It seems that in America the states have lots of money for building new prisons, but no money for education. I am talking specifically about Oklahoma, but this is true of other states as well. In full disclosure, I am the daughter of a teacher, and I also homeschooled my children from grades 3 to 8. I believe strongly in a good education system where science and math are taught, along with accurate history, literature and the arts. I well-rounded education is a requirement for a good society. I’m not alone in this, since many of our ancestors were also in agreement.
I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to the various teachers strikes, but they were not only striking for more money (remember, a teacher must have a Bachelors degree in teaching, but also a Master’s Degree – that is six years of college), but they are also striking for newer textbooks (some are over twenty years old), there are not enough books for the number of students, there are leaking roofs, moldy walls and ceilings, exposed wires, broken desks and chairs, no paper, and the list goes on and on.
So, my question is this? How did this happen? Why is education being slowly strangled due to lack of money? As a child I can remember when people who were smart were looked up to. At some point, many parts of society decided to wage a war on education. Being “smart” became less desirable, with put-downs such as “nerd” and “geek” being used. Being a “bookworm” was a negative thing. I wish I knew why education is no longer valued. I do have some thoughts, including the fact that if people are kept from learning deductive reasoning, they may be easier to trick. I’m leaving some links below that I hope you will check out. The videos of the schools are really difficult to watch because they look like third world schools. Please comment on this subject below.
“We are life, and life is far vaster than this body, this concept, this mind.” – thich nhat hanh
If we see ourselves as more than just ourselves, we will change forever the way we live and the way we relate to the rest of the world. We truly are one. We are all made of stardust, and are just separate parts of the whole. There is no us against them, since we are them. Together we make up the whole. Apart we are lonely, lost and forsaken. Together we can solve any problem. If we simply change our thinking, we can change the world. Can you imagine a world where people understand that an injustice to one, is an injustice to all? Where we consider all species to be important and part of the whole? Just imagine how differently we would think about everything. We are the whole of life.
We have two wood stoves at my house, and this is how we heat in winter. While that’s all well and good, we also have to take some trees down every year, as well as get some logs delivered in order to have enough wood to last a winter. Luckily, we’re nearing the end of taking our own trees down, and have only a few more to go. Since we’ve already rented a wood chipper this spring, I know that we’re finished with the trees this year. Unfortunately, we needed to take down some smaller trees in the backyard due to their being a hazard. Because of this, we now have some room back there that will be rather bare once we get the trees cut up and the wood stacked.
So, I’ve been dreaming of gardens. You know, those fantastic English gardens that look so wonderfully peaceful? Those gardens. However, as much as I dream of having gardens like that, I know that I just don’t have the ability to create them. In my head, I’m the most artistic person ever. In reality, not so much. I do have a spatial-relation problem (I can’t picture how something is going to look), but I also don’t know much about gardens. Years ago, I had a large vegetable garden, and I did manage that pretty well. However, I’ve never planted flowers and have no idea how to go about it. So, for the moment I’m just dreaming of gardens.
If you have any books for inept beginners that I could read in the subject, I’d be grateful if you’d let me know. Meanwhile, here are some photos of wonderful gardens to enjoy!
This month, I’m going to be attempting the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m trying, once again, to finish my short chapter book for a little boy I know. It feels like I’ve been working on this forever (mostly because I have). But, I really want to get this done and move onto other projects.
Writing can often be the most difficult thing to do. There are so many things that sound great in my head, but once I get them down on paper I find that they’re not that great at all. Also, it’s so easy to be distracted. Ever since I stopped going to the library to write, my progress has slowed down to – no progress. I’d like to go back to the library; however, I don’t feel that I should leave my elderly dog on her own. There would be no one here if she needs help, and of course I just can’t do that to her. I just have to learn how to not get distracted by things.
Is anyone else attempting Camp NaNoWriMo? Let me know how it’s going for you. Maybe we can commiserate – or more hopefully, celebrate together.
I’ve written quite a lot about nature. I love it, find that time spent enjoying nature, even looking at pictures of nature makes me feel so much better. I’ve been taking pictures of my yard lately and thought that I’d share some of them with you.
Sunrise through the trees!
Fall painting the leaves yellow.
My wild gardens.
More yellow leaves.
This last picture is my favorite. I still can’t believe that it came out like this. I had woken up to a foggy morning. Hope you enjoyed them.
I recently read the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I really liked just about everything that she had to say. One of the things that has stuck with me was the fact that she believes that everyone is an artist. Somehow in the past hundred years or so, we’ve come to believe in this odd idea that the only people who are artists are those who make money following their path. That would include professional dancers, painters, writers and musicians. Somehow we’ve come to the strange conclusion that the person down the street who does the same things but doesn’t make a living at it, can’t possibly be considered an artist.
This idea that magic (creativity) can happen to anyone, anywhere is an astounding idea. This simple idea gives art back to everyone; which is exactly where it should be. After all, it wasn’t a single “artist” who drew on the cave walls; it was anyone who had the time and ambition.
This book helps people see that creativity happens anywhere, at any time to anyone. And it is something that we should embrace and bring into our everyday lives. By calling it magic, Gilbert wants all of us to be creative. Think you’re not? Well, there are as many ways to be creative as there are people. Do you enjoy changing recipes around, and adding (or subtracting) ingredients? How about setting a beautiful table? What about knitting, quilting or sewing? Do you write in your free time? Any hobbies?
Creativity is all around us. We only need to grab onto it and let it flow through us. What a positive and exciting way to live. Find the magic and don’t let it go. It will improve your life!
My daughter is taking a Humanities class for her college degree and she was talking to me about the origin of creativity. So, being curious, I looked up the origins of human creativity. It seems that the first evidence of creativity is actually body art. This was found in Africa with zigzag, criss-cross patterns and beads to make the body art 3D. Of course this art progressed to the cave art and other art that we can now see all over the world. thttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2815939/
What I found interesting was that art has basically always been with us. It pre-dated the written word; appearing at the same time that our ancestors began using tools. Art has been used in defining exactly who is a human and who is not. It is one of the criteria used by scientists to determine who our ancestors are.
During our later evolutions, such as the Inquisitions which lasted some 400 years, people continued to create art that could, and did, lead to their deaths. This need to create is obviously powerful if one is determined to die for it. Over the centuries people have gone to great lengths to create art.
In modern times, here we are, on the Internet continuing to create art. Some of us write, others share their photos and still others paint and/or create mixed media art. You Tube is full of people writing and singing their own music. In fact, the Internet has given everyone who has access to a computer the chance to share their art with the entire world. How cool is that?