It’s that time of year again. Untold numbers of children and young people are returning to the hallowed halls of public education. There are those, of course, with the means and/or opportunity to pursue another path; private or religious schools or home schooling. But the majority will trudge back to endure or enjoy the public school process, as my wife and I and our children did.
It seemed like a good time to write again about education as my younger grandson entered the “system” as a kindergarten student just yesterday. He was somewhat excited at the idea ahead of time which gave me pause as to whether we were actually related.
My public education years, which numbered only 12 since there was no mandated public kindergarten in those pre-historic days, would never be described with the words excited or eagerly anticipating. I have tried to find a suitable descriptive phrase and remembered a Paul Simon lyric from “Kodachrome.” It goes like this. “When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all.” Now, admittedly that is not totally correct since I did have a wonderful English teacher my senior year whom I was privileged to get to know as a friend and neighbor. Alas, she was the exception.
Were I to divide my 12 years into 2 segments; one being elementary and the other combining junior and senior high; the former rates considerably higher than the latter but mainly by comparison. But, to close on a somewhat more positive note, the above referenced grandson now has three school days under his belt and still “loves” school and his teacher. That is the good news. The not so good news is that his bus riding experience has been utterly chaotic all three days and in a different way each day. Certainly hope that his school and who ever else is responsible for this gets their act together and soon! At this point, I will refrain from mentioning the names of the school or school system, with my hope being that things change for the better.
So said Professor Hinkle in Frosty the Snowman, made for television in 1969.
And so he was, running helter skelter, here and there. a sentiment which we all voice on a regular, almost daily basis. we use as our reason for many things, oftentimes as the reason why we do not do this or that. But are we really busy?
We have multitudes of labor and time saving devices that were unknown or little known to previous generations. Of course, the computer, the microwave, the cell phone, power this and that. All are designed to make life easier as well as to ease our time crunch.
So, why do so many of us persist in saying we are so busy and actually believing that it is so, whether it is or not ? Actually, there is a sort of two-fold answer. Some people actually are legitimately busy- doctors, heads of state, single moms come to mind quickly. And there are others. I would like to posit that many, if not most, of us are as busy as we choose to be. I remember a dear friend of ours from years ago, whose husband was a physician. She was quite active in a number of worthwhile things, to the point where she actually seemed busier than he. Her activities, it seemed to me however, were things she chose to do. That doesn’t negate them by any means or devalue them. But it just seems that it was a different kind of busy.
So, to help you in your busyness, I leave you with two quotes. One is from musicians Simon and Garfunkel and their song ” Feeling Groovy” ( 59th Street Bridge Song)
Slow down, you move too fast, you’ve got to make the morning last
Just kickin’ down the cobble-stones,lookin’ for fun and feelin’ groovy
And even more profound from Psalm 46:10
Be still and know that I am God…
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