Saturday, February 14, 2009

The New Great Depression

I try not to be a pessimist, it’s a struggle at times I’ll admit it, but it’s been even harder lately with all the talk about the economy and how we’re heading towards a recession. I am by no means an economist (their psychobabble makes my head hurt), but I did take microeconomics, macroeconomics, and personal finance in college and I feel like I have a better understanding of the economy than most lay people (mostly because most people don’t care or don’t have a need to care). That being said, I think we’re headed towards some serious hard times. It’s not that we didn’t know they were coming either, we’ve been putting off these hard times since the 80’s following the stagflation of the late 70’s. We’ve (the we in these scenarios is America) been slowly drowning ourselves in debt. In the year 2006, for every 20 dollars an American earned, they spent 21 dollars; we’ve obvious lost some concept of thrift. I can see it with people my age (I’m almost 25 btw), they expect to graduate college, get married and have the same standard of living they’ve been accustomed to when they were living with their parents. What most people fail to consider is that their parents might have had decades to accumulate the things they had, I think of my own parents who have taken 17 years to really remodel our house because they didn’t want to go into debt to do it. I don’t know what the answer to this is, maybe we need to have some hard times to get back on track or maybe it’s not going to be as bad as some people say. Here’s hoping.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Knowledge is Power

I seem to be full of blog postings, since there’s so much going on in school right now. Education is changing, it’s moving away from what it was, mindlessly drilling information into students without any thought to retention of knowledge, and turning towards making information relateable to students. Why should they care about the Renaissance? Without the Renaissance we wouldn’t have the Reformation or Exploration, without the Reformation and Exploration we wouldn’t have America. Education is shifting from teaching how something happened, to teaching why something happened. It really doesn’t matter exactly when Martin Luther was born, what matters is what he did and how that impacts us today.
There are lots of great teachers out there, who have been teaching for decades and have high test scores, but they haven’t changed with the times and now, with Educational Reform, they’re holding their students back, filling them with useless knowledge, such as the fact that Plutarch (the father of the Renaissance) wrote sonnets for a woman named Laura, and you’ll be tested on that, that her name was Laura.
I guess I’m part of the new thinking, the new age of Education, preparing students for the real world, rather than just filling them with needless information. Knowledge is power, but without application it’s useless.