Good education will help young people make the right decisions

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Between my life’s joy and pain and sunshine and rain, I’m truly thankful to God for the opportunity to acquire a meaningful and productive high-school education. Acquiring a high-school diploma was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

I have a true story to share to let younger folks know that I was on a path of self-destruction, but my education made me alter my mind-set to do what was right, and not allow myself to become a victim of society’s pressures to acquire instant self-gratification.

I had been promoted to the 10th grade for the upcoming school year in my hometown of Savannah. I was extremely happy that I was moving up. I never wanted to repeat a grade because I considered it embarrassing. It was essential for me to have high expectations for myself, and I just did not want to be like everybody else because in many instances trying to be like others can make you become a loser in life.

SINCE I WAS out of school for summer break, I immediately started looking for a summer job. I wanted to purchase decent clothing that would have enhance my self-esteem. My parents were financially challenged and weren’t in a position to purchase the clothing I desired.

After spending a couple of weeks diligently looking for work, I became frustrated and disillusioned about my life in general.

My frustration and disillusionment made me concoct a plan to rob a bank in downtown Savannah.

For a week I scoped out a particular bank to see how difficult it was going to be for me to pull off this robbery. I was extremely confident that I would enter this bank and make off with a large sum of cash – but I wasn’t completely convinced that I could escape without being caught.

In fact, I knew if this robbery wasn’t done with thoughtfulness and precision I would have been killed or caught to be placed behind jail bars for a long time.

I knew once I exited the bank with the money, if I turned and ran left, I would have been running toward the Savannah River, and knew I wouldn’t have been able to swim across without being captured. If I exited the bank and turned right, it would have been necessary for me to run through downtown Savannah – and being a 6-foot-4 black male, it would have been virtually impossible for me to hide from law enforcement.

I didn’t follow through with my plan. It was like completing an equation for a school assignment. I made the intelligent decision to not carry out the robbery.

I STARTED 10TH grade without the new clothing I wanted. But in spite of not acquiring my wants, I did enjoy a fun, wonderful, productive and healthy school year because God definitely had my back, which was truly a blessing for me.

And it became apparent that education was of the utmost importance because it allowed me to evaluate, analyze, critique, weigh options and draw conclusions – in other words, to help me make the right choices. I’m adamant about the fact that education stopped me from committing a criminal act that I would have regretted for the rest of my life.

Also, I’ve learned that dealing with the trials and tribulations of life is all about balancing life’s equation. Trying to balance life’s equation can be difficult, but it’s much easier when you’re properly educated. Education is the key to overall success in America.

A high standard of education must become an obsession for all Americans. They must acquire it or die trying to get it.

(The writer is a former Richmond County public school teacher with more than 30 years of service. He lives in Augusta.)

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soldout
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soldout 08/11/13 - 06:44 am
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relationship with God

I believe their relationship with God was more important than the education. Once you realize that God wants you to prosper and be in health your desire to do the right thing increases. This is a great letter and since God is not a respecter of persons then this road of success is available to everyone and we are all without excuse. Without Jesus everything else becomes a waste. Who wants to be the best educated, most well adjusted, healthiest, richest person who ever went to hell.

Lee Benedict
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Lee Benedict 08/11/13 - 09:43 am
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Oh, it's there

A "good" or "quality" education is there for the taking. However, with the federal government's ever-expanding reach and chokehold over OUR schools, things will continue the downward spiral (see Tenth Plank of the Manifesto of the Communist Party as well as Goals 17, 18, 19, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 39, 40, and 41 of The Naked Communist).

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/11/13 - 09:44 am
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Great Letter Mr. Maner

High school is important. It may not seem so at the time, but things happen to you that affect you all your life. One day an elderly home room teacher, Mrs. Siebert, who also taught chemistry asked me to pull the window shades down because my stool in the chemistry lab room was closest. She was jokingly known as Ma Siebert. I must have made a pained expression (probably reflecting my horrendous home life) or something and she told me if it hurt me that much to just forget it. I took her comment seriously and sat down without pulling the window shade down. Another guy did it. Right before the bell rang she told me to stay behind for a few minutes.

To my complete, lifelong surprise, the brief meeting with her turned out to be one of the most wonderful, mentoring relationships of my life. She told me I had problems at home. I mean she could see right through me.

So in spite of my fear of hard work I ended up taking chemistry for two years, just to be in her classes. She counseled and encouraged me often even after my high school days. The hard studying kids from happy families wondered why she liked me. Heck, I wondered the same thing. She went out of her way to find me later in life to see how I was doing. I owe much to her and hope she knew it before she died.

chascushman
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chascushman 08/11/13 - 10:28 am
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"However, with the federal
Unpublished

"However, with the federal government's ever-expanding reach and chokehold over OUR schools, things will continue the downward spiral (see Tenth Plank of the Manifesto of the Communist Party as well as Goals 17, 18, 19, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 39, 40, and 41 of The Naked Communist)."
Mr. Benedict, you are correct. The liberals/progressives have been dummy down our kids for the last 30 yrs. It is all about control. The elite on the left, like the lying commie in the WH, believe the masses are not smart enough to make our own decisions. But maybe they are right after all look what we elected for president.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 08/11/13 - 10:47 am
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Education is a "toll for success". It is not success. Nor END.
Unpublished

All successful people wanted to be successful. They used the tools they obtained from whatever source.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 08/11/13 - 10:48 am
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All valuable education does not come from public education.
Unpublished

All valuable education does not come from public education.

Darby
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Darby 08/11/13 - 02:46 pm
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Face it... Virtually no kid in public school

today is going to get a "good" education.

Not until we get government out. Not until we get social engineering out. Not until we get political indoctrination out.

Our kids can't read, write or complete simple mathematical calculations, but now we are going to start teaching golf. Give me a freaking break.

Back to my first paragraph. I said "virtually". There are always going to be some kids who are dedicated, determined and devoted to the idea of learning. They will find a way to learn. They will survive and thrive.

But they are so few in number.

Young Fred
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Young Fred 08/11/13 - 07:06 pm
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I must admit – I was ready to

I must admit – I was ready to be sarcastic after reading the headline.

This caught me:

“And it became apparent that education was of the utmost importance because it allowed me to evaluate, analyze, critique, weigh options and draw conclusions – in other words, to help me make the right choices. “

And that is the key to success, great letter!!!

But, I'm with Darby, in that I have little faith the public education system will provide the above. I guess it just goes to show that we cannot leave our responsibilities at the door.

KSL
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KSL 08/12/13 - 11:29 pm
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Public Education used to be good

My grandfather, born in GA in 1880, received an excellent public education. My mother born 43 years later did so as well. When I came along, I had some excellent teachers, some who were actually hired when my grandfather was superiftendent of the county schools and had taught my mother.

We were very pleased with the public school education our 2 sons received 7th through 12th grade in Aiken. Before that they were in private pre-k through 6th grade.

The more the feds got into local education, the worse the dumbing down has progressed. The feds can't do education any better than anything else they try to do. They used to be good at defense of our country. No longer.

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