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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Yes it was Chopin

Classic Arts - Chopin "Polonaise in A Flat".

I just went back to the comments.

Mollie, the more I see lately, the more I think "bootstraps" and the Horatio Alger story are becoming less possible here. We can still rise out of poverty but, at the highest levels, there is a ceiling, as well as a class system, as pervasive as any in England. The old boys' network is still firmly in place.

Classic Arts - my heroine, Marian Anderson, is now singing something from Handel. She, in her quiet way, broke down a lot of walls. The Jackie Robinson of the classical music world.

California sent a clear message yesterday. We're not fond of unnecessary elections ($50,000,000) and bullies. I was pleasantly surprised by most of the results although I voted for one of the medical props and for one concerning energy. It was worth losing those two. We'll have another shot.

I digress. Without singling out any group, I'm not sure all kids are college material (or want to be) and we should acknowledge that. There should be room in this country for kids with a high school education to find success in other ways. McDonalds and WalMart aren't it. There is nothing wrong with working in the "trades" or manufacturing. Carpenters and plumbers were once highly respected and profitable trades. "Blue collar" was not a dirty word. Along with the push for affordable higher education, we need to be sure these kids don't get trapped in dead end jobs. Junior colleges or trade schools should be choices without the kids feeling "less than". I haven't thought it through but there have to be ways for all our kids to succeed. Corporation and/or union sponsored apprenticeships maybe? Or are they a thing of the past. Am I sounding too Republican? Not my intention at all; just trying to find ways to break the poverty cycle. Employment isn't a bad start with a living wage, opportunity for advancement, and respect from others rather than condescension.

Yesterday never stopped. Doctor's appointments, a meeting with a politician about Arctic drilling, kids, trip to the store. Just one those days. The only truly bright spot (in a left-handed way) was when Rebecca discovered she had left her math homework at school. I shouldn't have but my first thought was Oh, Thank God! Elcie had a "homework" pass because she remembered to have me sign a form and turn it in the next day. Also, she had done all her spelling for the week in one day. Rochelle often does that too. She knows what it's going to be so gets it all done on Monday. They both are straight A spelling students at their levels so as long as the school doesn't protest for "coloring outside the lines", I'm fine with it.

I had cooked some chicken earlier with no idea of what I was going to do with it. Ended up with minestrone wannabe - I cleaned out my vegetable bin into the soup, added some salad macaroni and seasonings, and called it soup. Must have been okay - the girls lapped it up.

Today should be calmer. I have to make one trip with Carol to the cancer center. Her white cell count is down (probably because of the chemo) so they're giving her shots three days in a row and will then run another blood test. She's been fatigued lately and that's probably part of it.

Maybe I'll get caught up on housework. Once again, I can't see my dining room table for the books and papers piled thereon. Some leaves each day with the girls but the rest becomes part of the furniture.

I'm cat sitting, speaking of something becoming part of the furniture. It should be for just a few days but I have a feeling Sid has decided he belongs here. My cat is offended and goes stalking off to stare at him. Of course the girls would be happy with 20 cats running around the place.

Note to BB readers: there are two "L's" out there now. You can probably tell the difference.

It is now 4:50 - obviously I'm up for the day or at least until the girls leave for school. I hope my days and nights aren't turned around for too long.


Worried said...

What many of the elite don't realize that without the blue collars they wouldn't have much of a life. There HAS to be skilled and unskilled labor for our nation to function.

Too many people are developing an elitism mentality. From the top down,beginning with Dubya. Ck. out our blog re: Leonard Steinhorn's article "What Katrina tells us about Mr. Bush's Philosophy of government".Steinhorn speaks of Bush primarily regarding the poor, but I think his attitude includes blue collars.

Worried said...

The posting isn't publshed on the blog yet as of 8:00 am my time, but it will be. I've noticed that although Blogger says "Published..." the post doesn't appear for awhile.

Nicole said...

A few comments regarding vocational schools:

I think some kids are pushed into vocational schools because they're looked at as "lower track" kids who won't be able to get anywhere without some sort of trade. Some aren't going in there excited about a specific field, and they give the rest of the kids a bad name.

Why should vocational students have to make decisions that affect at least the first part of their adult life (i.e., their trade) at age 14 when kids who attend "regular" high schools aren't expected to make the same choice (i.e., major) until they're sophomores in college?

I live in Massachusetts, which has very high-stakes testing in high school. Unfortunately, vocational students are required to take the same exams that other students. So, kids who only devote half their school time to academics are expected to know as much math as their high school counterparts. And we wonder why the vocational schools are always the lowest ranked schools in the state...

I helped some vocational students prepare for the MCAS, and you wouldn't believe what they said (well, you would, but...) One girl, who could do serious multiplication in her head, told me she was bad at math. (This girl had more natural aptitude for math than 95% of the population.) Most of the kids were being examined on math that included geometry, which most of them had just started taking in their senior year. (And they were expected to have passed the exam in 10th grade -- so when I was teaching them in 12th grade it was their last shot for graduation...)

It really bummed me that most of these really bright kids felt stupid because of some stupid test.

Granny said...

Nicole, this deserves more than just a reply to a comment. I'll be back.