Sunday, January 10, 2010

In My Opinion

I promised myself that after the new year, I would be more dedicated to blogging. Honestly, blogging makes me feel better, but here it is almost 11 days into the new year and I am just finding time. I have lots of opinions to voice and soapbox rants to get on, so if you aren't interested in reading them, get off my blog! Personal blogs and facebook pages are just that, my voice of interests and opinions. I don't care if you agree with me. I don't care if you read them. Just don't try to stifle my thoughts because of your own ignorance. Much like my parents raised me, I plan to raise my children to think. I want them to look beyond what the media tells them or what their friends believe and say, "I believe this because....". What if they don't agree with me? Then I foresee some great dinner table debates. I want them to know that their opinion matters as long as they have thought the ideas through and often researched the information and have a little something to back it up. Occasionally it may just be a feeling that they get, something deep in their gut saying something isn't quite right, but they need to believe in that feeling with conviction. Our children are seldom taught to think anymore. Classrooms that used to have teachers who wanted to teach beyond the text are now ridden with teachers prohibited by state and federal mandates, teaching to the test and paperwork on top of paperwork. Students are so consumed by required work that they don't have the time to give to after-hours instruction. This all started when I was in school; however, there were a few of us even then who craved more. I was on the Scholar's Bowl team, 6 members and 2 alternates, 8 students who spent free periods and hours after school and sometimes Saturdays studying current events, history, sports, science, math, pop named it, we learned it. The only kids wanting to put in that time today are usually involved in sports. I visited my old teacher, Coach Morlino, while I was home for Thanksgiving. He was watching an episode of Cash Cab and said he thought about his scholar's team every time he watched that show and he would think about how much money we could have all made together. He doesn't teach much anymore. Health and bureaucracy got him down, but I will always be glad he was there to encourage all of us to think. I am considering going back to get certified to teach, but I am so uncertain about that because I don't want to just teach the facts in a book, I want to teach kids how to think, not what to think. My husband will say that he is a Republican, but he resides only slightly to the right of the line. I would say that there is just one leg over the fence. I, however, am about the same way to the left. Basically, this is an independent thinking household and I believe that gives my children a slight advantage. By residing in the middle, I find it is easier to see both sides of the argument. Maybe it is by listening to people that I somehow ended up in the middle. I get a little perturbed when people assume that means I am indecisive. Those that know me got a real laugh out of that. In fact, I believe strongly in those things which I believe, but I don't believe things just because a certain party does. I won't get into what those things are, but I will be more than happy to share if asked. It is funny how I grew up in a family where I never knew how my parents voted. We weren't allowed to ask, but I always knew they voted. I don't think they wanted to sway our convictions out of some expected loyalty to them. I will say that on my 18th birthday, I registered to vote. My grandpa didn't give me any real option and I had been waiting for that day like most people waited for their driver's license. When my sister turned 18 I begged her to register and she said it didn't matter to her and none of it pertained to her. Needless to say, she is registered now. She has a good job, no kids, no major deductions and now she knows that it matters to her. Yet, I married into a family who freely voice their opinions about world events and matters. There is no doubt in your mind for who they cast their votes. At the same time, I never feel that it is a place for a free-flowing exchange of ideas, but rather a lecture as to why you should think the same way they think. Right or wrong. Agree or disagree. They do pay attention. I think with all that is going on now in our government, there is no better time for all Americans to start thinking. Critical thinking. Don't listen to one news report or read just one newspaper and decide that your mind is made up about anything. Remember that most mainstream journalism is a little slanted. Often you have to pay attention to what they are telling you while picking up on what they aren't. It is your job to know more about the issue than what Bobby Jo down at the barber shop told you. We are at a very critical time for our nation and if I had a crystal ball, I would say that this all doesn't bode well for our future. It is time to think for yourself and stop being so apathetic about politics and government.

No comments:

Post a Comment