Saturday, August 1, 2009

Weekend Wrap and An Indictment of the US Education System

It's fairly quiet this morning after sleeping in with Cathy trying to get the work week out of my system. Jackson and one of his friends are passed out on the den furniture after an all night X-Box session and Fisher went to a concert with friends and stayed over at their house.

All these festivities were in the name of one last blow out for their friends who start back to school on Monday. If you have to do school the traditional way, I guess "year round school" is as good as any. Once you get past starting at the beginning of August and take a look at what school in the USA has evolved into it is still not a pretty picture.

Does taking five or six classes each year, much of which is repetitive, really prepare you for the world we live in? How many times do you get American History in a school career, four or five? Does it really take 12 years to learn to write a coherent sentence? Just how does cutting up a frog in Biology class prepare you for the future?

Most of what I learned in my public school career was preparation for games of Trivial Pursuit as an adult. Beyond basic math and remedial writing, I do not use any skills or concepts that on a day to day basis in my insurance or writing careers that had any basis in my formal education.

Other than skilled and technical positions like engineers, doctors, nurses, and other jobs where you actually need a specific skill set, most positions require a lot of OJT and learning as you go in order to advance. It wasn't 10th grade gym class that ever got me a job or a promotion.

Kids, whose parents have used the public schools of a gloried babysitter for 12 or 13 years, are graduating high school with no concept of what to do with their life or what to do next. Many just continue on to college because "that's what you are supposed to do."

Ones that rebell and screw around and don't learn anything aren't even prepared for Trivial Pursuit. Even more quit as Tennessee's 70% graduation rate is indicative that almost a third don't even wait it out through their senior year.

So what is the answer? I don't know but there has to be a better way to prepare the kids, who are our future, for meaningful ways to spend the rest of their lives. It is a system that needs to be broken to it's core in order to rebuild something that looks totally different and may actual work.

So much for the mini rant which was set off by Fisher and Jackson's friends heading back to school in the middle of the Summer, but it is something that we, as a nation and as individual parents, really need to take a look at before packing little Johnny off to school at four years old for pre-K.

A parent's most important job is to do everything you can to impart your own wisdom and knowledge upon your kids while you have the chance. The really important stuff that kids need to know in life is not something that they will learn at school. It has to come from a loving, caring parent who will be transparent and open and let their kids learn from your achievements as well as your mistakes.

You can't set the bar too high for you kids. As a nation, we have failed because many parents don't set a bar at all. If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.

In Predator Nation...

Before heading out to Atlanta for a Braves game, Brandon Felder put together a good analysis of what the Preds will face next off season with free agents and building the team for the 2010-2011 season. Once you see this scenario, it is easier to understand why the Preds are not singing a big name player to a long term contract this summer.

Paul McCann touches on the delimna that the Blackhawks may be facing in the funny numbers involved in the Marion Hossa signing earlier this summer. I personally think that there needs to be a four or five year limit on contract lengths.

Dirk at On The Forecheck shows how screwed up the situation was with Sportsnet in reporting the Jiri Hudler to Detroit and then back to the KHL saga on Friday. I guess the MSM is wanting to compete with some of the rumor sites now.

Admirals Short Shifts has a contest, speculation on the new Ads assistant coach and news that Patric Hornqvist made Team Sweeden's short list for the Olympics. We are tentatively set to have the Short Shift guys on PredsOnTheGlass radio on August 10. They do a great job on the Ad's beat and are our primary source of information for the team.

Around the NHL...

Let There Be Light(house) throws down the gauntlet on Tuesday's rally. It includes Chris Botta with a video asking for support for the project even more than for resurrection of IslandersPointBlank. As a Pred fan who almost lost our team, we need to support the Islanders any way we can. they have great fans and need a new home.

In Phoenix, The Yotes Diva has a surprisingly positive story about Ice Edge Holdings. The AP has a summary of the issues facing the court for a Wednesday ruling.

I love 'day with the cup stories' and here's what Max Talbot did on his day. It was funny that he was at the NHL Awards show just to help Geno Malkin carry the cup around. He did a great job at it too. Where was Sid the Kid that night anyway? Max is cool, but wouldn't Geno and Sid been a better photo op?

Blueshirt Banner says the Zherdev arbitration ruling is near. My bet is on him playing in the KHL this year. To those who put Nashville in the mix, it will never happen.

Scott Burnside has some fodder for the dog days of Summer. He asks 13 questions that could be argued for the rest of the season.

Adam Gretz at FanHouse has an article on statistical analysis in Hockey. The only thing missing is a mention of Dirk Hoag, the Forechecker.

More later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

1 comment:

jas faulkner said...

That's just too soon. Summer needs to stretch out so that it feels like a lifetime between school years. Do you get the feeling no one on the school board ever allowed themselves the pleasure of reading "Dandelion Wine"?