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The Continental Divide

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posted on Dec, 21 2016 @ 10:53 AM
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originally posted by: TheRedneck

Also, as you say, the United States has always been a country of many different cultures; the differences have actually minimized themselves over the last several decades. So why is the anger and animosity bubbling to the surface now?


There has ALWAYS been multiple cultures in the United States...

And it has always been a battle between those that see that as strength and those that look to exploit those differences and create division.

Their is the "melting pot" philosophy..That an Alloy..being a mix of metals, is stronger than pure steel.
That diversity is more dynamic, flexible and survives change better than uniformity...Nature bares this out...diversity within species survives disease and draught etc. Wherever there is homogeneity...a single virus or a variation in climate wipes out entire species...diversity is strength IMO.


As to the other forces of division...See the Irish here...





Chinese



Japanese



Jews



Italians



African Americans



Catholics



And if you are specifically concerned with the "Culture Wars" and Politics...The division was mainstreamed into our political system over the past 30 years mostly beginning with folks like Lee Atwater..



THIS IS MORE RELEVANT NOW THAN EVER...


It was a backlash against people who think they are better than you are..
It's this cultural resentment that people in the South feel, because these Liberals, these smart-asses run everything, and we have nothing but contempt for them...
...[liberals] all think we are dumb. [liberals] have the same prejudice against us as they accuse us as having against black people
...
Resentment became the destiny of the Republican Party






So all I can say is...DIVERSITY is good..DIVERSITY is strength...Liberals need to stop being so damn arrogant and easily dislikable...and Rural America needs to stop blaming Liberals for their ills.

Resentment
Arrogance
Intolerance

Those are the ills..not sure what the cure is.
edit on 21-12-2016 by Indigo5 because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 21 2016 @ 11:20 AM
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a reply to: Byrd


Yeah, but evil me noted you said the 40's.

I probably should have been clearer.

The thing about war, especially major wars, is that they begin amid cries of patriotism and, if you will, virtual chest-thumping. They end in disgust at the horrors war entails, which one would think would be expected... but I digress into societal delusion.

Somewhere in between, public sentiment goes from excitement at the promise of glorious victory to resentment of the sacrifices that are made. People tend to tire of war long before the final shot is fired, and even longer before the effects recede. That public sentiment is what I am looking at, not the actual effects. As an example, after 911, there were cries for retaliation and war... today, despite the war continuing in one of its many forms taken since, people are weary of the fighting and want it to stop.

I will admit, I was one of the war-mongers back then. I was placing the phrase "Leave a Crater!" in my signatures. Looking back, I can see the error in my attitude, but, as they say, hindsight is 20-20.


I attended many public schools (the result of being an Army brat) and didn't see any anti-war sentiments.

Sometimes sentiments are covert. World War II was the last of the American wars wherein heroes were hailed as such when they returned. Patriotism was commonplace back then, although personal attitudes may have disagreed with outward personas.

I had two uncles who fought in World War II. I knew both of them well, yet did not realize the extent of their military history until their funerals. They simply didn't want to talk about it, because they didn't want to remember it. One entered the service as a conscientious objector... he served with great honors, but due to his objections never pulled a trigger. He was a medic on the front lines, decorated multiple times for courage under fire. He was the one who pulled the wounded to safety while bombs exploded around him and bullets whizzed over his head. He hated conflict in any form; I never in my life heard him even raise his voice to another. My own father served in Korea. There is a chest buried in my mother's house filled with medals he recieved... yet he lived a peaceful life trying to get along with everyone and never spoke of his service or decorations.

Growing up, I remember the Cold War well... I remember wondering just what those school desks were made of that was impervious to a nuclear bomb. I remember the "evil Ruskies" that were coming to get us (ironic side note: my advisor is Russian, and remembers that time as well. He is a kind, caring, amazingly intelligent soul who regularly regales his class with stories of his "previous life as a commie"... to everyone's delight.) But my attitudes, and the attitudes of those I grew up with, do not reflect the Cold War propaganda as much as they do the peaceful actions of my father and uncles. Almost to the last individual, we all hate war.


I agree to a point - most people don't know the difference (and even tv producers don't know the difference.) But I disagree in that with the rise of the Internet we see a lot of refrains of "they will have to rewrite science" and the corollary "stupid scientists".

We don't see that with engineering.

Actually, I see it a good bit with engineers, but on a more personal than public level as we see with scientists.

There is a dynamic where engineers and scientists working alongside each other have a tendency toward good-natured ribbing. And it is true that the two have different thought processes... physicists may talk about actions of single photons, while engineers are trying to figure out how in the Hades are you expecting to detect a single photon. But there is an underlying respect for each other.

And that may be the heart of the differences you mention. Engineers make a bridge between theory and reality, while scientists create the theory to be bridged from. Thus, scientists are harder for the average person to understand, being firmly rooted in theory.


In a number of cases, it's not that they're spouting gibberish... it's that the film editors have edited them into that mess. And in some cases their degrees aren't in science or aren't in the field that they're being interviewed about.

I cannot dispute that point, and will add that some of the pop-sci miscomprehension is because of scientists trying to explain concepts in a language not appropriate for such an explanation. Math is the language of science, not English. Two examples: Carl Sagan and Neil Degrasse Tyson. Both were/are extremely intelligent and did/do a marvelous service through their pulpits, but they still had/have to contend with a language barrier.

I blame our public education system. I have said for many years that every student should understand basic algebra by the sixth grade and calculus before they graduate. As a professional math tutor, I fully believe that such is not only possible but reasonable if mathematics is taught well by good teachers.


I think that it's more the consumer culture (the constant barrage of ads.

I see the constant barrage of ads as a symptom of materialism. The increased ads became noticeable to me in the 80s, the era of materialism. Even old TV shows can be a window into this change. I watch the original Star Trek whenever I get the chance, and the shows have to either be cut or run for more than their original time slot to make room for the increased ads.

Unfortunately, this is a symptom that is symbiotic with the problem. The more ads we see, the more things we want. The more things we buy, the more profitable ads become.


In thinking about our discussion, it also occurred to me that this coincides with films like "The Matrix." Movies had been getting more and more dystopian (think of the differences between the first "Superman" movie and the latest offerings. Or the Batman tv show (which was silly fun) and the most recent... morass.

Recalling the "Batman" shows brought a smile to my face... thank you.

Our tastes in entertainment have definitely changed; there's no denying that. I would say part of that change is due to technology. It is fairly simple now to use CGI to make an actor's head realistically explode, whereas not so long ago it would have been impossible without killing the actor. And thinking about it, you may have a good point that I had not considered: is it the increased violence in electronic entertainment that has helped lead us to this point? Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art?

I need to ponder this.


We learn from stories.

I don't think the ones we've been given are terribly healthy.

One that point, you will get no disagreement from me.

TheRedneck



posted on Dec, 21 2016 @ 11:55 AM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs


I think maybe where I misread you was the "silver spoon" thing.

My reference was based on the fact that most children today have great financial advantage compared to children of my youth. In that frame of reference I believe it is accurate, although I can see your source of confusion.

I really want to leave personalities surrounding the recent election for other threads. That brings in emotions which I believe would render this discussion impotent. There are quite enough such debates in other threads (including a recent one we are both involved in).


Poor people don't have bank acounts, they don't play the stock market. They don't deal in investments or savings or long-term real estate, etc. It is entirely out of their realm of reality.

While that may be true in some more extreme cases, it is not a given. My family was poor, yet they had a savings account that was used to great advantage to cover Christmas and unexpected repairs to the home. I am well-versed in the stock market, although I choose not to dabble in it. My mother does have a small portfolio for her retirement. My family does own property, although we value it more as home than as an investment.

That said, there is another, self-perpetuating, level of poverty beyond my personal experience: the inner cities. I fully recognize this, and like you, want to somehow pull them up out of the quagmire of hopelessness. Hopelessness is the truest form of poverty.


Anyway - the trades people and middle classes generally to teach their kids about that stuff.

If I properly understand your point...

Considering this, I tend to agree this may be another shift in societal attitudes. I know my parents stressed education highly, despite my mother having only a high school diploma and my father having a sixth grade education (he, like many of his generation, quit school to help on the farm). But I don't see that attitude as much any more. A degree is in too many cases considered useless. The fact us that a degree is not a guarantee of anything, but is far from useless. It opens doors. The one holding it has to walk through them though.

Also, trades are every bit as useful as degrees for many people. Not everyone is a pure academic, by choice. My son is quite capable of handling academia, but he chose to become a CNC machinist... now at 22, he is Lead Machinist at a medical machining firm, despite being the youngest there. I would not be prouder if he had a wall of degrees.

Your father sounds awesome. You should be proud.

TheRedneck



posted on Dec, 21 2016 @ 12:45 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck


cannot dispute that point, and will add that some of the pop-sci miscomprehension is because of scientists trying to explain concepts in a language not appropriate for such an explanation. Math is the language of science, not English. Two examples: Carl Sagan and Neil Degrasse Tyson. Both were/are extremely intelligent and did/do a marvelous service through their pulpits, but they still had/have to contend with a language barrier.


Excuse me for interrupting...this is an awesome post, and I want to personally thank you for taking the time to type it out.

I was taking my time, absorbing what you were saying and relating to it on several levels, and then I came to the bit above, and had to interrupt my read to address it.

My daughter, as I mentioned, is a Materials Science Engineer. She is both a scientist AND an engineer AND a credentialed journalist! She did practica in laboratories working on using hydrogen in eentsy weentsy cells, and then ceramics.

In her Master's program he did Journalism. The very reason she did that was to use her consider skill at writing to explain to lay-people about science and engineering in terms they can understand.

Anyway - just wanted to throw in that little bit of relativity - I know exactly what you mean. My dad used to get "scientific american" and it was so far over my mom's head that she couldn't read it. Now it's much more accessible. We need that, and we need to do better teaching our kids HOW TO LEARN.

Follow their interests, their talents - don't force them into a career or mold they aren't interested in.

Education is the key. EDUCATION is the one thing that will pull this country back together.
edit on 12/21/2016 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 21 2016 @ 12:57 PM
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a reply to: Indigo5

Thank you for beautifully illustrating my point. Perhaps it is the fact that America was settled by malcontents from the rest of the world (Georgia was originally a penal colony, and I like to joke that Alabamians were the people rejected by the people rejected by the rest of the civilized world), but there has always been a fierce spirit of individuality and rugged self-reliance.

That has manifested itself throughout our short history as disregard and even hatred for other cultures. But in the end, all those cultures have merged into the melting pot to form our present cultures. As an OTR truck driver for 8 years, I have seen these differences first-hand; as someone who has lived this long, I have observed minor cultural differences separated by a mere few miles. But the greatest melting pot I have ever observed is in academia. I have had instructors who were Indian, Russian, Ukrainian, American, Chinese, and Taiwanese; one of the first students I met upon graduating from a local college to my University was Vietnamese. Since then, I have met students from Germany, Ecuador, Russia, China, Japan, the Phillipines, South Africa, England, and other countries I probably forgot. They are all accepting of this old redneck from the Deep South, and I accept them as they are. As a matter of fact, there is little I enjoy more than exchanging information on cultural differences.

Diversity alone is not where the strength of our society lies. That strength lies in the unity of all cultures working toward greater understanding and acceptance of each other. It lies in unity, just as dissimilar metals do not make an alloy until they unite or species do not acquire the advantages you mention until they interpreted.

Unity does not mean loss of cultural identity; that would be a loss of the strength. It simply means acceptance that others have different perspectives and priorities.

Back to my experiences in academia, once I leave campus, I see hate and spite at every turn directed toward others, usually over things I just enjoyed exchanging information about. There is something in this country that causes this. I just don't know what.

That is why I made this thread... to try and understand.


Resentment
Arrogance
Intolerance

Those are the ills..not sure what the cure is.

Agreed.

TheRedneck



posted on Dec, 21 2016 @ 01:07 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Another relatable post. Thank you.

My son will be 26 in a few weeks. He is every bit as bright as his sister, but was not cut out for academia. He earns a living in the service/hospitality industry instead. He has a charisma and charm, a wit and presence that make him a very valuable employee.

I am equally proud of both of them.

I understand just what you mean.



edit on 12/21/2016 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 21 2016 @ 01:16 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck


. I have had instructors who were Indian, Russian, Ukrainian, American, Chinese, and Taiwanese; one of the first students I met upon graduating from a local college to my University was Vietnamese. Since then, I have met students from Germany, Ecuador, Russia, China, Japan, the Phillipines, South Africa, England, and other countries I probably forgot. They are all accepting of this old redneck from the Deep South, and I accept them as they are. As a matter of fact, there is little I enjoy more than exchanging information on cultural differences.


PRECISELY.

The town and university I grew up in were global melting pots as well. We used to call it "fun with foreigners" when we were undergrads...our companions were from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, etc.

When I left there for my 'walkabout' (went to ski country to spread my wings) --- we were surrounded by Kiwis and Aussies, Brits and South Americans.....

that has been my whole life.
It is important, and fascinating. Getting to know people from abroad on a personal level is a very significant thing.
Then in my career, I was placed in the urban core, in the most blighted neighborhoods, and the most black, brown/Hispanic and working-poor. There were Somalis, Mexicans, Central Americans (of all countries), blacks, Sudanese, Koreans, Taiwanese, even some of the "Lost Boys" are here. Cerbs, Russians, Middle-Easterners, etc. This city is truly diverse, and my community in particular has more of that small-town, midwestern hospitality thing going on.

The suburbs are all beige and called pretentious things like "Cedar Bluffs" when it should more be "Boring Flats"......

you know.
Anyway - continue.....


edit on 12/21/2016 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 21 2016 @ 01:26 PM
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I really enjoyed the tone of this thread.

I hate to post anything, for fear of derailing several good discussions.

My own personal views have become more polarized over the past decade. I feel like the tone of both American political camps have changed. I find my self agreeing more and more with one side of the aisle, and like the people in the opposing tent are not even listening, or are not even interested in the lives of their opponents.

I wish there had been a candidate, for president or any other office, who didn't have a pre-programmed view of my life, and how I'm supposed to live it. The "other side" of the political divide has a vision of the good life, but there is no room in that vision for me, or how I want to live my life and pursue the things that matter to me. I longed for a candidate who would say, "we need some tax revenue to take care of some basics of civil society; but other than that, you choose how you want to live and grow your family."

One party now only offers solutions that involve big business. The other party wants to solve every problem using big government. What if you want to run a small business? Everybody thinks you need to shut up and pay for big business and big government. And that you shouldn't even want the things that matter to you.



posted on Dec, 21 2016 @ 01:36 PM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs


Excuse me for interrupting...this is an awesome post, and I want to personally thank you for taking the time to type it out.

And thank you for the compliment.

The greatest revelation I had tutoring math was that, without exception, every good math student had at least one teacher in their background that showed them how easy and fun math was. For me, it was 5th grade, Mrs. Blevins. Without exception, every single student that hated math did not have a teacher do so.

I remember one fellow, a big, jock-looking guy with no neck and a basketball under his arm. I saw him walk into the building with his girlfriend (?) while I was outside imbibing nicotine. When I walked into class, there he sat. It was a remedial math class I was working in then, and I spent more than a little time trying to answer his questions. I wasn't getting through to him and couldn't understand why.

The instructor was an ex-high school principal working as an adjunct. About halfway through class she pulled me aside and told me she was opening up additional lessons for him. This was the lowest-level class offered, basic algebra, and I had no idea there was a remedial section for it. I started giving the guy special attention and soon discovered he couldn't add double digit numbers.

He had never been taught.

By the time I was through with him, he had finished basic algebra and was burning his way through intermediate. He had a sharp mind and picked up concepts easily. Very smart... if given the chance. I hope I gave him that chance, and I hope he succeeds in his goals.

It's not that kids don't want to learn... they do! But they also want to have fun learning the things they see as important. There's so much more to being a teacher than just spouting facts all day. Good teachers promote interest, even excitement, in their subject. They have to be sources of knowledge, entertainers, psychologists, and mentors all rolled into one package. It's a tough bill to fill, but in the end it's one of the most noble professions there is.

I would like to see every single child be able to write a decent essay, understand basic algebra, and be able to have an intellectual discussion on historical lessons by the 6th grade. After that, separate the classes into groups: STEM, literary arts, history/civics, trades, and psychological studies. Grade them separately on each category and drop the lowest for their final grade. Let them find their path and pursue it with interest and zeal, in an environment that doesn't stifle them with idiotic rules that only frustrate the process.

Give them a purpose too: let everyone in the top 40% get free tuition for an Associates Degree or Trade Certification (their choice). Make it a Bachelors for the top 20%, Masters for the top 8%, and PhD for the top 2%. In the long run, it won't cost a dime; they'll pay for it with taxes on a higher income during their successful lives. Do this, and our next generation will set the world on fire like nothing ever seen in history.

TheRedneck



posted on Dec, 21 2016 @ 01:42 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Don't have time for the whole post, but real quickly, about math tutoring and when kids "get it" ----
I remember teaching the "rule of 9" for multiplying to a kid who lit up like a Christmas tree when he could answer every one!
(first subtract one from the multiplier, write it down. then count how many more it takes to get up to nine, and write that down...)
Nine times four? Thirty six!

Nine times seven? Sixty three!!

He was literally dancing around the room. Makes my heart warm to remember it.



posted on Dec, 21 2016 @ 01:46 PM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

I have little to add, save thanking you for mentioning the Middle East.

I haven't spoken to Omar much lately since he graduated. I think we are taking different majors. He is from Saudi Arabia, and we had a couple of classes together as undergraduates. A very intelligent fellow if I ever met one! He never was one to talk much, but we did get to know each other during one class sitting beside each other. One day I mentioned I had never been out of the country, and he replied in broken English, "You come to Saud, you will be my houseguest and have everything you need. My home will be your home."

I'll probably never get to go there (too old, too happy where I am), but that startled me. I don't think I will ever forget his gesture. Or him.

TheRedneck



posted on Dec, 21 2016 @ 02:02 PM
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a reply to: redempsh

Yeah, I'm trying to steer this one clear of politics; but I had to say one thing in response: you, sir, are not alone.

Many years ago I attended a seminar in Waco on success. I learned something that day... the definition of success. It's not money, not a home, not a fast car.

Success is the ongoing achievement of personal, worthwhile, self-determined goals.

It is ongoing because success stops when you do.
It is personal because no one can base realistic goals on the actions of others.
It is worthwhile because meaningless goals are just that: meaningless.
It is self-determined because only you know what matters in life to you.

It seems that many today want to measure their success by how much they can defeat or control others. That is not success. Success is not a zero-sum game; everyone who wants it can have it if they try hard enough. By definition, it has nothing to do with anyone else.

TheRedneck



posted on Dec, 21 2016 @ 02:15 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

For what it is worth...the final topic of the video in my post above..Atwater (Karl Rove's mentor)..

He died of a brain tumor and spent his last months apologizing to many of the people he had hurt and wronged with his brand of exploiting race and culture for political gain..

His final writing before he died below..



"My illness helped me to see that what was missing in society is what was missing in me: a little heart, a lot of brotherhood. The '80s were about acquiring -- acquiring wealth, power, prestige. I know. I acquired more wealth, power, and prestige than most. But you can acquire all you want and still feel empty. What power wouldn't I trade for a little more time with my family? What price wouldn't I pay for an evening with friends? It took a deadly illness to put me eye to eye with that truth, but it is a truth that the country, caught up in its ruthless ambitions and moral decay, can learn on my dime. I don't know who will lead us through the '90s, but they must be made to speak to this spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society, this tumor of the soul."
- Lee Atwater, 1991

www.dailykos.com...

a little heart and a whole lot of brotherhood...

Not sure if he found the answer, but it sounds like a good idea.



posted on Dec, 21 2016 @ 02:33 PM
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a reply to: Indigo5

"My illness helped me to see that what was missing in society is what was missing in me: a little heart, a lot of brotherhood."

I cannot say it any better.

TheRedneck



posted on Dec, 21 2016 @ 11:22 PM
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originally posted by: TheRedneck
a reply to: redempsh

Yeah, I'm trying to steer this one clear of politics; but I had to say one thing in response: you, sir, are not alone.

Many years ago I attended a seminar in Waco on success. I learned something that day... the definition of success. It's not money, not a home, not a fast car.

Success is the ongoing achievement of personal, worthwhile, self-determined goals.

It is ongoing because success stops when you do.
It is personal because no one can base realistic goals on the actions of others.
It is worthwhile because meaningless goals are just that: meaningless.
It is self-determined because only you know what matters in life to you.

It seems that many today want to measure their success by how much they can defeat or control others. That is not success. Success is not a zero-sum game; everyone who wants it can have it if they try hard enough. By definition, it has nothing to do with anyone else.

TheRedneck


I agree with that so much. I hang out on a couple forums about CS related careers. There's a few big topics on success that I see come up over and over, to paraphase them:
Is my GPA good enough?
Are my classes prestigious enough?
Is my university a top 10 school?
Is my background enough to get into a Top N company?
How do I progress my career?
Am I asking for enough money?
etc...

Basically it's a bunch of people who put metrics on this stuff and evaluate their own success in life based on what others are doing. I think that's the wrong way to go about things. I think the only thing in life that matters when it comes to being a success or not, is if you can accomplish the goals you set out for yourself, and this is going to vary from person to person. The most common goal people have (and succeed at) is having a family, and having a roof over their head.

My personal goals are a little different. I have no interest in family, I just want to solve a problem or two in the world. A much harder metric to count myself as a success, but still not really any different from my family example.

Something I've observed from people who really have their lives together is that they write out their goals. Overarching goals, smaller milestones in those goals, and even daily actions that move those goals forward. That's something I've tried to adopt in my life but I keep mental lists rather than writing them out. I acknowledge that writing is more powerful though.

Monetary success is not possible for all, but monetary success isn't necessarily the only road to success in life. It's still possible to be rich and miserable.

My own opinion on this is that people who win at life, are the people who find something they have a passion for, find a way to monetize it, and get to do what they love, as far as it takes them. Some become wealthy doing so, others don't, but they get to have great lives.

Above all, evaluate your life by what you can do, not by what others do. I recently got my grades for the previous semester. 1.25 GPA, the lowest GPA I've ever had (brings my cumulative down to 2.95 or something). I know people who got A's in these classes. But, I passed my 4 hardest classes, and failed one that many have trouble with. I know the material well, I'm just a bad student. For me, the semester feels like a success... there was a legitimate concern on my end that I would fail everything. Even though, by the more generalized metrics I did really, really bad. I passed, others passed, it shouldn't bother me that others passed with a higher grade.
edit on 21-12-2016 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 21 2016 @ 11:40 PM
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originally posted by: TheRedneck
Give them a purpose too: let everyone in the top 40% get free tuition for an Associates Degree or Trade Certification (their choice). Make it a Bachelors for the top 20%, Masters for the top 8%, and PhD for the top 2%. In the long run, it won't cost a dime; they'll pay for it with taxes on a higher income during their successful lives. Do this, and our next generation will set the world on fire like nothing ever seen in history.


Life experience has taught me to be skeptical of these plans. These days I am a very bad student, at times I legitimately feel like I'm too old to learn anything new (a real issue for someone who does/wants to work with cutting edge technology). But I wasn't always this way, back in high school I was a fantastic student, I tested in the 99th percentile on every standardized test I ever took, I was placed in special classes for advanced students. My grades were never great because homework is my bane, but it was clear I learned the material. Even landed a 33 on my ACT, but I went to a private school where a 33 placed me among the lower end of my peers.

The point is, by standardized testing I would be in that top 2%. I'm not a good student though. When I got out of HS I went to Ohio State University. Kicked out for academics after a year. Then I went to a technical college, kicked out after 6 months. Then I fell ill (the true reason I failed), and it took me 5 years to recover. Then I worked a couple years, and finally went back starting with Community College. Now I have 3 Associates, a Bachelors, and am (hopefully) 1 year away from another Bachelors.

I think there's a lot like me, I would say I see about 1/3 of my classes made up of non traditional students. I'm still on the older end of them, but there's a lot of mid-late 20's hanging around. Those are the people who are most serious about an education, but get the least amount of help with test based assistance like you're proposing.



posted on Dec, 21 2016 @ 11:48 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan

That was always the beauty of America, and the lure that brought so many here: the ability to succeed or not on one's own merits, in whatever one chose to do. And we've lost much of that.

I wonder if anyone has ever said on their deathbed, "I wish I had made more money," or, "I wish I had controlled others' lives more." I doubt it, yet how many, like the earlier example, spend the most precious thing they can own, their time, chasing things that won't matter in the end.

My overarching goal is self-sufficiency. It's much more specific than that statement, but that's the idea. I have weekly/monthly goals that I strive toward, and every morning set daily goals for what I want to accomplish that day. Periodically I re-examine my long-term goals and adjust them as necessary. Like you, I tend to keep them mental, although you are right that writing them down is preferable.

I'm glad to hear you have the secret to success. Aim high, work hard and smart, and stay on track.

TheRedneck



posted on Dec, 22 2016 @ 12:00 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan

There is assistance for folks like us. I started back in college in my 50s, broke, on food stamps. Now I hold a BSEE from UAH, am pursuing a Masters, and have an internship as a research engineer.

The WIA program got me started, and scholarships finished me out.

I know that doesn't work for everyone, but folks like us realize how important it is. We're willing to work harder. I tell my younger classmates, "I am doing everything you do, plus everything your parents do. And I'm a decrepit old redneck. Now what's your excuse?" Shuts them up from complaining every time.

The purpose of any program is to reach as many as possible, not all. There will always be those who fall through the cracks. But I think by giving that incentive, we will reach 95%+ of the kids out there. The others... well... one of my dreams in life is to start a scholarship fund for folks just like you. That's where private charity needs to step up.

TheRedneck



posted on Dec, 22 2016 @ 12:01 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

I don't know if it's the secret to success. It's quite possible I will fail at what I try to do. I do know that it's the secret to a good life though, depending on your goals.

Mine may be too lofty for my capabilities, but that won't stop me from trying.



posted on Dec, 22 2016 @ 12:31 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan

Look at the definition. Success is achieving goals. If they're too lofty, tone them down. If they're too easy bump them up.

Whatever you want to do, set a goal, put your shoulder to the grindstone, and keep your eyes on the prize. It'll work if you really want it bad enough.

TheRedneck



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