Archives for the month of: March, 2011

Is there really such a thing as luck?  And do we think that when something bad happens it’s bad luck, and if something good happens we deserve it?  Is luck the same thing as fate?

Something else

“Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her. But once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.” -Voltaire

Everyone’s talking about education these days and what is a good education, what makes a good teacher and why are American students behind other countries’ students? What does “behind” really mean? And why are we so focused on science and math when only a handful of students will ever really excel at it? Are there really that many careers that are only focused on general science and math anyway? I thought the genius of our education system was the concept of free education for all, not just for the children of the wealthy and that this “education for all” was a way to  prepare the citizenry to participate in democracy. Remember those lessons about needing to read and write and think so you could be involved in the decisions that face our country? Is it now just about job preparedness?  Does this focus on math and science test scores and the gap between more affluent and less (or code for race) just created a more fractured and separate society?
Something Else  A few views on liberal education
“Those persons, whom nature has endowed with genius and virtue, should be rendered by liberal education worthy to receive, and able to guard the sacred deposit of the rights and liberties of their fellow citizens; and . . . they should be called to that charge without regard to wealth, birth or other accidental condition or circumstance.” –Thomas Jefferson, 1779

Is personal discipline something you can learn, or do you just have to be born with it? Why do we Americans think success is something each person can achieve and failure is “your own damn fault”? If we’re so obsessed with being positive, then why is there such negative chatter and downright meanness in current public talk? When did we get mean, or were we always that way and just needed the internet to make it impossible to dodge the truth?

Something Else:
“Of all the civil rights for which the world has struggled and fought for 5,000 years, the right to learn is undoubtedly the most fundamental.” –W.E.B. DuBois, 1949

When you were a kid, what were the things you were not supposed to do that seemed unfair? What happened when you crossed the line and did something naughty? Do any of these things carry over to your adult life? Are there generational differences—one cohort being naughty is no big deal to another?

Something Else: This is the last week for you to see Bill W. & Dr. Bob, about the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, because it ends March 13.