Oh So You Grown Now?

Today is my last day of vacay and I’ll be taking my test tomorrow, please pray and wish me luck! I also have a book club meeting with “My Kids” this weekend and I’m excited to introduce to them the books that I’ll be reading for our discussions. In the books that I read to them I hope to really open the gates of communication with them into topics and issues of self-esteem, confidence, and really encourage their minds to think and grow. Many of you know that I’ve been seeking your help in this project because I’m not a professional, I just care. Well today’s guest blogger is one that I’m so happy to have gracing my page. He’s an educator and my brother-in-law by way of my beautiful Soror and together they will raise beautiful Krimson & Cream Kings and Queens just like them. Follow him on twitter and check out what he has to say. This piece is awesome.

Blessings! Have a great week, I’ll be back next week with some foolywang. 🙂

~~~~~~~~~

smoking_kid

Here’s a question: When does childhood end?  I mean, in all seriousness, when is it officially a wrap?  Now, that may be too wide open of a question…and I really want an answer, so…let’s narrow it down more…  When did YOUR childhood end?  What was the year, month, day or hour?  What happened to let you know, and if you’re short on an answer for that one, then let’s go one step further–how do you know yours has ended?

Not long ago, I came across an op-ed piece which contended that childhood for most “modern” Americans concludes in the early 30’s.  The writer based their view on social trends in personal finance, responsibility and independence. They pointed out that rising numbers of 20- to 30-somethings are:
·         Taking longer to get their financial legs beneath them
·         Taking longer to commit and marry
·         Creating more single-parent households
·         Moving back in with the parents
·         Spending more time playing & less time preparing for the future
Sure, these are debatable but that’s beside the point.  We all know someone that fits the shoe, so there is some truth to it.  For some real insight, and to really make it personal, try this–ask a few people you know to tell you WHEN they became adults.  You’ll hear all kinds of things like, “I became an adult when…”
…I hit puberty
…I had my first child
…I got my own place
…when I left home
…when I first had sex
And so on…  What you won’t hear is consistency.  The answers you’ll get will be creative or weird, but one thing they won’t be is consistent.  Such a blatant lack of consensus is bound to raise challenges for a society; who’s mature and who’s lunchin’, who’s responsible and who should not be having babies…

In this toilet flush of disagreement, I ask, “Who knows best how to grow children to adults?”

My point is this: our lack of focus on defining adulthood and raising children to adults is perpetuating problems we all complain on today.

Tomorrow morning I return to work where I strive to educate high-school students in the essentials of mathematics and life.  I can tell you unequivocally that my goal is to help develop highly-competitive scholars that will compete with the best of their peers around the globe.  In a world that is rapidly growing more connected, it seems to me that cross-cultural competitiveness must be a fundamental goal of education.  There are glaring examples of incompetence all around.  Corruption is being exposed in every institution; and people are demonstrating more reliance on poorly handled emotions, rather than sound judgment.

In light of all this, my single biggest challenge in pursuing excellence in my students is childhood.  Parents have told me, my principal, and other district officials that ‘the work is too much and they’re just children.’  They say their child can’t study more or get tutoring because it interferes with sports, dance, or some extracurricular activity.  Even worse, when it begins to get tough, the first reaction is to quit.

This encouragement of ‘incomplete responsibility’ is destroying us.  It’s hard enough to hear such lame-itude in any school, but I teach in school for gifted and talented students.  If there’s any place you should expect to work hard, it’s in a school for the intellectually advanced, right?…maybe it’s just me.

If young people aren’t taught perseverance, confidence, prioritizing and responsibility during their schooling, when will they learn it?  And, in the absence of a well-defined definition of adulthood for ourselves, when will we best show in our daily living what adults can be?

– SeanXavr

seanx

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No Safe Return for the Displaced People of the Congo

All credit to Action Aid UK. I felt this was a stirring article and wanted to share. 

People in Congo who were displaced by fighting are not returning home despite a ceasefire, ActionAid says.

Hundreds of thousands of people fled their homes in November and sought shelter in camps near the town of Goma after fighting between the Congolese army and rebel soldiers.

ActionAid has supplied people in the camps with food and emergency relief items such as soap, mattresses, blankets, plastic sheeting, water containers, mosquito nets and cooking utensils. 

ActionAid is targeting aid at the most vulnerable people including unaccompanied children and child-headed households, pregnant and lactating women, the elderly, female-headed households and survivors of sexual violence.

Maria Ali-Adib, ActionAid’s Emergency Response Program Manager in Congo, said: “We are not seeing large numbers of returnees, in spite of alleged peace. They are still worried for their safety if they go back. The needs of displaced people are still huge, particularly in the areas of protection and education.”

Last week Rwandan troops entered eastern Democratic Republic of Congo for a joint operation with the Congolese against a Rwandan Hutu militia sparking fears of more fighting and further upheaval to the civilian population.
 
Women are particularly vulnerable in the violence in eastern Congo and many are too traumatised or afraid of stigma to seek help.

“Earlier this week I met a 10 year-old-girl who had been raped and then held by soldiers,” Ms Ali-Adib added. “Weeks later she was found wandering around the forest by her sister. They’d thrown her out when they were finished with her and she has barely spoken since.”

ActionAid provides rape survivors with both emotional and practical help and last year helped to set up SAUTI (Sauti ya Mwanamke Mkongomani) – Voices of the Women of Congo – to give women in the region a stronger voice.

photo : ©Jenny Matthews/ActionAid *Not her real name

 

I just want to shed more and more light on the situation that is occurring over there. On my previous post “10 Things You Can Do” there is a list of things that we can call do to help, and a link to contact our federal representatives. Let’s get on it! 

 

JG*