Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Importance of Self-Education

Maybe it's just me, but I think that education is important. I don't just mean the kind of education that can be bought at a university. College educations are an essential part of America's economy and culture, but education of the self is equally --if not more-- essential. Humans are not born with knowledge of the universe and its workings, therefore they must gather information to educate themselves. Whether in school, at work, or in the home, information is readily available.

When a person makes no attempt to learn, or learns but makes a concerted effort to deny true information, that person demonstrates ignorant behavior. Ignorance can be easily remedied by reading the newspaper, listening to the radio, or holding an intellectual conversation with friends and family. Therefore I find it absolutely unacceptable to live an insulated life of ignorance and bias. Recently, I found an ad in the village newspaper which made public the uneducated political opinion of a local resident. Here it is, unedited except to preserve the identity of the author:

" INTRODUCTION: This paid political ad was published in the Villager on October 3, 2008. It is still true today and a whole lot more painful. Now after four (4) years it is much worse with $6 billion more debt under Obama's watch, for a total over $16 billion...that is $51,000 to be paid back by every man, woman and child in the U.S. How is this possible with out your children and grandchildren existing at a very low standard of living. Obama is destroying the country with his reckless and unworkable economic policies. The only prayer we have is to change course and let Mitt Romney greatly expand the private sector with millions and millions of good paying jobs. Here is something we can relate to every day. Obama's disastrous energy policies have resulted in the price of a gallon of gas increasing from late Dec. 2008 (less than a month before he took office) at a $1.65 to about $4.00 a gallon in just 3 used to pay $25 to fill up your tank, now it is $60.


-He has never run demonstrated leadership.
-He has long-term associations with Terrorist and Anti-Americans.
-In his formative years his mentor was a marxist and communist.
-He was a continued drug user...marijuana and cocaine.
-As for education he attended an elite private high school, Columbia and Harvard Universities...little connection with the average American.
-He will have to cut our military and eliminate or reduce on-going new weapon systems to modernize our fighting forces to pay for his new programs.
-His new programs with higher taxes (paid for by you and me) will bankrupt our country.
-His legislative record is a zero and he has demonstrated no ability to work with both parties.
-He was unable to anticipate the pending financial crisis, inability to provide effective and timely leadership to solve it and is receiving financial advice from the men who caused the mortgage crisis.
-He has no experience in executive positions and will be unable to lead and move this great country forward as the leader of the free world. It takes more than catchy phrases and flowery words."

The advertisement made me question the basis of this man's opinion. Had he truly written an article of such utter fiction and believed it to be true? I understand some of his hesitation about economic recovery, but if this man believes that Obama was the singular cause of the recession, he needs to check his facts. I could say so much more, but it is exhausting to even consider the number of inaccuracies in this man's opinion.

Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to politics. The less you know about each candidate and the issues for which they stand, the more you put yourself and your fellow citizens in jeopardy. The United States of America are meant to be driven forward by the people. When ignorant and bigoted words and actions affect some of the people, all of the people are held back. Thus the country cannot move forward.

I therefore implore you to make an educated decision in this election. If you have already committed to vote for one candidate or another, I ask you to re-examine the choice you have made.

Will your favored candidate do ALL he or she can to support the well-being of the people? Will he or she promote the progress of that well-being? Have you chosen the candidate that will bring you the most personal benefit, or does your candidate bring the promise of broader benefits to those who most need them? If you truly believe in your candidate, by all means vote. If you remain uninformed, inform yourself. Listen to the facts, educate your heart, and vote for the person most likely to keep the United States moving forward.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Quick Update: Prepping for the GGSE

In 6 months or less, I will be leaving for the Great Graduate School Experiment. In the meantime, I have been whittling away at my abundance of free time. Here are some tidbits about my life since I last posted.


-Traveled to Las Vegas for a trade show with my mom's company. It was a blast seeing the lights and action of Vegas, and I really liked working at the show!

-Finally everything is in line for me to become a substitute teacher in the local school district. I have desperately missed working with children, and I'm excited to be able to serve my community in a new way! My first scheduled teaching position is the last week of October, but perhaps I'll find a few other opportunities along the way.

-The daughter of a family friend swims six days a week, and I've been helping to transport her to and from her swim practices. It's a blessing to help out a friend, and spending so much time driving also allows me to take in the beauty of fall in New England.

-November vacation camp with the recreation department is all ready to go. My co-camp director and I are so excited to be offering a two-day camp exploring the origins of Thanksgiving-- including a trip to Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts (my future dream job)!

-Still working to get my seamstress business off the ground. Some of my work was on display at the town library between August and October, and my dresses in particular were given a lot of attention. I have made plans to attend a few local craft fairs and markets, and hopefully will be selling some items before Christmas. Look for the Rainy Day Seamstress near you.

-I met and played with some of the children in that I hope to be spending time with come February. The kids are all part of an early childhood program at our local community center, and when my friend Lisa goes on maternity leave in a few months, I will be taking her place for a few weeks.

-Since August, I've been housekeeping for my parents-- cleaning the house top to bottom every week. It's a tough job because as soon as I've vacuumed the dog starts scratching, the cat sheds, the bird molts, and I have to get rid of the dust and grime all over again. But I actually like to clean and organize, so it gives me an opportunity to rid myself of excess compusivity.

-After speaking with the president of the local historical society, I have been given the opportunity to join the board and work with the society on a number of projects. It will be a wonderful chance to work in my field during my year at home.


-In September I had the opportunity to visit some dear friends around the state. I will also be visiting UNH for homecoming this weekend. Hopefully I will be able to see a number of my school friends while I am on the other side of the state.

-I've been working hard to train my little Ollie bird. Since he came to live with us a little over a year ago, Ollie has been a bit wild. Unlike any other bird we've owned, Ollie would eat no "people food", would not perch on a finger, and did not talk or whistle. During the summer I spent hours talking to him, feeding him garden vegetables, and handling him on a regular basis. Within the last month, he has become (almost) a normal bird. He talks endlessly in my voice, scavenges for breakfast cereal and carrots, and will come out of his cage with hardly a squawk. Despite my family telling me that I'll end up a crazy bird lady, I'm very proud of all the work we've accomplished ;-)

-In my really free time, I have been sewing and/or plotting to sew all kinds of projects. It's just about time to think about Christmas, and I'm feeling prepared for the first time in years. Of course, part of that is that I don't have to take any exams or research any theses for the first time in my life, but still, it's nice to feel like I've got a grip on something.

-Although it's been dreary and grey for the past two weeks, I've taken every opportunity to work in the garden. We haven't got much left, but it makes me feel better to know that my beds and compost will be in good shape for the winter. Considering that I won't have much of an opportunity to garden in DC, I'm hoping that all the houseplants I've been repotting will be able to survive the big move. Most of our houseplants live on the porch during the summer, but I'm slowly collecting them in my room again as the cold nights settle in.

-I'm also spending a lot of time in the kitchen copying family recipes into my new recipe book, trying out said recipes, and preserving whatever has come my way. So far I've put up 12 pints mint jelly, 12 pints plum jelly, 26 quarts dill pickles, 3 quarts pickled zucchini, 6 quarts applesauce, and countless dried veggies, fruits, herbs and tea ingredients. I'm still planning on another 6 quarts applesauce tomorrow.

Wow. That's a long "quick" update. I'll stop now and leave the rest for another day.