Monday, January 16, 2006

Well, at least I can get to the shala earlier

Somehow, I think it must be Young Bush's fault, at least indirectly, that starting on February 1, 2006 and going forward into oblivion, the school day at my children's public school will now be 10 minutes shorter for most of the kids. Those children who are deemed to have fallen behind will henceforth have an extended day.

Those children who are deemed to be average or better will go home 20 minutes earlier than usual, the school day having begun 10 minutes earlier. It's a nice thought. But very flawed. When you examine it a little more deeply, you find that the emphasis is on getting these kids ready for the statewide exams they take in third and fourth grade. And you find that the teachers are being required to work longer hours (they are getting paid more, but this was in response to having requested a pay raise that did not involve having to work longer hours). And then there are the other kids, the ones who are not in such desperate need of extra attention. Lucky for them, yes. But is it fair to place so much emphasis on bringing the level up to the median, as opposed to raising the level at the top? By which I mean, what about the kids who vastly exceed their grade level standards? Why is it not important that their minds be stimulated appropriately for their level of giftedness with extra classes at the end of the school day?

On the bright side, school starts 10 minutes earlier, which makes a huge difference in my getting to the shala in time to have Sir's assistance at the tail end of my practice.

And so in the spirit of combining my annoyance with current public policy and the joys of yoga, I give you Bush Yoga. It's quite a trip.



Anonymous said...

Hi Yoga Chickie -

Yes, it's me, one of the "Anonymous" tribe. Your reading of of the passage in Yoga Mala discussing old age and death could be clouded by a translation issue. I think it is worth discussing this with someone who has some knowledge of how SKPJ expresses himself. If I was sufficiently concerned about the passage, I would ask Eddie Stern (no I don't practice with him). Myself, when I read that phrase, I interpret it to mean that surya namaskara can help one meet all the challenges that life brings - including old age and death, not that it will bring me eternal youth and life. Being neither old, or close to death, I don't know if that is true. But I know I feel a lot better about life when I practice surya namaskara.

On another topic, remember, this coming Sunday (Jan 22) is the Darwin and His Dogs program at the Museum of Natural History. I loved your account (and the photos) of Lewis enjoying your yoga music! I had a wacky experience a long time ago with my dog and Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" ...

Anonymous said...

Yup, you can blame good ol' GW and No Child Left Behind for this one. There's no incentive to provide enrichment for gifted children (or even fully meet their needs) when school funding is tied to bringing everyone up to the median.

It's such a tough position for a parent to be in and I feel for you! I ended up reluctantly taking my kids out of public school for precisely this reason.


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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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