Sunday, March 6, 2011

Waiting for Superman

There are so many things that have been running through my brain lately.  I think this is probably one of my most personal train of thought posts that I've ever done. You'd think I have been hiding in a cave, though, barely any contact with the blog-o-world. But I've been working really hard implementing some of the thinks that I learned at my photography conference last week, and catching up at work.

One of the things that I've been thinking about was a documentary that Ryan and I watched this week, have any of you seen Waiting for Superman? It's been out for a while, we just got around to seeing it. It is about the state of the schools in America, and the decline of them.

They brought up some really interesting points about tenure, and the train of thought that bad communities create bad schools. But instead proposes that bad schools create bad communities.

There have been a lot of things lately that have been bothering me about the attitudes of our country. And with-out going all politio on you, I just feel like so many people have a sense of entitlement. I feel like so many people in my generation think they have a right to succeed with out the motivation to work hard.

Don't get me wrong, I believe in the idea that all people should have the equal opportunity to succeed. I believe that if Person A has the dedication and skill, there should not be anything that holds them back-- which is why we have scholarships and financial aid. But I also believe that person B doesn't deserve to have the same lot in life with-out the same amount of dedication and skill.

I know many people can look at me and say that I grew up privileged, and in a lot of ways I was given a better chance to succeed because I was blessed to grow up in a community and family that could provide me with good opportunities. I do see truth in that.

But I also see the truth in that our country was built on people who worked hard. Who knew the importance of education. Who sacrificed so much to have an education, and it was precious. And in many ways I feel like our country's growth has been stunted by the red tape of special interest groups.

I also know that there are people who don't have the same opportunities because of circumstances in their lives. In the documentary, there was a woman who understood the importance of education so deeply that even though she was a single mom living in a poor community, she was spending $500 a month to send her child to private school to get a good education. It's the stories like that that break my heart. I can not imagine the amount of sacrifice it must have took to write that check every month. That would be a huge sacrifice for Ryan and I, and there are two of us.

Anyway, all that to say, the movie really made me feel like there needs to be a change in our school system and society. Tenure, like many things, started out as a good school of thought. But has morphed into something that encourages mediocrity and stagnate ambition.

But overall, I think the heart of the issue is that we need parents and communities who care. I think that is where it all begins-- in the home.

Have y'all seen it? What are your thoughts?

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