A Rich Congressman’s Guide to Spending your $600 Stimulus

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So you’re one of those bastards who doesn’t want to earn your money by hard work and sticktoitiveness. Because you refuse to either divest your work skills or throw your body on the pyre of the economy by working a retail job, we have to give you some money to pull through. Since you have no idea how to handle your money, let’s go over some basic financial advice that you’ve ignored most of your life. When you get our generous $600 bailout, here’s what you do:

  • First of all, we…
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An interesting shift has occurred since WWII. It turns out, there was this huge misconception throughout the 20th Century, that military might was a key to influence, as if nations still swallowed each other by force like they did throughout the Colonial Age and most ages before it. But look at the world now: Germany and Japan are the leaders of economy, science, and culture; they didn’t need to take the world by force, after all. …

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As I’ve written a lot about before, there are huge discrepancies between what is learning and what is schooling. In the last hundred years or so, these differences have been highly easy to ignore, thanks to the compartmentalization of school and the comfort that the grading system offers us. Now, as we stand on the cusp of a new reality, it’s time for us to reconsider what learning is, how we treat children, and what constitutes a desirable childhood.

The Fallacy of Normalcy

Right now, schools are trying their best to move content online under the operating philosophy that they…

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Right now, we are operating in an unknown country. There isn’t a person to turn to with any idea what to expect or how long things will last. There are no news sources or batteries of information that will load us with a realistic toolkit of expectations. For a creature that has built its success and notion of reality on predicting the future and the illusion of safety, we have been thrown into the challenge of navigating our own emotional states and the tenuousness of our own default networks. …

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Obviously, such a definitive ranking requires you to take a grain of salt. With that in mind, here we go!

It’s really hard to do something like rate all of the attractions at Disneyland. The drive to do so is simple: there is an Internet. Also, we can’t list things concurrently by nature of our biological communication skills, so just by saying things one at a time, order is suggested. But methodology? Entirely subjective.

Here’s what you’re dealing with: This is my list and it could have been different on a different day, for sure. Also, my biases get in…

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While educators have plenty of reason to point out the structural fallacies with our industry, we need to take a look at ourselves and our policies, as well. If we expect students to learn and not just earn a degree, we need to respect the process of learning and not the dogma of offering a class. Where the rubber meets the road is in our insane grading system; the boiling down of four months of work to a single letter provides enough stress to have every student put the cart firmly before the horse when it comes to what success…

I’m not alone in the sentiment that when I was young, I was very excited about school. It seemed like an immense journey leading to personal discovery. If you haven’t been in a while, take the next reasonable opportunity that presents itself to go to a kindergarten classroom, and you’ll likely be reminded of what it meant to be so young and positive about schooling. They all see themselves as singers, dancers, artists, readers, writers, storytellers, and explorers. This changes, and it changes dramatically. By the time they are in fifth or sixth grade, ask a class who is an…

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Something that I have heard, over and over, while working at colleges around the country is this notion that we are “getting students ready for the workforce.” I have heard it in many different contexts, such as why a school wouldn’t close for a snow day during a big storm (“Your business won’t be closed for snow days!”) or why you a student might fail an assignment if it’s not in by the due-date (“Late work is unacceptable in the work place!”). I take issue with the notion that colleges are training grounds for the workplace. I can understand why…

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After trying out many, many different paths towards enlightenment, The Buddha finally reached his goal during a single, though extended, session of mediation. It is stressed in the tradition of the wisdom that it was not his Hindu roots, his childhood as a prince, or his recent jaunt into aestheticism that allowed him to reach this goal: it was a spontaneous enlightenment that arose out of his deep, profound meditation. Returning from nirvana, The Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, a step-by-step guide to end suffering.

Now look back up, there. Draw your attention to the…

Sol Smith, MFA, EdS

Sol Smith is a writer and a professor of writing living in Southern California. He has a lovely wife, four daughters, and a ridiculous dog.

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