Letters to the Editor 7/6/17
LESSONS ON LIFE SKILLS
I agree with the June 29 article titled “Real innovation,” written by James Krohe Jr. Even though I have a college degree that served me well, I think too much emphasis is put on sending everyone to college and not enough on life skills and thriving in the real world. I think more emphasis needs to be put on skills needed to survive in the world and training for good jobs not requiring a college degree. This should start at least as soon as junior high. What happened to the shop classes and sewing classes that allowed students to use their hands and see that there was more to life besides academics? I don’t know the reasoning for changing to the new math, but I do know that it requires a much longer process to get the answer and that many teachers are struggling to teach it. Also, I think too many colleges and universities are putting out worthless degrees for jobs in the real world. Too many fields of study are requiring classes in subjects not necessary for that field or at a level much higher than appropriate. A student going into social work has absolutely no need to take calculus. Cutting down on the unnecessary classes would also probably lower the cost of a college education and help keep the student interested in school.
Tyre W. Rees
Thanks to Colleen Daley, executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, for your letter titled “Response to killing fields” in the June 29 edition of Illinois Times.
Although my prayer is that I may be able to emulate Gandhi’s nonviolence, I realize that we need to take concrete steps as suggested by you.
As a small concrete step towards promoting nonviolence, I donated a birdbath to Springfield Park District in memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. I am in the process of donating a bird feeder in memory of Cesar Chavez.
Reflection about the recent decree from the Springfield bishop gave rise to thoughtful consideration about my own religious upbringing. As a child, my grandmother spent her entire adult years washing and ironing the linens for the church and even held catechism classes in her home. My education through graduate school complemented this faith until the last half of my life, when I studied, attended conferences, retreats, etc. and grew into a “second-half of life” faith.
The early Christians were so devoted to following Jesus’ teaching and example until the third century when, in order to protect themselves, had to “sell out” to Roman rule which gave rise to hierarchy and distortion of the original message by complicated rules, canon law, etc.
Having studied with a group for more than 20 years, the resounding message that seared into my head was that of Albert Nolan, Dominican priest, who wrote, “Jesus didn’t come to start a church. He came to show us how to live.” And Pope Francis embodies that. He leaves the Vatican incognito at night to feed the poor, has showers and clean clothes provided for the homeless and consistently says about all people, “Who am I to judge?” Also, great literature, including Scripture, embodies this truth, “Mercy always trumps justice!”