Today, a friend posted an article from the NY Times Opinionator Blog on her Facebook profile entitled, “The Crisis of the Humanities Officially Arrives,” by Stanley Fish. As Mr. Fish rightly points out – this has been a long time in the making. The article was in response to a reader’s comment on the week’s previous article about Allen Ginsburg. On October 11, 2010 Fish described a number of humanities programs “getting the axe.”Needless to say, a lot of Facebook pontificating followed her post, including my own. None the less, as a habit, I always make sure to go to the source first before reaching conclusions based on newspaper articles – especially those in the Opinion section. The school website specifically states that it is NOT cutting the arts and humanities – only downsizing after losing nearly $12 million in State assistance. Further, over the past three years, the University has cumulatively lost more than $33.5 million in State funding cuts, which is more than 30 percent down from prior years. New admissions are being suspending to certain programs, not “getting the axe,” as Fish stated.It’s a shame, but that is the reality; politicians and thieves have made sure of that. History has proven that a society or better yet – an individual cannot count on government for its enrichment. For example, the Communists and Nazis funded and controlled the arts and humanities – expunging the essence HUMANITY from all expression. While it is a bonus to get government backing, remember, the government funds programs from the tax dollars it collects. I would rather see HUMANITY taken care of before the HUMANITIES.Luckily, in a free society, we are able to pursue these studies and activities on our own and with similarly minded people. Internet venues such as Facebook are a wonderful platform from which to utilize our free expression. Unfortunately, economic conditions always dictate the funding of such programs and venues. However, if we look back to the Old Masters, philosophers, and historians, there was no public funding for such pursuits. Jazz was not born with government funding – only mentoring and the hard work and talent of the individual. None of the Beatles knew how to read music. It is up to individuals and guilds to find funding and support the arts and humanities. In my opinion, that is far better than relying on government to dictate what it will and will not fund.While, yes, I did benefit from public funding (I hold 3 degrees in the arts and humanities), my greatest accomplishments were derived by my own hard work and mentoring from individuals. Additionally, I admit that the downhill spiral of funding for the arts and humanities has hindered my ability to make a living in academic institutions, privately I can pursue a living and privately I can create until my heart’s content. It is up to me and all of us, with the help of God, to find the courage and strength to make the effort. If I die in poverty, it will not be because of lack of public education funding.
Not a day goes by where I don’t read a story in our nationwide news where some major school district in the country is laying off more teachers and cutting budgets. It is getting to the point where there are no prudent budget adjustments to make without impacting the quality of education. It’s extremely tough in the K-12 arena. One of the biggest trends currently is to augment the school’s curriculum by adding online education programs. Still, this may lead to unintended consequences – okay so, let’s talk.There was an interesting article in the New York Times not too long ago titled “More Pupils Are Learning Online, Fueling Debate on Quality – Class time at Whitehaven High in Memphis, where every student must take a course online” by Trip Gabriel which was published on April 5, 2011. There was an interesting fact in that article, quote:”Nationwide, an estimated 1.03 million students at the K-12 level took an online course in 2007-8, up 47 percent from two years earlier, according to the Sloan Consortium, an advocacy group for online education. About 200,000 students attend online schools full time, often charter schools that appeal to home-schooling families, according to another report.”Now then, go ahead and look up that article online and read it, then come back to this article here because there are some comments I’d like to make which I believe relevant to the future of education as these trends continue forward.Let me ask a simple question; what happens if we shift our current education system to do more teaching and learning online, and then what happens if all of a sudden the Internet goes down? And there are many reasons why it might. We could have a huge solar flare, a cyber attack, or hackers could find a way into the social networking websites that everyone belongs to online. What happens then? What if some massive computer virus takes down the whole thing?What if all of the human knowledge which has been accumulated is all the suddenly lost? What happens then? Are we relying too much on the Internet, not only for knowledge but also for teaching? As it stands the average individual is now spending 3 to 4 hours a day online, and what on earth will they do if it is taken away? Will they be able to cope, will we be able to teach our children, the question is relevant, even if no one has asked it with regards to online teaching before. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.
Many people, including me, don’t have English as a their mother tongue. Maybe you are one of us? Or maybe you have English as your mother tongue, but you’re not feeling confident about writing articles.How is it possible for you to be successful in article writing when your competing with so many others with English as their mother tongue? This article will help you to develop confidence in this area.In article marketing and writing articles the experts often say; “- Submit one article a day. Don’t spend much time on the article. Limit the time to 30-60 minutes per article” Maybe you think like I did “- Wow! How is that possible – my mother tongue is Swedish! I’m not a good writer!”Don’t be discouraged – In the beginning it will take much more time to write an article. To be successful in article writing and marketing depends more on what you write about. You have to develop your own style.Write about something that brings value to people and help them solve a specific problem. Can you provide a subject that interests people – that makes you stand out from the crowd?Do you have answers on peoples questions? You can also provide the tools and Techniques they need to progress and move forward and grow in their business and life.If you say; “- Yes I do – I can help people” – then you will notice that the language will be in subjection to what you can offer!If you have English as your second language or not being the best writer (who is?) you know of all the anxieties other people are going through. Make that an advantage. You may express yourself simple – maybe not using words that are complicated – and that can attract people. Simple is always the best.The only way to progress in writing articles in English – is writing articles in English!When you get more experienced in article marketing and you done article writing to your daily routine. Then it won´t take you more then 30-60 minutes to write an article.After 30-60 minutes put the article aside. Let it rest until next day. Next day you can begin to adjust it to be proper in sentences and in spelling.If you try to be one step ahead – it won´t be a problem that maybe your articles take a little more extra time to write. You will still be able to submit a article per day – just as the experts tell you to.”Treat all disasters as if they were trivialities but never treat a triviality as if it were a disaster.” – Quentin Crisp
Since you are reading this article, you either thought from the title that this would be a topic of interest to you; or, hopefully for me, you are familiar with my work and know that: (1) I know about my topic inside out, (2) I always write about my title, and (3) my articles give you a sense of satisfaction–not a sense of being cheated out of desired information. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could count on every article to provide this satisfaction? Wouldn’t it be nice if our students could count on articles to be factual?I have always been a math person and, as such, reading has never been my strong suit. That changed when I was introduced to EzineArticles.com. Now, if I am not writing articles, I am either reading articles, blogs, websites, or magazines. I have probably read more in the last seven months than I have in my entire life–and I am not exaggerating! I am fascinated by the unusual things I find, by author creativity, and by the amount of information I have learned in so short a time. There are, however, 3 things I keep encountering that push my buttons. (This means they make me frustrated and angry–for you young people needing translation.)First: Finding information that is incorrect but being presented as fact. Several months ago, I read an article about becoming a psychologist through online courses. This person stated it was possible to become a psychologist with a 2-year Associates degree. This isn’t even remotely true; but many who read this will believe it.Second: Getting to the end of the article and discovering that the information I wanted simply isn’t in the article. This happened recently with an article claiming to discuss the rules of logic. I happen to believe that the study of logic is so important that it should be taught in every grade, so I wanted to see what this person had to say. Alas, no rules of logic to be found–certainly not very logical!Third: Realizing that an article purporting to be educational is actually a veiled attempt to sell rather than educate. One expects that certain categories, by their very nature–let’s use penis enlargement as an example–will send certain people clicking as fast as possible to purchase something. When one expects to buy, the push to sell is acceptable. When one expects to learn, the pressure to sell should be minimal. (I apologize to all people under 18 for my example.)I am a retired math teacher, and I take very seriously the quality and accuracy of the information presented about mathematics. For an author to write a quality article about hiring a tutor is perfectly acceptable as long as the title indicates that as the topic. However, a given author need not write 20 such articles since a handful would cover about every possibility–student view, parent view, teacher view, tutor view, etc. To write a tutor article about every course there is to take is absolutely absurd! Even worse, though, is writing articles about math topics one obviously knows nothing about, but just adding lots of mathematical words and trusting no one realizes it is garbage–all while really pushing online tutoring.Educational articles should be written with the expectation that parents and students will be searching for this information. Consequently, authors need to be writing educationally sound articles. If this isn’t happening, we all–especially our students–need readers to take on the responsibility to say, “NO, this is not the place for this!”Here are 5 quick suggestions on how to do just that:1) The very first time you read an inaccurate or misleading article, check the author bio. If the author is NOT an expert in mathematics, for example, then do not read any other articles by this person and SPREAD THE WORD.2) Give the article a bad rating if this is an option. On some sites it is. On other sites it is not. This IS becoming a more common option. Take advantage of it to SPREAD THE WORD.3) If possible, write a personal comment to the author and be very specific about what you find objectionable. This may not change anything, but you will feel better.4) Do NOT go to any website being pushed within educational articles, and SPREAD THE WORD. Note, in a resource box, a website reference is acceptable; but in the article itself, there should be minimal pressure for you to buy.5) Report the author and the article to the website management. Complaints from readers get heard. Use your power!Here’s to the hope that every article we read–whether in mathematics or not–delivers what it promises!