Saturday, April 30, 2011

Waiting for Superman-

I finally saw the movie on DVD this evening and was very disappointed that they neglected to discuss rural schools completely. I don't know what to make of that. People are so fixated on inner-city problems they can't see beyond the city limits to see the thousands of poor rural kids with really no opportunities.
I do not mean to dismiss the challenges of inner city schools. I know that the schools in certain neighborhoods have a concentration of misery that rural schools do not have. But cities have benefits and opportunities that rural locations just do not have.
On trip to Chicago, we were able to visit the zoo and the Art institute without paying admission. Had we been there longer, we could have taken advantage of other "free days" from other museums and centers ( not to mention all the free concerts and cultural events held around the city and not even touching the free events at the universities.)
I don't understand why parents in the inner city do not take advantage of the educational opportunities around them, even if their schools do not. It's appalling to me that the city that has the most free educational opportunities have the worst education system and that no one seems to take it upon themselves to educate their own children, using the Smithsonian museums.
But no one seems to be talking about the rural situation. Yes, a rural school has children with a bit wider diversity of economic opportunities and perhaps parents with a wider diversity of expectations. But not that wide. The rural poor are stuck in the same economic cycle the inner city is. The rural poor deal with the same drug issues, and crime issues... most of the misery of childhood is not linked with location as much as economic situations and, in this way, there's no difference between rural poor and inner city poor.
Rural means that there is no museum around the corner, certainly no world class museum, no cultural opportunities, no free concerts and cultural events, nothing but nature and somehow, people think that's ok.
Rural schools are struggling to provide and education with very little money, and second hand exposure to the world at large. If a rural school is failing, there's no alternatives, no choice to get a better education somewhere else. If the school my kids attend was failing, I have no other school to send them to, public or private. It doesn't exist here. One school system in the entire area and this is not unusual in rural areas. Where's our choice?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Maura in her Prom dress 2011

Maura and Zach Pietz at our home before Prom

Maura and Zach at the Branson Landing Fountains
Maura and Zach- they look like they are enjoying each other

Prom 2011- Tonight is the night and they were very excited. They spent time getting photos taken at our house, then Zach's Dad's then went to the hospital where his Mom was working and took pictures there before meeting me at the Landing for more photos.
So, once again, the statistics: Maura spent about 100 hours making the dress. It took almost 4,000 pop-tabs and she got donations from 12 different states. We did make the flowers from pop-tabs as well. Zach declined to wear the tie, thinking it was just too much glitz.
Don't they look great together?
When I left them, they were meeting up with another couple and were planning to have dinner before heading to the Hilton for the prom. I hope they have a great time!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Prom dress 2011 made from poptabs

Finishing the finally touches on the dress
Prom Dress-2011
The big day is Saturday, April 16, 2011 and the project is in it's final stretch. We are working on the accessories now. For those who are following the saga, here's the statistics:
It took around 100 hours to weave the ribbon through the pop-tabs and a week to sew the dress. There are almost 4,000 tabs in the dress and almost 100 yards of ribbon.
People generously donated to the project. So many people were so captured by this dress, they were excited to contribute in any way. We had donations from 12 states. Some donated small baggies of pop-tabs and some donated huge bags of them. We received many more than we could actually use in the dress but, conveniently, Maura's school is collecting them for Charity, so they all will be put to a good cause.
Maura's date is very excited about her project. He's an artist and is currently doing a piece about trash and found objects- so this is in his wheelhouse. Obviously, we'll be taking more pictures on the day of prom, but I felt I needed to celebrate the completed dress.
Thanks to everyone who donated pop-tabs and gave your enthusiastic support.