Sunday, April 24, 2011

Homemaking as a Profession

San Francisco Chronicle likes to publish opinions on certain issues from local people.  One of such I read several days ago, featured a woman who identified her profession as a homemaker.  That particular piece of information amply demonstrated why the U.S. is to lose its leading position in the world.

I have no problem with people chose not to work if they can afford it.  However, calling staying home and taking care of family a profession is downright silly.

Today, again, on Chronicle, I read a letter to the editor on taxes for schools.  The author commented that "we need good schools if we want to continue our standing in the world.  The taxes necessary to support our schools are needed right now to support our world standing."

I wholehearted agree with his assertion.  However, the example he gave as what mounted to good education, again, proved outdated and lacking competitive edge.  He stated that he "went through the grades K-12 during the Depression years.  During that time we enjoyed elective courses like shop, music, cooking and others."

Very interesting fact.  Schools are educational institutions and the primary goal there is teaching students knowledge and the methods on how to acquire knowledge and critical thinking.  Other benefits, are side benefits.  I am not saying schools should only teach courses strictly related to the student's future path.  As a matter of fact, I graduated from a great high school in China, while other schools stopped teaching science track students of liberal art in high school, in order to prepared students for college entrance exams, mine continued to teach us history, geography, music, fine art, and physical education, till one year before the exams, and that had indeed enriched me tremendously.  However, schools cannot teach everything.  Cooking and shopping should be taught by parents and guardians not the resources of teachers.  Making time available for those light courses, also reduces time for students to learn in-depth knowledge.  Therefore, I see partial reasons the failure of our K-12 educational system.  When the schools and universities continue to treat Home Economics, Cheering Leading as a part of the serious education, we are doomed to such failure.

I am appalled by the inhumane methods of a "tiger mother", but the ever lowering expectation in this country is the demise of us.  We need to demand more from our students. 

Funding for schools needs to be sufficient but it is not the only problem.

Entering into a great college in China, I met fellow students came from countryside, who had never had chance to see a test tube let alone conducting an chemical, biological or physical experiments.  They memorized procedures and imaged how things were done.   They prevailed in tough college entrance exams and went to be become wonderful engineers, researchers and professors.

Schools should be well-funded.  However, failing of that, should not prevent us from succeeding.  The only obstacle to present that is our lacking the will to succeed.

Ask many immigrants and they'll tell you so.

Domesticity / 家居 / Häuslichkeit

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