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This is my America – and for me, it’s personal

FG Editor Lynn Jaynes Published on 01 July 2013

The proper and expected thing to do in this, my editorial debut, would be to introduce myself. But really, as I often tell my children, “It’s not about you” (or me for that matter). There are simply more important things to discuss.

I recently attended a forum where the speaker, an education professional, censored American education as compared to foreign education in an attempt to justify an override levy for his school district.

He said our high-school graduates are at least two years behind foreign students, in part because foreign students spend about 60 days longer in school each year, start school at an earlier age and focus solely on core curriculum instead of including things like Stranger Danger programs. It ticked me off.

What he didn’t say was that because American children have more out-of-school days, Americans also lead the world in creativity.

Some people may see summer vacation as just mud-pie building time and playing pirates in a stick fort, but it’s also expanding creativity, dreaming of possibilities, role playing and imagining potential.

Summer vacations provide opportunities to travel, attend science camps, space camps, nature camps, church camps, music camps and sports camps. Kids get to explore.

A few really lucky kids get to heave hay bales, change hand-lines, or clean chicken coops and calf pens.

 Because Americans allow children the time to discover and dream, we’re not a copycat nation that only produces what others invent. Americans are the inventors.

What the educator didn’t say was that Americans educate everybody. We don’t pick and choose who can attend school at each advancing level.

We don’t base our school attendees or determine potential based on IQ tests. We don’t limit schooling to only those without decreased mental capacities, language barriers or emotional issues.

If an individual desires it and wants to work hard, America will provide the opportunity for education. Period. No excuses. Because we are dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, America educates everybody.

The ironic thing is, I was in favor of the override levy from the get-go, just not for the same reasons put forward by this gentleman. Sure, I have frustrations with education. I have frustrations with America.

I wish legislators would stop the federal spending hemorrhage. I wish healthcare, Medicare, Social Security, the IRS, food stamps and lots of other programs had more accountability.

I wish state legislators didn’t have to legislate the right to farm or hunt. I wish a lot of things. But excuse me – don’t hold up another nation as a stick with which to beat America.

While it can stand some improvement, I’m not apologizing for America, and you shouldn’t either.

So, thank you, America. When I barbecue this Independence Day, I’ll only spend about $5 on lean ground beef (thank you ranchers); $1.35 for catsup; $2.10 for mushrooms, olives, and onions; $2.50 on potato chips; $3.35 on hamburger buns (thank you farmers); and $4.50 on cheese (thank you dairy producers).

I’ll eat well, pray often, work and sleep safely (thank you soldiers), trust in God and salute the flag with the respect it deserves. Because, by darn, when I put my hand over my heart and pledge allegiance, I mean it.

This is my America. And for me, it’s personal.  FG

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Lynn Jaynes
Editor
Progressive Forage Grower

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