This past week was Homecoming at the high school where I teach. My students who were sophomores when I first started are now seniors, and since the first week in September I’ve repeatedly heard from them, “I can’t believe this is my last [fill in the blank].” Some say it with great relief, others with … Continue reading Coming Home Will Sustain You (or, how a 50-year-old embarrassingly crashed a Homecoming dance)
I'm astounded at the level of ignorance people numbly accept. Never have we lived in an age with so much knowledge and data so easily accessible, yet we want very little of it. For hundreds of years--no, for thousands of years, education was the coveted goal of nearly all people. To learn to read? Have … Continue reading There is always hope and options; bizarrely, we don’t seem to want them.
I've never understand why people want to be "in charge." They must think there's great status, or acclaim, or money. But it's responsibility, criticism, and working far more hours than one will ever be compensated for. That is, if the leader in power is doing things right. I suspect most who crave power are intent … Continue reading Power-hungry “toddlers” are trying to take over. Be a grown up and don’t let them.
In the coming weeks, many of my graduating seniors will be heading off to college, and as I've chatted with a few of them, it's clear that the reality of what they're doing--leaving rural Maine and heading out in the real, nasty world--is settling on their shoulders as easily as a Ford truck. Questions of, … Continue reading You don’t know what’s down that road, but since even wrong roads can become right, take that road already!
I've created a list by which I gauge those in power: who I should run away from and who I'll trust for another week. (By the way, the purpose of the world is NOT to serve us; this is how every major conflict begins.) Now I won't be naive and pretend that in the past … Continue reading Three ways to evaluate those who hold political power: when to run away and when to give them another week
I feel stupid confessing this, but I was slightly freaked out by Europe. We came back last month from eleven days in Rome and Greece, and while I was prepared for the trip, many silly things deeply worried me. For example, the electrical outlets--two little holes? And their electricity is "different" than American/Canadian electricity? Isn't … Continue reading The world isn’t what you think it is, and why should it be?
The entire reason for my attending a class as a grad student was to argue with the professor. She was on one side politically, I was on the other. I respected the woman immensely, but daggum, did she know how to push my buttons every week! It was like she was TRYING to make me … Continue reading You can’t manipulate the educated, which is why they don’t want us educated
This week in school I taught about the rescuers during the Holocaust and WWII. (We're reading a Holocaust memoir and I like to give my students historical context.) We learned about Irena Sendler, who smuggled out 2,500 babies and children from the Warsaw Ghetto, and about Oskar Schindler whose list preserved the lives of 1,200 … Continue reading Quit protesting and start doing; it’s not the government’s job but ours
Ideally, our elected politicians solve the problems WE, THE PEOPLE assign them. Ideally, politicians are OUR employees, working for OUR communities' greater good. Invariably, politicians forget that when they get a little power, and will do whatever serves their futures, not ours. There's no wound they won't reopen, no minor issue they won't distort, and … Continue reading The purpose of politics: not what we, the people, think.
With so many in the US calling for "fairness" and for the government to ensure (enforce?) that fairness, we have forgotten that creating equity and caring for the poor is already within our power. We each can balance the world correctly. In fact, we're the only ones who can. There's nothing stopping me or you. … Continue reading You already have the power to balance your corner of the world