How has being an Eagle Scout helped your day to day life?
I completed my board of review for Eagle the summer before I turned 18. There were two other Eagle Scouts in my high school class. We are still close friends now, forty plus years later. (Two of us are on opposite edges of the US, the third is in Europe.) When I meet other Eagle Scout (or Gold Award) adults, it creates a bridge that makes relating easier. You trust each other faster. You have grounds for expecting ethical behavior and a get it done attitude.I signed my son up for scouting as soon as he was old enough. I was one of his den leaders through Cubs, and an ASM or the Troop Committee Chair though Scouts (more arms length). We often problem solved outside Scouts by talking about the Scout Law as a framework for handling challenges. (We still do that even today.) He has grown into a great adult, and we are good friends, in part because Scouting was part of our journey together. He is an Eagle Scout. Two of his best friends were in our Cub den, and are Eagle Scouts. The three of them stay in touch from California, Texas, and New York. (Their dads were leaders too and are still friends of mine.)I didn’t grow up interacting with my birth dad’s extended family (my parents divorced when I was 3). I got to know them though in my college years and after. At one point I went to a family get together of all the living decendents of my great grandfather… nearly a hundred people… hosted by my dad’s first cousin, who was very senior in adult girl scout leadership for the state of Kansas. She asked for a show of hands about who had been involved in Scouts as kids. Nearly every hand went up. As adults? About the same number. As adult leaders? Ditto. It was a very nice feeling.I should note that neither my dad or step father was ever involved in Scouting. My being in the program as a Cub was my mom’s idea. We moved twenty three times growing up, across at least a dozen states and three countries (hint: military family). The biggest source of continuity across all that? Guess.I can’t imagine my life without the Scouting program.
Why don't schools teach children about taxes and bills and things that they will definitely need to know as adults to get by in life?
Departments of education and school districts always have to make decisions about what to include in their curriculum. There are a lot of life skills that people need that aren't taught in school. The question is should those skills be taught in schools?I teach high school, so I'll talk about that. The typical high school curriculum is supposed to give students a broad-based education that prepares them to be citizens in a democracy and to be able to think critically. For a democracy to work, we need educated, discerning citizens with the ability to make good decisions based on evidence and objective thought. In theory, people who are well informed about history, culture, science, mathematics, etc., and are capable of critical, unbiased thinking, will have the tools to participate in a democracy and make good decisions for themselves and for society at large. In addition to that, they should be learning how to be learners, how to do effective, basic research, and collaborate with other people. If that happens, figuring out how to do procedural tasks in real life should not provide much of a challenge. We can't possibly teach every necessary life skill people need, but we can help students become better at knowing how to acquire the skills they need. Should we teach them how to change a tire when they can easily consult a book or search the internet to find step by step instructions for that? Should we teach them how to balance a check book or teach them how to think mathematically and make sense of problems so that the simple task of balancing a check book (which requires simple arithmetic and the ability to enter numbers and words in columns and rows in obvious ways) is easy for them to figure out. If we teach them to be good at critical thinking and have some problem solving skills they will be able to apply those overarching skills to all sorts of every day tasks that shouldn't be difficult for someone with decent cognitive ability to figure out. It's analogous to asking why a culinary school didn't teach its students the steps and ingredients to a specific recipe. The school taught them about more general food preparation and food science skills so that they can figure out how to make a lot of specific recipes without much trouble. They're also able to create their own recipes.So, do we want citizens with very specific skill sets that they need to get through day to day life or do we want citizens with critical thinking, problem solving, and other overarching cognitive skills that will allow them to easily acquire ANY simple, procedural skill they may come to need at any point in their lives?
How would you fill out the quote "Life is too short to …"?
I’m 57 year old, so I’m more than half-way through with my life. Here are some realistic ways I would fill out the quote “Life is too short to …”Life is too short NOT to eat my healthy homemade brownie for energy. It’s made with lots eggs, of cocoa powder, brewer’s yeast, flax meal, coconut meal, organic oatmeal, and buckwheat. It’s high fiber, high omega-3, and high protein & magnesium.Life is too short to be negative about anything. Being negative and pessimistic DID NOT PAY off for my prior 1/2 life spent.Life is too short NOT to be honest. Honesty saves time.Life is too short to worry. Worrying means I don’t trust in the almighty Creator who made me & will take care of me.
How is an average person expected to get through life in the US without a bureaucracy consultant to advise on how to properly fill out all the paperwork?
The lawmakers expect a reasonable average person to be able to guide self through the maze of laws and regulations.Still, some people value their time or are truthful about their abilities to comprehend things, and instead of getting a self-taught degree in taxation or legal intricacies of a company formation (and accounting/financial issues associated with that), those people choose to hire a professional specializing in those areas.I am personally an accountant (corporate accounting) which is as far away from personal taxes as you can imagine, my tax returns are tied to my spouse's and due to presence of several items which are not a common occurrence in an average person's life, I am not even trying to complete our taxes.I do my due diligence with all the information gathering, schedules, support documentation, record retention and such but I can't spend days pouring over it all to come up with a final number.So, I pay a professional to be on time, on spec, and on budget.With respect to legal advice, laws in US vary by state, so me being able to spend 3 years in law school, and then more years trying to be admitted to each of the Bar associations, and then have the ability to research cases for precedents - that's just not reasonable.Still, there are others who actually love this process, are knowledgeable, and can tell me a solution to my problem within 20 mins. Isn't this worth my money?
What is a good book or website to use in order to find out how a college level essay should look like? I want examples of different types of papers such as a “compare and contrast” APA paper example, etc.
Strategies for Essay WritingA lot of universities have online writing centers with strong advice on writing. You can use the website but for the chat or contacting by emailing (some universities have an online chat or contact hours), they may ask you for your student ID.Also, it would help to know what kind of essay you are writing to give other specific links like Hamilton College (history) or Yale (political theory), etc.Certain universities also have really good programs which require certain styles of writing and if so, check them out. Here is one from Stanford on how to write theoretical papers, which is very important in economics and political science (two of the few fields that Stanford is highly ranked in). It’s also important for graduate students who must perform independent research and contribute original ideas. Link’s below.Tips for Writing Technical Papers