I've been thinking about education a lot lately, and came to a few conclusions primarily regarding K-12:
1. Despite what people say throughout the world, schools in America WORK. They could be better, but in the end who cares about test scores across the world when in the real world (post-school) we produce more patents, more jobs, more everything? There's a reason why, regardless of the "low" scores (which don't take into account technological training, group collaboration, or any number of arguably more important things that one can't test), people come HERE to study, and we shouldn't be trying to copy what other schools around the world do when ours are obviously outputting as good or better end results. The traditional philosophy in the United States on schools is to inspire productivity, adaptability, and creativity (albeit a recent push away from this); elsewhere, they often cram facts and numbers. The keyword there is inspire. I argue it's more important to have the former attitude, as with it you can come up with anything the latter does, along with unique paradigms.
2. The second shortcoming is the seeming decrease of responsibility of parents to their children. There is so much emphasis on putting kids into school for more hours, but would it not help more to have the kids around their parents to learn directly from them? These days, so many parents push off the responsibility of education to schools, whereas I argue schools are simply there to maintain a basic minimum standard as well as provide creative and adaptive interaction, and little more. We don't need more money for schools (although perhaps the money could be better allocated), more time in schools, or more facts and work in school, and rarely do we need the school to bend over backwards to cater to the individual students. The flaw often lies in the parents themselves, who fail to educate in the home and thus fail to ignite the spark of loving to learn for learning's sake.
3. Never let school get in the way of your education, to paraphrase Mark Twain. Formal schooling is helpful to the extent it should be (that is, enforcing a minimum standard of knowledge and understanding as well as providing an environment for students to grow as a group and learn to adapt to others), but once again, education is far above schooling. An inward motivation is all it takes to excel and progress your education.
Anyway, these are solely my own opinions and don't even necessarily reflect those of my marvelous fiancée.
This week school began. As if that's not enough, I have classes. But Lisa and I share a class, Dance 180, in which we will learn the foxtrot, the cha-cha, the waltz, and some swing. 'Twill be a great Friday night date :^)
My roommate and I began a weekly tradition of going to the temple on Thursdays. How many times must an event occur to be considered a tradition?
On the invitation front, Lisa cut up all the invitations (no comment) and they're ready to stuff as soon as we get the photos, which we eagerly await.