21 November, 2016

The Digest—Monday, 21 November, 2016

[The Digest is a collection of articles, videos, and other media I've viewed and found significant throughout the day. It is a way to divest myself from other social media that is more reliant on likes, click-bait, and peer-approval rather than quality, intelligence, and diversity of opinion, which are the qualities I find important. It is also a way to devote myself to daily contributions to this space...at least in theory.]

I spent the sleepless, early-morning hours catching up on Vice News Tonight. A couple stories in particular caught my attention, and they had nothing to do with the election. The first was about a principal at an elementary school in Baltimore trying new tactics to increase attendance and help improve the lives of her students, apparently to great effect. Personally, I think she's amazing.

The second was about students on the football team at Berkeley High who wanted to kneel during the national anthem in solidarity with protests around the country. The coach wouldn't allow it until they had a discussion, as a team, to ensure they knew why they wanted to do it, what they were protesting against, and the possible consequences of taking a stand. The coach also allowed VICE to film the meeting, and those kids exhibited more intelligence and compassion than I have seen throughout most of the election season.

There was also a segment on the failing state of schools in Detroit and the students filing a class-action lawsuit against the government for denying their right to an education. What struck me most was how the general state of enormous neglect must reflect on students' sense of self-worth—that this is what their government thinks of their potential to contribute to society; that they're not expected to grow, but expected to fail.

One of my favorite writers/speakers/thinkers about education is Ken Robinson, who argues that the Western education model—that instructs, by rote, subjects once vital for 18th century, middle-class, Anglo-Saxon men—is both dreadfully outdated and serves more to pacify youth and crush the spirit of their dreams rather than assist in fulfilling them.

I didn't consume much other media today, as I spent the rest of it running around, taking my poor feline to the vet for surgery, debating the cooking of cupcakes, and the day ended after I got stood up by a pumpkin pie and brought my now-toothless cat home from kitty-hospital.

Exhibit A:
Cat still stoned and bleeding post-op

That's all I have. I'm normally awash in links to articles I find interesting or infuriating or charming, but my pseudo narcoleptic state brought forth by chronic insomnia cannot be trusted with much of anything.

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