Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Nifty, Upscale, and a Failure?

This morning...the local news crew featured some high school just over in Maryland...where a grade changing scandal is underway. So they flashed three or four segments of the interior, the exterior, and then finally the assembly area.

For a moment....I thought I was at some upscale university setting. This was some five-star swanky public school. The assembly area was a big auditorium that was fairly upscale.

I hate looking down at this type of atmosphere. I grew in the farming belt of Bama and my schooling environment would be considered marginal in today's atmosphere. As far as the school district was concerned....we had heat...desks to sit in...and a sturdy roof. We were probably in some state of poverty...at least today's establishment would say that. The curious thing is that we didn't have cheating scandals. In fact....I can't recall anything that would have been identified as a scandal...ever.

Maybe I'm showing my age....but there's something wrong with today's school environment...and I just don't see it fixing itself.

Achieve Poorness Successfully

If you were a nuclear scientist...we'd pay thousands to train and certify you to make sure you could do your nuclear job.

If you were a barge operator on the Mississippi....we'd pay thousands to train and certify you to make sure you could do your barge job.

If you were a pilot for Delta....we'd pay thousands to train and certify you to make sure you could adequately handle the jet and land it safely.

If you were a sniper for the US Marines...we'd pay thousands to train you to kill folks quietly and efficiently.

So this week...we learned that folks down in Manatee, Florida...had this community action committee who figure out how to get stimulus money. So they came up and decided the best thing they could do...was to train folks how to live "life on the edge".

So you pause there...especially if you were from Bama...and think about this....living life on the edge.

We'd sit there for an hour...trying our best to ponder how this would work.

The actual class? Well...it's about how to live poorly. Yes, how you can practice and hone your skills to live as a poor fellow or gal.

I realize some of you....especially from Ripley or Red Bay or Cullman...are sitting there and wondering why'd you'd teach a guy how to live poor. You'd be better off teaching a guy how to get a job and push himself for better things in life.

It took me a while to visualize this. The teacher is up front and doing some doodles on the white board. The theme in bold letters..."LIVE POOR SUCCESSFULLY". The professor would offer up various comments and wit. He'd stop at some point and pour everyone a half-glass of Pabst Blue Ribbon....which he bought on sale. Then he'd offer up some baloney sandwiches. Then he'd bring out some tobacco and show you how to roll your own smokes real cheap.

Everybody would get excited and then feel like they've learned a great skill.

For me...it's a sad commentary...gearing people to think poor and act poor. You really don't get anywhere in life if this is your attitude.

$73,000 for Burgers

Today...the local paper in DC...came out and let folks know that the blizzard that hit in early February had some funny costs involved.

Apparently...the city of DC...in order to keep the snow plow guys happy and on the job for long hours....paid out $73,000 for McDonald's burger coupons. In fact, several hundred thousand was paid for hotel costs as they kept the guys restful for twelve hours each day.

Alot of the locals are disturbed by this. Some folks from Burger King are unhappy because they didn't get in on the deal.

You can imagine the budget guy for the city now...sitting there and trying to come up with a satisfactory answer on how these coupons were handed out and how this makes economic sense. I'm guessing that he's gritting his teeth and hoping that this doesn't repeat.