If you’ve read my anti CC (Common Core) blog for a long time, you know I’ve featured some pretty fitting visuals pertaining to what part of CC I was referring to. You also may remember the pithy comments, the out and out pokes I’ve taken at the Core. As an example (in case you’re new to my blog), consider the first time I featured the above photo. The caption read “Let’s make applesauce of HR5!” From my viewpoint, I’m a bit bummed the apple became a scapegoat so to speak for CC. I happen to really like apples. For me, applesauce would be ideal as a scapegoat. WHY? Think about it…apples which aren’t fit for any other purpose but to be reduced to a mushy consistency are used in the actual process of making applesauce. Think about the creators of the CC, isn’t that in a way what they are doing with education? Taking it from its intended form and reducing it down to mush?! Look at it this way, there’s only so much you can do with applesauce. The same can be said for CC. Applesauce isn’t as popular as some other apple recipes. Common Core isn’t popular at all with those who really know education. I’m heading somewhere with all this, so read on, please.
I want to inspire you. If you’ve not taken the time to ponder about what you envision when you hear the term “Common Core” or any of its others names, this is a great day to do it!
Why? When you fight as hard and as long as we have against injustice, you can become quite jaded IF you don’t take the time every so often to formulate some tangible creation of all you’ve been harboring. Think of it as cheap therapy.
Think of it as a healthy way to keep your brain at its best. We can only be so effective in this war IF we are at our best. When we have a lot of mind clutter, especially when day in, day out, we handle so much information that burdens us, we can become overloaded. When we get overloaded, we break down; we become cynical; we don’t fight as hard. Any warrior of the CC needs to remember: this war is long NOT quick; this war takes strength AND wisdom NOT brashness and speed.
We’ve seen plenty of great ideas of what others see CC as, but what do YOU see? Don’t get me wrong, there are some great letters, visuals, and cartoons out there that express some of what we feel about all this federal overreach into education.. BUT, I ask you, do they truly capture what you feel?
Do the creative expressions already out there truly fit what you’re experiencing in fighting CC? While some warriors will be quick to say ‘yes’ (or perhaps “I don’t have the time for this.”), I want to encourage you to not be so quick AND to TAKE the time. Why? Because, holding toxic or negative warfare mindsets wears you down.
Think about the best surgeons on the TV show “M*A*S*H”. They were constantly on their feet, working tirelessly for others, and seeing horrible conditions all around them. If they didn’t blow off steam every now and then, they wouldn’t be fit to serve. Do you remember some of the silly ways in which they detoxified their minds? Sometimes it was a rowdy song or a practical joke. Sometimes it was making a new machine out of junk (yes, the still in Pierce’s tent). My point is simply this: having a bit of fun about what you’re fighting against will be extremely cleansing to your mindset.
We are all so different and unique. That’s what has been so joyful about teaching for me. Seeing those differences and unique insights from my students. No two people fighting CC will have the exact experience as the other. However, in times like these, when we share our unique journeys, we discover a connection. A connection that inspires us to move on, to be the best we can be, and to do all that we do with a purposed determination. Don’t let CC steal that from you! So, if you envision CC as a watermelon which needs to be smashed (think the comedy routine of Gallagher), do it! If you feel CC needs a “Dear John” letter, write it! (I did, it was really helpful. It can be found: http://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/07/29/guest-post-a-common-core-dear-john-letter/) If you’d love nothing more than to bake an apple pie and then throw it at a picture of your CC nemesis, do it! If you feel a picture or video portraying a sentiment is worthy of helping you unleash the yuck of the battlefield we face, go for it! As long as you don’t endanger yourselves or others, have a grand time! Remember, our fight is against the CC and all that goes with it. One of my best ways to poke fun in a meaningful way is to use the phrase “CCSS Machine”. In my mind, that’s what I see. I don’t see people, I see a vast machine, grinding up everything it its path. My wish is to be the one with the wrench that will be inserted in just the right spot to completely halt that Machine!
I’d love to see your creations, if you’d like to share them. Who knows, your expression may be the one that really speaks to a new warrior, a nervous parent, or that stressed out student who desperately needs some release from CC.