Missing Reparations…But We Have Debt Though

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I’m sorry, but I have a hard time believing words or policies that comes from the lips of any politicians these days. Doesn’t matter if it is a Democrat, a Republican, or any of the numerous Independents who are seeking public office or already serving. They all remind me of this joke I once heard about lawyers and lies; instead of lawyers you just  replace them with politicians and the jokes still works. So, recently when I read that some potential Democratic Presidential candidates were backing the idea of giving reparations for descendants of slaves (roughly 47,411,470 Black Americans), I instantly thought both timing and angles. However, this is not a mathematical blog so it should not take my readers (who are the smartest on the planet) to figure out their angles. But, we digress. For those who may not be up to speed; of course the proposed backing is to solidify votes as well as perhaps sway votes from the opposite party in order to increase their chances of winning an election. It’s a strategic maneuver; a pretty clever one at that. However, it is at the expense of those 47 million or so Black Americans who will never see dollar one of the trillions of dollars’ worth of reparations that the United States owes to the descendants of slaves. And this is where you lose those of us who don’t drink the proverbial “kool-aid” that is presented before us. But, I come from the school of action where you don’t cite a problem without offering a realistic solution; and folks do I have one.

My solution is to wipe out all debts of descendants of slaves, both deceased and alive, in lieu of reparations which we will never receive anyway. Now before some say “I don’t have debt,” that is cool and congratulations; but there is someone in your family who more than likely up to their eyeballs in debt. Now of course, no one is responsible for the debt occurred except those of us have have occurred it; that’s such a true statement. However, the hows and whys are not what we are arguing; besides there will be a few stipulations that are attached to the erasing of the debt which won’t be buried in the fine print either. One such stipulation would be mandatory financial literacy classes to ensure that we understand how money works. Now, we understand that this class will not instantly put us on a equal playing field with some of the other races, who have had either already received reparations which were paid to them because of the atrocities committed against them or because their race have been afford a 400 year head start on the descendants of the slaves; we understand that. Which is why, I suggest this solution instead.

They way I figure, and I could be making too much or no sense at all, is that by just wiping out the debt of every living adult Black America first, we are giving the United States one heck of a discount. I mean trillions versus maybe a billion; give or take 2 or 3. At least it’s cheaper than the amount requested to build the wall. Now for the deceased Black Americans who are no longer with us, a trust would be set up in the name of both the patriarchal and matriarchal heads of all slaves and freedmen since 1600. Hold on, I know that would be huge dollar amount, but I have a solution to that as well. The trust will only be given to the grandchildren of married couples (which will go in effect at the time of this solution being adopted) who stay married to the same person for a minimum of 35 years (see we have to reestablish the family unit in our communities). There will be stipulations and non negotiables to this as well, and you won’t have to read the small fine print but instead you can find in any of your religious guidelines. I think this is logical so we can ensure that we hold each other accountable and we do what we have to do to ensure that our children’s children are taken care of, right?

Guys I know that I have to do a little bit of research and number crunching to solidify this possible solution. But, for this to be only a rough draft from my brain to this blog, it makes more sense than asking for reparations which the government is not in a financial position to to give. Heck , they have a hard enough time balancing a federal budget. Speaking of the government, this is a win win scenario for you. Black Americans has more buying power and spends more money than any other race of people on the planet. So inevitably this solution will increase revenue across the board, tax revenue will skyrocket, the national debt will be paid off in perhaps a generation and tons of other  financial benefits which I am not aware of (but I will be if my solution is enacted) will be the outcome. The only difference in the all of these increases is that we will be more responsible in what, who, and where we send our money. Just a thought.

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“A Stand-Up Guy…” and The Green Book

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My brother, who is one year and 2 months younger than I am, use to get into all types of mischief when we were growing up. From destroying items in our mother’s meager abode to being followed home by adults because he used some explosive curse words when joking; he was the cause of many of our whippings from our mother. I say we because, even though my brother was mainly the culprit, we never told on each other. That was the unwritten rule growing up. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until we were much older that we let our mother in on some of the shenanigans that were perpetrated by us in our youth. Of course, we are all successful now and have hopefully made our parents proud and give all recognition to them for what we have accomplished; and perhaps even my brother has atoned for the those he joked out growing up. To be honest I think that even to this day; even those individuals believe us to be some “stand up” guys.

This weekend, and I mean all this weekend, coverage of The Academy Awards (The Oscars) were shown on several media outlets. And while I did not watch any of the festivities or the award show, I did get a chance to see the many talented actors who won in their perspective categories from news and internet reports a few hours ago. One such talented actor who always catches my eye, and who is one of my childhood crushes, is the talented and drop-dead beautiful Regina King. King took home the Best Supporting Actress for her role in Beale Street. Unfortunately, that is about as far as I got into checking out the winners because of my intrigue into a certain movie and what the media called the “controversy” surrounding it. The movie Greenbook pretty much sweep up many of the most prestigious awards including Best Male Actor, Best Supporting Male Actor, Best Original Screenplay, and the most controversial The Best Movie Award. While I have a bit of contention with the last two awards; it is only the last one which I will give my take on. Oh, but I think I may state my position on the Best Original Screenplay on a later post.

Screenwriter and film producer Nick Vallelonga , when asked why Dr. Don Shirley’s name wasn’t mentioned in any of the thank you acceptance speeches, responded by saying “you get nervous up there…we thanked Mahershala Ali…” The producer went on to address the controversy surrounding  Dr. Shirley’s family not being apart of The Greenbook project. Vallelonga claims that Dr. Shirley told him not to contact any of his family about the movie and not to make the film until after his death. Perhaps that is true…perhaps. However, it’s his statement about being a “stand-up” guy that draws my ire. Vallelonga states “I was personally not allowed to speak to his family per Don Shirley. I’m an Italian from New York, they call that a standup guy. I kept my word to the man, and that’s the reason for that.” Again perhaps that is true…perhaps. But see this is when better judgement, knowing history, and human decency comes into play.

There has always been a history of shadiness and outright thievery when it comes to the music industry; specifically, between the artist and those who run the label. Perhaps no other time was as horrendous as when the use of a “greenbook” was not a cinematic venture but a useful tool for Black Americans who were traveling through the treacherous south in order to find lodging as well places to eat where they would not be turned away because of the color of their skin color. Many entertainers from both the south and north used this book despite their celebrity status. Even though these entertainers were in many ways relieving the oppressed Black Americans living in the southern states from the day to day struggle of being deemed second class citizens; in the south they themselves were not immune to the same treatment. As cruel as the south was to these entertainers; those responsible for handling their careers and finances in the north were as equally and in many cases much more savage to the entertainers.

Many of these entertainers were swindled out of their publishing and royalties by record labels who signed these great entertainers with a few bucks and promises of more to  come; however with no intentions to make good on the promises the labels and managers got rich while many of the entertainers died penniless despite the success of their songs. With little to no recourse, many of these enterainters’ family members have only been able to watch as others make millions through royalties from the success of their love ones, while they are only left with memories, songs, or music sheets.

Thus, the ire I have with the use of the term “stand-up guy”  by Nick Vallelonga. I understand keeping the word of Dr. Shirley, but your version of The Greenbook doesn’t exist without him; which leads me to wonder how is it even conceivable that through nervousness any of you forget to mention him. A standup guy wouldn’t have ever allowed that to happen. And if it were me…and that hat is if it were me; if I know for a fact that I have told the story of an individual and I was prosperous from that individuals’ story,  I would definitely make sure that the individual’s family shares in the success. Money, public recognition, or perhaps just an acknowledgment of the deceased or acknowledgement to the deceased family members would definitely be a part of my agenda.Again, I would definitely do that if it were me. But then again, that’s what “stand up guys” do.

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High Time for the Use of CBD

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The date: 2000 (I think). The time: about noon (… I think). The place: Missoula, Montana. Event: Missoula Hempfest.

In August of 2000, Marines from 3/2 were deployed to the usually picturesque state of Montana. Picturesque in that we are talking about the Rocky Mountains. The West is out there somewhere. Elk, Moose, Wolves, and many legends like Bigfoot and other creepy legends call this part of this beautiful part of the country home. Most importantly, Anheuser Busch Beer gets the cold water used to brew its world-renowned beer from out that way (…I think). However, for myself and the other 1000 or so Marines that deployed to this area; the scene was all but picture perfect.

Acres of pristine land and forest were being decimated by raging fires that showed no signs of giving up. After a few weeks, we along with the brave forest fighters and fireman from across the country, was successful in getting the blazes under control. Those are moments that I will never forget and stories that I tell any of my friends who will listen. Of course, the fires gets bigger, hotter, and the stakes always seems to increase; but in the end we were able to get the get the job done.

As a show of gratitude, although we were fed extremely well and sleep under one of the most beautiful skies (Norway’s night sky is quite impressive), we were given a few days of liberty. Some of my friends went to Minnesota, Illinois, and Nevada. Me, being the country boy that I am, decided to try my luck at catching some trout in a local creek or river. That creek or river ending up leading in what looked to be downtown Missoula (…I think) which was having a hempfest. Pause. Because I know what some of you are thinking; “as if the smoke from the fires weren’t enough.” And that is what this blog post is about.

Today while I was getting ready for work, I watched an interesting story on the morning news. The story was about states whose residents are unsure on whether the use of CBD is legal or illegal. Well to the uneducated ones, which I was prior to my fateful day along the banks of the Clarke Fork River (…I think), they will say it’s illegal because it’s just like marijuana. To be honest; they are almost correct. The two plants are almost identical; except hemp does not have the amount of THC within its genetic make up to cause humans to become high. In other words; it’s the smoke without the high. That’s if you smoke it though.

The individuals on the morning news who were utilizing CBD (hemp oil) were not smoking the plant but was digesting it through the form of a capsule. Regardless of the method of use these individuals choose to use the CBD, based on fact that it aided in their improved conditions associated with their illness, the results can’t be denied. From chronic pain due to joint and bone alignments to the proven significant decrease in spasms and pain associated with Multiple sclerosis as well as Parkinson Disease; the time is past due that there clear guidelines, both federally on a state level, that clears the use of CBD. If and when this happens; we are can take the thinking out of the equation. (…I think).

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It Should All Be So Simple…But Then Simple Doesn’t Make Cents.

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33 seconds. A little over ½ of a minute and every stake holder in all things Zion Williamson heart stopped beating and a quietness filled Cameron Indoor Stadium that hasn’t been “unheard” since Miami stunned the Blue Devils in 2012. And before I continue, let me make this perfectly clear; I am not making a mockery of the young man’s injury but at the mockery of the NCAA system that pretends to have the athletes’ best interest at heart yet makes millions off of them and gives athletes the proverbial “pennies” when it’s all said and done. I mean let’s be honest; Zion Williamson should not ever have suited up in the NCAA for the simple reason of what almost transpired on last night.

Luckily it looks like Zion Williamson didn’t suffer a serious injury and more than likely will be ready to suit up, at the latest, for the ACC Tournament beginning March 12. That layoff gives he and his family enough time to hire a PR expert to draft a letter and let the coaching staff and the faithful Dukies know that they appreciate all that the university has done; but they are finished at the amateur…I mean collegiate level. While that last statement may come off as comical; if I’m in Zion’s camp, that is the advice I am giving. I mean it makes sense. It may not make cents for the powers that be; but it most definitely will for Zion and his family.

The truth of the matter is that the hype (though this kid is anything but a bunch of hype) around Zion Williamson has already generated millions for many individuals whose version of a basketball game is a round of horse with the grandkids. Yet, each time he or any other athlete steps foot on the court, field, track, pool, ice, or any of the other sports in college, they are paid. Now if this is considered fair, then we might as well allow the coaches to cash in on lucrative contracts outside of their coaching salaries as well…. hold up my PR is trying to tell me something…. I am told that there are coaches who has had separate deals with major shoe companies for years now. Note to PR…I, like every other individual who follow sports knows this; I was just trying to paint a picture. It seems to me that the ones who are doing the most to generate the income is getting nothing more than some shoes that can’t even stand up to the weight of these athletes who are carrying whole universities with their mind, bodies, and souls. I have a suggestion though, a very simple one in deed, PAY THE PLAYERS OR PUT ALL COACHES AND ATHLETIC DIRECTORS AND PRESIDENTS ON EQUAL FIXED PAY SCALES ACROSS ALL NCAA DIVISIONS. Crickets and more crickets. Because the latter part of that last statement is too simple; about as simple as the first part of the statement. The problem is that it doesn’t make cents.

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If not for you then at least for them.

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“Enjoy each day like is your last!” I must have heard this phrase a thousand and one times. Never really gave it much thought it. Usually because it was a parting shot; somewhere in a lounge or party atmosphere to commemorate someone’s accomplishment. You know; something just to say. However, over the last few years (maybe because I’m getting older or just life in general) I have found myself trying my best to follow this quote. As an educator I hear and see things from our youth that makes it hard for me to sometimes put a smile on my face; but it is a smile that I must wear for both my and their sanity.

Sadly, just a year and a day after the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, another mass shooting took place in Aurora, Illinois on yesterday. So. before I go any further, I would like to send my condolences to the families of the victim in both of those senseless shootings. I also pray to The Most High that he gives comfort to all of those affected by these actions (which has become all too common now) of these individuals. While I know no words of comfort from me or anyone for that matter will bring those victims back to the families; I hope that my plea to all of us, who are still living, to take heed to a few of my words.

“Enjoy each day like is your last!” This must be one of those phrases that has a truism about that is deeply rooted inevitably in reality. We do not know, nor can we control the day that we will no longer be here in the physical. However, we can certainly control how we choose to handle any situation that we come across each day. We can choose to love or hate; quit or fight; smile or frown. We can choose to look at the glass as half empty or half full. We can choose whatever emotions or actions in handling any situation that comes our way. Just choose the one that is going to allow you to have joy in abundance. Make the decision that will allow you to smile for no reason. Jump up and down, not because of exercise; but because you have legs and arms. Take that trip to whatever part of the world that you have been putting off for the last day, month, year, or decade. “Enjoy each day like is your last!”

The victims of these mass shootings were all robbed of the chance to see their loved ones, to embrace life, or too make memories that they would have been able to look back on in their golden years. However, you and I still are blessed to have that opportunity. I do not know any of the victims and I can’t speak for them or the families of the victims. However, what can be done is that we live our life to the fullest and that we make sure to embrace each day and  cherish every breath that we take while here on earth. If you can’t do that for yourself at least do if for all those who had they’re opportunity snatched from them.

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Bird Boxed by the Netflix…Like I didn’t see this one coming.

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Two dollars. I mean a whole two dollars. That is the amount of money that Netflix is increasing it price by. But to say I didn’t see it coming would be well…just say I knew that this was eventually going to happen. First I have to attest to the fact that I have been a loyal subscriber of Netflix long before the sultry phrase of “Netflix and chill” came along. For you individuals who are not up on the current lingo, Netflix and chill is a alcoholic beverage that you…no I’m just joking people. If you want to know; google it right after you google Allmanstuffincluded and follow the steps to follow my blog (shameless plug I know, but hey it is worth a try). Where was I…oh yes alcoholic beverages…no Netflix…no hangover…no price increase…okay, okay I remember it now; the price of Netflix is increasing by 2 dollars. Now some of you may ask; what’s a two-dollar increase. Well allow me to retort.

Well see back in my day two dollars….STOP; I promise myself that I would not become that teacher or person (notice that distinction between the two; teachers are Superheroes and people are just people) who begins a sentence with: well see back in my days. I promised myself that I would not do it. But like I said back in my day (we as teachers are also stubborn as well) two dollars would have put at least a full  tank of gas in a push lawn mower to go and make some money to put gas in my box Chevy to turn a few corners. That’s right, I owned a 86 Box Chevrolet Caprice in my high school days. But that’s not  the  point of this post. Th point is that two dollars is more than…well it’s more than $1.99. Which means a lot when you are at the counter trying to purchase something and you are short $2.00 because Netflix went from $11 dollars to $13. But you know you are good because you have overdraft protection set-up for a situation just like this. A two dollar situ…a two dollar situation. That is not what overdraft is suppose to be about. I am sorry guys; I know I am bugging. Here is the real deal.

There was once a time when we as Netflix customers complained to anyone that would listen about how there were no good movies on Netflix. Well now that we have our wish (dan gone you Birdbox), the powers that be at Netflix went back to the boardroom and decides to hike the prices up. If we wanted to go out and spend tons of money at the movie theatre with it’s overpriced popcorn, candy, and soda pop; then we would go the movie theatre. Instead we choose you Netflix so we don’t have sell the farm to take a significant other on a date (oh that sound worst than what I really mean). Besides, they don’t sell the alcohol beverage called “Netflix and chill” at the movie theatre. And if you are say you beg to differ; then you my followers need to ask for forgiveness. No really, you need to ask for forgiveness because you guys are just wrong on so many different levels.

Kyler Murray…Charlie Ward in Reverse

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For those of you who are reading my blog for the first time; I am a longtime supporter and fan of all thing sports and athletics. As a former High School coach on of my philosophy is “keeping the body in shape is just as important as keeping the mind sharp”. I am a loyal fan of the teams that I like to follow. Heck I’ll take even take it a step further; if the team playing any sporting event comes from out of the great state of Georgia, yep you guessed it, I’m rooting for the home state’s team. The Falcons, The Hawks, The Braves, The Thrasher (when they were in state) and last but definitely not least the reigning 2018 MLS Champions Atlanta United FC. Perhaps the reason that I love the teams from my state so much is because it seems that no matter how talented our teams are (championship seasons included); we always seem to be fighting from the position of the underdog. The one exception being High School Football. Shout out to the GHSA; the finest high school sports governing body in all the United State of America. The great state of Georgia has produced some of the finest athletes who were coached by some of the most knowledgeable and well-respected coaches. And while I will not write about the accolades in this post, as it would take to much time and research (I must go to the gym before all the newbies show up with the New Year’s health resolutions), there is one athlete that I would like to make mention. That athlete is Charlie Ward.

 

Some may ask; Charlie who? Well I’ll tell you. Think Mike Vick before there was the “Mike Vick” experience. Think Lamar Jackson before there was a “Lamar Jackson”. Think of any of your dual threat quarterbacks with blazing speed and add any other intangible; then you may have an idea of who Charlie Ward was. Not only is he a Heisman Trophy Award winning quarterback, he also showcased his talent on the hardwood court for the Florida State Seminoles (don’t ask me how we let him get out of state). Oh, did I forget to mention that he was also drafted by a Major League Baseball  even though he did not pitch one inning in college. In short order; he was the truth. So why don’t we hear about him the NFL. Well that’s an answer that is tied up in speculations as well as maybe and ifs. Some say that he was too small in stature; even though he was about 6’2”. Others say that even though he had a more than stellar collegiate career, he was more than likely a 3-5 round draft pick. My have things changed. Whatever the reason for his decision to not enter the NFL draft; the decision proved to be the correct decision. Ward played a decade in the NBA, after being selected in the 1st round by the New York Knicks. So how does this tie in Kyler Murray.

 

I watched this year’s College Playoffs. One game in particular that garnered as much excitement as any of the other game was the game between the high flying offense of the Oklahoma Sooners versus the vaunted Nick Saban coached Alabama Crimson Tide. I watched the as…well let’s not conjure up bad memories for my potential and current Sooner fans. To make a long story short, this was a collegiate defense with some NFL talent. Now imagine for a second the duress Kyler Murray would have been under facing 11 NFL athletes. Am I suggesting that he would not be able to handle the pressure if he indeeds goes through with his current decision to enter the NFL; I would be foolish to bet against Kyler Murray. He has proven his mettle in the game of football and has earned the most prestigious award in College Football; the Heisman Trophy. Which is my point. Unless there is fully guaranteed money that matches or exceeds his current MLB contract; think Charlie Ward. Wait that’s right the NFL does not do guaranteed contracts. Think Leonard Fournette. Kyler Murray you have proven that you have what it takes to do play this game on one of the biggest stages. We enjoyed your thrills and your highlights but now it is time to think longevity and prosperity. An example has been set before you. Thank Charlie Ward.

 

Black face remarks still leaves Megyn Kelley in the Black…NBC and it’s 69 million dollar breakup.

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It has become apparat that in today’s ever polarizing political, entertainment, and news media outlet climate, what you do and say can certainly cost you. From the likes of President Trump to Kevin Hart and anyone in between; the public has witnessed the fallout from these figures’ comments at an almost breakneck pace. It would seem that no one is safe from the ire of the public and corporate world. Well almost anyone is unsafe; and I guess it depends on who you are what it is that is said. Megyn Kelly is obviously one who is an exception. NBC network and Megyn Kelly agreed to part ways due in larger part to her comments on defending the use of costumes that incorporate blackface during Halloween. The crazy part about this whole situation is that after her disparaging remarks, that she will still receive her remaining compensation on her contract in the tune of 30 million dollars. Wow. While I am not an individual that will wish for a person to not be to be able to feed his or her family; however right is right. Here is my issue.

I’ve watched countless news pundits, sports’ figures, and public officials receive both harsh criticism as well as attempts by advertisers and corporations to retrieve money from these individuals; and in most cases rightfully so. These remarks and actions, for the most part was either, homophobic, anti-semitic, or sexually charged (verbal and physical) in nature. In most cases the critics and corporations played a large role in the subsequent downfall or major setback for these figures. In many of these cases these figures have never recovered from these comments; again rightfully so. So if this is the case then how is Kelly’s situation different? I’ll answer the question. It is not. However, what is different is her context.

Now before my followers and potential followers claim that I am pulling the race card, feel free to correct me if you think I am wrong or do enlighten me on contractual terms which I will discuss. As for the racecard; we can discuss that at length. However, what is apparent to me is that NBC was privy (as most of the public was) of Megyn Kelly’s divisive rhetoric prior to her hiring but did not put this social flaw in her contract as grounds for termination or as a means to void her contract. Meaning either they were hoping that her fiery and divisive rhetoric would help with the declining ratings following the controversy of Matt Lauer as well as the previous firing of Brain Williams from his critically acclaimed NBC Nightly News or they were not concerned about her context. Both of Lauer and Williams were dealt the appropriate discipline with Matt Lauer unlikely to receiver his 30 million dollar payout and the latter Williams, looking for redemption on MSNBC. So again, I ask, how or what is the difference between these incidences? Is sexual harassment of an individual or individuals more heinous that stigmatizing a whole race? Is offending the lifestyle of individuals more heinous that stigmatizing a whole race? Not only is this a question that I hate to poise; but more depressing is the fact that this very question is a valid one. What are you thoughts on the matter?

I want it now………maybe there are more to these words than just part of a tantrum

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I have been in the business of education now for quite some time. Education. Business. Wow, I can’t believe that I would ever openly admit that what I love to do is a business to the public. But it seems that the public already knew and that the teachers are the ones just figuring it out. And even when we are faced with the harsh reality, we still down play this revelation by trying to minimize certain words. The word business, is not even remotely adequate enough to describe what education has become. Education is “big” business. I mean huge, gigantic, astronomical, gargantuan….. we (teachers)finally get the picture.

But let me tell you who figured it out and has known for quite some time now and has been long waiting with open arms, ready to embrace our most precious commodity. Those waiting arms belong to every criminal element one can imagine. The pusher, the prostitute, the pimp, the jack boys, the knee breakers, the gangsters and all those who stand in between the short walk from the perceived safety of the school and the harsh reality of the streets. What did they figure out about education and its “big business” reputation? They figured out that the resource or clientele are unhappy, especially in the areas where these criminal empires (for the most part) conduct their business.

Take any street corner in any urban community in our prosperous America and you will see that there is a constant battle for our children. Unfortunately, in many areas, the schools are losing. So what is the reason? Instant gratification. Our students want it now. No, our students need it now. The question now; what “it” is.

As a teen I can remember having a job my 8th and 9th grade year which was funded by the city through grants or allocations of funding through the budget. The money was great for a teenage student who was working during the summer time or after school for a few hours. By working I knew that I would be able to purchase things that I would need for the next school year or on day to day basis, plus I would be taking some of the burden from my mother. The job gave me instant gratification, and I only would have to wait until I got paid. I loved that job because it allowed me to steer clear of the many trappings that were certainly there. Those programs were life savers for some many of the kids in my community who were in similar situations. However and sadly, those summer an afternoon programs were cut out of budgets or allocated funds ran out and for those who came after us  who were fortunate to have those opportunities, was nothing. Well, almost nothing.

So left waiting for those who came after me, again with outstretched arms, were all of those previous mentioned criminal elements. Waiting with promise of money, clothes, and all of the trappings but of course with no mention of the dangers. Even if the dangers would be mentioned, what they promised to give was instant gratification. For many these temptations of getting just the basics necessities (food, warmth, clean clothes, someone to listen to them) outweighs the consequences of their actions. I am telling there is something magical or maniacal about the power of hunger.

How does this harsh reality compare to the beloved educational system? Well I think we have a very formidable opponent. One who I really believe has an advantage right now, only because there is a refusal to make changes to the educational system by the powers’ that be attack strategy. Well maybe not attack, perhaps more of a counter attack. Because sadly, we as educators have been under attack for quite some time now. Our counter attack has to offer more than just the promise of a high school degree in 4-5 years if the student does what he/she is supposed to do. Many of our kids’ stomach is in need of food daily and it because harder and harder for him or her ignore the hunger pangs that are ever present. We have to put in place programs that will give monetary incentives to students, who despite their crumbling infrastructure (home or community) come to school each day and to try to seek that American dream or the piece of American pie. For those students, just to get to the table where the pie is has become almost unattainable. We have to put local, state, and federal officials to the task of finding and funding effective after school and summer programs which pays those students, who we know are more than likely to be victims of these criminal elements. There has to be just as strong of a recruitment effort as that the criminal elements who will not stop because there is a close in a congressional session. These criminal entities will not take one day off.

Teachers fight this battle each day and for some of us during the summer. Underpaid, over work, just so someday we will be able to witness our students succeed. We are prepared to wait for kids to come back and show us their success stories. That is our gratification. That is our satisfaction. Unfortunately, for many of our students, they can’t wait. They want wait. They need it now.

Question: With the recent cuts to education on the federal level, do you feel that the educational system is making progress are in need of drastic measures of reform?