Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Whine and Cheese -"It's Merlot Time!" Laugh Responsibly

Whine and Cheese -"It's Merlot Time!" 05/02 by ArtSeesDiner | Blog Talk Radio Is a new weekly show on Artsees Diner Radio. "ADRadio is about bringing to life the people, places and things associated with the Mother Ship, ArtSeesDiner.com. This show brings to the listener, Mary, Maureen and Kris. Mary is the CEO, founder, editor, producer, the "Mother" behind the Diner. Maureen is a sister of Mary, and Kris, is not only the sister-in-law of Mary, but, the spouse of Maureen. The diversity of the 3 women hosting this show promises to bring some "Whine" a lot of "cheezer" moments, so heart to heart conversations at time, and yes, as the artwork indicates, a shared love of a nice glass of wine.

The 3 women will do what they are best at, BEING WOMEN! Join them as they embark a journey of discovery.

ArtSeesDiner.com is a virutal little diner that brings to the reader, and now listener that comfortable "third place." The "third place" is that place that people go to to discuss the trends of the day, the concerns of the moment, the heart of the matter, and to Just BE! For many, many years, Mary would spend morning after morning drinking coffee with Maureen, as they would discuss more topics than anyone could possibly imagine. Over the years, that common "third place" their dining room tables have grown further apart logistically. Thanks to technology, they get to come together one night as week and share with you, their listener that which cannot be silenced; love, life, family, friendship, a good bottle of wine, and laughter that will send you begging for more!

The team of 3 promise to bring fine pairings, wine tasting, special guests, and whatever comes their way. Please join Mary, Maureen and Kris as they proclaim, "Nothing Could be Finer than the Ladies of the Diner! "Whine and Cheese, It's Merlot Time!" Cheers!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

School A Safe Zone?

While I appreciate the heightened level of awareness of violence in our schools as a result of the tragedy at Newton, I must take this dialogue a little further. A recent article in Education Week, has proved to be a catalyst for me to write about this issue from the perspective of one who has been asking this question for a long time; Why do educators continue to accept the "hostile work environment" that many go into every day? There is not another sector of our society that would tolerate employees being attacked, assaulted, permanently injured, or traumatized both emotionally and mentally. There is not! The weapons being used? Fists, teeth, projectiles, yes, sadly firearms, water on the floor, ladders, mandates, expectations, harassment, fear, and far more! Statistics do not lie according to the NEA. While Education Weekly looks at laws before congress to protect students from gun wielding, emotionally ill people intruding upon "safe zones," many educators are crying out and asking, what about protecting the educator in "war zones?" Yes, our community schools should be places where teachers and children alike can safely walk the halls and learn unencumbered by violent outbursts in the classroom. A large number of the educators injured on the job are para-professionals left to deal with the emotionally, physically, mentally challenged children. What is saddest of all is many of these professionals only make minimum wage, with minimal benefits. So, depending upon what state they work in determines their capacity to live on in any quality of life there-after. I would like to share a few stories, all true, about the lack of safety in schools. Case #1: Teaching Assistant, job, overseeing the computer lab in an elementary school. This teacher was hired with an understanding that she would be overseeing proper use of the computer lab. She was well qualified and capable. She was paid minimum wage. The job started out okay, until the school district decided that computer classes would become, inclusion classes. This meant that all children in the school would have the opportunity to be in the computer lab with MS.X. This was also a violation of State law in that, the classroom teacher was also assigned one of 2 half hour preps that she received a week. So, this left Ms. X., alone with children with children who suffered from emotional disabilities. The classroom became more and more violent and the intensity of the outbursts, violent hysteria, and overall hostility increased. Ms. X, began having post-traumatic stress episodes which was causing impairment. She attempted to seek intervention, knowing that her rights, and the rights of the other students were being violated. She was threatened to be fired by her less than accommodating principal. Her only solution, to quite. She did. Case #2: A novice teacher was assigned to a school in an Urban area, a very hard-hit area. Her job was to provide science lab instruction to all children K-8. This teacher being a licensed educator, was not required to have anyone in the classroom, as she was a full-time, licensed practitioner. Miss Y, believed in a hand's on, but routine based process for delivering her curriculum. One young man, a fifth grader, was frequently rude, disruptive and well, "out of control" at times. She requested a conference with the child's mother, and her principal advised against it. So Miss Y, asked for the principal to intervene, however, this only triggered greater insult by this student. Miss Y, besides herself sent a letter home to the mother. The next day, the mother stormed into Miss Y's classroom and began to scream expletives at the young man in front of the entire classroom. Miss Y, tried to get her to leave, but, the mother turned her expletives on the young teacher. Next the mother picked her son up around the waist and using him as a battering ram, began to bang his head into a filing cabinet. Miss Y, ran into the hall screaming for help. A janitor came into the room and ushered the erratic, out of control woman out of the classroom. Miss Y, requested someone to come and relieve her as she had never seen such violence against a child before, or adult. Miss Y, disillusionment increased when she went to file charges and alert the Department of Children and Family services about this horrific incident. She was advised by her principal not to do it. The principal refused to sign the form and informed Miss Y, that she would be written up for insubordination if in fact she carried it out. Miss Y, ended up hospitalized with numerous medical issues stemming from intense PTS, as a result. She was terminated only a couple of weeks later for being unable to fulfill her job. The rationale behind the principal's actions? She identified the parent's actions as one of cultural, and Miss Y, was not capable of understanding it. Case #3: High School, where there are frequent fights breaking out in the hallway with little to no forewarning. Fight broke out, requiring 10 educators to break up 2 boys. One of the teachers while breaking it up was assaulted from behind by a student who was not even in the fight. This person saw it as an opportunity to injure an educator. The teacher had to leave and seek treatment. Case #4: High School educator permanently relegated to live out her life in a wheel chair. Why, well, because a student thought it would be funny to see what happened if oil was poured on the tile covered cement stairs. The teacher fell down a flight of stairs, permanently injuring her back. Imagine working in a place where teachers are on high alert all the time, so as to 1)avoid being injured, 2)protect others from being injured, 3) fear of dismissal or degrading of position if you become a "squeaky wheel?" In closing I want to leave you with a few facts about employment in the United States. There are on average 13 people dying every day as a result of injuries sustained on the job. There are another 50,000 individuals dying annually as a result of work related illnesses. The Statistics do not lie according to the NEA. the question becomes, why are educators not willing to stand up and demand answers? Why are there not more lawsuits filed by educators and by the unions that protect educators? As I sit here writing this post, I am recovering from an injury sustained at work, as an educator. While I was not assaulted by any students, not one single student came to my aid when I fell and was unable to get up. I pulled myself by holding on to a lock that I barely reached overhead. I alerted my front office that I had been injured, no one came to my aid. I went on to class and gathered up my students and did the best I could to end the day. Fortunately it was my last period class. That was 6 months ago, and I am still unable to walk. I will return to education in some capacity, however, I have a few points that I need to be heard before that time. Why did I fall? How did it happen? Well, I am one of the few teachers that is obligated to teach 3 different sets of curriculum, and in 3 different classrooms in opposite ends of the building and on 2 separate floors. I have 4 minutes to get from one end of the building to another. I have to carry my materials with me up and down stairs and across the building. This particular day, I had an issue with a student at the end of my 7th period. I had not gone to the bathroom for hours. My mind was on making it to the bathroom in an entirely different hallway, dealing with a student who had been a problem, loading up all my materials and making it to another classroom in less than 4 minutes. With 2 minutes to spare after dealing it the student, I moved quickly up a small flight of stairs, (carpeted)and stepped out onto a tiled covered cement floor, whilst navigating a sharp left turn to enter onto the hallway, and I lost my footing. Arms were filled with books, floor was obviously more slick than the carpeted floor before, and the rest is history. Severe damage to the left knee, hip and lower back. In closing, while many educators do not face what I had to, nor do they face with the 4 representations, the truth is, these are minor compared to what some educators go through on a daily basis. You see, educators need to stop being martyrs and start being proactive to make schools "safe zones" for all. There is no other professional in the world that would tolerate this type of environment, why should educators be expected to, and why isn't it easier to protect that which is mandated by every state and the United States, education.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

the Ovoid Elyssium Herald: 'Ovoid, Illinois': Anti-establishment Balderdash

the Ovoid Elyssium Herald: 'Ovoid, Illinois': Anti-establishment Balderdash: Let us over-look, for the time being, the myriad inaccuracies of Ovoid life foisted upon an unsuspecting public by the author of 'Ovoid,...

Peace Found In a Storm

When we are struggling we fool ourselves often times into believing that we are less than others who say things like, "just get over it" "look at the positive" "be grateful for what you have" "every cloud has a silver lining" Yes, this is all true, every word of it, and the feelings of loss, discontent, fear, anxiety, paranoia are all true as well. The truest Grace is when in the midst of the storm, the pain, the paranoia, you are still able to see the aforementioned. When you can end your day, and define the dark, by the contrast of the light, then you are mastering your self-awareness, and you will survive until such time that you thrive, but, with the light comes the dark and the dark the light, for without each other, you would be unaware of both. The great meditation guru's still hear the world moving around them, but, they have mastered a rapid return to peace. Yesterday was a horrible day and a miraculously wonderful day. When I am feeling the pain, I am not as keenly aware of all the miracles of yesterday, but, as the pain dissipates, the clarity comes back to me. As I struggle daily through this horrible nightmare that I have been enduring since November 8th, I am keenly aware of what it is to be disabled. To have to rely upon those around you to tend to you in order that your health and well-being is restored. When I realize that my rights as an individual are being denied, and I have to overcome threats of abandonment, loss of income, loss of the ability to walk freely again, to advance in my career, to hold my grandchildren, it is enough to make me crumble into a ball and just say, take it all away. Asking the Lord to take it all away is not a bad thing, until you realize this simple fact; To take it all away removes my ability to grow beyond this, and seek a Higher ground. It denies me the contrast of light and dark. Yesterday is a day I want to forget, and remember. Yesterday, I held my grand babies. I fed them soup in a bread bowl. I saw my babies enjoy a cookie and a brownie that MeMe brought them. I held my baby girl and looked to her for medical advice and support. I sat and had a meal with my firstborn and dreamed, dreams and held onto her as she reassured me that everything would be alright. I stood my ground only to realize that there are horrible, uncaring people in the world, but, it made the sweetness of the beautiful people more clear. I looked into the eyes of others who are ravaged by emotional pain and I prayed for them as I realized I have no control. My baby Nolan while looking at my pictures in my phone, identified a portrait I painted correctly and without reservation, clearly identifying me as a capable artist. Admitting that you cannot do all things, be all things is not admitting failure or defeat, it is being human. Holding on to the hand of the One who created me and trusting that all will be right, is a very hard thing to do, but, when you are so damaged that you cannot even get down on your knees and pray, it merely means that you must hold long and hard on to the hand placed at before you, squeeze, and hold on tight! Peace will return.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Soap Blogging Queen! That's ME

SoapBlogging, the intentional soap boxing arena that allows for the individual writer, in this case ME, to write freely, not caring one iota as to whether or not anyone reads the banter of one who has so much to say! Today I am reminded of how haphazard the world really is, and unpredictable too. Recently I was forced into yet another career change. I would love to blame myself, my lack of attention, inability to communicate, undesirable appearance, lack of insight into the needs and wants of the world around me, lack of fighting spirit, and the list could go on and on. But, after a second thought, (and believe me it takes little to no time to come to this conclusion) I embrace this reality…jobs, career, friends, family, are much like marriage. Sometimes you just come to the conclusion that there is a lack of cohesiveness, continuity, personality conflict, in short, “it just don’t work!” Now that is not to remove blame, as many times there is just downright evil at work! If you are intentionally cheating, lying, stealing, philandering whether in a marriage, or even with another co-worker, (I will fill you in later) then, well, a negative begets a negative! So here is ME, back to the drawing board, starting over. This time, will I get it right, so…just Kottke shared in his blog http://www.kottke.org/08/01/imperfectly-interesting It is my fondest wish that my lack of perfection, my degree of imperfection, will actually be my “ace in the hole” my signature mark. It is today that I start anew and truly endeavor to become the SoapBlogging queen of 2008, the writer extraordinaire, the guiding light to all those lost souls on the internet seeking some degree of value in the written word. It is through our dialogue, our discourse that we will come together in the “third place.” It is with a strange degree of sadness and relief that I forge into this phase of my life with a whole lot of knowledge regarding the disparity, the condemnable reality of the health care crisis, with an emphasis on hospital’s role in the pillaging of the uninsured and a lack of understanding that asks, so now what do I do with this insight? Stay tuned, you will probably find out! So I remain beholden to the original intent in 2008!

In Defense of Said Position...

The following excerpt is from a post, dialogue that Steve Champagne had in defense of his opinion that capitalism is a system that has failed, thereby forcing people to fight as our founding fathers fought over 2 centuries ago. I applaud his willingness to risk labeling that is not befitting a highly intelligent free thinker as he is. We must be very careful we do not become beholding to a closed minded ignorance only to maintain our piece of the pie, and forgo growth as a people, as humanity. When we do we cease to develop as human beings and as a result we succumb to such horrors as witnessed in Nazi Germany. Now for SCR's commentary:"Still, I must admit I've never given much credence to points whose defense requires uppercased words and outright declarations that they've been inadvertently made by others. I don't discount the role that handouts play in weakening human spirit and character. But I see such entitlements as pound of cure desperation measures that attempt to stave off immediate social collapse, the kind that historically follows the steep mathematical slope of disparity between the haves and the have nots that categorizes this nation. The fact is that those with more wealth have an unfair advantage when it comes to definining and/or gaming the legal and, thus, economic system, and are able to pass this advantage down to their heirs. Reality has a way of seeking balance, and unbridled capitalism leads to imbalance which blindly calls out for an equally imbalanced counterbalance, aka the pound of cure. Those busy manipulating the system have no one but themselves to blame, because biological realities cannot be cheated without consequence. The solution isn't a system. It's quality human beings. And quality human beings are not the by product of a system. They're the creation of quality human beings. No system or process can make up for the absence of quality human beings. Said another way, you can't legislate morality, or otherwise expect it to fall or seep out of anything but the hard work, discipline, and sacrifice made by quality human beings called parents, beings which, contrary to what you say, do not magically appear in the midst "self betterment .. self reliance .. and individualism". Capitalism is indeed ultimately worship of individual self, and the rampant, disastrous consequences thereof are overwhelmingly obvious (well, to anyone not lost in focus mostly on them*selves*). The reason we've wound up with more government is because we've become less human and, thus (back to the balance thing), need more externally administered goading to not collectively wind up in the ditch. Both the left and the right who keep wanting to debate systems, policy, etc. are looking in the wrong direction. In reality, there are no systems. That's all just conceptuality, modeling, re-presentation. There are only people who are either behaving in ways best for the herd, or not. When they are, the herd benefits. When they aren't, the herd suffers. The herd doesn't benefit when 1% of the herd controls 99.99% of the pasture. Imagining otherwise is better drugs than LSD. At the same time, treating everyone equally without equal effort or contribution also undermines the herd. Quality people understand the detriment of inequality of all forms to the herd, whether it's some hoarding what they don't need, or others receiving what they don't deserve. The question is, are there enough quality people left to breed and become a majority again, before the greedy fucks at the top and the lazy fucks at the bottom dry up the finite supply of human spirit and character?"

Saturday, April 20, 2013

And the Voice of ArtSees Diner is Being Heard Loud and Clear!

Being featured on Blog Talk Radio, definitely has its advantages. Our show which aired last night at 11pm (northwest Indiana time) has garnered over 1300 listens in only 10 hours. I expect that the numbers will continue to climb over the next 48 hours. Our shows have on averaged netted us over 125 listens per show, with a few reaching up to 1,000 listens. In only 2 months ArtSees Diner Radio, has had well, over 12,000 listens. This is remarkable. The voice of ArtSees Productions, and ArtSeesDiner.com is truly up and running. As huge thanks to Steve Champagne, (our co-host, in house musician, and sound engineer) and Douglas C. Rapier, author of Ovoid Illinois for agreeing to be a featured guest. So much more wonderful music, discussions and just good ole' time fun is ahead of us. The 5 year anniversary of ArtSeesDiner.com is going to be stellar! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/artseesdiner/2013/04/20/me-time-featured-guest-douglas-c-rapier

Friday, April 19, 2013

Lean in and PUSH!

Today is the day, we do need to lean in and put our shoulders to the moment. There is a story of a man who wants to do the Lord's work. He goes to the Lord and asks, "what do you want me to do." The Lord said, "there is a large boulder over there, see it? I want you to go to it, and push, lean your body into it, and push." The man asked, "how many times?" The Lord responded, "Everyday!" So the man did, everyday. Finally after many years, the man sat down and began to cry. He called upon the Lord and said, "I am so confused, I have pushed and leaned, I have done everything and the boulder will not move!" the Lord said, "look at you, you are strong, powerful, and ready to move mountains! Now go, and move men as I have moved you!" HAVE A GREAT DAY!

Friday, April 12, 2013

After Midnight 04/14 by ArtSeesDiner | Blog Talk Radio

After Midnight 04/14 by ArtSeesDiner | Blog Talk Radio

The Steve and Mary Show 04/13 by ArtSeesDiner | Blog Talk Radio

The Steve and Mary Show 04/13 by ArtSeesDiner | Blog Talk Radio

Momma's Apron

Momma's Apron Forward by Mary E. LaLuna Recently I was driving up Red Arrow Highway from New Buffalo Michigan to St. Joseph Michigan, just enjoying a nice Saturday afternoon with my sweetie. We had no intention of wandering into the local antique shoppes, as it has never really been anything that we have done together. Now and then, I enjoy walking into a neat orderly antique shoppe, but typically stay away from them. Except when I was in Cold Spring, New York a year or so ago, I have never been in one with Steve. This time was different. Something called to us from a little shop called "Days of Yore Antiques." It is a quaint little store tended to with a great deal of love as you can tell by the strategic placement of doodads, and other antique finery. As we moved from the beautiful treasures in the front of the store towards the back (I was quickly moving towards the blue glass) I saw them, Aprons! What drew my attention to them was the pink and lime green gingham check ones with fine needle work around the bottom. Now any reader that graduated from King Upper Grade Center in Kankakee, aka, East Junior High School, would remember (that is if they were in middle school prior to 1980) making an apron in Home Economics, along with chocolate soufflé and other delicacies (?). It wasn’t until I visited Connie Yore's Antique Store, did I come to value the rationale behind the making of an apron in middle school home ec. I carefully searched through all of the finely starched aprons, aprons of every style, need and occasion. I remembered the yellow gingham fabric that I was given. I remembered the cross stitch, the French knot, the chain stitch. I remembered that you would have to get it just right, or carefully take the stitches back out and start over. I came across fancy aprons worn over the evening wear. There were satin black ones, ones made of lace stitched together with rows of ribbons. They were beautiful. There were aprons that dated even my now deceased grandmothers. Again, I was in an antique shop, which explained the antiquated selections. I wondered as I picked each one up, touched the aged fabric, realizing the life, the beauty, and fantasizing the stories that were woven into each delicate piece of fabric. Which one would I choose? Which one would hold a story for me to share to you my reader? I further questioned, does anybody wear an apron anymore for the reasons that Beaver’s Mom and our grandmothers did? Have aprons just become some silly way for the BBQ chef to beg for commentaries from the salivating crew waiting to be fed, “the best darn BBQ ribs in said county!” It didn’t matter I was entranced by a by-gone day. I needed to have an apron of my own. Maybe I would begin the tradition in my own home. Maybe, my new Granddaughter would be exposed to the beauty of MEME’s apron. I suddenly longed for the apron my deceased sister-in-law gave all of the women of the family one Christmas. An Avon Christmas plaid, it was of the pinafore variety. I recalled a picture of me standing in my kitchen, the same kitchen that I spent making the chocolate soufflé that was taught to us right after embroidering that yellow gingham apron, but this time a young mother. I dug out that old Polaroid photo of me again I remembered the value of the apron. I remembered wearing that regularly, cleaning up spills, wiping hands, but what I remembered the most was wearing it like a princess gown as I danced with my son. We stood next to the stove it was there that I danced a dance of love. Now I know how important that dance was. I did not understand the value then. I could not see that I was the most beautiful woman he knew. I know now that as he hugged me tight, his love was embracing the garment that made me look beautiful to him. “Sugar pie honey bunch you know that I love you!” I sang that to him, and it garnered me a kiss. A sweet little prince-like kiss accompanied with angelic pursed lips. What I would give to be once again dancing with him. The apron that I chose, a delicate yellow voile one with simple adornments perfectly starched in spite of the wear and literal tear on the front. That was the one I wanted, it was transparent, it was well used. It is much like me, flawed, practical, useful but a little fancy too. Please enjoy the story of Momma’s Apron written by Connie Yore of Days of Yore Antiques , St. Joseph, Michigan. When entering Momma’s kitchen, you were handed an apron that was starched and ironed to perfection. It was one of many of a collection that matched every color scheme. Everyone who helped her had to wear an apron – it made her feel in charge! The apron had many uses besides protecting the dress. Momma would use hers to wipe away tears when a child was hurt, or sad. If she was a visitor coming down the walk, she would quickly take the edge of her apron and dust the table. She would always have an apron hanging on a nail in the pantry for a quick change to greet her “coffee” friends at the door. She would gather her apron around the handle of the large black skillet to carry it from the stove to the table. She also used her apron as a grip-enhancer for opening Mason jars. The porch was a good place to visit in the evening. If a chill was in the air Mamma would gather her apron around her arms. It also helped ward off those pesky mosquitoes. The everyday aprons were used as carryalls for vegetables from the garden, wood from the shed, eggs from the henhouse, and fruit from the trees. Mamma also used it to carry laundry to the bedrooms. The fancy aprons were used for serving at the Ladies Aid, church suppers, weddings and yes, funerals. I hope you enjoy this apron and all of the memories that go with it! **as I reread this, and shared it with you, my own memories of aprons, and the women who wore them in my life came rushing in. Please send me your memories. I will reprint them as they come in.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Kingdom In Our Midst - Merlin Gonzales 04/10 by ArtSeesDiner | Blog Talk Radio

Kingdom In Our Midst - Merlin Gonzales 04/10 by ArtSeesDiner | Blog Talk Radio

We Should No Longer Hold Onto the Notion that We Should Raise Our Own Children?

This is the most absurd, insulting reality that the regime is shoving down our throats. "Your kids are not your kids, they belong to the community! We must undo the notion that your kids are your responsibility" Seriously, this is what the promo says. It is total brainwashing BS! Is this what you really want? You really want to turn your kids over to the government? "we have never put enough money into education?" Seriously? We have put more money into education in the past 12 years under NCLB, then we did between the years of 1965 to 2000! The Federal government wants to raise your children. WAKE  UP! Watch and listen http://www.mrctv.org/videos/shorter-melissa-harris-perry-all-your-kids-are-belong-us

The sad reality is that Hillary Clinton first began to plant the idea when she proclaimed that "it takes a village" Everyone grabbed a hold of that claiming that it was some amazing lovely comment. No, it does not take a village, or a school system, or a community and definitely not Washington to raise our children. I raised mine all by myself. Yes, I did. My sisters have, my brothers have. I was raised by my parents, with minimal influence by the rest of the "village!"

Monday, April 8, 2013

"Blue Plate Specials" 04/08 by ArtSeesDiner | Blog Talk Radio

"Blue Plate Specials" 04/08 by ArtSeesDiner | Blog Talk Radio

Great People, Great Music, William Rottman, Nerio Degracia, Michelle Qureshi, Freddy Mitchell Euphoria, Florian, Keenan Baxter, Steve Champagne, Mary E. LaLuna, BoPoMoFo, Tombstone Bullet, and more, 
ArtSeesDinerRadio and ArtSeesDiner.com is outstanding fun! Featuring an eclectic blend of music, chill, blues, jazz, mambo, rock, pop, opera, classical music, indie, and more!

The Importance of a College Education and Asset Acquisition

I had an epiphany the other day about the importance of a college education the other day after being prodded by a question posted by a gentleman on Linkedin.com through the Higher Education Teaching and Learning group. I listened to Robert T. Kiyosaki, author of "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" and in a moment I realized the biggest problem we have in raising the next generation of successful peopl is that wee focus too much on "job" training, "income earning" and not enough on the difference between assets and debt. We train them to go for a job! For a child coming out a home that has literally only the bed that they sleep in, (if they are lucky enough to have their own bed), we are going to miss the mark. For a large number of "have not's" their parents do not have debt, nor do they have assets. Therefore, they cannot comprehend what it is that we are talking about. I, for one, was raised by a hard working father and mother, and they had some debt, but, they mostly had a house and that was their asset. They purchased the home when I was 2 and by the time I was 20 my father was ready to pay off his home and could have with $5,000! What my father still owed on the property, even after re-financing a couple of times could be purchased with 2 month's worth of his wages. He made a sound investment. It did not depreciate, yet, it appreciated substantially. At the age of 52, my failed marriage has left me with nothing but debt, even with a college education, a very advanced college education. The problem, the education put me into extreme debt without enough viable years in the work force to pay off that debt. Imagine paying off your student loans when you are 70! Well, that is my situation. Aside from a miracle, that will be the financial legacy I leave my children. My best friend who barely made it out of high school, stayed home and raised her kids and married a man who had no college is going to be debt free by the time she is 70. Even with possible health issues, etc., she will be fine. Why? Because she married a man who landed a quality income stream right out of high school. He wanted a position that would provide enough income to sustain them, and allow for sound investments in property. They wisely picked up foreclosed properties along the way transforming their neighborhood. Her father showed her how to do it. His father showed him how to do it. She has assets to fall back on. I have the education, the brains, the credentials, but, lack the investment. I made other choices aside from my education that has not availed me much more, (actually less) than those living on welfare. Those on welfare with no college education have more then I do. While I would love to say that education is not something anyone can take away from you, what value does it hold if we cannot do anything with it? If in the end we are indebted to the government? We are held hostage by the paper that hangs on the wall? When we worked hard, paid our dues, followed the rules and we are relegated to merely bringing attention to it through blogging, have we brought value to our situation? We need to reassess what we identify as a must do for people wishing to move professionally through the world.We have led people to believe that the only way to move ahead is to accumulate debt, large sums of debt before they will ever possibly get a job. Imagine selling someone a home valued at 100k without a job prospect. Well, every person in college right now is being sold the equivalent concept, and they like me, have jumped into a pool of very deep water, without a life preserver. We must be very honest and wise when educating our children. Academics is not enough!