Our Daily Thread 10-28-14

Good Morning!

On this day in 1793 Eli Whitney applied for a patent for his cotton gin.

In 1886 the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York Harbor by U.S. President Cleveland.

In 1922 Benito Mussolini took control of the Italian government and introduced fascism to Italy. 

And in 1976 John D. Erlichman, a former aide to U.S. President Richard Nixon, entered a federal prison in Safford, AZ, to begin serving his sentence for Watergate-related convictions.  


Quote of the Day

I pictured myself as a virus or a cancer cell and tried to sense what it would be like.”

Jonas Salk


 Today is Mr. Daniels’ birthday.


Anyone have a QoD?

43 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 10-28-14

  1. Well, I just saw the “video” I shot tonight at the school board meeting. I guess it was running when I didn’t realize it.

    It’s really quite artistic, lots of jumping around with cattywampus shots of my hands, feet — and bust. Also lingering shots of the chair legs in front of me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Unfortunately, these automatically post to our website with our stories.

    We like to keep our readers on their toes.

    Still not as good as the one I took while doing a story Jan. 1 on tide pool exploring — where I slipped and fell, giving viewers speeding and tumbling glimpses of rocks and sky and rocks again before I managed to stand up and resume filming upright.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Our internet isn’t working well, and I tried repeatedly to post this last night. . . .

    Um, Mumsee, you weren’t at the bottom of the pile. (Ouch! Could someone get their elbow out of my eye?! Thank you!)

    6 Arrows, I think my brother hit the nail on the head when he said we now say someone is “well-educated” instead of saying someone is “well-read,” and the second may actually say more about a person. One reason I never pursued a master’s (besides not wanting to spend the money for something I didn’t “need” career-wise) is that I figured I was fully capable of learning on my own.

    But the honest truth is I don’t much like the American connection between college and career . . . that is, that we get a degree in order to get a better job rather than getting a degree in order to learn. So personally I think that a college granting work time “credit” instead of teaching students is at least partly a step in the wrong direction. Yes, potential employers should look at life experience and not just college. Where you’ve worked, where you’ve volunteered, and what you have read are at least as important as where you went to college. But they aren’t college, and I think they’re better off kept separate. American “higher education” is already a joke compared to countries that take it seriously (e.g., England).

    I like the idea of an honorary degree for something exceptional–inventing the light bulb or the equivalent–but not just for everyday work experience. If you want to go straight into the work world without college, or get an apprenticeship instead, then do so. That’s honorable. But don’t pretend like it’s the same thing as college, because it actually isn’t.


  4. They still play songs like “He Touched Me” on the radio in Hendersonville.
    I used to listen to WMAL in Washington while driving to work. Harden & Weaver once played songs like that on their routine. Their program was structured so that you would know what time it was by what was happening. e.g. I needed to be crossing the Cabin John bridge when, or before the march was played.
    But what I was going to say is, from songs like “He Touched M” they gradually changed to feel good songs like “I Believe” or “Skinny White Cloud’, and eventually abandoned that genre altogether. I don’t know the reason.


  5. As I sit here with a Master’s Degree in Education, I have to agree with Cheryl. I don’t think at this point in her life BG is ready for college. The money is there…her Papa made sure. I don’t want to see her waste money attending college when I think it would be more like the next step or killing time for her. I think she is one that will need to get out in the world a bit, work, and then decided that she “can too” go to college and get more of an education. Except I am not really impressed with what kind of education she can get in college anymore.
    I still remember that my first year of teaching I made $26,000. My sister in law went to beauty school. She made $36,000 her first year out (she went when she was 35). Today she is driving a cute Lexus SUV. I am driving an Xterra. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Xterra and appreciate no payment on it, but I don’t use my educational training and she does/


  6. Have you ever done something real dumb? The consequences of which were trivial, yet the fact of the mistake irritates you without end.
    Sunday afternoon we took my sister and her friend to Kelsey’s for lunch. Then, I decided to
    take them to the Blue Ridge Parkway to see the foliage. Well? I went up I-26 like I should and turned onto the Parkway. But I turned south rather than north as I intended. (That’s understandable, the Parkway is designed to follow mountains, so you might be going north in the southbound lane.) Anyhow; I soon noticed that I didn’t cross a bridge I knew was there. But I kept going. I’m a big advocate of maps, but I didn’t stop to look at one. Bottom line.
    I drove about 40 miles out of the way and the trip took twice as long as I intended. But they said the view was beautiful and they enjoyed seeing Western North Carolina. It was the mistake and continuing the wrong way when I knew I was doing it that bugs me.
    Makes me feel real dumb.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree with Cheryl and Kim. Education, at least in the early years, should be goal oriented.
    e.g. Chuck went for a chemical engineering degree. It came in handy. If you don’t know what you want to do, it’s best to get some experience behind you. I was 22 when I started school, and I’m glad for that.


  8. Missouri has a law that says someone with (I forget how many, 5 I think) years of real world experience can get a temporary teaching certificate if the school is in an area that needs that field. The problem is, if one has been in a high-paying field for 5 years, then going to teach would be a major cut in pay.


  9. Good morning, again!

    On the college question, it so much depends on the bent of the person. That can be seen pretty early on in a child. Are they academically oriented or otherwise? Also, if they are Christian, are they leader types who won’t be swayed to follow the crowd, or are they likely to melt into the college culture, for good or for bad? If people fail to ask these types of questions and consider consequences then they can make a very poor choice concerning a young person’s path after high school.


  10. Integrated churches: We attend a normal size church of around thirty to forty people. We have one African, six Hispanics, three Native American, three Scandanavian, one Scots-Irish, one German, and some others. Wait. That is just our family, never mind….I don’t know the heritage of anybody else in our church.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I definitely do not think everyone needs to go to college. In fact, I particularly dislike seeing a young mother with college debt that keeps her in the workforce when she could be home with her child. I was very deliberate about getting a degree with no debt. Personally, I needed a degree–you can’t be an editor without one. But my college education was useful “for itself.” (And honestly, the best education for an editor is a “well-rounded” one, not a specialized one–I need to know enough about multiple fields to see if a book I edit is making mistakes I need to know about, or need to research further.)

    When I was a couple years into editing, living in Chicago (high cost of living), with a job in the field for which I got my degree, my three-years-younger brother who didn’t get a high school diploma (he got his GED) and had had no college at all was living in Arkansas. Arkansas came in as one of the bottom five states in terms of cost of living. Anyway, he became manager of a Taco Bell, and he was earning as much as I was! He new drives for UPS, and he’s starting to build houses (he got his “training” for that not through college, but through volunteering for Habitat for Humanity for a few years!). My younger sister got one year of college, and then she dropped out because she met the man she wanted to marry (and did indeed marry). Neither of them needed college to do what they want to do, and to do it well, and neither has the debt that might have come through college. I got the college education I needed, without the debt I didn’t need. Since I didn’t have debt, I was able to save quite a bit of money in my years in Chicago, enough to leave with a good amount of money in the bank (20% down payment on a house and money to fix it up a bit) and to have the luxury to go freelance (a big step down in pay) without any debt.

    I think other things can be just as valuable as a college education. Reading and studying on one’s own are definitely valuable, and experiences such as my brother’s volunteer work are valuable. But they aren’t college, and I don’t like the idea of getting a degree for them. Sometimes real-world experience is part of getting an education (student teaching or medical internship, for example), and that’s legitimate. But giving a college degree for, say, five years of owning one’s own business and understanding finances is just silly. The person chose the business experience instead of college because (in his situation) he didn’t need college. So put the business experience on the resume, but put college on the resume only if you got a degree by attending college.


  12. Doing very well up at the youth challenge. Influencing others, letting them know their prejudices are just that. Getting an education academically as well as in the area of more troubled children than his own family. Thriving. Growing up. We are very pleased.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Traditionally at this writers retreat, we have Monday night free for folks to go anywhere they like for dinner. I always volunteer to meet anyone who wants to come with me in the lobby at 5:30.

    The idea is there’s always a shy introvert who doesn’t know anyone who needs a friendly face. I usually have a handful and we’re followed by several others.

    So many made a “date” with me Monday morning, I became a little concerned, so I took a count after the morning session. 13 wanted to join me!

    I called the restaurant and made a reservation for 15. It was a slow night and after a consultation, they agreed. I didn’t realize they’d have to open a section of the restaurant for us, but they managed.

    Food and service was great.

    23 people came with me!

    Maybe I should have been comped . . .!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I like the Google Maps app on the smart phones. You put in your destination and the lady who lives inside the phone tells you where to turn to get there at every step along the way. I think she even freaks out to really get your attention when you’ve “gone to far.”

    I loved college — and I went cheap, community college (essentially free back then, but no more) for 2 years then the least expensive state U system (that’s also a lot more expensive now). Can’t imagine graduating with debt, but I gather it’s the way it is now. 😦

    And I agree, college is definitely not for everyone. I’d like to see the vocational ed schools come back into prominence. A lot of those grads make more than we do now anyway. 🙂

    LA teachers out here, Peter, don’t do to bad — the top of the tier make between $60,000 and $70,000 a year now.

    But we’d all still be making more money if we were plumbers, right?


  15. … And we’d all be handier around the house.

    I dreamed about fake grass (because I posted a colleague’s story about it before going to bed last night) and that there were inexplicably a dozen big, bouncy, fluffy Old English Sheepdogs romping around in in a circle in my backyard. I was thrilled.

    Oh, and I had one of those great dreams about a previously undiscovered “wing” or story of the house a few nights ago. I opened a door and voila! There was this giant section of the house I’d never seen before with gleaming wood floors, it was gorgeous.


  16. Cheryl, et al: I agree with much of what has been said here, particularly your 10:10, Cheryl, and I think a college degree is not necessary in a lot of instances. I should clarify what I meant by “a step in the right direction.”

    To me, number of hours in a classroom does not equal how much is learned, and to grant a degree based on hours spent therein really doesn’t say a whole lot about what the graduate’s level of knowledge is, how well he applies it, what kind of worker he will be, character-wise, etc.

    For those who plan to go into fields which do still require a degree at this time, though, I think it is a step in the right direction to let them work at a pace determined by the individuals themselves, and graduate when they demonstrate proficiency in their field, which could be much sooner for the student who applies him/herself well, thereby reducing debt.

    For example, my daughter, who is now a vet tech, already had two years of experience working for a veterinarian before she entered the 5-semester vet tech training program she took. (She also had to have two semesters of general ed before the 5-semester program, which was mostly a waste of time and money, IMO, but I digress.)

    For my daughter, she could have demonstrated proficiency (and did) long before the program was over. In fact, in one of her semesters (I think it was the 3rd) the class was divided into two groups based on ability. She was in the group who were proficient, and the differences between the two groups were quite marked.

    One of the students in the program ended up graduating with high honors for her grades, as she had a lot of time to study the written material for class, not having to work her way through school with an outside job, but when it came to actual hands-on work with animals in the semesters before the internship, she couldn’t handle them! She was utterly unable to apply her book knowledge to the practical aspects of working directly with the patients. I don’t know how well she did with her internship, but that was a pass/fail grade that didn’t affect her GPA.

    It is for students like my daughter, who are able to demonstrate proficiency early on, to apply their learning to real-world problems (she now works in critical care at a major veterinary teaching hospital in our region, same place she had her internship) that I think this move toward proficiency-based assessment, whenever one is able to demonstrate competency, rather than degree-granting after X hours in the classroom, is beneficial. It would have saved my daughter a lot of time and money if her program had been competency-based, rather than time-based.

    And maybe programs like the one mentioned in the link I provided yesterday might be a stepping stone toward moving away from the notion that a college degree is a mark of one’s practical knowledge, or necessary for one to succeed. In many cases, it is neither.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. 6 Arrows, I agree. I think there is an awful lot to be said for apprenticeships, and I personally don’t like the idea of career-focused college degrees. So, for example, one could go to college to learn academic things: history, math, science, etc. It has been pointed out, for example, that education majors focus on education and not on the subjects that they will need to teach. Well, we should be able to know that a college-educated adult knows something of world history, philosophy, science, etc.

    There’s also a place for some college courses to be more specialized, and that might be career-minded, but they should be academic courses. For me, for example, it made sense to take more literature courses and more writing courses. I also had more Bible and theology courses than most college students. In the case of the vet tech, the student could learn anatomy, the history of medicine, modern advances in medical care, etc. (whatever subjects need to be “studied” rather than learn hands on) and then be accepted (or not accepted) as apprentices. The book learning might be simultaneous to the hands-on learning, or the student might even find a doctor who is willing to guide the book part of the learning. In some fields at least (including medicine), one could say that the graduate of the book stuff is still a student / apprentice, but after some time in the field, then he is considered a doctor (an electrician, a plumber, an attorney, etc.). And rather than saying, “Wow, he must be a good doctor. He graduated from Harvard Medical School,” we could say “He trained under Doctor So-and-So, and that doctor doesn’t automatically sign off on his charges, so clearly he has proven himself.”

    I mean, the case of the lazy student who doesn’t do anything he doesn’t have to, or the student with book learning but no real understanding are legendary. In my own experience, those of us who “went the extra mile” in getting experience (e.g., internships that weren’t required, jobs in our field during college) tended to step into “real jobs” easier. It may not always work that way, but in my own year of study, there were several of us who made the extra effort, and everyone knew who they were. And all of us found the jobs we wanted right out of college–we had the experience and we had the references. I didn’t graduate near the top of my class academically (though I did graduate well), but I graduated with a decent resume and with a reputation for quality work, and I’m pretty sure those are more helpful to most employers than the specific grades. For the plumber with no personal interest in literature or history, an apprenticeship could well take the place of college altogether.


  18. PS Overall, I think that the British system of demonstrating proficiency even to get into college is probably better than demonstrating proficiency in order to get out of taking courses. I was happy that my 98th percentile English scores on the ACT test put me in the “top” English class in college . . . but technically that made me work harder in college, not easier! I saw lots and lots of students use CLEP tests to get out of taking several required classes, and I had no interest in doing that. It seemed to defeat the whole purpose of getting an education. I did submit the paperwork to get out of the one course I’d already taken elsewhere (most of my fellow students in the other course were already college graduates, so it was definitely a college-level course, and several credit hours rather than the three required in college), but that seemed like a different thing altogether. But then, I was 22 when I went to college, and every bit as much interested in the education as in the degree.


  19. 😦
    The guy on the radio said “Call 1-800-259-1466” so many times that I remember the number, but forgot what I’m calling about. I’m tempted to call to see what it is.


  20. I have hit chapter 6 of NT Wright’s Surprised By Hope book. It has caused new wrinkles on my face from raised eyebrows and and drawing them together. I am having a real problem with it and I am going to have to lead the group on Chapter 7!


  21. Cheryl, this: “I didn’t graduate near the top of my class academically (though I did graduate well), but I graduated with a decent resume and with a reputation for quality work, and I’m pretty sure those are more helpful to most employers than the specific grades.”

    Exactly, and that well-summarizes my daughter’s experience, too. She did not graduate with honors (she got a C in a very difficult course near the end of her studies, and that is what prevented her from graduating with honors), but her resume (having worked two different jobs, including one in her eventual career field, and the other, while unrelated, was one where she got promoted to leadership positions) and her ability to think well on her feet and make wise decisions under pressure, which she gained through practical experience, were tremendous helps.

    The person who offered her her current vet tech job (while she was still in her internship) said that, of all the internship students she’d worked with in the many years she’d been there, there were only two she would have hired, and my daughter was one.

    You are right that, while grades do have some importance, in very specific areas that directly apply to one’s work (like the example you gave in anatomy for vet techs, for instance), the practical skills a person develops, and the character and work ethic one displays, is, to most employers, I believe, of more value than the graduate’s specific grades.


  22. Speaking of college & vocational schools…

    As you know, I think, Emily is in an LPN program in a vocational school. She would like to continue on for her RN degree right after she graduates from this program, rather then waiting & working as an LPN for a while. (She’d need to go to a different school for that.)

    Her aspiration to be a midwife may not pan out after all, as the only midwifery program in the state is at Yale (!), which is at least an hour & a half away. But she seems to be okay with being a nurse, & hopes maybe someday she could be a maternity nurse. (A lot of nurses want to work on the maternity ward, so there’s not a lot of openings.)

    She’s doing very, very well. We are proud of her.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Turns out that R is not homeless after all. He had a fight with his mom (she doesn’t want him having Forrest overnight 😦 ), & left for a couple days, probably staying with his new girlfriend.

    I’ve realized that I am the “default” caregiver for Forrest on the days & nights R is supposed to have him, & that that is backwards from the way it should be. It should be that R has his son on the days & nights he is supposed to, & if he can’t (or won’t, most likely) take him for some reason, he should ask me (or ask Emily to ask me) if I will babysit. But the way it works out is that R merely assumes I will babysit. I don’t think he even thinks twice about it.

    But Chrissy & I love our little guy, & know he is usually better off with us anyway, so we are here for him. It’s the principle of the thing that irks me a bit. (But I’m not bent out of shape about it at all.)


  24. Thanks, Janice. I do believe that having Forrest grow up in our home, & being a part of his daily life, is a responsibility God has given us, but also a privilege & a blessing.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Hang in their Karen. You seem to always have a full plate to juggle.

    My days are getting longer, I worked until 8 tonight, just a lot of stories breaking locally, had to file two today. And it’ll be 2 to write again tomorrow, with one coming out of a 6 p.m. meeting.

    At least I feel like I have a bit more energy this week than I had last week.

    Liked by 2 people

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