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I do not take the stance that homelessness and begging necessarily go hand in hand, so I will take them one at a time. Homelessness: This is a very emotive issue and I do hope not to offend anyone. In my heart of hearts I do feel that there are very few “real” reasons for people being homeless. The only ones I can think of are where abuse takes place or children who are thrown out by unscrupulous parents. I’m sure many people are now screaming at me that there any many other ‘genuine’ cases than this. Well I have been through bad situations; I have lost a house, been divorced and have even been kicked out by my parents. In every case I have managed to find somewhere to stay and rebuild my life. There are so many places that will give you the step up if you are only but willing to try. If you ring the local council emergency accommodations will be found or information on organisations that can help with your problem given. I also feel that where parents or guardians throw children, and by children I mean dependents under 21, out on the streets then they, the parents etc. should have to pay a fine or subsidy to help them find accommodation. I have met too many people who fall into this category for it not to have made an impact on my life. Inner-city areas are rife with teens that have, quite literally, nowhere to go. Parents should realise they have a duty to care for their children, yes, even if they cause problems in the home. Begging I do feel there is no place for begging in today’s society. True homeless people can go to many charities to get food and clothing. They can also apply for social funds to help in the short term. I do apologise for the next bit as it is a sweeping generalisation. Far too many people who beg on the street do so because they have drink and drug problems. I used to have the habit of giving beggars food rather than money, but the abuse I got for th
is charitable act means I no longer do either. I have in the past lost my job, home and wife in a 3-month period. I most certainly did not beg on the streets. That is not to say I didn’t get any help. Many people tried to give me aid, but I made the first steps by getting along as best I could on my own. There are real issues that give rise to homelessness but as for begging I honestly feel there is no just cause.
Why is there such a commotion about our education system? As a teacher I constantly see children exerting themselves to gain the best results they can. But every year we are blasted as having a second rate education and that the ever better results are because we are giving them easier tests. If tests are becoming easier then why do foreign education establishments regard them in high esteem? I communicate with several HE colleges in Europe and USA. They all feel that our standards are higher than the equivalent in their countries. So yes our A levels are Gold standard, and they are as valid as results of the past. They are no easier; in fact some studies recognise some as being harder than previously.
I first read JLS when I was about 14 or 15 years old. It was on the recommendation of a friend that I got to hear of it. He said it was one of the most awe inspiring books he had ever come across. Well as I was always out to prove him wrong it decided to read it. At that age I seldom read at all, but I managed to read the whole book in one day. It really did change my perception of everything. It also gave me the will to go out and try things that I might not have ever considred. It is a short book, but I would encourage everyone to read it. It is espcially good if you are feeling low or are not "one of the crowd." "Update" I guess I posted this opinion a little early, sorry. As a life changer this is the book that did it for me. The story follows the life of a "rogue" seagull, who whats more than the normal life others follow. He starts to investigate flying and takes it past the limits his elders would consider safe or worhwhile. He progresess until he feels that in his physical incantation nothing furtheer can be gained. The only way he can progress is to go to a higher "spiritual" plain. This gave me the desire to go for it and be more than those around me felt I could manage. I was cosidered to be one of those who would amount to not a lot. Well I kept those thoughts alive from JLS and have fianlly, although a little later than I wanted, to implement good values and have managed to soar higher than my family would have expected. J Bach has, through this book, manged to change several lives as I use this message as part of my teaching to KS2 children. Not all get the message I am trying to put accross, but if it only changes one life, well what worth can you put to that?
"Update" As a teacher it is felt I should have better standards of writing reports. Well I have updated my opinion to include correct spelling. Sorry to all those who were put out by my mistakes :) I do feel there is a lot of scare mongering in the government about literacy. Yes there are problem areas but on the whole 95% of children leaving school are able to read at a reasonable level. As a teacher I have first hand experience of this. Even in special schools where there are no specific learning difficulties the reading levels are at an average level. This does not mean we can let out guard down for a second. In today’s society the expected reading and literacy levels are much greater than even a decade ago. You only have to see the change in reporting in the tabloid press. 15 years ago the Sun was assessed at a reader age of 9 years old, but 2 years ago this level had increased to 14 years old. They are not the only ones to have revised this. Many publications now up the reader level of their text. As a parent of two young children I know the difficulties involved in encouraging reading. We now have 100's (literally) of books around the house and in the car. They are constantly reminded of what is expected. My wife and I also read a great deal, for our own pleasure and at story time before bed. This is, I feel the best way, showing by example. Give the encouragement and reward them with books. Some might argue that the cost of books is far to great, but if you search around you will find many bargains. Also, rather than buying sweets, get them a comic or book. It will last longer and be more beneficial to them. Literacy is only a problem if you let it be one.
Far to many children do not have the dicipline they need these days. As an educator I suffer from the problems this creates. I can also related to the flip side of the coin as a parent. My children recieve fair punishment and praise for their behaviour. If they harm someone or try to do something that will hurt them I will use physical punishment. But I will also praise and reward good acts and work. I seem to find that those children who misbehave and cause disruption in the classroom recieve little or no direction and dicipline in the home. As a teacher my hands are very tied as to what I can do to give direction. I have had cause to have severe words with children, only to have parents rant and rave at me for the "punishment" meeted out. What ideas does this implant in the childs head. This behaviour ultimately leads to children becoming offenders. They are without good direction and so carve a path in society based on low morals. They do not know the "normal" boundaries and before they can make improvements in their attitudes and acts they need these lessons. So young offenders first need to be taught that there will be punishments for the crime. They also neeed reeducating to give the the right moral values. Many young offenders I have dealt with that follow this path tend to realise that they are doing wrong, but the funding and resoucing is not availble on the whole. Dicipline starts at home and we also need to give parents the right education to start this. But we also need to tackle the problem child, while they are that, YOUNG.
It took me a little while to realise it but as I drink loads of coke, why not get something back. All you have to do it collect the little red ringpulls or bottle lables and you bid for stuff. Well they do have lots of naff, and I mean naff, stuff. But if you look and bide your time the goods do come up. I have had a bag, Various CDs and videos and i am waiting on a TV. Yes you do have to do a lot of collecting, but thats half the fun. As a teacher I get the dinner ladies to look out for them and ask the kids to bring them in if they are not using them. Hopefully we can get something useful for the scholl!
I once heard someone say, "dont bring religion into Christmas", quite what he was thinking beggars belief. I am not overly christian, but I do believe in a God and in Jesus. The real reason for Christmas is to celebrate his birth. Yes I do partake in the fetivities and enjoy the many parties, but on the 25th my family and I gather and exchange simple gifts. We also read the bible stories covering the birth of christ. We try our best to keep the expensive things away from it all. Over the past month or so the TV, papers and mags have all been plying their trade to try and get us to buy all sorts. It is the time of year that the "specials" come out, and invariably get sold out leaving parents to franctically dish out vast amounts of cash to get the goods. I do blame the big business, but we must also blame ourselves. If we just said no and remembered what it is all about commecialism would have to take a back seat. We can spoil our kids and family at any time but we only get to celebrate Christs' birth once a year. Lets try to keep it sacred.
It is a fact of life that prostitution has been with us for an extremely long time. There is no effective way to eliminate it. Indeed why should we, if it is controlled in a sensible manner let it be. I have not used the service but know of people who have. I would much rather it be a service with a woman who has chosen to do it than have men go around raping innocents. It is far from ideal but these women do tend to have a choice. But it needs control to make sure people are not abused and that disease is also not spread. It is here lets give them a proper place in society.
Before we go gung ho into the debate about the brightness of boys and girls we have to look at all the results. Governments will use stats to tell any story they want. Now for the past dozen or so years there has been a campaign to bring girls results into line with the boys. So if you really want this to happen you give a balanced curriculum they allows all to achieve to their best. Well I am a teacher and I must say the curriculum is now in favour of a "female" agenda. But, I have found no real difference in results. Yes the girls are doing better, but they have not surpassed the boys. Girls tend to slightly outnumber boys in schools so you would expect on an even playing field for there to be slightly more girls getting their A levels. A famous mathamatician once said "there are lies damned lies and statistics" I feel this is one occation that lies have been used to make a weak government feel better.
I went to a New university and found its academic excellence very high. Indeed when inspected by Ofsted it came out above many Old universities. The arguement that Old is better no longer holds true. I also did not go via the traditional route of A levels. For someone to say that my degree is worthless shows what kind of snobbery there is in todays society. We should applaud those who are committed to taking the time to futher their studies. I have had five friends who have gone to study at Old universities, namely Oxford and Cambridge, and all decided to leave because: 1. There was some awful snobbery from the so called upper class students 2. The academic excellence was better elsewhere 3. Old was not as good as new. Lets leave the class devide and get away from old and new. Lets results and peoples opinions rule.
It seems as if we in the Uk have this idea that recycling should be done by everyone except ourselves. My family do recycle, but I have heard so many excuses from others as to why they dont. Some are lame, but many have a valid point. This point is generally the fact that the local council does not provide a simple means of recycling. My local council expects the individual to go to the local refuse plant and deposit recyclable materials in different bins. We make time once a month to do this, but I am sure we miss many opportunities to recycle waste. It is possible for councils to do more, and the cost is more than made back by the profit in recycling.
GM is a very emotive subject, and it can be all the better for it. But we do sometimes have to take emotion to onwe side and look at ALL the facts before we make a decision. GM has, if you read some other opinions, been going on for a long time. Indeed it probably has a longer history than most of us realise. The devlopment has ment life for so many people, but at what expence. Well to put it bluntly a few animals is what it has cost us. Call me sadistic but I would choose life for humans above animals every time. So what developments have been made, well the most significant is diabites. But for GM development many would have drastically different lives. Meningitis vaccines have also been down the GM path. I have had first hand experince of it effects and am greatful for vaccines and animal experiments to save lives. Some may feel I am selfish to want this to continue, well I am guilty of that. Though, be you religious or otherwise what price can we put on human life. I do agree that cosmetics etc. should not be GM developed or tested but when it comes to life giving please look past the experiment and look at the life it gives.
We aquired a second hand analogue satalitte system a while ago and even though it only allows us to watch a few English channels the ones we get are great. By far the best is cartoon network. If my wife and I are really busy we can get the girls to switch on to Cartoon network and we can have a 1/2 hour or more of total peace. We do have to be careful that we do not use it as a crutch however. We have a timing sytem to make sure we do not abuse this lovely priviledge. I soemtimes kick back a watch some as well, as they have things like scoobydo and the flintstones. What a God send eh.
I have used TV magazines for a long time and I have never been entirely satisfied with them. First of all they charge you to find out what is on their TV channel, this is an outright cheek. Also they have a very limited space into which they put very few of they now availible channels. Now I have found a TV listings guide that will allow me to customize it to my individual taste and best of all they do not charge for the service. It also has its listings published a few days before the other come out. All in all it is the best I have found.
I used to be of the opinion that the TV and Radio times were good value for money and the best idea for TV listings. But, as time goes on they are stating to show their weekness. I now use an online tv listings page that allows me to customize to my hearts content. What does this cost me, well a few pence if I use the right ISP. The Tv magazines do not allow me to choose only those channels I want, they also only have very limited satalitte viewing. I am now converted to other sources, and if I need a hard copy, well they weekend papers offer listings as goo, and sometimes better than The TV times.