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April 3, 2008

Why Kids In The USA Are Failing

[In response to a recent message board posting suggesting that the high school drop out rate has approached 30%, and that in some parts of the U.S., as many as 1 in every 2 students do not graduate high school.]

Hmmmmmmm…..I couldn’t possibly understand why kids in this country aren’t doing well….I mean, they have all the important stuff in their lives….

– Cell phones for constant blathering and text messaging where proper English is basically taboo.

– Constant social reinforcement suggesting that if at first you don’t succeed, you should either just quit, sue someone because it’s obviously their fault for your failures in life, or finally just get a gun and blast away.

– Parents that would much rather fight the system when it actually forces their kids into proper behavior, because their ‘precious little angels’ are too delicate and special to attend class, be on time, act with some degree of discipline, or God forbid…study.

– Computers that provide spell check, grammar check, and calculators, so the three “R’s” are eroded even further. (for those that forgot: Reading WRiting, and ARithmetic)

– Corporate America, throug h the constant barrage of imagery and sound (e.g. MTV, SpikeTV, E!, MGM Studios, Bruckheimer Films, etc., etc., ad infinitum) that grinds it into their melons that somehow it’s better to look good (clothing, shoes, cars, blah, blah, blah), or to act tough (e.g. UFC, SpikeTV, WWE, R rated movies they’re not supposed to even be able to see until they’ve nearly completed school anyway, but God bless those parents and movie theaters that watch out for their well being, etc.), than to actually have a lucid thought pass through one’s head.

– The irresponsibility of society to allow children to ‘act’ like grown ups before their time. The ridiculous social structuring that suggests that a child of 5 should know what he wants to be in life, instead of just wanting to play with his Legos. This, paired with the instantaneous judgement of society that if you’re not an instant success, you should be discarded as so much flotsam.

– Teachers that have been reigned in so much, and threatened with litigation so much that they have no vested interest in getting little Bobby to pass his state administered exams, even though the passing scores have been politically reduced throughout the years to adapt to Bobby’s shortcomings (even though Bobby isn’t truly the one at fault).

– Curriculums that have been dumbed down so that the children of this country can pass regardless of what chemically induced stupor they’re in.

– School Districts that have been sued into oblivion by self-indulgent parents that think a lawsuit is their free ticket through life, so much so that these districts can’t financially provide a good education anymore, and are worn down enough that they really don’t care if they do anymore anyway.

– Medical professionals that would much rather prescribe some sort of mood altering, or behavior modifying medication, than to actually sit down and figure out if the child actually HAS a medical issue, or if he’s just a screwup due to poor parenting, and most of the reasons listed above. This, paired with their need to make the payments on their new Porsche, so the ad hoc prescription of these drugs, and the complete sell out to large pharmaceutical companies in exchange for their ethics and good medical practices, can continue unabated.

– Elected officials that have more of an interest in their own pockets, their cronies, and the protection of their own class, than ANYthing having to do with children’s education, upbringing, or social formation. Bush was right, no child will be left behind….as they’re not being taught to go anywhere in the first place.

Hell, with all that going for them, I’d think they’d all be in Harvard/Yale/Stanford/etc. (pick your own overpriced example of higher education).

Don’t get me wrong…I enjoy UFC, movies, and all that crap right along with the rest of them…BUT, I’m an adult now, and I can make my own decisions on what to do, what to watch, etc. My formative years are over, and due to a strict upbringing, a schooling system that hadn’t been degraded into short bus material, and the lack of constant media exposure to socially unacceptable behavior, I figured out how to think, and to do for myself. For the most part, my mom raised me right, my schools educated me properly, and society hadn’t turned into the conglomeration of retards that it has today.

Oh, and for those of you that are offended by anything I have had to say? You can be offended and get over it…I’m not retracting anything I’ve said here. I’ve not singled any one parent out, nor any individual child, school, nor other person. So, since I’ve been fairly general, you can just feel generally offended, and move on with your cranky butt.

*Authored by Tim, posted by Kat… gotta love it when the man is on a rant!
Filed under: Life,Rants by Kat at 7:36 am

April 2, 2008

Sexual Predators vs Parenting 101

So a few nights ago I was lingering in yahoo chat when an interesting subject matter came up. Apparently one of the chatters is a registered sex offender. According to what I saw he was convicted of forceful rape of a minor 13 to 15.

The ensuing discussion was in regard to his crime. The people who defended him based their defense on what he had told them about himself, now 17 years after the fact verses those who condemned his actions based on his crime and the facts that they found out via the World Wide Web.

I often am reminded that we really don’t know the people behind the screen. They can be anyone or do anything, often time without fear of being detected. With television shows such as “To Catch A Predator” or groups such as “The Cyber Angels” a division of “The Guardian Angels” who seek out those who might wish to do our children harm, one would think that people of the caliber of the fellow from last nights discussion would be leery of wandering into a chat room full of those who are sworn to protect, i.e. a police and fire chat.

I’ve seen on the shows where often times the “bait” is a perceived young child who is looking for a “friend” to come visit them. Those men and women, who are shown showing up to engage in “special time” with a child, will say it’s their first time however I think it’s just their first time being caught. While they might show they are remorseful for their actions, in truth I believe their remorse is over being caught.

One of the points made during the discussion was that sexual offenders can be rehabilitated. I do agree that they can be, however like with any addiction, lets take alcohol as an example, you might be a recovering alcoholic but you will never be cured, you are bound to slip up and do we really wish to put children’s lives on the line for the slip up of a “rehabilitated” sexual predator?

On the other hand, living in California I’m not surprised that many children who are indeed underage are approached for sex by adults. I say this because as I see it parents really need to know what their children are up to, who their friends are where they are going and with whom.

More and more children are latch key kids who are growing up faster than they should. Growing up in single parent households or in a home where both parents work, our children are learning about “the birds and the bees” from their friends and people online, instead of learning about it from their parents.

Having coached several team sports, I often times wondered at the lack of concern many parents of blended families had over their children. One young man I coached was the oldest of a blended family where his mother and step father felt the best way to deal with his issues, was to toss money at him and let him figure it out.

Our children are basically raising themselves, they are ill equipped to deal with peer pressure to look older, act older, and have sex earlier. From the cartoons that target children, from their sexual nature to their disrespect of adults, to music telling children that it’s ok to act the part of a ho or thug, to what they read on the web, are sent in emails and text messages it’s not hard to see where many online predators can step in and offer the perceived love and support that many of these children are seeking.

So my hope is that those who are parents will take the time to look into who their children are friends with, where they are going and how they are getting there.

Remember being a parent is more than just giving birth to a baby. It’s being there to listen and talk with your child, to give them guidance on life. To monitor those who they might consider a friend, to protect them from those who wish to do them harm. To give them the tools to grow into adults who can make educated decisions about life, be able to distinguish friend from foe and most importantly to raise their own well adjusted children.

Filed under: Life,Rants by Kat at 2:37 am

April 1, 2008

Friendships

I count myself lucky; throughout my life I’ve met scores of people.  Some have touched my life for a brief moment, while others have remained for a lifetime.

I often times wonder about those friends who have graced my life then have for some reason or another left it.  Where are they now, I truly hope they are happy and that life is treating them well.  I’ve been blessed with the friendship of a few who no matter how long it has been since we’ve spoken, when we call each other, it seems as though we’ve never been apart.

My friend Dianne is one of those people.  Though her travels have taken her to Africa on a mission for two years, then home to Seattle through nursing school, we’ve always taken time to connect and spend quality time together.  Everyone deserves a friend in their life who loves them in-spite of themselves, who is non judgmental and who will always wish the best for them.

Then there is my friend Tim, whom I’ve posted, rants from.  When we first met through the power of AOL, you would have thought we were both nuts as I live in California and he lives in Washington, but we have a great friendship.  He’s the combination of best guy friend/big brother.  He makes me laugh till my sides hurt and holds nothing back. He just tells me as he sees it and expects nothing less of me.

As my girlfriend Dianne once told her friends, everyone should have someone in their life that makes them laugh so hard that they have sore sides for days.

Then there is my sister Becky, who I count as my touchstone in life.  God graced us with being sisters, but we determined our friendship, from the age of 2½ until now, she’s the one who has no issues bopping me over the head and saying “What were you thinking Kat?” She’s also my biggest cheerleader, supporting me in my work, listening to my relationship excitements and woes and always being there no matter what. 

Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold. This is what my mother has always told us girls, and it holds true.

Have a fabulous Tuesday!

Kat

Filed under: Life,Pursuit of Happiness by Kat at 1:58 pm
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