Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Thursday, I had a soccer meeting after work. The meeting had a lot of information, most of which completely went past me. There seems to be some issue with lost registrations and such, so this whole thing ought to be interesting. Leaving the meeting, I had a pleasant little shouting match with Dick-Head Paul, the director of the Kaliseum. He was upset with me for turning him in for violating child labor law as a matter of organizational policy. So it is all my fault, see, because I expect an organization supported by my tax dollars to obey the law. Silly me.

Friday, I went in for an eye exam and to get my glasses on order. Great news!!! I get to wear bifocals!!! Woo Hoo!! Nestina promptly started calling me Bifocal Man, instead of just Old Man. Great. Debbie had to take me to work because my eyes were dilated and I didn't have glasses. Debbie, Nestina, and Debbie's two nieces met me in Traverse City after work for dinner and dessert.

Saturday was a work day. Debbie took her nieces back downstate to drop them off at home, and Nestina and I hauled around rocks, cut up trees blown down by the various storms over the last few weeks, and did some cleaning and organizing in the garage.

Sunday, Debbie drove me to Houghton Lake for another soccer meeting. That went much better and I feel like things are getting on track. I got to meet several of the other coaches and was able to get a much better picture of how AYSO works.

Monday was just work, shopping, then home for dinner, a movie, and some internet browsing. Tonight will likely find me working the phones trying to put together a soccer team. We need to start practicing pretty soon, so I don't have a lot of time to mess around.

Speaking of internet browsing, Vox Day has a new column up that is sure to start some screaming. My contention has always been that feminism was a bad deal for women in many ways, and is a flat out disaster for our children. I'm sure many will disagree. He has some follow-up statistics on his blog that show just what women in the work force has done to individual and household income.

And we have a pair from Kip at A Stitch in Haste. The first takes on the contention made by creationists and IDists that evolution can only be accepted by faith. The second one takes on an issue I have mixed feelings about. Schools have pushed since I was in the elementary grades, to drop the summer break and go to all-year school. It is logical in one sense, but I think my ambivalence stems from my complete distrust of public schooling. I view summer as a time to de-program all the PC, historical revisionism, moral relativism, etc. that gets shoved down the kids' throats. On the flip side, I do know that most of the school year is just review of the last year because everything fell out of the kids' heads during the three-month break. I also know that August has the highest incidence of vandalism, petty theft, shop-lifting, teen drinking and drug use, teen sex, etc. In other words, by August, most school kids are going stark raving mad with boredom. But probably the worst result of the three-month break is the expectation it breeds into teens when they enter the real world. In generations past, summer break was a time of back-breaking work on the farm or some other job. Now it's a three-month vacation. Who, other than teachers, gets three months off work a year?

Anyway, I'm still hungry and now it is way past time to start for home.


Uncle Jonny's said...

Refering to the month of August being the highest month of teen problems, is that a problem for the schools, or is that a parental problem? I see it a problem with our parents in our society.

Second question. What kind of trouble did the Kalaseum dude get in?

Ric said...

I'd say the responsibility could be laid at a number of doorsteps.

First, summer vacation for me was a time of hard work, other than the month of August when the entire family went on vacation together. However, kids don't work anymore. Why? For one, Child labor laws make hiring anyone under 18 a serious pain in the butt, so most employers simply don't bother. So instead of being productive, kids set at home being bored.

Another reason for lack of youth employment is minimum wage laws and competition from retirees and moms looking for part time work. If I were an employer in 2005 with, say, a BK franchise, I would never hire teens. For the exact same pay rate, I can hire adults that I can work as many hours as I like (which lowers over-all wage costs), that I can work as late at night as I want, that are more likely to have reliable transportation, that are more likely to have had a previous job, and that have more-developed interpersonal skills than the typical lord-of-the-flies high school teen.

Second, with most kids in single-parent homes, and the rest in homes where both parents work, they are completely unsupervised for most of the day. Combine boredom with no adult supervision, and the result is predictable, and in fact was predicted when no-fault divorce and working moms became the norm in the 1970's.

Third, the level of prosperity in 2005 is truly remarkable. I keep hearing about the high rate of poverty in places like Kalkaska, yet all these "poor" people have things I never dreamed of having in my solid, middle-class childhood: satellite or cable TV, multiple computers with high speed internet, at least one vehicle for every licensed driver in the household, tennis shoes that cost more than my parents spent on my entire wardrobe for a year. These are the poor people! I truly believe there is a danger in giving "stuff" to kids (or anyone, for that matter) without forcing them to contribute: it breeds a sense of entitlement. And if I have a general sense of entitlement, I can rationalize shoplifting, vandalism, stealing from my employer, whatever.

I'm sure there are others issues and most of them reinforce each other when found in combination. And no, I don't have an answer. We, as a society, have spent the last 30 years creating this mess. It will take at least that long to clean it up.

I don't think the Kaliseum got hit too hard if at all. For one thing, Paul forged time cards and shorted paychecks to hide the fact that he was working minors too many hours. And I don't think the state guy really wanted to find anything, because then he would have had to actually work for his paycheck, and we all know that people with an aversion to work end up on the government payroll.

My great-grandmother never went to Kalkaska for any reason. If she couldn't buy it in Rapid City, she would drive to Traverse City. I asked her why she did this. She told me Kalkaska was nothing but a dirty little town run by dirty little criminals. She died 30 years ago, but I'm coming to realize that nothing has changed. I should listen to my elders.