Monday, April 25, 2011

Pick that Up! Embracing your Inner-Crazy (and a give-away)

When I wrote "Get Real" I was speculating on all the ways that chasing perfection prevents me from seeing the beauty in my life. And it's true for most of us, all that chasing and 2nd guessing totally robs us of our freedom...the joy of the now, the power of being present in our own lives.

Thanksgiving in the future
In response to that entry, my friend posted an hilarious imagining of a Future Thanksgiving in which her adult daughter jests and laughs about her mom's riotous imperfections. 

This lead me to both a recollection and an insight. Lucky you, I am about to share both!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Public Option

Since this post is about school, I am going to stay on theme and give you some homework. Straight away -- before reading this post -- please take 3 minutes to watch the following video. Otherwise this post will be nonsensical and you run the risk on getting an "F" in the comments sections. And you know how grad schools and prospective employers mightily weigh your "hey mothers" performance. But no pressure!

Okay? Got all that? This is insane on so many levels. It's as offensive as the day is long. Can anyone hold onto the naive belief that this country is all about opportunity after getting that little peak at how money and connections ... and NOT effort and talent ... "feed" the ivy league schools? George W went to an ivy league school for the love of god. In the interest of not being a red or a blue blog, I will stop there.
Sure it looks cute now, but there is nothing scarier than an out of control ivy demanding to be fed.
BUT, I have serious misgivings about the current state of public education. In particular, my school board seems hell bent on closing every neighborhood school, reaching "maximum efficiency" and making major decisions about MY kids with zero input from me. (btw it makes me really f-ing mad).

Conflicted, I am so conflicted. Please I need your help. I am lapsing into lazy list form because I am far too frantic and chaotic to lend any real structure to this rant:

1. I believe in, REALLY BELIEVE IN, public education.It is supposed to be the great equalizer. It is supposed to put everyone on equal footing and give everyone a fighting chance.And I love that it serves as an access point for delivering all kinds of services to a wide population.

2. I know lots of teachers and they are among the brightest, best educated, most devoted, most passionate people out there. And they are fun to drink martinis with.

3. I HATE that we don't fund this most basic of services; it is to the detriment of everyone.

4. I HATE elitism. I don't want to be a part of any system that perpetuates more of the haves vs. have nots. It makes me want to puke. And a private school that offers 2 minority scholarships a year does NOT constitute equal opportunity, k?

5. I HATE that schools are underfunded, teachers are undervalued, underpaid, and that they are forced to teach a curriculum that revolves around standardized testing and does not honor a kid's need for individual learning styles, and their need for play and movement.

image from 365 ways
I recognize and accept that no system is perfect and that with a "my way or the highway" mentality I will be forced into perpetual anger and a role of victim. I accept responsibility for the education of my children and plan to be an active voice, advocate, and volunteer wherever they end up.

But friends, where will they end up? I feel that my choices are not really choices at all (just the made-up kind I give my 2-year-old). I implore you to share you education philosophy, your choices, your regrets, your victories. Thank you.
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