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Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

Posted by agnespuffin (My Page) on
Wed, Dec 5, 12 at 13:08

Son #2 has 6 children. 3 of his own (mother is dead) and 3 step children.
Two of them are in college. Two of them are seniors in High School. Can you think $$$$$$$?

Ok, one of the younger ones is in a new high school. Some bright souls decided that a trip to Coasta Rica would be nice. It would only cost $1600.00 PLUS the air fare.

Yessirree, Bob, every family with a child in high school can afford a trip like that.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

No works wonders! (It should come back into style again)
It did for me growing up when there were ski trips. overnights to Washington DC!
Is the school getting any kickbacks?


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

Fundraisers?


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

We once attended a rural school where our costs to belong to the ski club including transportation, equipment, rentals, lift tickets, meals etc was more than the disposable income of many parents.

We went a couple very expensive out-of-state trips - Way more than $1,600 adjusted for inflation. I brought over $1,000 in cash with me for spending money.

Several of our day trips to numerous ski slopes were probably a couple hundred bucks each in today's dollars, not including meals and extras.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

Gripe away! Good for him for taking care of his children.

_______________________________________
I'll join you. And when you can't go, they treat you like you have the plague. I tried to beg off of my senior trip, knowing my single mother couldn't afford it. The school gave her a hard time, so I ended up working while still in school. What's wrong with this picture? Not to mention, Natalee Holloway is my ex's family. Going on a senior trip is becoming less and less palatable to me. Schools think everyone has money. Sheesh are they ever wrong. My son couldn't try out for Mid State Band because he doesn't have a flute tutor. Sound discrimnatory towards poor students? Me too. I'm bringing it up at the end of this school year. What poor kids can't have talent? Might be their only road out of poor. Shame on them.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

We lived in a fairly affluent neighbourhood when my daughter was in high school. The school policy was NO school sanctioned non educational trips...NONE!

If the kids wanted to have some sort of graduation/seniors trip they had to arrange it through private travel agents and organize it off school property.

Educational school trips were organized through the school and there was a "fund" raised by the students and their parents to help defray costs. Every student could avail themselves of the funds, or not, but every student had to contribute hours whether they took the money or not.

I loved this school, even though the neighbourhood was affluent the principal refused to allow that to be an influence. She was an amazing educator.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

I'd mentioned something similar about a trip my daughter's French class is taking - $5,000 for 10 days in Europe. No school fundraising because it never works, up to each individual family, so only those who can afford it can offer their kids that opportunity.

Here in the land of equal opportunity.

The response was: shut up, tough cookies, why should I pay for your kids trip (????) boo frickity hoo.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

I never went on a school trip... it wasn't in the family budget. Didn't bother me that much, really. We took family vacations, instead.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

We sold candy all year to pay for our class bus trip to Montreal. Don't schools organize such fundraisers any more?


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

Chase, that was a wise educator.

I certainly never went on any big trips like that with the school or for that matter, with my family. I also wonder how many families are actually able to go on vacation. Now, about the only time we leave our state is to visit family in Dallas and that is not a vacation.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

When don't they organize fundraisers? Our funds always go towards other things though, not trips. Rightfully so.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

I'm very sorry Rob - what a disgusting state of affairs the people of this country have allowed themselves to fall into when a school trip to Costa Rica is deemed so "important" that finances be damed! It's your duty as a parent!
There is a great dignity, not to mention wisdom, in choosing NOT to go into debt or needless expense the year before college tuition begins by passing on the expensive high school senior trip.


Brush, if there are to be fundraisers, I would rather the funds go for greater immediate necessities - such as funds to improve the art dept, or the music dept or to pay the way for those who don't have to be able to join the class on a short trip to the nearest really good museum.

I think that world travel is incredibly important, I have traveled the world since I was a child, I was lucky to be provided the experiences due to my father's and my husband's career choices. Every American who can manage it should get out of this country and see something and cultures and peoples which can't be found on this continent.
However, in the big picture of life, other things become more important when choices simply must be made. Everything has it's level of importance and few can be so lucky as to have it all.

I'd be interested in a lot of information about that Costa Rica trip.
Will the consumption of alcohol be allowed? Condoned? Ignored? Will adults be present and in charge of groups *at all times*? Will the laws be strictly followed? If students break the rules, will they promptly be sent home? Do the students AND the parents sign an agreement that this consequence is acceptable?
Usually all that falls by the wayside on class trips - for those who have not been exposed to senior trips, you should understand what takes place so that your consent is informed consent when your child's time comes.

Dignity is never found in the abundance or lack of abundance that exists in one's checkbook. Nor is self worth or, for that matter, one's real worth to this world.
Apparently that is not a widely held belief. Perhaps Rob's school should have taken a refresher course on the whole idea before giving her mother a hard time.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

We`sold candy, raffle tickets and had numerous other fundraisers to help fund school trips.

Unfortunately many students were slackers when it came to selling. Some sold thousands of items while others sold dozens.

I'm glad we attended schools with a good balance of education, fitness, skills and fun.

Our ski trips were by far one of the best experiences we had while in school. Snow Bunnies!!!


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Thank you mylab. I felt so sorry for her. I'm not much better off, but she really didn't have the funds (three kids). And it was a public school. Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, AZ. Good thing it wasn't Aruba or Costa Rica.


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If 30 kids want to take a $5000 trip, thats $150,000 to raise. Thats an awful lot of candy, magazine subscriptions and car washes.

Fund raisers are as Markjames says - a few kids do an awful lot of work, many don't, and they just don't work with that amount of money.

With the awful school district finances we have, the parents get together and do the fund raising for sports activities. They do everything from sell advertising space to raffle tickets for cars. They manage to come up with lunch money for most trips, but not always.

The marching band still manages to do their own thing and has their own substantial food trailer that they set up selling hamburgers, hot dogs, and what not every chance they can, the whole thing is organized and run by the parents. Its a major, mandatory undertaking if your kid wants to play in the band.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

The response was: shut up, tough cookies, why should I pay for your kids trip (????) boo frickity hoo.

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No, it wasn't shut up.
It was tough cookies, why should I pay for your kid's trip, however.

The trips like this one are indulgent and presumptive.
People with money that they earned and saved aren't generally prone to capricious spending. I think the credit card generation mentality is what allows these types of trips to even be arranged and "offered" is part of what is wrong with this country.

I remember twice a year some poor soul would come to our rural school and put on a magic show or a dance show or something. The cost was usually .25 and I can name the two kids in the class that never got to go, one year a teacher paid for it. But when we were smaller we all lined up to go to the auditorium and those kids sat there and colored. It bothered me so much, but I don't think many of the other second graders noticed.

We've come a long way from a .25 magic show to $1600 PLUS air fare, haven't we?

Immediate gratification and entitlement, and shame if you don't borrow the money to join the immediate gratification and entitlement train, and the keeping up with the Jonses train.

It's shameful, especially if people aren't willing to actually work to raise the money to go.

That being said, it's a free country and life isn't fair.
Seems to me that if some want to go on a school trip, that's their business.

I think it's a perfect time to teach your child a lesson.

A. We have the discretionary money to send you because of decisions we made, and we think you should go. Have a great time!

B. We have the money, but it is in savings and we do not compromise our savings. I'm sorry. OR,

We can contribute X amount, if you will contribute X amount, or you can pay us back.

C. We don't have the money and here is why we don't have the money.

D. We will go into debt to send you (imagine what THIS teaches the child about responsibility)

E. Too bad, life isn't fair.

All great lessons.
There's always Costa Rica later.

I waited until I could afford to go--2006.


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I think it's crazy too. My grandson is going to Quebec next month with his AP french class for five days. Forget the cost of that , but it ain't cheap. Later this year his AP biology class is going to Costa Rico, and the cost is $3000. The parents are encouraged to have the kid work and pay half the cost while the parents cough up the rest. So far GS has come way short. He can't work because he's 14. Luckily they only have one kid and can afford it, but many can't. Our class trips usually were to Gettysburg, 30 minutes away.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

You betcha.

And those schools - the private prep schools like where the Romneys and Obamas send their kids, or the public schools in affluent areas where the annual trip to Europe/Mexico/Costa Rica is a given, we should just pretend that the knowledge and experiences they gain from all this exposure to other countries and cultures and the language experience they get is nothing. Yes, a waste. After all, what do they know?

And when those kids get into selective colleges and universities because of their language abilities and essays on cultural differences and so on, we can just go to community colleges.

And when those kids who had all those educational opportunities from middle school through university end up running things, we'll pretend that it wasn't an enlightened education, it was "boot straps, good decisions, and hard work" and we can do it too.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

People will never have the same lives, the same type of parents, the same advantages.

But in this country we all have opportunity.

Trips to Europe/Mexico/Costa Rica don't make people successful.

Hard work, determination, perseverance and talent do.

People should measure themselves not by what others have, but by what they are willing to do..

The American Dream used to be being able to have the opportunity to realize your potential, but not a guarantee and not kicking someone else in the knees to slow them down because they had advantages you didn't.

Seems to me know the American Dream has become it's not fair you have something I don't have so fork it over.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

David, your point about the lack of a level playing field/equal opportunity (or whatever the phrase is) is well presented. But we're not supposed to mention economic class in the U.S. and the part it plays in determining who succeeds.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

mylab,

I meant an individual student fundraiser, not a school fundraiser. IOW, earn your own money to pay your way.

Costa Rica is a bit much. My kids paid their way to Washington, DC. and that took some hard work for a middle school student.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

An amazing string of non-sequitur bromides.

That have nothing at all to do with how this country offers astounding education opportunities to the oligarchy, while the rest of us are supposed to shut up and be thankful for community colleges.

Happyvale Community College motto: "Where Boot Straps Abound".


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

So what do you want David?

Do you want people not to go to Harvard because everyone can't afford to go there?

No one said anyone ought to "shut up" (that's the second time you have mentioned that and I don't recall anyone saying that or even articulating that) and be thankful for anything.

But frankly, people that haven't done what it takes to be able to send their kids to Harvard or some other school that one laments not being able to afford SHOULD BE THANKFUL for taxpayer subsidized community colleges where they or their children can get an education.

Should people that have made the decisions with their lives that put them in the position of being able to go to Harvard or send their children to Harvard, send their kids to community college instead and pay for everyone else's kids to go to Harvard?

Boot straps do abound, indeed.

For those that use them, they can catch up and surpass the Harvard kids.

The trick is to stop complaining about what others have and use those boot straps.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

"People will never have the same lives, the same type of parents, the same advantages. "

Of course they won't but those that do have a significant advantage in life...and that's the facts. Yes determination etc, plays into it but when all you see is your Dad beating your Mom, or your Mom working two jobs and not being there to help you with your homework, or going to school hungry...it matters.

Demi, do you agree that the environment your daughters grew up in contributed significantly to their successes?

All many of us are saying is that the most fortunate of us have an obligation to provide some advantages to kids who fate dealt a different deal to than the one that was dealt our kids.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

Posted by chase z6 (My Page) on
Wed, Dec 5, 12 at 17:17

"People will never have the same lives, the same type of parents, the same advantages. "

Of course they won't but those that do have a significant advantage in life...and that's the facts. Yes determination etc, plays into it but when all you see is your Dad beating your Mom, or your Mom working two jobs and not being there to help you with your homework, or going to school hungry...it matters.

Demi, do you agree that the environment your daughters grew up in contributed significantly to their successes?

All many of us are saying is that the most fortunate of us have an obligation to provide some advantages to kids who fate dealt a different deal to than the one that was dealt our kids.

*

I don't disagree with any of that, Chase.

Of course the fact that my children had parents that waited to have them when they were wanted, loved, and we were able to care for them in every sense of the word, and willing to be selfless enough to devote our time to teaching them right from wrong and to help them develop skills and intellect and offer them experiences which showed them that there is more to life than their immediate surroundings, has contributed to the kind of people they are and their success. Of course being smart, obtaining a good education, and having the skills and being taught not to indulge their immediate wants has contributed to them being successful.

Of course we should all help others who aren't so fortunate.
We do.

I said that--we do NOT all have the same advantages in life.
It is tougher for some to overcome obstacles that others do not have--like no love in a family, being forced to quit school to bring home money for groceries, watching your mother being beaten by a step father, not getting any Christmas toys when the other kids did. My dad had that kind of life.

He never once complained about what someone else had and when he could, joined the army and made something of himself. He got his GED, then went to business school at night while working all day and we didn't have a car--we walked where we needed to go or rode the trolley. My dad was a traveling salesman before he started his own company and was absent five days a week.

My point is, boo frickety hoo.
He could do it, others can too.

No one said it was going to easy for everyone.
Life isn't fair.

I wish I hadn't had polio and had complications from that.
My family and friends gave not heard me complain about how it's not fair that I don't have the extra two and a half inches I was supposed to be and how I can't wear dresses, how I cannot bend and about the pain I live with every day.


I can tell you this--I don't let it stop me from doing absolutely everything I can and I don't begrudge anyone else their straight and healthy back--which is a gift of nature to them I just didn't get. That's the cards.
It could have been a lot worse and I thank GOD every day that I can walk. I refuse to waste time thinking about what I don't have and concentrate on what blessings I was given, and what I can do to better my life. What other people have that I don't never enters my mind and never has.

But when one complains about what someone else has because of the decisions they made in life that you (collective) didn't, you are already shooting yourself in the foot because that attitude reduces the likelihood of success. It's a bad example to set for children.

Obama likes to bring this up a lot.
It's all someone else's fault that you aren't where you want to be in life.

Well, what about it may be your fault, it may not be your fault, but it sure is heck isn't MY fault?

We pay a lot in taxes to support everyone from birth through death--there are schools and welfare and free inoculations and food stamps and grants and free transportation and non profits--more than at any time.

There are local, state and federal programs in addition to non profit and community programs and INDIVIDUALS that give their time, money, and efforts to help people get on the right track in life to succeed.

If you can't make it in this country with all that help, frankly, you don't deserve to make it.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

Guess that about sums it up.........


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

Somehow, I think that my main point was missed.

This is a SCHOOL trip. Shouldn't all children be entitled to go if it is sponsored by the SCHOOL? That is a tax supported institution. It is for education.

Could the students STUDY Coastal Rico? In a class?
Maybe a tour of the various homeless shelters and Food Banks in the area might mean as much to the students.
It certainly isn't teaching them about being financially wise.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

"Sponsored. shmonsered. Sounds like something the child who wants to go would say. This is a foreign country. Will/can the school realistically ensure the child's safety? No. That would be my first question--if the school does indeed say they are "sponsoring" the trip, what does that mean, exactly?

No doubt vacations are educational--even bad ones. If this is a week in Costa Rica (which is a very nice place from what little I saw in my short visit), it's a vacation. When a child is 14, their vacations should be with their (responsible) caregivers: parents, adult siblings or other close relatives, close family friends, etc., not some institution of lower learning.

JMO.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

Agnes, I'm sorry that I didn't address you specifically, the last post I read was Robb's and her's was very similar to what I thought was your own message.

If a public school has to sponser aka pay the costs for each student on school trips,you can forget about any day trips to a local museum or anything like that. While I become angry about this sort of "school" trip, I would never want the wonderful day trips that so many schools offer for children, with little cost to the parent.

Yes, sometimes that little cost is too much cost due to family finances (especially since 2009, who can judge anyone their finance problems these days, really?) but I would never want them to be done away with. Cut the frills, pack lunches from home and figure out a way for other cut-to-the-bone expenses to be covered by local store sponsorship who can then put that out in advertisment.

And think of the liability they would have to assume - it would ruin the small but so important things in a child's school year. With this being such a litigious society, it's probably about ruined already, to be truthful. There seems to be no such thing as "stuff happens" anymore.

Perhaps a better way to deal with this is for parents to revolt over this stuff. Well, good luck with that - I was in deep shock over prom costs when my own had his and it was not nearly what it is today.
(a MOTEL room....in order to, yes - drink illegally but also "responsibly"!

Are you kidding me? And parents don't blink an eye at the idea - often they pay every single dime of the cost, grateful that it's a way to keep their alcohol- fueled kids off the streets - that's the idea, at any rate. Who knows what really goes on.

There is a reason why people must grow old and die and I'm probably a living example - gotta lose the old attitudes and make room for the new attitudes and ideas.

On some things I guess my attitudes have become much too rigid: like a motel room for high school jr.s and sr's. to drink too much and party in when they are supposed to be dancing at the....oh yeah...the PROM!
;)

If the parents of your grandchildren can gather a momentum with other parents to go to the school board about the idea of planning this sort of thing, then that would be the best bet. Now is the time: don't wait until fees have been paid - or do this with the idea of trying to prevent such plans in the future.

There are more parents out there who want to do away with this sort of thing for high school students than one hears about. But they pay up, out of guilt and fear that they will be depriving their children of what really is what the vast majority end up enjoying.

It's all a disgrace, imo. that these sort of expectations for children are set up by a public school. It is an idea divorced from the reality of the problems facing this country. Only parents can reign them in.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

But when one complains about what someone else has because of the decisions they made in life that you (collective) didn't, you are already shooting yourself in the foot because that attitude reduces the likelihood of success. It's a bad example to set for children.

Obama likes to bring this up a lot.
It's all someone else's fault that you aren't where you want to be in life.

What a load of carp. Its about opportunity, creating opportunity. Nobody here, except in your own mind, is 'complaining' about the Obama and Romney kids getting a stellar education that allows them numerous trips abroad during their middle school and high school years. On the contrary. More power to them, and I hope they have a great time on their trips. We know that this early exposure to different languages and cultures will often help them immensely in their college admissions, college opportunities, and job prospects later in life. There are a lot of wonderful career opportunities out there if one speaks other languages and is familiar with other cultures.

What does being able to afford private schools and foreign school trips have to do with making good decisions? The decision you made when you picked wealthy parents?

Here we are discussing a school sponsored trip that requires people to cough up $2500-$3,000 to go to Costa Rica. I assume the teachers in the school believe its worth while - I know a science teacher from a rural town in Colorado who routinely takes his kids on trips to Costa Rica - because its a life changing event for many of them - studying the tropical forest ecology, seeing a rain forest for the first time.

I don't think pointing out the differences in the sort of education the oligarchy gives themselves and what is available to the rest of us is somehow wrong, in spite of the bogus class warfare nonsense you seem to thrive on.

But, hey, maybe, if some of these powerful folks who only deal with private k-12 prep schools that cost $40,000 a year who then go on to the elite universities at $60,000 a year, were send their own children to public schools and community colleges, we might see a change in the way we do education in this country.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

My daughter went one year to MCLA, state college, right down the road from Williams, most expensive ivy-league college that year (or so we heard). MCLA does a pretty good job pretending it isn't a mill for producing middling teachers and bureaucrats and is instead a world of opportunity, and of course in truth someone bright and motivated can make opportunity anywhere.

Certainly there was opportunity for the sales rep from Dell who was there with his greasy used-car style pitch and easy payment plan. That's when parent day ended for me. I don't think he's allowed over at Williams...


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

David, I think the fact that some can afford a better education for their children than others is just part of life and not anything to feel guilty about.

There are a lot more people that aren't able to send their children to those private prep schools that you seem to think give them such an advantage over those who can't attend, than those that do.

That means there is power in numbers.

If you don't like the education your child is getting, do something about it.

We had a rural family that attended our church when I was growing up. The children were homeschooled by their mother.
Their father was a postal employee.

All of their clothes were sewn by their mother and they did not have a lot of extras. I recall them being excited about going to see Man of La Mancha when the rest of us kids didn't even know what it was. They learned to play instruments. They did not watch television. They read a lot. The kids raised Christmas trees all year long and sold them and that's how they paid for music lessons and trips to see Man of La Mancha and the ballet.

Four of the five children are all now very successful physicians.

Their family didn't complain about how others were getting a better education than their children in public schools--they made sure their children got the education they deserved and it paid off.

Of course we should all do what it takes to improve education and other areas that benefits others and mutually benefit us in this country--we all benefit when people stay in school and learn skills then need to be self sufficient and reliable employees.

It's easy to put the blame on "the powerful folks" that send their children to expensive prep schools and "elite universities."

They are one just like you are and like I and quite frankly, they are doing what it takes to make sure their children get the education they think they deserve.

I see nothing wrong with that.

If you had the choice between sending your children to whatever school they are presently attending and an inner city school with rampant drugs and violence and the lowest of test scores, what would you do? The "elite" are doing no different--they're doing the best for their children that they can.

I might add--they still pay taxes on public schools, so they're supporting not only their children in private schools, but the children of others, as well.

If you're not happy with something, change it.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

What happened to Washington DC? I remember grade school was Washington, I think middle school was Florida and Arizona. I do not remember out of the country until High School and college. The College trips were the most expensive they went to Brazil, Germany and Japan and were study abroad programs that were a couple of months.

Travel is a great education and is as important as Reading Writing and Math. The air fare was always free because I had so many frequent flyer miles because of my travel and the most we had to come up with was $1,000.

I do not know how middle class families can come up with this kind of money especially since there are usually more than one child in school.

You should gripe it sucks. There should not be trips that are included in school activity/education that does not include all the students.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

"...to feel guilty about."

"It's easy to put the blame on..."

For someone who gets in such verbose, exhaustive diatribes when anyone on the forum credits you with intentions, thoughts, and emotions, you seem oblivious to the carp you so freely spew about.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

What happened to Washington DC? I remember grade school was Washington, I think middle school was Florida and Arizona. I do not remember out of the country until High School and college.

Really??

I don't remember class trips in elementary school at all, not for myself, or for my kids who are in their 20s and 30s. Also no class trips in middle or high school. Both my sons were really into foreign language, and my eldest spent 3 weeks in Germany between his junior and senior years of high school, at our expense, not a school sponsored trip. And the youngest was in college level Spanish classes in HS and his teacher took a group to Spain after graduation, which we also paid for. Both boys earned part of the money to go. But there were NO "class trips" sponsored by the school district.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

I don't remember class trips in elementary school at all, not for myself, or for my kids who are in their 20s and 30s.

Washington, DC is close to PA. It was a day bus trip. If it cost anything it was nominal. I would remember if it was expensive. I was a stay at home mom and my husband was starting as a Director at the time we did not have a lot of money.

HS there were fundraisers and the trips were paid for by May all we had to give them was spending money for Souvenir or if the fund was short letters were sent to parents and local business for donations. Every student went on the trips no one was left behind.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

Wow, a few here sure had school districts with money to burn. I went to Chicago Public Schools, and while the curriculum was great, class trips were limited to opportunities with certain groups (Spanish Club to Mexico, etc.), and each student had to pay his/her own way.

I don't think the school district should foot the bill for extracurriculars, i.e., football, cheer squad, field trips, band uniforms. We can't afford it; never could.

Kids wanna play; they gotta pay.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

Kids who can afford it wanna play, they gotta play.

The poor kids? boo frikety hoo.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

"The trips like this one are indulgent and presumptive"

No it's not.

Travel can be one of the most effective educational tools and will help build a more rounded person.

I think some school trips are not well planned, but in my experience a school trip is a great way to expose your children to other cultures and at less expense then a family trip to the same destination.

As a Freshman all students are aware that there will be a "Senior Trip". That gives them 4 years to save up some cash. A student should be prepared to personally help with the costs of a trip and have some responsibility.

Most families have a difficult time coming up with the money for this, which is why most good school districts will help the parents with fund raisers. There is usually time for the student to prepare for the trip in advance, so fundraisers, part time jobs, babysitting etc should help.

Low inccome families have more of a burden especially if it's a short notice trip. The children of low income familes should have the same education opportunities as those with the ability to pay.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

Posted by susanilz5 z5 IL (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 6, 12 at 0:33

"The trips like this one are indulgent and presumptive"

No it's not.

*

It is obvious that that is a matter of opinion.

I happen to think that trips that cost over a thousand dollars are. That does not mean that the trips cannot be beneficial, but I think they definitely are indulgent.

Children in public schools are there to learn, not see the world.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

I'm going to ask grandson if ALL the kids in his French and Biology classes are going to Quebec and Costa Rico. This is a public school , but a very small one in a rather well to do town. But that doesn't mean all the kids will be able to go particularly if there are multiple kids in the family. Grandson is lucky to be born in a traveling family. This will be his third trip to Costa Rico and his fourth to Canada. I agree that this is hugely educational and they were given a almost a year's notice on the Costa Rico trip. The Quebec one just since the beginning of the school year. They will be required to speak French the whole time they are within earshot of the teacher.

Marquest..That's the thing being from PA. More class trips to DC. From my hometown it was a 90 minute bus trip and we didn't even stay overnight on our senior trip. Kids from the class before us ruined it when a few of the girls came home from a NYC class trip and nine months later had babies.


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Kids from the class before us ruined it when a few of the girls came home from a NYC class trip and nine months later had babies.

Well that is something that happened in NYC that did not stay in NYC. That is too funny.

PA has good well rounded education opportunities. Well kept secret. We are situated close to NY, DC, Harrisburg. Lots of excellent one day school trips. When I was in elementary school we went to the Opera Theater once a month as part of our music class.

Children in public schools are there to learn, not see the world.

Demi, seeing the world is learning and a big part of learning. It is part of acceptance and understanding other cultures. It is not a vacation.

When I took my daughter on vacation to other countries in HS they permitted her to take extra school days off as education days and she received extra credit for the report she had to turn in when she returned. They understood the value of travel in relation to education.

When we returned from Mexico she had a complete report on the
The Maya Ruins with pictures and ceremonial face mask she picked up.


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I don't remember what it cost, but my son got to see Paris, London and Madrid with his Spanish class over spring break one year. As I recall, payments were spread out. That made the trip a possibility for more students. I don't remember what they did for fundraisers, but they could have sold candy. (Back then it was not politically incorrect.)

Different families plan different things for spring break. I am grateful the trip was offered, and at a price that we were able to fit into our budget. The organizers put a wonderful educational opportunity before us, and we were happy to take them up on it.


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Any trip that does not go on the yellow bus for free is discriminatory by its very nature and should not be part of a school function...


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Agnes, I'm curious ...what are the overall income and wealth characteristics of that community around that high school?


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If you look at a list and the backgrounds of some of the wealthiest people in the world, they didn't make those trips either. They were poor and looking for a way out of poverty, Now they can afford the trips, good for them.


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As HG described my cross country rail trip; opulent. *s


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"That gives them 4 years to save up some cash"

Wave your magic wand why doncha! You can get blood from a turnip. Some don't have enough to "set aside the cash" (how condescending!). Some don't have enough. We were lucky enough to have food and electricity. And that's not sarcasm. Some kids don't have those. They do without food at all in the summertime/breaks when school is out. Get real. Save up? Save what? Working two jobs and ends don't meet, there is no disposable income (I hate that term. It makes me realize that most of America thinks everyone has this. It's tossed around so lightly, I must be doing something wrong, even though I've scraped, clawed and even gone to school. Guess I should be thankful I have a job and a roof over our heads in this economy). To expect that happens in ALL families where the children are in public schools is unreasonable. What about those that can't? It should be a choice and the trip should be some place reasonably close and reasonably priced. If not, send the kids on a backpack tour after graduation. I shouldn't have had to work when I should've been home studying and making good enough grades to go on to university.

This post was edited by rob333 on Thu, Dec 6, 12 at 8:59


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Next year the eighth graders can take a trip to Washington if they raise the money on their own or their parents pay for it. Mine won't be going. We simply can't afford it. So what. I grew up poor. I was seventeen before I had my first coat that wasn't a hand me down. I didn't go on trips. But I remember my childhood as a very happy time. I don't want my kids to believe that they are entitled just because they exist. I want them to know that trips and things are not what makes one a happy person.


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Amen sista! I'm right there with you MrsK. Right there.


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Next year the eighth graders can take a trip to Washington if they raise the money on their own or their parents pay for it.

Do you object to your children raising the money if they want to go on the trip with their classmates?

Starting at the age of 5 yrs old, my daughter earned her allowance. She was taught to save her allowance and money she received for gifts, for special things she wanted. I remember there was some special crayons she wanted with a bunch of new colors the primary colors I purchased were not good enough. She learned if she wanted extra that was earned. I supply basic and some of her wants she had to earn extra special.

The allowance could not all be used for what she wanted, some also had to be put in a savings account. No withdrawals from that account unless it was an emergency. The emergency was age appropriate emergency. Those crayons were 30.00 it was deemed an emergency for a project she wanted to make. But she knew she had to double up and replace the savings for the emergency. It was her bank account she had to manage the balance.

It is training. The answer is not I am poor. We were not rich. There was only one salary, my husband worked I did not work.


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I think that's actually the issue mar. This is not a need, but it is treated like one. It's extra and the onus is put on people who can't make it happen.


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But Rob I think it is a need if you can make it happen. If you cannot I do not think it makes you a bad parent. I just think it is a benefit to the education of our children to travel.

Every area of our economy is dependent on the world and the educational value of the experience of travel raises the awareness of our children for future employment opportunities.

The only way I can explain it is.......It is easier to understand and retain a lesson when you have personal experience. It is different than just reading or seeing a picture of a country. The black sand beaches of Hawaii pictures cannot compare to the personal experience.


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Ok, even if it is a need, that's not a scholastic need.


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Posted by rob333 (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 6, 12 at 12:34

Ok, even if it is a need, that's not a scholastic need.

*

Bingo.

That's a lot of pressure on families, particularly kids in public schools.


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I still don't think it's a need. An opportunity maybe, but not a need. Sounds like entitlement to me, but what do I know? I thought the reward for being a senior was graduating and a diploma.


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We often hear the same Republicon talking points that we have heard here with regard to "entitlements." Over and again they claim that those who have less money made poor decisions in life and that therefore they and their children are doomed to an unfortunate but deserved destiny. We hear that the children of the wealthy, the Romney sons and the Paris Hiltons, should be preserved as a permanent plutocracy with the Estates of their parents past on to them tax free.
Then there is this notion that these wealthy folks are the job creators and "the Makers" whilst the rest of us are the "takers."

I personally find these arguments to lack any merit and generally, to be offensive and provocative. . Let's see, what did some of our Republicons on this forum "make" and how many jobs dd they create? How much harder did they work in their lives than others? Do they all have as much education, experience and hard work behind them as millions of others who have less? Absolutely not, and that just blasts the foundation of their argument away.

We ALL get old and many of us who have lived decent lives and made the best decisions we could, will need the Social Security that we ARE "entitled" to after working years to pay into it. We will also need help with medical after age 65, when we can no longer purchase private insurance at reasonable rates or be able to afford it after retirement. Students who come from families with modest financial means need financial aid to advance and they need the same opportunities as kids from wealthy homes.

I have seen countless people in their 50's suffer financial hardships after living very clean lives. Many have advanced degrees while others have worked their fingers to the bone in the trades for decades. Maybe they picked the wrong financial consultant or the wrong investments or maybe they just never earned quite enough to save for retirement or to make investments. Others had their nest egg tied up in their homes or other real estate and lost their tails.
Now all of those people and their children are undeserving takers?

I think some of you Republicans give yourselves way too much credit.
What did you make other than more money? What have you created that many who are less fortunate financially than you have not?
I'm sorry, I just grow tired of the egomania of some Republicans and their tall tales about the makers and the takers and all of the great decisions they have made in their lives.


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So what is your stance on kids going on costly school trips heri? Sorry,I just can't see how your post relates to the current discussion.


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I still don't think it's a need. An opportunity maybe, but not a need. Sounds like entitlement to me, but what do I know? I thought the reward for being a senior was graduating and a diploma.

I agree it is not a need for the goal of a diploma. It is extra like gravy on mashed potatoes.


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Sorry,I just can't see how your post relates to the current discussion.

Then you have not followed it through. Read demi's post at Wed, Dec 5, 12 at 17:41.

So what is your stance on kids going on costly school trips heri?

As long as it isn't mandatory, it's none of our business and none of us have a right to have a "stance" on whether they should or should not go. Pretty simple.


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Yes, very simple. I did read it through. Maybe it was difficult to tell because it just look like a general rant. So it's a demi rant? It is our business if we're to protect kids and poor people in PUBLIC schools. Or maybe you don't see it that way, but it could be seen that way.


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Anyone see the dateline or 20/20 or whatever story about the couple with three daughters. Both parent lost their jobs. They had to move across country so dad could take a job paying much less than he had been making. Mom was discussing how they don't have money to go out to eat much, or buy certain gadgets, etc. She said they have had to just spend more time together doing things like raking leaves and baking cookies. She said the family has become much closer. She mentioned it as a plus, but didn't sound real real happy about it.

I just don't get that. Did they have children so that they could buy them things? I'm wondering, maybe real parenting is harder than going to work and tossing money at the kids. I don't have kids, so I'm wondering.

Our senior class trip was to Hawaii!!! I never gave it a second thought. I knew my single mother should not have to pay for that. I didn't care that all my friends went. Really, truly, I didn't care. Hawaii wasn't a desire for me. I guess. I was already working as a waitress at the new Poppin Fresh Pies restaurant. I loved my tip change. Still remember the bottles of change I saved. Probably didn't want to miss out on that!


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Ok, even if it is a need, that's not a scholastic need.

Studies have shown and proven otherwise. A result of these studies have motivated some Foundations to fund school trips because it not only enhances a child's background, but it has shown to improve a child's education and their grade point levels. Each school has to apply and if they qualify then they are allocated funds for these trips because they do change lives. This enables everyone to go, not only those that can afford it. It is too bad that not many schools know about it or utilize it.

There is no comparison to educational tours (done right) and family vacations. You get to do things on these tours that you cannot get as a tourist, well beyond sightseeing.

What I do now has a direct correlation to a trip I took with school at 15. I didn't realize it then but I do now.


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The Obamas and Romneys have to send their children to a private school or have tutors for them. It would be too dangerous for them to attend a public school as they would be too vulnerable to people who do not wish them well. Can you imagine going to public school and having the Secret Service follow you around at all times.

We sent our daughter on a class trip to France although we could not afford it. I consider it money well spent. She attended a public high school. She became fascinated by other cultures and paid her own way to Europe when she was able to as a young adult. She learned to speak French, German, some Spanish, and some of the languages of Eastern European countries. She has a degree in Linguistics because of that trip.


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Several members of my family, including myself, spent time on these trips and found them the first step on the ladder to international careers. My oldest daughter is trilingual with English, French, and Spanish - started off with a high school trip to France then in college spent a year in both Paris and Santiago Chili, and instead of looking for jobs, spends her time turning offers down.

At the very least, its an eye opener that gee, other people live really pretty well and considerably differently than we do.


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"But, hey, maybe, if some of these powerful folks who only deal with private k-12 prep schools that cost $40,000 a year who then go on to the elite universities at $60,000 a year, were send their own children to public schools and community colleges, we might see a change in the way we do education in this country."

Just one of your statements, David. I'm trying to figure out what it is you're wanting to say. I just don't see it.

People with money will end up giving their kids better opportunities. I can see that. Are you somehow suggesting that this is wrong? That this is "evil"?

Are you suggesting that we tax the wealthy to the point that EACH AND EVERY kid in this country has the same OPPORTUNITIES as the rich kids? That, if one rich kid gets a trip to some exotic place, then there's "evil" done if ALL kids aren't, somehow, offered the same opportunity?

I really would like to know what it is you're suggesting is "wrong" and what it would take to correct it.

Por Favor. (My daughter and I are going to Mexico next year.)

I used quotes in so many places, not to put words in your mouth, but as a way of asking. How would you put it?

Hay


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Did they have children so that they could buy them things?

I cannot speak for everyone but as a Mother I wanted the best for my daughter. It is more than buying things but a way of life it is stability, friendships that your children develop.

You said she had a response of the positive but did not seem happy. I know I would not have been happy to have to uproot my child from the life she had and friends she grew up with. How old were the children? As an adult it is no problem to pull up stakes and move on. When you disrupt your children and look your children in the eyes and see the hurt I can imagine that hurts a lot and would make you sad.

I scratched and work hard to give my daughter the best education, and life experience which included travel so she would have every tool to be successful in life. I believe every opportunity a child gets is not a waste.


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I listened to NPR's Marketplace, a half hour economics/stock market program, on my way to dance last night.

One of the features was a small audio clip about the oil boom in the Dakotas and this clip focused on one family that had come for the better opportunity it offered them.

Four kids and ONE MORE ON THE WAY. Living in a 12'X54' "skid house", which I gather is essentially a small trailer house.

I'm listening and, at the same time, reflecting on this thread.

What is wrong with this picture?

Am I obligated to make sure these kids have all the advantages? Whose fault, if there is fault? It's a sad story. I don't know how to make it have a happy ending.

"We're not living in a car or a camper, so we're doing pretty well."

Hay


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Heri: "We often hear the same Republicon talking points that we have heard here with regard to "entitlements." Over and again they claim that those who have less money made poor decisions in life and that therefore they and their children are doomed to an unfortunate but deserved destiny."

If that's what YOU hear you when you read posts that contain the word "entitlements", or when the post talks about making poor decisions in life, no wonder you are always angry.

I don't remember a single such post that referred to "destiny". That would imply a preordained life; I've never heard anyone say that's the way it is, or should be.


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Hay, at some point, after a few generations in private prep schools and legacy positions in Ivy League universities, I don't think its too far of a stretch to think that some of these people don't have much of an idea of what the rest of the country faces in terms of bad schools and the obstacles and barriers that now exist.

The incessant howling that all it takes is hard work and good decisions. Well, for that set, the decision is what shares out of the trust fund you should sell to pay the rent while you're in Harvard law school.

Versus good decisions like leaving your little brother at home alone with his drunk mom so you can go to school that day and get ahead, instead of staying home to protect him, and good decisions on which color sweat shirt not to wear so you don't get shot by some gang banger after school.

This post was edited by david52 on Thu, Dec 6, 12 at 22:15


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So, you're just pointing out that a life of privilege can give you an unrealistic view of the very difficult hardships faced by the poor and that the reality is that getting to the top if you start at the bottom is harder than some privileged people seem to appreciate?

I'll go along with that.

Anyone disagree?

But I won't need to feel guilty about those poor kids in Dakota and the miserable life they can look forward to?

Hay


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It is our business if we're to protect kids and poor people in PUBLIC schools. Or maybe you don't see it that way, but it could be seen that way.

I am not sure that is the issue, if there even is an issue here. If there is a voluntary class trip by students attending a public school, then whoever can afford it and wants to go should go. The wealthy can afford to raise their children without having them work minimum wage jobs or in factories over the summer, like I did. More power to them. I would not wish any kid to go through some of what I did in those years, where I missed out on so much. You are only young once so enjoy it while you can.

It isn't fair, I guess, but I accepted my lot in life and dealt with it the best way I could. My parents could not afford college, so I worked in a factory night shift while attending community college part time for 3 years and saved my money. That allowed me to attend a local University and then post graduate school.

OT: What I felt was quite unfair when I attended public school was having to sit with a few non-Catholic students every Wednesday afternoon while most of the kids were given leave to attend Catechism. That was my one gripe. They could easily have scheduled that after school.

elvis , attacking from the Right flank , said:

If that's what YOU hear you when you read posts that contain the word "entitlements", or when the post talks about making poor decisions in life, no wonder you are always angry.

Oh come now, Ms. elvis, me angry? Your side just lost so perhaps you are projecting some of your own anger? Me, I'm feeling energized and so happy to have the Obama's in the White house over the holidays looking forward to beginning a fresh new term...four more years starting next year. Yes, I say, he11 yes.

As far as entitlements, the Right wing and their Fox mouthpiece have done their best to make "entitlement" into a pejorative term. People ARE entitled to Social Security and Medicare because they worked, paid into SS, paid taxes, and helped build our country. They are not whining lazy black and brown people sucking off the pubic trough. SS and Medicare recipients include people like my mother, and probably some of you and your own parents and relatives. Same for unemployment and Medicaid.

The wealthiest like the Romney class believe they built this but reaping profits from closing down American manufacturing job and outsourcing them (which has been a primary focus of many corporate elite over the last few decades) does not build anything but their wealth. That has to change because we have so little manufacturing left here. Thank God we did not let Detroit go bankrupt and that Americans sent Romney slithering away in a black SUV on election night. The thought of that still makes me smile. There is a God.


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  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 6, 12 at 23:14

My children attended inner city schools. One daughter was able to go on a class trip to Toronto, there were two buses full of kids. They raised the money over the school year with several fund raisers.

My son came home and said that he had an opportunity to go to New Zealand, cost over 7K. When I got done laughing I asked "pray tell how are we to do this?" Fund raising and soliciting funds from family/friends. OKAY Not only did he not go, but no one in his class did. Well maybe the teacher did, I have no idea.


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Off topic but...........
Thank God we did not let Detroit go bankrupt and that Americans sent Romney slithering away in a black SUV on election night. The thought of that still makes me smile. There is a God.

Yes a big smile and...... the Secret Service leaving while he was sleeping. That said a lot of the character of that man they saw during their protection that made them feel they did not want to take the time to say "Good bye".

Back to School trips.....


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LOL!


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I asked my daughter earlier today about her son's trips. The $3000 Costa Rico trip is not school sponsored and not every one in this small class is going, she said. She also said she didn't know why it was so expensive , that their trips there didn't cost much more and there were three of them. But the kid is going for two weeks, and I don't think their trips were that long. As for the Quebec trip which is five days and $900, that one IS school sponsored and not everyone is going.

I don't know how I feel about this. I feel bad for the kids who might want to go , and can't afford it, but I'm glad the kid has the opportunity. Getting into a good college depends on so much more than it did in my time. 9th grade and he has college scouts at his soccer games.


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I don't know how I feel about this. I feel bad for the kids who might want to go , and can't afford it, but I'm glad the kid has the opportunity. Getting into a good college depends on so much more than it did in my time. 9th grade and he has college scouts at his soccer games.

It may not be financial Lily. I know a lady that is afraid to travel via air and will only travel just so far in a car she will not permit her children to travel. She is transferring her fears to her children which will ultimately hindered their status in life. She is financially able to send all her kids anywhere they want to go. Every new gadget they have the day it hits the stores. Not a money issue but a fear issue especially out of the country.


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How about my situation? Was it fair to hound my mother so that she agreed to pay it? They treated her like she was somehow neglectful. I wasn't looking for any entitlement, but a trip in a public school seems to marginalize poor kids. That's ok to do?


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Nobody said life would be fair... but that was before the playing field became so tilted...

It's always been tilted to a certain extent, but it gets more severe as time passes. That much is obvious.

As the child of middle class family, I understood that there would be things I couldn't have in life... like school trips. So what? Never bothered me.

My kids understood we couldn't afford to give them funds for school trips. Sometimes, that's the way it goes.

But we also taught them not to let what others said about them bother them. So, I think it depends on each person's outlook... I don't give a rat's butt what the neighbor's think... and neither do my kids, now adults. That's the neighbor's issue... not ours.

In other words... being taunted about not getting to go on a trip wasn't a big deal... maybe I had things they didn't. Money isn't everything, ya know...


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I never wanted money or a trip. I also don't want something that isn't a need be thurst upon those who can't. In a public school. A private one can do all they want to do.


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Jodi: "...But we also taught them not to let what others said about them bother them."

You can sure talk to your child about that, and you should do that, IMO, but you can't teach them not to feel.

-----------------

That being said, I'd be surprised if these trips we're talking about are so commonplace as to be a social problem which requires a great deal of thought.

They're extracurricular. Either you can afford it or you can't, and if you can't afford it, it would be foolish to go into debt over a "luxury". A week in Costa Rica is probably not going to change a child's life, unless of course something goes terribly wrong, and the parents are far away.

We're not talking about a foreign exhange student program here; that's something different entirely.


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No, you can't teach them not to feel... but you can teach them that there are people who won't care about your feelings, and you can't always let it bother you.

If I let every little slight bother me, I'd have committed suicide by now. You have to learn to let a lot roll off your shoulders in life, and not take everything personally.


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Jodik I understand what you are saying. "You did not teach them not to feel you taught them how to feel."

It was what I was taught and what I taught my daughter. What someone says to you, about you, have more or less than you, does not define you. You define you and what they say and do or have has no merit.

It does take a healthy amount of security of "yourself worth". I have worked with people that have a meltdown because of a comment said to them that I would have ignored as I chuckled and walked away. Because the first thing that would have come to my mind is they are talking about how they think of themselves.

So you ignore them because they are of no value in the conversation, or your life..

This post was edited by marquest on Sat, Dec 8, 12 at 16:05


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A week in Costa Rica is probably not going to change a child's life

Well, as I stated above, a good friend of mine who teaches science in a rural high school in Colorado, makes a point of taking his students on trips to Costa Rica to visit the rain forests and tropical ecology, and its been a life changer for many of his students. OTHERWISE, THEY WOULDN'T DO IT.

In the absence of a high school trip abroad, at a minimum you'd think a school could put on a 'virtual tour' using the internet as a chief resource, and having students research things like the different food, vehicles and gas milage, buildings and architecture, how different languages convey both the same concepts differently, as well as whole, new concepts foreign to America. On and on.

As for a biological field trip to a tropical rain forest, that wouldn't be as easy to mimic.


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My grandson wants to be an environmental scientist which is why his parents took the other two trips to Costa Rico. He's excited to go back again , and who knows it might set off a spark in another kid to go for an environmental career.

My city born and raised husband came home in 10th grade to tell his mother he wanted to be a forester. It was all because of a science fair which got him totally committed at a young age , and he graduated with a degree in forestry years later.


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I'd be surprised if these trips we're talking about are so commonplace.

They are common enough that there are quite a few tour operators that specialize in them.


A week in Costa Rica is probably not going to change a child's life

Many of us have already stated that we know firsthand that these trips do change lives. All it takes is one experience and/or opportunity.

It has already been proven that these trips work. There is no doubt that that learning about science from inside the rain forest could inspire a young person, or any person, to have an interest in science,ecology,botany... There are a myriad of other scenarios that could inspire a child and change a life in less than a week in Costa Rica or anywhere else.


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That's exactly it, Marquest... stalwart self worth and self esteem. That's why it doesn't bother me what others think of my opinions or my life... they're mine, not theirs'.

There are too many other important things in life... why waste time worrying about what the neighbor's think? What they think does not define me.

That's exactly it. You simply need to have that strong sense of self worth... and that's instilled by parenting, or should be. We build our children up... not teach them that's it's ok to let others knock them down, in a manner of speaking. We instill a sense of pride, of decency, a positive can-do attitude, a sense of confidence, if you will. Self esteem. Self worth.

I define me. No one else does. They can try... but I don't have to accept it.


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If you want your child to have travel experiences, it's up to you to provide it or teach them how to provide for themselves.

Not the public school system.
Not anyone else.


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If you want your child to have travel experiences, it's up to you to provide it or teach them how to provide for themselves.

Not the public school system.
Not anyone else.

The responsibility of a parent is to ensure that your child gets the best education that is available and that includes taking advantage of opportunities that are presented to you/them.

There is plenty of information compiled by those much more qualified that have found these trips to be very beneficial in many ways. They help with a child's self-esteem, learning to work with others, understanding other cultures, and reinforces what they learn in the classroom and at home which is why subsidies are offered to allow those who can't afford it to be able to send their children.

Comparing an educational tour (done well) with a family vacation is comparing apples and oranges. There is a big difference between what a child learns spending a day in a museum or historical site with a scholar or a local than with their parents sightseeing. Educational tours afford the students opportunities and access to things, in-depth knowledge and people that they would not have traveling as a tourist on a family vacation as well as an opportunity to learn things that they cannot from their parents.

The old addage "I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand" still holds true today.


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RE: Allow me one Big Gripe, please!

If you want your child to have travel experiences, it's up to you to provide it or teach them how to provide for themselves.

Not the public school system.

Not anyone else.

That decision is for the individual school districts to make, as well as how to best fund such educational trips.


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