Labor Day marks the beginning and end of many things; it’s the unofficial end of summer, it’s the end of Reggae Season; here in the northeast the weather changes; and of course it means that school is starting (or in some cases has started) and not a moment too soon. I’ve never been a big advocate of promoting school but after the things I witnessed this summer from our youth and some adults, I am now because we are in serious trouble!
Let’s start with the most reason incident which will sound like it came right out of a school book. Note: These are actual accounts. The names will be changed to protect the innocent even though they should be singled out and publically humiliated for their ignorance.
Xavier (a 16-17 year old in New Jersey) is selling a bag of oranges for $6.20. Paul gives him $20.25 (that’s a $20 bill and a quarter). How much change should Paul expect back from Xavier?
Before I give you the glaring answer, let me explain exactly what happened. Xavier took the money and entered $6.25 in the register which told him to issue $0.05 back in changed. Confused by his error, Xavier closed the register drawer. Not able to open it himself, he called for his manager. With the drawer problem now solved we are back to the math. Still perplexed, Xavier quickly wiped out his cell phone, opened the calculator then returned the proper change?I don’t think this one needs to be explained.
I saw a documentary called Superhuman: Genius which featured a child prodigy artist. Her artwork was absolutely amazing for someone of her age. During the program her parents mentioned that sometimes she would paint for 14 hours a day and produce a master piece. The alarming thing she mentioned was not that she was home-schooled but that she was only taught subjects that interested her. This excluded math.
When I was in school, I also wished I could only study the subjects I wanted and that others were useless because they had nothing to do with my primary focus. I now realize that those other subjects are what made me into a well rounded person.
A co-worker of mine whose is from another country and speaks English as a second language has a son, who only speaks English, in a local day care program. He came to me one day and started counting in Spanish. I found this strange because his parents are not from a Spanish speaking country.
I will quickly say that I have nothing against people who speak Spanish. My beef here is with the education system itself. Who decided that Spanish is the second (or third) language for this child? In this case, the child doesn’t speak the native language of his parents but knows some Spanish. My question is "Why not Italian, Danish or Portuguese?" I say these languages specifically because the US has never faced these countries other than in the Olympics or soccer (I’m no history buff so I may be wrong). Is this because Dora and Diego are so popular? Since when did commercialism determine what we taught our students? It just went by another name, propaganda.
This leads to our last topic:
President Obama plans to address our nation’s students in an address at the beginning of the school year.
Of course this is not without controversy. Some parents don’t want their kids to hear him speak. Some say it’s a political campaign in disguise targeted at children (as if most will be able to vote in the next election). And others don’t want the
black President to speak to their children , but they don’t want to admit that is the case. I’ll let the news organizations handle this one as you’ll hear plenty about this in the next couple days.