Monday, February 16, 2015

Response to "If I Ran the School" MMM

Let me begin by directing you to the article this is in response to... HERE.

I also want to say that most of what I am about to say is not popular opinion.  In fact, it is quite far from that and worthy of some go for it haters.  I also would like to say that this is not an attack on MMM or his ideals.  I simply disagree with some of the points on his most recent article.

I am now going to assume that you have read MMM's article, and if you haven't then go ahead and do so, because I won't be re-writing the whole thing here.

To begin...

I am a public school teacher.  Therefore I get pretty angry at the public's idea of "us" and what "we" do.  I get up early.  Every day.  5:15am to be exact.  Why?  So I can go to school and work out.  Is this required?  NO!  Does it make me a better and more energetic teacher?  HECK YES!  Then I work for about an hour before school on various email, grades, curriculum development, research, pdu's, etc...oh and my official day hasn't even begun yet.  After my main gig of teaching kids during the day, I usually coach or run some after school conditioning.  Usually I stay for about an hour after school even if nothing is going on.  Sure, I got crap that needs to be done at home, but I know that sometimes kids like to drop by and hand in make-up work or maybe they want me to go to one of their sporting events so they extend an invite.  They may not have parents or anyone at home that cares about them and I may be the only responsible adult in their lives they listen to, so that means I always have to be a "parent."  I'm not even going to talk about all the union issues, state issues, or extra meetings etc... This post would end up becoming a novel.  Did I mention I freaking love my job and do it because even if I only help ONE student a year realize a goal or achieve success it makes all the hardship worth it?  It is. 

(What makes me even more proud is the fact that a majority of the teachers where I work are just as kick butt as I am, and usually more so!  You really have to be to work in education these days).

Now on to some rebuttal of your article MMM...

Triple M states "Humans are naturally curious and energetic creatures, and if you set us free in the right environment, we will get to work learning, producing, and having a great time at it."

 Sorry bro, but I got to disagree with that last statement.  Humans by nature are self indulgent creatures who will choose the easiest path when it presents itself unless they are taught or held to a higher standard.

In other words we are naturally lazy, greedy, folks who left to our own wants and needs would self destruct.  MMM, you say yourself that you had to change your own needy ways all the time in your posts.  No more car clowning around and driving to the store when you can be a badass and bike there, even if it is a little chilly out.

That takes effort though.  Most humans you and I want to punch in the face for being so lazy.  These other humans are given free choice, yet they all chose to be lazy and in the end self destructive to their health.  Why?  Because it is easier to lay on the couch and sip soda while snacking than it is to go out for a five mile hike.

It is with this point made that I would like to give my opinion: Discipline is necessary.  

That's right.  I actually agree with the shushing of kids, teaching them how to line up, and delay the pleasure of talking to their friends.  It isn't about silencing their creative thoughts, it is about being respectful!  As a kid you have to learn manners, and that is something our children aren't being taught today with regularity.  Kids are being treated like adults, but they aren't!

You wouldn't let your kid drive a freaking car at age 7, or chew tobacco if he/she wanted at age why do we allow kids to talk back and do whatever the flip they please???  They don't have enough life experience to realize what they are saying or doing may or may not be appropriate.  It is our job as adaults, parents, and teachers to help guide them through their lives with a set of rules for their protection.  Can you go overboard...sure.  Telling the kids to be quiet and respectful in the hallways is not overboard!

1. They are respecting their teacher by doing what is asked.  This should be all the reason they need.
2.  If you need more reason than what was written above, try this.... By not talking they are actually helping the greater good.  They are not considering themselves to be more important than others.  By not talking they show others respect by not breaking the train of thought or lesson in another classroom.

As for getting in a line, it is actually the most effective and efficient way to move from point A to point B.  Running through the hallways and going wherever, whenever, is once again detrimental to the child's education. 

"Recess is for free, uninterrupted, imaginative play."  This is where you and I agree, recess need not be taken away from a child as punishment.  I can think of far more effective punishments (back of the line for recess perhaps) than abolishing it entirely.  I understand your disgruntled nature and wanting to pull your child from school.  This may not even be your only issue with the school...but I have a question for you.

MMM you have founded an entire website on being a bad ass, on overcoming adversity, on choosing the path less traveled by.  I ask you, are you affording the same valuable lesson to your child?  I don't know the details, but based on only what I've read would it not be better to keep him in school?

Should little MMM not be allowed to overcome adversity, instead of being saved by Mr and Mrs MMM?  Is this teaching little MMM that in the future when the going gets tough, its ok, you don't have to stick it out.   

The world ain't all candy shops and lollipops after all.  Rocky said it best when he said that the world will beat you to your knees and keep you there, if you let it.  There isn't always going to be a perfect job, perfect school, perfect teacher, etc... sometimes you just have to make the best of a tough situation and struggle through it.  That is what builds character.

Ding, ding, ding.

*I am in no means criticizing MMM's decision to homeschool his kid.  He knows his situation the best and has made the best decision in his opinion for his family.  I just merely wanted to provide an alternative opinion to the whole home school option.   

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Net Worth Update: January

Hello there again faithful readers...or casual passerby...ok...  So maybe you accidentally clicked here thinking this was Mr. Money Mustaches blog.  It is not.  I'm not half as cool.  Before you go though maybe you would enjoy taking a look at my personal finances and where I am at in life.  That way you can either laugh, cry, or give me a pat on the back and your viewership inspires me to keep going.  So thanks.  Now lets get crackin!

Mint says my current net worth is...

- $123,446.73

That is a difference of...

+ $7227.04

Whoo HOO!!!!  That is right haters, I'm headed in the right direction this year.  So how did I increase my net worth by that much?  Did I fall into a pile of money or rob a small ATM?  Nope.  Read on to find out how the old school family is kicking off 2015 right.

 Account Breakdown...

1. Emergency Fund                  $7713.26                                                                                                2. Checking                              $382.74
3. Chase Sapphire Preferred  - $0.00
4. Wife's Card                        - $0.00
5. Mortgage                           - $160,693.18
6. Wife's 401k                          $12,942.30
7. My Roth                               $539.69
8. My 403b                               $6223.22
9. Wife's Car                            $9,222.00
10. My Car                               $2,500.00

Man, if all months this year are like January we are going to have a great year.  Spending wise we didn't do so great and spent more than we should.  To fix that we are going back to cash envelopes for the 3 biggest perps in our budget: Miscellaneous, Entertainment, and Groceries.  I have already noticed a diffence when at the grocery store because I try to not pick up extras (cookies, donuts, etc...:)

 1. Savings- Hit our goal of 7K---what up!  Now part of this money will come out to pay for car insurance (we do it bi-annually to receive a discount), but in the end we will have 7k left.  Next up on the goal o' meter is 8k in savings.

2. Still haven't done anything with my pesky IMRF...dang.  You should notice that above I have added another account to mint.  That account is my 403b, so thanks Mint for adding the institution to your list and here is a free promotion for MINT.  If you don't have a mint account then I highly recommend getting one.  It is a great FREE way to track your personal finances.

Other (Yearly Goals)
So far I am on pace to read 10 non-fiction books a month.  I can't say that the book I read this month was very exciting, but it was helpful.  I read the MAT for dummies guide in preparation for taking my MAT test.   

This actually plays into my other goal of getting selected into a masters program and continuing my education.  I just need to firm up my application and send it in and hold my breath!

I have been running a little, but nothing serious.  I'm certainly not getting in shape for a marathon with the amount that I'm running, but small steps will make way for great progress (or something cheesy like that).

I have only watched one lesson on you-tube about mandarin.  Def slacking on this goal, but I have been pretty busy lately and this has taken a backseat.  I hope I can pick it up soon.

As for retirement we are currently on track with what I want to put away this year...although there is always room for more:)

I also have been successfully conducting devotions everyday and have noticed a change in my demeanor for my wife.  Over all I feel very thankful for her and I know that shows more this year than it did last...

and last but not least I have continued with my goal of posting at least once a month.  It may only be one post, but it doesn't matter.  Old School is still going strong.

Catch you cats on the flip side.