#Shakespeare #Education #Literature #Drama
Many of us have read something William Shakespeare has written.
Some love him. Some hate him. Certainly, though his language is pure, it’s not always easy to understand. We certainly don’t talk like that in daily conversation.
For many of us, he was required reading at some point in our education. Today, however, a debate is raging over not only whether he is relevant to today’s world, but whether, in the name of diversity, he’s just another dead white guy.
Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis had this very debate in a column they wrote together. It was published in the June 21, 2015, edition of the News Sentinel of Knoxville, Tenn.
Boychuck is associate editor of the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal. Mathis is associate editor of Philadelphia Magazine.
In Boychuk’s view, if a teacher can’t make violence, murder, insanity, greed, witchcraft, betrayal and other elements of Shakespeare come alive in the classroom, he or she is probably in the wrong job. Some of us, when studying Shakespeare or performing in one of his plays, could hurdle what language barrier there was – his old-time English and modern English.
Mathis, however, had the benefit of translation pages when he studied Shakespeare in school. Were it not for those, he says, he may not have survived that course.
“There’s a WORLD of really exciting literature out there that better speaks to the needs of my very ethnically diverse and wonderfully curious, modern-day students,” says Dana Dusbiber, a teacher at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, Calif. She told in a Washington Post column that she hates teaching Shakespeare.
Boychuk and Mathis refer to her column in their column.
If any student’s education is devoid of Shakespeare, how would they know that centuries ago, people actually talked and wrote that way.
On the other hand, many of today’s students have English as a second language. Do they need literature whose English is a bit more basic, to better master their second language?
The Boychuk-Mathis column points out that plays are best seen performed than read. Very few other playwrights get the attention in school that Shakespeare does. Perhaps that’s because Shakespeare is special, and, as the column points out, many of the phrases used today originated with Shakespeare, i.e. “there’s the rub,” it’s Greek to me,” to thine own self be true.”
No matter how one feels about what and how we teach kids, it’s clear that kids need a well-rounded education. They need to learn the niceties as well as the evils of today’s and yesterday’s world.
They need to be able to communicate clearly, to talk so as to be universally understood, to sell themselves to a prospective employer or client. A smattering of Shakespeare can teach them a good bit of how the language was formed and modernized.
Also, they need to develop a great image of themselves. How do you feel about yourself? Are you still looking for who you really are, or are you having to change things up to thrive in today’s world. If so, visit Many of those whom you will see may, or may not, be Shakespeare fans, but they’ve certainly learned that their curiosity has paid great dividends.
Studying the Bard may be hard, but he has many lessons to teach.


#surf #waves #financialplanning
If Jeff Hall could do one thing every day for the rest of his life, he would surf.
Hall, partner and senior financial adviser with Rather and Kittrell in Knoxville, Tenn., wrote a column about surfing and financial advice in the July 12, 2015, edition of the News Sentinel newspaper of Knoxville.
His main point: the ocean can be tricky. You have control over some things, but not others. But, you can control to whom you listen. Despite the financial crisis in Greece and other places, there is no substitute for setting realistic goals, making a plan and following it and, as he writes, learning from every wave.
Financial planning requires good advice from someone you trust, to be sure. But it also requires discipline. It requires watching where your money goes and resisting the temptation to put it in the wrong places, i.e. spending frivolously when you should be saving vigorously.
A good financial plan involves putting off some purchases until you’ve paid yourself through saving.
Simple? Of course. Easy? Not so, for some. Success comes from doing what isn’t so easy.
You might respond this way: But my job, or my income, doesn’t allow me to save.
There are many ways to overcome that problem. For one of the best, visit
Here’s another caution: emotion. Hall says that emotion sells. If you know what you are doing is right for you, don’t let others’ emotion get you off track. Don’t stray from a good plan for emotional reasons. Sometimes, news reports can enhance some bad emotions.
Know, too, that there will be ups and downs. Nothing goes up in a straight line. But good advice and careful planning can make the path a little less rough.
If you have children, it’s important to teach them about money. It’s also important to show them a good example of financial prudence in your behavior. Certainly, kids can be more focused on having fun at the moment, as opposed to postponing getting something they want now.
Still, if you can teach them that every decision has a consequence, ultimately they can set better priorities as they get older.
It’s OK to inject fun into your life. But be realistic in what you spend for “fun.” It could cost you later.
It takes a little effort and a lot of discipline to gain financial independence. It also can take time.
There is no greater satisfaction than retiring comfortably because of decisions you had made when you were younger.
Hall points out that oceans, as well as the financial world, contain sharks. You have to watch for them, for they won’t go away.
Some waves are worth riding. Others, not so much. If you choose your waves carefully, the ride will be less perilous and destination will be sweet.


financial independence #takechargeofyourfinances
We’d all love financial independence.
But, what is it? Our parents taught us that financial SECURITY was the most important thing.
Security means a good job, with good benefits that will last you for as long as you want, or are able, to work.
Security is a fleeting proposition. Good jobs, those that might allow you to attain financial independence eventually, are hard to find and hard to keep. In other words, if you have a well-paying job, you will probably make so much money well before you retire that your company will want you gone, because it can hire someone younger and cheaper.
If you want financial independence, keep that good job for as long as it will have you.
There’s something else about today that is different from when your parents or grandparents were young. More people are losing track of their spending, and how much they have saved. So says Tom Coulter, president of Meridian Trust. Coulter wrote a column headlined, “The pursuit of happiness via finances,” that appeared in the News Sentinel newspaper in Knoxville, Tenn., July 5, 2015.
“While few people believe that money alone can make us happy, we do know that people who are confident about their abilities to realize their financial goals report higher levels of life satisfaction than those who aren’t,” Coulter writes.
In other words, to quote colleague Ronnie Paul Waldrep, “Money can’t buy happiness, but it can sure help you work out your problems in style.”
Coulter suggests taking inventory of your finances and making a plan. Determine how to align your actions with your priorities. Buy books, surf the Web or hire a financial planner, if necessary, he says. Most of all, take charge of your life.
As you go through life working toward financial independence, which, for argument’s sake, we’ll define as being able to do what you want, when you want, enjoy the pursuit. For example, Chris Guillebeau reached his goal, or, as he calls it, his quest of visiting every country in the world before his 35th birthday. He discussed his travels and his book, “The Happiness of Pursuit,” in a 2015 interview with Success magazine publisher Darren Hardy. The interview was recorded on a CD included in Success magazine.
As you work toward your goal, or quest, for financial independence, find joy in the journey. Many successful people will tell you that achieving success was not as much of a delight as working toward it. Sure, everyone has ups and downs in whatever journey he pursues, but by keeping the finish line always in sight, the downs become less of a burden and the ups become more of a reward.
If you don’t believe your job alone will give you financial independence, or your best money management efforts won’t get you everything you want to be financially independent, there are many other ways to augment work and discipline. For one of the best, visit You’ll find ways to bolster your money management efforts as well as ways to provide an income that has nothing to do with a “job.”
With Independence Day 2015 now passed, create your own independence day. Make today the day you get hold of your finances, start pursuit of your financial quest and find ways to enjoy the pursuit every step of the way.
“Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical,” says Yogi Berra. Financial independence is largely created by how you think, not what happens to you. Think good thoughts. Take charge of your life. Take enjoyment from your journey. Independence awaits.