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OPINION: First Lady Of The World

"One of the best ways of enslaving a people is to keep them from education...The second way of enslaving a people is to suppress the sources of information, not only by burning books but by controlling all the other ways in which ideas are transmitted." - Eleanor Roosevelt, May 11th, 1943

Otherwise known as "the First Lady of the Western World", Eleanor Roosevelt was a progressive minded woman who never hid behind elitism or hierarchies. She lived among the people. She was always fighting for the underdog, inspiring cooperation and compassion amongst her admirers.

Her real sense of identity came into full bloom after discovering her husband's affair with Lucy Mercer. She said, "I faced myself, my surroundings, my world, honestly for the first time."

Eleanor was not only the eyes and ears and legs of her husband but stood out as a profound force in her own right. She walked through Nebraska cornfields and urban slums, visiting unemployed workers in Detroit, black children in Alabama, migrant workers in California, and miners in West Virginia.

Long before he was President of The United States her husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, came down with a paralytic illness which effectively rendered him unable to walk, and Eleanor was forced from her stay-at-home mother role to be his legs to the wider world.

During his presidency which included World War II, Eleanor traveled the world helping to build cooperative networks that would further promote her vision of peace. She visited soldiers and heads of state, always carrying with her, a message of reassurance and understanding throughout a war torn world.

Eleanor Roosevelt was a true communicator who faithfully followed her moral compass despite the most challenging of circumstances. She remains an inspiration to all those who fight for human and civil rights.

Eleanor's path was not an easy one. Finding herself in the shadow of her charismatic husband, she spent her early life bearing six children and found little time to pursue her other interests. One would find it hard to believe that she was a shy, extremely self conscious young woman.

Her real sense of identity came into full bloom after discovering her husband's affair with Lucy Mercer. She said, "I faced myself, my surroundings, my world, honestly for the first time."

This began her life as an entirely separate identity from her husband. Deciding to stick by his side, Eleanor, with Franklin, became a dynamic duo team, using their complementary strengths to mobilize and strengthen their country in a time of war, within the United States and abroad.

She focused her energies working for an array of reformist organizations; working for the abolition of child labor, the establishment of minimum wage, feminist groups, civil rights groups, and for a legislation that would protect workers.

In 1938, she refused to follow the segregation ordinance that prevented her from sitting with her Black friends fighting for Human Welfare in Birmingham, Alabama. Although an excruciatingly slow process, Eleanor's unremitting voice slowly led to better opportunities for Blacks during a time when segregation was at it's worst.

In 1946, she became chair of the United Nations Human Rights Commission. She fought tirelessly for the Universal Declaration of Human rights which was finally approved after significant debate by the General assembly in 1948. President Eisenhower did not re-appoint her, leading her to volunteer for the U.N.

President Kennedy advocated that she return to work as a U.N. delegate in 1961. The entire assembly rose to acknowledge her in applause and appreciation; no other delegate had ever received this honor before. This moment reflected her status as a symbol of cooperation and peace on a global scale.

In spite of her exhausting schedule, Eleanor managed to write her "My Day" column from 1935 until shortly before her death in 1962. Her column which was 500 words long was published six days a week, except for the four days after Franklin's death.

A devoted and disciplined writer, Eleanor touched on every imaginable subject ranging from the most mundane to the most controversial of topics. She poured her heart and soul into expressing her views on humanity exemplifying her wisdom and strength for all those who cared to read her words.

Eleanor Roosevelt led a battle for social justice around the world. The first woman to be a radio commentator, to hold regular press conferences, to speak in front of a national convention, to write a newspaper column published daily, and to earn money as a lecturer, Eleanor's voice was indeed, heard.

She served as an influential voice to those who had no ability or place to use their own. Her deep commitment to social reform and fearlessness in expressing her opinions despite opposition led Eleanor to the realm of heroic feats.

Adlai Stevenson says, "What other single human being has touched and transformed the existence of so many? She walked in the slums and ghettos of the world, not on a tour of inspection, but as one who could not feel contentment when others are hungry."

Adapted from an Opinion by Kate Reynolds as submitted to www.thecoolgroup.org

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Educational Humor


Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $2.58. The counter girl took my $3 and I was digging for my change when I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies, while looking at the screen on her register. I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried.

Why do I tell you this?

Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1950s:

1. Teaching Math In 1953

A mine owner sells a truckload of coal for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

2. Teaching Math In 1963

A mine owner sells a truckload of coal $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

3. Teaching Math In 1973

A mine owner sells a truckload of coal for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?

4. Teaching Math In 1983

A mine owner sells a truckload of coal for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Write the number 20.

5. Teaching Math In 1993

A mine owner sells a truckload of coal for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Circle the number 20.

6. Teaching Math In 2003

A mine owner gouges out a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of woodlands when there is coal near the surface. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the rabbits and foxes feel as the mine owner gouged into their homes? (There are no wrong answers.)

7. Teaching Math In 2013

Un sustantivo dueño vende una carretada de carbón $100. El costo de la producciones es $80.

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