Sunday, September 21, 2014

YOU HAD ONE JOB!

I don't have to write a dissertation for this post, but suffice it to say that if our students don't obtain a desire to read, write, think, count and speak and our teachers don't find a way to teach in a manner that pulls reading, writing, thinking, counting and speaking out of our students, we are going to have what we see in the photo much too much. Our students must discipline themselves and understand the connection between their education and their present/future.

As parents and educators we must help our students/children develop discipline in everything that we teach. In my home, even the manner in which one squeezes the toothpaste from the bottom instead of squeezing it in the middle of the tube is a matter of teaching discipline and doing a job right. I don't ever want any of my own children or the children I serve in my school to ever be told that he/she had only one job and you screwed that up (I'm sure that's the sentiment behind the commentary). I'm also sure that if we were to place a caption at the bottom of the photo, we could finish the sentence started with the top caption of "YOU HAD ONE JOB and you...........(fill in the blanks). Our children must be willing to learn and our parents and teachers must be willing to teach and not just teach, but to teach excellence. Something to critically think about.

You are invited to listen to me live each Saturday at 6 a.m. ET on WP88.7 FM and for those of you who are not in the northern NJ area on gobrave.org as the host of The Reading Circle. You are also invited to follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Look What WE'VE Created!


Look what we've created! Curious as to what we've created?  Visit the following link to learn of what we've created! http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/nfl-athletes-in-trouble-with-the-law/

I know many of you are scratching your head and asking the question, what does this writer mean by "What We've Created?" That's a fair question; however, the intent of this blog is to encourage you to pause and think about something that is often overlooked or taken for granted. The birth of the blog was based on the overlooked or the taken for granted variables that may be contributing to or causing things to occur, hence the title "The Critical Thinker." In this particular instance with so many of our athletes finding themselves in deep trouble, I lay part of the responsibility on us, the average everyday so called "fanatic," or "fan" for short. 

We've created what is manifesting in our athletes today by making them feel (current) and having made them feel (past) as if they were and are entitled to do whatever they would like to do to whomever they would like to do it to at a very early age, once we've recognized that they have athletic ability. There's no need in denying this because we do. Athletics, many times at the expense of academics are hailed even in the places where academics are supposed to be the priority; our schools and universities. Don't believe me? Take a cursory look at your high schools, colleges and in some instances elementary schools at what gets the most emphasis and attention. Is it the championship spelling bee or science fair teams or the championship basketball or football teams? Who receives the most public accolades, the gifted and talented student or the gifted and talented athlete?  I think you get the picture (at least I hope you do). 

The younger the athlete begins playing his/her sport, the longer time he/she has to nurture and cultivate his/her feeling of entitlement and the longer we doting parents, coaches, athletic directors, scouts have to feed into it. Oh yes, our athletes feel that they are entitled to do whatever and however they please just because they can play ball.

I was serving as a school administrator a few years ago at an elementary school where our basketball team was undefeated; our star player actually felt that he was entitled to his female classmates giving him oral sex. He felt that this came along with his being the "star player." Now mind you, this was eighth grade. EIGHTH GRADE!!!! This young man was bold enough to share with his teacher that he was not worried because he could not get a sexually transmitted disease (STD) from oral sex. Can you imagine?!! This is a true story and an illustration of what I am writing about concerning our athletes with this sense of entitlement or privilege because they can bounce, run, hit, kick, swat, or anything else you can do with a ball or puck. This young man described above is not alone. 

Our professional athletes are finding themselves in trouble because they have always had their way as they navigated their way from the pee wee leagues to the professional leagues, and we as the parents, coaches, teachers, athletic directors, scouts, etc. etc. let it happen, thus creating the monsters that we have today. Take a look at the litany of trouble we find our athletes in, ranging from shoplifting to murder. Current and former multi-million dollar players losing it all because somewhere along the way everything they did whether good or bad received a "pat on the back", "a wink," or a "smile," because they were talented athletes. Where do you think the stories about "Basket weaving 101" is derived?

Now let me be clear. I am not absolving or making excuses for the personal responsibility of these men and women; however, we must stop and think about the role we contributed to their believing what they believe. This worshiping of athletes and entertainers for that matter has got to stop by us the "fanatics (fans)." Athletes and entertainers are human beings like anyone else. The major difference is, they are seen by a whole lot of people and are paid a whole lot of money for performing their job. Who are the people watching them and paying all of this money?  US. Who is idolizing and worshiping these people? US. We must get our sense of perspective and priority in order. 

So while we may be judging or pitying Ray Rice; Jonathan Dwyer; Greg Hardy; John Boyett; Ausar Walcott; Aaron Hernandez; Jovan Belcher; Da'Quan Bowers; Titus Young; Josh Brent; Jimmy Smith; Chad Johnson; Aaron Berry; Marshawn Lynch; Dez Bryant; David Diehl; Michael Vick; Plaxico Burress; Eric Naposki; Christopher Owens; Raheem Brock; Cedric Benson; Onterrio Smith; JaMarcus Russell; Randy Moss;Pat McAfee; Shaun Rogers; Kenyatta Jones; Najeh Davenport; Aqib Talib; Kenny Britt; Luke Driscoll; Louis Murphy; Johnny Jolly; Mike Vrabel; Tyrell Johnson; etc. etc. etc. ..............(believe it or not, this is not an exhaustive list). We really need to take a look at how we contributed and continue to contribute to this madness. Something to critically think about. 

You can hear me live each Saturday morning on WP88.7 FM and web streamed around the world on www.gobrave.org as I host The Reading Circle. You are also invited to follow on Twitter @thinkcritical01. 

P.S. Hot off of the Press - This just in....."Rex Chapman arrested for allegedly stealing $14,000 in merchandise from Arizona Apple Store"   Rex Chapman is a former NBA Guard.




 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL

Last night my wife and I celebrated her birthday at a performance of MOTOWN THE MUSICAL at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York City. The show was excellent. As I watched the portrayals of the Motown acts, the thought that just kept coming to my mind was how far we have dropped in terms of entertainment class. This thought kept coming to me as I watched the dress and choreography of that time and compared it to what might as well be nakedness on stage today. I am no prude by any stretch of the imagination; however, there is a stark contrast between the gowns, suits and tuxedos worn by performers in the Motown era compared with the ripped and torn clothing, pants hanging down, body parts exposed, etc. etc. seen in 2014. Yes, sex has always sold and been a part of the acts, but there was just something different when some things were left to the imagination. Something to critically think about. Hear The Critical Thinker live on The Reading Circle each Saturday morning at 6 a.m. ET on gobrave.org and you are invited to follow along on Twitter @thinkcritical01.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

In Jest, There Is Truth - "But That's None Of My Business"























W
illiam Shakespeare once said “In jest, there is truth,”and never have I seen it more to be the case than with the latest "But That's None of my Business" photo captions atop the images of Kermit THE Frog. I find the creative captions placed on the images to be hilarious and in most cases true. We are able to say what we know others are thinking and really want to say by placing the thoughts above the facial expressions of Kermit while finishing with the tag line at the bottom of "But That's None Of My Business." There are various Kermit expressions and scenarios and funny enough, they fit just about any situation imaginable. As you enjoy the imagined quips of Kermit, I am sure you too will agree that many a true word hath been spoken in jest. Something to critically think and in this case laugh (or cry) about. You are welcome to follow The Critical Thinker on Twitter @thinkcritical01 and listen live to The Reading Circle each Saturday morning at 6 a.m. ET on gobrave.org.  

Friday, August 22, 2014

That's An Expensive One Night Stand - Part II (Back to School Costs)

"Spending this year is expected to average $634.78, according to the National Retail Federation. In total, families are expected to spend a total of $26.7 billion for K-12 children, although that number reaches $72.5 billion when college-aged kids are added to calculations." 
Source - National Retail Federation


 This is Part II of That's An Expensive One Night Stand. To do it right, it costs to be a parent. The children are worth it, so please don't short change them. If you plan to have children, please plan to do it right. Frivolous and careless sex can be costly. Something to critically think about. You are invited to tune into The Reading Circle each Saturday morning at 6 a.m. ET on gobrave.org worldwide and locally in Northern New Jersey on WP88.7 FM. You are also invited to follow The Critical Thinker on Twitter @thinkcritical01.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

That's One Expensive One Night Stand

These figures ought to be incentive enough to stop with these frivolous one night stands or just careless sex in general. As shown in the photo below, it costs to correctly meet the needs of a child.Unfortunately, nowhere near that amount is spent on too many children who are born from reckless decisions and acts.
So, please keep these figures in mind before you bring a precious child into the world. A child does not ask to come here, so if you are going to have one, please be prepared to give him/her everything he/she deserves. Something to critically think about. You can hear The Critical Thinker live on The Reading Circle each Saturday morning at 6 a.m. ET on WP88.7 FM and worldwide on gobrave.org. You are invited to also follow The Critical Thinker on Twitter @thinkcritcal01.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Tears Of A Clown - Robin, You'll Be Missed


As always when something happens to a celebrity who the world knows and almost feels like a family member, those of us who are bloggers express ourselves through our respective blogs. The death of Robin Williams is no different. 

When I am away on vacation I tend to "unplug" by not watching any television, reading newspapers or accessing the internet, so when I returned from vacation yesterday (Thursday 8/14) to learn of the tragic death of Robin Williams, I was stunned. I knew I would post in The Critical Thinker about it, however, the only words that kept popping into my mind were the lyrics written by Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Henry Cosby for the song The Tears of a Clown. Rhonda B. Graham writing in The News Journal (delawareonline) eloquently expressed her thoughts about Mr. Williams utilizing lines from the lyrics as well. It is absolutely amazing how one who made so many of us laugh was so sad himself. I loved the Genie in Aladdin and of course Mrs. Doubtfire (I can't count the number of times I have watched Mrs. Doubtfire). I can remember watching Mork and Mindy as a child and his performances in Good Morning Vietnam and Dead Poets Society and many of his other work.

At the end of the day, when all is said and done, and all is done and said, it once again goes forth to show that we just do not know what anyone is going through regardless of fortune, fame or the smile on his/her face. We none are in a position to judge anyone else because we none know what others are going through. Robin Williams will surely be missed as one who had the gift of making others laugh. Something to critically think about.

Now if there's a smile on my face
It's only there trying to fool the public
But when it comes down to fooling you
Now honey that's quite a different subject
But don't let my glad expression
Give you the wrong impression
Really I'm sad, oh sadder than sad
You're gone and I'm hurting so bad
Like a clown I pretend to be glad
Now there's some sad things known to man
But ain't too much sadder than
the tears of a clown
When there's no one around
Oh yeah baby, now if I appear to be carefree
It's only to camouflage my sadness
In order to shield my pride I try
To cover this hurt with a show of gladness
But don't let my show convince you
That I've been happy since you decided to go
Oh, I need you so, I'm hurt and I want you to know
But for others I put on a show
Now there's some sad things known to man
But ain't too much sadder than
the tears of a clown
When there's no one around, oh yeah
Just like Pagliacci did
I try to keep my sadness hid
Smiling in the public eye
But in my lonely room cry
the tears of a clown
When there's no one around
Oh, yeah baby
Now if there's a smile upon my face
Don't let my glad expression
Give you the wrong impression
Don't let the smile I wear
Make you think that I don't care
Really I'm sad I'm hurting so bad

Songwriters
WONDER, STEVIE/ROBINSON, SMOKEY/COSBY, HENRY
Published by
Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing