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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

The Debate On Education Reform

Posted by and1grad on August 31, 2011

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I recently came across a couple of articles that are really worth reading regarding education & education reform.

Check these out:
The School Reform Deniers
The Reform Movement Is Already Failing
The Parents: The Force That Cant Be Beat
If Only Unions Were The Problem

Each of these articles, IMO, provide a good amount of information and insight on the issues surrounding education and schools.

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Posted in Education, Equality | Leave a Comment »

Book Learnin’

Posted by and1grad on October 6, 2009

Now that school has started for most everybody that is a student or teacher, I want to post something in the spirit of higher education. I dont know for a fact, but I believe that a significant portion of new college students enter with at least some doubt as to what their major should be. I think I even read somewhere that the majority of students in colleges/universities change their major at least once. I’m included in that stat. I started as a biology major and eventually graduated with a major in “Applied Ecology” which is essentially a double major of bio & environmental science. But before I decided on THAT major, I took classes in every discipline besides fine arts, foreign language, and engineering. I fulfilled my foreign language in high school so I didnt need it and it only took 2 weeks for me to know that I did NOT have a gift for engineering.

I often try to recommend to anyone in college or going to college that they take classes in every discipline that they can. I think this is the only TRUE way to find out where your passion is. And believe me, when you’ve found it, you KNOW it. Some are lucky to find it right away. I believe they are the exception to the rule. I would have NEVER guessed that I would have a passion for environmental science. I thought I was medicine-bound. But I HATED learning all of that crap. I didnt enjoy ANY of it and bio classes DOMINATED my life all through college. And after a while, I realized that I really didnt actually WANT a career in medicine or biology anyway. That said, I urge people to NOT stick to a discipline simply because thats what your mommy wants you to do. It can be CATASTROPHIC to your ability to map out your future in a manner that is fulfilling. This is FACT.

So, let me give a special shout out to the people who went to college and had the foresight (and sometimes courage) to figure out who they ARE rather than letting someone else decide who they were SUPPOSED to be. To any college students or prospective college students that may stumble onto this, take advantage of the wealth of educational opportunity granted to you while you’re in school. It will NOT be so easy to come by when you leave.

Text Questions: What advice would you give to prospective college students? Do any of you still have your old textbooks around? What class did you take that you never thought would mean anything but has wound up being influential in your life so far?

Posted in Education | Leave a Comment »

The NBA: Where Illiteracy Happens

Posted by and1grad on April 15, 2009

So I just read this article that touched on how some young basketball player named John Wall could have a legitimate case to challenge NBA’s Age Rule. I find this unbelievably annoying for several reasons.

1.) Why does almost EVERY sports pundit not give even half a damn about some of these young black kids POSSIBLY pursuing something of an education? Where does stressing of THAT scenario? All they do is sit around talking about their potential relevance as a pro and then they chide themselves later about how they shouldnt be talking about high school kids. What a bunch of bullshit. They NEVER promote anything resembling an education and they browbeat ANY kid that even attempts to stay in school and earn a degree. They’ve made it almost impossible. Who would stay to earn a degree when ALL THEY HEAR about is that the few that do wind up not being drafted as high or something. Its maddening.

2.) Why cant the NBA have its own standard? EVERY job in the country has its own requirements…the NBA cant? And PLEASE miss me with that whole absurd argument about impinging on someone’s right to earn a living or some such nonsense b/c that is so beyond false that repeating it is an attack on your credibility. No place of employment in the world has to hire you simply b/c you MIGHT be good at the job.

What bothers me even more than the pundits’ comments are the stories you hear about the kids who actually DO go to college, not attending any classes or doing any work…and the fact that its common knowledge in some cases. Why are those schools allowed to compete in the tourney at all? Where’s the consequence for that? Rather than that, they’re worried about boosters?

Neither the NBA, nor the pundits, nor the NCAA seem to give much of a damn about these kids at all. I actually hold in high regard some of the college coaches who actually have good graduation rates, like Calipari. Hopefully schools that actually graduate their kids will get more shine than those that dont give a damn. This site takes a look at that as well.

Posted in Black, Education, NBA | Leave a Comment »

Sister Souljah speech

Posted by and1grad on January 2, 2009

A couple of weeks ago I listened to Sister Souljah speak on Blogtalk Radio. She was on a show hosted by “3 Chicks on Lit.” It was a really good show, linked here. I searched for her on youtube and found this really good speech she did 10 years ago. I also thought it spoke to my resolution in a way. I think its worth a listen. Its divided into 5 parts. Here is the first.

Posted in Black, Education, Equality | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

What have you learned, Charlie Brown?

Posted by and1grad on October 31, 2008

I was thinking this morning about how I’ve now turned 30 and I’ve been wondering what I’ve learned over this past 3 decades that I would be inclined to share with people. I think by the time you’ve reached 30, you’ve learned a lot of life lessons. Some the easy way…a good number of them, the hard way. I didnt really make a list ahead of time so I’m just gonna shoot from the hip here. Also, these are just my own theories so feel free to comment on them.

#1. You dont know everything and you arent supposed to.
I really think that once people realize that they are NOT omniscient, they start to become more openminded and become more able to learn things that they dont know. Once they start thinking their experts, they stop listening to what ANYONE has to say. I know I can be guilty of this SOMETIMES. *cough*

#2. Take care of the people that love you…or dont.
But if you dont, dont complain if/when you find yourself alone. If there are people in your life that are special to you, make sure they know it every once in a while.

#3. Listen to your parents.
A lot of what your parents tell you is right b/c a lot of what happens in the world is functionally similar to what has happened before. “History always repeats itself.” Your parents are advising you b/c they’ve seen/been through some version of what you’re going through already. It may not be an identical situation…just remixed. I’m not saying do whatever they say. I’m just saying hear them out.

#4. Education is an exercise of discipline more than it is of intelligence.
This is a theory I learned in college. You will come across a lot of people who seem intellectually subpar but will get fantastic grades in school. This is b/c they know how to work. By that I mean putting in the time it takes to ensure a desired result. A lot of people are smart but lazy. What good comes from that? Be smart enough to work hard.

#5. Its not what you know, its who you know.
This is common knowledge to most in the working world. Networking is how you advance in this world. What you actually know, is a bonus. Be smart enough to put your name out in circulation and doors will open JUST ENOUGH for you to get your foot in and prove yourself.

#6. Presentation is everything.
This one speaks to both the social and working world. How you present yourself is how people will see you. How you present material is more important than the actual content. Examples of this are omnipresent. Pay attention, you’ll see it.

#7. Believe in yourself.
The matriarch used to always tell me “If you dont believe in yourself, how can you expect someone to believe in you?” So simple and so true. Trust yourself to make even the toughest of decisions…and then make them. Know that you’re able to make a decision that you’re willing to live with. This knowledge alone is freeing and when you believe in yourself, people wont be able to help but believe in you.

#8. Make an impact.
This is actually a self-motto for me and one of my life-long goals in terms of a legacy. I want to make an impact, in some regard, in whatever I do, whomever I know, and so on. In my opinion, one of the best legacies you can leave in life is knowing you had a positive effect on somebody. I hope I’m able to fulfill that, myself.

#9. You’re crazy.
Its a crazy world out there and more than likely its made you a little crazy also. You HAVE to be a little crazy to be able to survive. I say embrace that inner Gnarls Barkley, just slightly now, and realize that normalcy is as much of a myth as perfection.

#10. Find something to laugh at.
Taking #9 into account, you dont want to COMPLETELY lose your mind. Laughing helps keep some of your sanity by relieving stress. So rather than get frustrated at all of the mind-boggling things that happen in this crazy world, laugh at some of it. Some things are simply absurd and are fodder for ridicule. So take a “The Daily Show with John Stewart” outlook on the world and laugh at some of these absurdities. You’ll find that they wont bother you as much the next time.

I’m sure there’s more but thats all that come to mind at the moment. Please feel free to comment and/or add some others that you’ve learned. I do have another theory which I call “The Theory of Circles” but I’ll have to get to that another time.

Posted in 30 Rock, Education | 4 Comments »

Fool’s Gold

Posted by and1grad on September 25, 2008

EVERY time I hear a quote from one of our numerous black athletes, I cringe. Not because what they say is so commonly stupid, but that the way they say it is stupid. The most recent quote I heard/read was from Stephon Marbury. He said, concerning his potential release from the Knicks, “There wouldnt be no negotiation…” I know its nitpicky but this shit drives me crazy. Why cant our athletes at least give the impression that they’re intelligent? Hell, lie to us. I dont care. Just dont make me think that you’re a fool with money. This is one of the things I love about Kobe. He ALWAYS sounds intelligent. He didnt even GO to college and he sounds twice as smart as some of these ballplayers that SUPPOSEDLY did. Shameful.

Oh, and then there’s this Josh Howard, of the Dallas Mavericks, character. He seems to aspire to perfect sounding like an absolute fool. Said something about not taking part in the national anthem because he’s black. Really? Who thinks that? And better yet, who actually SAYS it? They say a fool and his money are soon parted. But clowns like these remind me of when Dave Chappelle was doing his Rick James impersonation and said “They shoulda never gave you niggas money!!”
Rick James

Posted in Asshole, Black, Education, NBA | 3 Comments »