Alternatives

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Alternatives

  1. 1. -1AmandaKitchen Week 2, Assignment 3 I am totally feeling the late twenty blues - I'm 27 and don't see a clear path as to where I am going. I want to know that I will create meaningful change in my lifetime and am not sure how to proceed. I have worked many short contracts that are social justice related and have had some work that I simply needed to pay the bills. I want so much to be able to make a big difference in this crazy unjust world we live in. I have traveled a fair bit and so I don't feel a good sense of community. I am not currently dating anyone although tangled up in some ex relationships and probably at the beginning of some budding disasters... AGGGGGGGG I don't know if I should pick up a contract abroad again (probably volunteer) as paid ones are hard to come by or if I should build a community that would help me feel more at home ... anyone else feel like this?(Karen, T. 2008) This type of story is not what most of us envision after college either for ourselves or for our children. According to the plan shoved down the throats of our youth by well meaning guidance counselors, teachers, parents, pastors, and more; life equals high school then college, then academic success. However society is shifting, especially in today’s economy, and we as social policy planners, leaders, and educators have a responsibility to guide our adolescents down the path of achievement in a rapidly changing world. One of the biggest problems in my opinion is the transition from secondary education to career life. Many students spend so much time completely
  2. 2. consumed by the college life style that they feel completely lost in the real world. There are some alternative schools of thought that believe in preparing students simultaneously for real life and professional life. They also give students the option to pursue careers that are more practical. Not every person is looking to become a doctor, lawyer, or literary critic. During the twentieth century, secondary education was responsible for introducing many new practical and vocational subjects. In the second half of the century, courses in driver education, family living, consumer economics, and mathematics for everyday life appeared for the first time. As students with a greater range of abilities, interests, and motivation entered the secondary level, "streaming" and “homogeneous grouping" became more prevalent. Academic secondary schools became more comprehensive and diversified. Courses and even course sequences in such vocational areas as graphic design, hair care and styling, automotive repair, carpentry and machine shop, and home economics began to appear.(Holsinger, D.B. 2009) I encourage everyone reading this report to help students seek out all options for their future. Be open to the possibility that they may refuse college life or the career path you would have chose for them. For some students who seem to focused on their studies or overwhelmed by the road ahead, suggest they get involved in community activities that will give them real world experience. Two members of Lafayette’s Alternative School recently returned from a national conference in San Francisco where they met with student leaders from around the country to discuss HIV/AIDS in the United States. At the conference, Gaeta and Mishik worked with nonprofit organizations such as the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Project Open Hand, San Francisco Food Bank, and Richard
  3. 3. Cohen House. They packaged clean needles for distribution to drug users, prepared nutritious meals for HIV/AIDS sufferers, and cleaned Richard Cohen House, which takes in those with HIV/AIDS who are homeless and suffer from mental illness. “I went on an Alternative School Break trip in my sophomore year, and I had such a great experience I wanted to become more involved,” says Gaeta, a double major in international affairs and French. “[It] is a unique organization because it provides students with a tangible opportunity to create direct change in their national and international communities. Connecting to social issues through service has been one of the most powerful experiences I have been part of at Lafayette.”(Lafayette College, 2006) These unique experiences give students a chance to get in touch with the reality of the world of the world around them. Together we can encourage the youth of today to become a successful part of a productive society. This country needs encouragement, and that comes in the form of support from all of us. Let us let go of the laments of today’s young adults. Instead of wishing for what is no longer a reality, lets embrace modern ideals. Our children our looking for cues to guide them in the ways of the world. Let us meet them head on.
  4. 4. REFERENCES Holsinger, D.B., 2009. Secondary Education: International Issues. Answers.com Karen, T. 2008. Post College Depression Revisited. The Turbulent Twenties.com Lafayette College, 2006. Student Gain An Alternative Perspective On HIV. Student Activities. Layfayette.com.

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