Sometimes you witness situations and happenings which you always knew existed, but never grasped the severity of. Things that make you take a step back and realize that everything can’t just be pushed aside with cliches like ” life isn’t fair”. Sometimes things are not right. I just wanted to take a few minutes, and write about what I witnessed yesterday, that will change my life forever.
The inequalities in education are something that I’ve always been passionate about understanding, and identifying the underlying factors of. Going to predominantly white schools on one side of town for grades K-8, and a predominantly black school on the other side for grades 9-12, helped me see more clearly the dividing line of educational quality. But yesterday, Saturday, March 28, 2009 I saw firsthand the overwhelming disparities that now plague America’s public schools.
As some of you know, yesterday I was a judge at Georgia Mathfest. Georgia Mathfest is an event where over 5,000 1st-8th graders from all across Georgia, come to the Georgia Convention Center, in College Park, to engage in a full afternoon’s worth of mathematic activities, games, and all around fun. One of the main events in Mathfest is the Math-bate event.A combination of math and debate, Math-bating is an event in which students from competing schools get into teams of 5, are given 7 scenario’s, and have to analyze and solve the scenarios mathematically. They also have to think critically about the various situations and apply reasoning and logic. Once they solve a scenario, they would give a 3-4 minute presentation in front of me and my fellow Morehouse brother and friend Bryan. We would then give them a score based 5% on the correctness of their math, but 95% on their ability to explain their reasoning and the general fluidity of their presentation. Once they solved one scenario, they could go back and try another, before the hour allotted for the event was over. Bryan and I did this for about 8 hours yesterday. And what we witnessed was disheartening.
Our dear President Barack Obama recently sat down with Colorado’s 9News to discuss his administrations first two years.
“I don’t think there’s a sense that I’ve been successful, I think that people feel that Washington still is dysfunctional,” Obama Said.
Ya don’t say, no way, really Mr. President? I think your statements were an understatement. But let me say first that, unlike the vast majority of the population that voted for Obama that are now turning their backs on him, he still has my support but he needs some tough love. He needs to get it together. President Obama goes on to say,
“My hope is that we are gonna be continuing to work towards rebuilding a sense of trust in government. That’s gonna require some cooperation from Democrats and Republicans. I think part of what frustrates people is also just the constant partisanship and the constant looking at what’s gonna happen in the next election instead of trying look out for the interests of the American people.”
I bought into the notion of change and hope when I was an 18 year old freshman. I voted for Barack Obama because he spoke about “HOPE.” I am now 20 and I’ve learned a few things and I know that hope isn’t going to cut it. Words like try and hope have an underlying expectation of failure. When you hear someone say I’ll try, more often than not it’s followed by some form of “but I can’t make any promises.” Thus meaning, don’t hold me to it. Unfortunately for you Mr. Obama myself and millions of voters are going to hold you to it because we trusted you with our vote and further more why did you run for President if you were just going to try? How about you BELIEVE and have FAITH that you will accomplish something tangible. You’ve preached change, but I’d like to see you invoke the spirit of CHANGE in people. Get on the attack and push the envelope, you’re on the back end of your first term, at this point things look bleek as far as re-election goes. Let’s not pull any punches go out fighting. Show the nation that you are doing all that you can. The best way to not become a scapegoat is to give your all so that only a blind man could say that you did nothing at all. To speak candidly, I don’t think you’re doing enough. I don’t think you have an easy job, but you chose the job so you are responsible for delivering the best results of which you are capable.
I BELIEVE that you can implement all of the things you wish to but you must be an imposing figure that commands respect from The Legislative Branch of our government.
(Source: The Huffington Post)
Hope your doing well even though im talking to you right now. Anyways, so I was reading this autobiography randomly, and Ben Franklin used to make this chart. And every night he would go through the chart, and think about anytime he failed at the virtue, and then would mark where he failed. and then just count up his marks. Im just trying it for this week and seeing if I can have progressively less marks by next week. Really, its just my attempt to be more conscious about the stupid things I do and say..heres the virtues..he focused especially on one virtue a week, but i dont know if this will really last 13 weeks for me.
My friend and I started doing this in November I doubt she is still doing it but I started again recently and it has proved helpful. Below are the 13 virtues and a chart to go along with it.
1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness and drink not to elevation.
2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation.
3. Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.
4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.
5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing.
6. Industry: Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.
7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
8. Justice: Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
9. Moderation: Avoid extremes. Forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation.
11. Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; Never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
12. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.