Daily Prompt; The New School
You get to redesign school as we know it from the…
You get to redesign school as we know it from the ground up. Will you do away with reading, writing, and arithmetic? What skills and knowledge will your school focus on imparting to young minds?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us SKILLED.
Unfortunately in the ending year of 2013, I would have to take away the basics that we learned as a child from being long courses of all year to cutting them in half. The reason being is there is too many other things that youngsters need to be learning.
You see, there are many brilliant and outstanding youth today, but there are also many lost souls, tossed from house to house. Some have never been taught manners, respect or how to love another human being for just simply being human.
Today when we mention love, somewhere sex has been connected to that, and what was once a beautiful way to show someone special how much you loved them; now it has turned into a nasty, pornographic, giggling at the computer screen side-show.
Some youth go strictly after the weak, fragile and lonely ones. They never learned that word respect. Just because they know how to possibly spell it, doesn’t mean they know the definition of it.
Then there is youth who are working so very hard with one or even more part-time jobs, striving to help pay their college education fees. But then there are others who don’t understand the dollar. Some never get that the real way to get money is to work. There are those who believe the cheating way to get money is to rob.
I guess drugs have been around for years. I know they were present when I was in high school. But for me, there was pretty much the fear of God placed in me by my parents that I better never get into drugs.
Now it seems the key is to continually keep finding cheap ways to get thrills. But this has a price included, which may have the word death in it.
So for me, there would still be reading, writing and arithmetic, but I would include at least half the year if not a little more balancing checkbooks. Budgeting classes would be almost as high of a priority as reading. Learning what percentages to save back from a paycheck in order to buy groceries, pay rents, gas, food and clothing. Training for work would not only include college prep classes. It would also include the regular jobs, how to look and represent yourself for a check-out job, or maybe a restaurant job. How to act and work in order to move up in the job.
Another class would be called, The You Inside. This class would be all about how to respect yourself. Teaching youth that they are worthy of existing here on earth. This classroom would have many mirrors in it, full length mirrors. Students would have to stand in front of them and look at themselves repeating positive and motivational sentences that refer to themselves as a person.
I feel today there is much lacking in the learning department. A lot of this is learned in the very young years, but when the home life is not the best or even suitable, many children are not taught that they have the right to be who they want.
In my area, schools are taught to preach about college. Not everyone is going to college. So many youth don’t even know what they want, but it pays the bills for these colleges getting all types in. But the drop out rates are pretty staggering.
So let’s get involved with each and every student. Let’s make sure that the poor as well as the wealthy kids are receiving a chance to be someone they are proud of, no matter what or where they came from. After all, we all started with nothing in the beginning. We all came here the same way. We all arrived with a clean slate. I say, let’s help every single human get the best chance in school to be the best they can be, no matter what.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us LEARNING.
This is one of the most difficult areas in my learning days. When I was in college, I would do the same thing as others. Highlight in my books, take notes, try to get involved with answers and questions.
I would go home in the evenings and stick my nose in the books. Ignoring everything in the house, seeing only black and white and yellow highlights. I made good grades. In fact I usually got straight A’s, but wow, did I have to cram and put most of my waking hours into those grades.
When I got divorced I bought a computer desk. I lugged it to the car and hoisted it into the trunk. I drove home. Huffed and puffed carrying it into the house.
I laid every board out, every screw and bolt. I got the needed tools. All was in place. Next I read the directions. Then I reread the directions.
I looked at the photos and then read the words again. I glanced at the pieces. I started remembering back to when I was in college and I learned I was not a learner by lectures, writing notes, cramming or anything else.
I was a hand’s on learner. I learned by doing. I tossed the paper aside and pulled up my big girl pants and one by one I put the desk together. It was like putting puzzles together as a kid.
Trying a piece that looked like it may fit. Maybe having to exchange it for another piece. It took me probably twice as long as my ex would have taken, but hey, I did it. Soon I was smiling, so proud that I had a computer desk. Standing firm and strong, my computer sitting atop. I sat down and rubbed my hands along the nice, smooth wood and began typing.
Picture it & Write/ Ermilia
Jon felt his life was just…
Jon felt his life was just putting too much pressure on him. He seemed to believe that he didn’t have a life. Pieces of his soul had been ripped and torn; given to others. Every time he tried to connect a piece of the puzzle back together the goal was broken.
He sat now looking down. Using the height of magnitude he was able to see where it started. His parents owned a business. He became their gopher boy. Running errands, fixing meals, taking care of baby sister.
In between these jobs he tried to go to school. Concentrating on learning was replaced by what he had waiting for him at home to complete. He wanted good grades. He dreamed of going to college. He could taste the success of becoming a doctor.
But by the time he finished instructions left for him he was too tired to study. He would fall asleep after his parents came home. He would wake up, drool lying on the pages of his book.
As time progressed and he wasn’t needed for a sitter so much his rules were changed from sitter to driver. He learned about money. He paid bills, he budgeted his parents checkbooks.
One time he even had to barter with the electric company because his parents had let the bill slip by and he was the one who had to make arrangements to get it turned back on.
His gift to learn was his key to him keeping good grades. When his counselor called him in and offered him applications for colleges he quickly grabbed them. When he got home and he had the little bit of time to call his own, he filled them out. The next day he was back in the school office turning his pages in.
When the news came that he had been accepted his heart jumped out of his body. Genuine smiles were seen in each class. He was going to be a doctor. But how was he going to get a way? How was he going to claim his right to live as his own?
When he went to bed each night, he made the time to pray. He prayed for a way to escape. He needed space. Night after night the ritual went on.
The day came. It was graduation day. He walked proudly through the line accepting his diploma when his name was called. He looked out over the crowd hoping to see the glow from his parents’ but only his mother had made time to attend. Even his sister had not made it a priority to show up.
That night holding his diploma in his hand he realized that he had one week before it was time to leave. A new life was holding the doors open for him. His name was on the list. Tugs were pulling at his heart. He needed, no he wanted and desired this opportunity more than anything in life.
When he fell asleep he had a dream. He was sitting below the heavens. Placed on a cloud of success with his name on it he looked over his life and at the lessons he had learned. Determination and not giving up were his biggest teachers.
Now he turned a way. He looked towards the doors being held open for him and the cloud steered him in through the open ways of a bigger and better life. The world was his and he was not going to let it pass him by. He was on his way to becoming a doctor.
To what extent is your blog a place for your own self-expression and creativity vs. a site designed to attract readers? How do you balance that? If sticking to certain topics and types of posts meant your readership would triple, would you do it?
My blog is probably read by some that I wish it wasn’t. But for the most part I am free to write not only the surface truth, but the real under the gut truth.
On this blog you are reading on, I write about Inspirational Stories. I hope that some may reach your heart and cause you a smile. Others may bring a tear. Yet there are some who may even relate to what I am writing about.
This blog has allowed me to face facts about people in my life. I have learned to quit feeling so bad when I feel like I am non-existent. I don’t dwell on things as much as I used to.
I have learned that I have something others enjoy. I am not saying I have talent or am a wonderful writer. I think I speak in terms that get my point across and I am definitely not big on long words we have to seek the dictionary for.
I have been able to write a book on here. From what I understand from my Editor, it is about ready to become public. I have ventured out a little and have started on a second book and even a third.
I don’t have a title for the second book. It just goes by chapters for now. Many of you read this one and the third one that is about my brother’s life journey. Writing the last book has been very difficult.
This blog has been a teaching tool for me. I have learned more from writing about myself and Al and people near and far then I could have learned from any therapy book.
I also have a blog attached to this called Quotes,http://quotes4meandyou.wordpress.com
This section of my blog has taken a while to take off but it is steadily growing now.
I have one more blog that is linked to these two called, Music That Calms Me. http://mymusicthatcalmsme.wordpress.com I love this site as I can share with my friends all over the world. There are songs that I adore but other countries have not heard of the titles. I can also play them myself when I am in the mood for relaxing music.
I usually keep this music blog for relaxing, but there are some faster music and orchestra plus oldies.
But when you come to my blog, you can pretty well kick off your shoes, get your favorite drink and sit back and listen to the relaxing music, read a quote, and then dig into my short stories. I hope I keep things interesting. I don’t want to bore anyone. The facts are though that my life revolves around my brother, Al, and getting into people’s hearts and souls.
Yes, this is all my space. Mine alone. Even a divorce can not take it a way from me. It is like my purse. My purse is something I never let a child or husband get into it. It is like going to the bathroom and leaving the door open.
So would I stick to one topic that I wrote because it drew hundreds more guests? I think at this time I would have to say no. I have just been learning to accept me for who I am and what I represent. Why would I want to go and change things now after I am able to look in the mirror and say hi and I see a smile reflecting back at me?
We lived up on a hill with lots of trees surrounding the house. It was a great hill to go sledding as long as you didn’t run into those trees. A couple of times I took Al down on the back of my sled but he never did like it and seemed scared. He preferred to be in his room playing with his cars. Al played with his hot wheel cars far later than most kids, but he loved them and he was never asked to put them a way and grow up, which I am thankful for.
In the summertime Dad always made him trim the trees. Oh Al really hated this. I am not sure if he actually hated the trimming or if he hated the fact it was Dad telling him to do it. We were never allowed to ask questions. If we didn’t understand we could go to Mom if she was there or we just figured things out for ourselves.
For Al no matter what the project was he needed training longer than most of us. He would in the beginning trim around the trees but not close enough. So Dad would go out there and show him again by pointing to the trees and asking, do you see now what I am talking about? Now go back and redo them all.
Al would cry and Dad would walk back to the house shaking his head. Dad shaking his head was a common thing I saw clear up until his death. He never understood why us kids just didn’t get it the first time.
This is when Al learned to start cussing. I sometimes would go out and walk with him while he did the trimming for the second time and I learned some pretty choice words. I will never know where he learned them at that age because neither of us were allowed to hang around anyone that didn’t go to church.
I can remember when I wanted a friend to stay the night. Mom would ask, what’s their last name? If she recognized it as a bad family name I wasn’t allowed to be near them let alone have them spend the night at our house.
I guess when I look at it Mom she was prejudice. You were hung before judged if you had the wrong last name. I can remember this house that was vacated by people other than Caucasian. Mom would always say, don’t step in the grass or ever go in the house on your way home from school. They have bugs.
I laugh at it now because it sounds so silly to me. How did her mind work? I always blame it on her own upbringing and what she was taught. I didn’t get mad at her, I always listened to what she said, but I made my own judgements when I became an adult. Any human can get bugs and your last name means nothing to me. I will decide after I have taken the time to be with you whether we would make good friends or not.
By now Al had outgrown the special education classes and was in the high school. He really struggled. Fears that had been held at bay now resurfaced as he struggled with stuttering and learning disabilities.
I am not sure what Mom did but I know she spent a large amount of time in our school. A class opened up for students that were labeled back then as slow learners. Before that it was called mental retardation.
I always hated that wording. Even today when Al is down on himself he will sometimes call himself a retard. I jump on him quicker than you can blink an eye. I tell him in no way is he retarded. I explain that some things are just a little harder for him to learn.
He and I are both left-handed people. I always tell him how smart he and I. That we are the lucky ones because God only gave left-handed to special people. Then he would smile at me and the world was good once again.
The new school class was an ordinary class but a few special need students were placed in here. Not only was there a teacher but there were two teacher’s helpers too. I always told Mom she started a revolution for learning disabilities with whatever she had said to get this started.
Mom was never one to brag about herself. She worked as a manager for a big well-known heating company. She paid people’s bills when she learned that the customer was trying so hard but couldn’t pay the entire bill. She never did this with telling them who she was.
Mom even helped to open the first women’s shelter here in our town. It was for women and children who had been battered by their husbands. It is still running at high-capacity today unfortunately. I say this because I wish abuse of any kind would fall off the earth and never be heard of again. We learned, we conquered, and now we lay it to rest.
Al stayed in this class the entire year and we could start to see changes in his personality. He was feeling like he was cared about and that teachers understood him. He stayed in these high-school special classes until he graduated. We were all so proud of Al for graduating. He should have graduated in 1973 but instead he graduated in 1975, but hey, who cares, he made it!!
How are you more likely to make an important decision — by reasoning through it, or by going with your gut?
One thing that is usually guaranteed in life is maturity. Learning from our past mistakes helps us make better decisions later in life.
I started out free and happy. Newly married and no worries. Love blinded to anything in front of my eyes. Every credit card I received in the mail made me feel more and more important.
How easy it was to go to the department stores and whip out my card. Signing my name on the dotted line brought with it more than a heap of pride. The bills did come in at the end of the month.
Now what do I do? I don’t want to have to pay this. I want to go shopping this weekend. I will just pay the minimum due. This way I can still do what I want.
Wow did I learn my lesson quickly. After a few months of my routine my bubble was busted when I maxed out my two cards. I had wept into my own hands for being so stupid. I was going to have to pay and remember this mistake for years to come.
Now many years later and the cards paid off I have learned a different way to make decisions. I ask myself, do I need this? Can I live without it? Can I wait until it goes on sale or on the clearance rack?
When I enter a store now I don’t stop and gawk at the front row of goodies. I actually head for the back where the clearance racks sit. Even in grocery stores there are sales constantly, but we have to look for them.
The eyes behind the scenery are much smarter than we give them credit for. It is intentionally planned that the highest priced and the newest products are placed at eye level. We see this first and we dive in for it.
What we don’t see is that two shelves down is the same product in a store brand label for a much lower price. I find this to work in almost any type of store that you can use cash or credit.
With caring for my brother I have not worked for some time. Money is a valuable element in my life but I have to make excellent decisions so I don’t end up being number one on the redial of a collection agency.
If it is a high-priced item I know I need I sleep on it for maybe a few days. I scan the internet and the paper ads for the best bargains. I talk to people and get their thoughts on professionals that won’t try to take advantage of a single person on a limited income.
Eventually I do come to the decision. If I don’t know the answer I still wait. I learned this from my Mom. She always said, if you can’t figure out the right move, wait, because you could be digging yourself in a big hole.
My mom was a wise woman. If I would have thought of this when I was in my twenties I wouldn’t have spent years paying off high interest credit cards. Thanks Mom, it finally kicked in.
This one is an easy answer for me. I have to try it while listening to someone describe it. I went to college. I tried following a long in the books but it didn’t work. I took notes and then went home and read the chapters alone in a quiet atmosphere. I made more notations and then saved them.
I can’t read and learn at the same time. I always thought I may have some disability with comprehension. I have to read something, highlighting what I think is was important. Then I would go back and dissect it to learn.
I would take my notes back to class and pick-up more key notes but even then, I would wait until the night before a test and pull out all of my notes and study. This is how I learn anything.
If I have bought something that needs put together I will toss the directions to the side. I will try to put it together from my eye’s view first. Only if I don’t succeed within a reasonable amount of time will I glance over the photograph descriptions, never reading the words.
I know it sounds strange but this is how I learn. I don’t like reading that well unless it has grabbed my attention in the first couple of pages. Research is another thing that gets me excited. I love to research. Since I love antiques, I will spend many hours looking at every thing I can find. This is a major thrill to me.
Everything I have learned about antiques through the years has been done by research and hands on training. I don’t know if I do have a weird way of learning but at my age, who cares. They say you learn the most in your first five years of life. Now I look at anything new I learn is definitely a bonus.