Sunday, January 27, 2008


We received the Annual Report from the School District this week. The report listed the cost of $9,144 to educate a student per year. There are 22,332 students in the district. The total operating costs stood at $186.9 million dollars for instruction (teachers' compensation) at 71%, 13.2 % for building maintenance, 7% for school support, 4.6% for transportation and 4.2% administration. Now I know where part of our tax dollars have been going, to educate future generations. Hopefully these students will have jobs, pay taxes to support social security I hope to collect in my retirement.

Whenever my husband and I saw a young person with purple hair, four earrings on each ear, pierced nose, lips, eyebrowns, a horror thought would come to our minds, "That could be our kid!". My husband usually commented, "We would not allow that because our children would be brought up correctly." Easy said than done. Within each family, there are many situations where we thought we did everything correctly and yet, the kids turned out to be major disappointments.

When we first got married, GN (a niece from my husband's family) was a 10-year girl, always smiling, helping around the house and bringing home report cards with good grades. Somewhere along the way, GN made the wrong turn, got pregnant at 16 with a young man who was involved in auto thef and drug possessions. At 18, GN married this young man, RO and had another child. Two years later, after a third child was born, GN divorced RO when he was again in jail for the same crimes. Currently, they got back together, had another child and living in a small apartment while RO trying to support his family as a delivery trucker. GN with only a high school diploma could only find work that pay minimum wages. Where did we go wrong? Why didn't someone in the family counsel GN and provided guidance before she made the wrong turn? We could only hope and pray that RO and GN will stay on the right paths as their children's future depend on what they as parents do.

I understand that it is not easy being parents. There are many outside temptations, threats and so many worries. I watched how my brother taking care of and providing for his son. Besides clothing and feeding the child, there are Tae Kwon Do classes on week days, Boy Scouts, Chinese school and music lessons on the weekends, all these activities are at additional cost. My brother reads bedtime stories to JL each night, together father and son shared laughters while riding bicycles or setting up a member-only clubhouse.

When we first got married, my husband and I planned to have a son named Andrew and a daughter, Paulina Victoria. We knew exactly how to take good care of Andrew and Paulina. Our childen would received excellent education and participate in many activities such as swimming, organized sports, music and foreign languages. Andrew would learn to be a handy person and about automobile (T-birds and Mustangs) from my husband, but Paulina would have to learn cooking from Grandma as I don't cook. Both kids would be sports fanatics like their mother. We would not have to worry about funding college as our children would receive full scholarships and graduated with honors. That was our dream, and that is what would always be, a dream that never came true as after many years of trying, we were not able to have children.

It takes a village to raise a child. Each parent loves and provides the best way for the children. I am grateful to have loving parents and thankful for everything Mom and Dad provided as a strong foundation that we the children build upon and passing on to the next generations.

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