Tuesday, January 25

Welcome, 2011!

Sorry I've been MIA for a while. The family took a lovely trip to Hawaii right after Christmas, just me and the hubs, and our 2 little ones. It was DEVINE!!! I could spend the rest of my days in that warm, tropical weather. For those of you still stuck in the doldrums of winter, here's a little something to remind you of better days...

And yes, that chair is still there on the beach, waiting for you to sit your butt down and relax in the warm breezes. :-) I love you all that much.

Now that we're back to reality, things are crazy as ever. The kids are way behind on homework, as their teachers didn't send any with us to do while on vacation. I know they mean well, but I'd rather have my kids do a little homework on vacation than to have so much extra to do after we get back. As my son said, "I wish we hadn't even gone to Hawaii! I have so much extra homework now, I hate it!" Can ya blame him?

My PFA (Parent-Faculty Association) duties at my kids' school is heating up, as we are in the early planning stages of a first-ever art auction. There has been some disagreement as to how the actual auction portion of the evening will go forward. Oddly, when I tell people they are welcome to join the committee to help plan the event, they all say they're too busy. It's so easy to complain, isn't it? So, I have one group who thinks I should have the authority to tell the woman chairing this event how it should be done. Personally, I don't like the idea of micro-managing people, especially when they stepped up to take on a large project, and have a personal vested interest in it going well. And I'm always a bit amazed at how quickly we adults turn juvenile. By that I mean, we hate to have direct conflict, so we turn to the "adult" or person in charge to see if they can fight our battles for us. As the elected "adult" of the year, I'm choosing to be Switzerland. We'll see how that turns out.

In other news (probably more relevant to your life), I see the House of Representatives in Washington DC have voted to repeal health care reform. Nice. While I never thought this "reform" was perfect, it is a start. And we should all be able to agree that we need to do something.

My State Superintendant of Public Instruction has unveiled a sweeping, radical reform plan for public education. Wow! I haven't been able to get my hands on many specifics, but this is baaaaaaad, folks. Requiring 2 online courses per year starting at 9th grade, giving every student 9th and up a new laptop, increasing class sizes by 1.5 starting at 4th grade. (This will actually increase class sizes by 3-5 at least per class, as he uses some fuzzy math to determine the current class size.) I'm not saying we shouldn't be having a discussion about the future role of our schools, and how best to serve our kiddos, but this is a HUGE change all at once. And of course, he uses the "state taxpayers have spoken, and they don't want their taxes increased" line. Bullpucky! Nearly every parent I know would much rather pay a bit more in taxes than to completely overhaul the educational system in one foul swoop. The worst part about this whole thing to me, is that this elected official (don't even get me started) in our reddest of red states, has absolutely no educational experience!! That's right, folks. We the people have blindly elected a Republican (twice!) that has no education experience, and "earned" his degree online in, are you ready for this, weights and measures! And now he thinks we are going to trust him to completely change the way we educated kids. Madness!

It should be an interesting few months here. I'll be biting my tongue-- alot! I may be venting my frustrations here, though, as it's the only place I can tell my real feelings without crossing a line.

I know budgets all over the country are not looking good. So, what cuts are your states thinking of making that just plain don't make sense to you? What things do you think we can do, as citizens, to make our voices heard and help shape the future of our states? I'm all ears, and would love to hear your ideas on making our world a better place.


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