I saw a segment of one of Obama's speeches regarding education and how he'd like to expand the length of the school day, open up schools on the weekends and to make children attend school year round. There was some great stuff in his speech, but this segment kind of pissed me off.
Summers are GLORY TIMES for kids. Sweet freedom. Sun burns, junk food and sprinkler frolicking. The reasoning, he explains, is that we need to keep up with other countries that typically attend school a full month more per year than our students. Aren't we one of the top countries for creating technology in the post industrial era? I would think that implies that we're doing something right.
He does mention recruiting and rewarding good teachers and no longer making excuses for bad ones. Yesss! This is exactly what we need. I absolutely believe in education, but I also believe in enjoying ones life and not being crammed indoors for hours upon hours. LIFE is education. EXPERIENCES are education. Kids will be missing out on life and getting programmed for 12 hours in a cube all day. That's not the life I want for kids. It doesn't feel right.
John Adams said, "I am a warrior, that my son may be a merchant – and his son may be a poet." To me this raises the question of why we now need two incomes to survive and I see my co-workers more than I see my family. There are people alive today that had, in the past, the solid understanding that if they work hard every day, at the end of the day they could go home to their families and know that things were alright; there was enough money to provide, they didn't have concerns over their health and they could make it on a single income.
I feel detached from my livelihood; what does sitting in a box for eight hours a day have to do with my survival? I think this is part of the reason so many people have issues with depression and other anxiety disorders. They are detached from their biological makeup.It feels like no matter how hard someone works today, they're still only getting table scraps, barely keeping their head above water. I would hate to think we're programming our children for the same kind of life.
(Image is George Tooker's Landscape with Figures.)