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Some Will Go To College – All Will Go Through Life: Part One- Curves, Tests and Grades

in The Life Slant by
College

Teachers, school administrators, school boards and government agencies across America work diligently to educate our youth, yet the U.S. consistently ranks squarely in the middle of worldwide achievement in Science, Math and Reading.  How can this be in what we all like to think of as the greatest nation on earth?

There are two underlying fundamental problems with the American education system in the 21st century.  The first is that there is not now, nor has there ever been, an American Education System.  From the time of the first New England schoolhouse to today, local education has been paid for by local tax dollars, with local government setting curriculum and standards for hiring teachers in accordance with the bidding of local voters.

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Investing in Education = Investing in our Future

in The Life Slant/The Political Slant by
Never Stop Learning

The bell rings and twenty-nine angelic faces look to her for guidance. In that moment she realizes that while as Governor overseeing the statistical lives of her state’s almost four million citizens is a huge responsibility – one she takes seriously, being entrusted with the actual lives of these twenty-nine cherubs is a grander burden.

Initially an eager participant in the new ‘Leaders in School’ program, the Governor is becoming increasingly dismayed as the reality of spending an entire day working as an educator in the public school system is becoming clear. It was bad enough that she had to make her own coffee and breakfast this morning and then actually drive herself to school, but facing a day without her personal assistants seems like cruel and unusual punishment.

The day is only forty seconds old, and she is already looking for a light at the end of an awfully long tunnel.

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Responsible Right of Way

in The Life Slant by
Crossing Light

Once upon a time in a land called America, schoolchildren were taught how to cross the street by their parents or their older siblings.  Red light means the cars stop, and green light means the cars go. Pedestrians were not so confused by basic traffic etiquette.

Wait for the red light and make sure the cars have stopped, look both ways, carefully cross the street.  For decades, first graders across the nation successfully crossed the street without tens of thousands of dollars worth of flashing lights and annoying beeping and counting and pictures of a cute little walking man at every stinking intersection.

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Hey Doc – a Little Help? Life In the Era of Opioids.

in The Life Slant/The Political Slant by
Opiates

* I did it. *

I turned down the Vicodin during the pre-op appointment.

When he asked why, I replied, “I like it too much.”

Vicodin

Instead of considering the acknowledgement I’d just made that I am to some degree addicted to opiates, or perhaps even complimenting me on my self-restraint and self-awareness, he pressed the idea that I would need some pain relief over the weekend, and we compromised on a prescription for ten pills of something ‘similar’ to Vicodin.

During interactions with doctors, nurses and support staff in the hours before and after my surgery, I told five other people that I like Vicodin too much. Each time I expected them to make a note in my chart but no one did, although Heaven knows that anything else you tell them gets noted and is then impossible to get deleted, even if it is in error!

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Securing Education – Guns or Metal Detectors?

in The Political Slant by
Child in Classroom

* Where would we be without teachers?  It’s like asking where we’d be without the sun.

The warmth we need to grow, the illumination we need to see new things and the undying pull to keep us on the right trajectory are things we expect both the sun and our teachers to provide for us.  The sun doesn’t have much choice, and at least theoretically we can count on it to continue to deliver until it inevitably burns itself out.

Teachers do have a choice, and when they burn out society loses a little warmth, a ray of light and a steadiness of direction.

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All You Need is Love…. and Enough Money

in The Money Slant by
Marriage Money

* Post-Nuptial Money Management

The only time money is an issue is when there isn’t enough money. Nowhere in life is this more true than within the confines of a marriage. As Winter melts into Spring and your June wedding draws near, now is a good time to do some planning; before all the planning begins!

Love is many splendored thing, the old song tells us. What it doesn’t give us a clue about, is that it is also a business.

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Software Abuse – At the Hands of Tech Giants

in The Tech Slant by
Digital

Children that grow up in abusive households assume that everyone gets slapped around when they make a mistake or spill their milk. When it’s all you know, you believe it’s normal. It never occurs to them that their parents are being mean – just loving them in a way that hurts. Like software companies treat us.

Software abuse is rampant and pervasive. It is being perpetrated by every software company – the bigger the company, the more severe the abuse. If you are thinking, “I use software, and I don’t feel abused”; exactly. You are that kid being slapped around, and you think it’s normal.

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A Beautiful Sight – Hope in the Wake of Tragedy

in The Life Slant by
David Hogg

It’s easy to complain … seems like I’ve been doing it nonstop since November ’16. Determined to write something positive today, I asked myself, “What is the most beautiful thing I have seen lately?”

The answer was there waiting for me before I could finish the question: those students in Florida. The way they marched to Tallahassee determined to make a difference. The way they tempered their anger and pain with their intellect and handled themselves in a manner we can all be proud of. The way they were filled with, and inspired hope; beautiful, human hope.

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Targeting Teachers; Should We Arm Educators?

in The Political Slant by
Guns in School

“I want to tell you about my idea for assault rifle vending machines,” said Fester Trim, one of the candidates for City Council in Pawnee, Indiana.  Fester’s solution to car theft is that we should all mount shotguns on our dashboards that kill anyone that tries to steal our car.  Fester also believes that the way to end schoolhouse slaughters is to arm our teachers.  Thank Goodness Fester is just a character in a sitcom; a caricature of an NRA Gun Nut, and that his over-stated suggestions would never be made by real politicians in real life.

What?  The last suggestion isn’t from Fester?  It’s from whom?  Are you sure?

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Safety in Public Schools – NEA or NRA?

in The Political Slant by
Newspaper Headline - Victims

PORTLAND — If I were a kid or a teacher in America, as I have been in the past, I would not want to go to school tomorrow. If I found myself there anyway, I’m sure I would spend half the day looking over my shoulder to see if there was a kid with an assault rifle coming down the hallway.

It is beyond shameful that in this great country, loudly proclaiming “America First”, kids are last.  Our children are collateral damage along the path of payoffs, bribes, backroom deals and gentlemen’s agreements.  Of all the despicable things the current occupant of the White House is – and the list is long and varied – being a whore for the NRA is the worst.  Anyone with a shred of a human soul remaining and the power to affect change that is not in the pocket of the NRA would be compelled to do so.

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