"An educational system isn’t worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a living but doesn’t teach them how to make a life."
It has been another one of those non-stop days, primarily filled with my stimulating the medical industry via a pacemaker check, a cardiology visit and more. I have yet to complete the scheduling and rescheduling of my Stress Test in November, my Colonoscopy in October, my Hematology Iron infusion and review, my Brain scan and Neurology visit, and more. I had not planned on my social life after retirement including so much time with medical professionals.
I’ll have to send you something old today but before I do I have a couple of random thoughts. This morning I saw a friend whose husband passed away suddenly way to early in life. He died about a month ago and this was the first time I saw my friend since then. My problem is that I never know what to say; words just never seem to be enough. I find the best I can do is let them know I understand their pain and share in their anguish. I just wish I could do more.
I also got an e-mail saying that a former employee of mine who I had known since the 50’s passed away on Saturday. According to his family it was time for him to go as his last days were very difficult, fortunately he had a long and full life. As I thought back I again realized how much I missed by my not getting to know him and others in our large organization better than I did. Sadly too many years of my life were spent concentrating on challenges, profit and the changing world and I did not stop often enough to tell people how much I appreciated them. Thank goodness that in retirement we have the time to tell people we really do appreciate them.
So here we go again another dusty piece for years ago.
September 9, 2003
Yesterday I got a letter from a respected University Professor friend commenting on a column written by William Raspberry. My friend said in part:
“I have been an educator for 35 years and, like my colleagues, have endured many more slings and arrows than hugs and kudos. Long ago I made an unconscious decision to stop fighting the critics and just keep on doing my best for kids and those who teach them.”
My response follows.
I don’t think many people realize what Leave No Child Behind means. Unfunded mandates to already strapped systems has the potential to leave children behind forever. Raspberry’s article could again be interpreted by some that much of the problem is due to children selecting the wrong parents. While I am opposed to social promotion, I also am opposed to using cookie cutters to solve our academic problems. Many of us came from dysfunctional families and broken homes and yet we were allowed to grow in a system that still had some nurturing attached. We also were expected to learn the joys of the arts and the necessity to learn good citizenship. Unfortunately it appears that systems around the nation are cutting out PE, Arts, etc. from curriculums because inadequate funds are available to support our children. Now it appears that many schools are curtailing the extracurricular activities that have been vital to children who need to develop their social skills.
The thing that frightens me the most is that we are not doing what we can for the generation that is going to have to pay for our huge deficits, support an aging population, and make some of the most momentous decisions in history. Why can’t we realize that our investment in education is an investment in ourselves? Washington mandates are useless unless each of us take an interest in our children and support the need for quality education.
Next in importance to freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained.
James A. Garfield
Jen e-mailed me things she has been thinking about……
…*You know, I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people didn’t like me anyway.
…*I was thinking about old age and decided that it is when you still have something on the ball but you are just too tired to bounce it.
…*I thought about making a movie for folks my age and call it "Pumping Rust"
…*I have gotten that dreaded furniture disease…. that’s when your chest is falling into your drawers!
…*Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do . . . write to these men? Why don’t they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen could look for them while they delivered the mail?
…*I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older then it dawned on me . . . they were cramming for their finals.
Farmer wins the ten million dollar lottery and is being interviewed. He is asked what he is going to do with all the money.
"Oh, I guess the first thing I’ll do is go and pay a few bills"
"And what about the rest? " the reporter asks.
Farmer shrugs. "Well, I guess they’ll just have to wait"
Sign on a repair shop door: WE CAN REPAIR ANYTHING. (PLEASE KNOCK HARD ON THE DOOR – THE BELL DOESN’T WORK)
A college dean was berating a veteran economics professor for having used the same tests for the past 35 years.
"Don’t you realize, professor, that the students have been sharing these tests for decades and that all of your students know EXACTLY what’s on the test before they sit for it?"
"Doesn’t matter," replied the professor. "You must realize that the subject is economics. The answers are different each year!"
"I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult."
A man was complaining: "Oh Lord, please have mercy on me, I work so hard, meantime my wife stays at home, I would give anything if you would grant me one wish ‘Switch me into my wife" She’s got it easy at home I want to teach her a lesson of how tough a man’s life is. As God was listening He felt sorry for this soul and granted his wish.
Next morning the "new woman" wakes up at dawn, makes lunch boxes, prepares breakfast, wakes up the kids for school, puts a load of clothes in the washer, takes the meat out of the freezer, drives the kids to school, on his way back stops at the gas station, cashes a check, pays the electricity and phone bills, picks up some clothes from the cleaners, quickly goes to the market. It was 1:00 o’clock already; he made the beds, took the clothes out of the washer and put another load in, he vacuumed the house, made some rice, went to pick up the kids from school and had an argument with the kids on the way home.
As soon as he got home he fed the kids, washed the dirty dishes, he hung the damp clothes he had washed on the chairs because it was raining outside. He helped the kids with their homework, watched some TV while he ironed some clothes, prepared dinner, he gave the kids a bath and put them to sleep.
At 9:00 o’clock he was so tired and he went to bed. Of course there were some more duties and somehow he managed to get them done and finally fell asleep.
The next morning he prays to God once again:
"Oh Lord, what was I thinking when I asked you to grant my wish, I can’t take it anymore. I beg you please switch me back to myself, please oh please."
Then he heard God’s voice speaking to him, saying: "Dear son, of course I’ll switch you back into yourself but; there’s one minor detail, you’ll have to wait 9 months . . . Last night you got pregnant."
I refuse to admit that I am more than 52, even if that makes my children illegitimate.
Lady Nancy Astor
A young man was sitting in class when the professor asked him if he knew what the Roe vs. Wade decision was. He sat quietly, pondering this profound question. Finally, after giving it a lot of thought, he sighed and said, "I think this was the decision George Washington made prior to crossing the Delaware."
The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life.
Plato (427 BC – 347 BC)
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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