It's back to school time. The usual rush and panic. Not at our house. The only 'kid' left is my son, who is on his own. He still lives here, in his own little apartment in the basement, but he comes and goes as if he didn't life here. At 23, I think that's acceptable. I'm encouraging him to move out...but that won't happen until he finishes school - several years from now.
Ah, yes. School. This country has always prided itself on being up on education, but - what's the real story? Where do we stand on this issue? Over at Talking Story, with Rosa Say's Ho'ohana Community, she's hosting a month long event on education, sort of. There are 27 guest authors on her blog in September - one for each day of the month (yes, I know September has 30 days, but...27 is a pretty good return on asking folks to guest post, don't you think?). The focus is on teaching and education. I'm posting on the 28th. I'll remind you.
With that in mind, it's interesting that I received an email from my local business journal yesterday showing that one of our universities, Nazareth, is revising its requirements and beginning a program of higher focus on science and technology aimed at girls.
I guess Lena would be happy to hear about that. Hope you're tuning in to her Technology Diet posts here on Lip-sticking.
I'm happy, too. But, a part of me wants to know WHY we have to refocus or revise - why hasn't this been a major part of the curriculum all along? WHY were girls getting the shaft in this area?
I don't have the answers. There's plenty of controversy. Even I wrote about this in a post not too long ago. In the end, isn't education vital to our economy? Isn't it vital to our well-being as citizens of the strongest, most prosperous country in the world? Isn't it vital to our ability to contribute to global care? It should be equal for all - not gender specific, not something that is provided according to race or income level. Education should be free and available to every child, no, every citizen in America.
Without the freedom, and ability (having a school near you with good teachers and administrators) to learn, we will slowly disintegrate as a society. Let's not let that happen. Support your school district. Teach your children to respect education. Give them books to read - and read with them. Limit their TV viewing. Limit their video game playing. Schedule their sports and outdoor activities to allow for free play - much education is gained when we're doing things we love.
I worry that America is getting too passe' about education. We worship the gods of celebrity - and watch reality TV and think those are relevant to real life, when they're not. They're entertainment. Nothing more.
What will you do this year to secure your children's education? Will you make sure your daughters are given the same opportunities as your sons, and vice-versa? Will you attend PTA meetings and school events? Will you insist on quality teachers - by making sure they have a good salary? Will you volunteer - even if it means extra time out of your busy life? Will you read with your children, every day?
If we all don't participate, I fear the dark shadow of ignorance that will settle over us. The worst thing about ignorance isn't that it exists - but that when it exists, it's often invisible. No one recognizes it or admits it. Silence will be our undoing.
Read to your children. Out loud.