Schwendiman celebration of a great man!

On Sunday the Schwendiman's got together to celebrate grandpa
Schwendiman's 98th birthday. I had a great time being there and being
part of the celebration. I am really grateful for such a kind and
loving great grandfather. All my years growing up I can remember
visiting great grandpa Schwendiman's with my family and talking and
learning. Grandpa was always really excited to see us and we were
excited to see him and finally be out of the car. I remember many
times seeing the garden in the back yard that grandpa kept tending to
and thinking that it was impressive that at his age he was still
working as hard, physically, as he was.

Since I have come back to Rexburg I have been thinking more and more
about the generation of youth that are growing up today. I am
concerned about several things in particular. One, the lack of respect
and acquiescence towards authority and elders.

Two, the desire to learn and the respect for learning seems to be
becoming a thing of the past. I wonder why the desire to discover and
learn and progress is disappearing as fast as some say the ozone is. It
is truly saddening to learn that so many children are not only wasting
their time at school but also distracting others who really do want to
learn. Maybe our policy shouldn't be "No child left behind" but
instead be "let's get everyone excited about learning because real
learning is exciting". I remember back in high school wanting to go to
the local community college because at high school I was getting very
frustrated with students impeding real learning. Instead of the
teachers directing the class onto a path of learning and discovery the
teachers were spending most of the class time policing and babysitting
and dealing with problems that should have been taken care of by the
parents. Another thing that really infuriates me is that we pay our
teachers dreadfully low wages. Is it any wonder why we have a hard
time finding good teachers for our children?! It really irks me that
our government is willing to kick out $80 BILLION to bail out a major
company in a decidedly capitalistic country and yet our teachers are
still working two jobs or still driving beat up cars from the 80's. (no
offense to the 80's because I am a huge fan of the 80's) our teachers
deserve better! Our kids deserve better! Don't you think your
children's teacher would try a little harder if they got to drive to
and from work in a nice BMW or didn't have to work a second job? We
pay our doctors, who take care of us, well enough that they have nice
cars and large homes, why not pay our teachers the same since they are
shaping not only our children future but the future of the country.
What in the world is it going to take to get America to wake up and
realize that our beloved country is only as good as the people in it?!
And what is it going to tale to get people to understand that people
are usually only as good as the family and education they get?
What is it going to take for all of us to start putting more time and
money into our education than we put into television, our cars, the
latest and greatest (put your favorite thing that you love to spend
money on here)? Politicians talk about what they are going to do to
improve America but how much do we hear them talk about our education
system?

So how does this all relate to my great grandfathers 98th birthday?
(and you thought I was going off on a crazy unrelated tangent) My
great grandpa Schwendiman is an incredible man! A man who spent his
humble days upon this earth working diligently in eastern Idaho to
raise his family and do right. Grandpa learned to work hard in his
life and I believe he has a great respect for the truth, learning, and
hard work. Grandpa has done a wonderful job at raising good children
who know how to work hard and love their family. I know because they
are my grandparents now who raised my parents. :-) In a day when the
world seems to be spinning out of control and is in major turmoil
great grandpa Schwendiman is a shining example of what we need to
strive to be like in order to bring peace back into this world. I am
very blessed indeed to have such an example in my life. I only wish
that I could have had the chance to get to know him when he was
younger. I pray that we can try a little harder to be the kind of
person that our family and our country so desperately needs.

- Michael Grace

2 comments:

Marie, Jesse, Rosalee said...

I'm glad I'm not the only person who thinks teachers aren't paid enough. 1/4 of my paycheck went to pay for daycare last year and our babysitter was one of the cheapest people in town! I think I would have been less irritated by being attacked daily (I taught severe special ed.)if I knew financially it was worth it.

Cas and Mike Family said...

I am glad that I am not way off base. I have to make a correction on one thing I said in my post but other than that, that is really how I fell.