Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Second Chances

Tomorrow - Tuesday May 14th  at 10 am - Gov. Brown will get a second chance at his budget proposal.

We'll see how it goes.

The first time he wanted all Adult Ed tucked inside the Community College system.

With some money but nothing like the budget we had before the crash. 

A lot of us said no.

A lot of rose up and no.  No, we don't want that.

We sent emails.  We held rallies.  We wore t-shirts and gathered signatures and wrote resolutions and stood up and said no to the no to the no.

So now he gets a second chance and we'll see what he says.

You can watch as he does.

The press conference will be streamed live on the California Channel at www.calchannel.com and the revised budget will be posted online shortly after the news conference begins at www.ebudget.ca.gov.
It's been a long five years.
Since flexibility hit following Hurricane Housing Crash, there's been chaos in Adult Education. 

Chaos and cuts and closures.
Yes we do.
And no matter what happens tomorrow... whether Gov. Brown comes out with some sort of nearly-perfect plan that satisfies everybody (does that exist?!) or one that makes us most of sad, mad or in temporary loss of mojo, I'll tell you what I predict:
We'll keep trying.
Here's why:
Not only does Adult Education matter.  Not only does this state face a crisis if we don't rebuild and renew it but those of us in Adult Education... we have this magic super secret power.
It's not one you often see in movies.  It's not in the Avengers.  It's not in a movie starring Robert Downey Junior (although maybe it should be) or Arnold Schwartzenegger or Johnny Dep.  Come to think of it, there might be or should be a movie where Robert Downey Junior plays a hero with this power because here's what it is:
It is the very magical, very actual super secret power of
                                                                     ta dah!
                                                                           second chances!
That's right...
That's our specialty.
Feel like a failure?  Feel like you're never gonna get it right?  You never did graduate you made a mess it's too late now it's all over.  This is it.  You'll be lucky if you move from fry cook to drive through.
Not with Adult Education.
Lose custody of your kids?  Beat yourself up at night with regret?  Cry yourself to sleep wondering how you can get them back?  You messed up but now you got it together except for the kids the kids do you even have a chance?
Adult Education Parent Education classes are part of the second chances some parents need.
How about widowhood?  Every feel deeply lonely?  Ever spend decades living alongside that same wonderful, annoying companion who's been there in laughter and tears only now they're not.  And your best friend?  They had a stroke and can't talk anymore.  And your hip?  Not so good.  And your memory?  A little spotty.  It's all over, right?
Unh-unh.  Not with Adult Education.  With Adult Education Older Adults classes you're moving, you're connecting, your finding you're still here and that's okay, sometimes it's even good.
How about  wondering why you ever came to this country.  Why the heck did you even think that was a good idea?  You're already heart split in two with pain, missing your mom, your dad, your sister and now here you are in this place where no one can understand you and the best job you can get is "You need English."  Give it up, right?  Go back home to a place you left for a good reason so what does that mean?  It was all a mistake?  Your life's a mistake?  You're a mistake?
No.  Unh-unh.  Not with Adult Education.
No, it's step by step by verb by noun by learn how to write a resume shake a hand this is how we do it this is how you walk into look that person in the eye and say, "Thank you, I can't wait to get started.  I sure do say, yes, thank you for the job offer.  I accept."
Story after story after story.
This is our story.
This is what we know about.
Sure, you can sit on a three-legged chair - sort of.  If you're constantly leaning back and to the side and keeping your leg just so and for God sake, don't drop anything.
But with Adult Education?
You're got balance.  You've got stability.  You've got a second chance for when life inevitably throws you a curve, the icy patch, it was in your blind spot, you just didn't see it coming.
One thing we can always predict is trouble.  Obstacles.  Challenges.  Change.  Not necessarily the kind you like.

Giving our planet a second chance on Earth Day

There are going to be things we fail at and there are going to be days when you feel like giving up and there is going to be news maybe not exactly how you like it.  Okay but not good enough.  You need more.
Okay.  That might be the case tomorrow.  We don't know.
What we do know is that come what may, we'll deal with it.  Wearing our REd for Unity in Adult Education or just wearing whatever we're wearing that day.
Cuz second chances are our specialty.
Second chances are what we do best.
That's why California needs us.
Cuz everyone and everything needs a second chance, sometimes.
Including Governor Brown.
I mean, heck, who else came back for a second term lo these many decades later, right?
Coming back after Prop 13 going down on his first watch.  Trying to get it right, now. 
Knowing education is a civil right - it is! - and trying to make it all good somehow.
And that's all good.
The mighty pie of a budget surplus we made ourselves.
We're all here - at the table - because we care.  
We care about California.
We're working it out.
We're finding a way to provide good public education, including Adult Education.
You, me, the State Legislature and Governor Brown.
Because we need it.
We need what Adult Education does for our state... for our people...  for us.
And luckily, we've got a second chance... to get it right.
So get out your super fantastic actual magic super powers, everybody!
The May Revise is coming down!
We're a mighty tree, Adult Education, over 150 years strong, with mighty branches in both K12 and CC districts, bearing fine fruit to feed our people.
Let's keep the tree strong.                                                                           

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