LIFE Magazine (September 27, 1923) …item 3.. Is life really fair? — This is the calculus of unfairness. (October 9, 2011 / 11 Tishrei 5772) …item 4.. Coping with homework insanity (Posted on Tuesday, 09.18.12) …

LIFE Magazine (September 27, 1923) …item 3.. Is life really fair? — This is the calculus of unfairness. (October 9, 2011 / 11 Tishrei 5772) …item 4.. Coping with homework insanity (Posted on Tuesday, 09.18.12) …
40 Days For Life

Image by marsmet541
Tell that to Debbie Regent, a mother of two girls, 14 and 10, who says homework stress is ruining her life. After a day of work, she arrives home to several hours of homework supervision. “There is a value to reinforcing what you learned that day through homework. There is not value in torturing a kid with five pages of math problems, when they have other classes with homework assignments as well.” Regent, a campaign executive with the Jewish National Fund, asserts that homework, much of which is just busywork, not only keeps kids from needed down time, it burdens parents, too.
.

…….***** All images are copyrighted by their respective authors ……..
.

… message header for aish.com

Conan O’Brien’s Commencement Address…Conan has something to tell you about your life’s dreams: they will change … Video 12:01 minutes.

.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
.
…..item 1)…. aish.com … www.aish.com/j … HOME JEWLARIOUS MULTIMEDIA …
.
…………………………………..

img code photo … Conan O’Brien’s Commencement Address

media.aish.com/images/VJLConanOBrianAddress230x15.jpg

…………………………………..
.

Jewlarious … Jewish humor, arts and entertainment

Conan O’Brien’s Commencement Address

www.aish.com/j/mm/Conan_OBriens_Commencement_Address.html
.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
.

Me, a Crook?… I’m not that creative and frankly such an action would never have occurred to me. And even if, in some wild, diabolical moment it did, I certainly would never have acted on it.
.
.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
.
…..item 2)…. aish.com … www.aish.com/f/mom … HOME FAMILY MOM WITH A VIEW ..

Me, a Crook?

A librarian had the chutzpah to insinuate I’m a thief.
.
…………………………………….

img code photo … Me, a Crook?

media.aish.com/images/MomMeACrook230x150-EN.jpg

…………………………………….
.

June 24, 2011 / 22 Sivan 5771
by Emuna Braverman

www.aish.com/f/mom/Me_a_Crook.html?utm_source=mimi_aish_c…

I visited my local library last week. My family and I are frequently library users and very excited that our community’s habits recently convinced the city to close the library on Saturdays and open it on Sundays instead!

But as thrilled as I am with that response that is not what sparked this column. I noticed that a book I had returned (actually a book on CD; my secret to getting on the treadmill every day!) was marked overdue. Something was wrong.

I am a familiar figure to the librarian at the checkout desk. But this problem fell under the responsibilities of the reference library with whom I had no prior relationship.

I explained the situation and while she called the library branch where the book belonged, I went (at her suggestion) to search the shelves to see if it had perhaps been misfiled at this branch instead. Sure enough, there it was. I was thrilled by how easily I found it. Mystery solved, problem cleared up, CD’s now on their way to their proper home.

Everybody happy – well, not quite.

“Since we don’t know when the book was returned,” the librarian informed me, “you still have to pay the fine.” I will confess up front that the fine was minimal (.40) and it was, as they say, the principle of the thing. I was puzzled and I (politely) said so. “I’m confused; if it’s your mistake, why do I have to pay the fine?”

“It’s not our mistake,” she asserted. “But I’ll reduce the fine by half.”

I wasn’t going to argue about 70 cents. I paid and left. But I was still puzzled. If it wasn’t their fault, how exactly did the book make it to the shelf? Who was to blame?

I certainly couldn’t have done it. Then I realized that was the only other possible explanation. Was she really suggesting that, in an effort to save .40 I had walked in with the CD’s, deliberately stuck them on the wrong shelf and then gone to her with my falsified sob story? I couldn’t believe it. I’m not that creative and frankly such an action would never have occurred to me. And even if, in some wild, diabolical moment it did, I certainly would never have acted on it.

Is her assumption that the library patrons are dishonest? Are guilty until proven otherwise? Has that been borne out by experience? Is it an appropriately cautious attitude or just a cynical mistrusting one? Is that reflective of library policy or her individual views of humanity?

Either way I was troubled and saddened by the experience. I love going to the library. I put tremendous value on the public service they provide. And I hate to think that the librarians view the users as deceitful criminals as opposed to enthusiastic readers.

The head librarian really just needs to train her employees to be more careful when reshelving the books. And she needs to train herself to give others the benefit of the doubt. What’s the point of being surrounded by all those books if you aren’t learning the most valuable of life’s lessons from them?
.
.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
.
…..item 3)…. aish.com … www.aish.com/sp/pg

… HOME SPIRITUALITY PERSONAL GROWTH

Climbing the Ladder

Is life really fair?
.
……………………………….

img code photo … Climbing the Ladder

media.aish.com/images/ClimbingTheLadder230x150-EN.jpg
……………………………….
.

October 9, 2011 / 11 Tishrei 5772
by Rabbi Nechemia Coopersmith

www.aish.com/sp/pg/Climbing_the_Ladder.html

The other day my son Yehuda, who has Down syndrome, was called a "retard" by a younger boy.

Thankfully this is a rare occurrence, and at the Jerusalem cheder where he is mainstreamed, his second grade classmates more or less accept him. But the name-calling still stung me.

Yehuda on the other hand, wasn’t fazed one bit; at age 7 he doesn’t yet realize he’s different than others. He just called him "retard" back!

But that time is going to come – if not this year, then probably next, when the disparity between him and his classmates will be even greater – and it makes me wonder: How is it fair that God created him with such disadvantages?

How is it fair that God created my son with such disadvantages?

My wife and I are extremely grateful that Yehuda is very high functioning – he speaks two languages, knows how to read, he’s working on his writing skills, his comprehension is decent and he’s got a great sense of humor and kindness streak that make him very endearing – but there is an obvious gap. His speech isn’t perfectly clear, he doesn’t have the coordination (yet) to ride a bike without training wheels, some of his social skills are off (there’s only so many times one can watch him do his "magic trick" or listen to the same joke) and there’s no way he can keep up entirely with the second grade workload. And this inequality is only going to grow.

Related Article: Raising Yehuda

The "retard" epithet magnified the reality of the differences between Yehuda and other kids his age which I still futilely try to minimize. And it stealthily conjured up that question: Where’s the fairness in all of this?

Click here to receive Aish.com’s free weekly email.

One doesn’t need to have a mentally challenged or handicapped child to provoke the issue. Why does God make one child a naturally gifted student who excels at anything she puts her mind to, and another child an adventure seeker who struggles scholastically? Why does God make some people beautiful and slim and others less so? Why are some people born in the lap of luxury with all the advantages of western society and others are born in poverty in third world countries?

The question in various forms plagues most people. Who hasn’t woken up in the morning at one time or another bemoaning life’s inequalities: why did he get the promotion and not me? Why does she have the perfect husband, the perfect house, the perfect kids and not me? Why was I born with this skin, this hair, this nose?

When we measure our success by comparing ourselves to others we are guaranteed a life filled with discontent and unhappiness. There will always be someone who has more advantages than you. This is the calculus of unfairness.

Personal success has absolutely nothing to do with anyone else. It should be measured against oneself; how much am I actualizing my potential? The yardstick for fulfillment and meaning is based on how many rungs of my ladder I have climbed, not how far ahead I am compared to others.

God creates each person with a unique mission in life, with the challenge to bring out his inner strengths and wrestle with his set of weaknesses. On that score, whatever deck of cards we were dealt, we are all equal.

Comparing Yehuda’s success to others reduces fulfillment to external results rather than the struggle inherent in life itself.

Comparing Yehuda’s success to others negates his soul’s uniqueness and masks the primary spiritual challenge in exerting his free will. It reduces fulfillment to external results (which are ultimately not in our control) rather than the struggle inherent in life itself ("According to the effort is the reward" Ethics of the Fathers 5:26). Yehuda will never be able to fully keep up. So what? He isn’t the same as others, just as others are not the same as him. It only becomes ‘unfair’ when I make the irrelevant comparison to others.

The wisdom in this perspective may be obvious, but because we live in a material world, it’s a real struggle to stop comparing ourselves to others and live with the awareness that our life’s purpose is to strive to bring out our inner potential, whatever it may be.

Sitting in the sukkah gives us the opportunity to reinforce the idea that the basis for our real self worth is internal, not external. It’s the great equalizer. We all leave our comfortable homes, whether they’re big or small, and live for a week in a hut with the stars overhead, recognizing how fleeting the physical world truly is. "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity," we read in Ecclesiastes during the holiday. After attaining the piercing clarity of what’s truly important in life during the intense High Holiday period, we have renewed strength and focus to translate our inspired vision of ourselves into action.

It is no wonder that the holiday of Sukkot is called "zman simchateinu" – the time of our joy. Living in the shadow of God’s embrace, we realize life is fair after all.
.
.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
.
…..item 4)…. The Miami Herald … www.miamiherald.com … WORK / LIFE BALANCING ACT

Coping with homework insanity
.
………………………

img code photo … Debbie Regent

media.miamiherald.com/smedia/2012/09/18/21/31/UxLAT.Em.56…

Debbie Regent, 48, center, assists her children Haley, 10, left, and Brooke, 14, with their homework at their kitchen table. Weston resident Debbie Regent, 48, working parent with two girls, supervised her children homework for several hours in Weston on Sunday, September 16, 2012. CARL JUSTE / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

………………………
.

Does homework overload or help shape the next generation for what’s ahead? Or should we be providing some balance for kids (and their parents), too?

BY CINDY KRISCHER GOODMAN
BALANCEGAL@GMAIL.COM

Posted on Tuesday, 09.18.12

www.miamiherald.com/2012/09/18/v-fullstory/3009370/coping…

The words slip off the tongue of the dad who triages a math assignment from his corner office or the mother who darts home from work to review dozens of spelling words: Stop the homework insanity!

I’ve uttered those words myself, often late at night after my daughter is melting down from hours of math problems on top of essays and chapter outlines. Ask almost any parent and they will tell you that the volume of homework that fills their kid’s agenda is overwhelming.

To rebel, books and websites have been dedicated to the Stop Homework movement, urging letter writing campaigns and teacher confrontation. Last week, I read about a woman who bragged that her grade school daughter had never done a lick of homework. Each year, the mom sits down with the teacher and principal and explains that her daughter will pay attention, get stellar grades and perform well on tests but she will not do homework. She tells the school they can alert her if intervention is required. Somehow, this has worked.

Yet, I’m wondering if we’re taking the wrong approach. Is the homework insanity we complain about as working parents the key to preparing our kids for the workplace of the future?

One father I know convincingly argues that homework, even volumes, is critical preparation for career success. “It’s not realistic for us to raise kids to think they’re going to work 9 to 5, leave and they’re done,” he said. “These kids are going to need to be well prepared to handle all the meetings and projects and emails that come at them in the workplace.”

Clearly, there are new rules we play by in the workplace today. If you want a decent job that will lead to a decent life, you have to work harder and smarter. Workplace experts say the next generation of workers will need to be innovators, problem solvers, open-minded risk-takers with the ability to learn new things, adapt to new work situations and maintain high productivity.

“The onus will be on workers to structure their time,” says Lynn Karoly, a senior economist with RAND Corp. who has studied the future workforce. From her own kids’ homework experience, Karoly says she’s seen a shift, with teachers giving short and long-term assignments, team projects and verbal presentations. “That’s indicative of the way students are expected to learn and the skills they will need in the workforce.”

Tell that to Debbie Regent, a mother of two girls, 14 and 10, who says homework stress is ruining her life. After a day of work, she arrives home to several hours of homework supervision. “There is a value to reinforcing what you learned that day through homework. There is not value in torturing a kid with five pages of math problems, when they have other classes with homework assignments as well.” Regent, a campaign executive with the Jewish National Fund, asserts that homework, much of which is just busywork, not only keeps kids from needed down time, it burdens parents, too.

Today, most working parents juggle multiple responsibilities at work, home, in the community and even as coaches on the soccer field. I suggested to Regent that our kids will be better prepared for their juggling act. “You could say we’re trying to prepare them for a society where everyone is having heart attacks or is on some kind of drug for stress. If you call the real world a stressful, frustrating place, then I guess there’s a point to be had there.”

Cristy Leon-Rivero, vice president of marketing and human resources at Navarro Discount Pharmacy, says that homework teaches responsibility, work ethic and time management — critical skills for workplace success. Today, with laptops and smartphones, few of us truly leave work behind when we exit the office. “I think it boils down to one word — discipline,” says Leon-Rivero, a mother of three. “We’re teaching our children from a young age that they have responsibilities and that their actions carry consequences and hard work will lead to results.”

Josh Merkin, a Miami public relations professional, offers a different prospective: “Generations coming up don’t want to work as hard but they will have to work even harder. If they are better prepared, it’s not because of homework.” In fact, Merkin, father of five kids ranging from 13 to 3, asserts that homework, originally intended to reinforce learning, often gets assigned on concepts students aren’t being taught and are expected to learn on their own. He believes the unnecessary volume often forces kids to give up sports or other extracurricular activities that teach teamwork and other workplace critical skills.

The new generation of worker provides some perspective. Lindsay Parkinson, 22 and on the job as a nurse since July, says she sees value in having slogged through homework assignments. “I learned early on what happens if you procrastinate.” Parkinson says she and many of her friends are entering workplaces that are short-staffed. “There’s a lot expected of us and we know how to prioritize. We’re prepared for that.” Still, Parkinson says she’s not an advocate of volumes of homework, agreeing with Merkin that it needs to be given in moderation.

Meanwhile, countless reports reveal the 20-somethings entering the workplace today put a higher value than other generations on work-life balance. It makes me wonder, is this pushback? Are the next generation of workers burned out from years of homework insanity and college pressure by the time they land a job?

Alyssa Alonso, a 24-year-old Bay Harbor Islands police dispatcher, says she and most of her friends will admit, even if they love their jobs, “life outside of work is way more important.” Many have entered professions where they’re expected to respond to email or client calls at all hours and take home paperwork. “We have the work ethic and we’re prepared to handle it,” she said, “but we want to avoid it as much as possible.”

Workplace columnist Cindy Krischer Goodman is CEO of BalanceGal, a national provider of news and advice on how to balance work and life. Email her at balancegal@gmail.com or visit worklifebalancingact.com.
.
.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
.
.

This entry was posted in 40 Days For Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply