Archive for Obama

.::One National Chill Pill Please . . .

Posted in Life, rant, Teaching with tags , , , , on September 4, 2009 by Walter

I usually wouldn’t use this space for political rants, but what I see happening this week in education really bothers me.  President Obama is going to address the nation’s students directly in a speech that is going to be broadcast where he is going to encourage them to take personal responsibility, work hard and stay in school. However, this is has been proving to be a touch point for partisan politics where parents have been calling and threatening administrators to not show this speech and take up “valuable” class time.
My wife teaches at a public school in the history department as was told that she is not to show it without having a lesson plan detailing how she will use the speech in class.  (After all, the fact that a presidential address being of historical value isn’t enough to warrant showing, that one has to design a lesson plan around it?)
So here are my two cents:

  • I don’t care who you voted for, doesn’t it make sense to support our president?  Don’t we want to ENCOURAGE good citizenship from our students?
  • Can’t we leave partisan politics to “grown ups?”
  • Even if you didn’t vote for Obama, or agree with his policy, doesn’t a good education teach you how to discern and articulate WHY you don’t agree with a differing viewpoint?
  • Are such ideas such as “personal responsibility, hard work and staying in school” so DIVISIVE that we wouldn’t want impressionable young minds to heed such advice?
  • Is there no room for free speech in schools, especially when it is the President of the United States?
  • Will we ever have a time when the nation can unite behind a leader that doesn’t involve a national tragedy such as Pearl Harbor or 9/11?
  • Yeah, I’d rather have my kids in a pep rally, rather than being indoctrinated for an hour to work hard, stay in school and take responsibility because they get so much of that already.
  • Q:  What really do we have to fear from our kids being encouraged to step up and be great?  [A:  That they may actually step up, study, work hard and take our jobs?]

If anything merits our need to take a chill pill, perhaps this does . . .

.::Progress

Posted in Life with tags , , , on January 20, 2009 by Walter

If I am honest, I grew up in a home and a culture where there was distinct racism.  I remember hearing the “N-word” many times in my home.  I confess to even using it as a young boy.  It is not something I am proud of.  Actually, I am ashamed to admit this.

BUT.  God worked on me.  Touched my heart.  Opened my eyes.  Changed me.  Through the words of men like Martin Luther King Jr. and experiences with room mates of color and introduction to the Word of God, I now see people not for the color of their skin, but as a creation of God.  Granted, I don’t always get that right.  I still find that  I have to fight the urge to be racist at times rather than it never being an issue for me.  But I keep moving forward with God’s grace.

Progress.

As I sit here are watch the inauguration of Obama, I am overwhelmed with emotion at what all of this means.  I possess a sense of tremendous pride for this country at the progress that we have made in my short 40+ years in life.  This moment is pregnant with POTENTIAL. This day is loaded for bear with history.  What a great time it is to be a spectator of history in the making.

I don’t know what this administration’s policy will hold, but what I do know is that four years from today, we will be a people with more HOPE.  We will be a nation with more UNITY as lines of race continue to diminsh.  We will be a culture that sees color less and character more.

Progress.