My family and friends say I’ve changed over the years, probably since I’ve had children. My sister says it’s since I went to college. Personally, I don’t feel my core values have changed, but since getting educated I’ve seen in black and white how our society has changed for the worse while we were watching the Zombie Nation and romancing Hollywood. During my 10 year hiatus between high school and college I didn’t pay much attention to what was happening in the political realm. Cable news and the mass media had become a standard of fear mongering in 1991; it was very simple to see their programming agenda. Lead with murders and criminal activity, peek at the weather, commercial. Buy Tide, feel safe. I quit following politics and legislature because it did not represent me. Born and raised in Topeka; Kansas is anything but progressive. I found no value in being a ‘squeaky wheel.’ I went to work, paid the bills, and studied books of choice with good friends and good booze. I wasn’t educated to understand why my choice to disassociate with my representatives was in fact detrimental to my own rights. I went to the voting booth sporadically, and didn’t really know the candidates. I have written in names such as Mickey Mouse, Betty Boop, and Ralph Nader. Now, while Ralph Nader was a legitimate candidate with progressive ideals I admired (and still do); it may as well have been a vote for Bugs Bunny as the media and the major parties blocked the People’s access to information.
So my creative self got bored with slinging pizza & working a cash register, and I pursued higher education. I also met my would-be husband, who rocked my brain as well as my body. By the way, Educators, let’s get past the idea that people don’t enjoy sex, m’kay? I went to Allen County community college and began my path as a teacher. The required Government class reminded me that it is my DUTY, as a CITIZEN, to participate in the process of my Government. As Augusta Evans said, “duty is an icy shadow.”
Fortunately, my parents, grandparents, and extended family were present in my upbringing. My WWII era Grandparents settled in Topeka, KS, had 5 Baby Boomer children, and 19 grandchildren. To be sure, my grandparents lived the Dream and shared their bounty. My grandparents valued public service and taxed the people accordingly to give civil servants a living wage. If one possessed gainful employment, he could have a home and sustain a family. Public Schools still offered a classical curriculum and demanded their students to use Higher Order Thinking Skills. My family taught me Ideals of Honesty, Justice, and Equality, regardless of race, sex, or creed.
Read about the stuff coming out of Texas here
During my research and work experience in childcare centers I have wondered, over and over again, what the hell has happened to schools?
And I keep coming back to the same answer: Moms went to work.
Now, please do not misunderstand me. I fully support a woman’s right to work. In industry, banking, medicine…if you Love It, Do It. I Love Learning and Nature, so I made an attempt to be a Teacher. But today’s families are no longer composed of a Glory Days dynamic. Our consumer culture expanded the workplace, and increased household incomes. Thanks to the Women’s Movement, women gained the right to divorce abusive husbands and work to provide for themselves. Women gained the right to an abortion so they would not have to bear a child out of wedlock, or a child due to rape. I’ve known women who’ve had abortions because they already had children and did not have the income to support an additional family member. However, we’ve also seen a rise in teen pregnancy. My mom gave a child up for adoption when she was 19 and unwed, I gave up a child when I was 17 and unwed, and my sister when she was 19. Now I won’t say that there have never been teen pregnancies until moms went to work, I know better. Its our biology. But when Moms were in the home, they taught children about Family Planning. Moms taught their daughters about a ‘nickel between the knees,’ and their sons learned the Rules of Courting. Social learning was provided in part by parents. When moms went to work, no one was home to build a community. Moms moved out of the PTO and into the Board Room. Children have basically been left to fend for themselves in learning social behavior; Public Schools had no idea how to adopt a moral standard of teaching. Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, that’s the mission of schools. The more moms work, the less they are actively raising their children, and ethical lessons are lost. While childcare centers attempt to bridge the gap, our belief systems are so diverse that moral learning has been reduced to behavioral teaching.
Thanks to income inequality and the reduction of funds to education, our children have been reduced to sheep. Our lack of teachers can be directly linked to income equality. How many people leave the education field because that public service does NOT provide them with a sustainable income? Principles don’t put food on a plate. So children get shuffled and shackled in a room where they do not receive adequate instruction. People who DO teach (mostly women) are, of course, overworked and underpaid. In my grandparent’s era, teaching was a woman’s job, and if she got married and had children, she left her position and stayed home with her own children. Today a teacher may continue to work after marriage and children, but her workload insists she puts her family after her job. I suppose my issue is that income inequality has become so predominate in society that a woman no longer has the choice of working or not. When women, supported by a loving husband, are free to be Homemakers, they are also free to volunteer, and to participate in the education of their children. When women are the slave to the grind, children suffer. A median income household is no longer sufficient to sustain a family; many moms find they MUST work to supplement their husband’s income.
“People who don’t own anything are often at the whim and caprice of political and business elites.” -Khalil Muhammed
Our current society is limited by the Elite. Children lucky enough to be born to wealth, or at least of means, have the privilege of attending private schools with smaller classrooms and individual attention. $300 for a 6week tutor program at Sylvan. $18,000 a year tuition to a prep school. The game is rigged. Children born to low-income and poverty level families are fodder, as far as our fearless leaders are concerned. In the past, public school children were afforded similar topics of learning as private schools, and in some communities public schools have maintained a classical approach to education, encouraging all children to think critically and participate in the learning process. However, here in Kansas, Republicans continue to cut public education funding and close schools, forcing school communities to become overcrowded without resources to provide a modern, comprehensive education to the next generation.
So yes, dear family and friends, I’ve changed. I’m fed up with the corruption that has apparently been ever present in our Capitalist Democracy. Women and men with ideas to benefit all of society are being shut down by the Boys Club with their lined pockets. I’m urging you all to step out of your comfort zone and STAND UP!
As a wise man recently said “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”
As a wise woman once said, in reference to being unwed and pregnant, “If I had been born a Lady it wouldn’t have been very hard to act like one.”