Thursday, December 13, 2007


I got this email in my spam box and it was claiming that the Christmas present of the year was this:

Personally, I have yet to see an ad inbox email, or a spam email telling me what Christmas really is. Or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or for people that make the choice to not have a following faith, what they do on faith driven holidays.

My son, Sullivan, had his preschool Holiday concert last week, and I went into it grumbling mainly because of the title of the concert, "HOLIDAY." "Here we go," I thought to myself, "with the politically correct robotic dissected holiday songs." (Sullivan attends preschool at a local High school within their public school walls tucked back in the child development classroom.)

Walking into this high school, you're met with the sweet smells of chocolate chip cookies and my first thought was, "those teachers have the greatest perks." Smells of mocha and cookies drifted under my nose, craving what had to be special treats for the hard working public school teachers of today. Quite frankly teachers DO have it much harder today than of yester-years, if you ask me.

Looking straight ahead as we headed to the auditorium you are greeted with fantastic murals painted by professionals, each wing of the school has a different "saying," the one I saw first was COMMITMENT. Painted into the beautiful bricks with such time and energy, I envied the students of today that attend this school.

Open, large, windows and airy walkways, lush greens, I understood why taxes are what they are in my county. They have to be high in order to create this magical work of art into not one, but two large High schools in my town.

This school, that years ago I walked down the same halls for my senior year, only now it was all quite different. When I attended this school, it was the first year in "High school operation mode," clean and pearly, but not at all like I was seeing now. We had run out of room at the old high school, which is a story in itself, and unlucky for me I had to spend my senior year in a brand new school walking around the halls like a lost freshmen. The freshmen of that year knew more about that school than us as seniors did, because before the move occurred, it was a junior high.

Obviously remodeled some, and a wing or two added, but compared to what my eyes were discovering now, completely upgraded.

I heard people speaking in murmuring, soft tones, like you would hear when you walk into a mall food court, or maybe a venti sized room at a Starbucks. What I saw next, really threw me for a loop, and for a few seconds, I craved to return to my high school days in present form.
For ahead of me, down the hall, was this lush looking wide open lounge area, cushy and inviting, with smells of mocha and cookies. A woman standing in the middle of this lounge, enclosed in this upscale style wooden creation. It was a beautiful wooden carved Barista stand, serving oversized cookies, muffins and other desserts to her paying customers, and also providing them with warm hot sipping chocolate, or some type of delicious looking warm drink. One of Sullivan's teachers (a HS student) turned to me and said, "that's our commons area, where we can sit in between classes, during our reading periods, and get cookies and juices, maybe some muffins, your general run of the mill Continental breakfast, or if we've elected to have an extra study hall, we can sit out there."

WHAT?!! You mean those smells of cookies, and blueberry scones weren't coming from the teachers lounge? This is for the students? Are you kidding me?

So, students are not allowed to talk about God in public schools, they're not allowed to say Merry Christmas, or make any sort of Holy mention, but they're given a Barista stand that they can pay for sweets? I know that this has NOTHING to do with God, but seriously, is it necessary to give "kids" ages 14-18 all these luxuries within their school walls? Personally I would think that this over indulging privilege could ultimately cause more harm than good. It could teach them how to become even more pampered and spoiled and conditioned to these forms of luxuries. To have everything at their fingertips with their IPODS, their MP3s, (are those extinct yet?) their cell phones, wireless access within school walls so for the "kids" that have laptops, they're able to log into their Myspace pages and update their friends list during school periods. How is that teaching discipline? How is that teaching them to work harder for their own future? Everything is just so accessible for them. All they have to do is point, click, and order, and there you have it, how hard was that for them?

Now I know it's probably not like that in all High schools, and I know part of the reason is
because I do live in a rather wealthy town. However, as I've stated and written about before, I just don't think it's necessary to advertise all our wealth with all these extra privileges. Especially when it comes to our children.

It's overdone, and supersized, and it concerns me that these students have no idea what it's like to be in a humble environment. So these students can come from their large homes, which hopefully are the result of hard working adults, and even though I don't think it's necessary to own a 6 bedroom home for 2 children, it was their decision after all, however, I have a right to feel that things should be kept a tad simpler. Mainly it seems as though these kids have all the same perks at High school that they do at home. Why does the school feel the need to have to keep up with their students parents? We're supposed to be teaching our children at home and at school fundamentals that improve self worth, as well as not to strive to "keep up with the jones. "
Just because we all may have these nice homes, does not in anyway mean that a school should have a barista. Just because these children are given Land Rovers at the age of 16 from their parents, does not mean it should trickle out into the schools. Shame on the District. Shame on the School. It just seems over indulging. So materialism gets their way into the school walls, but God can't have any mention? Seems unfair to me. But than again, when have you ever seen God asking for a cup of java?

I do have to say I was quite surprised when we were seated in the auditorium for Sulli's class concert, because would you believe they sang an actual Christmas song? They also sang a Hanukkah song, a Kwanzaa song, and a song that made no mention of any type of faith. They basically covered it all. Which really surprised me, more so than the cookie serving barista, because here I am going on about all their spoils, and then they surprise us with songs of diversification. Finally, at least for a moment, within the auditorium that I once danced my senior dance up on that same stage, they gave mention to Co-existence.

Why can't it always be like that?
What's wrong with teaching diversification instead of teaching removal or alienation? Why can't those that have labeled faiths be allowed to express themselves just as much as those that have made their own heartfelt decision not to follow any labeled faith? They can talk about Santa Claus in school, but they can't mention Christ?

They can talk about getting presents for the holidays, but they can't sing Silent Night?
A teacher can send home print outs about Saint Nick with dimes attached to them, but Heaven help us if a school would like to have a moment of silence.

Sure, Crustybeef, you want a faith school, than enroll your kids into a religious school. No, that's not my point. Religion doesn't have to be taught in school, but why can't those that follow labeled faiths not be able to recognize it? How come I have to pay to say God by means of private schooling, but those that have made their decision to not follow any written faith don't have to? It may sound petty, but it's still not equal. So basically, those that have made their decision not to follow Jesus, or God, or Allah, are covered, but the rest of us, aren't. Nothing against anyone that follows their own idea of faith, I am just so fed up of reading about not having Christmas within the walls of school, or any holiday that represents faith.
It's all outrageous. Sadly, it's also hopeful dreaming to actually think that someday it will change.

If only school boards would recognize a way to incorporate all faiths, correction, all beliefs. After all, we all come from different backgrounds, and that in itself is a difference, so why can't we express our faiths within the school, when it comes to what we believe? They can give those that don't believe what they want, but aren't they discriminating against those that follow a labeled faith? In my world, I think it's discrimination. Please don't forget, this is coming from someone that is in an interfaith marriage, that has children that are a mix between Scottish, Jewish, Cherokee Indian, French-gasp!- German -GASPGASP!-Irish, Swedish, some of my relatives have Greek in them, some Italian, some African American, I can't forget Scottish too, and please for my family members that do take the time to read this, whatever ones I may have not mentioned here, please remind me, not my point at all, and more so a run on of words, but the point is, if we can at least try to Co-exist, why can't schools do the same? After all, they've proven that they can keep up with the materialism, so why can't they keep up with the diversification?

Welcome To Crustybeef~
How's that for an oversized random run on?
So, Merry Christmas.
Happy Kwanzaa.
Happy Hanukkah.
Happy to whatever you believe.
(in no specific order)

I embrace difference, in fact I welcome it!
What I struggle with is why can't others? In any form, not just within school, but outside of it?
In fact I think if it was all "one way," it would be rather dull?

Call it what you want, but the fact is, it isn't equal in the public schools of today. Perhaps my childish approach to it is just what it is, childish, and I should just shuuuuudddup, and go order my cookie at the HS barista stand. I wonder if they have free coffee mondays????


Cheryl said...

HI Crusty,

I couldn't help but wish my daughter's high school was a tiny fraction like yours. Her's is dark, and very old. The computers wouldn't support the flash drive that she and her 2 partners loaded their biology power point presentation onto. They had to print it out in black and white. Her high school is, however, better than the older and decrepit middle school she attended. I look at updated schools with such envy. I'm ranting, I know. I'd like a venti caramel latte, please, extra shot, extra hot. And the new People magazine. I can't talk, as you know, but my laptop is near and I'm listening for the chirp that indicates a new e-mail/comment. My link with the world today. I hope your day is warm.

Anonymous said...

It was an incredible school. I was amazed. It was so cute though and sullivan was awesome. I could not believe that they had a barista in the lounge. man that was awesome. anyways. another great crusty blog.


Cheryl: I'm all for educational improvement, but coffee and cushy chairs in between classes? Seems a bit too much, doesn't it? YIKES poor Em with the presentation. Feel better! So it means that you're actually staying home today?? :)

BDD: it was rather an eye opener.
But, as the trophy case shows, you see me, the 2nd sister, and the brother from athletic ability, so I guess that is something special and warming. :)


Kelly Jene said...

I gotta agree with you, Crusty. Why don't they donate the money they spent on the barista and give the money to schools who can't afford new books, or computers, or to better pay the teachers.

If this world wants tolerance and for everyone to co-exist, how can you do so without education? To teach only one side of everything in school, how can a young person be expected to make a decision? I think there should be a class offered (not expected) that teaches the basics of faith based beliefs. Not strictly Christian or whatnot, but something that teaches that there is more out there than you and what you think you know.

But a barista in a school just cuz they're rich? Ridiculous. Try going to a school in a neighborhood where people struggle.

Sorry for the mini-crusty comment.


Kelly J: Comment away!!!I love your points, they are all very valid!!! VERY VALID!! how are you holding up? you've inspired me to rid my house of all things 12months and under's been hard. but Than I am reminded of your wonderful heartful and tearful stories...and I can find peace. :)

Kelly Jene said...

I'm good. Extra weepy today for some reason. Not the bad kind though. Everything good is making me weepy. My children smile.. oh, tears! I hear a song on Crusty's page, oh, tears! LOL
Good for you for cleaning out... its hard, but its like a deep breath afterward.

abbagirl74 said...

Amen to it all sister! You could have taken the words right out of my mouth.

simonsays said...

You've got some great thoughts here, Crusty. Things really are a little upside down these days, aren't they?

Have a really good Friday. :)


Kelly Jene: that's okay to be weepy,..maybe it's our cleansing period, right? different reasons but still the same in a way. What song was it, Urban angel?? :)

Abbagirl: AMEN!!and careful of all that crazy ice..those pictures you had were was like looking at trees outside of that ice hotel in sweden-if there were trees near there that's what they'd look like.. chuckles... :)

Jaime: you are so right, it's all so backwards....YEA!!! You have that upbeat Jaimecomment tone...HOW ARE YOU FEELING???? Better some I hope? I hope you're able to walk again normally real soon-which I think you will be able to pain free!!
It's friday, where's Soul and Portia, out back smokin?? :)


Cheryl said...

Morning Crusty.

I'll walk you through Reader next week, OK?

Still no voice. I'll be the hair whisperer today!


Cheryl: Thank yoU!!!! THE Hair that has me spilling coffee outta my nose!! :)
That is good! Feel better please!
Don't over do it, or rather over cut it!

soul said...

UGH.... i just blogged in your box and it got ate!!!!!
a really long comment. now i cant remember any of it.
anyhow--- very good post--- made me think--and write a lot-- but well.. it's gone now. (my comment)
well, got cofee...i'm out. :((

Mary said...

High school barista serving sweets and coffee. I thought the emphasis was healthy foods for our young people. It's still another example of how we are misdirecting education in this country. Equality in education is a farce. I get really fired up over education. Remember my grandson's comment that he thought he was going to learn to read when he went to school? GRRRR I don't want to get on my soap box again.

I am also sad (and angry) when I see the lack of reverance in our religious holidays. I wish I had your ability to express myself but I don't. I'm glad you said it and I can say you are exactly correct.


SOUL; DAMN The comments field..I've been having issues all day with it!!

Mary: Oh you are not kidding, although for me I can only "talk about it here," because I am not good with speaking outloud.. :)