Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘arts’

How To Improve American Education

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, February 14, 2020

It will be interesting to see if Diane Ravitch picks up on this OpEd by David Brooks of the New York Times.

America’s educational model is lacking… and severely so.

Common Core is not the answer, nor is more testing.

And charter schools – private, often for-profit enterprises that siphon away tax dollars from public schools, funneling them to the charter schools’ owners and investors – are definitely out of the question.

Following WWII, the United States Army essentially rebuilt Japan and Germany, and gave to them most marvelous gifts, which were the essential building blocks for a new and transformed educational system, government, social reforms, and national economy.

It’s worth noting that, while “in Japan, the head of the occupation, General Douglas MacArthur, broke up the zaibatsu, the big conglomerates that were blamed for supporting the Japanese militarists, and introduced a range of reforms, from a new school curriculum to a democratic constitution, that were designed to turn Japan into a peaceable democratic nation,” America has fallen into the trap Dwight David Eisenhower warned about in his Farewell Address – building an economy based upon a “military industrial complex.”

It’s not as if there are no global models in other nations which have been successful, thereby forcing America to be stuck, constantly reinventing the wheel.

But America is the ONLY nation in the world which refuses to transfer to the metric system. Even the National Institute of Standards and Technologies has written that, “The United States is now the only industrialized country in the world that does not use the metric system as its predominant system of measurement.”

To be certain, global metrics such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) which is administered to 15-year-olds every three years and “assesses the extent to which they have acquired the key knowledge and skills essential for full participation in society,” and focuses upon the core scholastic “subjects of reading, mathematics and science,” including a subject area which changes with every administration, such as “global competence,” which was included in the last survey, are important.

This critique should not be misinterpreted to demean taxpayer-funded public schools, but rather, be viewed as an internal objective criticism.

There’s little, if any, disagreement in principle that teachers should be left to teach, and to operate schools, instead of politicians – from whatever political party happens to be popular at the time. Furthermore, there’s just as little, or less, disagreement that teachers, who are our, or any society’s most influential members upon generations yet to come, should be paid significantly more than they already are. And the most disgraceful event of it all, is the macabre shadow of death which hangs over students’ and teachers’ heads, and burdens not their shoulders, but their minds and hearts, by not knowing, and wondering if at anytime they could be the next victims of a mass shooting.

What is particularly disconcerting to many observers from within, and without – regardless of their city, or state – is the abundant evidence of inequity in teaching support, which includes materials used to teach – such as textbooks, computers, and other necessary items – but also recognizes the often-horrific inequities naturally arising from those schools and districts which have more money, including physical plant conditions, even though they may be in relatively close proximity to each other.

In this era of tax-cutting, it’s difficult to imagine a school, or any government-funded endeavor to thrive with fewer resources, and reduced operational capabilities. And NO ONE wants to talk about increasing taxes, much less an even more efficient use of the existing resources which doesn’t involve fiscal reductions.

Education is forever. It is the only theft-proof thing known to humankind, and once you have it, you have it forever. Any advanced society should recognize and acknowledge that often-overlooked fact, and spare no expenses by investing not only in youth in K-12, but in technical and higher education, and continuing education for adults, as well. This speaks to the very heart of the matter of some political aspirants’ ideals for education. And, they are right.

Equally important, is a sense of public service, an inherent desire to “give back” to society of the talents, knowledge, skills and abilities one has. Of the untold numbers of people with whom I’ve ever mentioned this idea, no one, literally, no one, has ever derided it, nor said it was bad: Mandatory Public Service in much the same fashion as our Military Service Members.

Imagine the tremendous good it would do for our nation, and for the participants, if, following high school, they were to have 2, or 3 years of paid public service in some, or any capacity of their choosing, in and through which they would serve their local communities, state, or nation, and be compensated similarly as our Service Members, with wages/salary up to pay grade E-4, healthcare, housing & clothing allowances, 30 days paid vacation (leave) annually, educational benefits, and if that income was forever tax-free. Yes, FOREVER. A base income of $28,536 per annum is nothing to sneeze at, especially if all other expenses such as healthcare, housing, food, and clothing are paid for, and educational benefits are similarly guaranteed. The combined total compensation would average at least $50,000 to $60,000 annually, or even slightly more. And, it would ALL be tax-free, forever.

And to be certain, there’s always a cost – and it’s not always pecuniary. It’s up to us to decide if we are worth such an investment of time, resources, and money in ourselves. If we’re up for the challenge to better ourselves by the practice of such disciplines, but more importantly, our nation, by looking to the future of the generations yet to come.

The “finer points” of criticism of the state of public education in America could include a lack of mandatory foreign language learning, dearth of artistic/creative curricula such as visual arts, music, and dance/acting, and the money to fund it, but the intellectual and social growth which comes from the exposure to, and involvement in such programmes. (I simply couldn’t resist using the British spelling! ;-))

In short, like every coach of winning teams criticizes, encourages, and trains their athletes, so too should educators practice critique of their profession, and should be open to changes which benefit students, and educators alike – regardless from where they originate.

––//––

nytimes.com

Opinion – This Is How Scandinavia Got Great

By David Brooks

Opinion|This Is How Scandinavia Got Great

The power of educating the whole person.

David Brooks

People admiring the annual cherry tree blossoms in Stockholm.
Credit…Jonathan Nackstrand/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Almost everybody admires the Nordic model. Countries like Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland have high economic productivity, high social equality, high social trust and high levels of personal happiness.

Progressives say it’s because they have generous welfare states. Some libertarians point out that these countries score high on nearly every measure of free market openness. Immigration restrictionists note that until recently they were ethnically homogeneous societies.

But Nordic nations were ethnically homogeneous in 1800, when they were dirt poor. Their economic growth took off just after 1870, way before their welfare states were established. What really launched the Nordic nations was generations of phenomenal educational policy.

The 19th-century Nordic elites did something we haven’t been able to do in this country recently. They realized that Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Discovery Channel axes “American Chopper”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, November 22, 2012

Okay… I couldn’t resist writing a cute & punny line.

Discovery Channel Cancels American Chopper After 10 Years

By Robyn Ross, TV GUIDE
Published 6:54 a.m., Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Discovery Channel has canceled American Chopper after 10 years, Entertainment Weekly reports.

“After 10 years and 233 episodes of incredible, riveting reality television, American Chopper will be ending its run,” Eileen O’Neill, president of Discovery and TLC Networks, said. “This series was one of the very first family-based reality programs on television … The Teutuls have Read the rest of this entry »

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Thank you!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 18, 2012

Here’s a quick shout-out to all of you who’re reading this: Read the rest of this entry »

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Get government out of our daily lives!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 14, 2012

This morning, as I was going about my morning routine, it occurred to me in that process that I am Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

WAFF implicates Juggalo of Insane Clown Posse in murder

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 9, 2011

First, let me say this: WAFF and their sensationalistic baloney “reporting” is the collectively worthless representative work of human beings assembled together for the express purpose of nothing more than getting you to watch their “the sky is falling” crap.

It’s not that the human beings are worthless, it’s what they do which is worthless.

Here’s why.

Marie Waxel – whose published email address is Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lady Gaga interviews with 60 Minutes

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 5, 2011

Lady Gaga and Lady Starlight performing at Lol...

Lady Gaga and Lady Starlight performing at Lollapalooza. Image via Wikipedia

The television news program 60 Minutes recently televised an interview with Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, whom is popularly known as “Lady Gaga.” Anderson Cooper interviewed the performer.

In one segment Read the rest of this entry »

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A garland of Roses on Valentine’s Day

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 14, 2011

Good morning, sports fans!

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor, would you be mine? Won’t you be mine? Won’t you please, won’t you please… please won’t you be — my neighbor?

Hello, neighbor!

Who could forget Fred Rogers, the host of PBS’sMister Rogers Neighborhood“? A generation of children grew up watching that dear, late gentleman. Even as an adult, …Click HERE to read more…

Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man? | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Another perspective on “Ching Chong, Ching Chong Cha”: 名嘴嘲諷中文 華裔領袖促道歉_星島日報_加拿大多倫多中文新聞網。 Canada Toronto Chinese newspaper

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, January 30, 2011

名嘴嘲諷中文 華裔領袖促道歉_星島日報_加拿大多倫多中文新聞網。 Canada Toronto Chinese newspaper.

[2011-01-21] Share

本報記者任薇薇三藩市灣區報道
電台名嘴在節目中搞怪模倣胡錦濤發言和嘲諷中文語言,華裔國會議員紛紛譴責林堡(Rush Limbaugh)種族主義的言論,加州眾議員方文忠將提請州眾議院亞太裔立法黨團促林堡向華裔道歉。
聯邦眾議員趙美心(Judy Chu)稱林堡的言論令她感到「震驚和恐懼」。她發表聲明指出,「謾罵華人和嘲諷中文語言是幼稚和冒犯性的伎倆。不認同和批評一個國家的政策是一回事,妖魔化其人民是另一回事。

Comedy is a “two way street.” That is, it conveys a message, and the message is about us, our circumstances and situations. What makes comedy funny, first of all, is that it MUST address reality – the known. We cannot discuss something that cannot be known, for as the byline to this blog reads, “… there is no such thing as nothing.”

Delving into the philosophical, we understand comedy also on two levels, again, both which are firmly rooted in reality.

Now, having addressed that element, it is proper and fitting to address the other, or obverse element – that is, the opposite element – which element is not humor.

The man Rush Limbaugh has never Read the rest of this entry »

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Ten Great Tips for 2011: #9

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy Wednesday, also sometimes known as “Hump Day”!

Why “hump”?

Well, we’re half way over, and the middle is sometimes called the “hump.”

Yeup…

Hold on, baby… Friday’s comin’!

And you know what this means, don’t you?!

It’s time once again for our weekday installment of… Ten Great Tips for 2011!

Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen… on this 19th day of January, I give you #9!

Read the rest of this entry »

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Do NOT be deceived! -OR- I can say whatever the f*k I like!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Words have NO meaning, and you are FREE to yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theater. (I write sarcastically in the first instance, and seriously in the second. For you are free – however, your freedom must not be used as an excuse to trespass upon another.)

And remember… whatever you say makes no difference.

You can say or write anything you want without consequences.

For example, this phrase …Continue reading…

Posted in - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sex, Love and… Death

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, January 1, 2011

While in junior and high school, I would peruse my parents’ collection of books, many of which were college texts from their undergraduate days at Auburn University, which was then called Alabama Polytechnic Institute.

As many young men may, I dreamt of love, perhaps more specifically, of romance. And what is romance? Indeed, what is romance – especially to a young boy? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Pursuit of Happyness

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 31, 2010

Originally, I thought to entitle this entry, “Looking Back by Looking Forward by Looking Back by Looking Forward by Looking Back by Looking Forward.” However, as I briefly pondered the title, working it as I might, it occurred to me to borrow the title from a 2006 biographical motion picture which story continues to resonate within me, for I can identify so very well with the struggles of the character whom is portrayed – “The Pursuit of Happyness,” starring Will Smith, as Chris Gardner. …C’mon get happy! And read the rest!

Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man? | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Who are You?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 8, 2010

East Lake Tahoe Nv; 1 sec exposure

The Eastern Shore of Lake Tahoe, also known as Galilee Image via Wikipedia

 

Some years ago, a good friend of mine had encouraged me to begin a blog.

“Why do I want or need a blog?,” I asked him.

“You write very well, and a blog would seem to be a natural outlet for your thoughts,” he said.

Never being one whom chronicled or maintained a “dear diary” in my youth, I was quite amazed to hear his words. I had, however, been periodically sharing thoughts with my kindred and friends via e-mail. Alan was kind enough to host my writing for quite some time, gently guiding me through the technical process.

As things go – at least according to the Law of Entropy – things tend toward deterioration, decay and chaos. In other words, they move from order to disorder. And in time, because of the age of his servers, the bulk of traffic and the increasing complexity of software, he began migrating his servers to another resource, at which point he also began encouraging me to move my blog, which I have, and which you are now reading.

I had purposed to republish my original writings – and inspired by a recent status update posting I’d made to FaceBook – piqued my desire to republish this one post immediately.

Some background: I was in Lake Tahoe, NV at the time of the writing, staying with an extended family member, having traveled West in response to a spiritual urging I sensed. The events surrounding the same are another story in themselves, which I shall reserve.

Without further ado, I give you… …Continue…

Posted in - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Transfer: How do we get THERE from HERE? (Add a 'T'.), - Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Them’s FIGHTIN’ words! – Audio Post

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, August 6, 2010

Sometimes, you REALLY just have to wonder!

I wonder… was it an intersextion or intersection?

It was OUT there, to be certain.

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