like that” … or something along those lines.

Been there. Done that. Now what?

Suit up for the game, get in there and get a hit, it doesn’t matter if it is a Home Run or not. Just that you are ready to play the game.  This is gonna be a good day, I can just feel it in my bones.  Sit back, relax and let your mind rest … You deserve a break today. Silver State Ghost Towns  … Crank it up!

Take a trip off the beaten path.

OOO

The Old Days

Think back to when you were growing up in South Dakota or Nebraska or somewhere where three billion people have never been and times were just as tough.

When you had to, like my dad, walk 14 miles to school each day round trip, uphill BOTH ways on never a nice day, to a one-room school house.

This after he had milked twenty-seven cows, strung a mile of barbed wire and plowed two acres by flashlight behind Ol Rivers the family Mule.

You remember those days … don’tcha?

Every now and then I will remember them when my four year old grandchild climbs up in my lap and says “Tell me a story about the olden days Grandpa.” Then it all comes rushing back, the seat on a bucket in the high-chair-step-ladder in the kitchen, and the home style haircut that dad used to give me to save .75 cents.

A haircut that was so bad that it made me cry when the kids at school laughed at me the next day. The afternoon sitting at the kitchen table “writing my words” on the paper with big lines and a pencil.

Reading the newspaper to my mama when she cooked supper because my teacher sent a note home that said “Donnie isn’t reading very good, he needs a lot of work.” Learning how to do fractions and homework instead of going outside to play with the dog.

No daycare in the fifties … Back in those days … You raised YOUR kid. Someone else did not do it.  It was your JOB … It was expected of YOU.

Kids today have it good, they are too soft, and we are turning them into non functioning dummies. Video gaming, text messaging (which butchers the language brutally), and an age of convenient shortcuts. Cell phones, cheat sheets, calculators, computers.

The short road to oblivion.

In my 19 — none on your business — school photo album I see all the pictures of the generation that was going to change it all. Glancing thru my old classmates book I see seven future doctors, two Nobel Prize Winners, three preachers, two generals and one of the first female airline pilots. Missing are lying senators, presidents, bankrupt savings and loan officers, stock merchants, very few rotten apples in the entire bunch.

Why? Because they slapped the crap out of us in those days and they MADE US learn something, they forced us to take something with us on our journey thru puberty. If you were a problem, they didn’t cut you loose at the end of the day, you got detention. You paid for your sins.

They made us learn how to read.

It used to be “if you got into trouble at school, you were in trouble at home. And I mean BEFORE you got home” now days it just isn’t so. So now you know why eight out of ten American high school graduates cannot even make change for a dollar, because they never had the daylights’ beat out of them in the primary grades that is why. Why kids in Eastern/Western Europe, Japan and most of Asia kick our butts in just about any type of scholarly competition.

When you do not learn, then you are doomed to a lifetime of Anger Management classes at the local family health clinic, instead of being a productive citizen and family maker. Having virtually no education disables a kid before they even have a shot at the American Dream, that is, what is left of it these days.

We have a society being run increasing by dysfunctional illiterates and we have no one to blame but ourselves.  Our neglect of our young is now our curse

The sixties were very good to me, so therefore, I can understand our President who frequently speaks in terms of often-mocked malapropisms that could stem from dyslexia, or a lack of education in his youth. He certain seems to have his share of problems forming and processing words or sentences.

But when you stop to think about it, he doesn’t need to be big on language, he is after all from Texas.

So when he says something like: “We brung some dead deer parts that Cheney shot to Aunt Martha’s place and she showed us how to stew ‘em in this big pot and then we gorged ourselves on them to excess” that is wrong.

But it sounds much better than “bursting.”

In closing I must admit that I haven’t a clue on the use of the split infinitive, I might have known it at one time or another, but like I have said before, “The sixties were really good to me” and that is my only proffered excuse at this time.

Today I find myself thankful that I can read, I do have a command of the language, and I can thank my teachers, my parents for that. Also, I am just glad that my current social status in this life, doesn’t require me to have a “power vocabulary, do simple math, dress for success or to live in Texas.”

Got to go! I am late for my class on Pumpkin Carving for the Criminally Insane.

000

RELATED: Talkin The Talk

Talkin’ The Talk

"Yeah no joke, it was there one minute and then whoosh it was gone!"

“Yeah no joke, it was there one minute, and then whoosh, it was all gone!”

Turned on the television and there was my favorite Texas Waddie explaining to the American people the current economic mess we seem to find ourselves immersed in. “We currently have a shortage of some $2.5 trillion dollars in the Wall Street Market, and gosh, uh gee whill-ickers, we just don’t know where it went?”

It is not easy being the President of Ameri-kuh. Once again … Proof positive, you can take the boy out of the country, but you cannot take the country out of the boy.

Where he gets this stuff is anyone’s guess. It reminds me of the story where the old man and woman are sitting in the kitchen and the kid comes home from college for the holidays. The old man looks at the boy and says, “Son, give me and your mama some of the benefits of that there Kollege edumaycayshun you been getting.”

So the boy thinks a little bit and then replies, “Eisenstein is quoted as saying pi is square.” The old man looks at the woman and says, “See, I told you it was a waste of time sending him to kollege, corn bread are square … pie is round!”

Education has taken a backseat to a lot of things in this country. It doesn’t seem all that important, and this will come back to haunt us, it is a tragic mistake.

Not long ago, someone sponsored a bill to make English the national language in this country, but it didn’t make it thru Congress. Recently in Oklahoma and several other states similar legislation was attempted and failed, trying to accomplish the very same goal.

Then later on, someone in Oakland, California suggested that “Ebonics” might be good for grade school children, which was a street based version of slang communication. It is currently being used quite a bit on Rap CD’s, Hip-Hop music and has enjoyed wide circulation on MTV.

Me?

I just butcher it up to the best of my abilities and keep right on trucking most of the time. English, I confess, has not always been my strongest suite. Communication is my strongest attribute, I am a pretty good story teller and I use any and all forms to do this in an effective manner.

And then you come across the people who just flat out, do not know how to put it (the language) to good use and effectively communicate in our culture. Here is a prime example that I found this morning surfing the net:

“What is your education for, anyway?” blogging on this site is wreched ok so i have tried to post like 2 time already(that would make this my third attempt) and i’m just going to throw this out there i don’t get blogging. like it doesn’t make sence why cant we all get together and have a conversation, or atleast chat over scype…i understand that this has the advantage of anyone being able to chime in at an time but i can never rember to come on and then when i do it like never gets posted!!!! AHHH

This (the text above) was lifted in its entirety and has not been corrected. I like the header … “What is your education for, anyway?”Uh … Better living thru chemistry?

It is also pretty frightening when you stop to consider it was written (according to the blog author) on a college students’ site. Unfortunately, he is not the exception to the rule, but more so, the norm in this country.

It is no wonder that this country is slowly going to hell in a hand basket.

Seven out of ten sixth-graders believe Pearl Harbor was some woman who used to sing country music tunes. They know who “Beavis & Butt-head” are, but cannot identify the Vice President of the United States, tell you the capitol of Kansas, really don’t know ho to make change for a twenty, other than from your hand to theirs and that is about it.

Recently I read a survey that said 63% of high school seniors move their lips when they read and this I suppose the survey doesn’t even include the ones who cannot read a lick to begin with. Our kids are in the fast lane to Moronville because there is not enough discipline in the classrooms.

Remember those late, great school house days of yesteryear, when hard-a** teachers would slap the fire out of a kid just for the fun of it. Some would say that is what we need more of today. I am not all that big on discipline, having received my fair share of it as a child. But we do need one thing for sure:

What we need is compulsory learning AND discipline.

When all those bleeding-heart liberals banned paddles from the classroom, we might as well have locked the school house doors. When you can get 75 days in the county jail for spanking your own kid for skipping school, then you might as well hang it up. Maybe we need to get back to the “Old Days” for a brief period, and make a necessary course correction for our country.

This why we end up with college students who write:

“Who needs school? Why reads a book, when you can see the movie, stay in an plays Nintendo. Why graduate, when you can sell crack and ride in’s a limo?”

And a sitting Lame Duck U.S. President that says:

Reading is the basics for all learning. Put food on your family. The senator cannot have it both ways. He can’t take the high horse and then claim the low road. Never squat down with your spurs on.”

Not being an expert in language like I said, I don’t believe the above is exactly correct, politically speaking or otherwise.

Two Point Five Trillion dollars  … That is a lot of bucks, wonder where it went?  C’mon Dubyah, give us some good news, tell us something we don’t know.

000

Related: The Old Days

Parting shot: “It is important for parents to live the same things they teach.”