Archive for June, 2008

A Couple of Day’s Off

Posted in Site News on June 29, 2008 by raingeg

I’m going to a D-Backs game up in Phoenix tomorrow, and staying the night up there with a buddy of mine tonight. I should have a new post up either by late Monday night or early Tuesday morning. While your not reading my blog go over to http://nopunditintended.com and check out his latest post its very good. Tuesday is my second day off, so hopefully I can add some things I’ve been trying to get on the site.

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The College Problem In High School

Posted in Education, Politics with tags , , , on June 24, 2008 by raingeg

In today’s society to much is taken for granted, we take the little parts of nature for granted, we take love for granted, and we even take life for granted. And on a smaller, more finite scale, we take education for granted. After all we do live in the “richest nation in the world” a phrase I try to avoid, because it usually ends up used as an excuse to push redistribution of wealth and socialist ideals in your face. The argument is that we’re the richest country in the world, then why not give some of that money back to the people? Well, there’s an easy way to accomplish that goal, tell the government to stop stealing it, cut our taxes, and let us keep it before it gets all screwed up in the hands of the politicians. Now back to the subject, we take education for granted.

It used to be that not many people went to college. You always hear stories about peoples parents that never went to college and managed to hold three jobs and raise five kids, that’s my grandparents. These day’s those stories aren’t around as much and its nearly taken for granted that kids will attend some sort of college after high school. The National Science Foundation website say’s that “In 2005, 69% of students ages 16–24 enrolled in a 2- or 4-year postsecondary institution in the fall immediately after high school graduation, compared with 51% in 1975.” That say’s a lot about how times have changed, in 1975 nearly half of the nations high school students went to college, to point out the obvious, that means half of the nation’s students did not go to college and did something else with their lives. It would be hard to prove that that number has had a negative impact on our nation. We know that half of our nation was not poor during the nineties and early two thousands, when most of these people’s kids were either entering or finishing up with high school. In fact I would say that the nearly 70 percent in 2005 reflects the exact opposite. It shows that the generation that was evenly split was wealthier than the one prior, giving their children even more of an opportunity to go to college.

Alright, we’ve established that a majority of high school students are now going to college, we can now ask the question, is that a good thing or a bad thing? On the outset that looks like a good thing and it is, to a degree. I would contend that this is one reason why high school education has become so bad. When a student enters pre-school they are preparing the student for elementary school. When they move up to elementary school they are preparing them for middle school and middle school prepares them for high school. In high school you run into an interesting situation, the children who once had no choice as to what grade they would go into next, are now young adults and they have a choice. But do these young adults, like myself, have the best education, which allows for them to make an educated choice as to whether or not they should go to college? I would say the answer is no!

I don’t think it is to hard to prove that high schools have adopted the principal that pre, elementary, and middle school’s have adopted. The pattern of preparing students for the next step in their educational career. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) in “1940, more than half of the U.S. population had completed no more than an eighth grade education.” Imagine that, 50 percent of American children in 1940 didn’t even go to high school, and by 1975 51 percent of students were enrolling in college, a number now nearly at 70 percent. They also say that only “6 percent of males and 4 percent of females had completed 4 years of college.” All together 10 percent of the nations students actually finished college. This doesn’t tell us what enrollment rates were in 1940 but it does tell us that they were well below 50 percent, and that’s not all, nearly half of America’s kids were starting normal, adult life, after eighth grade. A life that most people aren’t starting until about 22 or 24 in 2008. I guess teacher’s didn’t even think their students were going to make it to the ninth grade, let alone college, so they did what they could with what little time they had, in other words they took nothing for granted.

So what becomes of the now 31 percent of high school students that went through high school and are not going to college? The fact is that things are going to be a little bit harder for them these day’s. Now that high schools have vastly accepted that most high school students will be attending college, the same trend happens in the employment market. More and more employers are looking for degree‘s in their future employees, and they probably have become slightly accustomed to that. This is neither here nor there its just a fact that should be pointed out, in other words, I am not implying that these students are victims in this situation.

Is there a solution? Sure there is a solution. I am guessing that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is a way to try and break the near assembly line tactics of high schools in America, tactics that just send kids through high school, adding my assessment, in part due to the fact that they take college as the next step for granted. I just don’t think that NCLB will work or is good, and being a conservative I’m not afraid to say it. I don’t like working around a test and I want kids to know about life and how to prosper as an individual in a free market rather than how to pass school. The solution is to set up high schools that benefit all of the students, the ones that want to go to college and the ones that don‘t. And the government does not need to spearhead this effort or get involved. If high schools just created there own programs that allowed for electives that are more geared towards life, all the students would benefit. They should adopt four year programs in high school too, almost like degrees or certificates for high school students. This would benefit more students, because it would be good for the future college student and the future person who chooses to not attend college. I know that they have some programs like this, and I was lucky enough to stumble upon a marketing program that led me to DECA, and I spent three years of my high school career in the marketing field, with ample opportunities to be placed in a higher marketing class in college. Though I chose not to do marketing later on in life, the experience helped me out immensely and looked good on my resume. But we need more programs like this one to ensure that our high schools are not just a stop along the way on education road.

My aim is not to stop people from attending college or to say that it is bad that almost 70 percent of high school students are going to college, I think that is a good thing. The point is that high schools need to think of themselves as the end of the road as far as education goes, like the middle schools thought of themselves in 1940, this so that every student can benefit, not just the ones that are headed to college.

Recognition Kills: An Easy Concept Made Way Harder Than It Has To Be

Posted in Humanity, Life with tags , , , , on June 18, 2008 by raingeg

Recognition kills, is a concept that I have often thought about after writging a rambling blog post years ago on MySpace. Now I am going to attempt to make something very simple more complicated. It basically means exactly what it say’s. If “A” (an outside observer) recognizes an action that “B” (any one party) commits subconsciously on “C” (either another party or ones self/B), it usually causes B to “kill” (or cease) the action directed at C. For example, if a man (B) puts on his left sock first every morning and an observer (A his wife) tells him that he does this, at that point he might stop doing it, only because he recognizes his actions and begins to think consciously about them rather than doing them out of habit subconsciously. This example has three variables, but, the husband occupies both B and C at the same time. He is B in his subconscious habitual state, but when he transforms into a conscious state of mind, that recognizes the actions that he subconsciously commits he becomes C.

Lets use this couple again for another example to show how B and C can be separate entities. In this example B is the husband and C is the wife. Every Friday they go out to supper with their friends, their friends represent A. Every Friday they go to the same place and do pretty much the same thing. They go to a movie and go to a local coffee shop. The husband and wife usually drive separate cars because they meet at the theatre after they both get off work. Every week the husband will leave early because he has to be up early on Saturday. When he leaves he gives his wife a hug and a kiss, say’s “I love you” and he leaves. Upon observing that the couple does the same thing every week their friends (A) recognize this action and point it out to the couple next week. When the couple (B and C) are told of this by their friends, and made to recognize what they do every week they begin to second guess what they were so unconsciously accustom to. In this example they both become aware.

The question might be asked, why in this situation does the couple not represent one variable as they act in a subconscious state, and then transform into another variable, as in the first example, once something is realized? The answer is simple, the two people react to each other, therefore, when the husband leaves he is initiating an action subconsciously, an action that is directed at his wife. The initiator must occupy B, because B acts subconsciously towards something or someone. Whether or not C is reacting to B’s subconscious act consciously or otherwise is of no consequence. One might say, if C consciously knows and recognizes B’s actions and tells B, does that not effect the theory? It does not, you then are using the first example I illustrated, where B and C are occupied by the same person, and the C in the second exampled would actually be A if you were to look at it that way. If you do look at it that way the friends do not matter, they become obsolete.

Now lets examine the reasoning for people to behave this way. There are many reasons why a person might stop something that they are doing, as a result of it being pointed out to them. Based on the first example we can see that the husband might stop putting his left sock on first solely based on his desire to not be predictable to his wife, and or not wanting to be predictable to his own self. In life we are our worst critics because we know so much about ourselves. The husband might have very well known that he put his left sock on first but it didn’t matter to him and it became a pattern enacted at a near subconscious level. Only when it was pointed out to him, did he start to think about his life in terms of the small inconsequential actions that he commits. I think that humans like to be individuals, each human’s individuality is on a different level, but if you look at the basic actions we make every day we do not want to be predictable because that keeps us from having a firm grasp on our individuality. This is only a byproduct of being around other people for long periods of time. Earlier I said that we are our worst critics because we know ourselves so much. The same could be said for Husbands and Wives as well as a couple’s or a person’s friends. If we are around people long enough we start to open ourselves up to those people and they can then start to see what we do on a subconscious level better than we can. This is because they most likely don’t do the same habitual things as their friends or spouse.

It should be noted that this is not a rule for human interaction, nor is it the only thing that can happen in the given situations. I have to admit that something could be pointed out to a person and they could commit that action again with more fervor. That would most likely be done intentionally, maybe with spiteful intentions, but nonetheless humanity does not react to every situation the same. A person might also just live in denial about what they do at a subconscious level, even after it is pointed out to them by another person. All this is, is a way to view how a person that is not self aware acts when that person becomes self aware. And as goes with this situation everyone will react differently, this is just how I think most humans would react.

“Somethings Happening In Here, What It Is Ain’t Exactly Clear”

Posted in Movie Review, Politics, Religion with tags , , on June 14, 2008 by raingeg

After I left M. Night Shyamalan’s new movie The Happening, I felt as though I would have been better off taking the nine dollars I spent and using it to start a small bonfire in my room. EW.com called the movie “a feature-length Twilight Zone episode”, that is ironic, because prior to reading that review I thought to myself, “Rod Serling must be rolling over in his grave”. I told my friend that the Twilight Zone episode I had watched the night before was better than this movie.

I drove home in a fog, listening to Frank Sinatra and dreaming about the good old day’s when movies had a substantive plot, good writing and inspired actors. I couldn’t stop thinking about great movies like The Day The Earth Stood Still and The Manchurian Candidate. I couldn’t help but compare Mark Wahlberg’s role in The Happening to Frank’s role in The Manchurian Candidate, Frank made Mark look like Barney, Barney’s funny at times but nonetheless the big purple dinosaur thing is just not believable.

Mark is not to blame for this failed movie and its nearly non-existent plot. A plot that took advantage of extremely base ideas, had hardly any twists and turns, and insulted the intelligence of the viewer. This movie is merely a bad way to prove a point. If you want to get the whole idea behind the movie, watch the last five or ten minutes and spare yourself the agony of sitting through a bunch of uninspired acting and pointless death.

The movie starts out with a woman randomly killing herself in the (heavily tree populated) Central Park, after she becomes disillusioned about what is going on in the world. Next scene, a construction worker is telling a dirty joke that makes no sense, when all of the sudden, people start randomly hurling themselves off of buildings. Mark Wahlberg play’s a science teacher, and his wife is played by Zooey Deschanel, the Elf girl that sings in the shower. They bring along with them, the daughter of some friends that becomes an orphan about twenty minutes into the film. Together the three embark on a journey of hardly epic proportions, as they try and figure out why people are randomly killing themselves, while at the same time avoiding the same fate. They meander through the northeast hiding from wind and trees, while avoiding backwoods folk with shotguns and dealing with a crazy old lady. And in a bit of irony (read next paragraph) Zooey’s character ends up pregnant.

The moral of the story, overpopulation bad. That’s it, nothing more, its a strange thought that often occupies the minds of left leaning individuals. The thought that we are all going to run out of resources and harm the continuously evolving, (apparently) living organism known as earth, and that will somehow trigger it to smote us. It truly reveals where our societies values rest, not in a God or any moral teachings that will better mankind, but in morals that the world offers, morals that ask if its alright for the earth before thinking of humanity. You have to look no further than this and some other countries and what we are currently doing with ethanol. What society in their right mind would start depleting its food supply, in order to save a planet that is theorized to be in jeopardy? The answer, only one, ours. The earth has truly become many a people’s god, the worship of earth and the nothingness it has to offer, is nothing short of a tragedy.

I Added A Page

Posted in Site News on June 9, 2008 by raingeg

So I was going to get a whole new blog for poetry and stuff, but it would have been lame, so I am just going to add a page here where I can post all of my poetry. Check it out! If you can’t find it cause its so small its on the right hand side of the site just under the “about” link.

A New Perspective On Life

Posted in Life, Religion with tags , , on June 6, 2008 by raingeg

I have a new perspective on life. As you can tell by my last post I am now an Uncle, and a proud one at that. When I was first informed about the pregnancy, I really had no legs to stand on when it comes to seeing and being around a newborn baby. I knew that it was going to cry and sometimes be annoying, but I really didn’t know the other side of the story. When it comes to stories of anyone’s childhood, we almost always emphasize the bad in them and neglect to talk about the good. However, that is not necessarily a bad thing, and is mostly due to the fact that people are curious as to how they acted when they were a certain age, a time period that cannot be remembered, solely to know if they were better or worse than any current example on the table. In other words, emphasis on the bad in this situation is generally applied to bring out the good.

All that said, being around a newborn baby is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. The journey that everyone takes, from non-existence to existence is a breathtaking one. It is just as, if not more, shocking than an abrupt and unexpected death. Just the knowledge that someone was here and is now gone forever is very hard to deal with and often times shocking. When that situation is reversed, and someone who was not here suddenly is, you begin to see life through a new lens, you begin to see life with a new perspective.

I know now that I definitely want to be a father. I knew that I wanted to have children and do the whole family thing sometime in life, but now, knowing what it is like to see and hold a newborn baby, it is something that I almost need. Its as if there is a hole in me that needs to be filled. And the desire to have a family and be a dad has never been stronger than it has been in the last week and a half. I know that these feelings will wane, but I am confidant that I am not approaching this through an irrational lens, just a new one. I know that it is a God given desire and want to be a father. A desire that I am slowly coming in touch with. A desire the provides new perspective on life.

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I’ve got some new posts coming up!

-Religion In Politics, How Much Is Too Much

-My Ideas and My Age

And others that I am working on, so stay with me and keep reading.