Posts Tagged ‘education’

MLK Parade in Charlotte

January 19, 2015

Last Saturday, January 17, 2015, I attended the parade in Charlotte to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  After watching the festivity, I have been reflecting for a day or two on those celebrations, while viewing some pics that I snapped there.

This reflection ends with a song I recorded in 1978 about the visionary Dr. King: “Mountaintop”

As a white man who grew up in Mississippi and Louisiana in the 1950’s and ’60’s, I want to express to you what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. meant to me, and correlate my expression with images of some of the people I saw two days ago in that parade in downtown Charlotte. What I am seeing is this:

ParBandYoung
A prophet who saw what needed to happen, then acted effectively to make in happen.

ParGetnRedy
A man who walked, successfully, a tightrope between violent comrades on one side and non-violent believers on the other.

ParStopVio
A builder, who built a bridge of provision and good will between those who have and those who had not.

ParadeMindGo

A drum major for justice

ParHiStepn

A man who did try, in his life, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and forge new opportunity for those who had none.

ParHorses
A man who strove to make a way where there was no way

ParChrtrScool
A man whose hope for mankind has outlasted the injustice that put him in an early grave.

ParFormnUp

A man whose love for mankind has overcome the evil that men do.

ParWCband

An effective Christian antidote to a world infected by people who had perfected the practice of hate.

A reverent Christian response to a world populated by people who had rejected a loving God.

A servant of the Lord,

A man of peace,

A Christian,

ParMacedonia

a sinner saved by grace.

A visionary.

This is only a small part of Dr. King’s legacy.

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for #BigIdeas2015 about reworking college

December 26, 2014

This morning I responded to Jeff Selingo’s education reform forum on LinkedIn, #BigIdeas2015.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/big-idea-2015-lets-rethink-jeff-selingo

Here’s what I wrote:

I have been underemployed all my adult life, but that’s okay. The best things in life may be related, in some ways, to education, but satisfaction with life accomplishments are not absolutely dependent on education.

Now approaching the golden years of life, I have gathered a lifetime of useful knowledge, which I would like to pass on to the next generations. Here’s why:

My somewhat unpredictable forty+ years of employment and raising children with my wife have convinced me that a broadly diversified foundation of education is absolutely worth more that its weight in gold. In modern life, especially now in our age of digital communications, there is no substitute for developing three essential educational components, which collectively  constitute an advantageous preparation for successful life. Here are the three components:

~ knowing how to read, and read thoroughly with comprehension and critical analysis

~ knowing how to write, and express yourself and what you have learned

~ knowing how to communicate verbally, and accurately (for instance, without constant mentions of “like” and “um.”)

In 1973, I was a confused, but fairly well-read, senior at LSU. With a concentration in general humanities, mostly political science and English, I managed to escape four and a half years of trying to figure this “education” thing out. Fortunately, that prolonged effort yielded for me a baccalaureate, which I held in my hand while launching a “career” in life insurance sales.

The life insurance phase was short-lived. But that did not, as it later turned out, matter so much.

After moving to Florida, spending the better part of a year selling policies to low-income people, I moved into newspaper advertising sales for a season, then into printing sales for about five years.

Then I decided to become a carpenter. Ha! Who’d have thunk it?

So I was, making a long story short, in construction for twenty-five+ years. I built houses, working for contractors in North Carolina where we had settled with our young family. Thus we managed to make a living, feed the kids and all that. My wife moved out of her stained glass business and into nursing shortly after our third child entered middle school.

All along the way, I was a reader, and that is the key to education–learning how to be a lifelong reader, and thereby cultivating a lifelong proficiency for self-education.

About ten years ago, I decided to enter the field of education. After taking courses part time for a couple of years at our local state university, I acquired several teaching certifications. After Praxis, student teaching and acquiring certifications in four subjects, I worked in a school for about two years in a supportive role.

Then the crash of ’08 came, followed by the budget-cutting of ’09. One thing led to another, and our own household budgetary requirements required that I move back into construction-related work, which is to say, maintenance. Now I fix things in 92 apartments; its a full time job, and works well with my wife’s nursing career.

Eight years ago, I started writing and publishing novels; I’m working on the fourth one now, which is named King of Soul. You can find more about those writing projects and the blogs that complement them at  http://www.careyrowland.com.

Also, the improvised resumé includes forty+ years of writing songs and recording them in various studios.

Here’s hoping that before all this is over, I will be able to fulfill the educator role in some way. There is a lot to be said for a life that is spent in continuous reading and seeking knowledge. Knowledge of both kinds: the artistic, and the practical. I do hope to pass it on; a classroom setting could be helpful.

So, if you are considering a rework of  the “college” experience, shoot me a digital note and we will talk about #BigIdeas2015. Thanks.

carey.rowland.glasshalffull@gmail.com

Glass half-Full

Denying Climate Change

November 15, 2014

The critical question about climate change is not whether it is happening or not. The point is: what should be done about it, and perhaps more importantly–what can be done about it?

The earth and its biospheres have always been changing. There is no doubt about that. Scientific research and exploration have provided ample evidence of that truth, geologically and biologically. Miles and miles of extruded, eroded, sedimented, metamorphated, conglomerated rocks and minerals have convinced most of us who are paying attention that the world was, is, and will always be in flux.

In our present age, are emissions from human activity inflicting destructive effects on the earth and its inhabitants?

Yes.

Undoubtedly, aye, but here’s the rub: As far as general mankind is concerned, “climate change” will never be anything but a perpetually unproven scientific hypothesis, which is apparently morphing, as the earth itself is, into a political movement that is misunderstood by the masses.

The political movement, which claims to be acting on behalf of mother Earth herself and her inhabitants–that political movement– is founded upon unquantifiable theoretical snapshots of a gigantic moving target, and hypothetical random samplings of constantly shifting sands.

The resulting politics and ideology of the climate change believers will become increasingly restrictive, and ultimately repressive. These believers are starting to get zealously mad and revolutionary, similar to the Marxists/Bolsheviks about a hundred years ago.

And look what happened with that. Marx had figured out a few things about human commerce and wealth accumulation, but his proposals yielded a new eschatological layer of ideas for humans to argue, fight about, and wage wars over.

Like Marxism, the political/economic outcome of climate change agitprop will become as oppressive as the big bad wolf himself–carbon-spewing Capitalism. And in the long run, the end-game is the same: who is going to take control of the means of production?

To XL-pipeline, or not–that is the question. But it’s only the next point of many contentions yet to come.

However all this homosapiens tragicomedy plays out, some people will come out on top of the imposed carbon-squelching or carbon-permitting policies; others will be ground down beneath the weight of it all. Some will lose; some will win.

Speaking of win, think of it this way: WIN. WIN was the acronym touted by President Gerald Ford, long about 1975. It stands for: Whip Inflation Now.

The Climate Change idea  is like that. Everybody knows, or will know because they’ve been taught about it, that human-caused climate change is destructive. And everybody knows that something should be done about it. But most people don’t really understand it. It’s like trying to understand inflation.

And now, by the way, in Keynsian-speak, inflation has morphed into a thing that is not so bad after all. Because, when properly bridled, it protects us from being gobbled by the new big bad wolf of economic tectonics–deflation. We have now a theoretical target of 2% inflation, just as we probably have somewhere in a Kyoto or Copenhagen consensus, a target of —-kg/day carbon emissions.

My theory is that the general body of mankind will never truly understand the dynamics of climate change, just as we  heartland flyover dweebs will never fully comprehend the economic forces that push our meager assets and never-ending liabilities around like toys.  We never will grok it.

The concept of climate change itself will probably always be misunderstood, mis-applied, miscommunicated, and probably–dare I say it–mistaken, just like the rapaciously exploitive practices of capitalism have been, and just as the revolutionary, anarchic thrusts of Maxism have been.

But if people ever do comprehend the immense implications of climate change and its proposed remedies, they will achieve that understanding through education, not political deprivations and repression.

So all ye climate change believers out there–get busy educating us deniers out here, because that’s the only way we’ll ever understand it. Teach on.

Don’t try to choke us with regulations and treaties.

Forty years ago, when I was graduating from LSU, I was an environmentalist of sorts, and antiwar also (my draft number was #349). And I really did believe, as I still do, that we humans should not pollute the earth.

Now there’s a good idea: do not pollute.  Which reminds me of an old slogan, similar to the WIN thing:

Give a hoot; don’t pollute!

I think some fella named Woodsy Owl came up with that one. He came along after Smoky the Bear had set the tone for environmental awareness.

I believe the Environmental movement should have stuck with that motto, instead of complicating the issues with all this “climate change” and “global warming” effluence. Effluence is, when you get right down to it, worse than affluence.

Affluence is kind of nice to have, and not as outdated as the climate change zealots would have us believe. The result of reasonable affluence is that folks will settle down somewhat instead of rampaging through the streets and looting the system.

While progressing through youth and middle age, my environmental zeal has toned down a bit; it took a back seat to establishing a  homestead, a household and (dare I say it) a coital family. No ZPG for me and my fruitful wife.

Now I’ve written my way into a Saturday sunrise. Maybe it’s time to hop on the Vespa and make a run to do some errands. On second thought, take the car, make a recycling run. If there’s a way to avoid emitting carbon, I haven’t figured it out yet, and I don’t know if we ever will, especially with China and Kilauea doing their thing on the other side of the world.

my song about it: Deep Green

Glass half-Full

Y’all vacation in the deep south now, y’heah?

June 15, 2010

Will you be taking a vacation this summer?
If so, let me suggest a few destinations.
How about New Orleans? There’s no place like it in the US. It’s like a little chunk of old France dropped down next to the Mississippi, with a shot of deep south ambiance mixed in for a cool evening highball. They do great cuisine down there; you can still get the best unique creole seafood on the planet. This would be a good time to partake of it; it may become scarce.

Take a train to New Orleans. The Southern Crescent is a richly cultural ride, and you get to see the great American south along the way, accompanied by the low, hypnotic rhythm of the rails, and the rare clatter of silverware in iced tea on white tabelecloth in the dining car. At least, that’s the I remember it.

If, after a few days in the the Big Easy, that ole crescent city gets a little too steamy for you, head east along the Mississippi Coast to Biloxi, or Mobile, or even as far as Pensacola.

Live a little. Stop to smell the magnolias, and the sea breezes. Spend a few bucks along the way; the locals will appreciate it. Enjoy classic southern cooking, with cornbread and mustard greens. Feast on broiled flounder, or fried red snapper, in the fine dining establishments.

While you’re strolling on the beach after dinner, carry a plastic bag or two. If you see anything that’s not supposed to be there, like beer cans, bottles, or six-pack plastic thingies, do us all a favor and remove them. If you find tarballs, hell, throw them in the bag too. They’re like planetary do-do; nobody wants to step on them.

A big oil wad would make a curious memento of your 2010 vacation. And it would be one less nuisance that someone else doesn’t have to step over, or swim around.
I’m serious, y’all.  Think about it.