Monday, January 26, 2015

How Would YOU Educate Your People?

The other day, I was reading someone's political facebook status on why free college is a bad idea.  Mostly, the idea behind it was that nothing is free.  This will add taxes to society etc.

I thought about it.  When President Bush was the president, he had this, "No Child Left Behind" act thing that EVERYONE criticized.  It was a well intentioned plan, but it's method seemed more damaging than rewarding.  You can't scare people into performing better with test scores.  With more pressure on test scores, they took away children's free time.  Recess is integral to a child's learning.  Anyway, long story short, it backfired, and everyone hated it.

So now we have Obama.  He wants free college.  I spoke to my roommate about it.  She liked the idea.  If college becomes free, it will be expected right after high school.  Also this would provide a way for uneducated parents to get educated.  I'm sure she said something more sophisticated than that.  Now maybe it is a good idea.  After thinking about it, I'm not sure that I agree entirely with her logic.  How many people drop out of high school?  Making college free means people won't work for it and how much will they value it then?  So for the sake of argument, let's pretend that it is a bad idea. 

Take a second and really think about this.  You are running a country and it has come to your attention that the education system is terrible, and the majority of your people are not as educated as you want them to be.  What can you do to help educate your people? 

Really think about that. 

Have you thought about it?

Do you want to know what I came up with?

It's all about the family.  If you want your people to succeed and be educated, you stress anything that will make the family stronger.  You fight pornography.  You make it easier for mothers to be able to stay in the home.  (Obviously you don't force them to, because that would just open a different bucket of worms).  You make it easy for parents to have children.  You support the role of parents to guide their children.  This is tricky, but you also have to provide an escape for people in abusive situations. 

What does the family have to do with education?  Everything!  I knew what 10 times 10 was in kindergarten.  How?  I listened to my mother teaching my siblings.  No I wasn't home schooled, but my parents were a part of the learning process with us kids.  My parents encouraged us to do well in school.  That's how you get a people educated.  You make the parents responsible for their children.  You do that by stressing the importance of family.   

My mom taught resource in high school.  There were many times that she would groan in frustration because the parents of her students didn't care.  They thought it was up to the school system to educate their children and they didn't care if it really happened.  She felt like she was fighting a brick wall.  That, my friends, is a real situation.  If we strengthen families, we will yield a higher education system. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Parable of the Dog and the Shoes

Preface: This isn't really a parable.

Once upon a time I decided to move in with some friends into a house.  This was going to be a dream come true.  Our house was big enough that we could spread out, and we could invite people over.  I was incredibly excited to be with these people because I loved them.

Two of my roommates were sisters, and they have a brother who had a dog.  One day, they became worried because their brother could no longer take care of his dog, and they felt like this dog was family.  They asked us if we would mind having a dog.  I foolishly said that would be okay, but I wisely said, "I don't want any responsibility over it."

True to their word, my roommates absolved me of all responsibility... until they went on an over two week vacation.  Their brother was supposed to help us take care of the dog, but he really just got in the way more - me having to wait for him until I showed him the spare key and then having him bring the dog back while I was sleeping.  I'm not a big fan of a man being in my house when I'm the only one home and asleep even if he's a trusted guy.  That's not how I roll.

We're nearing the end of their vacation (which of course they had to extend which we didn't find out until last night when I thought they were supposed to be home), and we come to this morning.  I had a nightmare which is actually the dog's fault, and thus did not end up sleeping through his endless barking.  So being woken up at six I decided to go to the temple this morning.  Why not?  I'm awake anyway and I need to get out of the house.

After putting on my nylons, I remembered that, "Oh, brushing teeth is important.  I should do that."  Not wanting to take off the nylons, and not wanting to cause unneeded wear on them by walking in them, and not wanting to be a further annoyance to roommates that aren't on vacation by clopping in heels to the bathroom, I put on comfortable shoes with the intention of switching before leaving.

Unfortunately, I got out of my car at the temple and realized that my feet felt funny.  I looked down.  I had my comfortable shoes on, not my church shoes.  While it's not like the temple is incredibly far away, it still wasn't worth it to me to drive 15 minutes home and 15 minutes back just to have the right shoes.  So forward I went with my shoes.

I felt slightly embarrassed walking into the temple.  I blamed the dog.  It's all his fault.  I didn't want to be awake at 6.  I hate him.  I could care less if I never saw him again.  My parents and a trusted friend have both told me that I should move, which causes me more anxiety because I love my roommates and I don't want to move.

I also thought about how my shoes could be symbolic of how the dog caused me to do a good thing by going to the temple, but that doesn't make it a perfect situation - just as my shoes were not perfectly compatible with my outfit.  I then thought that maybe the shoes were symbolic of me, frustrated inside and unorganized.  Maybe it's symbolic of my failure to be able to handle situations.

Well, you don't wear street clothes while serving in the temple, so I was able to forget the shoes and enjoy my time spent.  On my way out of the temple, I again had to put on the shoes. On my way out, I began to see the shoes in a different light.  You can take every day occurrences, and you can do whatever you want with them.  You can blame God, you can blame yourself, you can blame others, and/ or you can blame Satan.  You can also decide that blaming people is silly and kind of unhelpful. 

The moral of the story is the choice to be positive and uplifting or negative and bitter is in your hands. 

Also, if all else fails, punch a punching bag or whack it with a stick. 

Saturday, January 03, 2015

I Caught a Lemon!

Dear Aubry,

You know the phrase, "If there's something that can go wrong, it will go wrong"?  Well, I decided to test that out on you.  Stay on your guard.


Dear Life,

Thanks for the heads up.  It took me some time to figure out what you were up to, but now I get it.  My head's held high and I'm ready for whatever you'll throw at me next. 


Thursday, January 01, 2015

Welcome to 2015

I am perfectly content with staying in my room to celebrate the New Year with me and my journal.  However, my dear brother likes to do things.  For the past few years, I've told him to find his own happenings because I'm doing my own thing.  This year I decided I should plan something with him.

I came up with two options.  1) Go to the dollar theater 2) Walk around the Riverwoods.  My bro hadn't seen Guardians of the Galaxy, so we ended up doing that. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find the Dollar Theater sparse.  Apparently, the party was at the malls and not at the cheap theater.  As I drove past the Riverwoods, I noticed that I didn't see anyone walking around.  Apparently the party was not there either.  I feel rather proud of myself that I was able to pinpoint two options that would have meant few people around me.  Leave it to me to know where the party isn't and how best to avoid human lifeforms.