Thursday, January 8, 2009

The State of Public Education in California (Do Stuff)

I used to be an "educator," albeit for a private school. Anyhow, the Governator himself wants to cut five days from the school year. There's an elementary school near my home, and they apparently had the longest winter break ever (from pre-Thanksgiving to post-New Year). I don't think they're a year-round school, either. In my day, we had four days from 8:15 or 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM and one short day until 2:00 PM. From what I've heard, the long days now go until 2 PM (?) and the short days go until noon (?).

Who am I to say anything? I'm an uneducated businessperson and uneducated in Web design (although I've evolved since the pages in 1998), yet I faciliate those informal skills to support my college degree in film (via my film company Mutiny Universe). Don't get me started how unrefined I am in music; I just have several years under my belt of experience to justify how I can run a music company, too. I guess it's what you do with your time, and learning new stuff constantly is always a good thing. If you're not learnin', you're forgetin'. However, book-learnin' can only take you so far: You have to actually do stuff.

A wise man by the name of Lonnie Marshall (of Lon Ho and the Big Babies) has been known to say (paraphrased): "We ain't New Wave, we're Do Wave. 'Cause there ain't nothin' newer than doin'!" There's nothing newer than doing should be everyone's mantra.

My advice to the short-changed children of California is for them to learn something useful when they're not in school: the further away the subject from what's actually taught at school, the better. Learn the guitar, the drums, or the piano - like loud, easy, pop chords and go into classical-style later. Learn HTML and CSS and make templates for Blogger or MySpace. Actually, the money is in making apps for iPhones/iPods and Facebook - so learn how to do the code (in-joke italicized). And then do stuff.

I don't know what to say to the teachers, who will lose out on money to feed themselves. You can always start a business in your newly-found "free time." The hardest part is taking the plunge and learning the correct terms along the way, but learning and teaching go hand-in-hand. Join the ownership class. And do stuff!

It's a new kind of capitalism when everyone's in the ownership class.

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