Disparity Between Schools

Friday, October 29, 2010

This is sponsored post from Welch's Healthy Harvest but the opinions are entirely my own.

Are you watching School Pride? I just caught up on the first two episodes and I am horrified. And embarrassed. I know educators need help updating their classroom materials, keeping arts programs and keeping their quality teachers from moving to other districts. I also know that, when it comes to urban versus suburban and socioeconomic factors, there are huge disparities as to where money goes and how much certain districts get.

When we bought our house it was a compromise and, to me, a little bit of a sacrifice. We chose a fixer-upper condo in a nice area over a detached house somewhere else. We paid a little too much. The area we live in is kind of expensive in general. But, we wanted to be in this part of the city for the schools. That was criteria number one. We know we made the right choice. 

We've been very happy overall with Tyler's school. The students have a computer lab as well as computers in the classrooms. They still have PE class. The library is well stocked. The lunch program is better than most. The kids get to grow and eat things from the science garden. Our Halloween carnival? Looked like a county fair. We have on-site before and after care for working parents. I know how lucky we are.

But I'm embarrassed that I didn't really know how bad some of our nation's schools are. When I thought of the kind of conditions some kids were attempting to learn in I pictured run down buildings, no buses, no after school programs and not enough sports equipment. I was not picturing mice, rats, roaches, no paper towels or hand soap, playgrounds overrun with gopher holes, mold and general decay. Knowing our school has so much when others have so little makes me feel a little pampered, if that makes sense.

It was ironic that, while I was watching the show, someone I follow on Twitter mentioned that she was at her child's school earlier in the day and got to see all the kids working on their own iPads. The School Pride host was asking a junior high student how they play basketball with only one deflated ball and a broken backboard while someone else's first graders have their own iPads. Incredible. 

Well, my eyes have definitely been opened. I'll be paying more attention to legislation that effects schools and helping promote companies and causes that offer schools opportunities to apply for things that will enrich their student's educational experience like Welch's Harvest Grants program. I'm not quite ready to join the PTO but I'll definitely be looking at how our school uses its funds.

Singer John Legend was quoted recently as saying the state of education "is the Civil Rights movement of our time." If the first episodes of School Pride are any indication of what we can expect to see, I think he's absolutely right.


-From now until February 11, 2011, schools can apply for one of 100 grants to start their own garden. 
-Five schools will receive $1000 and 95 will receive $500. 
-Grants will include seeds and tools.
Pass on the information to your teachers and administrators!

*I am being compensated for this post but the opinions on the state of schools and the incredulity and disgust that some children have to try to learn with roaches at their feet is all mine. Photo credit belongs to me.

Telling Myself to Shut It

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Rancho Bernardo Inn for a morning at the spa. I chose an 80-minute. I totally needed it. Between our shitty mattress and the walking I've been doing for the 3 day, my back was a giant knot.


When it was my time to go into the treatment room I was giddy. After I got through my typical massage day freak out (Is my bikini line shaved enough? Will the salt scrub sting since I was stupid and shaved my legs this morning? I hope I don't have to pee. Please God, don't me let me pee or toot when she's pushing on me!) I settled in, ready to be kneaded.

My masseuse got started and I felt myself relaxing. But after awhile, my brain started whirring. I was going through my To Do lists, reminders, schedule, composing blog posts and thinking of what to make for dinner. I literally had to tell myself to STFU and enjoy the damn massage already! Several times.

Jen, Beth, Christine and Sugar
Here I was, in this gorgeous spa getting an awesome massage and I could. not. relax! If ever there was a time to sit back and enjoy the moment, that was it. I hate it that my mind is always working. I have white noise 24/7. There are nights when I can't fall asleep because of the whirring. It's exhausting.

I know I could do yoga or meditate to relax but I don't think relaxing is my problem. I think it's that I never feel caught up. If I'm not constantly thinking of what needs to be done and how to make it all happen I'll fall even more behind.

Perhaps my main problem is time management? Is this just a me thing? Or maybe an anal person thing? A mom thing? Have you ever had to tell yourself to STFU and enjoy the moment?

*Rancho Bernardo Inn provided my treatment, lunch and spa slippers. Katie of La Jolla Mom has a great review of the Inn itself. More pictures from the day are on Flickr.
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