Eugene Cho

the first thing i would do as president

Okay, maybe it’s not the first thing I would do as President of the most powerful nation in the world but it’s one of the things I’d like to do: Institute “uniforms” for students – from kindergarten to the culmination of high school.  I’ve always liked the idea but being here in Korea where most of the students are in uniforms have rekindled my zeal for this campaign.

Here are some random reasons why I love the idea:

  • Fashion doesn’t have to be about the have’s and have not’s.  Everyone wears the same thing.  This is my favorite reason.  But I’m sure clothing retailers are conspiring even right now how to sue my arse.  Down with Abercrombie and Fitch!
  • Remember how brutal kids can be when they tease others because of fashion.  Bullying may not stop but teasing because of fashion and clothing will.
  • Think of kids beating up other kids for their new Air Jordans.
  • Think of kids obsessing over Sperrys, Jordache jeans, Members Only jackets, etc… Those were some of the “In” stuff during my days as a teenager.
  • Think of parents and how much they’d appreciate this – especially on tight budgets.
  • Kids can focus on education – both in class and outside the class.
  • Teaches our kids and youth about simplicity and common values.  Indviduality is already heightened in the US culture. So, let’s focus on community.  Do I sound communist?

The federal and/or local government provides and foots the cost of the uniforms.  Perhaps for some of you who are liberal, we can insitutite providing 3 kinds of uniforms for variety.  2 sets of 3 uniforms – for different weather seasons?  Uniforms would include: shoes, bottom, and top.  Jackets would be a personal accessory.

Questions:

  • Seriously, what do you think about my uniform idea?  Who’s behind it?  Who’s voting for me for President?  If not US president, how about school president?
  • As president of the United States, what would you do or institute?  Think non-serious.  Please don’t bring up abortion or putting all men in jail.
  1. How about instituting Siesta?
  2. Four work days or at least Mandatory 3 day weekends every month?
  3. Mandatory participation of monthly block or neighbhorhood parties?
  4. Free ice cream giveaways every Monday?
  5. ?

Filed under: family, politics

53 Responses

  1. I’m only for the uniform idea if the uniforms are CLASSY. Pin-stripe suits for boys. I don’t really care what the girls wear but them boys need to learn how to STRUT.

    And if I were president I would use my 30% of the federal budget in discretionary spending toward the following:

    * More campy 80’s zombie flicks. THOUSANDS of them.
    * All college graduates must sit through a two-week course teaching them the basics of life that their education ignores (e.g. wealth can be created, develop good boundaries, the compensation one receives for performing a task is in direct proportion to its complexity, etc.).
    * Maximum 10-children per classroom in K-12. I’d pay as much as it takes.
    * Ice cream would be *more* expensive but burritos would be free every day.
    Amen.

  2. Daniel Azuma says:

    O boy. Canty strikes again. Amen on the burritos.

    But seriously, PE, I had been planning on writing you in on my ballot in November, but now I think I’m going to have to change my mind… =P

  3. gar says:

    Canty>* Maximum 10-children per classroom in K-12. I’d pay as much as it takes.

    I’m all for that!

    My school just this last year voted to approve uniforms for the 2008-2009 school year by a 78% majority (as voted by families). One wonders why it didn’t happen sooner.

  4. eugenecho says:

    daniel & jack danger: do you guys know each other? if not, you should. i think both of you are ruby on rail enthusiasts.

    gar: really? do tell the details? what school? how much does it cost?

  5. Davo says:

    I’d put a price cap on sushi.

    And build up public transportation systems.

  6. Randall says:

    I’d bring art education back into schools that had cut them and make those classes non-elective.

    I’d be a one term president by doing what’s right for the country, not what’s going to make re re-electable.

    I’d make Anne Lamott poet laureate.

  7. Donna says:

    Hey, I survived 12 years in a uniform and Catholic school, to boot! Back in the day, our uniforms couldn’t have been uglier…gray wool skirts & blazers, white blouse, navy blue sweater, white bobby socks, and saddle shoes. Oh, yeah.

    Am all for uniforms for kids in school, always have been, but not in the hideous vein of what we wore.

    @Randall…very lucky in that I have my daughter in a magnet school of the arts, where the dance, drama, art, & music are a regular part of the curriculum. It’s like private school at the public school price – FREE – and if there’s more then 12 kids in a classroom, the kids have 2 full-time teachers. I truly thank God every day for my daughter being fortunate enough to be there.

    If I were president, there would be an all 80’s video channel available 24 hours a day. And I’d do away with the cursed mandatory 12 week science fair projects that parents have to do along with their kids each school year, in order to spare myself my yearly near nervous breakdown.

  8. John says:

    Thumbs up for uniforms – as long as they’re sold exclusively at the GAP😉

  9. I love the idea of a siesta and a four-day work week. I disagree with your statement that school uniforms would be beneficial for families on a tight budget. Unless the uniforms are government-funded, I see it being quite the opposite. Parents would then have to buy two sets of clothes for their children – one set for school and another for everything else. And it would only stop the teasing at school, not other places. For me growing up, I got the most teasing from kids at church, not kids at school.

  10. eugenecho says:

    “The federal and/or local government provides and foots the cost of the uniforms…”

    @laurajeanette: alright, uniforms for church too, then!

  11. Matt says:

    uniforms? that’s a state’s rights issue. You’re going to start a civil war over this!

    And if I were president, I would invite kids to play baseball in my yard…. oh wait, they already do that. darn.

    I would make the NFL show their night games on free tv, instead of nfl network and espn. I would also force espn to fire Joe Morgan, and Fox to fire Tim McCarver, and for people to be able to choose which saturday afternoon game to watch instead of going by regions.

  12. chad m says:

    i’m for uniforms in schools only if you start wearing a robe when preaching! sort of kidding. sort of serious. i honestly think the school uniform idea is a no brainer; it has to be the clothing companies that are against it. here in Mount Vernon, WA we have a lot of Latino gang influence in our high school and the administration is constantly trying to curb kids from wearing their colors, numbers, etc to school everyday.

    but about the pastors wearing robes comment. don’t you think it’s sort of the same thing? getting dressed for church on Sunday or youth group throughout the week reminds me of high school days. do i dress to impress? i don’t want to look like a slob. i want to dress in a way that garners respect and gives me dignity. and honestly, i want to look GOOD! when i know i’m wearing a robe, none of these things matter because no one can see what i’m wearing….

  13. Tyler says:

    you would definitely have to raise taxes with those ideas🙂

  14. johnmccollum says:

    We just left a private Christian School with uniforms for a local public school with none, and I couldn’t be happier about the new dress code.

    Why should my kids — whose dad dresses casually and funkily to express himself — have to wear the uniform of ‘corporate America:’ dress slacks, white buttoned down shirts, ties, etc? I’m working so hard to tell my kids they don’t have to aspire to corporate jobs to be successful.

    Uniformity does NOT promote unity — in fact, in my experience, it forces kids to find other ways to demonstrate individualism, which by the time it’s been formed by legalism, has turned into rebellion.

    While I’m not libertarian, I don’t much love the idea of forcing businesses to adopt a 4 day workweek. In retain environment, that would almost ensure that no store could hire full-time workers. They’d have to have two separate 4-day-max staffs, and none of them would be covered under today’s healthcare plans.

    Speaking of healthcare, THAT is something you could start on…

  15. Dan W says:

    So, Eugene, is this a culturally transferable idea? Or are Americans just too steeped in individualism to make it fly? Do Korean kids even feel a need to “demonstrate individualism” like American kids do?

  16. Kacie says:

    I would make winter illegal. Except in the mountains. After 6 winters in Chicago, I’m convinced of this.

  17. dmowen says:

    I’m all for adding a siesta to the workday, but I have to disagree about uniforms. I think one of the main functions of uniforms is to emphasise the importance of the institution over the individual and define you by your membership in that group. (ie soldiers, police, white coats for doctors, etc.) I agree that kids place an enormous emphasis on the “right” clothes as indicators of social staus, but I think kids are going to tease each other mercilessly whether or not they’re in uniforms. Plus they seem like kind of a ridiculous unneccesary barrier to education in developing countries (although you did mention you were going to give them away for free).

  18. Sandy Dobbins says:

    Uniforms are great. No mom I have nothing to wear today, everyone has seen all my outfits, I need something new. I love uniforms.

  19. jHong says:

    uniforms would’ve killed my soul. in fact, the dress code during my 1.5 year stint at that one gigantor coffee chain nearly did. i think rather than just making all kids into lemmings, we should encourage the celebration of creativity and difference through all kinds of expressions including but not limited to choices in fashion. and though i understand the economical merits of uniforms, i can testify to the fact that it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to look fly! *snap* *snap *snap*!😀

  20. Art says:

    The practical side to all this is questionable. For starters, which corporation wins the big bid and gets to make millions of uniforms? What will be done to ensure there’s not children laboring across the sea so that our children can wear yet another change of clothes so that they can look the same as everyone else?

    I attended a Christian school with uniforms (top and black dress bottom) and some of what you say is true–clothes is a non-issue and it definitely cuts out bullying because of clothes. But like other commenters mentioned, it forces people to adopt other expressions of individuality. For me that was still outward appearance–I grew my hair out and dyed it n wore weird belts, duct tape on clothes, necklaces, wristbands, whatever it took. Others just took to other forms of “rebellion”.

    I don’t think American is ready for this, Eugene.

  21. eugenecho says:

    hmm, so, looks like we got some opposition here. few more thoughts:

    here in korea, elementary kids wear whatever unless they’re in private school. middle and high school – regardless – wear uniforms.

    the corporate big bid? individual local govt decides under the guidelines of certain principles such as “no child labor.” even the production of the clothes can make a great learning lesson.

    individuality: i’m not suggesting that they wear uniforms 24-7. but only during school? i think we’re exaggerating the notion that wearing uniforms will snuff out individuality.

    @jessica: you didn’t get the memo that we’re making quest church staff wear uniforms? 🙂

  22. Jennifer says:

    Maybe I’m too steeped in American individualism, but being the mother of a pretty unique kid, I would never want to see him in a uniform. Actually, I think he’d be really cute…but I’m with I agree with someone above, I think it would crush something in his soul.

  23. Jaime says:

    Your plans may be working regarding shorter work weeks. Wow. You work fast.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/07/03/national/a111533D42.DTL&tsp=1

  24. Aaron says:

    On uniforms- i would support it.

    As for individuality, I do not think kids really operate as individuals. (Although there are rare exceptions). The majority of kids are pressured by peers or marketing to buy the latest and greatest so that they will be cool… hence why A&F can sell jeans for $70.

    However, even with uniforms the “haves” will still have (whether it be cell phones or video games or toys or cooler backpacks). I still think it levels the playing field a little bit at school. Kids will still pick on each other… there will still be “cool” kids and “losers.”

    I wonder if there are studies out there on this: Unforms v. non-uniforms, measuring academic achievement and self confidence among various economic statuses.

  25. JB says:

    As a mom, I can just imagine it, the uniform scenario. “Mom, I can’t find either of my uniforms!”

    We have to leave the house for school in 5 minutes. I search the house and find one uniform balled up in her backpack, underneath her soccer practice clothes. I sniff. No way, I can’t send her to school rumpled and stinky. I look for the other and finally find it’s been employed as the main component of a cat hammock. Covered with cat hair. I let her stay home from school.

    OK, that tells you how up I am on the housework around here! But as a mom who’s always a bit behind, I am so glad that she can put something else on….there’s always SOMETHING clean, although it may not be what she wants to wear that day….

  26. triska says:

    wonderful idea…! i had a hard time struggling in highschool when we had to wear just about anything we wanted – everyone knows how difficult puberty is and add to the kid the pressure of fitting in. However during those times where I would only wear hand-me-downs, I found my true friends.

  27. If i was Prime Minister (no presidents in Australia) i would prohibit stores / shops any sort of retail organization opening on Saturday afternoons, Sundays and public holidays.

    This would allow the average person to spend more time with their families or do what ever they want rather than work for the man all the time.

    People would also have to learn to plan their life better.

    I’d also ban advertising on TV / cable / Cinema’s in kid watching hours. (especially TV station promotions)

  28. Daniel says:

    I am totally with you on the uniform thing. My one exception is that I think that the kids should be able to modify their uniforms for purposes of political expression. Otherwise, it’s important for creating a sense of community and abolishing a GIANT symbol of class and privilege. It’s also non-commercial, so kids aren’t pleading with their parents for expensive shoes and trendy labels … yeah, I haven’t thought this through or anything

    And, I’m with Anthony, if I were president I would cut military funding massively and split it between universal healthcare and public broadcasting

  29. eugenecho says:

    i’m hearing some great ideas here. i’ll pass them on to mccain or obama when i see them next.

    @chad m: you’re making me think about the whole robe thing again. there was a time – pre quest – when i was wearing a suit each sunday and i’d wear the same suit and tie. and i liked the idea of just wearing something that didn’t draw any attention to what i was wearing. food for thought.

  30. gar says:

    >really? do tell the details? what school? how much does it cost?

    I work at an elementary school in Federal Way where over 70% of the families qualify for free and/or reduced lunch, meaning most of our families are at or below the poverty line. Clothes / fashion have become an increasing behavioral issue over the past few years, and unfortunately, I have witnessed firsthand bullying and kids being ostracized because of their clothing.

    The school uniform implementation is pretty flexible and similar to how other elementary schools in our district have done it. The general guidelines of the uniform policy off the top of my head:

    -Families are responsible for purchasing the clothing themselves, but there will be assistance available to those that apply. Our school is working with local stores and non-profit organizations (like churches) to help them purchase the uniforms.

    -All clothing must be plain and completely free of logos, branding, patterns, etc. and must be a solid color. The one exception for the logo rule being if it has our school’s name on it.

    Colors for clothing tops: White, Blue (Navy, Baby Blue), Black
    Colors for clothing bottoms: Khaki / Brown, Blue, Black

    -Uniform specifics:

    *Tops must be button dress shirt or polo shirt. Shirts can be long or short sleeve. Sweaters or non-hooded sweatshirts can also be worn over shirt.

    *Bottom clothing: Trousers/Pants or shorts (girls have the additional choice of skirts / dresses as long as they are knee-length). Pants cannot be jeans (must be khaki, slacks, corduroy), and worn at the waist. Shorts must be also be knee length.

    *Shoes: No sandals or open-toed shoes.

    Items exempt from the policy: Jackets, hats, scarves, gloves. However, jackets, hats, scarves, and gloves may only be worn outside.

    As for the exact costs, people have done estimates and figured out that for the price of providing the school uniforms, families actually save money – no more complaints from students about constantly having to have new clothes to wear to school.

    Just like the comments here would suggest, uniforms are still a pretty controversial subject. I don’t believe they’re a “magic bullet” that will fix any school by itself, but I think as part of a larger strategy, uniforms can serve a useful purpose.

    Some more articles on uniforms:

    http://www.naesp.org/ContentLoad.do?contentId=67

  31. Allie says:

    You’ve got it, Gar. My immediate thought on uniforms was, “Go for it. Nothing like making everyone look the same, to deny creativity and uniqueness”.

    But then I thought a little more. I realized that in the inner city, kids can be and have been shot down for wearing the “wrong” colors in the “wrong” neighborhoods, killed for their designer shoes, etc. So maybe mandatory uniforms will help ease that problem, at least during the week.

    The other thing I thought of: the incredible problem our culture has with immodesty. (Commencing rant). Been in a little girls’ clothing department recently? It’s so hard to find cute things for kids without making them look like little versions of Britney Spears. It’s even harder to find cute things for teenagers that are also modest. I see girls all the time in shorts so short their behinds are showing, tops cut so low and so tight they leave almost nothing to the imagination, etc. Can anyone say “Jail bait”? (End of rant).

    The other good idea you had, Gar, was about no branding anywhere. I’ve seen kids as little as 7 demand designer handbags/shoes/etc. Kids are very aware of what’s “cool” and what’s not, This leads to bullying of the kids (and I was one of them) who didn’t have the “right” stuff, which is ridiculous. While uniforms won’t completely eliminate kids picking on each other, they will eliminate a lot of it, since in a uniform (they all look the same) you can’t tell whose uniforms were from Target and whose were from Ralph Lauren, unless there’s a logo on the outside of it. Fantastic idea.

    As for what I’d do as President:

    #1Mandatory two-week vacation each summer, which must be paid by the employers, no questions asked. We as a nation need to slow down!

    #2:I would completely dismantle the No Child Left Behind act. There’s got to be a better way to measure children’s progress than standardized tests. Are our kids really learning anything, or are they learning how to answer test questions (just regurgitating information?)

    #3:Mandatory siesta from noon to three every day. Same reasoning as idea 1.

    #4:Support mass transit! Let’s get people out of their gas guzzlers!

  32. Derek says:

    I love the uniform idea for the reasons that were mentioned. Brilliant idea. Let’s not fool ourselves. No one’s soul or creativity is going to be squashed because of uniforms.

    Here’s my list:

    1. Raise gas instantly to $7 and leave it there. Get rid of the shock by attacking it straight on. Use excess funds to invest in mass transit across the nation. Invest in electric automobiles.

    2. No advertising of tobacco, alcohol, and sexual laden images.

    3. Commercials are reduced to 15 seconds and none during children shows.

    4. Universal health care.

  33. Bob says:

    Back in the dark ages, when I was in the Air Force and my fiancee was a registered nurse, she suggested that I wear my Air Force uniform at the wedding. I said, “Fine, I’ll wear my Air Force uniform if you’ll wear your nurse’s uniform.” She got the point, and that ended the conversation.

  34. minna says:

    hey PE ….
    i totally support uniforms. both of my parents loved uniforms in school because nobody could tell that they both came from lower working class families. i’m already living out your 4-day work week 3-day weekend dream and i looooooooooooove it! uh .. did someone say free ice cream? quit playing games with my heart …. my heart!! i really hope that the whole family is having an amazing time in the motherland! missing you here in seattle …. your friendly neighbourhood canuck!

  35. alphieaja says:

    i love it………..
    i’m 14 years wear uniforms, because in indonesia you have to wear uniforms from kindergarten until high school. i totally support uniforms and my goverment to wear it. we don’t have to worry about what people say or our friends says when we wear uniforms especially about lower working class families, because people don’t know about it. we are same.no rich student or poor student i thank to my goverment bout this idea, and now you want it. i support you PE.

    As for what I’d do as President:
    1. make pedestrian ways and public garden in each neighbourhood
    2. no mall or shopping center again coz it’s too much but we create better public facility
    3. publication bout recycle to reduce global warming
    FIGHT PE !!!!!!

  36. Enna says:

    * I went to Catholic School for grammar school. You will still be shopping at Ambercrombie, but probably less. Baseball caps and socks become VERY important. Shoes too.
    1. How about instituting Siesta?
    I am SO down with Siesta.
    2. Four work days or at least Mandatory 3 day weekends every month?
    That would be great. Or, more important at my current profession, forcibly close every white collar business on the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving.
    3. Mandatory participation of monthly block or neighbhorhood parties?
    *loads my gun to assassinate you on your first day in office* I HATE block parties. Mostly because I hate children and force socialization with neighbors. And really, those parties are all about children, and the adults getting drunk outdoors in flimsy lawn chairs. NO THANK YOU.
    4. Free ice cream giveaways every Monday?
    Icky

    HOW ABOUT STANDARDIZED HEALTH CARE? I spent YEARS without health insurance, and let me tell you, it is SCARY. And FYI it’s why I love Planned Parenthood. It was always the same price, if I had a lung infection or needed stitches. And then you got free condoms to boot!

  37. Enna says:

    Oh, and I would get rid of the FCC. I have parents, I do not need more. And gov’t doesn’t need to be telling me what is acceptable and what is not.

  38. Megan says:

    I wore a uniform for 7 long years. My uniform consisted of a plaid skirt, button-down shirt, and blazer with the school patch. I abhorred wearing a skirt in mid-winter because it was freezing outside and I wasn’t allowed to wear pants. Plus, the school I went to was laid out such that I had to walk outside every day to get to certain classes and to lunch.

    Thus, I’m only for uniforms if the girls are allowed to wear pants.

  39. […] in the world but?it??s one of the things I??d like to do: Institute ???uniforms??? for studentshttps://eugenecho.wordpress.com/2008/07/03/the-first-thing-i-would-do-as-president/Teens feel squeeze of economy, slash spending on clothes The TennesseanNEW YORK ?? The financial […]

  40. johnmccollum says:

    “Otherwise, it’s important for creating a sense of community and abolishing a GIANT symbol of class and privilege.”

    Really? I can buy the first half of your sentence (in theory), but not the second. Not only does it NOT abolish a symbol of class and privilege, it institutionalizes it.

    Every uniform I’ve ever seen is a kiddie version of corporate, white collar, border-line-country-club apparel — oxford shirts, khaki dress slacks. How do I tell my kid that he doesn’t have to be part of the upper middle class “society” to succeed if all of the schools in the country equate educational success with a decidedly non-neutral, class-specific dress code?

    In short, if my kid wants to be a plumber or a painter, do I really want to train him to believe that dressing like an accountant is the norm?

  41. progressyourlifecom says:

    Uniforms for everyone, why not put a computer chip in our head and that would be the last straw that is holding us to being human.

    You could be on to something with the uniform idea but I see one flaw with people that will never fix their opinion. We are not in need of fixing what we do, we are in need of a overhaul to why we act the way we act.

    This uniform idea only promotes more of the don’t be who you are that government, religion and ultimately what our parents have taught us to believe.

    Fixing every human with a uniform look will only make the person which cast a comment say something else to be heard. Our comments have nothing to do with where we direct them towards and everything to do with how we feel about ourselves.

    When we make fun of someone else it is because of our insecurities that we project like it is them.

    To give uniforms to everyone so no one can be hurt is the same thing as giving a little prozac to everyone so people do not feel any emotion. It is covering up a hidden part of the brain (in other words you) that is repressed and hides hurt and pain.

    Mark Babineaux
    http://www.progressyourlife.com

  42. johnmccollum says:

    By the way, I’m kinda surprised to see so many people — not just here, but in my own non-conformist, generally-rebellious, social-misfit church community — support what seems to be another expression of the legalistic philosophy that many of us recovering fundagelicals have worked so hard to escape.

    Haven’t we all learned by now that modification of external forms does nothing to promote internal transformation? So many of the justifications I’ve heard here (and elsewhere) would be laughed off this blog if they were applied to other expressions of individualism:

    “I think that kids spend too much time individuating themselves based on the music they listen to — I think that the only music that should be sold to kids should be easy listening adult contemporary. Besides, have you heard the crap the kids are playing these days? Nyarrrh! Get off the lawn!”

    “My kids are always spending so much time deciding how to comb their hair, and the rich kids can afford stylists, which sets them apart from the working class kids — let’s make a law that says that ALL kids attending public schools must wear identical Joey Lawrence bowl cuts.”

    Look, my kids spent their first five years in school at a private Christian school with a strict uniform dress code. Aside from the fact that it didn’t save us any money (we had to buy TWO sets of clothes for my kids — one for school and one for everything else, since there’s no way in hell any of them would be caught dead at the park in their uniforms), it didn’t change the perception of wealth and social status one whit.

    My kids were among the least financially prosperous among their friends, and everyone knew it. How? Mom picked ’em up in a 12 year old Honda worth about $1,600, not a 12-month old Mercedes worth $61,000. We drove in from the south side, their friends from the north…a million things made it clear who had and who had not.

    Want to deal with social inequalities? Teach your child confidence and compassion. Making all of our kids look like suburban yuppies seems regressive and perversely ANTI-egalitarian to me.

    Aside from that, my kids look like dorks when they wear uniforms. http://www.flickr.com/photos/80053800@N00/1202727512/ And they look completely rad when they choose their own clothes. http://www.flickr.com/photos/80053800@N00/1159546965/

    Perhaps this is something that works better in some cultural settings than others. I can see, for instance, the role of uniforms in boosting the self-esteem of groups of kids who have for one reason or another been excluded from the dominant society. For me, however, I’m constantly trying to show my kids that they DON’T have to suck up to “the man” for significance and success. And maybe that betrays our privileged social status as much as any button-down oxford or pique knit polo ever could.

    Anyway, it’s late. I’m not sure why this issue gets me going. Maybe I’ve been more scarred by my Christian education that I had thought…

  43. eugenecho says:

    @john – i was thinking that what you’re advocating for could also be seen as “conformist”, no?

    i guess it’s all a matter of perspective. clearly, you won’t be voting for me for president. 🙂

  44. johnmccollum says:

    Eugene,

    I’m not sure I’m advocating for anything in particular. I’m protesting — lightly and in good humor (can’t you see me smiling through the blog) — the imposition of one more measure to turn my rascally, independent-minded kids into suburban-middle-management drones. If they want to work in dockers and oxfords, more power to ’em. I just don’t want to impose it on them.

    It’s interesting. When I was in school, the administration was always concerned about making sure the dress code and hair code reflected the cultural mores of some one 40 years older and way more conservative than any of us. When it was cool to spike your hair, they outlawed it. When my friends all started shaving their heads, they had minimum lengths.

    When I talked with my parents about it, they said, “Well they just want to make sure that you’re not visibly identifying with any negative subcultures or trends.” The older I get, the more I see corporate America as being a culture with its own mores, many of which are no better than, say the trends and mores of skater culture, goth culture, hiphop culture or even just “youth culture,” whatever the heck that is.

    One of my problems with the uniform idea is that it posits corporate, upper middle class clothing and hairstyles as the norm, as neutral. It’s not unlike the concept that “whiteness” does not exist, and that the ‘stuff white people like’ is values neutral.

    Anyway. I’m sure I’m reading way too much into all of this, and I’m speaking from my brokenness.

  45. […] the first thing i would do as president […]

  46. Melissa says:

    Uniforms are genius. Not only for all the reasons mentioned, but because test scores have been shown to raise, and gang activity decrease, after instituting uniforms. Seriously. Do we need more reason than that?

    I would fund education and public transportation. After that, I’d reform healthcare.

  47. johnmccollum says:

    @Melissa,

    For what it’s worth, it’s certainly not conclusive: http://www.geocities.com/school_uniforms/abstract98.html and many other studies disagree…

  48. laurakt says:

    I worked at a poor, inner-city public school that had a mandatory uniform — Blue polo shirt, black pants. Sorry to let you down…but you can still tell the haves from the have-nots. Instead of sporting the cool branded tee-shirt, it becomes about hair styles, accessories, bookbags, shoes, hygiene, the frequency of replacement of clothing. There were definitely kids who wore the same shirt every day all year, and kids who had five that they rotated. There’s something very nice about uniforms, and they may lessen the obvious visual discrepancy between rich and poor, but they don’t eliminate it. This isn’t Shangri-la, yet, after all.

  49. laurakt says:

    One more thing. Mister Canty (above), I agree that small classes are the way to go, but for 9-12, I’d say that 10 is a little on the scant side. Diversity of students = diversity of ideas = diversity of discussion = more learning, more critical thinking, more opportunities to learn how to disagree and still communicate. I had a freshman class of 18 this semester and that was perfect. For upper-classmen, I’d say no more than 22 would be ideal. But maybe that’s just me. I do love an audience.🙂

  50. eugenecho says:

    @laurakt: my wife shared w/ /me that when she went to elementary school over 30 years ago, there were anywhere from 60-70 students in her class – with one teacher!

  51. Ms. Cynthia says:

    R you kidding

    I think the fashion industry will love you.

    The more you ban or limit something the more it becomes coveted and hidden where these items can be wipped out and addorned as soon as youth are out of range of the prying eyes of teachers and parents.

  52. elderj says:

    I’m definitely for uniforms; they don’t crush anyone and American kids aren’t that different from kids in all the other nations of the world where uniforms are worn. Besides, a little conformity is actually a good thing. It actual fosters the group solidarity and community mindedness we all complain are lacking in our society. The other benefit is that it would hopefully help people dress a little neater when they become adults. Writing this from overseas, I can tell you how glad I am to NOT see grown men parading around in shorts and tee shirts constantly.

    As for the siesta idea… I’m definitely FOR that
    And for the free ice cream giveaway; yummy!

    I would make voting mandatory and include a “none of the above” option on the ballot.

    I would also fine people for the egregious use of the word “like,” as in “I was, like, sitting outside, and like, I saw this, like, man, and he was, like, staring at me.” $2 per violation with the money going to fund education. We could, like, totally overhaul our education system in like two months.

    Mandatory foreign language class from k-12

    1 year mandatory national service for everyone between 18-25, so either after high school or after completing university.

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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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