My Journey of Life and Learning (with occasional digressions)

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Open Letter to High School Class 2020

By way of set up, allow me to explain that I substituted today in my absolutely most favorite 8th grade History class. Great day! They were studying the Civil War…most comprehended the role that the Missouri Compromise (It had something to do with Missouri, right?) played in the tensions prefacing the conflict. The understood the argument about Federal and State powers. No problem, they grasped the basics and I filled them in a bit more regarding Andersonville POW Camp, how the non-discovery of antibiotics contributed to the mortality rate and emphasized that even though some women fought along side me during the war, that the normal soldier was they same age as my students, roughly 14 years old.

This fact struck me for a moment. In the next election, in 2020, these darling little creatures will have a voice over the management of the United States of America! I managed to remain upright at the thought and asked them what the point of studying History was. Of course, the silly answers flew, “So we can learn about old dead guys,” etc. I explained that there’s an old saying, “Those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it.” I pointed out that State rights versus the federal government has always led to debate. They actually grew quiet and seemed to be trying to digest what I was telling them. “You people witnessed one of the weirdest elections in our nation’s history. Next time it happens, what will you see? What will help you determine your vote? Is it going to be the next mega-superstar? Will news organizations become even more propagandizing loudspeakers for various parties? Will other parties be able to get their food in the door and free us from this two party debacle we subject ourselves to?” A few blank stares, a few looks of concern…I left them hanging, “Hey, this is your world. What’s it going to become and, more importantly, why?”

NOW — on a totally different sail tack — I pray to the Lord that I can get my resume picked up and can get a teaching job. I KNOW it’s a good resume and I’m confident that if I can ever meet with a hiring authority that I can land my teaching job. It’s just such a pain )-;! Oh well, I’m doing this because I WANT to teach, I feel passionate about my subject and enjoy all the time I get in the classroom – and it’s mostly productive. Students in the district now kind of have me figured out.¬† I make them work, but will give them lots of freedom, until they violate it, then it all goes away.

Alright, submitted four updated resumes this evening. Let’s see what happens! woo hoo!

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Another One of THOSE Nights

Isn’t it enough that I can’t usually get to sleep easy? I guess not, because tonight, the Army is out letting the boys play with their “big guns.” I’m talking about the ones where I can feel the concussion hit the house and we’re miles away from the fort.

Ah, what is my sleep worth compared to the importance that they fire their artillery on the gun ranges? They are the keepers of our freedoms. I have already served to keep and preserve our freedoms and rights, only to live long enough to watch the precious document I swore to protect and defend shredded by those whose roles in government were delineated by it.

By this time next year, we will know who will become our next President. Will I be able to sleep nights safely then? When the enemy is inside the house isn’t the time to turn the artillery and big guns on him, is it? Each generation grows up, sure that they will be “the ones” to fix things, to make things right.

In the Cold War, we fought and won the intelligence battle. Western Europe was safe. “Ivan” never could get close enough¬† to TRY to breach the Atlantic. “The Japs” were held at bay by the Pacific. We had secured peace. Our children were never going to know the horrors of the threat of “Nuclear Annihilation,” or “Concentration Camps,” nor “Fascism” or “Communism.”

The 90s were fun…

Now weekly, fundamentalists and mad men blow each other or us up in public places. The attacks occur on our soil. Our sitting President and his political allies swear that by taking our rights away, we become safer. Some actually see Wisdom in that sentiment. They are wrong.

Each right that belongs to the people of this nation, the citizens of these United States, whether they choose to exercise their rights or not, have been BOUGHT and GUARANTEED with the blood of our young men and women. Whether spelled out in the Bill of Rights, Constitution, Declaration of Independence or any of the other Amendments to our Constitution, every right has been paid for in blood – American blood.

How dare anyone – citizen or not – elected official or misguided activist – righteous campaigner or wicked fraudster – view the rights we have and contemptuously sneer at ANY of them. Whether we agree with the right or not, it exists. It has been purchased. The snakes distort this fact and use it to set us against each other. We can only defeat them by standing together, exercising and prizing every single right and privilege guaranteed to each and every CITIZEN of these United States.

If they are not citizens, they may apply to become such. If they are not citizens, it has not been THEIR blood that has purchased any of these rights. This does not make non-citizens lesser people, it only means that the rights of citizens does not and should not extend to them. By even this much enforcement, many of our nations ills could be solved. Our children can learn the value of what they have. When they value it, they will prize it and defend it. When that occurs, despotism, fascism, nepotism, inequality will be greatly reduced if not ultimately vanquished.