☆Soon to be Neptune's Staircase☆

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

🗻 10 Reasons You Should Consider Seasonal Work in National Parks (#parkielife) 🗻

 Have you ever wondered what it would be like to just travel and live in the most beautiful places all across America? (and the world for that matter). Well you don’t have to wonder anymore you can actually do that. 

(Photo Taken by Me 💖-
 Going-To-The-Sun Road, Glacier National Park 2020) 

They’re called Parkies. They’re the (technically homeless) people who live and work in National Parks. 

I feel like not enough people know about Parkie life. You live, work, and explore in some of the most beautiful places on earth. Employer housing is provided (at a small cost usually between $12-$14 a day) by many companies including Xanterra, Delaware North, and Pursuit, to name a few. Couples housing is an option and in some cases you can just bring your own RV or van and just live in that while you work there. At Xanterra, if youre one of the managers you get housing for FREE. 

(Credit: Danor Aharon/Shutterstock) 

The work is generally that of typical resort jobs. Line cook, housekeeper, front desk, night porter… etc. The pay is competitive and honestly you usually make a lot of money while you’re there because you just don’t have a lot of places to spend it. Wifi (in some locations) is kind of spotty so you won’t be doing a lot of online shopping and you’ll probably be spending most of your time outdoors. Hiking, swimming, camping, just overall enjoying the park. You get to LIVE and make MONEY where people vacation. 

(Catalina Island California - 
Photo Cred: discoverlosangeles.com)

The people you meet there are AMAZING and always down to make a new friend or ride with you 2 hours away to the nearest town or go night swimming. Honestly they're just the best type of people. 

(Top of Siyeh Pass 🌲- Taken by Me 💖- Glacier National Park 2020)

So without further ado, here are 10 reasons why you should quit your job and become a parkie. 

  1. You get to LIVE where people VACATION.
    • Need I say more? 
  2. You have housing provided for you.
    • Rent, utilities, laundry, its all provided for you so you don't have any bills to deal with.
  3. The People.
    • When you're stuck with the same group of people. All living, working and playing together all the time. You form some pretty deep bonds and the people you meet become friends for life. 
    • ALSO you become bffs with people from completely different generations. Some of my best friends that I met at Glacier were between the ages of 30-62. 
  4. You're disconnected from the world
    • Have you ever just wanted to fuck off into the mountains? 
    • It depends on the location but most of the time you're in pretty remote areas with limited wifi access. You're forced to live in the moment and to appreciate the people and the nature around you. 
  5. You learn to live with what you've got
    • With the nearest town/store 2 hours away, you don't have the luxury of just running to the store whenever you need/want something. You have to learn to live with what you have and learn that that is enough. 
  6. You get closer to nature. 
    • This is kind of obvious, but you really get up and close with nature and you learn how important it is to protect it.  
  7. You have some pretty wild experiences.
    • Do you know how many people I've worked with that has some crazy story about some wild and esoteric thing thats happened to them while in the park? All of them. Every. Single. One. 
  8. You learn about yourself
    • When you're stuck in the middle of nowhere with no wifi or any kind of comforts of home. You really get to know who you are as a person and whats important to you. I won't elaborate. But if you've been there you know. 
  9. You get to Travel.
    • You get to travel all over the US and see places that other people only hear about. 
    • "Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer"
  10. It changes you. 
    • If you've been stuck feeling completely uninspired by life. Parkie life will change all of that and you're start seeing the world in a completely different way.  

Going-To-The-Sun Road ☀️Taken by Me 💖 - Glacier National Park 2020 

Life is confusing and possibly meaningless so why not GET the fuck out there and enjoy it? It would seem like a waste if you didn't. Anyway this is Katie signing off ✌🏼

Here is a super fun video FURTHER illustrating why you should consider Parkie Life ↓

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Thursday, December 17, 2020

🇺🇸 The American School System is a Joke 🤑

Public education (in the west) was created in the 1800s for a very specific purpose. We Americans would like to believe it's for our benefit but that's absolutely not true. The French philosopher Louis Althusser explains public education as an ideological state apparatus (ISA). This means that school is not designed to teach you useful information (like critical thinking and problem solving skills). It's designed to perpetuate capitalist values, like: getting to work on time, sitting still, following the rules, respecting authority. We're just training each new generation to accept the status quo rather than interrogate its premises. We're creating a generation of dummies, our education is based on making sheep that will work 9-5 jobs, its not meant to make intelligent people. Its history is rooted in racism and in making profit. One of the founders of the general education board, Rockefeller, even has a famous quote "I don't want a nation of thinkers. I want a nation of workers."  

"The US would be NOTHING without the H1-B. Without the H1-B the scientific establishment in this country would collapse. There would be no Google, no Silicon Valley, without the H1-B.  50% of all PhD candidates are foreign-born". Even the moon landing was a German import. Why are they leaving their homes to come to the US? Because the US is so DUMB that its super easy for a foreigner to come in and dominate in their field. We bring intelligent people from all over the world to make the US look better. Its a pretty Machiavellian tactic, we have others do the work, then take credit for their work. 

(1900 Horace Mann School Photograph, Clyde Arbuckle Photograph Collection) 

 The US public education was particularly designed to continue oppressing poor people (and later women and POC) so that they don't revolt against the rich. Rich people, go to private schools. So the separation and alienation of rich and poor just becomes more prominent. In Finland it is not permitted to charge fees for mainstream education - and only 2% of its schools are run by non-governmental bodies. This means that the rich people are forced to put their money into the public education system to ensure that their kid gets a good education and thus helping to ensure that the poorer kids also get a good education. Not only that, it exposes rich and poor kids to each other (something that doesn't really happen in the US). When rich and poor are separated at the start, it sets us up to be segregated for life. 

(This is where I will insert my article about Rich Vs. Poor in America whenever I write it lol)

This is why people are so shocked when they get to college and are exposed for the first time to a whole world (and history) that they never knew even existed. This is where the "colleges turn people liberal" thing comes from when actually its the first time people are free from the ISA. 

Isaac Asimov, based on his body of work is generally considered to be one of the most prolific writers of all time, has a now famous quote. "There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding it's way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." Or more recently "my opinion is just as good as your facts" 

The concept of Democracy has been co opted in that everyone gets a vote so everyones voice matters. And whether my vote comes from a place of ignorance should be JUST as worthy as yours that comes from a place of knowledge. It's how we got the death of expertise, of science, of observable fact, a productive debate. It's saying that "What I read on the internet holds the same weight as your degree in the same subject." Where do we go from there? Its how we got anti-vaxxers and the resurgence of smallpox. It is CLEARLY, not working, an unfortunately the people who are the problem won't listen to this. 

A Clown once said, "I love the uneducated" and the crowd cheered. Its easer to control people who don't understand. According to ancient philosopher Socrates in his opposition of democracy, voting in an election is a skill, not a random intuition. And like any skill, it needs to be taught systematically to people. Your opinion is NOT as good as someones expertise in a subject and it's super dangerous to have people with ZERO knowledge on specific issues vote in elections on issues that they blatantly misinterpret or have zero understanding of. The US's founding fathers KNEW this and detested democracies. To them, democracy equals mob rule. That's why the US is NOT a democracy and rather a representative republic. 

Hard pivot, I think it's also important to talk about how teachers aren't being paid enough and that tenure in the United States is a huge issue. The tenure program ensures that bad teachers get to keep their jobs. Everyone knows what having a bad teacher is like AND the impact it has on your life when you get a good one. American society is changing, and the way you act and what is appropriate around kids is changing. Teachers who have been teaching the same way for 40 years isn't gonna work anymore. (Im looking at you teacher I had back in high school). 

I don't know about yall but I know of two male teachers that taught at schools I attended that got fired for child porn on their work computers. Also Ladies, I'm sure some of you probably had some male teachers that were creepy and a little too touchy because I know I certainly did. Maybe thats a side affect of growing up in the patriarchy where women and girls are viewed as objects but it shouldn't be.

There are a lot of reports from women who have gone to complain about their creepy ass teachers but their complaints were dismissed because "he's been here a long time," etc. Which is even more of a reason to stop this behavior?? This can digress into a whole conversation about how men and women are held to different standards but thats a whole other article and it's comin believe me. But I do wanna talk about how dress codes are inherently sexist. There's this great picture I've seen floating around the internet that really sums it up well, Ill put it here. 

It reads, "When you interrupt a girl's school day to force her to change clothes, or send her home because her bra straps are visible. You are telling her that making sure boys have a "distraction free" learning environment is more important than her education. Instead of shaming girls for their bodies, teach boys that girls are not sexual objects." 

Also just sayin dress codes aren't enforced in college and yet boys can still do homework? How does that work?  

Hard pivot again, in America we treat school like a business rather than as a tool to build up society. It's all, "we gotta get the kids through school, get good grades, do well on standardized tests so we get more funding." And it's not really about the student and their experience, or helping them to grow. Its all about the school getting good numbers so they can get more funding. 

You know what's also fucked up? That there's people, who strongly advocated to get rid of collective bargaining for teachers and to reduce funding for education. The current United States Secretary of Education wants to privatize education. There's also other people who don't have kids in school so they don't wanna pay for other peoples kids to go to school. I get that to an extent. The thing is, investing in students is investing in the future of your country. Those are gonna be the doctors who take care of you when you're old. American's inherent selfishness is whats holding us back and the problem is only going to get worse. Other countries are already vastly out performing US students. 30 years ago the United States was ranked 1st in quantity and quality of high school diplomas. Today the US is ranked 36th. 

Teachers are under paid and class sizes keep getting bigger. Not only that, they have to do sooo many standardized tests, so frequently, they barely have time to actually teach. Their role in kids lives has also changed so much. These days they're not only in charge of teaching, they're a counselor, a security guard, a parental figure. They are not trained to be all those things and they certainly aren't paid enough to be expected to do them. So many irresponsible parents use school as a free daycare and don't even care about their kids. Is it the teachers responsibility to make sure that that kid is loved and doesn't feel abandoned? That's kind of what it's turned into unfortunately. School isn't supposed to be a daycare for lazy and inept parents. Yet with educational funding being cut even more year after year along with increased costs, these issues are even further from being solved let alone even managed. 

The US education system needs a massive overhaul. At this point we might as well just start over because it really has gotten that bad. This can start with voting for candidates that place a higher value on education. Eudcationvotes.nea.org is an excellent resource for learning about political candidates views on education and who is running in your state. 

Kids need recess, they need longer lunches, they need free play, family time, meal time. They need less homework, fewer tests and a greater emphasis on social learning. 

I don't really know to end this tbh. Fucking VOTE for politicians who give a fuck about your kids 
education. Read shit, educate them, and educate yourself. That's all I gotta say man, maybe I'll come back and add more to this article when I learn more but here it is. 

If you learned something from this article and wanna learn some more I recommend reading THIS (We have ruined Childhood) article by the NY Times. Its got some good shit. Okay thats all from me 👋🏼 bye 

Isaac Asimov - Source: biography.com

Side note: Don't even get me STARTED on the GOD AWFUL No Child Left Behind Act and THANK GOD it's no longer in effect. That shit was disastrous. Okay thats all bye 👋🏼

Alliance for Excellent Education. (2007) High School Teaching for the Twenty-First Century: Preparing Students for College. Alliance for Excellent Education. https://all4ed.org/reports-factsheets/high-school-teaching-for-the-twenty-first-century-preparing-students-for-college/

Althusser, L., Jameson, F., & Brewster, B. (2001). Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. NYU Press.  from http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qgh9v

Brooks, Kim. (2019) We have ruined childhood. NY Times.  

Campaign for CHSE High School Equity. (2008)  Plan for Success: Communities of Color Define Policy Priorities for High School Reform. Campaign for CHSE High School Equity. https://issuu.com/rockeymoore/docs/planforsuccess-2

Coleman, Megan. (2013) New survey ranks U.S. students 36th in the world - How do we improve? CNYCentral. https://cnycentral.com/news/local/new-survey-ranks-us-students-36th-in-the-world---how-do-we-improve

Jones, Josh. (2016). Michio Kaku on Why Immigrants Are America’s Secret Weapon: They Compensate for Our Mediocre STEM Education & Keep Prosperity Going. openculture.com.

Mann, Horace. (1900) The Ground of the Free School System. Library of Congress. archive.org. 

McElroy, Ken. (2016) A Nation of Workers: How Public Education is Dummying Down Our Labor Force. Jet Set Magazine. https://www.jetsetmag.com/exclusive/business/nation-workers-public-education-dummying-labor-force/

Purcell, Kristen, Alan Heapes, Judy Buchanan, Linda Friedrich,. (2013) How Teachers Are Using Technology at home and in Their Classrooms, Education Superhighway. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED559731

Richardson, Randy. (2018) Iowa's Collective Bargaining Law One Year Later, Bleading Heartland.

Sparks, Sarah D. (2011) Study: Third Grade Reading Predicts Later High School Graduation. Education Week. https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/study-third-grade-reading-predicts-later-high-school-graduation/2011/04

Students and Educators can't take 4 more years of Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump. Education Votes. https://educationvotes.nea.org/2019/03/22/devos/

Swanson, Christopher B. (2010) U.S.Graduation Rate Continues Decline. Education Week.  http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/06/10/34swanson.h29.html. 

U.S. Department of Education. Fast Facts: Graduation rates. National Center for Education Statistics. http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=40

Vlastos, G. (1983). The Historical Socrates and Athenian Democracy. Political Theory, 11(4), 495-516. http://www.jstor.org/stable/191447

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