Saturday, November 23, 2013
sadness... what is happening?
And feeling sad.
In this time of Thanksgiving, when people should be thankful and blessed. It seems like more and more people aren't. I am struggling to find that happy place. To find people that are feeling and doing just that.
I am sad.
Sad for my country, sad for my state, sad for people I know, sad for what I keep seeing around me, just sad.
I know first hand why I hate "Obamacare", Hubby and I lost all of our doctors as a result, still waiting to see how much my monthly payments go up. I know that luckily my plan was grandfathered, but no one else can get that plan, and who knows how long we will get to keep ours. I know so many that are now facing insurance costs that they cannot believe, rising so much. But hey it's okay, it's just for the people, not the "ruling class" that created the mess.
I don't recognize my country anymore. That is where my stress is coming from. Instead of stressing exceptional-ism and being the best you can be we are stressing mediocrity and excepting the lowest standards. It makes me ill.
Each day there is something else that is simply horrible and unacceptable glaring at me. My cousin could not believe that the book from a local town was for real. She is dubious where Common Core education is concerned. And she is a teacher. Luckily for her, she is not a teacher in area's that are striving to make everyone the same. She is still able to enjoy educating and helping young minds stretch.
We are not all the same, one size does not fit all. Whether it is physical, emotional, mental, intellectual. We are all different. I long for the days that we recognized and celebrated the seven intelligences. Now we are cramming everyone into the same mold and we are focusing on the lowest common denominator.
There are cookie cutter houses... how I loathe driving by neighborhoods where the only difference might be the color of the flowers planted in the window boxes. My daughter summed it up perfectly for me when she was shopping for her new home and we went to a few that were in those kinds of neighborhoods and she said "I would hate to come home drunk one night and try to figure out which house is mine."
Moving forward individuality is stripped away by putting uniforms into place in school. The whole point of uniforms is so that no one is any better than anyone else, I get it. But isn't individuality more important than uniformity? I've heard all the "reasons", kids don't follow dress codes (isn't that the adults responsibility to enforce?), some kids can't afford as nice of clothing (so....), it will help them concentrate on their school work (really?)... So many of these things are just wrong, but people buy into the hype without digging into it a bit deeper.
Kids not following dress codes is an easy problem to fix, the adults are adults and make them. For actions there are consequences, teach them that. Come to school in an inappropriate outfit, go home, change, come back and try again. Pants sagging, go home and put on a belt. No one wants to see your underwear, it makes you look stupid. Shirt too small, go home and change. What is so hard about this? If a child pulls the same clothes from their closet every day for 12 years, when do they learn about fashion? When do they learn to make acceptable choices? Oh yeah, they don't... that explains the hoochy mama's at the mall and the boys (and some girls) that are going to have serious orthopedic issues in a few years from walking and running in such an abnormal stance to hold up their pants.
Some kids can't afford as nice of clothing? Seriously? I mean what are we smoking here? There is no rule that says we all have to have the same clothing. And where is the incentive to improve? And FYI folks... guess what... some of those kids are still wearing designer "uniforms" and some are still shopping at Goodwill. That is called life. Deal with it.
Now I personally don't shop at Goodwill... the one near our house smells bad and I can't get past it. But I love to shop at Savers! I could afford to buy my clothing at an upscale place to a large degree, but I don't. Heck my daughter could, and I will tell you I had the biggest laugh of my life last night when she admitted to me that for the first time in her life she paid $40 for a dress!! And she dresses like a fashion model, and 90% of her wardrobe is from second hand stores. So sorry... not buying into that particular brand of brainwashing!
As for concentrating more on their school work... I cannot even go there!! If it improves concentration so much then WHY do we have so many struggling school districts? Why are our children not exceeding educationally? Why are there so many drop outs?
Why does our biggest concern lately seem to be based on McDonald's paying a living wage? When did fast food become the pinnacle of success? The ultimate goal to have a life and raise a family from? Why aren't we aspiring to be doctors (although that is rapidly becoming a dangerous career choice), scientists, engineers, etc. Oh yeah, when we said that everyone could all be winners, there are no losers, and we are all the same. Because making everyone dress the same improves their concentration and school work so much that they are all doing so excellent.... Stop it!
Yesterday this frustration was really driven home to me. We are a "safe place" for a local high school to come in the event of a fire or other disaster at their school. Well right at lunch time one of those brilliant, dressed the same (sort of - khaki pants and navy blue polo can take on a million different versions when kids are trying to still be individuals), concentration improved young geniuses decided to pull their fire alarm. My guess is it was one of the ones wearing their coat already, because the temperature was dropping and it was not at all comfortable for those kids.
I have never, ever encountered what I did yesterday, I felt defeated and sad. There were a few great kids in that bunch, and they were mortified by their peers. Apologetic and hurt that they were being represented by the rest of those monsters. I can't use the word animals, because that would be hurtful and untruthful to the animals who are better behaved. Those monsters were foul mouthed, pushed staff out of the way, were abusive and completely out of control.
Their intelligence was further driven home by the fact that just minutes, probably seconds, after the words left the mouth of the teacher that told us one of them had pulled a fire alarm in their building our alarm screeched to life.
Strobe lights flashing, ear piercing noise, panicked members rushing out of showers and locker rooms in towels, business disrupted in the offices and rude, entitled little monsters laughing about it all, protecting the jerk who had done it. All the while the majority of the teachers huddled together embarrassed and seemingly frightened of children that had never been taught right from wrong.
Instead of being grateful to have a warm dry place to stand since their peer had been an idiot and picked a particularly foul day to set off an alarm. They were loud, rude, disruptive, profane, and just flat out inappropriate.
After it was over, we had calmed people that had been dragged into their stupidity, and I was reflecting on what I had witnessed I was deeply disturbed.
I don't think all of the "changes" going on are good. We are teaching entire generations that it is not their fault, that someone else must dress them, think for them, will take responsibility for their stupidity. And we are moving further and further down that slope.
Instead of teaching Common Core, instead of lowering everyone to the lowest level, why don't we push them to learn? Make them stretch. Those kids that pulled that alarm, maybe they weren't just jerks. Maybe, just maybe no one had taken the time to teach them, guide them, build them up as people. Maybe they were bored, because no one was challenging them. That kid might have been a genius, they might have simply been bored. Why don't we celebrate the differences and help them grow to be exceptional?
I watched a video of one of the kids that had been playing the scary "Knock Out Game", he was shot by his intended victim. In the interview he said the reason he did it was because he was bored. Give them chores, make them responsible.
I am a firm believer that at the very core of us all is a desire to succeed, to make a difference, to push ourselves to our very outer limits and revel in the feeling success brings with it. I think we all, at our deepest point, want to be everything we can.
I am tired of our governments, local, state and federal, working to keep people down. Way down. It's a method of control.
I want to live in a world where it is okay for mom and dad to correct their children without fear of reprisal, and with genuine care and concern for the adults they will grow to be. I want to live in a world where children have to work hard to do their homework, they are forced to learn, not just drift along aimlessly.
We are making critical mistakes in this country, and we are being distracted by stupid stuff, smoke and mirrors to keep us from seeing what is happening.
I am sad. I am really struggling with all of this. I am having a hard time sorting out what is happening in our world. Dealing with how it affects me, the people I love, even strangers. I am struggling to understand the terror that has caused North County to actually make the front page of the New York Times. I have dear friends that live there, it terrifies me for them. All of this is making me crazy!
I am trying to find my happy place, I am trying to find a way to survive this insanity and still be me on the other side. My old fashioned values don't mesh with what is happening and it is slightly damaging me inside.
When did this happen?