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Monday, April 21, 2014

Competition for America's First Ambassador of Education!!

You have been selected as a candidate to become the very TOP person in education!!  If selected you will be given the title of the United States of America's first Ambassador of Education!!  With this new title, comes a TREMENDOUS task and not to mention a TON of responsibility.

Here's the scenario:
Last week it was announced that despite the attempted changes in the American educational system, the US has dropped to 40th place in education throughout the developed world.  Schools are in shambles and progress is at an all time stand-still.  Nothing seems to be working!  So, the United States Congress went on a head-hunting world tour to find someone to head up the nation's educational system and even changed laws so that the newly selected Ambassador of Education would be allowed to implement ANY changes in the American educational system that he/she felt was absolutely necessary to get us back on track (pending Congressional approval).  Congress and even state governors have vowed that they are willing to do whatever it takes to get our schools back to the point of being at least in the top 10 of the world - if not the very top.  This job is going to demand that you "think out of the box" and come up with ideas that you believe are doable.

Your task is to come up with FIVE key starting points / changes that you feel are ABSOLUTELY a must to begin putting America's educational system back on track.  You need to list the FIVE key things that you want Congress to push through and present them before the states.  List the FIVE changes with a brief description of why  you think they are ABSOLUTELY needed. Make sure your descriptions are clear and precise (to the point) and be prepared to answer questions that "members of Congress" (those responding to your proposals) may have for you.  In other words, be able to defend your plan!!

Those of you commenting on each other's post, are considered the "Members of Congress."  Your job is to pick through the various plans being proposed and really look them over.  Be critical!!!  If something isn't done, America's future is in serious jeopardy!!!  As it was once said, "The future of ANY country on this planet earth lies within it's educated mass!  A failure there, spells the doom of the country."

Once this blog is completed we'll be taking a vote in class which plans to adopt!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Are we becoming too sensitive???

This week’s blog topic comes from Maya.  She sent me this great article about this major backlash that a mom of three ended up having simply due to a FaceBook post and image that she posted.  CLICK HERE to read the article.  So, I began looking into this whole idea of just how hypersensitive our society has become.

Here’s a simple example.  According to a recent Rasmussen poll, nearly 35% of Americans believe that it’s “offensive to refer to an illegal immigrant as an ‘ILLEGAL immigrant.”  Seriously??

Has America became a society of hypersensitive babies?

Literally EVERYTHING that EVERYONE does in the media - be it in television, film, radio, print or on the web - is scrutinized, held under a microscope and perpetually monitored by a number of advocacy groups. “Watchdogs” who are sitting idly by, ready to bark for the simple sake of hearing themselves “bark.” Truth be told, I probably am going to have  a number of them find this on the internet and come after me for calling them “watchdogs” and using the derogatory word “bark.” (I’ll let you know if that happens!)

Here’s another good example:  Miley Cyrus recently pulled double duty on the Saturday Night Live show, appearing as both the host and musical guest.  Now, giving the Miley her due, most people that saw the program said that she “killed it.”  Now, in my opinion, Miley is far more self-aware than she gets credit for - meaning that she is purposely doing the shock and awe to self-promote herself; which there is nothing wrong with - again in my opinion.  During the show, she poked fun at all she’s currently vilified for - including how she incessantly, and annoyingly, sticks her tongue out.  Miley joked that she wasn’t actually sticking her tongue out at all, but rather, “kept having mini-strokes.”

Guess what??  Her comments infuriated the Stroke Association, who immediately demanded that Miley issue an apology.  SERIOUSLY!!!!  (and of course, she apologized..."sincerely")

Now, before I continue, let me clarify that I’m not a big Miley Cyrus fan (as a matter of fact, I don’t have a single one of her songs on my iPhone…just for the record); nor am I making light of strokes.  To be honest, that would be asinine (great SAT word, by-the-way).  Anyone with a modicum (yep, that would be another great SAT word!!) of intelligence knows that strokes are no laughing matter.  That being said, I also firmly believe that anyone intelligent enough to write a strongly worded complaint letter SHOULD be smart enough to realize a joke for what it is - even if you considered it in poor taste or not.  I’m sorry, but I refuse to believe that even one stroke victim is currently dealing with lasting mental trauma brought on by a Saturday Night Live monologue.

Reality check: Sometimes - nay, actually, ALL the time - people say or do things that you don’t like.  For better or worse, that’s reality.  That’s life.  To be even  clearer, that’s the FIRST AMENDMENT.

One more example: Fez Whatley, co-host of Sirius XM’s popular Ron & Fez Show, recently went on a long, passionate on-air rant about a Chevy commercial that uses the word “crazy” multiple times, claiming that it was “insensitive to the mentally insane.”  Really?  As if “crazy” is a race, gender or nationality.  As if somewhere in the East Village, someone’s currently planning the next Nutjob Pride Parade (ok, that may be a bad analogy - but I think you get the idea).

Now, let me clarify that I DO believe that each one of us have a responsibility within society to be sensitive to others.  In a society it is important that we respect each other and not INTENTIONALLY degrade nor demean others for the pure sake of doing so.  Yet, with that said, it appears that our political correctness and hypersensitivity has gone overboard.  We’ve become too sensitive about things of which are by no ways or means meant to inflict harm on others.  As Maria Kang (the mom in the article that Maya sent) stated: “What you interpret is not MY fault. It’s Yours.  The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your head.  I didn’t create them.  You created them…”  (yet, she did make an apology..."sincerely")

Blog Question:

Do you feel that Maria Kang’s post was inappropriate? Has America become too hypersensitive?  Do “empty” and “forced” apologies only perpetuate a society of hypersensitivity?