Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
Everyone is welcome here.
(Some links or topics may not be completely kid-appropriate.)

Mon, May 24 2004

I ran across the web site for the male voice Mieskuoro Huutajat (or Shouting Choir) earlier this year, and have noticed they are getting more airtime. Their concert and appearance schedule don't seem to be up-to-date on their site, but I'm hoping they will make their way around to the USA again sometime soon.

posted at: 17:42 | category: /Arts and Entertainment | link to this entry

School For Kids In The Real World

High School isn't what it used to be. That's a good thing and a bad thing. The world has some things that are brand new, such as the medium through which you came to read this. The world of business, once local and slow to change, has become an international whirlwind full of cultural exchange and rapidly expanding markets. Why should kids continue to sit in the same types of classes you or I frequented? Our teachers are overworked and not well compensated for their efforts, while top-heavy administrative costs (such as insurance) suck the life out of the budget to the point where vital social activities such as art programs and sports are sacrificed just to keep the doors open.

But not all schools are giving up. I loved the concepts put forth in Reform At The Top. If we want the children in our communities to excel, we have to give them the proper tools. And if we want them to succeed in business, we can't isolate fractions from financial planning, or teach them English without encouraging them to incorporate well-chosen words into building a resume for future jobs.

Programs such as Junior Achievement have already done a great job of taking education way beyond some 12-year-long lecture series. Part of the success of these kinds of activities hinges on community involvement and a supply of willing mentors who let kids know they matter to us all. And individual mentors add something else. A savvy mentor can see extra potential in a child's leanings one way or another, and can give a much better assessment of talent and skill than that of some standardized test.

We're spending more money on the public educational system than ever before, but are kids getting the best return for the money? If we can all stay flexible and support our local schools as training grounds for individuals, education could be a wonderful frontier in the next decade. Dropping out could become a thing of the past, as each child's potential is matched with the very best tools we can provide as a community. I love that idea, don't you?

posted at: 13:58 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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