This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Never Give Up, Never Surrender

My friend, and best wallyball teammate, Carlos - quoting the great astronaut Buzz Lightyear Tim Allen character from Galaxy Quest (got the character wrong the first time, but had the right actor :-))- said this early in our wallyball partnership "Never Give Up, Never Surrender".

[Sidenote: Wallyball is a sport that is similar to volleyball, except played in a racquetball room. Teams can be made up of two, up to possibly four, players. I prefer two and Carlos has been my patient (as I honed my playing ability), strategic partner for nearly 10 years. This game I LOVE.]

So, when Carlos and I are playing and we get behind, I repeat this -- my sports mantra that may not always work, but it keeps me focused on not giving up. I use this many times with my other love (in sports), running.

So when I heard about the judge ruling against mandating year-round schools in Wake county, I recalled my mantra in relation to the WakeCARES organization, who filed the lawsuit to stop the change.

Up until the judge's ruling, no one believed this would happen. I heard 'expert' lawyers state that WakeCARES really had no case. Their suit was dealt with lightly - shallow reporting to appease space in the paper, or a time slot on the local news. Nothing was posted on my regular internet reads regarding this suit, so no one really was giving it a second thought. After all, these parents, and/or many like them, have been complaining for months (possibly years) regarding reassignments and most recently, the conversion of many traditional schools to year-round.

I too did not think these folks had a fighting chance. But hearing these expert lawyers pretty much 'laugh in the face' of the 'common man', and most especially, the Wake County School Board appearing nonchalant about this action, made me give WakeCARES their props for not giving in or giving up. Passion, people, is what drives 'us' to be successful. If the lawsuit had failed to rule against the year-round conversion, I doubt these folks would have turned tail and hide.

This drive, this PASSION, these people had for their cause is what I feel is missing in our American society. We have a bully president. We have bully bosses. We have bully neighbors. We have bullies in the Wake County School Board. And someone - several someones - stood ground and fought their bullies. And for now, they have won. I love it.

Naturally, there is anger from the 'other side'. The others being the people who supported year-round conversions, or those who didn't care, or did care at one time but gave in -- well, now THEY are pissed off. But who are they pissed at? The WakeCARES group who filed the lawsuit. Huh? I guess I'm not surprised -- it's easier to point the finger without actually thinking -- but if one actually used their brain, the logical point of blame should be with the Wake County School Board (okay, so the logic is more my opinion but note the name of this blog). They've been screwing parents and students for YEARS. There is no logic in the decisions they have made. They have done nothing to build trust, so how the hell are we supposed to trust that yet another decision by the idiotic board would alleviate our growth problems?

They've bullied us for years. That includes YOU, the one without kids.

We all end up having to pay for it somehow - tax hikes, decreased home values, schools being too far away. So they've bullied us with their authoritative and arrogant status' as school board members and treat the rest of us as serfs, as though we have no clue how to run a school system. I admit that I don't, but, um, I just looked up their backgrounds on the Wake County Public School System and I don't see specific degrees or training in engineering, social sciences, economic development, or anything suited to mapping out infrastructure -- which is what they claim they are trying to do. (A slightly an unfair statement, since it's a small paragraph describing the member's background - some do not have one listed.)

But the small voice won. It's too early to see if they really won, but in my eyes they have. They went against the odds. I wonder how many lawyers they sought to take the case? Who did they speak to about their cause only to get laughed at for fighting a moot cause? But they united and organized and defeated the bullies.

For the record, I was currently not affected by the decision to go year-round. I supported the school bond referendum; I have complained about the Wake County School Board before and after I had kids; I also complained about the parents who were fighting to stop the transition to year round. But in the end, I can't help but give the utmost respect to people who would not back down.

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