November

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I Don't Understand Thanksgiving. The idea is to focus on the positive but isn’t part of the positive changing that of which is currently wrong?

Is it enough to just focus on what is right at the present moment? Just seems like there should be another holiday occurring at the same time to also think about how things can be better and not only be thankful for what you already have. It is not positive to just stay content with what you have. The day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday where many have pointed out the paradox of being thankful for what you have one day and then plunging into extreme commercialism the next. However this isn’t what I am referring to as I am not just speaking in a material way.

On the last few pages I talked about my surprise at all the good things that were happening when I reflected on the schools I attended. It now made me realize that this is something to be immensely grateful for. When I was in school I put little thought into it. I remember teachers saying things like “this skill I am teaching is what is taught in college.” How incredible to have adults that believe in your potential at such a young age that they don’t just slack off and say “oh they are just kids. Let us keep this at a low level.” It would have so been easy for an educator to only put in the effort relative to what they are getting paid. I attended an orchestra concert at Eckstein and was astonished that many students could play very complex concertos entirely by memory at the middle school level. According to their director very few middle schools provide students that opportunity.

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For this gift of a considerable push early on in to higher early learning I have to say a massive thank you to all the teachers who chose to not settle at a low level. Going beyond the minimal contributions has allowed for a much better society. This year Seattle was voting on school funding and several in my family were questioning why it should be supported. There are a lot of institutions that I think we as society should strongly question funding. Religious Institutions pay zero in tax but the moral backbone they provide is debatable. For more on this idea see my section on truth as it relates to morality in Chapter Two of The Present Can Be 20/20.

I am not sure they should get away with such financial benefits even if they could firmly prove their value. In Europe churches and other religious institutions are not tax exempt. These belief systems inherit nature is faith based which can't be easily pinned down. How much full societal support should go their way without a provable objective foundation? Does society just owe it to them to throw colossal support their way? There needs to be a more straight line drawn between what they do and the benefits they reap. In the section I write about high school which comes a few pages down this idea is further investigated. The article talks about how we begin our years describing the world we want to see and then closes them out in a step which moves in that direction.

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From my perspective better education is one of the pillars that can save society. We throw the term “savior” around a lot.

As I contemplate the term now days I am beginning to think that if anyone can justify that word it isn’t a person but a society. If society at large can’t start to agree on some basic values I think we are doomed and that is what I think the term “the lost” means to me today. I attended a church service earlier this year where the topic of money was brought up. As I look back on finances as an adult a lot of new thoughts came to mind now that I didn’t consider as a child. Of course they would. How else could I have a mature understanding on a topic that mostly governs the adult world when I wasn't yet an adult? I'll continue this topic in the next article but I thought it would be nice to have an intermission to look at some videos. These serve as a memory for the important parts of school and to commemorate the value it provided.

Thanksgiving

Growing up this I remember being told -
Be grateful in all this which you have bathed,
Devastation overflow in that other abode.
and yes I was thankful to be so unscathed.
Its been long since I have much different slant.
Bind thanksgiving to your highest potential,
just that others may live in scant
being your best is really what should be prudential.

Golden Apple Award for Band leader Cuauhtemoc (Moc) Escobedo. He would have started teaching around the time I went there.

KomoNews article about boy with down syndrome who wanted to be Mascot.

After watching this classroom video I learned many things I can use for my current job. Would have never expected that!

A movie about Eckstein operating the school during the 2020-2021 pandemic. That is cool they thought to do this!

Golden Apple Award TV special about Terri Stone. A great talk on how she instructs the kids how to deal with their inner critic.

(Switch the Thumbnail for this to be about Orchestra.)

Golden Apple Award Winner Kristin Bailey-Fogart

A video production class from the nearby community center.

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