Posts Tagged ‘education’

Are People Poorer Today?

November 29, 2016

I was talking with a Walmart checker the other day, talking about Christmas gifts for children.  She was probably about 45, and told me she was a single mother.  She made the comment “People today have to work twice as many hours as your generation, and we will never be as well off as you when we get to your age.”

I thought about that a little, and wondered what is different now.  Our generation bettered ourselves by trying to move up in the world of work.  We either got into programs that allowed us to move up, gained a skill, went to college or went to vocational school.  The emphasis was on moving up–at least for most of us in the middle class.  The middle class also tended to be married, which was a big economic advantage.  The idea of being a single mother and still being a Walmart checker in our 40s just didn’t occur to those in the middle class.

The other big difference, however, is the cost of college.  When I was in college, a semester’s education was worth about a month’s rent for an apartment.  We could usually work extra hours and save up for our tuition each semester, even if it meant graduating in 5 or 6 years instead of four.  We did graduate without debt.  The cost of college today has increased so exponentially as to be out of reach of many.  Something has to be done to make it affordable.  Having the government pay won’t stop the inflation, which is just unbelievable.  Government may provide free education, but like Europe, it will limit the number who can go to college, and things won’t be any better for the person who is spending a career in low wage jobs.

Old Wisdom

April 1, 2012

Sometimes a discovery will leave me pleasantly surprised.  We think our world is unique in its technological advancement and sophistication, yet some wisdom is timeless.  Here is my discovery today.

“You know that the beginning is the most important part of any work, especially in the case of a young and tender thing; for that is the time at which the character is being formed and the desired impression is more readily taken…Shall we just carelessly allow children to hear any casual tales which may be devised by casual persons, and to receive into their minds ideas for the most part the very opposite of those which we should wish them to have when they are grown up?  We cannot…Anything received into the mind at that age is likely to become indelible and unalterable; and therefore it is most important that the tales which the young first hear should be models of virtuous thoughts…”

Who do you suppose said this, and how long ago?

Plato

Prayer for a New School Year

August 24, 2008

Lord, please bless all our teacher friends and relatives as they make their way back to their classrooms for another year.  Help them to feel excitement and joy in the promise of a new start.  Give them everything they need to start their classes.  Give them all they need all year.  Give them imagination and creativity to make wonders out of what they do have.  Help them stretch their budgets and their supplies.  Give them wisdom all year.  Help them quickly spot the little souls who are going to need something extra from them this year.  Help them have just the right words of encouragement for each student.  Give them loads of love.  Help the love in their hearts just overflow so they always have plenty to spare.  We can’t conjure it up Lord, but you give in abundance..please supply all the love teachers need.  Please supply them energy too, Lord.  Please let them sleep well at night so they are rested and refreshed each morning.  Don’t let them take their problems and worries to bed with them at night.  Give them patience with students, with parents, and with their administration.  Again, Lord, its you who supplies in abundance.  Please keep the students and teachers safe this year.  Keep them safe from accidents or evil intent.  Let the students be excited about this wonderful world and all there is to learn about it.  Help them to be interested in each other, for there’s a wealth to learn about and from each other, and this is true for teachers and parents as well.  Give the parents willing hearts, both to help in the classroom if they can, and certainly to be involved in their children’s homework and in their stories as the year goes on.  Let this be a truly wonderful year for everyone involved in education.  Let everyone feel, at the end of the year, that they learned all they could and gave the best they had.