Tag Archives: Reading

The Downfall of Our World

A lot of people are throwing blame around in this world, in this country. The other party isn’t cooperating. The president isn’t trying hard enough. The senate and congress are lazy. The super stores are taking everything and giving nothing. The banks are evil. Wall Street is full of heartless rich white guys of the 1%.

So some of the unrest is totally justified. Yes rich, white men are throwing their weight around and claiming to be the voice of the under represented. And yes they get it wrong a lot. Yes the government is flawed and failing in many areas, and yes it has a lot to do with party conflicts that shouldn’t even exist. Yes these issues are real and need attention.

But here’s where we should start our battle. In schools.

Every time an election comes around (and I don’t just mean for presidency), I hear candidates half-mention the need to better our school systems. The problem is that they always decide to cut funding to the arts and bolster the sciences. I’m all for STEM classes, but if we’ve already tried this approach and it hasn’t improved us, why are we still trying it? To quote the brilliant mind of Albert Einstein, insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

I don’t think the problem with schools is that we focus too much on arts or even that we focus too much on STEM. I think the problem is that teachers understand that most of their students need creativity to learn even if they aren’t artistically inclined but aren’t allowed to provide any of it because of legislature. I think the problem is schools losing programs that allowed kids to find healthy, productive venues for their issues and problems like art and music and literature and then wondering why more and more of the student population hates going to school to the point of dropping out and why bullying is on the rise to the point that some students are being hazed using their food allergies. I think the problem is so much focus on standardized testing and not on helping students remember the information passed graduation.

I think the problem with American education is that some people still think Titanic is just a movie. I think there’s a problem with the fact that most people think “Madonna with Child” is a reference to a pop singer.  I think the problem is that most people don’t know the capital of the United States of America despite living here. I think the problem is that most people don’t think reading is useful, that it’s a low-class hobby, and that our literacy rate for most adults is at a 3rd grade level.

I think the problem is that most people don’t know the definition of racism or sexism but like to throw the words around to attack others while being the definition of the words themselves.

I think the problem is that “the real world” is teaching kids to think like this and not letting teachers correct the issues and instill real passion for learning in their students.

I think the problem is that the government thinks paying teachers less than most people pay babysitters is fair and just and that college tuition rates keep rising till people can’t afford to go or end up finishing with more debt than they can ever pay off and that the world sneers at them for it either way and that a Bachelor’s degree is worth as much as a high school diploma despite the cost and time and effort.

I think our society could be great again. I think our citizens could fix all the issues themselves if they were educated, with or without higher education. I think our people could save this country of freedom if we tried a different tactic and put more money into education and small businesses and healthcare than we put into building our military. I truly believe that if we inspired people to love learning we could fix our broken nation.

But until the angry masses stop shaming the government for making any step in that direction, and until the government takes charge of such an opportunity, we shall never see that growth. The problem is that the angry masses don’t understand that taking steps in this direction are for their benefit because of the current system in place, so they continue to stay angry masses. The problem is that people are too focused on immediate returns and not focused enough on long-term consequences, and this will be the downfall of more than just our country.

This will be the downfall of our world.

Ciao tutti,

RM

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Reading and Reading

Turns out that the reflections I have to do each week for my internship at The Florida Review are actually rather course specific. I mention submissions to the magazine in detail and why I liked or disliked them. There is a small portion where I describe what I’ve learned or noticed about being an editor, but it is never enough to make a whole post about.

My reflections are not publicly decent.

That throws out my idea of using them as my weekly blog posts. Oh well.

In other news, I’m reading more lately. I set a goal for myself this year – 12 books in 12 months – on GoodReads. I’m reading several books at once right now. I just finished The Hunger Games and have started Catching Fire. I’m reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and I’m reading Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. They’re all such different styles, but I love them all the same.

It’s not against the rules to read multiple books at the same time, even if those books aren’t in the same vein or genre or length. The point of reading is to enjoy yourself, so having a few isn’t a problem. It just means you have several to choose from depending on your mood.

I’ve been setting a reading goal for a few years now and have always met it, even though the numbers have always been low compared to some of my friends – usually 10 or 12. Have you ever set a reading goal, with a website or with yourself? Did you meet it? Surpass it?

Its a good feeling, finishing a book or reaching a reading goal. I recommend it if you’re looking for a simple kind of goal to try for.

Thanks for reading.

Ciao Tutti!

~RM

ps. In a different turn of events, I have become more active in posting to my Facebook pages. If you want to get a more regular thought from me, follow my personal Facebook like page. I also have my movie review blog’s like page, and of course I have the like page for The Rose Chateau. I’m trying to keep up with all of those more regularly.

I’ve discovered I’m terrible at twitter and keeping up with that, but if you can tell me how to link my Facebook with my Twitter so my like page posts will go to my Twitter, that would be fantastic, and I would suddenly be tweeting all the time. Let me know if that’s possible.

Life Lesson

These be hard times, my friends.

I have a coughing problem going on right now. I’m loaded with school work and novels to read. However, I’m also happily engaged in a new show to watch (I have three seasons to catch up on before the new season starts). I’m writing creative works. I’m watching great movies. So what’s the biggest worry I have right now?

Finances.

Yep. Like most Americans, I’m looking ahead to the future and seeing a lack of funding. Graduating this semester means a loss of financial aid. Going to Grad School soon means a bigger need for financial aid. On the chance I don’t get into grad school yet, there’s an even bigger need for finances.

Oh the joys of American living.

I’ve started trying to save more than I used to. I already didn’t go out buying clothes or shoes or nick knacks I didn’t need. My sister and I have cut back on groceries or switched to cheaper brands. The two things I spend money on that I don’t need? Starbucks and movies.

I gave up Starbucks so I could continue going to the movies. Doing the math – I got a $3-$4 drink every other day of the week, if not more. That’s about $20 a week I spent on Starbucks. That’s two movie tickets! So because I love movies more than Starbucks, I dropped the more expensive one.

My sister and I thought about it and realized that if we became really poor, we’d still probably save up money simply to go to the movies. My mother added her two cents in when we told her that. She says that movies/theaters were more popular during the Great Depression than ever before. People went because it was a change from the poverty they were in. It was something to feel happy about. I can relate to that. Movies are beautiful to me. I love to watch them and analyze the characterization and then tell all my friends so we can have long, pointless conversations about the who’s and why’s of it all.

Movies and books make me feel whole. No matter how bad I become economically, I will always have money saving up to spend on those two things. They help people to feel adventurous, brave, loved, scared, terrified, confused and complacent all in the safety of their homes or theaters. You never have to doubt your feelings when you let yourself get sucked into a story.

So the life lesson I cemented for myself was that no matter how bad things get stories, books, movies will always be there to give us an escape and make us feel like heroes.

Read a Book and Enjoy.

Ciao Tutti,

RM