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Old 01-06-2007, 01:17 PM
 
130 posts, read 113,361 times
Reputation: 41

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tama View Post
I live in South Mississippi and have never been to the Delta. I have, however, heard the horror stories. Would like to pose a question. How can people who are not motivated-if we accept that premise-become so? I think, and would like to know your thoughts-that it must start with the really young. Would something like the school Oprah started in South Africa be an answer? The kids would board and have a whole different set of mentors and teachers and opportunties to learn HOW to achieve goals. They would be selected for willingness to try something different in ther lives with their parents approval and would for all practical purposes be removed to a different world within the old world. It should have the amenities that Oprah's school has for incentives and rewards. Then these graduates would be given the grants and the assistance needed to start businesses and improve the area. The only problem is would they stay within the community. Perhaps each would be required to write a project on a way to contribute to the community that they would have to have accepted and fulfilled as a requirement for graduation.
Let me start by saying: you pose a great question! Now i'am no scholar as you will tell by my punctuation and spelling.I'am a business person and work a regular 40-50 hour job on top of the business and i have three kids.In order to accomplish this i'am motivated & organized for starts.I was never taught any of this and if you read some of my past post i came from a broken home as many in the Delta have.I fell either you have "It" or you Don't.
I think everything known to man has been tried in the Delta and it has only got worse.Now i'am a hard line conservative and have heard all the conservatives blast Oprah's decsion to open the school in South Africa,although i agree with her and support that decsion.Now I really think a school like the one she opened in South Africa would be a great start.I read the details about the school and liked the fact that the parents and guardians were pretty much kept away from the students except during special occasions.Now with that said it also is home to some of the kids because they are orphans.
So to answer your question i really think that kinda school would help.Remember motivation can not be taught!I really think to many hand outs from the Government has really hurt this area for generations to come.
Now i can tell that you appear very intelligent.I think someone like you should visit the area and take it all in (The Delta experience) then come back here and report what you really think/know.
This is truly a great post by you!
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Old 01-06-2007, 05:08 PM
 
11,890 posts, read 32,929,370 times
Reputation: 8656
I don't know much about Oprah's school in South Africa. But I was a schoolteacher in Memphis, and let me tell you, generations of free government hand-outs have created a whole subculture in America that is not motivated, has no work ethic, and has no reason to be motivated. If they can receive free government welfare for doing nothing, then what motivation is there to seek an education?

And as bad as it was teaching in Memphis, my friends who taught in the Mississippi Delta had horror stories. At least teachers in Memphis get paid well. The Mississippi Delta can't retain teachers. Who would want to put up with that mess for a salary of $25k?

A classic example is Tunica. Even with the millions of dollars that the casinos have pumped into Tunica's schools--and Tunica's schools are now palaces compared to most schools in Mississippi--the students there are still woeful underperformers and have almost zero incentive to do better.

My friend who taught in Clarksdale had 16-17 year olds in 7th grade. And they still couldn't read, and they had absolutely no desire to ever learn. And why should they, when they know that they could get a welfare check from the government and sell crack on the side? There was also a nursery at the middle school in Clarksdale to accommodate the babies born to students (middle school!).
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Old 01-06-2007, 07:21 PM
 
9 posts, read 26,890 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tama View Post
I live in South Mississippi and have never been to the Delta. I have, however, heard the horror stories. Would like to pose a question. How can people who are not motivated-if we accept that premise-become so? I think, and would like to know your thoughts-that it must start with the really young. Would something like the school Oprah started in South Africa be an answer? The kids would board and have a whole different set of mentors and teachers and opportunties to learn HOW to achieve goals. They would be selected for willingness to try something different in ther lives with their parents approval and would for all practical purposes be removed to a different world within the old world. It should have the amenities that Oprah's school has for incentives and rewards. Then these graduates would be given the grants and the assistance needed to start businesses and improve the area. The only problem is would they stay within the community. Perhaps each would be required to write a project on a way to contribute to the community that they would have to have accepted and fulfilled as a requirement for graduation.

I think that the only way we are going to bring about change is for the federal government to change some of their welfare policies. I've looked into this problem and I know a few people from the older generation, they grew up in the 30's and live in these same communities today and even though they were oppressed back then, they still had love, dignity and a two parent household. Today, these same people live in fear because of crime and drugs. I think that it must be hard for a child, especially a boy, to have goals when he/she has no confidence because the father was never there. So maybe, they could change the law that says, you get more money if the father is not in the home.
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Old 01-07-2007, 09:36 AM
 
1,350 posts, read 3,621,880 times
Reputation: 1264
I absolutely agree with you and that is why I suggested the school ala Oprah. It is a total environment and removes the youngsters from the larger culture of failure and puts them in one that aims for success. In other words, it is not a free hand-out or throwing money at he problem. Hopefully, it would be privately funded, at least at first as a test project. It is a total reconstruction of the environment for them. I, personally, am convinced it is the only way to change the culture of victimization. These kids would be a clean slate. It is worth a pilot program, at least. I wish folks like Oprah, Bret Favre, Sela Ward, and Morgan Freeman and others would provide the leadership backed by some political leaders. I don't think "ousiders" would be appreciated.
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Old 01-07-2007, 02:08 PM
 
9 posts, read 26,890 times
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I think the Oprah school sounds like a wonderful idea but unfortunately, it also sounds like one of those "in a perfect world" things. Although, I do believe that we should look at some of the ideas that Oprah is trying to implement in her new African school and maybe implement them into our Mississippi schools. I have heard that Oprah was trying to focus on building self-esteem and giving those children a positive self-image of themselves. If we are ever going to change things in the Delta, then this has got to be figured into the equation as does the fatherless thing. I would also take some of the Science courses out of the curriculum and put some other courses in their place that will be more useful to them in life.

Last edited by zenny; 01-07-2007 at 02:18 PM..
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:36 PM
 
130 posts, read 113,361 times
Reputation: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMT View Post
I don't know much about Oprah's school in South Africa. But I was a schoolteacher in Memphis, and let me tell you, generations of free government hand-outs have created a whole subculture in America that is not motivated, has no work ethic, and has no reason to be motivated. If they can receive free government welfare for doing nothing, then what motivation is there to seek an education?

And as bad as it was teaching in Memphis, my friends who taught in the Mississippi Delta had horror stories. At least teachers in Memphis get paid well. The Mississippi Delta can't retain teachers. Who would want to put up with that mess for a salary of $25k?

A classic example is Tunica. Even with the millions of dollars that the casinos have pumped into Tunica's schools--and Tunica's schools are now palaces compared to most schools in Mississippi--the students there are still woeful underperformers and have almost zero incentive to do better.

My friend who taught in Clarksdale had 16-17 year olds in 7th grade. And they still couldn't read, and they had absolutely no desire to ever learn. And why should they, when they know that they could get a welfare check from the government and sell crack on the side? There was also a nursery at the middle school in Clarksdale to accommodate the babies born to students (middle school!).
You make a good point and i agree.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:14 AM
 
5 posts, read 15,506 times
Reputation: 18
Well, I am a 23 year old recent college graduate that was born and raised in the Delta. The Delta truly is like a third-world country and until I started to travel to other places with my Blues music, and went off to college, I was never aware of this fact. I know that many people in the Delta have never in fact, been outside of the Delta, and when they did they went to cities where their relatives were living in the ghettos. This creates the assumption that they would rather live in Mississippi and be poor than be poor in the city, where they know nothing of the "fast life". Because the cost of living is so cheap in the Delta, a person could receive welfare benefits and actually live off of it, and because EVERYONE does it, they feel that nothing is wrong with it and carry these notions on to their children and so forth. I have never seen a place that was so poverty stricken, where everyone has a new car. That is all they strive for, to impress each other, when in fact they all are poor.

Even though I was poor as a child, my childhood was filled with happiness because I had love. A lot of children in the Delta don't know what love is because they have parents that have grown bitter from all of their life's failures, so I was very fortunate. My grandfather was a hard worker and he instilled his beliefs in work-ethic and education in my mother as well as all of his grandchildren. My journey to knowledge started with my love of books and I truly feel that my love of books contributed to my success in academics. Reading helped me with all of my subjects, and I learned what determination was from watching my mother. She has also received her Bachelor's degree. My determination took me from one of the blackest, poorest places in the world and enabled me to obtain a degree from MSU, a predominantly white university.

I think the only way to help the Delta would be to help the children, because they are the future. A lot of the growups are lazy, uneducated, and uncaring. They do not WANT to be educated, they want handouts and to feel like they have "gotten over" on the government, when in fact, they have cheated themselves out of life. The children are the ones who suffer because because the cycle just continues.........
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Old 01-15-2007, 01:29 PM
 
114 posts, read 556,251 times
Reputation: 97
Very eloquent post, Mississippi Girl .... I think you will have a successful life
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Old 01-15-2007, 06:06 PM
 
130 posts, read 113,361 times
Reputation: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mississippi_Girl View Post
Well, I am a 23 year old recent college graduate that was born and raised in the Delta. The Delta truly is like a third-world country and until I started to travel to other places with my Blues music, and went off to college, I was never aware of this fact. I know that many people in the Delta have never in fact, been outside of the Delta, and when they did they went to cities where their relatives were living in the ghettos. This creates the assumption that they would rather live in Mississippi and be poor than be poor in the city, where they know nothing of the "fast life". Because the cost of living is so cheap in the Delta, a person could receive welfare benefits and actually live off of it, and because EVERYONE does it, they feel that nothing is wrong with it and carry these notions on to their children and so forth. I have never seen a place that was so poverty stricken, where everyone has a new car. That is all they strive for, to impress each other, when in fact they all are poor.

Even though I was poor as a child, my childhood was filled with happiness because I had love. A lot of children in the Delta don't know what love is because they have parents that have grown bitter from all of their life's failures, so I was very fortunate. My grandfather was a hard worker and he instilled his beliefs in work-ethic and education in my mother as well as all of his grandchildren. My journey to knowledge started with my love of books and I truly feel that my love of books contributed to my success in academics. Reading helped me with all of my subjects, and I learned what determination was from watching my mother. She has also received her Bachelor's degree. My determination took me from one of the blackest, poorest places in the world and enabled me to obtain a degree from MSU, a predominantly white university.

I think the only way to help the Delta would be to help the children, because they are the future. A lot of the growups are lazy, uneducated, and uncaring. They do not WANT to be educated, they want handouts and to feel like they have "gotten over" on the government, when in fact, they have cheated themselves out of life. The children are the ones who suffer because because the cycle just continues.........
Well said! and congratulations with your degree. If i may ask where do you live now?
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Old 01-15-2007, 06:22 PM
 
1,350 posts, read 3,621,880 times
Reputation: 1264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mississippi_Girl View Post
I think the only way to help the Delta would be to help the children, because they are the future...
You deserve a ton of respect Mississippi Girl. I agree totally about the children. Any suggestions?

Last edited by Marka; 01-17-2007 at 04:28 AM.. Reason: repaired code
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