Friday, March 12, 2010

I recently read an interesting book, The Law of Distraction and Interruption by Joe Carroccio. Life's distractions can keep us from achieving our goals and dreams. Interruptions can slow us down or stop us from accomplishing what we set out do do. Carroccio's book came along at the ideal time because I've been distracted and interrupted for years!!!

Some of my distractions are beneficial, like watching colorful birds eating together at our feeder against a snowy backdrop, or glimpsing a bald eagle perched in a tree behind our house. Most of my distractions, however, are not so soothing or kindly.

Some days, I make the big mistake of watching the news on TV. Watching news begins the distraction, but then I compound the problem by thinking about what I see. Two recent stories started the distraction process. One story involved Wall Street and how -- despite being "bailed out" by taxpayers -- they continue to do their business in the same old greedy, wasteful, destructive ways. Since I thought at the time that bailing out banks was saving the wrong bacon, I tend to go bananas with every new story about continuing fraud and waste. Yes, it drives me to distraction, which leads me to my next story.

Closing down schools to save money for bankrupted city and states and cutting education related services, laying off educators? Are they serious? This is especially distracting since I suspect some of our cities and states are going bankrupt for the same reasons the federal government is in the deep red: fraud, waste, greed, mismanagement, and refusing to acknowledge the voices of the taxpayers who fund all follies. I fear the foxes have been in charge of the hen house for too long.

None of us want necessary services cut. We want our infrastructure maintained, for example, by repairing roads and upgrading utility systems so our electric, gas, and water service works without glitches. But closing schools and cutting education services seems particularly short-sighted to me. I have no kids in school and may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but even I can see the awful long term effect of putting education on the back burner.

Hubby says I shouldn't think so much about problems I didn't cause and can't change. But I can't help thinking that maybe in some small way I DID contribute to this problem. During all those years when I worked and focused on earning a living and ignored everything going on in the world around me, I was a part of the problem. Every time I voted in a less-than-stellar incumbent at the polls, I was a part of the problem. Every time I allowed political smoke screens or flowery rhetoric to lull me to complacency without question, I was a part of the problem. Now I'm reaping that bitter harvest of my past neglects.

Yep. Now I'm distracted and interrupted by the news and thoroughly disgusted by what I see.


AstonWest said...

I have a feeling that a lot of the recent school closures are political posturing by school boards to try and force more funding from their legislators. Unfortunately, I've seen way too many times where schools squander the money they've been given...having had several relatives (including both parents) in the education system.

F. E. Mazur said...

Aston West may have seen "too many times where schools squander the money they've been given," but I suspect he was looking through a part of his body other than his eyes. Students at too many schools today don't even have materials, including pencils and tablets. And who often buys supplies for these students? The teachers too often, paying for it out of their own pockets. Stick to science fiction, Aston. Or go teach in a public school for at least one year. Then come back and maybe your opinion will have some merit.

AstonWest said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AstonWest said...

It took decades before a rural county of schools (probably 6 or so schools) finally realized that having separate superintendents was a waste of money, and ended up with one for the whole county. To think that other districts aren't squandering their money with the same or similar wastes is turning a blind eye to reality.

I'm curious how many of these districts which are closing schools because of insufficient funds are also eliminating football, basketball and other sports programs in the remaining schools, or forcing them to be entirely funded by money not provided by the school.

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I enjoy good writing by writers and poets who are not famous. My mother said I was born a hundred years too late. The older I get, the more I realize how right she was.

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