Victoree’s BACK TO SCHOOL Assembly


Hope you all had a wonderful summer vacation. Time to remember how the alarm clock works. Wash the swim trunks so they can be packed away for next summer. Even Michael Phelps has to get out of the water sometime. We’ll write about how we spent the summer later on. (Forgive me, Father; I am an educator…) As classrooms in Washington DC open for Semester II, classrooms will once again be rife with the voices of eager youth in squeaking shoes and clothes that smell like never-washed, factory-fresh textile sizing. Other systems will follow after the ritual last party of the summer–Labor Day. Then they too will be filled with new haircuts and pristine backpacks.

Once again we concentrate energy on that institution our society has assigned the project of developing the young–workforce fodder–into fiscally productive adult citizens, namely the education industry. It is an industry that still resembles its early 20th century  manufacturing system parentage with its assembly line scheduling of days.

We pause until Labor Day to think again about school. Let’s kick around a few ideas about how school is evolving to approach the challenges of the 21st century. While we’re at it let’s look at some current ideas about career choice and preparation including:

  • How has career education changed?
  • Exactly what do parents, corporations, and society expect school to do?
  • How well are school and the business world aligned?
  • Are schools preparing American youth for full participation in today’s workforce ?
  • What new skills should be taught in schools now?
  • New configurations for school?

It promises to be not your usual ride on the big yellow bus. Got your brand new no. 2’s sharpened? Let’s go!




Industrial Myth #4: Careers Do Straight Lines


Please observe the illustration found at a career blog I saw at:

Real Career Path

I could talk until the wind shifts.

I could write until the words run together like tears and mascara.

Compare the “fantasy” with the “real”.

Stare at it as many times as you want. Chances are your consciousness will return and return to this when the mind is just wandering around as our monkey-mind thoughts do whenever we’re bored or stressed.

Let the learning tattoo itself on your soul.

A career begins with divine desire, intention and aim; if the intention is strong

And the aim is true–

Real purpose will meet you in the maze of living.

Real purpose is the surprise at what seems to be a dead end.

There is a path,

But it is not entirely of our own making

And it sho’ nuff ain’ straight.





Industrial Myth #3:College Teaches All


2016…S.O.S. (Same Old Stuff)



There is still much emotionally charged discussion about exactly what role education is supposed to play in a society like the USA. Period. Some say college is for training certain youth for their professions. If true, what about the sizable number of college grads who never go anywhere near what they majored in. Again, another group of grads gets into the “chosen profession” only to find out they are a match made in hell.

It was that way with me and classroom teaching. Originally trained as an elementary school teacher–6 years of study and tears–I went off to bag my first teaching job after graduation. In my neighborhood, teaching was a respected profession so smart young women went to normal school. After my first career in Journalism fizzled out, I went to “plan B”.


confused graduate

Three failed classrooms later, I agreed with a teacher mentor in one school and a professor that perhaps my decision was not well thought out. I became depressed when they told me I would not be a very good traditional teacher(I was going to become one of those infamous “bad teachers” politicians have spun into legend). Had I wasted all that time and the government’s money? I did all that research so this would not happen to me!)  Then, I struck upon the idea that just maybe all the exploratory intelligence I had collected on my personality and my passions through professional and casual testing was not totally wrong. Yes, there I do have a teaching streak, but not one colored for the traditional classroom setting.

The knowledge I gained about myself; having a seeking spirit; a hunger to learn: these are things school hardly acknowledges exists at all, but very essential to the life of professionals. I’m through with the angst part, but if you want more of a view of the inside of what it is like to be twenty and in the throes of acquiring wisdom about your self and your profession; questioning everything you ever learned or thought to be real, please take a look over at All Groan Up with Paul Angone on You Tube.

Industrial Myth 1: Career Fail Is Bad Luck


Good morning, campers!

Today we will start our talk about Industrial Mythology. These are the tales we tell ourselves about working, originally dutifully passed down from generation to generation. Oh, the injustices laid at the door of Fortuna! (an image of the Roman goddess of luck, Fortuna, appears for you)  As if life was a thing that simply happens to people!

Here’s the truth: If you let life blow you around like a piece of driftwood, it will do just that. Yes, you will end up on some beach somewhere.

As a kid, I believed that somehow the winds of Fortune would magically blow me toward my “dream job”.  I believed in the myth of the “career ladder”. Just “start somewhere” and climb up from the bottom. This belief was the driver. All I did was unquestioningly follow lock-step grade to grade winning A after A and B after B. I was an excellent student. I got to the honor society, but I was totally unprepared for life after high school graduation (so, I went to college). By becoming life’s flotsam I handed my fate gift wrapped to the winds. Then, I complained to myself and commiserated with everybody who would listen about how “Life didn’t turn out the way I imagined it” and how all my teachers lied to me about “how things should be”.

The emotional reward was a seething sense of resentment against school which goaded my sense of “righteousness” into high gear. Feeling superior. Nothing like it in the world…The amazing thing is how many people in 2016, in the early 21st century still hang on to this tattered old medieval belief that a human being’s life is in somebody/something else’s control. This is straight out of that basic “crap-app” package that the “social factory”(the culture) installs into maturing mental operating systems (you).By merely “drifting” through life with fingers crossed you are handing your powers to decide what happens to you to Fortune’s tides. Next time, we’ll talk about how to “hack” Luck and make that driftwood into a surfboard.


The One Skill New Grads Will Use Most


My English teacher told me in high school that I probably would not make a living at all as a poet, though pithy words on paper sprang like a primal spring  out of me. That was the day I purposed to go into journalism, the left-sided sister of poetry. All I knew in my heart of hearts was that words on paper was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. How was I going to get it done? What I did not know was what I did not know. The one skill everybody will use after formal classroom days are done is seeking: mining sources for information on which to base the decisions we make in life.

Upon graduating from high school, unlike Malia Obama, I went straight into university intending to grow my embryonic career through acquiring the explicit skills necessary to become a professional writer. I considered Columbia Journalism School because the place is literally enmeshed in the publishing industry. Back then, before I knew anything about networking, I had an inkling that whatever profession you wanted to be into, it was a good idea to be where its denizens were rife. I was a quiet, dreamy soul who thought I was channeling Ida B. Wells. I had no idea what becoming a professional journalist meant in real terms except from television and radio. I had no idea what people like Barbara Walters suffered as a woman in journalism. Back then, blacks in journalism were almost unheard of. I had serious knowledge gaps and I had to fill them myself.

The nearest and dearest do not always make the best sources of information. Nobody warned me away or opposed my burying myself in researching best journalism schools on the east coast. Nobody I ever heard of in my neighborhood ever escaped “the ‘hood”to become anything other than homemakers, teachers or preachers. Education and the gospel ministry were good, solid professions. Broadway, The Washington Post and NBC were not. My Sunday school teacher told me point blank that the theatrical stage was not a good career choice for a Christian young lady. My high school guidance counselors never suspected that the newspapers and broadcasting was behind all that “looking it up”. They probably just figured I was just being my personality test-perfect bookish self. Perhaps they were thinking to recommend to my parents that I be  submitted to therapy to treat my introversion.

Did I go to journalism school? Yes, but not to Columbia. One of the reasons for this “fail” was not having information enough to make a strong case before my parents.

New professionals; dearest readers, information rules.One of the skills any new grad will use most often after formal classroom is  this: where and how to access and extract needed information from the mounds of information dug up. You will use this information to make the billions of little decisions every day such as where to work, political affiliation, diet, personal style, and how to create a life.



Skills You Got In School Worth Gold


new-college-grad-quoteNow that you have graduated from formal education, campers, all kinds of advice will be flying at you from all directions at light speed.

What you learned in school, at home and anywhere else is not the “whole truth”.

No one source on earth can ever be the sole font of truth. You have to test for the truth in all things for yourself. I have always made this a rule of thumb: Don’t believe everything you hear and half of what you see. In fact, right now, you may be questioning everything you have ever heard and doubting the validity of everything you have ever learned anywhere. You may even be disillusioned about the value of it all. Good! 

You are now synthesising knowledge for practical application to your life.

It’s a flashing headache! Don’t blame yourself for not understanding that life is like a 2 thousand piece puzzle scattered all over the floor without even a pencil drawing to guide you in putting it together.  Up to now, you probably learned math for math class and writing skills for English class. You were so busy earning good grades to pass the test to pass the course to get to the next higher course that you never thought about how to make a sensible whole of apparently unconnected information. School just crossed their fingers and hoped you would “get it” bye and bye–about the time you graduate. However, certain things you picked up in school are essential to the rest of your life. Such as…

  • Research: gathering information from many sources
  • Decision Making: justifying making a move based upon the results of your research
  • Focused attention: the ability to stay with an idea over an extended period of time until you get results. Focused attention is the one skill you will use to become an expert at what you do for a living. It is also the basic skill you will use to create what is called, “flow” –closely tied with cultivating a happy, satisfying life.

Congratulations on your graduation. Now, nobody but you have the responsibility to make wise decisions on your own about everything from maintaining good health to keeping a social life. Digging for and handling all kinds of information from unbelievably diverse sources is an essential life skill you will use the rest of your life. You see, formal education was just imbibing what society is obligated to hand down to you. That’s just background. You now stand at the place of the beginning of your real education.




Free At 18! 6 Ideas To Rear Kids For Success


Campers, this is the part of the program where The Administration makes its statement of the main idea and the “purpose driver” of this intercession.

In the summertime of my life, I was doing motherhood and at the same time preparing to teach elementary school. In those days, I struck upon the idea that bound my child rearing methodology together like a strong cord in a single statement: free at 18. This is what it means:

As “On Children by Kahlil Gibran “The Prophet”” by Kahlil Gibran says,

“Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you”.

  1. A parent’s job is to help the souls they bring into the world  to recover their heaven-given mandate and encourage their highest development before they depart from your immediate influence or “leave home” as it is commonly called.
  2. Progressively deepening, age-stage appropriate, positive life lessons in all areas of being human should be taught by example and by precept  using direct instruction, modeling and other ways and in several modalities. This is a parent’s mandate.
  3.  At specific times and at the end of life, an accounting of the satisfaction of the responsibility for this mandate will be required.
  4. The child has the right during their lifetime to question how she was reared and why.
  5. Educational systems exist as “experts” in  the intellectual training  portion of child rearing, acting as assistants to parenting. Schools should never be seen as taking the place of parents.
  6. Your children are spirit beings just as you are and have come to the earth with their own heavenly mandate just as you have yours.





Finals Are Coming! Graduates Ready?


Welcome to Victoree’s Workplace Summer camp!

It’s the middle of April and that can only mean one thing–finals are coming.  This little season just after spring break and before final exams is dedicated to the fine art of “life readiness”. The next several posts will be dedicated to the flood of newbies coming to the workplace who will find out soon enough exactly what school never prepares young people for. Mama is going to “break it down” to optimize the chances of workplace survival. It’s a mimi cram course–sort of like an “interim semester”, so keep what you need and toss what you don’t.

Welcome to Life Skills Summer Camp–the early edition.

Congratulations, Grads from Victoree

Begin learning here

Begin learning here

Ahem. Thank you very much, new members of the society of scholars.

The above is exactly what you look like to potential employers when you show up for your first interview. What it means is you have to roll out some brand new skill-sets–fast. I am here to help by pulling up the curtain between school and “the real world” hoping no emotional “wedgies” result. School did not teach you career management skills like how to look for a job and how to keep it. It’s all up to you to find your way in the “Career Woods”, babe!

There are some very important things about numbers that school did not teach you.

School taught you how to count and to do all the operations you can do with numbers, but it did not teach you what numbers mean when you see them on your paycheck. I can tell you that you certainly will learn that those numbers on your paycheck will directly positively or negatively affect your life. Those numbers largely determine what you eat, where you live, what you wear and to a great extent, how other people will think of you.

School introduced you to the rudiments of art and music theory–lucky you.

School taught you what the lines, signs and symbols of the secret language of musicians mean. Maybe you fell in love right here. Just as I have always known that I loved words, you might know you are a musician. School did not teach you what kind of music to enjoy. That’s your learning space. Go experiment and find your music. Have an incredible journey.

School introduced you to only the beginnings of taking care of your health.

There is more to maintaining good health that school had neither time nor patience to help you learn. Your task is to find the knowledge in other places scattered throughout your sphere of living. Everyone will not be “like Mike”, basketball star, but everyone has to learn how to relate positively to their own body. Everyone has to discover how and what foods to buy and prepare for their own body’s needs. We all must learn how to make goals for maintaining optimum fitness to be full of energy and free of disease.

School introduced you to social responsibility and the meaning of being a member of a larger group.

However, school could never teach you exactly how to be involved as a citizen in your neighborhood, city, state and nation. School began to teach you the first level skills you need to promote and keep relationships. They hoped you did some learning about that in the cafeteria between food fights. It is up to you to find ways to serve others and create peace and harmony among people.

School tried its best to stay out of the business of your soul

However, your soul; your inner self is the most important part of you of all. You must learn how to manage yourself at ever higher levels. Seeking to understand the self is the work of a lifetime. You must explore your passions, your mental fitness, your authentic personality and other life-driving matters.

Now that you have a diploma…you are free to roam about the world…and get educated.



The School-To-Workforce Jump: A Dance With No Steps


under the sheepskin is the green back

Diploma not equivalent to good job

When I was growing up in a much-altered Victorian which stood a street over from the University then just beginning to occupy my neighborhood, I remember my dad stressing out over the seasonal basement flooding. He bought a device out of a mail order catalogue. After setting it up, Dad explained that the excess water was supposed to “jump” from one level to another, draining it from the basement into the street above. The water never moved. My mom was not impressed. I began to investigate how siphons work. I figure my dad must have had a “gap” either in understanding or in application.

New grads have a similar “gap”in understanding and in application.  Every year, schools spit out hundreds of young people who know the state bird of every state in the union, but are totally lacking in essential knowledge about how to navigate in the workplace generally and about their “dream”/ target job specifically. School thinks (hopes) that “any intelligent new grad” will “pick it up”. Yeah. Right. What really happens is the entire decade of the 20’s gets wasted stumbling through coffee shop barista, grocery store clerk, pizza delivery, and fast food restaurants. Many businesses take advantage of the “gap”, filling their low-paying jobs with new entrants to the workforce. Many do learn the essential lessons of the workplace through these entry level revolving door jobs, but many others do not. The ones who learn become successful in professional life. The ones who do not end up being terminated over and over again or getting trapped in low-wage jobs for years.

I clearly remember writing my first “dream job” in a space on my SAT test: architect…the perfect mating of my love for history, art and design. I thought that the “right people” would magically see that desire and help me get there.

Wrong answer!

With no guidance, I meandered on several professional paths until I “found myself” many, many years later. School today is still asking questions about its purpose in society. Is it to ensure a basically literate/numerate citizenry? Socialization? Prepare youth for their future jobs? Discover and groom future leaders? Keep certain people “in their place”? Definitions and answers change every generation. Can this generation find a better way to introduce new people to the workforce than the wasteful way we do it now?