Frustration!!!

I haven’t posted in months.  I do feel bad, but that just goes back to my page title Overwhelmed Crazy Mom.

In January, I got a new job.  It has been a wild ride learning a new industry.  I had previously been been in the oil and gas industry.  Now I’m working in the security world.  No, I’m not a security guard.  I work with alarms and closed circuit television.  It may be electronics which is my background, but it’s definitely different.  I like it.

That’s the main reason for my absence.  Another is that I have one more class in order to achieve my bachelor’s degree.  I start it on Monday.  I will be done the first week of June.  I’m excited to be done, but after two years of these classes, I don’t want to be a project manager.  I can definitely use many of the lessons for moving into management.  I just don’t like the idea of a career doing projects.  I’m okay with my decision not to pursue a career as a project manager.

Now that my absence has been explained.  I want to talk about a phrase I read from an author, whose name I can’t remember.  WORD VOMIT!!!  In my new job, I spend a lot of time driving from job site to job site.  That gives me a lot of time to think about my stories that I’ve been working on behind the scenes.  I come up with wonderful ideas or phrases or whole chapters.  By the time I get home, I forget what I wanted to say.  I’ve been trying out free dictation software for my phone.  So far I’ve tried three different ones with no good results.  They all seem to turn off after a minute.  I talk more than a minute at a time. 

When I first tried one of them, I talk for a full thirty minutes and checked my phone to realize that it only had two sentences and a sentence fragment.   I was crushed.  Another couldn’t hear me.  Another just turned what I said into garbled letters.  It looked my when my children first learned that the keyboard made images on the screen.

kdsjf;oawiefnadfjdf asdfjoasidjfsd  opejpwej;sslo

It has sucked royally since I’ve started this little adventure. 

I’m trying so hard to just put my thoughts down so that I can create that wonderful story that will be a great novel.  I read advise from other authors.  I spent time reading other books like I am trying to create.  I have inspiration all around me, but no time to really spew the words on the page.  By the time I get home from work, I’m exhausted and still have to deal with school work and children and husband.  Honey-do does his best to take care of the kids, but he can only do so much since I have girls that want their mommy.

So back to the grind. 

Advertisements

What happened to RESPECT?

Today, I want to rant about parents.  I know there are good parents out there.  I know many.  I’m not talking about them.  I’m talking about the OTHER parents. 

A short background, so I’m not misunderstood.  I’m not a room parent.  I don’t spend any time at the school chaperoning classes.  Frankly, I don’t like being around that many kids.  Mine are ENOUGH.  But I do attend programs and concerts that my children are participating in.  I like to show them my support.  If I have the extra cash, I purchase the video.  Because the school audio/visual kids get a much better view than my short ass.

Because of the winter storms that rolled through the Midwest last week, the middle school’s Christmas band concert was postponed.  It was rescheduled to last night; right behind the elementary school’s play.  Since I had a child in both activities, I was present at the school for over three hours. 

This is not a well funded school.  Our seating was metal folding chairs set up in the middle school gym, which has a stage on one side.  These chairs are not comfortable by any stretch of the imagination.  Because of these chairs, honey-do did not attend.  His back would have been in so much pain; I’d have to get a stretcher to get him home.  We don’t have one of those.  I also had my six year old first grader in the audience with me.  This is the child we affectionately call “crack baby”.  She has so much energy and spunk; she just can’t sit still or stop touching things.  I charged my phone prior to the play/concert so she would have something to do when she was bored five minutes after arrival.

During the elementary school’s play, the audience was packed.  Their program consisted of fourth and second graders.  It was fun enough that my crack baby sat still most of the time.  She was happy that she could see her fourth grade sister singing with the choir. 

Between the elementary school’s program and the start of the middle school’s program, there was an intermission for those people only attending the elementary school’s program to fetch their children and leave.  It allowed for the clean up of the play props; and the set up of the middle school band’s chairs, music stands, and large instruments.  As the middle school program started, the audience had dwindled to half.  This could be expected.

The middle school program began with the various choirs doing a series of Christmas tunes.  Then the two separate bands began their selections.  During this time, many people were slinking out of the gym.  By the end, the audience was only a quarter of what it was when the night started.

But the thing that really set me off, was the parents throughout this adventure.  During the elementary program, there were parents that let their younger children wander around, play games on phones without muting them, or just talk loudly.  These parents did nothing to discipline their children.  I believe this is bad behavior.  I know children act up.  But if they aren’t even scolded, they will never learn that disrupting someone else’s experience is not right. 

Yet that was not all.  During the middle school’s program, it was the parents that weren’t behaving.  Right behind me a lady answered a ringing phone and was having a conversation.  In front of me, a lady was talking to another woman two rows away.  I believe this is all in bad form.

I sat through everyone else’s kids’ programs.  I listened to them sing, act, and play instruments.  My children weren’t in every aspect of the evening, but I gave those parents my respect.  I just wish they would have returned the favor.  It’s times like this that I miss my growing up years; even though I hated it when it was happening.

Education in America

Though I started this blog to tell about all the silly things that occur in my home, I’ve noticed that this has become a platform for my opinions on different topics.  So be it.  It’s MY blog.

Last night on the evening news, there was a story about where the US ranked worldwide in education.  I was not surprised to see that we didn’t even make it to the top twenty.  I currently have three children in the public school system.  We’ve lived in several different states, so I am not biased to just my district.  I also have family that are teachers, librarians, and administrators.  Today, I even read several articles and blogs about this story.  So here’s what I see and why I wasn’t surprised.

Some eight years ago, I got a job that took me out of state.  I was living in Missouri and thus relocated my family to Texas.  Both towns were rural and close in population.  Yet, my thirteen year, who was then in Kindergarten, was already behind in the school district we moved to.  This didn’t surprise me then because the town we moved from was economically poorer than the one we moved to.  Since that time, we moved back to Missouri, to Indiana, to Oklahoma, back to Missouri, to Texas again, and now back to Missouri.  Yes, I know that’s a lot of moves.  Get over it.  My children’s scores did not suffer from this.  They continue to be straight A students.

But what I’ve seen by this is that it didn’t matter about the economics of the region I was in.  What mattered was the kinds of parents that I saw while in these school districts.  Many of them didn’t truly put forth an effort to be involved with their kids education.  To me, they seemed self-centered and lazy.  Of course too, many of them were half my age.  I’m the old mom of each of my children’s classes.

study wall

This is the study wall that I put up in our home, even before all the boxes were unpacked.  That way I could help them do their homework or tutor them when they don’t understand the teacher’s lesson.

I am involved heavily in making sure my girls perform to the highest degree.  I’m not one of those Tiger mom’s that insist on excellence constantly.  I know that sometimes my girls will screw up.  I also know when they just need some extra guidance.  For example, the thirteen year was put in Pre-Algebra at the start of the year.  After one class, she came home to tell me that it was too easy.  I promptly went to the school the next day and had her switched to Algebra.  After the first week, she was complaining it was too hard.  Come to find out, she wasn’t understanding the methods the teacher was using to teach the topics.  I spent many hours over the course of a few months each day “teaching” her what she was missing in class.  I stood at the chalk board pictured above doing example after example in order for her to “learn” the concepts.

That brings me to another gripe I have about school systems nowadays.  They seem to be teaching for the test.  I can remember learning concepts and then applying them.  I remember learning things so that it stuck in our heads longer than the completion of a test.  I really don’t know if teachers are just getting lazy or what.  That’s why I do my best to supplement my girls’ lessons whenever I can, so that they “learn” something; not just memorize something for the duration of the lesson until the test.

Another example of my using my learning aids is my fourth grader’s spelling tests.  I want me girls to do well with this because they may not always have Word or autocorrect to spell things for them.  Said fourth grader occasionally has trouble with remembering how to spell a word.  She brings home her spelling word list at the beginning of the week.  I quiz her every day from that list.  I do not go in order.  I skip around the list of twenty words so that she learns the words.  If she has trouble I make her spell it on the board with me reciting each letter so it’s correct.  Then at random times throughout the week, I’ll ask her the word.  It could be while we are walking to school, she’s doing chores, or it’s commercial time during a television program.  By test day, Friday, she knows how to spell it.  I’ll even quiz her weeks later so that I know she learned it.  I do the same thing with other subjects.

So what I believe is the real problem with education in America is the parents of students.  I’m not saying they don’t care or love their children.  I believe they aren’t setting high standards for their children to succeed.  Children need schedules, discipline, and goals.  I do not run my house like a boot camp, but they are on a schedule, they have consequences for their actions, and they have standards with which I believe they can achieve.  They are consistently encouraged and loved in our home.  And all my girls are straight A students, even the first grader who doesn’t get letter grades but sees “exceeds expectations”.

Welfare…

As I am a current online student, part of my attendance is marked by participation in a discussion forum.  These discussions are usually a question posed that we have to answer that relates to the current week’s topic for learning.  This week’s question in my economics class was about our opinion of whether or not the government should subsidize internet access to the poor.  Most all the students said no.  There were a few who said yes.  This brings me to my thoughts for today.  What types of people are using government assistance?

What first comes to mind when we think of assistance?  The answer is food stamps.  Next on the list is housing, or H.U.D.  Then there is heating or cooling assistance.  There is also, in some states, daycare assistance and car insurance assistance.  There are also cell phones or landlines subsidized.  There is even TANF, temporary assistance for needy families.  This is cash money to pay for incidentals.  There is healthcare in the form of Medicaid.  So these are some of the kinds of assistance that is offered to the poor by our government.

Now the first type of person that comes to mind that takes advantage of these offerings are what I like to call the career welfare recipients.  These are the folks that make their living by getting every available program to pay for their lifestyle.  These folks work hard to buck the system.  These are the people that give the system a bad name.  I think of them like the dog owners that raise their dogs for fighting.  They’ve given pit bulls a bad wrap as well.  These are the lowest of low people that drive me crazy.

I am not a history buff.  I do not claim to know everything there is to know about our government.  To be honest, this economics class has been a real struggle for me because it includes things like monetary policy and the like.  I REALLY have a hard time with it.  I’m not an activist or politician; and don’t care to be.  So some of my statements may be off base.  They are just my observations about it all.

I understand the original purpose of the welfare department to be a means to help the poor get some needed help while they get back on their feet.  I believe it to be a means of a hand-up not a hand-out.  This being said, that brings me to the other types of people that utilize government assistance.

The next category I’ve seen use assistance is what I like to call the newly poor.  These people have had good jobs, they took care of themselves, and were considered middle-class America.  But then the recession that hit the country in 2008 rocked their world.  They lost jobs.  In time they exhausted unemployment benefits.  They lost their homes and lifestyles.  In an effort to feed their families and stay afloat, they applied for assistance for the first time in their lives.  These people truly needed a hand-up.  That’s all they really wanted.

Another category I’ve seen use assistance is what I like to call the working poor.  This group encompasses two separate groups, but all for the same purpose.  These are the hard working people that just don’t make enough money to care for their families fully.  One part of this would be the uneducated that are manual laborers or menial service workers.  It’s not that they don’t want to make more; they just lack the formal education to achieve a higher paying job.  Another part of this group would have educated single parents or have a disabled spouse.  That would be me.  My spouse is disabled from an work injury and can no longer work.  These people are the sole providers for their families and just haven’t moved forward in their careers yet.  They may just be starting out or starting over because of the recession.

The last category is the obvious one.  That is the elderly and disabled.  Do to physical limitations or disabilities, they can no longer be a part of the workforce.  Don’t get me wrong, I know plenty of people like this that do find some kind of part time employment.  I generally see them greeting me at Wal-Mart.  The point of having these folks use assistance is so that the selfish, greedy and arrogant people of the world do not just throw them away in institutions to be forgotten.  Assistance gives them a chance at having a self-sustaining life independent of others. 

So this is my observations about the kinds of people that use government assistance.  For some it’s for a lifetime.  For many others, it’s a hand-up; a way to make it through a tough situation.

By the way, my answer to the discussion included much of this post.  Though many of my classmates sited that libraries had internet access, as well as McDonald’s and coffee shops, I also pointed out that many rural communities do not have libraries, McDonald’s, or coffee shops with free Wi-Fi.  And with strict rules, I thought that an internet subsidy would be a good idea.  Of course the career welfare recipients would find the loophole and mooch that as well.