8/03/2010

The Sucking Black Hole of Ignorance


One morning last week, the daily broadside spoke sadly
Of another national step toward the yawning abyss.
We follow our leaders and march with blind purpose
To a place where guns, bombs and broken bodies displace
The study of history and sums and the written word.

Billions were committed last week to fighting and killing
In deserts and mountains halfway 'round the globe.
Billions were taken that were earmarked for teachers,
Caretakers of the future leaders we’ll need here at home.
Millions on both sides will suffer the loss.

What kind of thinking can be so misguided
Or so selfish as to think, Hey, I’ve got mine.
I don’t need teachers; what I need are more guns.
Oh, and the power and profits I earn from war
.
I shudder to think where it will all end.

What has happened to judgment,
To looking ahead, seeing where this path goes?
Where are the people we thought we elected?
Where is the leadership to guide our way safely?
Consumed by the chasm, along with ethics and duty?

What of the day when the educated are no longer with us,
And their educations go to the grave along with them?
What of the day when today’s children are grown
And they can’t add, read and write, or spell worth a damn?
I think of that day, and my heart trembles with fear.

*******************************************

My daughter, Lisa the teacher, commented below. I know you may not have time to read all the comments, and I think it's important that you hear it from one who lives it, so I'm adding it to this post.  (Besides, I'm proud as can be of her!)

OK, Lisa, take it away.

This problem hits me where it hurts. I lost my 'home' in the classroom this past spring. Now I'm on the job hunt to find a new home. There is no where in the world I'd rather be than in a classroom teaching.

It saddened me immensely to hear that so many towns in my state care so little about the education of their future leaders, doctors, caregivers, etc. that they weren't willing to spend a little extra to provide it. It's down right shameful.

A continued decline in education and unthinking politicians... anyone else see a correlation? Seems to me they should be able to look in the mirror, or at each other and see how important a strong education is, but then again...

I can't help but wonder... What will become of our society? Will future historians one day refer to this time period as the Age of Ignorance?

Thanks for posting this, Mom, and for the loan of the soapbox.

***************************************


8/10/2010 Update: The US Senate and the House of Representatives both passed a bill that will send $10 billion to the States to reinstate laid-off teachers.  According to the National Education Association, this will put 161,000 teachers back to work!    I don't often feel moved to say this, but "Well done, Congress!" 

(Not surprisingly, only two Republican Senators and three US Representatives voted to pass this bill.)


35 comments:

Caty said...

mine too! where have our leaders gone and what are they thinking??

TALON said...

It is definitely heartbreaking that priorities are so completely screwed up.

ladynimue said...

agree with Talon !!! one can not expect things to go right among such trends :(

anthonynorth said...

Great words. We're definitely repeating all the old mistakes.

Tracy said...

Wonderfully written, and well said. You are always a treat to read, Patti :)

Tracy H

Claudia said...

with you patti! in germany we had good public schools for years, but the level is going down and down and the politicians are just too slow in changing the system - and it frightens me sometimes and i wonder where we're heading to..

Brian Miller said...

we have become the caretakers of the world while we slowly starve the next generation...nice, honest write patti...

Glynn said...

The classrooms are empty, the graveyards stay full. This one provokes those thoughts.

J. said...

There is so much truth in what you've said. It is a sad though indeed, wondering just how it is going to end. Well written Patti!

PattiKen said...

Caty: I don't think they ARE thinking. That's the problem.

Talon, Ladynimue & J: I agree, heartbreaking. Teachers are so important to a child's attitude toward learning, and we're cutting them. So sad.

Anthony & Tracy: Thank you!

Claudia: I'm sorry to hear that the quality of education is declining in other countries. The future of the globe is at stake.

Brain & Glynn: Amen.

dustus said...

My heart trembles with fear of that day as well... sigh... messed up priorities... sad. Great poetry that calls attention to so many wrongs and misgivings.

Jessie said...

i agree. i believe power holds no accountability, has no feeling, and sees only its own ambition.

thank you for sharing,

warm smiles for more educational and loving times,

AngelMay said...

"What of the day when today’s children are grown
And they can’t add, read and write, or spell worth a damn?"

If you have spent any time at all on the internet, you know that day is already here. The attitude seems to be, "Spelling? Who needs it? Everyone KNOWS what I mean." Or, "It was just a TYPO." (Nevermind that the objecting person makes the same TYPO every time he/she types.

People today don't know the difference between infer and imply, accept and except, then and than, their and there, here and hear. And I could go on and on and on.

This poem - or lament - was spot-on today's problems. Congrats.

Anonymous said...

Amen, fellow teacher! It's so shortsighted! I like your ballad form to convey the weight of your lament.
http://mairmusic.wordpress.com/

PattiKen said...

Dustis & Jessie: i totally agree. There certainly seems to be a power structure that has no accountability for its shortsighted actions.

Angel May: Amen. We sing from the same hymnal.

Mairmusic: Thank you. My daughter is the teacher in the family, but we all have to take ownership of the education (or lack thereof) of the next generation.

kkrige said...

You need to step away from your newspapers Patti. They hold so much pain and angst that is seemingly insurmountable at times. You make a change and difference today though by giving lovely words to an ugly problem.

Prayer Girl said...

I feel blessed that I received the education I did and very sad that education today only barely resembles it anymore.

PG

Eric Alder said...

Education is a valuable commodity. Your poem reminded me of this one I wrote: Hail The Written Word

Pete Marshall said...

such a good, strong, powerful write..i could really go off on one here but i am holding myself back..needless to say the injustice is all too obvious...and who gave 1% of mankind the right to control our destinies...when these people are voted into power they are there to represent us..but why do we chose to let them get on with what they do? we should be policing them and challenging them more often..why are WE wrong to do this...as i sad i shall bite my tongue..a very good write..cheers pete

Mory said...

very powerful indeed. instead of spending money to educate and eradicate poverty from the world, we spend billions fighting in futile wars. education has been devaluated. fantastic poem.

kavisionz said...

A very scary (and not entirely impossible) picture!
I like the strong message you have conveyed here.. If only we learned something out of it... But quite apparently, foolishness and blind egos have taken over this earth for the moment.. And for this shroud to shift, we need some heavier thunder of overpowering intelligence, some brighter flashes of educated and wise lightning...

A fantastic poem!!

Emmanuel Ibok said...

I feel your point of view. I guess everybody is right from his/her own perspective...we just have to try to manipulate the corners we find ourselves positively. That makes all the difference.

Lisa said...

This problem hits me where it hurts. I lost my 'home' in the classroom this past spring. Now I'm on the job hunt to find a new home. There is no where in the world I'd rather be than in a classroom teaching.

It saddened me immensely to hear that so many towns in my state care so little about the education of their future leaders, doctors, caregivers, etc. that they weren't willing to spend a little extra to provide it. It's down right shameful.

A continued decline in education and unthinking politicians... anyone else see a correlation? Seems to me they should be able to look in the mirror, or at each other and see how important a strong education is, but then again...

I can't help but wonder... What will become of our society? Will future historians one day refer to this time period as the Age of Ignorance?

Thanks for posting this, Mom, and for the loan of the soapbox.
Lisa

signed...bkm said...

Great post and so true, we are so mixed up in this society - what is a country without the future of our children.....we definitely will pay a price for not giving attention to our childrens education...bkm

Mama Zen said...

Every time a republican uses the phrase "irresponsible spending," it's almost more than I can take.

G-Man said...

Political Patty!! I love it!!

emily wierenga said...

oh friend, this is poignant. so thoughtful. thank you so much for commenting on my blog, so i could find you. xo

Jenna said...

So very, very true. Strong and powerful poem. Thank you for sharing this.

Wild Rose said...

Thoughtful write Patti and but something has to give somewhere we have to become the voices of change. Happy i stopped by again and below is the link to what i shared with one-stop hope you enjoy it.

http://shahlarveek.blogspot.com/2010/06/feminine-intent.html

Wild Rose~

The Urban Cowboy said...

Unfortunately, we are headed in the wrong direction on so many fronts.

PattiKen said...

Thank you, everyone, for your visit and thoughtful comments. I am honored that so many of you came. It's nice to know that I'm not whistling in the wind on this issue. If enough of us care, there is hope for change.

And, Mama Zen, amen to that!

John's comments said...

Political Poetry Rocks! In the UK we are about to hit the storm of the banker's greed fallout( interestingly they are all reporting record profits but not making loans)as the public sector is hit with 25% to 40% cuts from 2011. Where is mostly unknown until mid October but even the 1% cut for 2010 is creating a swath of cuts in jobs.Thanks for dropping by and reading the poem. I’m drawn to poetry as a storytelling technique and this was about the life of a woman emptied out by the political ambitions of her husband. She would be for or against the cuts depending on how it furthered her husbands ambitions!

mxwll said...

"Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it," George Santayana.
I say those who are not taught about the past are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Here is one for you, poetry fans...the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter - 112 Million dollars per plane...that is the annual salary for approximately 2600 high school teachers. The DoD plans on "procuring" 2800 of these or similar aircraft by 2015. I feel safer, don't you?

PattiKen said...

Oh, good one, James. This is the poetry of shortsightedness that emanates from the sucking black hole of ignorance.

Titanium said...

Thank you for this, Patti. It's a treat to hear from Lisa, as well. Powerful words from strong women... the world needs more of this. Oh yes.