Preaching about pork

I may have mentioned that I am taking a graduate class, working my way through a Master’s program.  I love the program, it is right up my alley, but I think I am learning as much from the structure of my current class as I am from the content.  I understand what the end result is, I get the objectives and essential questions, I really do.  My struggle is with the formats for lesson planning they are asking me to use.  I am not really being given choices for organizing my thoughts and ideas, just given templates that are not turned in, not shared, are only for my personal use.  Not that I have a problem with them giving templates, but maybe some choices?  That is one of the basic principles of the class, providing rich learning experiences with various methods of sharing what you learn.  Another sticking point, big idea, essential element is assessment, specifically student assessment and making it meaningful.  All those templates and organizers they are asking us to fill out?  Nope, not being looked at.  Don’t even have a model for you.  And the papers are extremely repetitious, so much so that several have posted asking the professor if the first part is supposed to be almost identical to the second.  Not that he can help, he is just as perplexed as we are.

Hmmm…I sense a situation of practicing what you preach.

It’s a bit like the Republican GOP right now.  Mitt and Newt are jumping on and off bandwagons like it’s an aerobics class, Rick knows he wants to get rid of three agencies but the name of that last one is hard to remember,  Herman has no idea apparently that a country called Libya exists and he certainly doesn’t need to know anything about it – that’s somebody else’s job, and Michelle must have read the same history book Sarah did.  Sorry if any of you like these candidates, but I feel like I am at the circus watching the clown car unload.  And they just keep coming!  No wonder the Republican party is in such dire straits, this is the best we have to offer, a bunch of candidates who might as well be wearing red rubber noses and big shoes.  None of it makes sense and few of them seem to know what they stand for without consulting someone else.

Here’s a crazy idea.  Let’s decide what we want and then stick to it.  Stop trying to make it seem better, shinier, and more intellectual by adding stuff to it.  Keep it simple stupid.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and our country didn’t end up where it is in four years.  It took a long time and a lot of pork.

An example?  $100,000 to study how to avoid falling spacecraft.  I can’t believe this is really something we need to spend that much money on.  How many people get hit by falling spacecraft a year? Want another one?  $500,000 to build a replica of the Great Pyramid of Egypt in Indiana.  Do they really need a pyramid in Indiana?  Is there a pharaoh that needs to be buried there I don’t know about?

How about we start eating the pork and spending the money where it might do some good.


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