When I started to school in Orange, TX I had no idea why I was going. I noticed it was what other people were doing and I remember my mother taking me to school my very first day. Mom always told me I left her at the sidewalk and told her I wanted to do it myself. I may have, but I have no recollection of that. I was shy and did not do well with strangers, but I always did what adults told me to do. If the teacher told me to read, I read. If she told me to draw little ovals on the paper, I drew little ovals. When they told me to stick my hand in a jar of paint and make a picture on a sheet of paper, I stuck my hand in the mucky stuff and smeared it on the paper. I do not think I can claim to have ever made a picture.
I remember going to music class and told to stand on a little bleacher and sing along with the other kids. I remember singing “Erie Canal” and I still hear it in my head sometimes. “Low bridge, everybody down. Low bridge cause we're coming to town.” There was another line about an old mule named Sal and navigating the canal. Probably not a song I would have chosen, but I did what the adult teacher told me to do.
I remember being on the safety patrol in the fifth or sixth grade and I had a little white belt across my chest and I helped other students cross the street. I still do not remember anyone telling me why I went to school.
I changed schools a lot while I was growing up and it seems like I was always behind what the other kids knew. I stayed lost most of the time, but then again, I did not know why I was going to school anyway. I just did what the adults told me to do.
I think in my first year in Galena Park High School it finally dawned on me that teachers expected me to remember what they said. No one told me that but they asked a lot of questions and were disappointed in me when I did not know the answer. I took that as a clue.
After high school I joined the army. While I was in the army I took college placement courses, both in the United States and in Korea. I had no personal desire to go to college, but my mother thought it was important, so I took courses. Some of my army friends had college degrees and they said it was so they could get better jobs. There they were in the army with me, so that did not work out so well.
I got out of the army, got married and went to work. While I worked, I attended San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX and on to the University of Houston where I got a bachelor of science degree in math. My first semester and my last semester I did not work, but the rest of my college time, I had a full time job. I got better jobs because I had a little education.
I have known for a while that education has become a source of social justice training, instead of education. Children are being taught the perils of democracy and how bad they are treated if they do not get what they want with no effort of their own. Now teachers are even encouraging the kids not to go to social justice training, not because it was painful to learn to hate your neighbors, but because they found out the neighbors might have a voice also. Education by the liberals is a crock. Finding a job created by a liberal drive you to become an educator.
We all need to support change in our educational systems in the United States. We owe our children better than what we are offering them.