from a dad's view

Going Old School – Watercolor

GoinOldSchoolClick on image to zoom in

I’m not sure which is older and in worse shape, this old school building or myself! This is a one room school building here in southern Indiana that a friend has located in her backyard. This 5″ x 7″ pen and ink, watercolor painting that I did was painted from a photo that she had taken earlier.

It’s funny to me, when I think of all the brilliant people who was taught in schools similar to this. Abraham Lincoln for one, actually grew up just miles from this school, and that’s not counting the great Philosophers, Engineers, Inventors, Astronomers, Physicist, etc. that we’re taught and excelled in classrooms similar to this. I hold education so important seeing that I wasted mine earlier in my life, but my question to you is why is it that we keep spending more and more money, millions upon billions on improving our schools and yet getting horrible results. A local high school has received millions and looks like the best of any small college in technology, and yet the graduation rate is less than 75% and minority rate is even much lower.  Maybe it isn’t the money spent, but what has changed in the areas of discipline (in schools, but more importantly at home), pride of both the child and parents, the respect for elders, parents and teachers from a child, and hard work, and that flat-out means stop being lazy America, whether your a child or an adult. I think it’s time we stop using money as an excuse for our problems and start looking at ourselves for the answers. A new computer can’t teach life lessons to a child, like that of a person who loves them.  Time to step-up, be the person that you were meant to be. Yes it’s hard work, time-consuming, and sometimes heart breaking, but like I have always told my daughters, most things that come easy aren’t worth having, and the rewards that are received after so much effort… is worth millions (or something like that).

Everyone have a great weekend, and let’s make a change for ourself and others that we touch this weekend!

13 responses

  1. Love your 3 stages of this drawing/wash +photo! I agree with much of what you saw in your post about the changes in the school system too. Only that I think trying to change children’s experiences and development through changing their education seems impossible in a practical way. It’s the whole system that has changed so much, not just schools, and the children’s achievements (and lack of them) reflect that. Thanks for a trip down memory lane from a born Hoosier gone west.

    January 11, 2013 at 11:55 am

    • Thank you for your comment and for visiting. The older I get, the more I feel that it wouldn’t mattered what tools I had in school, it was mostly my attitude and laziness that built a wall of limits. I believe that has only gotten worse thru the years and will continue with out a total change in social and home atmospheres. We use excuses for everything now days in order to relieve us from our duties as children, parents, a citizens. Maybe with continued debates and discussion things will improve. Thanks! from a Hoosier that wants to move towards an OCEAN! LOL

      January 11, 2013 at 12:03 pm

      • Well I do like your optimism! Wish I had more. Stay in Hoosierland if you can stand it–rootlessness (my chronic condition) is not good! But occasional trips to the ocean are recommended!

        January 11, 2013 at 12:12 pm

  2. beautiful, beautiful BEAUTIFUL work.. getting older has its advantages! z

    January 11, 2013 at 2:21 pm

  3. Beautiful illustration.

    January 11, 2013 at 4:47 pm

  4. I thought education in your country is more practical than ours. I agree with what you wrote here. Computer can not be a parent or teacher. By the way , it ‘s beautiful old schoold !

    January 12, 2013 at 4:43 am

  5. Pat

    Beautiful work!

    January 12, 2013 at 7:26 am

  6. I so agree with you Ryan. Here, many think that the beauty of the building is an indication of how much they are “for the children”. What is forgotten is that it is the teacher that makes lessons alive and interesting. And yet teachers too support this attitude. And often the parents just assume that a teacher is wrong about anything negative about the child. Accountability is just tossed back and forth. There is no easy answer, but throwing more money doesn’t seem to have been a solution.

    Anyway, I like your new painting. I enjoy your combination of the ink and watercolor, especially on the older buildings. Architecture is fun, isn’t it.

    January 13, 2013 at 12:39 pm

  7. I think the problem is that kids are handed everything, thanks to money etc., so they have no reason to respect others, think, create or expand their mind. Kids expect things now instead of wishing or hoping or working for it. We spoon feed kids these days. In the old days of one room school houses, kids had to make their own fun and thus they used their minds. Computers etc. are just tools, they will never improve us. I’m glad to know there are still some people out there who have brought up their children to see that working hard and/or taking the hard path is important and has much more value than any easy road.

    January 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm

  8. Very cool subject matter, Ryan, and your art is right on. Don’t get me started on education. I really believe there has been too much focus on special programs. We, in education, began to concentrate on specializing programs and curriculums, thinking we were improving said programs and curriculums. It became the exploration of this and the experience of that and there were even new rules about how the children were to add and subtract and on and on! We have some idea that excess, not even in regards to money but classes and experiences we offer our children (not to mention “FOOD!”), that I believe we totally confuse them. They not only are frustrated with the amount of stimulation thrown upon them, but don’t have time to perfect their basic skills before they are asked to absorb another. In so doing, we have depleted the moneys on all these special things, we can’t even keep music, art and Phys ed going. Those are the areas that offer them lifetime skills, for heaven’s sake! There was a period of time we blamed the parents and another where we blamed the teachers and I believe we are stuck in that somewhat. Also, while shoveling these special programs at them, we went into a praise them and encourage them and entertain them into learning. I truly believe our children have lost that all important desire toward a good work ethic. We have not given them, what you say, hard work pays off. Good post.

    January 16, 2013 at 8:29 am

    • Wow! Now that was what I was thinking but didn’t have the education to say it as well as you did! Bravo, and thank you.

      January 16, 2013 at 8:33 am

  9. Ryan, I agree with everything you and Leslie have said. Parents must look at their offspring through realistic eyes. They need to be parents not friends. Parents must support the schools and most of all the teachers. We as a society have many conditions to overcome – too much mutitasking, too much digital time spent, too little face to face, the inability to stick to a program. Only as a team will we succeed.

    January 18, 2013 at 4:45 am

  10. PS Lovely work – and very familiar!

    January 18, 2013 at 4:45 am

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