Every year I think I'm going to plant a flower garden that would rival the ones that my Grandmother had (flowers everywhere, every possible kind, and all of them were gorgeous.)
Its That Time In Rockland County
Dated: August 27 2015
Oh the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and those hard pink erasers, (although my preference was always the softer pale white erasers) and stacks of spiral bound college lined paper notebooks which hinted, on a good day, of college and things like essays and thesis and proofs of theorems, calculus, logarithms and the beautiful cadence of Shakespeare. Even in Middle School I was a forward thinker and was already per- pre- planning my academic career. I am sure that Staples and the Office Depot, Target and Shoprite are an absolute mob scene of frantic children begging equally frantic Moms, Dads, older siblings and other care-givers for extra Elmer's glue sticks, post-its in all shapes, sizes and colors, scissors, tape, , pencils, notebooks, rulers, retractors, dividers, calculators etc.. The long list goes on and on. And probably Barnes and Nobles and any other bookstores these frantic people can find are being besieged by last minute buyers and readers of reading listed books- and even at this point, I am sure, for some wretched few, Cliff Notes. And if no Cliff Notes are to be had, you can always rent the movie or a re-make of the original for your kid to watch. "The Good Earth", "To Kill A Mockingbird" and "The Hobbit" are perennial favorites for catching up on the "classics".
Fast forward to the 21st century and the movie can be downloaded in seconds (for mere pennies on the pound) from Netflix or any other company of that ilk. And the Cliff Notes too! For the classroom and homework needs of kids today you will find everything they need on-line, in their already cued-up and linked-in laptops with extra graphing calculators and gigs and rams and memory on all sorts of cute and crazy thumb-drives and thingy-ma-bobs. A shared class project involving groups of three or four kids- or at least pairs of kids, can now be created by an individual child- all by themselves! without having to rely on anyone else. A child can literally sink or swim by themselves. But what about building team spirit and working together to create a finished project? On time! You know, the give and take of compromise and the trust you put in another person to do their part? And that wonderful most justifiably pissed-off feeling you got when your project mate didn't cut the grade- you remember that right? Well, self-reliance is a wonderful thing and a sure bet in this world where not much IS reliable, but it does seem kind of lonely, doesn't it.
The actual methods used to acquire the knowledge that the kids of today are going to need to safely, for our planet Earth, and cleanly and economically power their future seems to be quite a bit different these days from my early days of school. But the information remains, essentially, the same. Only there is a lot more of it as the world has changed and people have learned ever more about this constantly changing and evolving planet, it's people, the universe and multi-verses etc... According to a one minute "sound bite" I read in an issue of "Psychology Today" a few years ago, some of the most important tools for a child's education are a good night's sleep and a yummy bowl of hot oatmeal with some fruit in it (like bananas or blueberries) in the morning before school, which can really power your child's body and mind. And a study done by Carnegie Mellon University showed that if a child listens to classical music before bed or while falling asleep, it helps that child to retain and remember even more information upon which to build a greater understanding of this world and how it works. MOZART IS THE BEST!
Growing up in Rockland County and being a 3rd generation realtor, it was important for me to continue the "Coyle & Coyle" family tradition of real estate. I understand the importance of professionali....