Obama’s Weekly Address & My Thoughts On Education

(Watch President Obama’s Weekly Address here.)

We might have our priorities all backwards in this country. Education is important, no doubt. But more and more the reality is looking like education doesn’t help anyone get a job. Job training and job skills seem more important than any amount of education. We all have heard the stories of Phds who can’t get work and college graduates in the same position.

The question is: does a degree equal a job?

More and more I’m seeing the answer is: no.

That’s not to say education is not important, but perhaps one can just educate themselves whenever they have time in their life and this rush to college when right out of high school might be just a waste of time in the American Economy.

Success seems more linked to job training and attaining job skills immediately. A resume builder looks more like a series of internships and/or a long, stable work history. Not a series of degrees lined up.

That’s just my impression of what is going on in this new economy.

HuffPo: Texas Textbook Massacre

This recent development has me extremely enraged, in a time when I can afford no more of that emotion without bursting at the seams.

From the Huffington Post:

AUSTIN, Texas – A far-right faction of the Texas State Board of Education succeeded Friday in injecting conservative ideals into social studies, history and economics lessons that will be taught to millions of students for the next decade.

The Board removed Thomas Jefferson from the Texas curriculum’s world history standards on Enlightenment thinking, “replacing him with religious right icon John Calvin.”

Michelle Obama is My Kind of Woman

michelle1

(Image: Abagond)

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I should have said this a long time ago:

andy-warhols-jackie-kennedy-1964

Not since Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis has the White House of this country had a First Lady with so much class, sophistication and personality.

In a short piece she wrote for U.S. News, Michelle encapsulated exactly what I feel is discussed far too rarely in the buzz of politics: education standards in the United States.

Particularly surrounding topics like Science and Math.

U.S. News & World Report

“America‘s Future Lies in Its Teachers”

Michelle Obama –

When we think about the qualities that make an outstanding teacher–boundless energy and endless patience; vision and a sense of purpose; the creativity to help us see the world in a different way; commitment to helping us discover and fulfill our potential–we realize: These are also the great qualities of a leader. Today, more than ever before, we need precisely this kind of leadership in our classrooms.

The challenge to our schools is not just an overall teacher shortage but a shortage of good teachers in where they are most essential: high-need schools that face some of the most daunting obstacles but have students with so much potential. We also have a shortage of teachers in subjects like math and science that we know will be critical in our children’s future.

Today, we need a new generation of leaders to take their place in our nation’s schools. We need passionate, talented, committed men and women to step up and devote themselves to preparing our students to succeed in this new century.

Talking About God and Science

An anonymous man once impressed this image upon my mind:

I was doing one of these things awhile back and there was this guy in the room with a huge chip on his shoulder as soon as I said the word ‘God.’ This guy was huge, almost seven feet tall and arms like a gorilla. He told me there wasn’t no such thing as God and on top of that since nobody in the room could do a damn thing about him that he was God as far as it mattered. So I put a challenge to him. I emptied out a dresser, moved it out into the center of the room, and had everyone help me fill the bottom drawer with all the training weights we could. Then I told him to lift it up high. He struggled and moved it around more than I thought he would. But he couldn’t get it off the ground. Then we had everyone in the room, with him, try and lift the dresser. It came up from the floor so easily we almost hurt ourselves, surprised at our mutual strength. When we all sat down again after replacing the dresser and the weights he asked me what was the point. I told him that when he walked in that door today he thought he was God and now he can see that some things are outside his power. The God in everyone else with himself included was stronger than he could ever hope to be alone. So he was not God. But God was still present in the room, between all of us and stronger than any of us.

If you change the physical nature of this image of the huge man proclaiming himself “God” for a more intellectual design, one might evoke an image of a high-brow scholar scribbling out a formula that disproves the existence of God.

This is my impression of many atheists, and certain agonistics, I encounter. It seems to me that many have ‘thought God out of existence’ in the course of earnest and worthwhile studies. To my perception all science, and the nature of all knowledge itself, provides us with a constant ’unknown.’ Even in the absence of any religious background there is more than enough room for an understanding of the universe and life beyond simple reasoning’s of black-and-white logic.

While science shatters dogma and begs the eternal question simultaneously, it still does not negate the concept of a higher power.

YOU’RE A SMARTY-PANTS!

 

I am just that. A nerdy, geeky, smarty guy.

To look at me, I just walked out of the woods after a week, or just caught a groovy wave or some such.

I want to try to interject some amount of humor into this blog I have here.

It is a vital part of what I am as a person.

But I have this damn brain that won’t shut off. Let me tell you this:

I believe everyone is much more intelligent than they would ever really believe.

I think 99.99% of people, including myself, sells themselves short in terms of their own mental capacities.

I try not to boast but I try in the fields of English Literature, Social Science, Statistics, Psychology, Genetics, and modern-American Civics.

I find, personally, that I have a strong affinity toward “stupid” and that most likely influences me in every fashion, no matter how much science and mathematics I absorb.

My worst subject without question is mathematics. Math is raw and disciplined in a way that all other mentioned fields are not, as far I find it. I cannot “blur the line” or do a quick look at someone else’s work routine. I can grasp it in theory, in lecture, but it has always been another matter recreating these mental efforts after NOT DOING MY HOMEWORK.

I’ll write you an essay about why I didn’t do my math homework. And post it to every social networking site and blog search engine so you you do is type “Not Doing My Math Homework” into any useful search-agent. Viola!

I believe we all different capacities and abilities, many of which we are wholly unaware of. I’ve always said if you locked me in a room all I would do is write like a madman so it could be worse.

I have actually had long, personal conservations with convicted felons and I like to pause and say: 

Do everything you can to not get mixed up with the law, just follow the laws that keep you always from a life as any form of felony acts.

I’m a “vidiot” and an obsessive blogger. I can see all this.

Does anybody care to discuss Freudian vs. Jungian Psychology?

I’m a “Junganyte” … we all but one mind but reflecting into and upon one another. Your turn.

So I am a debater and a pusher of thoughts and opinions. When did this become anything but the very nature of the nation I was born to? The United States of America.

Not “The Divided States of America.”

That’s why I’m angry.

Angry at business leaders and a lack of massive resignations across the board in government as well.

This blog is, and always will be, just a format of voice–nothing more and nothing less.

So says the smarty-pants!

 

 

Eric Lightborn

http://americapress.wordpress.com

March 19th 2009