How to act

I read in my local paper about how local kids at a local high school – our real ‘super’ kids – are attending college courses early, even earning Associate degrees before they graduate the twelfth grade. This cuts down on the future expense of the real thing, and gives these star performers a better chance at: a paying job.

I saw a headline: ‘Dreams on hold.’ Same thing: kids have a hard time finding work. So we’ll come up with this: run faster. Study harder.

I’m not going to make the obvious complaint, this time, about how the kids are being ripped off. My own kid is so ‘accelerated’ in math, right now, his high school literally won’t have any more coursework to offer him when he finishes sophomore year. I think some free time whistling Dixie in the park might do more good than three hours of problem sets each night during seventh grade. But this is what we want. We’re keeping him dreaming.

Except we’re not. I’m complaining, this time, the dream itself isn’t real. Kids don’t dream about employment. Kids don’t dream about careers. And the careers they get don’t emerge from their schooling. The jobs that come along are the jobs that come along. Read some surveys. You can’t realize a dream working nine to five, anyway.

People my age are proud of our country (I’m not sure if our kids are). We didn’t get here because we competed real hard to earn a wage. We’re here because our parents taught us to try as hard as we could to make of ourselves what we hoped we could be. There’s a difference.

We passed a law in this country that all our children have to excel. So almost none of them can. And fewer are finding good reasons to do so. We should act like we care, again, and make them play outdoors once in a while.

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