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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 46,179

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I do.

I have a big problem with:

1. Judging people by what they are wearing; as long as it's clean, in good repair, and fits well, it shouldn't matter. The shallowness inherent in the concept of "professional dress" repels me. It kind of reminds me, in a milder way, of deforming the feet of upper class Chinese baby girls; a status symbol that sorts and limits us.

2. Having worn "professional dress" when necessary, I know that it restricts my physical movement and activity. No, thanks.

3. Taking things to the dry cleaners; I expect my clothes to wash and wear. As a busy professional, I don't have time for anything else, and dry cleaning, while improving, is not environmentally friendly. AND, since I tend to spill, food, drink, and ink, they can't be too expensive to replace when stains don't come out.

To be honest, when I see a suit, my gut automatically tells me, "Snake. Don't trust him or her." Maybe that's just my working class roots reacting. I freely admit to bias.

I dress for comfort in the environment I'm working in. I can do so without being sloppy. Thankfully, in this region, that's good enough. Being comfortable allows me to focus on my job, instead of on what people with limited capacity to see others think. And there certainly IS an element of PR in my profession; I've discovered that once people have worked with you, they tend to see you as a professional, instead of seeing what you are wearing.

Because that's what a professional is; someone who practices a profession. "Professional" is the person, not the clothes.

I got a great public education

in California, before prop 13.

And I had sewing and cooking classes. No power tools or auto shop, but touch-typing that has served me well my whole life. I got my "other" skills with livestock, with digging and planting and mulching and pruning and hay hooks and hoof picks and cleaning and repairing leather tack and grooming and fence repair and driving a stick shift (3 on the column in that old truck) and changing tires and so many other things working on a ranch.

My high school taught some of everything to everybody, and if we wanted to go to college, our counselors told us which classes were necessary for which types of universities we planned to attend, and we took them.

I included, and include, among my friends many who did not attend college. That didn't mean that they weren't intelligent, just that they had different goals. And, throughout my life, I've depended on many people who didn't attend college to perform vital services that I didn't learn how to do for myself. And they make just as much money as I do with my college degree doing so. Some of them make more.

It's true that today's Trump supporters don't "get" some really vital pieces of the big picture. And the public education system is partly at fault, having been dumbed down to simplistic thinking. That has nothing whatsoever to do with "Common Core;" those standards are another whole topic.

Start with Ronald Reagan, who wanted to abolish the DOE. Whose administration published "A Nation At Risk" as part of its determined effort to attack public education and public ed teachers, to devalue them in the national culture. That's an effort that was wildly successful.

That led to the adamant "back to the basics" push, which fed the public on eloquent rhetoric about focusing on basics and neglected to mention that critical thinking was, and is, not considered "basic." So we get generations of people who, unless they were preparing for college, were not taught critical thinking skills. Not only were those skills not taught, but any effort to do so was fucking HAMMERED by the propagandists shaping the national thinking over the airwaves, so that parents began complaining, loudly, at site and district levels whenever their children were expected, in school, to question ANYTHING. Because, happening at the same time, we goy the de-regulation of the airwaves and the rise of propaganda-driven talk radio and tv; propaganda can influence anyone.

That was the rise of an anti-intellectual agenda on the right, keeping the masses unthinking followers of media leaders. It also includes, though, the rise of Democratic neo-liberalism, which includes neo-liberal education policies that build on the anti-intellect, anti-teacher, anti-public ed foundation laid by the neo-cons; the agenda to blame teachers for "failing" and privatize public education.

The generations of students I teach these days come from parents who want very simple, linear, black-and-white, literal worksheets and questions, and who complain when I ask their students to think. Many of them are Trump supporters. Do I feel superior to them? I don't look at it that way. I look through a different lens:

I'm grateful for the education that I got, and I consider it my duty to pass it on to my students and their families. It's not about judging them, but about paying it forward. It's about unconditional love for my students and their families, and about doing what I can to weed and prepare soil and plant seeds that may, someday, take root. If they don't remember, nor use, anything I teach them, at the very least they will remember that school offered them a safe, respectful environment and their teacher cared about them. That in itself is the best response to the anti-everything-education poison that I can offer. Still, they do remember more than that. They do get skills that will help them. And when they reach adulthood, have established themselves more independently, and their prefrontal cortices are fully developed, the thinking skills I introduced and reinforced can help them grow.

If you need someone to blame, don't blame the system. Blame the voters that voted for, and supported, politicians who degraded the system. And don't hate the Trump supporters; that only pushes them further away. To change their thinking, they have to be open to listening to you. That will never happen if you give them good reason to slam the doors in your face.

That's an important factor.

During the Clinton administration, laws were passed that did a disservice, and thus angered, many who had traditionally supported Democrats. The Clintons ARE supposed moderates, and they are the power brokers of the party. So yes, Democrats have contributed to the dissent.

Think about it.

Unregulated airwaves and political radio...that's propaganda, and people allow the emotional centers of their lizard brain to react, bypassing their logic and reason centers. It's not just for Republicans. Right here on DU, how many posts are there every day, every weekend, about the political talk shows on teevee and how "great" those that say what DUers want to hear are, and how angry do people get at hearing something they don't agree with? Opinions have become sacred, and fighting enemies is a sacred sport. Enough so that people line up on the couch in front of their teevees for political talk like it's the superbowl, to cheer their "side" on and hate the other.

So sacred, in fact, that Democrats can't stand to hear dissent within the ranks, which is why even Democrats here at DU are silenced and tombstoned when they do. Dissent is not looked at as an opportunity for a substantive discussion and evolution of ideas that bring people together, but as something that must be silenced, squashed, and kicked out. The effect of those efforts is to further disenfranchise and anger people, which feeds divisiveness.

It's a national disgrace, imo, and it's not restricted to Republicans or to the political or religious right, although they certainly are a large part of the problem.

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