Screaming Into The Silence

scream-silence-photography-black and white

We go to bed tonight with another family losing their child and their loved ones in this horrific rampage of violence.

  • June 10. Portland OR: One high school student killed.
  • June 8. Las Vegas, NV: Two police officers and one civilian killed by “Patriots” at a WalMart.
  • June 7/8. Chicago, IL: 4 dead. 30 shot in a weekend shooting spree.
  • June 6thForsyth County, GA: Assault on county courthouse. 1 deputy shot.
  • June 5th. Seattle Pacific University: 1 student shot dead. 3 wounded.
  • May 23rd. IIsla Vista, California: 6 shot dead at U of Calfornia Santa Barbara. 7 more hospitalized.
  • Dec 2012. Newtown, CT.  20 children and 6 adults fatally shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School. There have been 74 school shootings since Dec 2012, roughly 1 every week

And after averting my eyes from the evening news, I turned to reading a few pages from Wiman’s “My Bright Abyss” seeking some solace.  And he about captures it…the devastation is reaching close, so close to our very streets: [Read more…]

One gets the sense they are trying to armor up

graduation

Excerpt from David Brooks in the NY Times: The Streamlined Life

In 1985, only 18 percent of freshmen said that they felt overwhelmed by all they had to do. By 2013, 33 percent said they felt overwhelmed. In 1985, 64 percent of students said they ranked in the top 10 percent or at least above average in terms of mental health. But today, students admit to being much more emotionally vulnerable. They also declare low levels of spiritual self-confidence.

At the same time, one gets the sense they are trying to armor up, in preparation for the rigors to come. They assert their talents. They rate themselves much more highly than past generations on leadership skills, writing abilities, social self-confidence and so on. For example, in 2009, roughly 75 percent of freshmen said they had a stronger drive to achieve than their average peers.

Human nature hasn’t changed much. The surveys still reveal generations driven by curiosity, a desire to have a good family, a good community and good values. But people clearly feel besieged. There is the perception that life is harder. Certainly their parents think it is harder. The result is that you get a group hardened for battle, more focused on the hard utilitarian things and less focused on spiritual or philosophic things; feeling emotionally vulnerable, but also filled with résumé assertiveness. The inner world wanes; professional intensity waxes.

Read full article:  The Streamlined Life


Photograph by Mutaz Albar

Tough Teachers Get Results (finally, some common sense)

Mr. K

“I had a teacher who once called his students ‘idiots’ when they screwed up…he made us rehearse until our fingers almost bled. He corrected our wayward hands and arms by poking at us with a pencil.  Today, he’d be fired. But when he died a few years ago, he was celebrated: Forty years’ worth of former students flew back to my New Jersey hometown from every corner of the country…I was stunned by the outpouring for the gruff old teacher…Some were musicians, but most had distinguished themselves in other fields…What did Mr. K do right?…Comparing Mr. K’s methods to the latest findings in fields from music to math to medicine leads to a single, startling conclusion:

It’s time to revive old-fashioned education.  

Not just traditional but old fashioned in the sense that so many of us knew as kids, with strict discipline and unyielding demands. Because here’s the thing: It works…and the following eight principles – a manifesto if you will, a battle cry inspired by my old teacher and buttressed by new research – explain why:

[Read more…]

Millennials. Listen up.

skills-students-future-chart


#2: Writing Effectively.  My 10th Grade English teacher underscored this for me YEARS ago.  And I see too much today that hurts the eyes.


Source: Pewresearch

Gravity…

The moment I said it…

%d bloggers like this: