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Monthly Archives: March 2015

Something so simple…

firstamendment

 

There’s a back story here that’s kind of convoluted, as most back stories are. But the gist of it is this: A group of parents, retired educators and community leaders have come together to speak up for the rights of teachers and students. We have watched Common Core be thrust upon our country and people take positions of authority in our education system that truly appear to not have children’s best interest at heart, much less any background in education. We see a removal of recess and the addition of more testing as an issue. And we do not like the amount of pressure being placed on our kids with these standardized tests that even many adults could not pass.

Our group came together and volunteered their time and energy to help elect a new school board member. We did so honestly and openly and ran a clean, grassroots campaign. Our candidate won. Our candidate and our group garnered some followers and some dissenters. None of this is surprising. But this happened two months later:

Our group was spied on.

Yes, someone, who remains a mystery, paid a Private Investigator to drive by our meeting place (a private citizen’s home) and copy down all the license plate numbers of those in attendance. Yes, this concerned us, as you can imagine. Why in the world would someone care enough about who we are and what we were doing to PAY an investigator to snoop on us? Sounds like a John Grisham novel to me.

Here is a link to the editorial column written yesterday about this article from last week. Read them both and then read my comment below. (You can actually read them in any order you choose… this isn’t one of those tests!)

Then I would love to read your comments on your take on the status of our nation’s education system. Do you follow it at all? Some do, many don’t. Does it scare you at all? Would it bother you to have a meeting you attended be under surveillance? What would you do?

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MY COMMENT:

 

I see some of you have questions about the group of concerned community members who occasionally meet to discuss our education system. You may have passed judgment on these people because of alliances you may have with a previous school board member.

I do not blame you one iota.

However, every pancake has two sides. Our group is genuinely concerned with the turn our county and our nation are taking in education…

Change is never easy. Change for the better is tolerable. Change for the worse, is a crime against our future.Our children deserve a solid education by teachers who are respected and treated fairly. Teachers who are not bullied into teaching questionable curriculum in an unreasonable timeframe. Teachers who are not stressed that their careers hang in the balance of results from a standardized test which may or may not be prepared purposefully to confuse students or test them on skills they are too young to have acquired.

We worry about our community’s future. We worry about our nation’s future. You should, too. Do you have young children or grandchildren? Don’t you want what’s best for them?

I presume you do because you are most likely an intelligent and caring person if you are reading this. Please, ask me any question you may have about our group. Ask me what we talk about when we meet over coffee. Ask me how we threw our collective volunteer efforts behind Mary Cantrell and why. We have no hidden agendas. No power plays. No mudslinging. We simply want education run by educators, people with the children’s best interest at the TOP of their priority list.

Education was once an institution for learning. Now it’s become an industry for business. That’s unfortunate. And that’s really all this is about. Do we want education to become a cookie-cutter mold to turn out cookie-cutter kids while business people make a buck? Or do we want our brightest and best to learn and grow and make a difference in the world?

What do you want, dear reader? In your heart, what do you hope the future looks like for our children? Remember, these are the people who will be in charge when we are in our Golden Years and beyond.

Feel free to contact me. I would be happy to meet you for coffee. And you can bring your friends who may also think negatively about people trying to keep education for and about educating children in an environment of mutual respect and integrity.

I leave you with this from Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last:
“There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or influence. Those who lead, inspire us. We follow those who lead not because we have to, but because we want to. We want to because we believe what they believe. We know what they believe because those who lead, always start with why.”
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Our group has a powerful why. And we are willing to share it with the world.
 
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Posted by on March 17, 2015 in Just Because

 

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What Happened to ME?

 

Dear Readers,

I have not posted here in a while. Life, as they say, gets in the way sometimes, even in the way of things that we love. But, I’ve come to the realization that I want to do more writing. I’d love to even monetize it somehow. And I won’t get that opportunity by ignoring the blog or the readers, will I?

So, I came back. 

It took a few tries. I had forgotten my password. (Am I the only one who hates everything having a password these days? Sheesh!) But, I figured it out and took a peek at the blog and found a draft from ages ago. I read it and, of course, it still resonated with me. So, upon giving it a little thought, I’ve expounded on it and posted it here. The newer writing picks up with ‘Am I complaining?…’

I am shocked that the passage of time has allowed me to think through this issue and come to a more positive outlook. I’m certainly glad of that, though. 

I’d love to know your thoughts on this. Please leave a comment in the comment section or on Facebook.

THX!

Mama

 

freedom

For 35 years, it was all about me.

I lived where I wanted, ate what I wanted, did what I wanted. Heck, if I suddenly got the urge to go buy a half-gallon of Starbucks Low-Fat Latte ice cream and eat the whole dang thing right out of the container… I could. And I did. (At least once, that I care to confess.)

Marriage at 29 shifted things… a little. Not much. But after that I had to consult someone else before most major decisions.

But when our first child was born in September of 2004, my world as I knew it simply vanished. Now, I know this is a universal law here. It happens to every, single, solitary parent on the planet. However, no one prepared me for it. Even my mom. (Sorry, but if you did, I wasn’t listening, as usual.)

Now hold on a minute.

Stop.

I just wrote and wrote and wrote, re-read, then deleted a whole segment about my shocking difficulty with breast-feeding and the horror of postpartum depression. This is not the ME I am referring to here. No, that was some major crap, don’t get me wrong and probably has a lot to do with what I’m going through, but the selfish thing I miss the most is FREEDOM.

This isn’t about how hard it is to be a mother. It’s about loss of FREEDOM. Plain and simple.

I can not simply jump into the car and drive somewhere. Not to Walgreen’s, not to Starbucks, not on a crazy spur-of-the-moment road trip to see some band in another town. Now, I never did much of the latter when I was single, but I love the idea of it now. Because I can’t.

 

Am I complaining? Kinda. But not really. I love being a mother. I love having created a family. But I do, honestly, miss the freedom.

So, what’s a mama to do?

The answer is quite painfully simple: NOTHING.

Until the kids are out of the nest, until they have been properly emancipated, there’s no freedom for either of us.

Whoa. Think about that.

Putting it into perspective, I’m not the only one suffering from a lack of freedom. Would my first grader rather NOT have to get up, dress and go to school five days a week? Certainly. Does my fourth grader really lavish the idea of sitting in her desk for 80 minutes and have her fledgling writing skills assessed by the state? Nope. Certainly not. They have ZERO freedom as well. Hmmmmmm. My husband has to work to pay our living expenses and keep us insured and fed and protected. Would he rather go golfing or lounge in his boxers in front of ESPN all day? Sadly, yes.

So, I am gonna make an effort to stop this woe-is-me mentality and, although I may occasionally long for the freedoms of my young adult lifestyle, I will try to truly relish the moments of motherhood. These years are fleeting after all, right? Soon, the kids will move away and I’ll be able to have that freedom back. Okay, not exactly the same kind of freedom. Then it will be the freedom to shop for adult undergarments or pick the restaurant where we’ll use our senior discount any day we want to (assuming it’s before 4pm). But, that’s how life is, isn’t it? We will be totally blessed to have lived so long to enjoy it.

Life is like a really good book. The more chapters the better, huh? I’ve been told on more than one occasion that these parenting years are the ones we will look back on the most fondly. I hereby promise to make the most of them. No more belly-aching about loss of freedom. Nobody needs to eat a whole half-gallon of ice cream anyway, right?

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2015 in Waxing Philosophical

 

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