Thursday, July 4, 2013

What the Hell Does Ringo Have to do with Education?

The Beatles? Outlaw Cowboy Johnny Ringo? Pulp Fiction? 

For those of you who have never seen Pulp Fiction, first let me say I’m sorry you missed a great film 20 years ago. But more importantly, when you miss Tarantino films you don’t just spare yourself from the outrageously over-the-top bloody scenes and razor-like language, you miss out on intelligent and sometimes uncomfortable humor. You miss out on random encyclopedic/pop-culture references along with interesting character development. So when you’re done reading this, please do yourself a favor and rent it. Cover your eyes if the blood bothers you but you won’t regret it. If you truly are weak or just pure, keep reading and take my synopsis as good enough.

Again, what the hell do Pulp Fiction and Ringo have to do with education? See ending scene where Jules, a man who has killed many men for their wrong doings (usually screwing over his boss), has an epiphany of sorts. Throughout the film, Jules recites from the bible Ezekiel 25:17, to each victim while they’re looking down the barrel of his 9-millimeter just prior to him killing them. However, towards the end of the movie one of the men they go to kill unloads six rounds on him and his partner. All six bullets manage to miss both of them. How, I have no idea! This “miracle” shakes Jules to his core and he decides to quit cold turkey his murderous line of work. After the killing spree, otherwise known as the whole movie, the two go to a diner for some breakfast. While enjoying pancakes and hot coffee, although not as good as Jimmy’s gourmet coffee, a random armed robbery unfolds at the diner. Remember, the righteous Jules would normally take matters into his own hands and kill the evildoers. But this time it is different. Jules lets Ringo live thanks to his new revelation of clarity and mercy. Essentially, Pulp Fiction is the murderous journey of a man’s evolution in life and faith. It’s about openness to thinking differently, leaving righteousness behind, and shepherding Ringo out of the valley shadowed by death.

This blog is an evolution of my thinking. I’m making a professional commitment to continue learning first-hand about all systems of education, and leaving both sides of righteousness behind. I’m making an effort to ‘shepherd’ others.

Hopefully you feel led down a path of learning more about all things education - and sometimes not so education – related, so that we as a state/country move towards solutions supported by evidence and not just righteous ideologies. Because digging in our ideological heels gets us no closer to solving problems, just deeper in avoiding them.

You know, they say politics makes for strange bedfellows but given this journey I’m on, I’m starting to think Education Reform also makes for strange bedfellows. (more to come on this in later blogs)

This is my promise to you, if I don’t believe something, I won’t say it. And more importantly, I won’t believe something if I can’t back it up (with a credible source/data).

I won’t believe something just because of an ideology; likewise, I won’t hate something just because of an ideology either.

With all this said, "I’m trying Ringo" (aka conservatives/corporatists/fundamentalists/high-stakes testing lovers) "… I’m trying reeeeaaal hard to be a shepherd…"


**My appreciation for Pulp Fiction should not in any way be considered an endorsement for drugs, murder, bloody films, a hell of a lot of swearing, promiscuous sex… and any other sins that offend you. Although it is an endorsement for gourmet coffee.**