Don’t Be Fooled by the “Experts”

By Hope Mucklow, Author, Blogger, Songwriter, Teacher, and Coach

Last week I received notice of a public meeting of the Boyton Beach Art Advisory Board regarding approval of a proposed contentious sculpture to be installed in front of The Cornelia T. Bailey Cultural Arts Center positioned next to the South Florida PBS studios. Tracey Caruso from the Florida Jolt wrote a good professional summary on the meeting. (Link below) Now, I’d like to chime in.

Running late, I walked into the meeting already underway. A board of individuals sat in luxurious swivel office chairs behind a monstrous u-shaped table positioned higher up with a 3 foot physical barrier to the seating part of the room. Next placed ten feet back were two neatly lined groups of chairs with a center aisle. There sat a few clusters of people in between many empty chairs. On the side aisles two microphones hosted a steady stream of people who voiced their plea to the board to vote for or vote against the strange statue.

One of those women broke the name of the proposed statue of “Harmony ” into “harm on me.” She proceeded to site many attributes of this sculpture that suggest repulsive sexual positioning. Another concerned citizen pointed out that much of the artists’ work is inappropriately sexually explicit. This was then mocked later by one of the PBS defendants by his saying that people see what is inside themselves when they interpret art.

Then one of the directors of PBS Education proceeded to shared her test results showing this awkwardly shaped figure with children 8-10 years of age who she reported responded wonderfully with curiosity. So how many children in this age group did she test? Where did she find these children? Who’s children were they? Did they sign waivers? Do you see the bias in her research? But she holds the job title at PBS and therefore is the expert, right? Well, I think that the boy who had the courage to say the emperor had no clothes on was missing from her test group.

Also, let’s further discuss children ages 8-10, especially in group settings. For the most part, they are still fairly respectful, innocent, trust, and want to please their teachers compared to tweens, teens, and adults. This is what they learn in Kindergarten and now Pre-school. Then consider developmental psychology. Concrete literal processing is how these children are thinking. They are not going to think in abstract figurative manner even though others from PBS who spoke claim that they do.

Several opposing citizens respectfully pointed out that art like this exists, but should be in the museum where people are choosing to visit, not be forced to see when they pass by on the street. I reflected on that and gave thanks for the lovely horse sculptures that I passed in a neighborhood in Parkland, FL . They lifted my spirits and cheered me on my way to locate my next client’s home as I circle around them driving by.

Returning back to the proponents of the image and its name, Harmony. Do you see the irony and play on words? Its creator Warashina is known for creations that are her statements on politically divisive topics. Funny she’s supposed to be from Washington, D.C. The last I checked that city’s nickname is the Swamp, not Vienna. Aren’t there plenty of fantastic artist right here in South Florida?

For me, I see several realities playing out. First, this is all evidence that The Communist Goals of 1958 for the United States of America is complete. Consider specifically goals #22 and #23:

22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. (The) American Communist cell was told to “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings; substitute shape-less, awkward, and meaningless forms.”

23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. “Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaning-less art.”

Number 23 was clearly displayed after public comments were closed. Members of the board proceeded to discuss with the city lawyer and advisors what criteria they were to follow before voting. It was an incredible bore to hear them site line items in paragraphs amidst volumes of pages getting clarification on what was considered a rule to be followed. Clearly some on the board lacked courage to vote outside the lines of minutia.

Meanwhile, allow me to tell you what I’ve witnessed as a public school teacher. I saw students produce amazing pieces of art at just 12, 13, and 14 years of age. I’d argue that their work surpasses the artist who is charging five hundred thousand dollars for her work. Now of course they don’t have the years of experience or the material to make a 15 foot outdoor idol that will weather the beating sun and fierce winds of tropical storms that this woman has. My point is, there is a plethora of good artists and work to choose from. Hers isn’t that special, but it is political and coming out of the capital of woke.

The citizens who found this proposed sculpture offensive, inappropriate, and upsetting out numbered the supporters 3 to 1, but the board instead listened to the “experts” and voted for it to be approved.

So what are good moral citizens to do? The showed up, they voiced their concerns and were ignored by three of the board members who voted in favor. Perhaps they helped the other two vote no. I say, job well done and press onto approach the members of the city commission who will vote next on whether this bizarre image is going to sore 15 feet high above all heads in a major public thorough way if installed.

If however it is approved and constructed, I suggest that the opponents ignore it like all other hideous modern art that has already been shoved down our throats. Focus on the birds who will inevitably poop on it, the beautiful blue sky, sunshine, and puffy clouds. Don’t visit much less pay to go to this new art center in your precious free time. If this is what is going to be outside what on earth is going to be on exhibit inside?

Relax, don’t let them upset you. This is their goal. Think about it, who is going to take the time to look up this artist and her work? Most are way too busy to do so. And the majority could care less to tune in much less listen to PBS.

Cherish, enjoy, and pass on to your children the love of good classic and worthy art. Not all modern art is trash. Teach your children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Stop relying on the schools to do it for you. Read my blog for ideas on how to lead your loved young ones better. Heal your own emotional wounds so that you can improve on these relationships.

Instill the good, beautiful, and worthy. Model it by how you dress, decorate your home, and what you applaud out in public and especially on social media.

Support local and live artists who are producing beautiful art that uplifts and inspires. For visual art, Mira Lehr is of local interest to me in South Florida. But my top pick shifts toward performing artist Talon Smith of Fresno, California. Check out how amazingly this young man plays the piano! I’m so glad we got to not just hear him, but meet him and his mom when he performed for the Chopin Foundation in 2021 in Coral Gables.

While there is a time and place for the dark and ugly make sure your dollars are supporting people what you value. Notice that I did not feature any of Warahina’s work in this blog including the piece being considered. Why draw more attention to this artist?

Laugh back when mocked. Hold those who project accountable on the spot. Don’t allow them to bully you with these psychological tactics. They are the lowest of low. Don’t stoop to their levels.

Lastly and most importantly, for the Christian and Jewish people, stop being it in name only. Nurture your faith in the one true living God who created all things by speaking it into existence. Live righteous lives by the natural law spelled out in the 10 Commandments. Repent from your sins. Study this law in the Torah. Pray. It is the prayers of the righteous that YWHY hears not those of the self-serving worry wort.

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Curriculum Has a Time and Place

by Hope Mucklow, Author Blogger, Coach, and Teacher

Anyone who follows my writing and/or presence know that I am an advocate for people, young and old, rich or poor, educated and non, little and big, black, white or somewhere in between. This means there is a major anti-bullying theme that runs through my work. This is why I view endorsed or state approved curriculum as one of the tools that the ruling elite uses to bully those they subdue.

Curriculum in the modern school setting has become the main means to reign in the classroom teacher from creatively implementing their gifts to motivate, encourage, and led their students to learn. Ask any good caring teacher. There’s no time for them to incorporate an engaging lesson they or their colleagues designed. Rather their calendar is overruled by the micro managing administration that is more concerned about raising standardized test scores to give the school better ratings for funding.

Shifting to homeschool, it’s the main question that homeschooling moms hurl at each other at church, the park, and co-op, “What curriculum do you use?” They have even taught the kids to ask this of each other. Then they judge each other and make their alliances based on the answers.

So what is curriculum and why is it important? Curriculum is like a road map or a guide with content that should include resources and means to achieve certain learning objectives. A world view or rather predominate philosophy on the approach to the content will run through its contents and resources. This is where culture and religion (which are very much entwined) comes in. This came up in dialog on social media yesterday.

A teacher had posted about the importance of getting together with other people to do anything and everything. I agreed to point, but went on to admonish her to encourage her lonely students that not all is lost when they are socially isolated.

I asked her to consider pointing her lonely pupils to a great historical figure, St. Patrick, in how he used his isolation as a kidnapped Britton teen taken to work as a slave in Ireland to develop his personal character. Her reply was, “I cannot bring religion into the classroom.” My heart sank because this woman is supposed to be a Bible believing Christian who is actively involved in holding the county school board accountable for their politically correct decisions at the cost of students/parents personal liberties.

But, looking back at myself at her age and situation, I didn’t know any differently either. For the 1958 Communist Agenda for the United States of America goals (see link below) were accomplished many years ago. I was born and educated into much of it as well.

Goal #17 states, “Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in text-books.”

Clearly atheism is the religion and humanism is the philosophy behind all public and unfortunately much of the modern private schooling systems, even the religious ones. This too was one of the goals. # 27 states, “Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with ‘social religion.’ Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a ‘religious crutch.'”

I too was that well intended public school teacher in the early 1990’s and then again in the early 2000’s who thought I would be an awesome teacher if students didn’t know where I stood on evolution even though the statistics I ran for a whole semester at WVU proved that it is as impossible if not more so than believing in creation by a higher being. After all, that professor gave quite a lecture at the last class that we dare not question evolution even in light of the statistics. But let’s get back to the point about curriculum and its purposes.

Viewing curriculum as a maps can be very helpful and useful. Just keep in mind that there are those who pave the way and those who follow.

Now keep in mind it is an awful lot of work to be the first person to plow through a wild forest to clear a path. For any who hike or cross-country ski there is much to be enjoyed following the tracks of someone who did the hard work to trudge through first. Then there are are also those who need help finding the way if they don’t know the terrain. Lastly, the path can be over trodden, ruined from erosion, or just not be the destination anymore. All of these metaphorically transfer to my points about academic curriculum.

If you choose to homeschool your child/children you need to honestly asses what you know and that which you do not. You also need to account for what you can and cannot afford with your time and money.

A comprehensive curriculum will sure make your life easier at first, but give it time and a smart child will bore with it and sometimes rebel from it. This is why some have found the option of unschooling to be of help to them. They ditch curriculum and release their child/children to explore and learn for themselves. I have found that this too has a time and place, but agree with C.S.Lewis’s point in The Abolition of Man that children need to be guided and taught what to think early on. The toddler will not share his/her toys with another without being taught to take turns.

Circling back, viewing curriculum as a tool, utensils have a time and place. Some are better than others. The master of any art never uses just one. They assess the situation and choose the best instrument needed to accomplish the goal. That is why I never purchased any one curriculum in a box for my daughter to learn from as a homeschooled student or completely unschooled her.

Instead, I paid a little bit more to buy certain parts of curriculums from Abeka, Apologia, and Bob Jones. Then I gave thanks for a friend giving me Saxon Math 5/6 and another for giving me the Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra courses. I then purchased at full price The Complete Algebra and The Complete Geometry Courses written by Tom Clark who has since become a major part of our homeschool experience. Some courses especially in high school work better with an established curriculum.

Lastly beware that some teachers, schools, and administrations whether they be average, not well educated themselves, tired, lazy, or underfunded rely too heavily on their chosen curriculum. The curriculum dictates and overrides inquisitive thoughtful children who are able to think beyond a prescribed lesson. This is why I pulled my daughter from a well respected private Christian school and resumed homeschooling when she was in 6th grade while we lived in Alabama.

So in summary, don’t allow anyone to academically bully you or your child with curriculum. It should serve you and your child not the other way around. Have a good school year. Sincerely, hopetheparentteacher.

*No advertising or promotional fees were received from any company, person, or product mentioned in the blog.

**Here’s a blog on wildflowers that exemplifies what teachers are no longer allowed to do and what students are missing out on because of it.

#Homeschool #Curriculum #blendedlearning #edpolicy #parentpower #learning #schoolreform #unschooling #microschool