Thursday, June 08, 2006

Some Inspiration...

UPDATE: Speaking of success, Lashawn Barber of Lashawn Barber's Corner talks about the No Child Left Behind act that President Bush enacted and how it is apparently not working based on some recent studies into the programs. Achievement gaps still plague certain minority groups, blacks in particular. One thing she points out quite clearly is that she doesn't have the answer, although I believe she does offer a solution, just not one everyone wants to accept, her suggestion...
This blogger doesnÂ’t have the answers. My only quest is to urge people to look within before looking without. If your child is failing or under-achieving, why? What can you do that doesnÂ’t involve blaming George Bush or your great-great-great grandfatherÂ’s white owner? Do you encourage achievement in the home? Is it filled with books and other learning materials, or is it filled with vapid DVDs and the sounds of vacuous TV shows? Is the TV on from the time your kids get home from school, or are the children required to complete their homework or engage in activities that stimulate and develop the intellect?
Yes, that is right, parental involvement. Plain and simple. Whatever happened to old fashioned hard work and perseverance that my grandma used to teach me? She would say "...boy, you do your best and God will take care of the rest." Does that still hold true today? I used to get whooped (spanked for those who don't speak ebonics) by my dad for bringing home a C or worse. Not that every parent should punish their child for getting bad grades in this way, yet there is something to holding a child accountable for the performance.
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"I don't say these things because I believe in the "brute" nature of man or that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious."

- Vince Lombardi (NFL Head Coach for Green Bay Packers 1958-67)
Finish reading the whole speech here.

When I was a kid I used to watch these old NFL football high lights shows with my father. At the time I didn't really understand football, let alone know how to play. Yet, for some reason I loved watching the old footage of players running, hitting, tacking, sometimes exhausted, frustrated and even angry. Of course I loved the segments of touch-downs, pass completions and amazing quarter-back sacks or long yard drives. Yet, some of the most memorable for me was that of Vince Lombardi and the Greenbay Packers. Hearing his inspirational talks and seeing how he interacted with his team moved me for some reason. Although I am too young to even really understand the era this man came from, I find myself to be a fan of his none-the-less, a fan of his accomplishments, of his legacy, but most of all a fan of his ability to lead. His ability to inspire. His desire to win.

When I listen to all of the meandering, whining and excuse-making that takes place in our public schools especially, i.e. how our children are dropping out and getting pregnant because schools need more money, yeah right! Or among our elitist politicians, who seem to change positions about as often as a baby with diarrhea changes diapers, I think about men like Vince Lombardi who never made excuses for failure and always stressed for perfection in all things. It would seem that we don't really do this anymore. We as a society seem to almost encourage mediocrity and borderline insanity. When I speak with other parents and teachers they are always afraid of being critical of others, no one wants to stand up and just say what is right anymore. My sons last school didn't even use grades any longer, just ambiguous terminology and a stupid numbering system. How is any child expected to succeed if they don't even know what failure looks like? How do you truly measure success if no one fails?

I posted this quote with the hope of giving you inspiration and maybe some of you out there, like myself, feel that this world has forgotten what greatness looks like what real success is, and most importantly, what the cost of real success is. I like to go back and read some of the writings and quotes from great men just to keep myself from going completely insane. I want to always remember what real success and greatness looks like and most importantly, to understand what it isn't.

1 comment:

Michael_the_Archangel said...

There are several "problems" within the public educational system; please note that I use the word public as many of these problems don't exist in private schools. The first 'problem' is expectation, responsibility and accountability. The schools don't expect the kids to excel, so the kids don't. When the kids don't take responsibility for whatever they do or don't do, there is no accountability for their actions. As long as this triumvirant exists, the public school system is toast. Compare this to 98% of the Christian private schools, where the kids are made keenly aware that they ARE expected to give it their best, they are give the responsibility of doing what is asked and do it well; and they are held accountable for the end results. Which school model turns out more graduates?

The next problem with public schools is the "rights" issue. The liberals continue to talk about children's rights. What they can and are expected to do in school. Again, compare Christian schools to public ones. Wanna guess how long a person with blue hair, a pierced lip and baggy pants would last on a Christian high school campus? Again, it goes back to expectations and responsibility - again, the Christian schools have standards, codes and expectations and the kids live up to them (or are held accountable) and the public schools don't.

Finally, there is cirriculum - the public schools constantly 'experiment' with re-discovering ways of learning. Making it easier, a better way to teach and for the child to learn. The problem is that it is smoke and mirrors. They don't have any real data to back their claims, by the time they figure out it isn't working they've stuck 3 to 10 years worth of kids without the knowledge that they were suppose to get during those grades. The Christian schools stick with the tried and true, including the dredded 'drill and kill' - knowing that without a firm base (math memorization and phonics) that the child with have major problems in the years ahead.

The libs look for every excuse, any excuse to shift responsibility from the individual. By doing this they continue to make the individual more and more dependent on the government for everything - even their very existance; rather than learning to stand on their own two feet. Along with the excuses comes the cry for more money because they need it to grow governmental control ever larger, ever more present into your life.