This entry is loosely inspired by the articles of Robert Mann, found on his WordPress site, Something Like the Truth.
It’s been a long time blogging! I haven’t had much time to lately, but I couldn’t pass this one up. This multi-thought blog entry is in response to a share I found on Facebook, about how the government is gradually dismantling public and higher education. I left a lengthy response triggered by a well-meaning Baby Boomer, who stated that he’s merely trying to ‘teach Millennials’ about the simpler times in America, twenty years ago when we were mere ten year-olds. To give numbers, a ‘Millennial’ would be classified as someone roughly between the ages of 20 and 35 (born 1980 to 1995).
We all know that history repeats itself; on the surface, Billy Joel’s classic “We Didn’t Start the Fire” could be a Millennial or ‘New Boomer’ anthem, as the song describes how one generation is always blamed for the problems of the previous generations—damage the youngsters wish to undo. On a side note, that track was also released in 1989, the year I was born.
Look, only a Millennial can articulate a Millennial’s perspective. With that said, these are things I personally have to deal with on a regular basis—what’s going on with the country vs. where we’ve come from. So none of this is foreign to me, nor most of my peers. On a shallow end, trust and believe that my friends and I pow-wow regularly about the days of road trips, cents worth of gas, payphones, penny arcades and…*sobbing* ASTROWORLD…without a #selfie or status update the first.
The bottom line is that while we couldn’t fully appreciate those times, we were well aware of them.
Now to my general response on the cartoon, slightly redacted:
About me, I’m a 25 year-old graphic designer, TV producer and college student about to graduate on the Dean’s List with a 4.0 GPA. In addition to that, I’m also a guardian to three lovely girls, aged 4, 10 and 14. I live in East Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana (capital), which is nothing short of a nightmare when it comes to the education system. For historical purposes, our public school system was featured on PBS’s Frontline last year during the peak of the infamous “St. George movement,” a secessionist petition that started because of a lack of organization within our schools.
I can attest to the fact that that my two oldest girls are learning absolutely nothing in class, and that most of their knowledge—from long division, to proportions, to the names of the founding fathers and human rights leaders around the world—comes from this household. I’ve heard stories that some of the teachers in this system were promoted from substitutes, with little to no educational background/qualifications, and no connection to the students like we had ‘back in our day.’ For my girls, I’m talking before Common Core, to which a quarter of a neighboring school district sat out of.
These kids can’t even have a real conversation with their counselors…
When I was in school, of course the curriculum was different. There wasn’t this life-or-death dependence on tests, and our teachers were thorough, making sure we understood the subject matter before moving on. We also knew to respect them, and that ‘bullying’ was a mere “GIMME $0.50,” but I digress. Even my 10 year-old is in the 4th grade at a private school, and not only are the teachers unclear in their explanations of assignments, while heavily relying on the internet, they’re also taught with these dumbed-down coloring charts called “Foldables,” which look more like busy work than the ‘study guides’ they’re claimed to be.
The public education system in Louisiana is a hot mess plain and simple, with these charter schools popping up left and right. While those and ‘superintendent academies’ are replacing closed schools and old Walmarts (yes, Google “Advantage Charter Academy”), the infighting continues within the school board; our current superintendent was voted to be released after three years, only for him to be reconsidered…only for him to quit anyway.
His quote, “The decision was made for me. Happy Holidays!”
Meanwhile, the state government is slashing deeper and deeper cuts to, you guessed it, higher education, to pay for a deficit that our governor, President-Elect Jindal, created through his series of tax cuts. MY education hasn’t been as affected by it, as I’m fixing to leave. But it will affect the kids currently there, on. It’s bad enough that my school went from a fat surplus to a massive deficit due to a state mandated second-chance program for criminal offenders, which ate through the budget.
And with all of this chaos going on in the 18th state on the union, and God knows what else in the other 49…our federal officials insist on deepening the wound. After all, I could go on about Jindal vs. the state board of elementary and secondary education here, but that’s another hour’s worth of typing.
Okay, venting over.
And that was it.
As a producer and designer in the Baton Rouge media market, I invite you to check out the new virtual set I created for ‘MyScene TV,’ a local lifestyle show returning to WAFB/WBHX 16 very soon. In addition, I produce segments for ‘BRCC Today,’ a talk show airing Fridays at 5pm on Metro21. Episodes are available for both on the linked YouTube pages. Please read my other blogs, follow me on Twitter and check out my work on here, YouTube and SoundCloud.