Slashing K12 Budget, Getting Real is a Bitch

Many people asked me what I thought about State Legistlator approving a nearly $140 million cut in soft capital budget for K-12 education.  I never like to see education getting it’s budget cut.  However, it’s time to get real.  Getting real is a bitch.  We are $2 billion in the hole this year and another $3 billion in the hole next year.  We don’t have a line of credit internally to borrow from anymore.  At this point we are looking to private banks for funding.  The state of Arizona is in severe economic crisis and everyone is going to have to dig in and take it in the shorts.  I think the current cuts to education have been kind.  They could have been much, much worse and I suspect they will be in the future.

I call this opportunity.  You see in every circumstance of hardship, we have the opportunity for the human spirit to shine through, creativity to spark and innovation to spur change in ways we could never imagine when we are fat and happy.  Am I  scared for our educational system?  Hell yes. So while, being pinned back in the corner like an angry dog with no options out but to fight is not where we want to be; I know that Arizonian’s have a hell of a lot of fight in them.  I am excited to see them fight off this downturn and emerge on the other side as the leader of the pack.  Laughing at other states still stuck in the dark ages of education because they didn’t have to scrap just to stay alive.  I’ll put my money on the angry, hungry and desperate in any fight.  I say.. Bring it on!

What are your thoughts?

Diaries of a Madman: Let Ideas and Thoughts Flow

I tend to get manic at times in my life.  When I do my moleskins or computer becomes a good dumping ground for my thoughts.  Though I’m not picky I will rant on the back of napkins, index cards or any other available surface.  Normally, I just toss the content out, but over the past year or so I have kept some of the stuff and just stashed it away.  I on occasion have gone back to read it and liked some of it. Reading this excerpt (found on a notepad with 1/2 inch of dust on my desk) made me decide to start sharing some of it.   If you haven’t already identified me as crazy at least this will save you time in your analysis.  I will be labeling them “Diaries of a Madman”.

Written November 22nd
Writing to capture thoughts is invaluable. Be bold in your thinking and don’t filter yourself. Be insane with you thoughts, let the inner brain do the talking. At a later time come back to those thoughts. Criticize, edit and manipulate them into something more lucid. Something worth sharing with a wider audience. Having people share the essence of how your mind thinks to get feedback helps rewire your brain in ways you can’t on your own.

Visualize your ideas, think metaphorically. Let your brain draw lines and connections you can’t conscientiously articulate, but that your brain is unconsciously thinking. Doodling ideas is powerful, it challenges how you think your brain is processing data. Don’t artificially limit the ways you express your thinking. Use unconventional mediums to express yourself. Comfortable outlets are broken. They filter your thoughts because your brain is pre-compiling ideas before you output them. Familiar expression has been optimized by your brain. A new way of expression confuses the brains pre-compiler and forces you to assemble all of the idea without any artificial filters.

If you paint, then write. If you write, then draw. If you draw, then speak. It is essential for us not only to process information , but share that processed output with others to validate or refine how we continue to wire our brains. Is this the base of creativity? How would Maslow define this in his hierarchy? If innovation spawns from necessity and creativity, then is this the first step to changing the world? Why do we limit ourselves or our thinking? Is it fear? Is it ignorance? What is philosophy? Is it a connection that at times of great philosophy there is great math and science? Is it coincidence renaissance in both is often related?

Can one be “dumb” in a university sense but be brilliant in the philosophical sense? Are these things directly related? What does intuition or gut feeling have to do with these concepts? Are they really just heightened information stream processing by the subconscious mind? If so, how do we tap those processing abilities to bring them to the conscious? How do you refine these skills? Are there books on this shit? Are people talking about this stuff? What is it called?