January 18, 2015

Portable Lifestyles & Modern America (And the American Dream)


What exactly is the portable lifestyle? In this new environment nothing is permanent. It seems that computers, Bluray players, and/or microwaves (et cetera) are purchased, then when they are broken, the items don't get repaired, they get thrown out — temporary items. Furthermore, people stay in jobs only long enough until a new opportunity comes along. It used to be that the American Dream was that you graduated high school, went to college, and got a job at a company where you stayed for 30 or more years. Today, that kind of dedication from either the employer or the employee is exceedingly rare. It may be that this is the new reality because everything has become so connected because of technology; the interconnectedness throughout the country, the world, has caused disconnectedness between the corporation and the employee. The path to a career has become a tangled web in the past 15 years.

The Packard Plan in Detroit, Michigan. 

American Dream

If you work hard, you will be successful. We all have that dream, right?

What is the new American Dream? I've read articles that proclaim that the American Dream is dead. That old belief that each new generation would be better off than the previous — that parents expected their children to do better than the they. A great deal has changed in the last 30 years. Many changes have been for the better, but many changes have clouded the past and misdirected the future. The technology advances that connect people are incredible, but now people are so connected through technology that they seldom connect with one another in person.

How often to you see this in a restaurant?
He says to her How are things at work. And she doesn't really answer because she's glued to her iPhone but she mutters Just fine and he says That's great. Let me tell you about this or that and begins to tell about something. Suddenly she says Hey what did you say? And he doesn't really hear her because he's now looking at his iPhone. 

It happens all the time. The portable discussion. The portable lifestyle. The portable, all new, American Dream. The permanent lifestyle is nothing like it used to be. We see it in schools where there is a great deal of movement from school to school for young children, often brought on by the aforementioned portable lifestyle. The American expectation has changed greatly. It's an amazing transition.

Educational Changes & Careers

Career Pathways

Just a few years ago, Michigan's Governor Granholm announced that we needed all children going to college (e.g. "College ready is career ready.") At the same time, we were working on College & Career Readiness — as well as great amounts of professional development aimed at career readiness. Do you remember when the Career Pathways were making headlines in the early 2000s? The aim was to get all high school students prepared for their future after high school? At one time Michigan was a leader in both college and career readiness and curriculum; however, as time has gone on and work on both subjects has — naturally — changed the educational game in the State.

Common Controversy

The Common Core State Standards have caused controversy not only in Michigan but also across the country. Michigan has hit a home run with both the Grade Level Content Expectations and the High School Content Expectations which worked hand–in–hand with the Career Pathways work, but the controversy surrounding the CCSS has somewhat muddied the waters throughout the State.

Education plays a major role in the advancement and preparation for the American Dream. Whatever curriculum we are working with and developing, we must take into consideration that educators' number one job is to get children ready for their future.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and THE DREAM 

Tomorrow, America celebrates the late Martin Luther King, Jr. He made the famous "I Have a Dream" speech in the '60s. His dream was not one of the American Dream, but one of equality for all Americans — so, truly, the American Dream. Have you ever heard or even read the speech? On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, you should. Today, the American dream has become portable. So, friends, take the dream with you wherever you go because that's where you will be. Just because times have changed, jobs have changed, loyalties have changed (just about EVERYTHING has changed) in the last 30 years, it doesn't mean that your dream is dead.

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