If you focus on whether you will run out of toilet paper in 30 days or not, you miss out on the joy of having enough for today. Stores may have enough by then. A treatment or cure for coronavirus could be discovered tomorrow. When London, England residents in 1940 woke up on day 58 after 57 straight nights of Nazi blitzkrieg, there was no more bombing. Enjoy each moment you have and don’t waste your energy on fears about the future.
Many of us are now home daily for the first time. Our world is currently different. However we can keep remnants of our life from three weeks ago very much alive. Get up early. Make your bed. Shower, shave and get dressed. Exercise at home. Make your calls. Students continue to read and study during former school hours. Focus on all of the routines which remain in your power to be the same.
During the days after air raids by the Nazis on England during World War II, children continued to play in the newly bombed playgrounds. People walked to work and to markets taking different routes. For those that did not have their usual ingredients to make stew, they used whatever vegetable was available . . . but they still made stew. Adapted but the same is not bad. It helps to keep some semblance of order.
One way the British were able to survive the bombing of England by the Nazis was because of effective leadership. There is perhaps no greater leader in the 20th century than Winston Churchill. He remained calm. He inspired through frequent communications. He listened to his people. He reacted to meet their needs. He also surrounded himself with the best and brightest, working in tandem to break codes, develop the right weapons (medicine), solve daily challenges, and draw upon resources.
President Donald Trump is doing the same effective leadership. He is remaining calm. He inspires the United States and the world through frequent communications. He is listening to his people and reacting to meet their needs. He also is surrounding himself with the best and brightest, working in tandem to break codes, develop the right medical weapons, solving daily challenges, and drawing upon resources. England survived the Nazi bombings and the United States of America will survive coronavirus.
There are times in modern history where nations came together in such a dramatic and unexpected way as to defeat an enemy of unknown strength and veracity. Today we face such an enemy in the coronavirus. We do not know how pervasive it is. We do not know how long it will last. We do not know how lasting the after effects will be. Our society is on edge, perhaps even upside down. Individuals are scared and facing personal crises surrounding their health, loved ones, and even toilet paper.
As we think about our current situation, it is helpful to think of other examples where nations came together to overcome unknown and seemingly insurmountable odds. During World War II there were air raids on Britain, specifically the London Blitz. For 57 consecutive nights Nazi Germany bombed London. Every night was marked with explosions, destruction and frequently death.
Civilians were murdered by an invisible enemy in their own homes during the night. There was a shortage of hospital beds and medicine. There were food and water shortages. Schools were closed. Stores and markets were destroyed. Factories were destroyed. People sheltered at home and underground. Fear gripped a nation in a way that had never before been seen in the world. Think about it . . . 57 nights in a row.
While there is clearly a difference between where we are today and a World War, we are only 15 – 20 days into our fight with an invisible enemy.
In the end, Britain prevailed. We will too.
90%-100% of graduates at most high schools throughout Massachusetts meet the minimum number of courses in English, math, science and other core subjects that state guidelines call for. However the Boston public school system has ignored those guidelines, called MassCore. MassCore standards include four years of English and math, three years of science and social studies, and two years of foreign language.
Instead Boston Public Schools have opted to keep lower standards for earning a diploma than the rest of Massachusetts. For example, Boston requires only three years of math instead of the four required at schools following MassCore. The reason for the lower standards is so they can increase high school graduation rates. Many claim that these lower standards de-value their diploma compared to most other communities that have significantly higher standards.
Lower Boston standards have some major consequences. In 2017 only 31% of Boston high school graduates met the state’s MassCore guidelines according to state data, putting the rest behind their peers at other Massachusetts schools. 50% of Boston high school graduates who enroll in college fail to earn degrees within six years, according to a report by the Boston Private Industry Council. Many of these students that have earned a high school diploma with lower standards, felt academically unprepared for college. A state report showed that nearly 75% of Boston graduates who went on to community college required at least one remedial course.
There was one historical event that changed it all for students across America. In 1957 the Soviet Union launched the very first satellite, Sputnik. Suddenly homework levels spiked, as educators feared the United States of America would fall behind the Russians.
After World War II, homework reform movements began to appear. There was a push to make homework more interesting rather than trying to eliminate it.
Tomorrow we will reveal the single historical event that caused homework to be considered essential to the future of the nation. This historical event was the one that changed everything!