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Monday, July 6, 2009

Why IDEA Appeals

I hope one and all enjoyed the July 4th weekend. The festivities associated with July 4th do not appeal to me. The food and beer we consume in mass quantities, over the top nationalism, endless patriotic songs, and worse yet, bad speeches do not appeal to me and by July 5 I am a cranky man. This weekend was no different but I did come across one person that was not only eloquent but reminded me why IDEA is so important thereby building on my last post about education.

In contrast to my attitude toward July 4, Jennifer Laviano at Special Ed Justice loves the holiday because she considers herself a real patriot. Her patriotism is of the pure sort that I can relate--based on a knowledge of history and serious attention paid to the Constitution. In "Patriotism and Special Education" Laviano wrote the following:

"Something about the way the IDEA envisions a just and equitable educational system as it regards kids with special education needs speaks to me as an American. It really is about all of the things that I love about the founding principles of the USA: justice, fairness, individual rights, recognizing that with power comes responsibility. Protecting the most vulnerable among us."

There is no doubt that IDEA and others laws designed to protect the civil rights of Americans with disabilities are far from perfect. Far too many such laws are hopelessly compromised pieces of legislation that cause and solve problems at the same time. But what I love about Laviano's words are that the intent, the aim of the legislation, reveals the best part of our American character. What I hope to see some day is that the intent will be matched by a desire to enforce such legislation. If I see this in my lifetime I will die a happy man.


Rachel said...

grouchy, grouchy! You think far too much at times... turn the brain off and enjoy the down time! =)

william Peace said...

Rachel, Wow, like I have never heard that one before! Seriously, I do have down time and love to kayak in the summer and ski in the winter. My son and I were out this morning on the nearby Croton River. However I do have a hard time turning off my brain. Worse yet, I am grouchy around July 4th.

Rachel said...

Ah, how nice it must be to get on the water! I do envy you.

I have to confess to difficulty shutting my thinking down as well. Perhaps the only difference is the topics of our thinking. Both attuned to our specialty, both always thinking, probing, wrestling with what is next to do.

As you once pointed out, we both appreciate how each other's topic of inquiry is important, and both decided our calling was elsewhere.. And thus society's failing torment you far more than they do me! (And make it easy for me to tease you)

Enjoy your summer my friend!

william Peace said...

Rachel, I am very lucky to live near the Hudson River Estuary and many other small rivers and creeks. Paddling is relaxing, fun, and a visual delight. I am sure you too could get out on the water. All it took me was one adaptive paddling class and I was set up for independence. The American Canoe and Kayak Association has a major commitment to adaptive paddling. Better yet, paddling in terms of sports is relatively inexpensive when compared to skiing or biking.

Life is too short to work at a job/research that one does not feel passion for. The job and topic is not relevant--what matter is doing something that enables you to make ends meet and want to go to work every day. Luckily I love my work, writing and teaching. The pay is not good but the stimulation and satisfaction is of the highest quality. Thankfully I do care much about stuff, material things that we Americans seem to place great value on.