Hot Under The Collar About Things

Sun glare

Okay so it is hot in The Sunshine State, AKA Florida. It’s August. It’s supposed to be hot, right? How hot is it? Just about as hot a two gerbils farting around in a wool sock, I’d say. In Orlando in the summertime you either get used to the heat out of necessity for simple survival or you spend your life running from air-conditioned building to air-conditioned building.

I’m sort of acclimated, I guess. I’ve spent most of my adult life living in Florida. I do all sort of crazy crap like riding a bike to and from work. Also, I ride a bike when I go shopping. I ride a bike to take a tour of the neighborhood and get some exercise. I ride a bike for a mile in 95 degree F heat and hardly break a sweat. Yes, I’m acclimated.

I ride a bike because mass transit in Orlando virtually does not exist int eh area where I live. This is also sadly true of most places in the US. You see, somewhere back in ancient history, right around the time I ws born, there was an absolute commitment made to being a car-nation (not to be confused wight he flower). So, except for really big cities mass transit in America is a joke. And even in some of the big cities it is not all that hot.

Which brings me back to the subject of heat. In Florida you can smell it I’m serious. You wake up on a summer morning, step outside the door, the day already smells hot. There really is no other way to describe it. I guess Floridians complain about the heat/humidity around this time of year just like Yankees whine about the cold in January and the foot of snow that fell last night on top of the seven accumulated feet already covering the ground. Yeah, opposite ends of the heat scale to be sure, but its weather related. People will forever complain about the weather until congress takes control of it and then we can blame them for all the stagnant air outside of Washington DC as well as everything else that never seems to change quickly enough.

I miss living up north but only when it is cooler there than is here and not cold. I left the north sometime after the Blizzard of ’78 – or was that ’77? It’s hard to recall that far back. But somewhere in the late ’70’s there was a blizzard and that was one of the main reasons my family moved South. Silly me I net back North for 9 years in the 1990’s, though. And experienced other blizzards.


So, the kids in Florida are back in school and the day they started the new school year was the hottest day so far in 2014. Imagine that! When I think of school I think about fall, leaves turning an a nip in the air first thing int he morning. But those memories come from a long time ago in a different very world. But for all the lacking of anything for me to grab hold of and relate to, the busses were running and it seemed like a good day. It was peaceful enough just to have the ambient noise level diminish as the hooligans were locked away in their assigned rooms for some force-fed, Common Core complaint instruction.

I doubt the kids learned much of anything not he first day of school. It always seemed a wasted day backk when I was in school, in Ohio. Here, because of the oppressive heat, except that how much kids hate sitting in a classroom after having a few weeks off, there isn’t much similarity. Since the invention of schools one thing has never changed, most kids would rather be anywhere else. And it’s because the way we teach kids is the way we think they need to be taught instead of the way most would actually learn. I’m just saying. From my experience back in prehistoric times when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I did a lot of self-educating.What with my dyslexia, I would have never learned how to read had I waited to be instructed while serving my 12-year, state-mandated sentence for no other crimes than being born and turning age 6. I kind of had to take charge of my education at times otherwise I would have wasted most of those twelve years and come out of it with a diploma and no common sense. But now we have standards. Common core in lieu of common sense.

It win’t gettin’ better. Yeah, I know I used ain’t. I live in the South. It;s somewhat expected, right. And, besides, I come from a long line of Rednecks, some distinguished, others not so much. Anyway, had i not decided early on to take charge of my education I might never have learned much of anything except what i started out with. Oh yeah, I learned how to tie my shoes. I did learn that while in school. I probably learned some other things but I can’t recall what those things are at the moment, which kind of makes my point.

Yes, I’m being facetious, But I firmly believe that if kids are in charge of their learning to a large extent and the teacher is there to give them direction and guidance, things go more smoothly and there will be some learning taking place. Force feeding creates resentment and little real learning. If you need an example, here it is. Do you remember how to take the square root or anything? Have you ever used that arcane knowledge? Unless you’re a mathematician or an engineer, I doubt you do.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating the cessation math instruction – Far from it. I’m saying make education relevant. Prepare kids for the real world not some hypothetical utopia that does exist where there will be jobs for every idiot the system churns out. Don’t teach for the intent of administering some stupid tests that measure nothing except how well kids were prepared to take a damned test. Yes, I’m including the dreaded SAT and ACT examinations in that as well. And while we are seriously looking at the educational system take another look at how long kids need to be in the classroom in their attempts to learn something. Starting school on the hottest day of the year is kind of crazy. And, anyway, whether it is 160 days or 180 days or some other number of days that kids are required to attend school having a body present for the process doesn’t mean the mind will follow. I recall spending the last three months of my mandatory education marking time, because I had already completed everything rehired of me to receive my diploma. Kind of silly, isn’t.


#Florida #heat #schools #education #CommonCore

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